Fellow Focus: Dr. Ashley Willis

Get to know Dr. Ashley Willis, Louisiana native, PGY-4 fellow in Allergy and Immunology, and lover of antiquing and embroidery. Here, Dr. Willis shares about her path to Mississippi, love of chocolate, and small things that brighten her day.

First, tell us about you.

I’m one of UMMC’s first-year Allergy-Immunology fellows. I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and went to LSU for undergrad and LSU New Orleans for medical school. I came back to Baton Rouge for Pediatric residency and I am so excited to be at UMMC for fellowship! Outside of work, I love reading, antiquing, and traveling.

When did you know you wanted to pursue allergy and immunology?

I knew it was the field for me early in residency. I enjoyed the variety of diagnoses that I was able to see during my Allergy rotations, from allergic rhinitis to rare primary immunodeficiencies and everything in between. Also, the treatment of many of these conditions can lead to considerable improvements in patients’ quality of life, which is very rewarding to see when following them over time.

What do you like most about UMMC?

Absolutely the people. Although my fellowship interview was virtual, I could tell that UMMC was such a welcoming environment. My start here in July was such a seamless transition, thanks to the support of my co-fellows and attendings.

What advice would you give to the interns?

Try to learn something from every interaction you have, whether it be with an attending, fellow resident, nurse, or patient. Trust yourself and your knowledge base. Take care of yourself and definitely find a good support system.

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on without preparation?

Probably a personal rank list of different brands of chocolate, complete with pros and cons of each. I have such a big sweet tooth!

What is something you wish you knew more about?

I really wish I was more tech-savvy. I know enough to do my work and get by, but not much more than that.

What are some small things that make your day better?

Heartfelt conversations with patients are sure to brighten my day. Chocolate and LSU wins don’t hurt either!

Tell us something about you that most people dont know.

I taught myself how to embroider during the pandemic and it’s now my go-to stress-reliever.

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