Primary Care is Goal No. 1
Last Christmas, Dr. Lauren Davis ran in to a woman who was her preschool babysitter. The woman’s first question was, “Are you a doctor yet?” Dr. Davis was shocked that the woman knew of her dreams, but the former sitter assured her that, even as a 4 year old, she talked about it all the time.
By the time she was in the 8th grade, Dr. Davis already knew she wanted to work in primary care. She shadowed a family friend at her OB/GYN practice and even in the operating room. “She provided primary care to hundreds of women who had such trust in her abilities and treated her as a true partner in life,” Dr. Davis says. “Her compassion and the value of the relationship between her and her patients … that was so attractive to me.”
Illustrating how Dr. Davis values relationships, this trusted OB/GYN — her first mentor — delivered Dr. Davis’ baby boy this past spring.
Her future as an OB/GYN shifted when she met her next mentors at LSU: physicians of internal medicine. “It was the one and only specialty that encapsulated everything I learned in medical school and would have encountered in my rotations,” Dr. Davis says. “To see these really down-to-earth doctors that were also incredibly gifted intellectually … being able to assess a patient head to toe and nail everything that could possibly be going on physically was everything I thought a doctor should be.”
Internal medicine primary care physicians deal with a wide array of chronic conditions from hypertension to diabetes, heart failure, obesity, lung disease and even some psychiatric care.
As a transplant from Buffalo, N.Y., Dr. Davis never expected to fall in love with the community and culture here. However, she did just that — starting from day one of her arrival 17 years ago. After college at Xavier University of Louisiana, her heart’s desire was to enter medical school at Louisiana State University, and, as such, she only applied to a few other places. She has remained loyal to LSU, earning a residency spot and, afterwards, this past summer, networking through her mentors to find a permanent position even though none were available.
“Through persistence and great mentors who pushed for me and rooted for me, they created a position for me to stay on faculty and found a place for me to practice at the Kenner clinic,” Dr. Davis says. “I’m blessed and I feel so privileged to be given this opportunity, especially since it didn’t exist at all.”
It’s a humbling experience to work alongside mentors who are now colleagues, she says, but everything she knows to be true about LSU and the quality of faculty their programs produce is being confirmed as she begins her career. Dr. Davis is eager to pass the torch to the residents in the program as an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the LSU comprehensive medicine department. She has aspirations to begin an organized mentorship program to help residents envision their career paths, and she will encourage residents to work alongside her at the clinic once she gets her feet wet.
As her roots in the area deepen, Dr. Davis knows more relationship-building is in her future. Near the end of her residency, she had the privilege to take care of a member of her church. She answered a page to the emergency room and the patient’s wife, slumped at the bedside of her critically ill husband, just lit up to see Dr. Davis walk in the room. “She was moved to tears to know her husband was in good hands,” Dr. Davis says. “It made such a difference in her outlook on the situation. She was so encouraged. I see her all the time now. She’ll never forget me. You never know who you’re going to run in to and have the privilege to take care of, so it’s important to treat everyone as if they were your mother or father. It really makes a difference.”
Though she is committed to a lifelong career of learning as medicine continues to change, Dr. Davis is exuberant to be underway as a full-time physician. “I’m so glad to be at this stage in the career path, because I’m not taking a test every week any longer,” she says. “I’m not stuck in a library anymore. I love the practical application, and it takes so long to finally get to that place where you are spending most of your time in front of a patient instead of a book. You are catching me at a really exciting time.”
Undergraduate: Xavier University of Louisiana
Medical School: Louisiana State University
Residency: LSU, Internal Medicine
Board Certified: Internal Medicine
Lauren Davis, M.D.
LSU Healthcare Network
Kenner Clinic – Internal Medicine
200 W. Esplanade Ave.
Kenner, LA 70065