First, tell us about you.
I am from McKinney, Texas, a suburb of north Dallas. I grew up in a close-knit family of two wonderful parents, who I owe most my accomplishments, and three siblings: one older sister, an older brother, and a younger brother. We spent many years traveling as a family to participate in sporting events, my favorite sport being baseball. My family and I are diehard Dallas sports fans. I attended Texas Tech University where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in biology and a Master’s degree from the Health Sciences Center in molecular pathology. I attended medical school at University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. I met the love of my life, Tiffany Allison, in medical school and we got married my second year of residency. We both matched at UMMC and she is currently an emergency medicine resident at UMMC. While in Jackson, we rescued a wonderful goofball of a dog named Bauer who has been a great addition to the family.
What do you like most about UMMC?
The people I’ve met and the personal connections I have made here the last three years has been my favorite part. Everyone I meet, from administration to nursing staff to attendings and all my colleagues have been friendly and willing to lend a helping hand. My wife and I have enjoyed our time here and look forward to the coming year.
Share a memory of your time here and someone who has been a mentor or made an impression on you.
I have been lucky to have numerous fantastic medical professionals shape my career. However, one individual does stand out above the rest and that person is Dr. Weatherly. I intend to pursue a career in academic medicine and Dr. Weatherly personifies who I hope to become in terms of teaching, leadership, clinical knowledge, and compassion. In addition to being an exceptional mentor, she has become a great friend. One specific memory that comes to mind involves a young adult admitted to our service with a newly diagnosed terminal illness. While we could have focused on the disease and treatment plan, Dr. Weatherly decided that we were going to celebrate the patient’s birthday. She bought the patient a birthday cake and rallied the resident team to celebrate their birthday with them. I will always remember the patient’s smile and the compassion Dr. Weatherly showed in focusing on the patient.
What advice would you offer to the interns?
We are privileged to care for people during the most difficult times of their lives, take care of all your patients as if they were your family. I often compare residency to the college basketball tournament March Madness, in which the overall goal is to “survive and advance.” Residency is a team sport; it is okay to ask for help and rely on your team.
When did you know you wanted to pursue Hospice/Palliative medicine and Hematology/Oncology fellowships?
I have wanted to pursue a career in hematology/oncology since my parents were diagnosed with cancer during medical school. I enjoy the challenge Heme/Onc provides as a constantly evolving field of medicine. But more so, I enjoy the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with the patient and their families during very difficult times of their life. In addition, I have been fortunate to discover a passion for palliative care during my time in residency. I intend to use the communication skills obtained and lessons learned during my palliative fellowship and apply them in treating patients with hematologic and oncologic malignancies. I am privileged to have matched at UMMC in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) and excited about the opportunity to work with Dr. Mansel, Dr. Woodliff, and Carol Ward. I will pursue a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the completion of my HPM fellowship.
What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
I could spend a good amount of time discussing sports history, especially football and baseball.
What are some things that make your day better?
Coffee, watching my Dallas sports team win (How ‘bout them Cowboys!), and coming home to hang with my wife Tiffany and dog Bauer.
What takes up too much of your time?
The clinical responsibilities spent away from the bedside, aka charting.
What profession would you have chosen if you weren’t a physician?
I have always had a deep interest in space exploration and would probably pursue a career as an astronaut or aerospace engineer.