We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Roxanne Peterson, DO and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley Roxanne, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
For me, giving back is what makes me happiest. I do not know if you have ever felt lonely or as though you are the only one struggling but I have and let me tell you: it is not easy. Thus, I want to be able to help as I can to make someone else’s lives a little easier. Whether is is giving my time to a pre-medical panel, organizing an event, or giving to cause – Altruism is my self care of choice. There are four ego defenses that are considered mature: SASH which stands for Sublimation (making bad thoughts/impulses into good ones ie a person who likes fighting becomes a boxer), Altruism or community service, Suppression (dealing with emotions at a more appropriate time) and Humor (addresses the problem but does not offend most). Any of these 4 actions are how I deal with most problems that come my way – especially during COVID-19 when gratitude is abundant when I can just wake up, go to work, smell, and breath okay.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have learned along the way that one of the best life qualities someone can develop is resilience. Everyday is not a good day for me no matter how much I prepare or plan there is usually at least one thing every day that does not go according to schedule. Thus, being flexible has become one of my tools to navigate my medical career. Patients may come late to clinic or not at all, some of your staff may call out sick with COVID-19, and/or the surgery you were suppose to observe as a medical student can last 5 hrs longer than you anticipated and your evening plans may have to be cancelled (true story). Coupled with often being the youngest doctor in a room, I feel pressured to present a mature persona with juggling everything – it can require a lot of emotional expenditure. This is all part of a doctor’s life and while I am happy everyday pursuing my passion and having the opportunity to help others, I am also reminded to remain humble, steadfast, and ready to tackle the next situation. In my daily life, I am a leader of a team of nurses, staff, and patients as we lead patients towards their best health. This requires confidence in my abilities and knowledge, listening to the guidance of attending physicians above me and learning from nursing staff that aid in patient care. Both qualities, listening and directing others I believe make a strong leader and medicine requires doctors to hold these traits. Do I always balanced these two qualities correctly – no but as a young resident I have had to overcome people’s expectations of me based upon age, and/or being a Black woman to lead various diverse teams. My career as a physician has tested my leadership skills over time and I continue to be challenged to grow as I learn more about myself and from others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So I absolutely love Atlanta and keep a running list of places to visit. The city has changed so much over the last 15 years and I have been around to witness most of it living in the area in high school, medical school, and now residency. For example you have to eat at these restaurants: Black Owned – Atlanta is literally a gold mine for those looking for Black owned businesses. Here are my favorites: – King crab Atlanta – Seafood, might have a celebrity sighting – Slutty vegan (vegan burgers/meals) – Real milk and honey (brunch) – Island spice – (Caribbean food) – Le petite Marche – brunch/lunch/sandwiches – Iwi Fresh – Spa/Nail Salon – Trap Museum – Celebrating Hip hop’s finest – Arize Breakfast Cafe – brunch – Old Lady Gang – Soul food and celebrity owned – This is It – soul food, local chain – Slim and Husky’s – pizza – Ms Icey’s – upscale soul food – Conch city seafood – Sweet Melissa – Sweet auburn seafood – Rock south cuisine – Rock Steady – bar/night life vibe Restaurants – Kula revolving sushi – Hot pot – Mac lab – Yeah burger veggie burger -Chef Rob’s Caribbean Cafe -Atlanta Bread Company -Avalon Catering – Its Just wings – best wings and fried oreos ever – City Barbeque -Island Chef Café – Atlanta breakfast club – Tom dick and hanks – The garden room – bar -Grecian Gyro -Duo pizza restaurant -Jim N’ Nicks Bar-B-Q -Newks’ Eatery -Papi’s Cuban -P.F. Changes -Twisted Taco -Which Which -Willys Mexicana Grill – New Orleans Daiquiri – La columbe – Frankies steakhouse – Divan restaurant – Poor Calvin – fusion – reservation – Mary macs tea room – Papis – Cuban downtown – Cafe intermezzo – Homegrown – brunch – Folk art – brunch Night life/Lounges: – Bouglaoo – BQE – Ubar Date Night: – The Consulate – Blue ridge grill – Fleming’s – The Lawrence Attractions: – Largest Aquarium – Civic Museum – Coca-Cola Factory – Atlanta Zoo – Beltline (bikes, park, shopping, etc) – Bar hop – Shop at Lenox Mall (more options) or Phipps plaza (more expensive) – Pumpkin patch – Botanical gardens – Fam Fam karaoke club – Stay at one of the various treehouse Airbnb in area Sports Lovers: – Atlanta Dream – Atlanta Hawks – Atlanta Braves – Atlanta Falcons – Various Primetime College Football Games – College Football Hall of Fame Yearly Events (when COVID-19 is over!): – AUC Homecoming Events – Battle of the Bands – Various Primetime College Football Games – Black Pride Week –
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am the first doctor in my family – far and wide we have looked for a distant cousin or someone married in but alas – we have only found me. Thus to get here there are so many great mentors and groups that have helped me. One of those groups is the Student National Medical Association or SNMA which was established in 1964, is the oldest and largest independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of black medical students in the United States. The SNMA is full of bright, welcoming students who encouraged me and shared their stories of triumph and failures along my journey. Medical school is just that: a long journey! There were times I was struggling and there were times I was triumphant but overall I felt compelled to continue in my career because of the leaders I met in this group at local, state, and national conferences. Some of the mentors I have now were from SNMA and often I still meet people who were members of this group who have been extremely successful in their own medical careers. For me, my shoutout goes to SNMA because they fostered an environment for medical students to develop as leaders, network, attend unique workshops, find mentors, and provide mission based service.
Other: Business: www.shoplaborai.com: “Desk to Dinner Accessories”
Ashley Nicole Photography