In a time where, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the United States faces a shortage of as many as 90,000 physicians by 2025, including a critical need for specialists to treat an aging population that will increasingly live with chronic disease, a diamond in the rough has done something phenomenal in the city of Houston.
Dr. Foyekemi Ikyaator, a 31-year old Black woman, who has opened up a stand-alone, full-service emergency room in northwest Houston along with her husband, is doing something very few people have done. According to a report published on AAMC’s website, the number of minority applicants to medical schools increased in 2014, which is encouraging news for the future of Black people in the medical field, when you consider what Dr. Foye has done.
Dr. Foye (pronounced Foy-yay), as she likes to be referred to, recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the entire northwest Houston community to her new business venture that she opened in December 2015 – Life Savers Emergency room located 17685 Tomball Parkway.
Since opening in December the ER service has been met with rave reviews with five stars given on Google, and other social media platforms.
Life Savers Emergency Room comes from the heart of Dr. Foye, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, who was practically raised in the United States and was groomed to care for the physical well-being of people. No doubt coming from a structured support system that purported academic superiority, Dr. Foye received her education on a full academic scholarship.
After completing her residency in Emergency Medicine from the Emory School of Medicine and Public Health in 2012, Dr. Foye moved to Houston from Atlanta, in order to further her practice. Dr. Foye gained extensive experience working within the St. Luke’s Health System. Within a few short years, she decided it was time to do what she wanted to do.
Dr. Foye now successfully directs the free-standing Life Savers Emergency Room, where she can take more time with her patients and counsel them on specific needs as well as promote the kind of medicine that she believes is necessary in today’s community.
“In the emergency room you can see between 20 and 30 patients within a shift, and there is just enough time to treat them and get them to their next point of care,” said Dr. Foye. “The whole idea in a free-standing ER is that you can provide the care in a more relaxed environment.”
The swift response is attractive to Dr. Foye. Ultimately patients get a lot of primary care, which can be a very good thing if the patient has limited access to care.
As an ER doctor, Dr. Foye treats and provides life-saving acute care. She also manages blood pressure, diabetes, depression and a host of other chronic ailments. It’s fast medicine, which is not always a bad thing in dealing with patients who want swift and direct care.
Dr. Foye understands that she represents, not only the minority, but the change that comes from of her generation. Whereas 50 years ago, the average medical director did not look like her; and certainly there are not many 31-year old Black women today who is thriving in the kind of lane that Dr. Foye has created for herself. As a young Black female, mother and leader in medicine, she is pressing the bar a little higher and bridging the gap a little closer so that the next person can impress and charm the masses by representing odds defied.
Dr. Foye is in tune with her colleagues who wish to practice medicine under a non-restrictive bureaucracy, so board certified doctors, nurses and practitioners can be flexible with the time and resources needed to care for people in need. A self-proclaimed human rights proponent, the silver lining of Dr. Foye is simply helping people.