As a child in her native Ethiopia, Tunizia Ahmed-Flowers, M.D., admired the family doctors who took care of everyone – infants, children, adults, and senior citizens – with a host of different medical problems. Watching her aunt, a midwife, use simple, hands-on techniques to deliver babies impressed her so much that when it came time to choose a specialty, she opted for family medicine.
“Medicine is my passion,” says Dr. Ahmed-Flowers, who is a family practitioner at Valley Medical Group in Wayne.
As a teenager she considered becoming a doctor, but her career began in research after she earned a bachelor of science degree in biology at the State University of New York at Old Westbury in 1996 near where she grew up in Old Westbury, Long Island. While at S.U.N.Y. at Old Westbury, she received a research scholarship and was president of the International Student Association. After graduation, she worked as a lab analyst for two years before medicine called. She enrolled at Spartan Health Sciences Medical University in St. Lucia, West Indies, in 1998.
After receiving her medical degree in 2001, Dr. Ahmed-Flowers took a break to give birth to her daughter, Ayantu, and then worked for one year as a pharmaceutical representative for Pfizer. In 2005, she completed a preliminary surgery residency at S.U.N.Y. Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., but realized that a career as a surgeon was not right for her.
“I wanted to provide continuity of care for patients,” says Dr. Ahmed-Flowers. “I wanted to see them through after surgery, to see them again and again, not refer them back to their regular physicians.”
She turned to family practice and completed her residency at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., in 2008. Her son, Ayan, was born during her residency. Both her children’s names mean “celebration” and “holiday” in Oromoic, a language of Ethiopia, which she speaks.
Dr. Ahmed-Flowers says she is thrilled to practice at Valley Medical Group because she is well aware of Valley Health System’s tradition of excellence. Her husband, Raphael Flowers, D.O., has been an internist/hospitalist at The Valley Hospital since 2007. They live in West Orange and play tennis together. She enjoys cooking Ethiopian dishes and says her leisure-time goal is to see all 50 states of the United States.
“I can see myself practicing here at Valley Medical Group for a long time,” says Dr. Ahmed-Flowers. “I enjoy the diverse patient population, the dedicated doctors and staff, and being able to provide a continuum of care for my patients.”
Dr. Ahmed-Flowers treats patients across the age spectrum, from children to seniors with all types of health care issues. Her special interests include women’s health, geriatrics, pediatrics, and preventive care. “Every chance I get, I preach preventive care,” she laughs. “We want to help our patients ward off illness before something that is minor reaches a serious phase that requires extensive treatment.”
Valley Medical Group in Wayne provides the full spectrum of primary care, including urgent care for illnesses, non-life-threatening emergencies, and sports and minor injuries, including burns, cuts, fractures, and sprains; physical examinations and treatment for acute and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension; womens health services, including gynecologic well care and Pap smears; and preventive care, including immunizations, cardiovascular risk assessments, smoking cessation assistance, and screenings for cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Many businesses, both large and small, contract with Valley Medical Group in Wayne for comprehensive occupational health services, including physical exams, injury care, drug screenings, and alcohol breath tests.
Testing provided on site includes influenza A and B testing, blood tests, urinalyses, pregnancy tests, electrocardiograms (EKGs), hemoccult tests, finger stick glucose tests, rapid strep tests, and digital X-rays. Same-day appointments are available, and appointments for routine care may be requested on line.
Valley Medical Group in Wayne is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, call 973-709-0099 or click on Request an Appointment.