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Your Neighbor: Meet Dr. Tiffany Avery

By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Dr. Tiffany Avery spent her childhood in and out of doctor’s appointments trying to manage her asthma. “It inspired me to want to go into medicine and help other people,” Avery explains. “When I was younger I thought I’d want to be a pediatrician, however, I ended up going down a different path in medicine.”

Avery’s path included lots of hard work in school. She received an academic scholarship to attend Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. “I studied psychology and declared pre-med,” recalls Avery. “I really enjoyed college. I even met my future husband, Derek, on freshman move-in day at Tulane.”

When Avery graduated from Tulane she headed straight to Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. “Med school was really just as I had expected. I didn’t have much of a life during those years. I was very narrowed in on my medical education and training,” explains Avery. On her fourth year of medical school, she and Derek got married after nine years of dating.

The Averys decided to move to Philadelphia for a job opportunity that presented itself for Derek. Avery began her residency in internal medicine. “Although I had to spend many nights in the hospital, I packed my toothbrush and was excited to finally be practicing and learning how to actually be a doctor,” recalls Avery. “After I completed my residency we moved to Houston so I could train in oncology. Once I completed it, we actually headed back to Philadelphia again. That was the first time I was able to have a job in the field I felt passionate about, focusing on breast cancer patients and breast cancer research.”

“I learned a lot during that time about breast cancer and caring for patients. After five years, both my husband and I had job opportunities that would move us to Winston-Salem. I began working at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. We had two boys, Benjamin and Brandon, at this stage of life (currently in first and fourth grades), and it was an excellent place to raise a family. After a couple of years I accepted a nonclinical job with a company based in California as their medical director. I examine the treatment of cancer patients and treatment pathways,” says Avery.

Avery has enjoyed her position partially because of the flexibility it has allowed her with helping teach her children at home during COVID-19 this past spring. “Like other families you have to find a way to make it work. It’s a balancing act,” notes Avery. “But that is true with being a parent in general. Just when you think you have the answers, your child changes, or what worked for one child doesn’t work for the other one. You’re constantly learning and evolving.”

Avery has encouraged her family to stay active during this time, as it has always been a staple in their home. “I love to garden and we have both a vegetable and flower garden that we work in. We also have a compost section that fills up very quickly,” explains Avery. “Being a boy mom, I’m shocked by how many adventures I enjoy. Those two are always going and on the move.” Avery also makes sure to take time for herself to recharge. “Self care is truly important. I love taking yoga at Sunrise Yoga in Clemmons. You have to keep yourself happy so that you have something to offer others,” says the active mom. “When I’m not doing yoga, I do love my peloton to keep me on the move.”

Our neighbor has found through hard work, balance, and family that life is what you make it and the journey is what counts.