50 Intriguing Women- Dr. Eboni January

Words By: Ashley Winters

Growing up, the only doctors I saw who reflected me was the famous Heathcliff Huxtable from the hit, prime time show, the Cosby’s. Overtime the professional life of African American men and women represented on TV began to diversify. However not by much, for those who were tuned in to these hit shows, watching individuals with these glamorous lifestyle and careers didn’t resonate with that little black boy or girl.  In life, we didn’t have the privilege of always having a physician that represented us.

Now, we have lots of African American who portray doctors, including Rainbow “Bow” Johnson played by Tracee Ellis Ross on Black•ish, which I totally love. She’s a fierce, intelligent, strong Black woman, who so happens to be a doctor and wife and soon to be mother of 5 kids. Who by the way is the star of the show!

However, who do we have? And when I say “we” I mean the folks in St. Louis. Who do we have to look up to that’s not on a screen or 500 miles away? Someone we can say #Goals to?

Well, to answer your question, we have Dr. Eboni January, an Obstetrician Gynecologist (OBGYN) right at our finger tips.  From East St. Louis, IL. at the young age of 14, she watched her stepmother experience pregnancy and the changes her body was going through. This sparked a sense of curiosity in Dr. January, as she became fascinated with the female anatomy and how powerful women are when giving birth.  Also during this time, she was witnessing her grandmother’s health failing from heart disease, and those life experiences played a huge role in her interest in the medical field.

Dr. January, or to some “Doctor EJ” started her medical journey at the University of Missouri Columbia better known as Mizzou. Majoring in Biology and minoring in Anthropology, Dr. January set her goals high, studied hard and graduated in 2003. Being in the medical field for seven years and practicing medicine for three, she has found her place at People’s Health Clinic and performing deliveries and surgeries out of St. Mary’s SSM Hospital and Barnes- Jewish Hospital.

As an OBGYN, Dr. January’s job requires more than just delivering babies or giving women their annual checkup, she also has her hands full doing hysterectomies, tub ligations, and performing fibroid surgeries. Unfortunately, many of these poor, health conditions are caused due to poor dieting and exercise which unfortunately are higher in the African American community.

Dr. January’s road toward success wasn’t always easy.  Being in a male driven profession, and also being African American, she was tested regularly by her counterparts. She had to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. There were people there who didn’t believe she earned her position.  Especially being in the surgical room, during her time training at St. Mary’s SSM Hospital. Through all her hurdles she held onto her “why”, which represents her reason for sticking it out and overcoming the unfair challenges.  It was her shield of armor.

Now, that’s just part one of Dr. January. She also has her own health/ fitness business. I know what you’re thinking home girl is dope!

Upon finished her residency, Dr. January began working in the inner city and she started to notice people who looked like her struggling with weight and the affects that unhealthy weight gain can have on them gynecological. Surprisingly, many of these women were young ladies in there early 20’s. As she continued to see this pattern it motivated her to have conversations with her patients on how to live a healthier lifestyle to prohibit future gynecological issues. Though because she worked in poor neighborhoods, her patients couldn’t afford to hire a personal fitness trainer or nutrition coach. This prompted Dr. January to go the extra mile and write out diet and exercise plans for her patients.

Living in the age of technology, Dr. January felt it was more convenient for her patients to receive tips through text messages. Texting her patients every two-three hours of their specific diet plan, Dr. January came up with the concept of ” text coaching” and changed the game of health/fitness training. So, they receive a personal diet and exercise plan and grocery list. Plus, the kick is, she’s not expensive! You can have this package deal for $20 per month. Now where are you going to find a better deal than that. In addition to those perks, she’ll meet with you tri-weekly just to ensure you are staying connected to your plan. Her goal is to help change the behavior of poor eating and exercise.

But, the buck doesn’t stop there. Dr. January has her own YouTube channel called Doctor EJ, where she continues pushing healthy eating habits and exercise through quick tips. She also serves on a variety of boards in our area. The board of St. Louis Crisis Nursery, Community Women Against Hardship, and Get Fit Crew STL, just to name a few.

Dr. January hopes to one day start her own supplement line and owning her own gym. You should look her up and follow her at Doctor EJ Bootcamp, her website www.doctorEJbootcamp.com, and her YouTube channel Doctor EJ.

Ashley Winters
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