Every doctor in our network at Family Healthcare Associates is like family. That’s why we want to take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on our amazing physicians so you can see the people behind the lab coats. This week we turn it over to Dr. Ruth Kagwima, one of our primary care physicians in our south Arlington office for a closer look.
Getting To Know Our Family of Doctors : Dr. Kagwima
When people ask me, “What’s it like being a family doctor?” I smile and reply; “It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s challenging but it’s also really rewarding.” I feel like it’s a gift to be able to care for my patients and see their children grow up. I enjoy being part of their milestones, and when I come home to my own family after work, I feel like I’m offering a good service to my community. Because the US needs more family doctors.
I spent my early childhood years in Kenya and moved to Maryland when I was 12. I’ve had the privilege of practicing medicine in West Africa and in the US (from the Northeast inner city, to the Midwest suburbs, and now to Texas). I bring all that experience in my daily quest to care for my patients’ needs. My husband and I moved to the Metroplex in 2018. We quickly learned it’s a great place to raise a family (we now have a 3-year-old son and a 7-month-old daughter). I recently relocated to the south Arlington office and am really enjoying my new patients. I also like that it’s close to my favorite Ghanaian grocery store, and a few eateries that my husband and I enjoy.
When I moved to Texas, I chose to join Family Healthcare Associates because they are a great group of doctors who have been around for the past 30 years. In my time here, I’ve found they really care about their patient’s health, not just as an individual, but in relation to their family and workplace. We are encouraged to engage with our patients and really get to know them— and that attracted me.
Some people may wonder, Why do I even need a primary care physician anymore? Did you know people who have primary care doctors have better health? It’s true. One reason is preventative care. We help you stay out of the hospital, and when you do have a hospital trip, we help you recover and transition back into the community, which is where we all want to be. As your doctor, I’m also the point person who makes sure you are meeting your health goals, getting your annual checkups and health screenings, and keeping your children up-to-date on immunizations. Many people today are seeing multiple specialists, and aren’t sure what the big picture plan is—so primary care physicians (like me) help you navigate the complex healthcare system to get you in the right place.
Many of my patients are working parents or caregivers juggling raising children and caring for their aging parents or other loved ones with multiple medical needs. It’s not easy, so I am here to offer medical care, guidance, and support. Whenever I treat my older patients who may be dealing with cognitive decline or dementia, I help them and their family understand what the diagnosis really means. These conversations can be tough, but I explain their options so they know they are not alone. I’ve found they appreciate a doctor who takes the time to listen to their needs and explains things in a way they understand. I tell my patients you can come see us on your lunch break or on the weekend. No one’s health runs on a schedule, so our doctors are available at any time. If you can’t get a hold of your primary care doctor (at say midnight on a Saturday), we will put you in touch with another doctor in our network. We strive to be available to you.
Primary care doctors can’t fix everything, but we can help you manage the challenges that come with medical care—whether it’s navigating your insurance coverage for care, to accessing the proper medical equipment, to helping make your homes a safer place to recover. It takes a team and your family doctor is there, coordinating this for you. I love practicing family medicine and look forward to getting to know my new patients and their families here in south Arlington. My goal, as a board certified family physician, is to provide evidence-based medicine that is tailored to your individual needs. It’s a privilege to be an advocate for my patients and keep them healthy throughout their lifetime.