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Meet Our Advocates: Dr. April Lockley

What are your gender pronouns?

Where are you from?
My dad was in the Navy, so I moved every few years while growing up and that trend has continued into adulthood. Thus, I like to say I’m “from” everywhere!

What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
Family medicine with a focus on reproductive health, advocacy, and justice.

What first inspired you to become a doctor?
Interestingly enough, during my last semester of college I volunteered in a psychiatric unit in the Electroconvulsive Therapy Center. Every week when I walked into that hospital and walked onto the psychiatric unit, I felt invigorated and wanted to learn everything about medicine. I was planning to go to graduate school for psychology, but every week when I entered the hospital I couldn’t wait to learn just a little more about science and medicine. As I saw patients’ health improve week by week and my interest in medicine continued to grow, I knew I had to become a doctor.

What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
Unfortunately at this time there is not just one policy issue that motivates me to do my job and to be an advocate, but there are multiple. This is why I love being a family medicine doctor as a I see people from all walks of life…young, old, gay, transgender, immigrant, refugee, and the list goes on. Patients trust us with their stories and their lives and I take that responsibility seriously. I will use their voices and stories as an advocate for policy change.

How do you practice self-care?
Although I’m naturally a night owl, I’ve found that waking up early before the sun rises and while things seem at peace helps me establish a positive and productive mindset for the day. I typically stretch, do yoga, go for a run, meditate or just lay in bed with my thoughts. Getting in to this routine and doing something alone for myself first thing in the morning is how I take care of myself.

Who is your social justice hero?
Ava DuVernay. She is not just a filmmaker, but a Black women who has put social justice issues in mainstream media. I read an article about her that stated, “Ava DuVernay makes art that looks squarely at society and takes it to task.” Her work does not shy away from the dark history of our country, while it also shows the beauty and vitality of Black life.

Our Meet Our Advocates series showcases the talents and passion of one of our doctors and finds out, in their own words, what inspires them to be physician-advocates. April Lockley, DO is in our current Leadership Training Academy class. Dr. Lockley practices family medicine in New York.

Read more interviews from the Meet Our Advocates series.