June 2022 resident member profile
Meet Ashley Chen, MD
By Samantha White
Ashley Chen, MD, is currently completing a family medicine residency at HCA Houston Healthcare West, and will be moving on to a maternity care fellowship in the fall.
Who or what inspired you to choose family medicine?
Growing up, my family physician took care of my entire family. My grandfather was an end-stage renal disease patient, and she helped him through dialysis until hospice. This inspired me to pursue family medicine, because family physicians are the bedrocks of care for families and communities. Preventive care is so crucial to how we address health care disparities and problems. Family physicians deliver comprehensive and preventive care. They address many social determinants of health and are leaders and advocates of change in their community. I also love taking care of all ages and addressing a diverse set of medical issues.
What is next for you in your medical career?
I will be doing a family medicine maternity care fellowship in the Chicago area. I hope to see all ages in my future practice, as well as practice obstetrics with my prenatal panel.
Why do you choose to be a TAFP member?
Being a TAFP member helped me get through residency and the transition from medical school to residency. I joined because it offers many relevant resources to medical students and residents. It’s also a community of people who love family medicine, and it has been really great meeting people online and in person. I’m interested in advocacy and TAFP is a huge advocate for health care in Texas, and I was able to dabble a little in advocacy through TAFP resources. I love how TAFP puts on great workshops and conferences to serve medical students and residents, and also offers scholarships to AAFP conferences. I was able to go to the AAFP Maternity Care Conference and Global Health Summit through TAFP funding. I would highly recommend anyone interested in family medicine to join TAFP!
What has surprised you most about family medicine?
While family medicine has a reputation of being broad, I continue to be surprised at the breadth of practice of family medicine. We have faculty that work in the emergency room, to rounding in newborn nursery, to being a hepatitis specialitst for a refugee population. It’s very neat to see that the skills of family medicine can be used to treat gaps of care and specific patient needs.
What advice would you give to other family medicine residents?
My advice is to dream big and don’t let anyone limit you in the way you desire to practice. Some things that I found impactful is to network well, try to converse and meet other family medicine physicians, and try to learn about different types of practices. Meeting other family physicians and hearing about their passions, scope of practice, and practice set up is very inspiring. Family medicine isn’t a black and white box, and there are a lot of options to use your skills to help others. Try to learn more about the different fellowship options in family medicine early on and learn about different practice types like direct primary care and concierge medicine.