Gabriella Richardson, NRHS 2004

Gabriella Richardson, NRHS 2004
Posted on 01/11/2019
For some, hearing you’re wait-listed for your top pick of medical schools could dampen any dream of becoming a doctor. But for Gabriella Ferraioli Richardson, MD, it drove her dogged desire to do more. 

“I hounded the dean with letters and phone calls asking what I could do to improve my application,” recalls Richardson. The dean, who eventually granted Richardson an information interview, shared he wasn’t concerned with her ability to learn since she’d graduated from Virginia Tech summa cum laude. He said she lacked experience. Within days of that discussion, Richardson set up dates to shadow multiple physicians and alerted the dean of her progress. Within a few weeks, her acceptance letter came in the mail.   

Not surprisingly, persistence is among the top qualities Richardson says leads to success. 

Today, Richardson is living her dream on Virginia’s Eastern Shore as a pediatrician working alongside other healthcare providers in a community health center serving this rural community. 

Looking back, Richardson says volunteering at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters influenced her career choice.

“Kids are amazing little resilient creatures, even when they are really sick. They’re willing to play and look at the world with such a bright, fresh, and fun manner,” s said Richardson. 

“Helping people is the most rewarding thing about being a pediatrician. Nothing beats treating a child for asthma, or some illness or depression and then seeing them grow, develop, and flourish,” she continued. 

When asked about other qualities that might help Suffolk graduates succeed, Richardson cites resilience—the ability to move on from an obstacle in a positive manner. Success doesn’t always happen the first time. Learning from let-downs and challenges sets winners apart. 

Richardson still has many of the friends she had in high school. Relationships that started in childhood have grown and flourished for Richardson over the years. In fact, she married her middle school sweetheart Ryan Richardson.  She graduated valedictorian and he was salutatorian at Nansemond River High School in 2004. 

Treating all with kindness and understanding is so important to be able to communicate with people in a productive and positive manner, says Richardson, who recognizes that building lasting relationships is the hallmark of successful people. 

“Life offers endless possibilities and change is always possible” says Richardson who learned in medical school there is always “another side of the coin” when considering other’s unique situations. 

Dr. Richardson, a 2004 graduate of Nansemond River High School, earned her bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and psychology from Virginia Tech in 2008 summa cum laude. She earned her medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2012 and completed a residency at The Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter's in 2015 and served as Pediatric Chief Resident 2015-2016.