Women on the Leading Edge of Medicine
When she was nine years old, a routine visit to the pediatrician’s office set Bridgett Moss on her path to becoming a physician.
“I recall being a little apprehensive during that visit, but the doctor was very nice and let me listen to his heart with his stethoscope. That small act of kindness not only relaxed me but planted the seed for me to become a doctor. From that day on, becoming a doctor became my goal in life–to help people feel the same way I felt at that time,” she said.
Today Dr. Bridgett Moss has achieved that goal, with the encouragement of family and friends. Originally from Milwaukee, Bridgett attended North Division High School because it was a medical specialty school at the time. Then she went to University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for her undergraduate studies majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. She attended medical school at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Iowa.
“In choosing a medical school, I also wanted to have a medical background that represented me—one that was open to alternative avenues of treatment and training—like osteopathic medicine,” she said.
During her years at UW-Whitewater, she was surrounded by support from the Educational Opportunity Program under the direction of Dr. Roger Pulliam, Dr. Elizabeth Ogunsola, Mrs. Freeda Briscoe and many others. She also received support from the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, which helps prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies.
Bridgett recalls when her Organic Chemistry 2 professor decided not to give her a passing grade, which caused her to retake the class. He later told her that he could have passed her, however he wanted her to retake his class because he knew she could do better.
“He saw my potential, so retaking the class was not meant as a punishment. I passed the class with an ‘A’ the second time and he had me assisting him in teaching,” she said.
She later entered a family medicine residency at St. Luke’s Hospital where she was taught by Dr. Tito Izard, Dr. Alison Lux, Dr. Lisa Sullivan-Vetter, Dr. Janice Litza and many others who encouraged her.
During her medical residency rotations, she had numerous attending physicians in different specialties that shared their knowledge with her; but one pediatrician, Dr. David Rosenberg, left a great impression on her. Not only did he enlighten her with his traditional/conventional medical knowledge, but he also reinforced her knowledge and interest in complementary and alternative medicine.
She started her medical career at Milwaukee Health Services Inc., under the leadership of current CEO Dr. Tito Izard, where she treats the underserved and underinsured populations. She worked there for seven years which provided her with an unforgettable and phenomenal experience. She used that platform not only to give excellent quality care to patients but to be a mentor to many medical and nursing students and mid-level providers. When treating her patients, she took the approach of meeting patients where they were and allowed them to be a team player in their healthcare. She took pride in breaking communication barriers which she accomplished by being an active listener.
Although Bridgett no longer works for Milwaukee Health Services Inc., she continues to make an impact on the community by being an active board member.
She recently completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine from the Andrew Weil Center of Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona and also recently received a fellowship distinction from the American Academy of Family Practice.
In her personal life, Bridgett is married with two daughters. She currently works for Ascension Health Care system as a community physician. And, while juggling a demanding career, marriage and family, she still finds ways to pay it forward by helping other students pursuing careers in medicine. She allows medical students to shadow her and teaches residents and mid-level providers.
“It’s a pleasure to talk and engage with them. It’s important for them to see someone who looks like them doing something positive in the community, so I tell my story freely. I believe that your life is a testimony to be able to help others that are experiencing similar situations. I had to work hard to get where I am. I want them to know that their environment does not stop them.
I encourage students to move forward to pursue whatever their goals are in life—whether it’s becoming a physician or another profession,” she said.
Bridgett shared this bit of advice from her own experience: “Don’t stop! Whatever obstacles are in your way, jump over them. I don’t like the word ‘hard’, instead I use ‘challenge’. ‘Hard’ creates a barrier. Go after your passion. I’m trying to set that example for my daughters, nieces, nephews, other family members, friends and students. It may not be challenging, but keep moving forward to become whatever you want,” she said.