April 18, 2019  

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Dr. Virginia Crawford serves as director of Student Health Services at The University of Southern Mississippi. Crawford, who once dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, took a few moments recently to reflect on her current responsibilities and outside interests in a question-and-answer format.

Q: What is your hometown and educational background?

A: My hometown is Jackson, Mississippi. I attended Mississippi College and Medical School and also the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. I am board certified in internal medicine.

Q: Did you always want to be a physician?

A: No, I thought about being a veterinarian, but there were no women vets in my college days. My mother, father and only sibling were all physicians, so, genetically, I was destined to be a doctor.

Q: How did you end up working at Southern Miss?

A: Because it is the best job in the world.

Q: How many doctors, nurses and assistants do you have on staff?

A: We have a staff of 20 healthcare professionals here to serve the university community.

Q: What would you say is the most common ailment your office sees?

A: Whatever is going around – upper respiratory infection; stomach viruses; flu, colds. We see a wide range of health issues and diseases.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face in your position?

A: Operating Student Health Services on a limited budget and addressing the epidemic of obesity in Mississippi.

Q: What is the best advice you ever received?

A: I have been blessed to have been the recipient of much good advice, so this is a tough one. But I think, “Never stop learning” is at the top.

Q: What animal best describes your personality and why?

A: dog – specifically a terrier. I am task-oriented, energetic, loyal, tenacious.

Q: What would you say to boys and girls who dream of becoming physicians?

A: Mississippi needs you! We are going to have a shortage of primary care doctors very soon.

Q:  Does an apple a day really help keep the doctor away?

A: Good nutrition and regular exercise are key components to health. An apple a day could be part of a good personal wellness plan.