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Exploring Life & Business with Regina A. Hardin of MyKidzMD Pediatrics

Today we’d like to introduce you to Regina A. Hardin.

Hi Regina, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in south St. Petersburg, Florida. When I left for college, I knew I wanted to major in a science-related field. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Talladega College in Alabama. I had always thought about becoming a doctor but was a little hesitant initially. While attending pharmacy school, which I also loved, I remember having lunch with a few of my classmates. We were talking about careers and other options that would be complimentary to pharmacy. I had mentioned that I had always wanted to go to medical school but found it intimidating! My classmate then said, “Doctors are just people who get to be doctors!” This simple sentence changed the course of my life. I realized that all I had to do was to make up my mind and go for it. So, I did just that.

I withdrew from pharmacy school and applied to medical school. I was accepted and received my MD degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. It was here when I realized my love for pediatrics. There was this little boy with mastoiditis who had to stay in the hospital for two weeks of IV antibiotics. Clinical rotations as a medical student can be tough, but this little one made it one of the most fulfilling for me. I then completed my pediatric internship at the University of South Florida-All Children’s Hospital and residency at Emory University School of Medicine. For the next several years, I worked as a community pediatrician as well as in the hospital setting, gaining invaluable experience along the way.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I definitely took a winding road to become the pediatrician I am today. I started with three years of pharmacy school first before attending medical school. Even with great grades and scholarships, it was a challenge to cover everything financially. The National Health Service Corps helped out tremendously with medical school tuition in return for agreeing to work in an underserved area.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I worked for many years as an employed pediatrician in a traditional pediatric practice but longed to make my own mark on the world. I opened MykidzMD Pediatrics, PLLC in October of 2020 after deciding that I was not going to let the pandemic halt progress. Given my experience in traditional practices, I knew I wanted to deliver quality care on my own terms without feeling hurried. To truly help families, you have to get to know them which is why I chose direct primary care (DPC). The DPC model is membership, not insurance-based, and allows unlimited visits for a monthly fee without any extra copays. I designed the practice to provide a level of care unheard of in traditional insurance-based practices. Thus, I have the freedom to deliver personalized health care to a smaller patient panel. My members enjoy minimal wait times, private and unrushed visits, same to next-day appointments, and have direct access to me via phone, text, or email. They also have the option to see me in the office, virtually, or via house calls! No more worrying about being exposed to other kids who might be ill or having to pack up the whole family for one child’s appointment.

As the parent of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it is one of my passions. One of the things I wanted to do better as a pediatrician was to improve the accurate diagnosis and management of ADHD. Thus, I gained invaluable experience working exclusively with ADHD patients for several years. I also understand the difficulties faced by families when looking for services, including school IEPs, which inspired me to complete the Master IEP Coach® Mentorship program with Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed. My goal is to help guide families through this process without overwhelming.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My parents,  Lenton and Gale Jenkins have played a major role in my life. They encouraged me very early on to do my best, even when the situation seemed unworkable. Their support was unwavering even when I decided to change careers from pharmacy to medicine. I also have a wonderful husband, Michael and daughter, Evelyn who have supported me unconditionally, along with so many others.

I would also like to thank Dr. Jenny Mejhia Spicer and Dr. Kym Caporale who stepped up with medical office space for me when I realized that I would have to leave my new space due to zoning. Jessica Rivelli and Sharon Fekete were also very helpful in connecting me with opportunities as well as featuring me on her podcast.  I could not have relocated as efficiently as I did without the help of family friend, Terry Tuggle, who gave us unlimited use of his truck to help with the move. Who knew exam tables were so heavy!!

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Image Credits
Ashlee Hamon

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