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Suffolk native returns as doctor

With her Fisher Price doctor’s kit in hand, Brittney Drames began playing doctor when she was no more than 4 years old.

Now 29, the multi-generational Suffolk resident has finished her medical education and is beginning her medical career at Suffolk Pediatrics Monday.

“For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor,” Drames said. “My parents have pictures of me doing exams on my grandparents and dad. It’s always been a dream of mine to do this.”

Drames has lived in Suffolk since she was 4 years old and graduated from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in 1999. She then completed her bachelor’s degree in biology at Old Dominion University in 2003 and graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2007.

After a residency at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, she secured a job at CHKD’s pediatrics practice.

“It’s a perfect fit for me,” Drames said. “I’ve always loved children and working with them. It’s what got my blood pumping more than other area of medicine.”

Drames, along with her husband, Tim, are the parents of 20-month-old Britton. Her hands-and-heart-on experience, coupled with her passion for children, makes her uniquely qualified for a job in pediatrics.

“Being a mom helps me be a better pediatrician,” Drames said. “I can relate. I have a toddler. The advice I can give is more than just what I’ve read out of a book, it’s first hand. Being a mom and being a doctor go hand in hand for me.”

Her passion for children and experience from motherhood have generated three areas of interest in which Drames is particularly interested: breast feeding, safe sleep and childhood obesity.

“They’re three huge topics it takes courage and training to help make a difference in,” Drames said.

While her career goals have always been pediatrics, Drames has also had a long-term goal to work in Suffolk.

“I wanted to raise my son like I was raised, with grandparents heavily involved,” Drames said. “There were plenty of opportunities for me to pursue outside the city but my husbands works for a family business in Suffolk, as well.”

Her family has been in Suffolk for generations, a tradition she wants to continue.

Her great-grandfathers were retired police officer Thomas “Toad” Salmon and grocery store owner Howard “Horse Pistol” Nelms.” Her grandmother was Ethel Bush who owned Ethel’s Beauty Shop on Main Street.

Her father attended the former Frederick Military School and graduated from the former Suffolk High School.

He moved the family back to Suffolk when Drames was 4 years old “because he wanted us to be raised in Suffolk, close to our grandparents and go to school here.”

Working at Suffolk Pediatrics, where all the doctors are mothers working part-time, allows Drames the opportunity to balance her jobs as pediatrician and mom.

“It’s a perfect fit for me,” Drames said. “Our goals, values and priorities are all in line. I love practicing medicine. It’s a life-long passion of mine. But I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t have my son and couldn’t balance my work with taking care of him. It’s just a dream come true the way everything worked out. I just feel so blessed that everything has come together.”

Drames is the daughter of Frank and Janet Salmon and has a brother, Blake.