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Kiwita Phillips, M.D.

High achievement and many hats

To many physicians, seeing and treating patients bring them the most satisfaction. To others, expanding the boundaries of medical knowledge through research is their true calling. And still others prefer teaching and guiding future doctors to any other pursuit. However, Dr. Kiwita Phillips, OB/GYN at Morehouse Healthcare (MHC) and clinical instructor at the Morehouse School of Medicine, found that a balance of all three gives her personal fulfillment. “The great benefit of being in an academic setting is that you can easily be in all three worlds if you want to,” she said. “And Morehouse has enabled me to have a presence in each of those areas.”

Making success a habit
Being where she wants to be is a familiar place for Dr. Phillips. Since childhood, high achievement has been a series of stepping stones for her. She was valedictorian of her high school class in Albany, Georgia and graduated Summa Cum Laude from college. She then earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Phillips returned to Georgia and served her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine. She joined MHC in 2009.

An ideal combination
“I always knew that I wanted to be an academic physician,” said Dr. Phillips. “What I appreciate about my role as a faculty member is that I get to wear many hats. I get to be the educator of our residents and students but I also get to be a private physician where I see my own patients and take care of them throughout the course of their pregnancy or condition.”

“In addition, there is a wealth of things I’m interested in researching. Something I’m particularly interested in is the pre-cancerous stage of cervical cancer. I hope to begin a study sometime within the next year. Overall, being able to teach students and residents, be a clinician, and do research was the best combination for me to apply my degree and training.”

Taking care of business
Although Dr. Phillips has been at MHC for a relatively short time, she notes that she has already seen positive developments in the practice that go beyond day-to-day patient care. “We are managing our business processes better than ever; this ultimately leads to meeting our patients’ needs better as well,” she said. “In the past, because we spent so much time focusing solely on treating patients, we sometimes overlooked the resources and infrastructure that enabled our care to be delivered in the most expeditious manner possible. I’ve seen noticeable improvements in that regard recently, as well as the addition of new subspecialties that further enhances the overall range of care we can provide our community.”

A brand of leading care
Dr. Phillips notes that this growth in subspecialties offered by MHC reflects the practice’s ongoing commitment to quality and excellence. “MHC is one of the few practices around that is integrated with a medical school. This is something that yields significant value for the community because this connection helps deliver advancements that lead to better care. In addition, we have some of the best doctors in the country, as well as leading experts in their field, that are a part of this practice. People need to know that they have a really strong brand of care right in their community.”

Support along the way
The strong family-oriented culture at MHC and the School of Medicine has, and continues to be, one of the things most appreciated by Dr. Phillips. While she affirms that she has received encouragement and support by many people at Morehouse, she points to two people in particular who were instrumental in her professional development.

“Dr. Franklin Geary is the residency program director and is a mentor to everyone who has gone through the Morehouse OB/GYN program. He continually pushed me to be the best doctor I could be and further strengthened my commitment to my work. And Dr. Frederick Bright, the gynecology division chief, helped me hone my surgical skill and also provided a lot of support in my decision to be a generalist in my field. He told me how important that role was, which was what I needed to hear to be comfortable with where I am now.”

Outside interests
When Dr. Phillips wants to unwind, she gets moving. She is an active runner and has completed multiple half-marathons. She enjoys indoor rock climbing as well. In addition, she is actively involved in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. Through the organization, she participates in health fairs, activities for area churches, working with teens, and educating people on health issues. And she has other plans as well. “I anticipate taking part in a mission trip in the near future,” she said.