Southeast Health’s newest doctor is changing the relationship patients have with their providers

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN)— Dr. Alicia Ward is the newest physician to join the Westgate Clinic, which is part of the Southeast Health Medical Group. She practices family medicine with a special interest in women’s health and children’s care. She’s originally from the island of Barbados and still considers herself very much an island girl.

“I moved to the U.S. for residency which I did in Tallahassee, so I moved in 2017,” said Dr. Alicia Ward, of Southeast Heath, Westgate Clinic.

Dr. Ward says she was inspired to become a doctor because she was very accident prone and asthmatic as a child so she spent a lot of her time in doctors’ offices, and liked that environment.

“Family medicine came about because after I graduated from medical school in Barbados, you are free to just practice you don’t have to do a residency so I was able to practice in the setting of family medicine and I just fell in love with it,” said Ward. “I like meeting new families, I love taking care of different persons in one family and just kinda getting to know the patients and not just you know, just establishing a relationship and not just being their doctor.”

Ward says she’s heard a lot of her new patients say that they are shocked by the amount of time she spends getting to know them and their medical history. She has made it a point to spend as much time getting to know her patients while she has the time, and says this is helpful in treating patients down the line.

“I’m big on educating patients on their problems and not just trying to dictate on what they should be doing; I like them to be involved in decision making, said Ward. “So, I usually try to kind of work with the patients [by asking]well what do you think about this, and [saying] I’m going to do this, I like them to know what I’m doing, why I’m giving this particular medicine so that they are informed and they can make their own decisions.”

Along with educating her patient’s ward says it’s important for everyone to take responsibility for their health care and ask as many questions as necessary to understand their health situation.

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