Dr. Jackie Walters has practiced for 18 years, having graduated from the University of Mississippi and Alcorn State University, then taking a medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and completing a residency in obstetrics and gynecology from the Medical Center of Central Georgia and Mercer University. She's passionate about advocating healthy living, and wants people to take care of both their inner and outer selves.
"We know that when your bodies are challenged mentally or physically, your immune system is challenged," she said during an interview. "Your mind, body and soul are one."
Dr. Jackie, as she is known by fans, is facing some stresses to her mind and soul on this season of "Married to Medicine," which debuted Sunday.
"This season, several cast members find themselves struggling with their marriages," AJC radio and TV reporter Rodney Ho notes. "The big one that gets addressed in the first episode: Dr. Jackie Walters' husband Curtis Berry is caught cheating ."
In this clip, she shares how painful and humiliating the ordeal has been:
Ahead of the episode, Dr. Jackie said she knew her private life was going to be made all the more public, but sounded sanguine about things.
"I think if we had to give a title to this season it would be 'navigating relationships.' We’ve seen friends changing, we’ve seen marriages challenged," she said. "I’ve learned to navigate friends or frenemies. I really try to take everything life hands me."
A two-time breast cancer survivor, Dr. Jackie has poured her own experience into the 50 Shades of Pink Foundation, which supports those diagnosed with breast cancer. The organization recently held a "Great Gatsby" themed fundraiser. She's grateful for the exposure being on a reality show lends, as it has enabled her to highlight such endeavors.
"It has allowed me to have a platform in arenas where I never would have gotten," she said.
On the other hand, it lets everybody in on her business.
"I’m not perfect. I make mistakes," she said. "In medicine you can’t make too many of those. In my everyday life I’m OK with bouncing back."
Asked for her top wellness advice, she gave tips she says she's heeding these days: "You have to understand who is your higher power, what sustains you. Whatever it is for you, be in touch. Stay positive, learn some breathing techniques."
And know that if your goal is helping others, take care of yourself first.
"It’s like the airplane theory, you know, where you put your mask on first?" she said, an allusion anyone who's watched an airplane safety video will recall.
Overall, she's looking forward to what unfolds in coming episodes: "Forgiveness takes courage. All the pain that’s happening will give someone else purpose."