Words by Lindsay Brewer | Image by Blakeney Clouse
Forty-nine minutes. Love cannot be restricted by time, but that is all the time Talia Gates and her husband, Josh, had to love on their baby girl this side of Heaven.
Love, the act of constant affection for another person, is a daily part of Dr. Gates’ life. “Being a physician mom is a huge defining point of my life,” she reflects. “Balancing the love of my patients and the love of my family, that’s my daily struggle.”
She cherishes bedtime with her boys, yet equally desires to be there for her patients at Walker Women’s Specialists. There is warmth in her voice as she matter-of-factly states “my kids are the best.” She and Josh have two sons, Kye, 6, and Zane, 2.
Love and respect for her husband overflow as she recalls how they met at Samford University and their nomadic life afterwards as she pursued her medical degree in Mobile, Alabama, followed by residency in New Orleans, Louisiana. She says Josh “kind of put his career aspirations on the back burner, but God is good and now he has a wonderful career as well. He was definitely pretty selfless in that for me.”
Now, Talia and Josh share an even deeper bond after experiencing the birth and death of their daughter, Aubrey. At 19 weeks, they were told she had a lethal skeletal anomaly. It was during their painful journey that Talia began to understand the Old Testament book of Job, particularly Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, I will hope in Him.”
Aubrey’s journey “has given me a very unique perspective on my career for sure,” Gates says. Though it is not the journey she would have chosen, Gates attributes her greatest loss with making her a better, more empathetic doctor. “That’s just so much a part of Aubrey’s ministry,” she shares. “To see that her life has meaning, and her life has purpose regardless of how short it was.”
Talia’s fierce love for others is evident in her calling. She chose obstetrics and gynecology because it combines her desire to develop relationships with her patients and still participate in surgeries. It is a privilege for her to be present the moment families grow. “I’m just so blessed that what God called me to do is also something I’m crazy passionate about and that I love,” Gates says. “To get to make women feel safe, feel important, make their concerns be heard, and to make them feel better, that’s a pretty high calling. God is the Great Physician. I am His instrument.”
Dr. Gates and her partners, Dr. Lorissia Autery and Dr. Bridget Brunner, share their priorities. “All of us have the same priority – we love God, we love our family, and then we have our career,” Talia says. They work as a team to serve families in Jasper while still being there for their own families. It is evident that Dr. Talia Gates is fueled by love – love of God, love of her family, and love for her patients. 78