Get to know pediatrician, Dr. Catherine Philips by reading this Q&A. Dr. Phillips is a board-certified pediatrician dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to children throughout Oxford, MS.
Where did you grow up?
The MS delta. Sometimes I thought our town was too small, but looking back I have wonderful childhood memories of family, cotton trailers, and dirt roads. There’s a way of life there that I can’t completely explain—one that revolves around harvest and hunting season, one that is richer than the land itself, and one that I am lucky to have experienced. The values I received from my small community in Sharkey County are innumerable and will last a lifetime.
Through college and medical training, I experienced some other great places, all filled with unique culture and tradition. My husband and I moved back to Mississippi in 2013 to be closer to family. As Ole Miss alumnae, we felt that Oxford was the quintessential town to start a family and build our careers. We are blessed to be raising our children in yet another wonderful community.
What is a D.O.?
I dreamed of being a pediatrician when I was little. I absolutely loved babies; I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children; and I wanted to do it through medicine. A college advisor recommended I look at Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences, which happened to be my hometown doctor’s alma mater. The school was a perfect fit for me.
The foundation of osteopathic medicine is that people are more than just the sum of their body parts. Osteopathic physicians are known to take a hands on approach to diagnosis, a holistic approach to care, and a systems-based approach to treatment. There are 5 aspects of personal health: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual. Osteopathic medicine focuses on the well-being of the entire person. This holistic approach to care has been a guiding principal for me as a D.O.
Tell us about residency.
I completed my pediatric internship and residency at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. One of my greatest achievements in residency was receiving the resident teacher of the year award. Residency is a hard three years, but it’s there that you bring the formidable bank of knowledge you learn in medical school to bear at the bedside of some of the sickest children in the country. It’s there that you learn just what a privilege it is to care for someone else’s child. And it’s there that you learn children are not merely young adults; they are unique and require a different approach to care. I’m honored to have the education and experience required to care for your babies from infancy to adolescence.
How do you view motherhood?
By now, you should know that I absolutely love children. I cannot tell you how many babies have stolen my heart—baby dolls, baby cousins, neighborhood kids, nursery babies, and of course, my own. Just as I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician one day, I always wanted to be a mother.
Motherhood is completely different than what I thought it would be. Somehow, moms make it look so easy. I had no idea how demanding, how challenging, and how fearful raising children would be. But, with all the challenges, motherhood is the most significant and gratifying role of my life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love my children, and I am honored to care for yours.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
Losing my dad. His physical health declined rapidly during my residency. He was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, developed an oxygen requirement, entered a clinical trial, and eventually was placed on a transplant list. Just 3 months after Patrick was born, my father underwent lung transplant at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. It was one of the hardest weeks of my life. He developed acute reperfusion injury, and I thought we were going to lose him. By the grace of God and modern medicine, Dad’s medical team supported him through, and we were blessed with three more years with him. He passed away four days after Christmas in 2018. I always questioned why life could take loved ones away during the holidays. The truth for me is that it is never easy to say goodbye. I miss Dad on ordinary days just as much as on holidays. But, I am thankful for that last Christmas with him, for the life he gave to me, my mom, my siblings, and his seven grandchildren, and for the legacy he left behind. My Daddy was a devout Christian, a compassionate father, the life of the party, and a successful business owner. He will always be a guiding light and role model in my life.
Tell us about yourself?
I am happily married to my husband Brian. We are blessed with two precious kids. Patrick is a proud Bramlett Charger and Margaret is a spunky three-year old. I enjoy home decorating, exercising, and dining out with friends. I am a member of St. John’s Catholic Church and like to stay active in the LOU community. I have served on numerous philanthropic boards, but right now most of my spare time is spent at home with my kids.
I opened Phillips Pediatrics in 2020 with a vision to practice the most comprehensive, high quality pediatric medicine to children in Oxford and surrounding areas in a fun, innovative practice where access to your pediatrician is easy and everything revolves around your child’s individual needs, adding a little something extra in everything we do, connecting with each other and with our community. I am excited for our practice to grow with my family and with yours.