Dr. Raquel S. Watkins
What inspired you to become a doctor specializing in allergies and asthma?
I have always felt as if my calling as a physician was to help patients manage their allergies and asthma. Many patients with asthma have allergies as a trigger so there is quite a bit of overlap. While in medical school at the University of Maryland and during my residency and fellowship at Wake Forest University, I was able to experience firsthand how asthma and allergies can affect one’s quality of life. I also lost my paternal grandfather to asthma. Now, nothing motivates me more than hearing a patient comment how much better they feel with their treatment regimen. It always make me smile inside.
What is your practice’s mission? Our Allergy/Immunology practice is a division of Borland Groover and our mission is to provide excellent healthcare through innovation and personal service with exceptional physicians and staff.
What is your favorite aspect of being a doctor? Meeting patients from all walks of life and hearing their story and working with them to improve their health. Over the years, my patients have inspired me!
How do you help your patients? I really listen. Are there any cases that really stand out over the years? There are many scenarios that stand out over the years. Our patient with asthma has frequent attacks and had a hard time identifying her triggers. Same day testing revealed that her main triggers were ragweed, grass, trees and dust and pets. We optimized her asthma therapy and gave her tips on how to reduce indoor allergens and started her on allergen immunotherapy or ‘allergy shots’. She wrote a special note thanking us for improving her quality of life
How many years have you practiced medicine and how do you keep up with current treatments? I’ve been a physician for over 24 years. I keep up with current treatments by reading our allergy journals, guidelines, and by completing maintenance of certification tests every 6 months, from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. There are quality improvement projects outlined by the Board that I complete for our practice and our staff is required to stay up-to-date as well.
Are there any new treatments you are using to help people? Yes, asthma has become very personalized and today more than ever we can offer patients specific therapies to improve their quality of life: i.e., biologics and injectable medications.
What are some of the special features you offer patients to make their experience enjoyable? This may sound cliché, but I truly believe it is one of our clinic’s greatest strengths or ‘special features’– our staff. I’m surrounded by competent and empathetic support staff. Patients tell me at least once a day, how awesome the staff is. If it means expediting an urgent referral, escorting a patient in a wheelchair to another building, or hearing the story of the birth of a patient’s child, or empathizing with stressors – I’ve witnessed our staff go above and beyond. From check-in to check-out, they work tirelessly with me to advance the health of our patients and our patients see that and are better off for it. I love this team!
What are the most common allergies people get in North Florida? Ragweed, Tree, Bahia grass and Bermuda grass are common outdoor allergens, but dust and pets can trigger symptoms as well.
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? Ha-ha. Well, let’s see. In addition to being a physician, I’m a mom and a wife (my husband is Dr. Jim Kimberly, Borland Groover gastroenterologist), so my life is full in an awesome way. When I’m not at work, you can find me planning the next family meal, or at sporting events; my daughter plays soccer and runs track and my son runs cross-country and track. Jim and I do date nights once a week – we enjoy eating out at local restaurants, going for walks, or watching a Netflix series at home. Lately, I’ve been setting crazy goals for myself; so you may see me at 5K events. I ran a 5K recently and I’m training for one in March as well (March to get screened). Well, I say training but the goal here is to finish. I love yoga and I try to practice being mindful in many aspects of my life, so you can catch me at the yoga studio once or twice a week, and most evenings, I spend walking or jogging, trying to get in my 10000 steps.
Watkins Allergy & Asthma Staff in Action
13241 Bartram Park Blvd. Suite 2601
Jacksonville Fl 32258
2140 Kingsley Ave. Suite 1,
Orange Park Fl 32073
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