Walking into Millennium Family Practice, you pick up on an energy of positivity that is not often found in medical clinics. The staff is smiling and cheerful, and they greet patients by name. It is said that the tone of any business is set by its leadership, and it’s clear that it’s true for Millennium. Dr. Njideka Udochi is the clinic’s medical director and CEO, and her cheerful, energetic personality trickles down to her employees and even to her patients. “Our patients come to us understandably stressed about their medical issues,” she says, “and while it is my job to treat those problems, it’s also my job to put them at ease and reassure them that they are in good hands.”
Dr. Udochi has been at Millennium for over sixteen years. “It has become a second home for me, honestly,” she says, “because many of our patients have been with us for years, so I have gotten to know them. It makes my days even more rewarding.”
Millennium is a family medical practice, and on any given day, Dr. Udochi treats a variety of medical issues, including broken arms, addictions, HIV, and food allergies. “With our technology and equipment, we are able to treat a wide range of issues that families experience, even urgent care. It is one reason why the clinic has been able to grow so much these past few years.”
What she particularly loves is the international background of her patients. “It’s hard to imagine, but our patients come to us from 114 countries,” Dr. Udochi says. “On any given day, I could be speaking to a woman from Somalia, a man from Pakistan, or a boy from America. It’s one reason we prioritize speaking multiple languages. Our staff can speak twelve: French, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, Twi, Ibo, Yoruba, Somali, Arabic, Amharic, Ga, and English. I never know where my patients will be from, and that’s a big reason why I find my job so fascinating.”
That enthusiasm for her job along with her skills led the Maryland Academy of Family Physicians to announce on February 17, 2021, that Dr. Udochi was the recipient of the 2021 Family Physician of the Year award. She was recognized for her exemplary service and engagement in the well-being of her patients and community. She was also honored for the compassionate, comprehensive medical service she continually provided her patients.
Her ability to expertly treat her patients comes from her strong training. She first obtained her medical degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Nigeria in 1988. She then graduated in 1998 from the highly respected George Washington University Medical Center/Holy Cross Family Practice Residency Program. She also completed a fellowship in Geriatrics at the George Washington University Medical Center in 1999. She is an experienced HIV provider and has had Board Certification since 2004. She also carries the designation AAHIVS. Dr. Udochi is currently the President of a consortium of multi-speciality physicians who provide care to patients using a PCMH model, which ensures improved access, quality, and outcomes.
Before opening Millennium Family Practice, Dr. Udochi was employed by Mercy Medical Center and served as the Medical Director of HCH in Baltimore City. Dr. Udochi is certified in HIV Medicine and has experience in Addiction Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and in addition has a Masters Degree in Public Health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
With such a strong background, it is not surprising that she is able to provide expert care for her patients. Her peers agree and have noticed that she uses her skills to provide dignified, respectful treatment for vulnerable patients, including those who are recovering addicts or are living with HIV.
Compassion is what Dr. Udochi values most. “It’s what makes a doctor go from being competent to being great,” she says, “and I hope I display that every time I speak to a patient. People sometimes come to us full of fear because they don’t know what will happen to them, so being able to empathize with them while still providing excellent treatment is what I strive for everyday at Millennium.”