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Growing Up WellStar: Rachel Garner
​​Rachel, inspired and mentored by her longtime pediatrician, Dr. Avril Beckford, started her journey to becoming a physician assistant.

“My whole life has been touched by WellStar.”

As a child, Rachel Garner would dress in her doctor outfit, grab her yellow stethoscope, and listen to the heartbeats of family and friends.

She tried on several career ideas, just like other kids her age, but she had already fallen in love with medicine. Rachel just needed to hear this from someone she knew and trusted, and few were more qualified to give this advice than her longtime pediatrician, Dr. Avril Beckford.

“She’s known me since the day I was born, and has loved and cared for not only me, but my family as well,” Rachel said.

Inspired by “Dr. B,” Rachel began working as a Care-Partner at WellStar Windy Hill Hospital even before her acceptance into Mercer University’s Physician Assistant Program.

“I knew in my heart I desired to work at WellStar and finally be a part of the team,” she said.

When it was time to start rotations, Dr. B invited Rachel to do her clinical rotations under her guidance at WellStar Pediatrics. Doctor and patient reunited, now as mentor and student.

“It was an honor and privilege to rotate under not only an amazing pediatrician, but my pediatrician,” she said.

Rachel is still exploring potential care specialties while on rotation, but she already knows where she wants to work.

“I hope I will be back home with WellStar serving the community I love.”​