Monica J.R. Williams-Rilley, MD: ‘I Am Committed To Investing In The Change In Medicine’

Find out what inspired this hero in a white coat to dedicate her life to caring for others.

Monica J.R. Williams-Rilley, MD
Photo courtesy of Monica J.R. Williams-Rilley, MD

In honor of National Women’s History Month, BrownStyle Magazine is proud to virtually recognize female doctors who, through their sheer brilliance and dedication, are contributing to the constantly evolving field of medical innovation.

Although it’s a rewarding career, it can also prove to be stressful due to the long hours, early mornings, voluminous research, and, of course, the weighty responsibility of helping others. Ahead, find out what inspired this hero in a white coat to dedicate her life to caring for others.

Monica J.R. Williams-Riley, MD

Owner/CEO/Lead Physician of Deep Rooted Health & Wellness Med Spa, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Monica J.R. Williams-Rilley, MD
Photo courtesy of Monica J.R. Williams-Rilley, MD

The Inspiration Behind Her Career Choice

According to Dr. Williams-Riley, her journey to becoming a family medicine physician began in her youth. Her childhood goal to advocate for those navigating adolescence inspired her decision to ultimately become a medical professional that prioritized serving children and families in underserved communities.

“The field of Family Medicine allowed me access to make changes in the entire family unit,” Dr. Williams-Riley tells us. “Now, as I have integrated Functional Medicine into my practice, I can care for and educate my community to change how they evaluate their nutritional and lifestyle choices. I believe this is how we change the future of our community and the world.”

Her Motivation

Although Dr. Williams-Riley says that she was initially motivated to have a career of service that both allowed her to have time and financial freedom, it was her desire to serve children and families that ultimately kept her on the path of learning.

“After becoming a mother, it transitioned into the ability to show up for my children,” she explains. “Now, I am committed to investing in the change in medicine that will revolutionize how we look at what wellness means and how we fund it.”

Why She Advocates For Diversity In Medicine

Dr. Williams-Riley still feels that there is a large divide when it comes to diversity and inclusion in medicine. After having the opportunity to lead a majority-run company as a Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director of other practices, she still found it difficult to have a seat at the table. 

“My tenure in those positions was not easy at times. It is difficult to sit at tables that you are not invited to eat,” she explains. “However, as we grow in diversity in the field of medicine, we will have to build tables where we are at the head, and we can continue to contribute to medical innovation. Then, opportunities will seek us out for collaboration.”

When it comes to communicating with doctors, Dr. Williams-Riley reminds us all of the importance of being an advocate for our own well-being. “Do not be apologetic about your questions. You will never know if you don’t ask,” she advises. “If you feel unheard by your doctor, seek out a second opinion. It is your right to know.”

Her Advice For Aspiring Physicians

Dr. Williams-Riley advises any woman who wants to enter the medical profession to know that there is a space for you.

“I also want women to know that there are many ways to build a career in medicine, but you will need to decide what your reason for pursuing the career. Once you decide, then don’t be fearful to request what you want and need. Next, be ready to work in excellence so that you can continue to build the incredible legacy that has been left by our predecessors.” 

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Heather Elitou is the Senior Managing Editor at BrownStyle Magazine, where her expertise has led to the publication's success. A devoted mother of three brilliant young women and a loving wife, she finds joy in nurturing her family. Beyond her professional and family life, Heather enjoys savoring the delights of a well-crafted cheese board. She is also known for her love of soulful conversations about living a soft life.