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Evlyn Brown, MD, ABFM

Evlyn Brown, MD, ABFM

Primary Care Physician
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York

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Healing Brooklyn’s Underserved

For Dr. Evlyn Brown, being a physician in New York City’s public health system ties directly back to her childhood in Aruba and the death of her 14-year-old brother when she was 12. “I’m from an island whose name evokes the exotic but where daily living is etched out along meager lives for most,” Dr. Brown says. “I remember the anguishing visits to the hospital as my brother battled kidney disease, and I’ve often wondered about the quality of care he was given. It stimulated my desire to pursue a career in medicine, a resolve to provide exacting standards of care to patients regardless of their backgrounds and make a difference in the lives of both patients and their families.”

Dr. Brown came to Brooklyn for college in 1976, graduating from Long Island University before going back to the West Indies to attend Ross University Medical School on a full scholarship. She practiced in Aruba for several years and returned to Brooklyn for a family medicine residency at Downstate Medical Center. After a career in private practice, she joined the adult Primary Care Department of NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, East New York in 2020.

“Being a physician within the public health system connects me to patients just like my brother. Treating underserved patients from economically challenged backgrounds reminds me of why I chose to practice medicine.” She cherishes the gift she gets back from her patients: a simple “Thank you, Doc.”

She recalls a recent case that was emblematic of that satisfaction: A 41-year-old woman who came in for a routine follow-up with no symptoms of any problems. But when Dr. Brown and the staff couldn’t get a normal blood pressure reading on the woman’s extremities, she called EMS.

“She didn’t want to go to the hospital because she said she felt fine.” But Dr. Brown insisted. “She was assessed at Kings County and then transferred to Bellevue ICU, where she was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. She was told that had there been a delay beyond that day there was a very high probability that she would not have survived to the next day. It is moments like these that underscore why I practice medicine.” 

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