In celebration of Black History Month, Mercy Health is spotlighting some of our many colleagues who are contributing to the health and safety of our patients and the communities of West Michigan.
Andola Mathis, MD
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Mercy Health Physician Partners OB/GYN Downtown
Dr. Andola Mathis is not only a very busy physician for Mercy Health Physician Partners, but she makes time to pay it forward to the Grand Rapids community, as well. She is actively serving on Saint Mary’s Foundation, the Cherry Health Quality Committee and the Aquinas College Board of Trustees. In recent years, she has also been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Board of Directors, Mercy Health Physician Partners Patient Advisory Council and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Clinical Integration/Quality Improvement Committee.
Question: How long have you been working at Mercy Health? What is your area of expertise?
Answer: I have worked for Mercy Health since 2007. My area of expertise is Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN).
Q: Positively or negatively, do you think your race has impacted your experiences as a clinical colleague?
A: Race has certainly had a challenging impact on me personally and professionally, given systemic racial structures, and both conscious and unconscious bias. As an African-American clinician, there are occasions when I have had to further prove myself to patients I meet. On a positive note, I also have the opportunity to break down some of the bias. Furthermore, I think my cultural competency as an African-American physician is reassuring and encouraging for many patients of color and my colleagues.
Q: What or who has been an inspiration to you during your journey?
A: My father-in-law, Ralph Mathis, MD, who practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology for 37 years in Grand Rapids; and Dorsey Ligon, MD, who currently practices, were my inspiration. Both have been amazingly impactful mentors regarding direct clinical training and navigating the overall health care environment.
Q: Will you share with us your education and training?
A: I earned my Bachelor of Science at the University of Michigan. I attended medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. I completed my residency at Spectrum Health.
Q: Would you encourage other to consider a career in health care?
A: I absolutely encourage people to consider a career in health care. If people enjoy science, they will likely find the clinical experience to be very rewarding, and even if people don’t have a strong interest in science, there are numerous roles/positions in health care where they can continue to contribute their skills and passion (i.e., communications, marketing, accounting, client registration and referral, administration, etc.).