How would you describe your life in three words?
God blessed me
Where did you complete your training?
Meharry Medical College Nashville , TN
General Surgery, University of Louisville
Dept of Surgery Louisville, KY
Breast Surgical Oncology, Baylor Univ
Medical Center Dallas, TX
If you weren’t a doctor, what would you be?
An actress or a dancer
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“There will always be a debt to pay” – My mother
What was your first job?
Cashier, Neba’s Roast Beef in St Louis, MO
Are you superstitious?
Not at all.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you did?
Go to work Monday and get off all insurance plans
Who is your hero?
What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen? The best?
Worst movie: Probably “Get Shorty”
Best movie: “Road to Perdition”
If you started a charity, what cause would you support?
Better education and mentorship in urban communities
What has been the happiest moment of your life?
Too many to name: all involve my family, immediate and extended
What is a goal you are currently working on?
To add a new skill set/hobby with each birthday
How do you relax?
Tennis, tap dance, piano, reading
What would be your first action if you became president?
What book have you re-read the most?
I don’t re-read books, there are too many left unread
Monday through Friday: shredded wheat (dry), generic Emergen-C, orange;
Weekends: made to order waffles, crispy bacon, fried eggs, coffee.
What is a non-necessity that you would bring to a desert island?
If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?
Who are three people you would invite to dinner?
Dr. LaSalle Leffall, President Barack Obama, Daddy
Early mornings or late nights?
Definitely late nights!
Why did you become a doctor?
I made the decision to become a doctor 40 years ago when I was 18. The answer to why has changed over those years.
Age 18 – I had to pick a major; I loved biology – so I became biology major/premed simply because I had no idea what else to do. Being a doctor seemed as far away as being an astronaut. I needed a job someday; Around junior year, I had no idea what to do with a degree in biology other than medical school and so that became my singular goal.
Age 22-26 – I needed to feel challenged; Once in medical school, I was thrilled to be challenged academically and with like minded individuals around me – it was full on competition – all for good test performance and acquiring clinical skills.
Age 26-33 – Surgical Residency These are what I would consider my maturation years as a physician and as a woman. Up until this point, many of us were going through the motions, grinding it out, trying to get to the next level. Around this time, however, we were no longer in competition with each other, but with illness and calamities associated with the human condition. Now, the answer to why I wanted to be a doctor, a surgeon in particular, became more evident. I had a developed a skill set that could redirect the course of another’s life – and that was thrilling, and scary at the same time.
Age 34 to present: As I continue to mature in practice, now my 24th, I have seen and endured some of the same maladies my patients have – bringing a degree of empathy and compassion you can not fully have in your early days of medicine. It’s clear to me now that I was always coming to this point in my career, unbeknownst to me. God had it for me to be here, at this time, with this skill set, with this heart for the people I take care of.