Dr. Atkins Williamson devotes her days to ensuring women receive personalized, quality care when it comes to their health. As an OB/GYN Physician at FĒNOM Women’s Care (an all-female team of physicians!), she performs surgeries, delivers babies and engages directly with the women she serves by creating unique plans for their utmost care and attention. When she’s not with her patients at Fenom, she’s bringing yoga and meditation to those who need it most. Dr. Williamson goes above and beyond to help others in these trying times by engaging her community and providing guidance, insight and incredible knowledge on all aspects of women’s health.
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Current city: Fort Worth, Texas
Alma mater: Baylor University; UTMB Health; UT Southwestern
Very first job: Sporting goods store selling running shoes
Hustle: Owner + OB/GYN Physician, FĒNOM Women’s Care
Babe you admire and why?
This is hard; I admire many women, such as my partners and colleagues. Right now, Natalie Crawford: I admire her for being herself, for standing up for others, for disrupting the status quo, and changing the perception of women in medicine. She inspired me to become active on social media and use it as a tool to inspire, educate and empower others.
What’s a must-have item in your purse?
Money, phone, lip balm, contact solution, nail file.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
I’ve traveled many places, but the one I return to over and over is the Maya Riviera in Mexico.
Favorite way to unplug?
On the beach, learning to surf, swimming in the waves, or just listening to the sounds of the sea.
Tell us about your hustle.
Before coronavirus I would wake at 4:15, have coffee, bike, then do yoga, followed by heading to the office and delivering the babies, managing emergencies, then hopefully a little break to cook dinner, eat, and maybe go back to work or hang with my 8-year-old daughter and watch Disney+, play Uno or read. We walk our dogs between things, and bedtime is between 8:00 and 9:00 in our house. Another day would be bike, surgery, self-care, strength training, teach yoga, watch my girl do gymnastics, then cook. I save grocery shopping for Thursday or Saturday. I also serve the Baptiste foundation and will engage with that community to bring yoga to first responders, teachers, and children.
Have you always been passionate about healthcare?
Always. I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was 3. I am most stimulated by the scope of OB/GYN—normal healthy, significant problems, lifestyle coaching, and surgery and babies. In medical school, I couldn’t fall out of love with OB/GYN.
How has your job changed since the pandemic began?
We have reduced staff hours, furloughed staff, we cancelled nonessential visits and moved to some virtual visits. The process seemed like a switch flipped, and we adjusted—but there are meetings and conferences, tears and collaboration. It’s been a huge change. Many days I feel close to useless. I am accustomed to being the person you call and I do the thing to make things better. Now, I feel like we are just waiting—waiting for the people to get sick, waiting to feel the impact, waiting to move on. Then, I sit with it for a moment, or after yoga or meditation, and I see that our job right now is exactly what we’re doing. I am devoting more time to teaching, leading, and supporting our yoga studio and the teachers. I am being emotional support for those who need it. I am spending more daily time with my daughter. This is what I’ve trained for: As a yoga teacher and a physician, I have trained to be in this moment and feel what it is and respond without reacting. I am ready.
What are some notable experiences you’ve had on the job recently?
I’ve experienced intense empathy and kindness from patients, staff, and family. In a time when people could be selfish or self-absorbed, they are open, finding ways to serve: food, headbands, hats masks, kind words.
What’s one of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in your work?
COVID-19 is the biggest obstacle, the one thing that has taken all choice away. We do what we have to do to mitigate the impact of this disease. We are overcoming day by day.
How have your past professional and academic experiences prepared you for the work you do today?
I was well trained to respond in a moment. Honestly it’s the yoga teacher training that has prepared me the most. None of my medical training prepared me to wait. I am clinically prepared. The yoga training has helped me see that this is it. We aren’t in control and we are in this now as one gigantic community.
How are you balancing your demanding role with your own health and wellness?
Right now, it’s hard to turn off. Things change so much, and we have to engage to stay up to date. But I am an avid yoga practitioner. I love being outside; I exercise and I love sitting by the lake. I come home, cook dinner, then just be with the people in front of me.
What’s been your biggest career milestone to date?
I built an amazing practice, with amazing women, and we were branded as Fenom. This is my dream practice; I always imagined it like this. Powerful, smart women caring for women. Work hard, play hard. Our brand is strong and compassionate and recognizable.
How has being a woman affected your professional experience?
As a woman, I had a vision for how women should be cared for. I made sure I received the best training to be technically good and smart, I made mistakes in contracting in my early career, and learned from them. Since joining Texas Health Care (now Privia), I have been able to work at the pace I wanted in order to achieve a balanced and successful practice.
What’s one thing you wish the general public knew with regards to COVID-19?
This is real. It is not made up. It’s important to stay in the game and follow the guidelines of the CDC. Doctors are dying to protect the public. It’s like war.
Career and/or life advice for other babes?
Choose the career you desire. Be a yes for doing what you need to to achieve it. Give up your story around it: I can’t, or I’m not good enough, or I am too good, too smart, not smart enough. Come from, You are ready now. Take action now. Sign up, save money, move—do the thing .
Originally published at BABES WHO HUSTLE: