By Kelli Carmack
When Gem Ashby moved from her native island of Barbados to attend medical school in America, her mind was set on a career as a pediatrician or surgeon.
However, after completing her rotations at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Dr. Ashby found herself falling in love with another specialty, Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN).
“Once I witnessed my first labor and delivery, I knew that OBGYN was the specialty for me. No other rotation gave me the love, joy and excitement that I got with OBGYN,” said Dr. Ashby.
Dr. Ashby went on to complete her residency training at Florida State University’s OBGYN program in Pensacola, then moved to Tampa to work for Generations OBGYN, a unit of Women’s Care Florida.
After eight years at Generations OBGYN, Dr. Ashby wanted to focus her time and attention on the growing needs of women in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel, and in 2018 opened her own practice, which she called Gentle Hands OBGYN.
Many of Dr. Ashby’s staff came with her from Generations OBGYN.
“Most of us have worked together for 10 years now…we’re like a family, and we make sure we treat our patients like they, too, are part of our family,” said Dr. Ashby.
One of the newest additions to the Gentle Hands family is Dr. Kristen Witkowski, who is also Dr. Ashby’s business partner.
Dr. Witkowski was born in Chicago, Illinois, where she completed her OBGYN training. After missing her family who had relocated to Florida, and digging her car out of snow for the umpteenth time, she decided her future was in Florida.
Dr. Witkowski enjoys all aspects of the OBGYN specialty, but her favorite part is the relationships she builds with her patients. “It is important to me that patients feel listened to, understood and respected,” said Dr. Witkowski.
Dr. Ashby and the entire Gentle Hands OBGYN team are devoted to going through all stages of a patient’s life — the excitement of a pregnancy, having the baby and even menopause.
Services include prenatal care, delivery, in-office ultrasounds, infertility testing and treatment, routine pap smears, laparoscopic and robotic surgery. It also offers virtual exams for select OB and GYN to existing patients during the current coronavirus crisis.
2391 Oak Myrtle Lane, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
(813) 803 – 2219