His earliest childhood memories are of being at his father’s medical office in Clinton, SC. Fitting since when looking at his lineage, you could easily say the practice of medicine is imprinted on his DNA. Dr. Nick Toussaint’s great-grandfather, Dr. Johann A. Toussaint; his father, Dr. Vincent Toussaint; his father-in-law, Dr. Robert M. Benson, Jr; his older brother, Dr. Phillip Toussaint; and his younger brother, Dr. Andy Toussaint could make family gatherings seem like a medical convention.
Dr. Toussaint’s lineage forms an interesting background for the young doctor who is into his second year of practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology in Statesboro, hometown to his lovely wife, Bess (nee Benson) whom he met at the College of Charleston during summer school. Bess was preparing to be a pharmacist and shared a class with Nick and brother, Andy. Nick said, “Andy gets the credit for bringing us together. He pointed her out to me.”
Dr. Toussaint’s grandfather, Johan Toussaint, (1904-1988), grew up in Indonesia on the island of Java. He became the Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia and the Philippines remaining stationed in Bangkok and Thailand during World War II. Ultimately, after the invasion by the Japanese, he was held under house arrest. Subsequently, Dr. Nick Toussaint’s father, Vincent, was born in the Dutch Consulate. His grandmother, Mary Stewart, was from Vancouver, BC, and an opera singer by profession, who died at a young age, when Vincent was only five-years-old.
Dr. Vincent Toussaint is a naturalized Dutch citizen who attended Leidon University in the Netherlands. He is trained as a general practitioner and a surgeon and at age 75 still practices medicine in Clinton, SC. Dr. Nick’s mother is a pathology technician. He has the two doctor brothers and one sister, Kristin, a very successful cosmetologist.
Growing up in the Toussaint household, Dr. Nick explains, “We were expected to pick a profession like doctor, lawyer, or engineer. As long as we had a goal, our parents were supportive. We had an enriched, but not affluent upbringing, where we studied, played competitive sports, and learned the spirit of serving our greater community from our parents.”
Dr. Nick credits his father as being his biggest role model. “I try to emulate him and his practice. He never considered medicine to be the gateway to living a life of luxury, instead he believed that he practiced in service to his patients.”
He attended public schools in Clinton and graduated high school in 2000. An early family discipline of extra training in science and mathematics prepared Dr. Nick for obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry cum laude from the College of Charleston in 2004. Then he took a year’s sabbatical.
Dr. Nick knew Bess wanted to be a pharmacist and the two had decided to marry that year, so prior to starting the next chapter of his life as Bess’ husband and medical school student, he worked some odd jobs and took off for Nepal on a dental mission trip to assist Tibetan refugees. While in Nepal, Dr. Nick wanted to experience the climb of Mt. Everest. Time was limited due to the approaching monsoon season and he was on a tight schedule to get home for the wedding, but he managed to make it to 14,000 feet hiking and climbing for days in very rustic conditions.
The flight home had to be met on Wednesday before the rains started and delayed air travel. Dr. Nick said, “I met the plane on Wednesday and flew home, got married on Saturday in my in-laws backyard, and showed up for medical school in Charleston on Tuesday.” He and Bess honeymooned a year later in the Bahamas.
He graduated the Medical University of South Carolina as an MD in 2009. And from Charleston he was matched for the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. This brought another year of fast change for the couple. Bess was pregnant with their first daughter, Caroline. The couple had to move, start new jobs, and welcome a new baby in a relatively short period of time.
After four years in Charlotte, NC, the Toussaints moved south to Statesboro, nearer to Bess’ family and into a more small-town way of life. According to Dr. Nick, the exact way they wanted to raise their family. “There is an atmosphere of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ in a bigger city like Charlotte,” he said. “Here there is a much better and more genuine quality of life.”
Next to counting his father as his biggest influence, Dr. Nick also credits his father-in-law, Dr. Robert M. Benson, Jr., as a positive role model. “I love how much he cares about his patients and how they respect him as a physician, a father, and his family. He truly cares,” he said. “Basically he and my father are two totally different people, but they both believe in the fundamental things. I like that parallel.”
“A lot of patients go to the doctor and feel that he or she doesn’t listen or care. Our goal at Magnolia Women’s Healthcare is to provide a very personal level of care. We are concerned about the whole person and not just the procedure,” he said. “I see my office as a place to treat patients. To serve them. I’m here to help them. When they come into my office it is sacred time we have to impact their lives talking, sharing, and educating.”
Dr. Toussaint specializes in laparoscopic surgery, hysterectomy, delivering babies, and infertility. He performs minimally invasive gynecological surgeries and is affiliated with East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
He is beginning his second year in practice here, and is welcoming new patients. “I hope to spend my career here,” he said. “We like the small town warmth. The combination of a university town with small town values. I value the support of a small community. I feel here, we have the opportunity to have a greater impact.”