2023 Top Doctor: Constantia “Connie” Abarikwu, M.D.

Editorial StaffMarch 1, 2023
Share This
Photography by Steve Craft
Photography by Steve Craft

Internal Medicine

Med School/Year Graduated:  University of Colorado School of Medicine, 1991

Years in Practice: 28

How would you explain internal medicine to the average person?

It’s an adult-only primary specialty. I usually tell patients that we’re like “pediatricians for adults.” We provide long-term care and nurture patients with complex chronic medical and mental health conditions… and get to know them well over years [of treatment]. We’re also nicknamed the “doctors’ doctors” because other specialists usually rely on and report to us in the process of caring for our patients.   

Has the widespread use of telehealth since the pandemic helped or hindered your practice?  

I would say it has helped more than hindered to a great extent. Our struggling post-pandemic economic state has made transportation a crucial problem for some patients. Telehealth has allowed us to do close monitoring for our patients that have difficulty getting to us and has helped to improve their medical compliance.  

You matriculated at the University of Colorado in Denver. What did you enjoy most about your time in The Mile High City?

I was raised [there], so I love everything about it. I only left to fulfill my destiny of being a happily married young lady! I love experiencing the magical sights and smells of all four seasons of the year. I loved living and growing up in this open multicultural city and the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. 

You share a name with the famous wine region in South Africa. Do you consider yourself an oenophile? 

Although I share a name with that incredibly special place in the world, I’m unfortunately not an oenophile! I’m an occasional social drinker at best and usually go for the overly sweet whites and occasional red wines. My father chose this name for me for his deep religious beliefs. He said he wanted his only daughter to be constant and steadfast in her life choices and in the belief of God.  

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to do my power walks in my neighborhood early in the mornings before [my family] wakes up. I also love to walk in the rugged terrains when time allows. I also plan to pick up on this new pickleball craze that I keep hearing about.   

What TV show or movie has best depicted the field of internal medicine?

I must admit that I haven’t had much time for TV shows lately – but I have seen a few episodes of House that have gotten my juices flowing as an internist. I love going through the investigative process with these astute TV doctors as they try to unravel the diagnosis of some unknown “zebra” medical condition.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…”

I think my personality would have driven me to the educational sector. I think I would have become a teacher in elementary school, high school or college. I’m a true people person and would have stayed true to my nature.


For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.