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Meet Soyini Hawkins, MD of Fibroid and Pelvic Wellness Center of Georgia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Soyini Hawkins, MD.

Soyini, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story is a good old fashion one of ambition. I came to this country very young as a child of two hard working immigrants, here in the US on student visas. Originally from Jamaica, my parents were determined to make a better life for themselves and their families. Leaving all they knew in Jamaica was probably one of the hardest decisions, however, it was the best decision they could have made for their family’s future.

At an early age, my parents taught me that hard work pays off and nothing, but brilliance was acceptable. My older brother and I witnessed our parent’s struggle for success. Seeing their sacrifice to overcome their struggle, assured me that brilliance was all I could ever seek. From meager living arrangements to eventually buying and building homes, we witnessed our parent’s hard work pay off. As their careers advanced, our family grew, and without limitations, we were able to move across the country to live in many places.

As a child, I can remember my biggest fear, the same fear that kept me out of trouble, was disappointing my parents. I was always fond of the sciences and math, but I believe it was my parent’s discipline and example that kept my fondness keen enough to advance me through several years of schooling and degrees. Simply put my start is how I got to where I am today. My family and my background played a major role in my success.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been a few bumps along the way, which is not unexpected when you’re striving to be your best. Doing more than enough is not usually easy. I attended the Xavier University of Louisiana, an HBCU that was historically known for successfully graduating the most African Americans, who later advanced to medical school. Xavier University provided me with all the tools I needed to successfully accomplish my goals. I was an excellent student with a stand out GPA. However, I took for granted that studying was required to do well on my MCAT, the standardized test required for entrance into medical school.

I graduated college, which was a mandatory achievement in my home, with honors. However, I was unfortunately not accepted into medical school on my first try. Instead, I was welcomed into a master’s degree program at Tulane University in Public Health. This was a program I’d already hoped to pursue concurrently while in medical school.

Fortunately, my determination did not defer my plans any longer than necessary. I was able to complete a two-year degree in one year, plus a summer and graduated with honors. I received several awards for being an outstanding scholar. The following years at Morehouse School of Medicine were challenging, but everyone there was smart and disciplined. The school was small, so we were able to work together instead of in competition with each other. The support was superb and made challenges bearable.

Morehouse School of Medicine was the right choice, as it felt like home. I also explored and partied as hard as I studied, and the city of Atlanta owed me nothing! My career path led me to women’s health where I said goodbye to Atlanta and went on to complete a residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. Baltimore proved to have its challenges as the city is diverse and unique. My training was completed at a Level One Trauma Center, with a level 4 NICU. Due to this, I was caring for extremely sick mothers and babies at times. In the moment this was extremely challenged. However, my training was exceptional and prepared me beyond measure with an advanced skill set. I was taught to be prepared, critically think while staying calm and level-headed and to put patient care above all. This training prepared me for everything that was yet to come.

Fellowship was invigorating because I was doing what I was most passionate about; performing surgery. My mentors told me several times that I had the innate skill set to be a great surgeon. Enduring two years of 60-80-hour work weeks, four out of five full days in the operating room and challenging, complex cases was my pleasure. Mercy Medical Center and my mentors Dr. Fermin Barrueto and Kevin Audlin cultivated my love for gynecologic surgery. During that time, my urogynecology attending, Dr. R. Mark Ellerkmann was also my biggest advocate and encourager. Now in private practice, my biggest struggle is understanding the business of medicine.

My passion remains in taking care of my patients, advocating for them, and seeing their treatment plans through. Learning the complexities of insurance payers, navigating the politics of hospital hierarchies, and the drama of office gossip comes with the territory of private practice. It takes great understanding to negotiate all of the different aspects of the office and is always a work in progress. Luckily, I again have great mentors in my business partners Drs. John Miklos and Robert Moore. Their guidance and encouragement have helped me navigate the early years of private practice. I finally feel at ease taking a seat at the big girl’s table and excelling to the next level of my career.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fibroid and Pelvic Wellness Center of Georgia – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Fibroid and Pelvic Wellness Center of GA is a gynecology practice in Alpharetta, Georgia. My practice aims to empower women to be their best healthy self and love their womanhood. We want them to educate themselves, seek direction, and formulate a plan to free them from any gynecological ailment that has placed limitations on their lives. I specialize in minimally invasive gynecologic procedures for the management of several female problems.

Minimally invasive surgery focuses on endoscopy including laparoscopy (looking through a scope and operating in the abdomen), hysteroscopy (looking/operating through a scope in the uterus) and cystoscopy (looking/operating through a scope in the bladder) to treat and manage these conditions. I’ve also received extensive training in robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery. I can perform most benign gynecologic procedures. The great majority of my patients suffer from dysfunctions of menstruation, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic pain, and complex pelvic masses.

Also, I surgically manage prolapse and urinary incontinence. We are best known for our minimally invasive approach to more complex cases and giving women more options as opposed to a hysterectomy or large incision. I am grateful and honored that several area primary care physicians, as well as OB/GYN generalists, refer to my practice for their patient’s care. I have operated on patients who have traveled from Canada and as far as the UK. I primarily operate out of Northside Hospital, who themselves have stayed on the forefront of women’s health and care and have been supportive of my career.

I try to continuously advance my learning with new techniques and exposure to new technology. I desire to stay ahead of the curve and offer my patients the very best. I am active in my medical community and research as principal investigator of numerous clinical studies with the newest in pharmacological options for patients. I am most proud of my next big endeavor. I was recently chosen, after the evaluation of thousands of the regions surgeons, to introduce an innovative procedure to Georgia and the southeast region.

The Acessa Procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy by which gynecologic surgeons utilize laparoscopic instruments to deliver radiofrequency energy to fibroids. The fibroids then shrink and are reabsorbed by surrounding tissue. It can safely and effectively treat all sizes and locations of fibroids, including those outside the uterine cavity and within uterine walls. The Acessa procedure requires no cutting or suturing of uterine tissue. Patients typically go home the same day, experiencing minimal discomfort and a rapid return to normal activities. It is a great option to add to the many ways I currently care for my fibroid patients.

I am very passionate about the empowerment of women and women’s health. My champion for fibroid awareness, education and solutions are personal. I have been on the patient side of a struggle with fibroids and underwent an abdominal myomectomy several years ago. I now have two loving sons and considers myself blessed to have had the options I was given. However, I wish some of the medications I am researching and Acessa had been an option for me at that time. Becoming Acessa’s newest provider and spearheading its introduction to the southeast region aligns with my goals to expand not only fibroid treatment options for all women but fibroid awareness, advocacy, and support.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Atlanta is dynamic. It is ever growing, ever-changing and beautifully diverse. Atlantans have deep pride in their city and because of that work to keep it attractive, and vibrant. I love that you truly cannot get bored here. It’s similar to most major cities with numerous restaurant, nightlife, and culture but is unique in its own ways.

My appreciation for the city grew when I left and now that I am back, I plan to explore it with my husband and children and not take its complexity and vibrancy for granted. Like most major cities the traffic is crazy, but luckily when I get where I am headed the suffering was usually worth it and amnesia sets in until next time.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Atlanta Medical Association, Northside Hospital, Osei Hawkins

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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