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Michelle Little and family
February 4, 2022

Alumna’s Spanish Major Helps Her Further Connect with Patients

Michelle Little ‘12, D.O., credits experiences from her time at Berry with providing a solid foundation on which to build her career in medicine. After graduating from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2016, she did her residency in family medicine at Floyd Medical Center, now Atrium Health Floyd, and recently opened her own practice — Foundation Direct Family Care, a direct primary care practice located in Dalton, Georgia.

Q. What was your major at Berry?

A. I majored in Spanish, with a double minor in biology and chemistry.

Q. What do you do now, and what is your favorite thing about your career?

A. I am a family medicine physician. My favorite thing about my career is helping people regain control of their health in ways they thought no longer possible. I also enjoy the relationship building aspect of being a family physician. I get to know details about people and their backgrounds that many other specialties do not.

Q. How does your Berry experience connect to your job?

A. I came to Berry with the intention of being a physician. I chose Spanish intentionally as well, because I was very interested in the language, because I didn't want to be a biologist or chemist if I didn't get accepted to medical school and because I felt that I could serve a wider population with ease by knowing two languages. It has made my interactions with Spanish speakers easier and helped me build quick rapport with patients. I believe my work experience at Berry serves me often in the field of medicine.

I was an RA, so I was charged with building relationships, and trust, while also setting boundaries and expectations. This skill is used often in medicine. Additionally, being a head resident my senior year prepared me for some of the leadership roles I have embarked on in medical school, serving as chief resident my third year at Floyd and some of the community endeavors I am pursuing currently.

Q. Tell us one (or more!) of your favorite Berry memories.

A. Probably Mountain Day weekend. My mother [Gloria (Vaughn) Jackson, 72C] went to Berry, so we traveled yearly for homecoming. This was a fond memory I had before becoming a student at Berry, and being able to participate in all the other exciting aspects of it when I was a student was always really a special time for me.

Q. Do you have any advice for current or future Berry students?

A. I think I would say engage. Engage in the things that have always brought you joy and comfort but also the things you've never considered or that seem a bit out of your wheelhouse/comfort zone. I think practicing this in a supportive environment makes trying new things, and taking risks that could have big rewards, easier when you are out on your own.

Q. Tell us about a favorite career or life accomplishment!

A. Favorite life accomplishment would be birthing two pretty awesome children. [Another] favorite life accomplishment so far has been having the courage to start my own medical practice. My friend and I started Foundation Direct Family Care as a unique model of care to better serve our patients, to practice medicine the way we dreamed of decades ago when we decided we wanted to be doctors and to create the freedom and flexibility to be the moms, wives, sisters, friends and people we wanted to be.

It's a subscription-based healthcare option, sort of like Netflix or a gym membership that allows unlimited visits with your personal doctor and enhanced access to your doctor because you get their phone number to call, or text or video chat, and their email. We also have a pretty cool office space as well for patients who need to be seen in person. We have an in-house pharmacy and lab to give wholesale prices on meds and lab services. I'm so proud of what we are creating for the north Georgia area.

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