More than merely a career choice, Dr. Reineke-Piper felt called to become a doctor.
For as long as she can remember, Dr. Kristen A. Reineke-Piper wanted to be a doctor. “There’s no good reason for it,” she admits with a smile. “We had no doctors in my family. No one had any ties to working in medicine. But from the time I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to take care of people. Being a doctor felt like more than just a career choice. For me, being a doctor felt like a calling.”That sense of calling led the New Jersey native to pursue a medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. But her interests were so expansive that it took her some time to decide upon a specialty.
“I love all aspects of medicine, so it was hard for me to pick just one over all the others,” Dr. Reineke-Piper confesses. “For a while I considered becoming a surgeon. Then I considered becoming an OBGYN. I finally decided upon family medicine because it allows you to do a little bit of everything.”
After graduating from Rutgers, Dr. Reineke-Piper served as an air-force physician for eight years. Her military service—which included tours of duty as a combat doctor in Afghanistan—also felt like a calling.
“While serving in Bagram, we treated our troops as well as Afghan troops and special forces,” Dr. Reineke-Piper recalls. “Every now and then, we’d treat those Afghan civilians who had clearance. We also treated U.S. civilians who were there as private contractors. Private contracting jobs in Afghanistan usually pay very well, and what surprised me was the number of Americans who, in order to get those jobs, weren’t forthcoming about their health issues and medical histories. The result was that occasionally, a U.S. civilian private contractor would have an episode—such as a massive heart attack—which was pretty serious since it was a three-hour flight to the nearest cath lab.”
Dr. Reineke-Piper’s military service was followed by stints as a Family Medicine Faculty Physician at Saint Louis University and in the Scott AFB Family Medicine Residency Program in Illinois. She also taught civilian and military medical students and residents while working in a full-scope medical practice. Deciding that she wanted to be closer to family in New Jersey, Dr. Reineke-Piper began to search for opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic states. That search led her to Family Medicine Healthcare in Portsmouth.
to invest the time necessary to truly get to know them.
This is the why I love family medicine: there’s so much diversity
and meaningful personal interaction.
Founded by Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed, Family Medicine Healthcare has been providing comprehensive health care to the residents of Portsmouth, the Western Branch area of Chesapeake and northern Suffolk since 2004. The team at Family Medicine Healthcare stands out in the field of family medicine with their continuing care of patients who are hospitalized or placed in nursing homes. “We don’t mind the extra work to take care of our patients,” Dr. Abdelshaheed says.
The staff of Family Medicine Healthcare performs all necessary lab work and tests before directing patients to specialists. “We exhaust everything before we send patients somewhere else,” Graisse Abdelshaheed, the manager of Family Medicine Healthcare, explains.
All doctors and nurses on staff are dedicated to going the extra mile needed to cultivate the type of personal relationships that so many patients consider vitally important. The effort has paid off: for three consecutive years—2015, 2016, and 2017—Family Medicine Healthcare has been awarded the Virginian Pilot’s gold medal for Best Doctor/ Healthcare Provider in Portsmouth in the category of family healthcare.
“When I first met with Dr. Abdelshaheed and Graisse, their philosophy and approach to caring for others seemed like a perfect fit for mine,” Dr. Reineke-Piper recalls. The feeling was mutual. In August, she joined the practice.
“Dr. Reineke-Piper will be an asset,” Dr. Abdelshaheed says. “She has a strong medical background, and I am confident that she will take care of our patients very well.”
Dr. Reineke-Piper will also contribute her expertise to expanding the range of in-house procedures offered at Family Medicine Healthcare. Experienced in performing advanced medical procedures that often require the intervention of a specialist, she plans to offer vasectomies—usually performed by urologists—as well as knee and shoulder injections—usually the specialty of orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Reineke-Piper is also certified to administer Botox injections for migraines. “I have seen that the Botox injections really work and it’s immensely satisfying,” she says. “I hope to be able to do them here.” In addition, she will perform biopsies, routine scan procedures, and procedural contraceptives.
Visiting Family Medicine Healthcare patients who have been hospitalized or placed in nursing homes enables Dr. Reineke-Piper to not only keep up with their condition, but to also offer them a sense of support and continuity.
The support that Family Medicine Healthcare offers its patients mirrors the nurturing environment in which the medical staff works.
“Everyone has been very helpful as I’ve gotten used to how the practice functions,” Dr. Reineke-Piper notes with a smile. “I love that at Family Medicine Healthcare I can take care of patients from across the spectrum—from pediatrics to geriatrics. I wanted to be able to do everything that I was doing before, including women’s healthcare. That is what drew me to this practice. I enjoy meeting patients and being able to invest the time necessary to truly get to know them. This is the reason I love family medicine: there’s so much diversity and meaningful personal interaction.”
“I love what I am doing with my life,” Dr. Reineke-Piper continues with a warm smile. “For a patient to entrust me with not only their care, but also the care of their loved ones, is something I take very seriously.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Reineke-Piper, call our office today at 757-488-3333.
~by Anna Mirkova
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