Dr. Charis Chambers, an OB-GYN, is enjoying her newfound fame after a photo she posted on social media shot her and her family into the spotlight. It happened after she published a photo performing her first major surgery alongside her brother Dr. Wesley C. Chambers.
“I just thought it was cool. I’m like ‘Hey, I’m doing surgery with my brother.’ I was so happy to have my brother. No one is going to encourage you and kind of support you in that same way,” Charis Chambers said.
Fans all over the world sent messages of admiration labeling the duo “sibling goals.” Charis Chambers is no stranger to the field of medicine. Both her father and brother are OB-GYNs for their family practice, “Chambers OB-GYN,” servicing patients in Columbus Georgia, and Phoenix City, Alabama, for more than 20 years.
“I remember distinctly in high school when my dad would have a major surgery, he would send me pictures and I would be at lunch like ‘OMG; look what my dad took out’” Charis Chambers said.
She grew up in Phenix City and completed her medical residency in the summer of 2020. She is an OB-GYN now and in September the 32-year-old decided to join the family practice as well.
“I actually thought that I didn’t want to do GYN. I thought that surgery was cool, but I was like you know, we already have two GYNs in the family, why would I do the same thing? I thought I needed to branch out, but then I got to medical school and I loved it,” Charis Chambers said.
All of the Chambers family doctors, Charis, her 36-year-old brother and father are credentialed to operate out of Piedmont Columbus Regional, so it was inevitable that they would run into each other during surgery at some point.
However, her brother Dr. Wesley Chambers said he was overwhelmed with emotion when his sister asked him to assist with the operation.
“My major emotion was gratitude; my first initial emotion was pride. I’ll be honest, I’m human, so I was proud of my sister. I’m proud that I would be able to participate in this major case of hers. But I also feel very thankful not many people will have an opportunity like this,” Wesley Chambers said.
Wesley Chambers said he remembers how much pressure he felt while operating during his first major surgery, so he wanted to make sure his sister had the level of support she needed during her first major surgery.
“I was very excited for my sister. I’m very proud of her. I was very happy to be able to witness her skills in action and her development as a physician. Being by her side as a big brother I feel a certain sense of protectiveness over the well-being of your younger sibling and I wanted her to have success. So being that I was assisting her I did feel somewhat responsible for that success,” Wesley Chambers said.
Each of the Chambers doctors attended historically Black colleges and universities for their undergraduate studies. Charis graduated from Spelman College and her brother and father both graduated from Morehouse College, two institutions that are part of the Atlanta University Center complex of HBCUs. She believes her time spent at Spelman truly prepared her to be able to practice her skills comfortably in what’s considered a white male-dominated field.
“Believe me, when I enter the physicians lounge here it is a white male space. I know exactly who I am in the work I’m supposed to be doing without validation from anyone else,” Charis Chambers said.
And Charis said it was her late mother, an attorney and the manager of their family practice, who gave her the idea and the initial support to make an HBCU her college home.
“My mom was at Emory and my aunt was at Spelman at the same time, and they just noticed a vast difference in the way the nurturing and mentorship was. It was my mom who really said you guys need to go to an HBCU for undergrad. There’s nothing like it in this world it is the best experience you’ll ever have. And it’s a different level of nurturing specifically to learn how to navigate as a Black person in this world,” Charis Chambers said.
Both she and her brother are thankful for their father paving the way to their being able to fulfill their dreams of helping people through medicine in the community they’ve called home.
“I thank my father and everyone who has supported us and poured into us as we’ve grown and developed into the physicians that we are,” Wesley Chambers said.
“Because my dad was able to open the door for us, he made it possible that we could have a family legacy,” Charis Chambers said.
She also offered up some advice for any parents who suspect their child has dreams of being a physician as well.
“If you see that your child has a desire to go into medicine, foster it and foster it early. Put them in STEM programs to get them additional math tutoring,” Charis Chambers said.