Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Xaiver Jones
Telegram Media Specialist 

The Golden Grip Of Doctor Ingrid Wilson-Johnson

River Rouge Alumni serves by delivering babies and hope to the community

 
Series: BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT | Story 1

February 11, 2021

In 2021 I will be twenty-eight years old. I've had my driver's license since I was seventeen years old. I wrote my first article for the Telegram Newspaper ten years ago. There are sixteen years of formal, and accredited education under my belt.

My experiences are grains in the bottom of an hourglass compared to Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson. Dr. Wilson-Johnson's life started in River Rouge, in an era many say the city will never get back. Dr. Wilson-Johnson had a long journey to become a doctor. Her journey started when she graduated from River Rouge High School in 1976. Wilson-Johnson decided the best thing for her was to migrate South to Spelman College. She soaked up everything Atlanta had to offer, until her graduation in 1980. When it was all said and done in the South, Dr. Wilson-Johnson decided the West coast was the best place to continue her education. Stanford University became her new home.

After graduation from Stanford Medical in 1984, there was one choice to make for Dr. Wilson-Johnson. Whether to go into family practice, or go into OBGYN work. She came back to Michigan, where the area she knew was gone and would never return. Dr. Wilson-Johnson decided to dedicate her career to the OBGYN field. Dr. Wilson-Johnson intended to make a concentrated effort in women's health. She did so by multi-tasking in the office, by performing surgeries, and delivering children. Oakwood Hospital Dearborn (now Beaumont) is where Dr. Wilson-Johnson started her residency, and full time job as a medical doctor.

Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson has ended her career at Prime Garden Hospital. Retired with over thirty hard working years in the field. Dr. Wilson-Johnson had a full, promising, and successful career. A career in which she has delivered close to three thousand children, and used her skills as a surgeon to restore and bring life to her patients.

Dr. Wilson Johnson has lived a life no one can copy, or write in a book. Her oldest birthed child is thirty-seven years old, she even delivered a child on her birthday twenty-eight years ago. The good doctor has seen enough to write her own book. Her long, yet linear and direct journey has led her here. Back in the town she started in, and making the difference she always planned to make. She connected with the community (parents and kids) as she served on the River Rouge School Board for over ten years and she is a die-hard River Rouge Panther fan and supporter.

Ingrid's parents Robert and Regina Wilson believed that education is the pathway to success. When her high school counselor suggested that she should be a secretary, her parents demanded that she get assigned to another counselor.

She may peek her head back in the field for old time's sake. But Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson plans to use her free and retired time to relax, and enjoy the fruits of her extraordinary career.

Xavier Jones - What was special about the three aspects for your work. The surgical, office work, and child delivery?

Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson

Surgical - It feels great being in charge of something that requires such technical skill. You know that you're going to be a difference maker, and that you fixed something in someone's life.

Office Work - It was very interpersonal, I got the chance to be the listening ear to the women who came in. It gave me a chance to get to know my patients as people.

Delivery - I spent thirty years literally bringing life into the world, and passing them to proud mothers. I will always be a part of those families.

Xavier Jones - How was Stanford Med School experience for you?

Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson - Awesome up until the very end! Stanford Medical was a small, very technical program. We did a lot of hands on and interpersonal training. There were only eight African Americans in the program.

Xavier Jones - Did the lack of black people make you uncomfortable?

Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson - No not at all, eventually I got used to it. What I learned from Spelman prepared me to be the only one among hundreds.

Xavier Jones - What do you think the black community can do to expand their presence in the medical field?

Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson - More focus needs to be placed on STEM and technical careers. Health careers clubs can be introduced, students will only become what they see. They need to be exposed to the option of health careers sooner than later.

Xavier Jones - What was one of the more difficult parts of your career?

Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson - Delivering the bad, and unexpected news. We're all practicing physicians, nobody's perfect. We do the best we can. I had to give out information to patients that I would never want to hear for myself. Those things take a toll on doctors, something we have to carry that in our own way.

Xavier Jones - How has your retirement journey been for you so far, and how do you plan to spend it?

Dr. Ingrid Wilson-Johnson - The first week was a big wow moment! A huge release that came with a lot of happy feelings. The second week with no work, was just that. No work! I relaxed, slept in, and drank my coffee. Now I want to travel! There's a family trip we're planning for Florida, and Dubai has always been on my bucket list.

Xavier Jones – What motto do you live by?

Dr. Ingrid Wilson – Johnson – To whom much is given, much is required.

Dr. Ingrid Wilson- Johnson has been married to Larry Johnson for 37 years. They have three children, Shareia Carter, LaTasha Johnson and Larry I. Johnson, one daughter in law Shala Johnson and two and half grandchildren. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inkster Alumnae Chapter and serves as an usher at Pentecost Missionary Baptist Church.

 

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