In this, our inaugural episode, get to know the hosts, Dr. Karen Greene, Dr. Deanna Guthrie and Dr. Mironda Williams as they introduce the new Take Good Care Podcast sponsored by Peachtree City OBGYN.
[0:02] [Dr. Guthrie] Welcome to Peachtree City OBGYN’s Take Good Care podcast.
[0:07] [Dr. Greene] On this episode we will just introduce ourselves, so you get to know who we are where we’re from and some of what we hope to accomplish in Take Good Care.
[0:21] [Dr. Williams] We are embarking on a new era for Peachtree City OB/GYN, so this is our inaugural podcast. I thought it would be a great idea if we kind of talk about who we are, where we’re from, how did we get here, why do we choose OB/GYN, just how we’ve evolved to be sitting at this space at this time. So, I’ll start it off, I am Mironda Williams. I am originally from Atlanta. I’m a rare native Atlantan actually born right here in the grand city of Atlanta. My parents Alice and Milton Williams are also native Atlantans and Georgians. So, you know, my roots run deep as it relates to here. So, I went to Morehouse School of Medicine for that training then ended up at mcg, or what was then mcg or the Medical College of Georgia, to start my residency program and then over the course of time I guess that’s how we all kind of connected one way or the other. But back in medical school I really thought I wanted to do pediatrics and so when I started medical school that was what I thought I was going to do, but then after going through a lot of the clinical rotations you know I kind of gravitated to OB/GYN even though I didn’t really want to do OB. How about you guys?
[1:50] [Dr. Guthrie] I’m Deanna Guthrie. I was born in Brooklyn New York. Both of my parents are from Jamaica and so for a short period of time from the ages of nine till twelve I lived actually in Jamaica and then we moved to Atlanta when I was about 12, so I’ve spent the majority of my life here in Georgia so this is home, I’m a peach. I went to medical school at Medical College of Georgia and also did my residency here, so I spent eight years in Augusta. Initially I didn’t even know that I wanted to do medicine, I majored in chemistry biochemistry in college and was trying to decide between engineering and medicine and my dad kind of steered me towards medicine and I knew I wanted to work with people. I didn’t want to just sit behind a desk or just be in a lab, so it was a good fit and then when I got to medical school, the first real decision you make is whether or not you’re going to be medical or surgical, and I knew right away I wanted to be surgical, so I ended up in OBGYN because you deal mainly with healthy women and that was a draw for me. Karen?
[3:06] [Dr. Greene] My name is Karen Greene; I am NOT a native Atlantan. I am from New York and never really thought I’d end up in the south. Loved New York. Left New York after high school and ended up in North Carolina for undergraduate as well as medical school. I went to Duke University and was there for eight years and probably would have stayed in North Carolina ‘cause I really loved the area but I thought I was gonna head back to New York I wasn’t going to go further south but ended up at the Medical College of Georgia where I met these two lovely ladies for my residency and at that point I realized that the south is going to be my home and the next step ended up being Atlanta here with the two of them. In terms of making the decision of how to get to OB, like Deanna said, you kind of make that decision between surgical versus medical and I always really enjoyed surgery I mean that was definitely a love and general surgery appealed to me. The problem with the general surgery when I saw it as training is that you don’t get to take care of the patients and so for me OB/GYN gave me the opportunity to take care of patients and really connect with the patients and so that was a drive and being an obstetrician-gynecologist really fulfills that you know surgical as well as medical you get to see patients from the time they’re young teenagers until they’re my age, which is menopausal and you know all the stuff in between and so you know the time I’ve been here I came with the 96 Olympics and so since I’ve been here I’ve gotten to see a lot of stuff and you know just really really love OBGYN.
[4:51] [Dr. Williams:] That’s right because we were all like two years apart, so you came in 96, you came in 94 and I came in 92 and I was just sitting here trying to think I remember I don’t remember you Karen in Augusta I mean… vaguely but that’s because… you…
[5:04] [Dr. Greene] You interviewed me!
[5:06] [Dr. Williams] See that’s awful, I don’t even remember that.
[5:07] [Dr. Greene] Yes, she interviewed me.
[5:10] [Dr. Williams] Oh, I hope I was nice!
[5:11] [Dr. Greene] Made an impression I mean you know a good impression because it’s funny when you’re when you grow up in New York you kind of have a different perspective of the south and so you know after even being in North Carolina for that period of time and kind of thinking okay am I gonna stay here you know to meet someone that was from Atlanta you know which of course you know just going to Atlanta that was that was kind of how I met you.
[5:40] [Dr. Williams] Yeah it was funny. Now Deanna you were my intern? I was second year.
[5:45] [Dr. Guthrie] You were second and I was a junior student.
[5:51] [Dr. Williams] So I remember being on rotations, I don’t remember how we became friends.
[5:58] [Dr. Guthrie] I think it was when I became an intern, that’s when we became friends so when I started residency and you were a third year you kind of took me under your wing, I do remember that and then how we ended up doing things socially I don’t know I think maybe you had something I came home from… no… I’m trying to remember… I don’t remember…
[6:23] [Dr. Williams] I really don’t know how that happened, who knows. And then Karen because did you hang out with Karen at all? Because I was gone…
[6:29] [Dr. Guthrie] After you left, then she was on my rotations, yeah.
[6:32] [Dr. Greene] We bonded in oncology.
[6:36] [Dr. Guthrie] And we lived in the same apartment complex. I remember she was going out of town, and I ended up taking care of Skidmark for her that’s how we ended up getting closer.
[6:54] [Dr. Williams] Can someone explain, exactly, Skidmark?
[6:56] [Dr. Guthrie] Skidmark was Dr. Greene’s cat and she had him from you know at Duke and she brought him to Augusta and at one point she was going out of town, so I took care of Skidmark, she’s going to have to explain the name.
[7:11] [Dr. Greene] He was a rescue cat. I think I looked and saw an ad and I lived by myself so I just wanted some company and so I got him as an older kitten and so he stayed with me when I was doing a rotation out of town and when my heat went out in my house and he said on my feet and kept me warm and he’s a tabby and he was striped and so I thought it kind of looked like skid marks, so that’s how I came up with the name he was just one of those cats that I when I moved to Augusta he was a little confused but he got used to it I would let him out of the house and he would you know do his own thing until I got him spayed and you know kept him until he got diabetes and thyroid disease and just got old he was definitely my pet I think that there’s a there’s a benefit of having an animal that he’s a little low maintenance but it’s good comfort to have when you come home myself. I remember Dr. Meier when I was making the decision to what practice to join, I knew I wanted to be in Atlanta so I was looking at a lot of practices and so I asked him for advice and I said, should I join the practice with people I know? He went, “why not?! You know these people, why not go with your friends?!” I said yeah… a good idea and a great decision, a great decision! You know, for a lot of different reasons and I think just training similarly and having similar philosophies as well as practice standards makes a big difference.
[8:47] [Dr. Guthrie] Absolutely.
[8:49] [Dr. Williams] That’s true yeah because when I was looking to, when I was finishing residency, I had a you know the struggle I had at the time as I recall is I had been what they call chief resident so I was like the chief administrative resident and I really enjoyed the residency program the academics and everything’s at one point I considered doing a fellowship in maternal fetal medicine because Dr. Devoe and you know all those attending at the time had a real the impact on me, but you know I was having this tug of I’m just ready to go home you know even though Augusta was only two hours away from Atlanta I had been in school because I did went straight I went from high school to college, college to medical school, medical school to resident, I was like, you know what, I just I’m ready for my life to start so I knew I want to come back home but at the time I had one of those scholarships where you when you finished your training you was supposed to go to like a rural setting and so my mother’s family is from Newnan Georgia so at that time Newnan was nowhere as built up and developed as it is now so it met the criteria as a rural location so I was kind of looking at practices in that area and I think I had a recruiter who called and told me about this practice that was in Peachtree City but at that time the physicians were operating and delivering at Newnan and so I said okay you know so I just went ahead and kind of pursued that and that was with Dr. Schultz, Dr. Rose Marie Schultz, who started our practice Peachtree City OBGYN, you know had the phone interview and it was just like an instant connection and you know long story short ended up coming and visiting and interviewing and then joined here so I had been here two years and like I said Deanna and I we were friends we were hanging out all the time we we may tell a story about when there had to be an intervention. Do you want to share a story about that?
[10:52] [Dr. Guthrie] Later date, later date.
[10:53] [Dr. Williams] Ok, we’ll save that for another time! So, we were hanging out and stuff, so she was starting to look, and I said you know look everywhere, interview everywhere…
[11:12] [Dr. Guthrie] I did interview around, and I did do due diligence and I looked at other practices but just as Karen was saying I just felt the connection of course I’d already connected with Mironda and the other physicians in this practice like I said it was similar philosophy and, like I said and a good friend so I knew I knew it would have taken a lot for me not to come to this practice. And then how did we rope Karen in? Well, it was you know we needed, two years later, we were looking for somebody else and I said, “I know somebody,” and we did the rescue, I told Karen, “Interview if you want to come to Atlanta, call us.” Okay. I remember the weekend you came for your interview because she stayed with me at my house.
[12:00] [Dr. Greene] I remember doing that drive off of the exit because it was Rose’s party this is when I got there and thinking, “this is in the boonies! Are you kidding me?!” but it was great I mean we had a great time; I had a great weekend, and you know I came back and interviewed with someone else and did the due diligence and then had the conversation with Dr. Meier and said you know this is gonna be the place for me and from 96 on that was it that was it.
[12:34] [Dr. Williams] ‘cause you… you met your husband here in Atlanta?
[12:40] [Dr. Greene] I did.
[12:41] [Dr. Williams] Right because at the time when all three of us and that was actually a fourth member of the crew who’s not here, but we may have her on as a guest, that’s something we could consider, we may have to bring our fourth wheel in for an interview at one point but at that time we were hanging pretty tough we were we were working hard.
[13:09] [Dr. Guthrie] We worked hard but we would play hard.
[11: 10] [Dr. Williams] We would make good use of our downtime and we would just be you know going out, we were working out at this professional health club downtown because at the time we were… had we started delivering at Georgia Baptist? Yeah, so we were delivering because we’ve moved around at different hospitals just depending we started out at Newnan at Newnan Hospital but as our OB career took off and the OB numbers starting to grow and then with the increasing complexity of obstetrics we felt like we needed a little bit higher level of care than what was provided at that time in terms of the nursery being like a level 3 or higher so that we could continue to care for our patients instead of transferring them out and at that time as well Fayette County did not have OB at the hospital so we ended up going to deliver in downtown hospitals so that we could carry on and so because we were downtown we started you know doing some things in the downtown Atlanta area joined a workout place at the time and you know just really I think we enjoyed we enjoyed those years those were good years we had a good time, we were we were known as those Peachtree City girls, they were like, here they come again, so we had a good time but it was in a good way it wasn’t in a bad way.
[14:25] [Dr. Greene] We’d workout at the gym, then go eat. Work out at the gym, then go eat.
[14:33] [Dr. Williams] What was that restaurant that had the… was it the cobbler?
[14:40] [Dr. Guthrie] MacArthur’s
[14:42] [Dr. Greene] Oh yeah, we could get three cobblers so we can share it, it was in a little bowl with the best crust. That blueberry cobbler with some ice cream on top.
[14:55] [Dr. Williams] Oh my goodness so when they closed, we were very sad it was not a good thing but yeah so, we’ve been together now all three together over 20 years, more?
[15:08] [Dr. Greene] 24, it’ll be 24 this July.
[15:14] [Dr. Williams] Almost 25 years we definitely transitioned as personally and professionally and about four years ago now we retired from obstetrics and so now we just do GYN and that was a hard decision I know a lot of people have asked us why did we give up the OB part and it wasn’t because we didn’t love it and love taking care of the patients and the babies and everything but because of just other things family responsibilities you know all of us are generally in the same age so we have you know parents who are aging who are requiring more you know Dr. Greene has very active boys that require a lot of time and attention so it was just you know and I think that’s one of the reasons why and we can start talking about that too about why we thought we wanted to like go into the whole podcast and you know have another way of engaging with our patients and just with the community at large it’s because you know we’re just like you guys are you know we’re working we’re juggling a bazillion things at one time and so we felt like we wanted to try to just have a forum where we could just talk about stuff you know where we could educate yes you know if we can provide information that will be helpful but also just to talk about how we have tried to figure things out in terms of our professional career our health in wellness and fitness goals and then just how do we you know transition professionally still remain engaged still provide service to our patient population but you know I think I know for me I just got to a place where I said you know what I can’t keep working like this you know with the late hours and the you know weekends and you know it was just really physically and I think even mentally emotionally started really breaking me down and I knew it was getting bad when Karen one day she’s all let’s go grab some lunch you know and so we went down to a restaurant not far from the office and so we’re sitting down in there so she sits down and she looks at me and so she’s like so what’s going on you tell me what’s going so the you know she says you know we’re concerned about you am I concerned about me are you talking about you concerned about me so she you know she says well it seems like you’re you know you’re unhappy or your this your that and then it was such I mean that was like cold water in the face because while I was angry at one point about why in the world are you talking to me about what’s going on with me when I realized no there is something going on with you and you might need to figure it out because while you thought that you were managing you probably were not managing as well as you as you you’re under the impression and so it really caused me that was I think the time I really had to stop and think okay what am I not doing right because I am now I’m not having fun anymore you know it gotten to the point where I did not enjoy coming to work I was just like I can’t do this anymore but I don’t think I had articulated that thought in my brain I was just doing what we do which is you just put your head down you just you just do the work you just do the work and then I started that’s when I started thinking okay I can’t work unhappy and be you know at my best for the patients or myself you know so how is that going to have to change and I think that’s when I really started considering you know do I need to do something different professionally and so I thought about do I just need to not do medicine or not do clinical practice and I was like no you know and so you know it made me start questioning some things about how I work not what I do because I enjoyed the patient part of it was just all the other stuff you know that comes along with being a business owner because we own our practice medicine was becoming more complex the business of medicine was becoming more complex economy you know we had our tank you know the economy tanked so we were having to do like three times as much work to try to maintain you know the same level of revenue stream because we had at that time we had over 30 something employees you know how many providers so I mean it was a big practice and a lot of responsibility so you know that’s when the thought really started percolating I’m like okay well maybe it’s getting close to time to let the OB go ‘cause I had always said with anything I’m like when you get to the point where you don’t enjoy it any more than you need to find something else to do because you’re not doing yourself any favors you’re not doing the people you work with or your patients any favors.
[20:15] [Dr. Guthrie] Life balance, so important. Life balance, keeping everything in perspective as you said you know you want to enjoy your work not every day is gonna be fun and I think most people know that but overall you should enjoy your work and want to work and want to come to work you know because even when you when you get through hard times that gives you a sense of accomplishment you feel good about that but if you’re just struggling through and barely making it that will not be right
[20:53] [Dr. Williams] It’s not sustainable.
[20:55] [Dr. Greene] Not for long periods of time funny you mentioned I remember Rose call me this was when we were still doing OB and had the same conversation with me she said what’s going on and you when you’re plowing through a lot of times you don’t realize what you’re projecting to everybody else and she recognized it and again I was like what and you know we had a long talk and you know I realized that I was letting a lot of stuff become unbalanced in terms of my personal life and so you do have to kind of figure it out how to balance your personal and your professional because you want to maintain both of them you know if you want to continue doing the job that you say you like and I did and I think we’ve all gone through those different phases so back then it was okay I need to you know step back and see you know what is how is this affecting me and then when it came to the OB decision you know for all of us having done it for so long it was a big deal to say suddenly okay we can’t do this anymore and why you know I personally I’m happier since we stopped I miss some of the things that we did but it has allowed me to devote more time in my personal life which is important to me still trying to figure out how I did it when I wasn’t doing when I was doing OB but you know you just you make those changes you make those changes you evolve and figure out what works for you what’s gonna you know make you be able to rest at night and function during the day.
[22:20] [Dr. Williams] And change is always hard you know and I think you know we’re very driven individuals you know goal oriented and you know when you worked so long you know the whole process of you know going to college and you know then you’re trying to get into medical school and then you’re trying to you know match you know at whatever program you want to go to and then you’re you know you’re being grilled you know for four years that you’re doing this residency program and then it’s like people like well how can you give that up because you work so hard to get there well that’s true and you know we tell everybody you know we were at this for like 20-something years you know we didn’t just get to the rodeo we just we try to drink our water and take our vitamins so we don’t look like we’ve been through the wringer but we’ve been at it a while you know we had really done over 20 years plus when you consider the residency training of obstetrics and that’s up at night sometimes all night sometimes two or three nights weekends and holidays and it will it will wear on you physically emotionally because I know especially for you Karen you know there were times when you there were some things going on with your family with your kids you know but you’re on call you know and it’s like you know you’ve got this job you know that’s important and is requiring your presence but then you have other things going on in your life that are equally important and you have to make those kind of choices and sacrifices and that’s hard and you know I think that’s why when we decided as a group which is something else we did that everybody’s like, ” okay all y’all are stopping OB?” We out. We done! All for one, one for all because I think that’s how we have generally practiced as a group always you know considered everybody’s thoughts and feelings and perspectives and then we kind of all figure it out and then come to a decision that’s going to be the best decision for everybody now you everybody doesn’t get everything they want but we get enough of what we each need so that we can all stay together as a group which is rare in in obstetrics and gynecology or a medical practice period because so many people move around and go to different places in different groups and we have you know from the day that we joined the practice we’ve been right here and at that time it was just who was here I think we had there were three providers but one of the providers left almost the same time that I came in so there was just three for a long time myself Dr. Banks and Dr. Schultz who started (and Dr. Taylor) there was another doctor but those doctors so we’ve had people who come in and left the practice and really a lot of the reasons why you know some of those other folks didn’t stick is because we have a we have a very strong group brain you know and then there were other people who have more individual brains you know so they wanted to do stuff that they wanted to do whether or not it was the best for all of us to do and it just didn’t work it just wasn’t a fit you know so like so we’ve had you know people to come in and leave, but the core group which ended up being you know myself Dr. Guthrie, Dr. Greene, Dr. Banks who retired a little over a year ago like I said our fourth wheel Dr. Miller and we’ll have to have her come in she was here for a long while as well so you know and then life things happened that had her to transition out so
[26:18] [Dr. Guthrie] and it’s not to say that was wrong it’s just like I said it’s just personalities you know they say a medical practice your partnership it’s almost like a marriage you have to have the right fit and it’s not right or wrong it’s just.
[26:32] [Dr. Williams] and everybody’s gonna make sacrifices or something at some point so yeah so we have been just the three of us for like now three years? Dr. banks retired almost two three years ago, and it was the four of us for a long time.
[27:00] [Dr. Guthrie] for at least ten years
[27:08] [Dr. Williams] for at least ten years that it was just the four of us and then prior to that Dr. Schultz who started the group but then she retired or semi-retired at the time was that 2000? Dr. Schultz left in 2000 okay so yeah we have definitely had some transitions over the years but like I say the core group has really stuck together stuck together well and like I said transitioned out of obstetrics and then now doing GYN only and again it was a bittersweet because we do you know and did love obstetrics and that interaction but you know I think now the way that we are able to engage in a different way allows us to explore you know growing technologies new media projects you know one things that we’ve been able to do again as we have stepped away from obstetrics which opened a lot of time and energy to pursue other things is our whole you know social media presence now you know because we really were able to start engaging you know we were late to the game but we jumped in with two feet so you know we you know going on Facebook you know now we’re you know trying to you know what the kids call it on the IG I’m trying to do the Instagram and you know now we’re podcasting you know because we’re trying to evolve and stay relevant and connect you know on a whole different generation because one of the things we all talk about is how we’re seeing generations of patients you know we’ve now we’re seeing patients that we actually delivered twenty-something years ago and the way our we practice medicine now is a little different than the way we practice medicine you know ten years ago the science is the same but how we engage patients is different because technology and digital media and you know all this stuff is just best the way folks communicate now and so we’ve had to evolve in that way and look at you know new media outlets this being one and I think we’re excited about you know what we can do with this you know and see how it grows bringing in speakers bringing in guests and just having a conversation
[29:32] [Dr. Greene] It’s funny, you said we were a little late to the game and I was thinking that when it comes to making decisions for the practice we always weigh every angle and every decision to make sure not only it’s good for us it’s good for our patients and it’s going to be a good fit for how we do things and so that’s why the social media we you know we evaluated how we were going to enter social media because it can be such a hot pot and you know we wanted to do it the right way and that’s not to say we don’t make mistakes along the way but we really try to do the right thing I think in all honesty you know we could say we try to do the right thing you know so that we say whatever happens I slept I can sleep at night because I tried to do the right thing and I tried to do what’s best for my patients and communicating with our patients through whatever media we are to communicating the patients are responding well you know they enjoy seeing us, “what are they gonna do next? What are they gonna say next?” you know so we try to top ourselves?
[30:29] [Dr. Williams] because we’re having fun yeah, I think that’s what communicates, like, we’re not just doing it just because everyone says you need to be on social media now, we’re like okay we’re having a good time we enjoy what we do at work now we enjoy each other, and we enjoy our staff folks and so we just put on costumes.
[30:49] [Dr. Guthrie] Some of are a little more… they’re dragging me into it… but I’m having fun!
[30:56] [Dr. Williams] Walk to the light, walk to the light! Yeah it’s fun it’s fun so I think the main thing we you know like we said we want to enjoy what we do and we want to do good you know I think we want to do good which is you know why I think we have we finally decided on the name for this new venture our podcast venture of, Take Good Care, because that is really what we want to do and we wanted it to stay kind of broad in general because it’s not just good medical care it’s good family care good physical care self care you know however care needs to be defined and that may change you know but we want to do good and we want our patients ourselves and our families to take good care so you know that is what we hope to do you know through this podcast and you know other media outlets so that we can continue to broaden our ability to reach generations and other people and inspire them and ourselves to continue to take good care.