Special to South Florida Times

MIAMI — Since her childhood in Trinidad and Tobago, Nailah Adams, M.D., M.S., has always thought of family medicine physicians as the “good doctors,” who treated people of all ages and backgrounds. That impression would later inspire her to join their ranks.

Today, as a chief resident with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Jackson Health System, Adams has blazed a trail in the specialty and was recently honored with the prestigious American Academy of Family Physicians/Bristol-Meyers Squibb Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education.

“I am honored, humbled and grateful for being recognized for doing what I believe is simply my service to society,” said Adams, who was one of 12 family medicine residents selected out of 3,500 applicants. She formally received the award, which recognizes outstanding residents for their leadership, civic involvement, exemplary patient care and aptitude for and interest in family medicine, on Oct. 24, at the AAFP Assembly in Washington, D.C.

“I believe that family medicine is the foundation of patient healthcare and advocacy,” said Adams. “We practice evidence-based medicine and clinical experience with a myriad of pathology, wrapped in the kind-hearted vocation to the betterment of our diverse communities.”

Miller School faculty, who have worked closely with Adams, marvel at her drive and overall accomplishments and expressed their excitement for her recent recognition.

“Dr. Adams has been an exemplary resident in family medicine and is a role model to all of her colleagues including the faculty,” said Robert Schwartz, M.D., professor and chair of Family Medicine and Community Health. “Nailah has demonstrated to all of us in the department the outstanding qualities of a family doctor that we are looking for in every candidate to our program and our hopes for every graduating senior. I expect that Dr. Adams will eventually be a leader in family medicine not only in her community but at the national level.”

Adams has been active with the AAFP throughout her residency and medical school. She has served in several roles, including the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) Region V coordinator, National FMIG Coordinator, a member of the AAFP Commission on Education, a conference moderator, resident recruiter and member of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians.

Adams’ training is focused in primary care sports medicine, which she describes as a strong component to family medicine. Empowering patients to take control of their health, she emphasizes nutrition, personal fitness and better lifestyle choices.

“The patient’s preferences and circumstances are discussed in order to find the best way for me to integrate my medical recommendations, such as a safe neighborhood for walking or running outdoors, the cost and availability of healthier food choices in their grocery stores, or ways to incorporate these interventions with a busy work and family schedule,” she said, adding that “every patient is an intricate person to whom the utmost care should be given.”