Helping women around the world and at home, this gynecologic surgeon is changing lives with her charitable travels.
Dr. Nicole Williams was a medical student at Loyola University when she overheard two male residents discussing the physical attributes of a black female colleague. “They were her contemporaries, referring to her as a piece of meat,” Williams says with a shake of her head. “I didn’t want to be around people like that, and obstetrics proved to be woman-oriented and a totally different situation.” Now Williams runs her own practice, The Gynecology Institute of Chicago, where she does everything from giving free—and sometimes life-saving—pap smears to women who can’t afford them to vaginal laser therapy meant to rejuvenate and empower. But it’s her frequent self-funded medical trips to countries like Haiti, Guyana and Ghana, where she provides services like cervical cancer screenings and fibroid surgery, that mean the most to her. “If we weren’t there, these women wouldn’t have the surgery, and they could die,” she says. “I grew up right next door to poverty, and if I don’t help people now, then shame on me.” –AC
Dr. Williams preparing meds
Cutie grabbing a nap with his mom