Best Obgyn In Newport News Va – OB-GYN Dr. Gwen Riddick preaches compassion and nonjudgmental treatment in her office at UNC Women’s Health Eden, which she joined in October.
Gwen Riddick and her colleague Letisha Hairston, a certified medical assistant, review patient charts at UNC Women’s Health in Eden.
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EDEN – A callous doctor broke Gwen Riddick with devastating news in the 11th grade, leaving her vulnerable but with a determination that defines her medical practice today.
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She is a freshman in college and her Pap test to test for cervical cell cancer has come back with some precancerous cell abnormalities. She needed a colposcopy, an inpatient procedure in which doctors closely examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva, and sometimes collect tissue samples for biopsy to rule out cancer.
“I never knew what it was,” said Riddick, an OB-GYN who joined UNC Women’s Health in October. “The care I received was terrible. There was no compassion. I was told the risk of cervical cancer was very high.
He asked the doctor to explain. “Doctors were very open with me: ‘Don’t you know what this means?'” “I just had really bad treatment,” Riddick said recently from his office, where he asks his patients questions and provides thorough explanations of diagnoses and care plan.
“And I’ve always known that if I could care for someone else as a doctor… tell me, the doctor would show no mercy and politely give you that information from the bedside.”
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His friendly tone shines through in Riddick’s office, where he chats with workers wearing blue aprons and snakeskin-print Crocs. So far, he has won the race of his life with perseverance and refusing to see obstacles.
Born in Gates County in the state’s northeast, Riddick, the middle child of six, grew up in a home where money was tight, but success was celebrated and his parents were supportive.
“I always knew I wanted to be a doctor,” Riddick said. “You know when you ask little kids what they want in life? I always say that because I want to help people. I didn’t realize what kind of doctor I was. I was always inspired to help other people. There was just something that was always there my heart.”
Growing up with two sisters and three brothers, money was difficult for medical care.
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“My family is economically disadvantaged, so we don’t really have the luxury of having our own doctor. So most of our healthcare is actually at the health department,” he said.
The school was where Riddick found he could define himself and plan a life that would support his family financially, he said.
“Since childhood, I always wanted to succeed in the academic field,” he said. “I remember wanting to get really good grades in second and third grade because my parents…they were poor. I really want to do well academically so that I can get a good job and earn enough money to support my family.
“But I’ve always been a quieter person, so you don’t really know how I’m doing academically, because I look at my own grades. I’m more humble to be successful in any area of life, especially when we’re talking academically.”
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So it was a surprise that I was “the best in my class” in grade 11. No one saw it,” he says with a laugh.
“I was at the top of my class, but at the same time… that’s when I got pregnant,” she said.
“Since I am a quiet person, this shocked my family. Because I was doing so well academically, they didn’t really see it, I guess I was involved in sexual activity as well,” Riddick said.
But the Gates County High School freshman accepted a big scholarship offer and says, “My family is very supportive.” “They want to help me with my daughter so I can do what I want in life and go to college,” Riddick said. “They pushed me to continue in school and succeed.”
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“I only took a three-week maternity leave from high school because I wanted to catch up on my grades,” she said. “I was really inspired because I didn’t really want to be a statistician. I wanted to be successful in academics. That was in my mind… and also being a mother.”
“My parents were able to help me raise my daughter when I went to college,” said Riddick, who started at UNC-Chapel Hill on a full scholarship but eventually transferred to East Carolina University in Greenville. to be with my little girl every weekend.
Today, Aniya follows in her mother’s footsteps as a pre-medical biologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., where she is a senior. And Ania has a new younger brother, Dr. John Michael, son of Riddick and his partner John Powell of Eden.
As an accomplishment, Riddick graduated early from ECU in December 2004, and after a glimpse of podiatry at New York College, he found a better fit and entered medical school at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va. down
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“I was able to take my daughter there because it’s a very rural area,” Riddick said, adding that the strong church community there supported her in raising Aniya, then 7.
“I really feel like God is directing my steps,” Riddick said. “I was able to really build a community there, so when I had to study for exams or go back to campus, my church family was very helpful in taking care of my daughter. It takes a village to raise a child.”
She said she also ran out of money as a single mother during medical school. In his second year, he received a National Health Service Corps scholarship that funded the last two years of his training.
Her first job after graduation was at an internship in Chesapeake, Va., which she chose in part because she wanted her daughter to benefit from graduating high school in town.
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Riddick said he went into private practice in Chesapeake for four years, learning the business side of medicine.
As a condition of the NHSC fellowship, he was required to work double duty at a medically underserved clinic at the nearby Southeastern Virginia Health System. NHSC requires academics to give back to communities in need in exchange for financial support.
Riddick continued to reside at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Va., before moving to South Boston, Va., in 2019.
He chose a small country town, believing that he could test himself there and hone his skills as a rural doctor, he said.
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Riddick felt that working in Chesapeake was relatively easy because he could call senior doctors for help.
“I think I need to improve myself,” he said. “I really want to learn how to respond to uncomfortable situations … whether it’s in the operating room or managing patients.”
In South Boston, when her daughter started college, Riddick joined two other doctors and said, “I really became a better laparoscopic surgeon … it forced me to grow up.” “It wasn’t easy. I couldn’t call anyone for help or help with operations. I wanted the challenge. Life in Chesapeake was very comfortable. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.”
Riddick’s next move to Eden came after a fellow resident recommended UNC Women’s Health’s application and the small town of Rockingham County as a good fit for Riddick.
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“I want to be in a place where I can give back to the community,” said Riddick, who treats about 25 patients a day here and delivers about 10 babies a month.
“I want to be around young people when it comes to coaching outside of the office, so that’s what drew me to Eden.”
Riddick said developing the mentoring program is one of his main plans for the future. “The ability to mentor an underserved and disadvantaged population is very important to me … and I feel like I can empower young women here.”
The Eden Clinic and its practitioners welcomed me here with open arms, Riddick said. “Dr. (Nigel) Buist and Dr. I also like working with (Dionne) Galloway. And I like working together