Dr. Rachel L. Slotcavage, MD, Endocrine Surgeon at UAMS

Meet this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday, Dr. Rachel L. Slotcavage, MD, a fellowship-trained Endocrine Surgeon!

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“Never compete with anyone other than yourself – your dreams and goals are yours alone, and if you achieve them, you have been successful.” – Dr. Rachel L. Slotcavage, M.D.

Name: Rachel L. Slotcavage, M.D.
Specialty: Endocrine Surgery
Undergraduate education: Bucknell University
Medical school: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Residency: Cooper University Hospital
Fellowship: Cleveland Clinic
Hometown: North Catasauqua, PA

Tell us about yourself?
I was born and raised in North Catasauqua, PA – between my last name and my town, spelling was a huge hurdle early in life! I received my B.S. at Bucknell University, then went on to earn my M.D. and complete my post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania. Believe it or not, I desperately wanted to be an Orthopaedic Surgeon, but the Match had other plans. Therefore my training was somewhat fractured. I did my internship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, then my General Surgery residency at Cooper University Hospital (now of Rowan University) in Camden, NJ – the most dangerous city in the country makes for interesting Trauma training! It was very clear to me that I wanted to do something else with life, and fell in love with Endocrine Surgery in my PGY-II year. After spending a year working with stem cells in the lab, I returned as a PGY-III to find the field was just as exciting to me as it ever had been, and I pursued my Endocrine Surgery fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic, matching into one of 26 spots in the country.

What are some fun facts about you?

  1. I didn’t Match (more than once).
  2. I played high school football – I was a left tackle and played on the kickoff and punt return teams.
  3. I am city girl through and through – my heart will probably always be in Philadelphia. I’d actually never had a yard until moving to Arkansas, and promptly hired someone else to…do whatever it is one does with grass.

What do you love about surgery? Your field?
I love the instant gratification of removing a tumor or stopping a bleeding vessel. I love that I can make people better with my two hands. Surgery offers an intimate connection with your patient’s body that no other field offers! Regarding Endo Surg specifically, I love that I do a lot of diagnostics, like performing my own biopsies and ordering complex lab work, prior to the OR – I get to practice the art of medicine, not just the technical aspects of surgery. Thyroid and parathyroid surgery are very oriented towards fine details and meticulousness, which suits me very well. Also, my colleagues are delightfully nerdy – and I mean that as the highest possible compliment because I fit in perfectly!

Did you have a career before medical school?
Not unless you count working part time as a lifeguard at the University gym through all 4 years of medical school!

What brought you to Little Rock?
Short answer: the two physician job search! My husband is a neurologist, and we are both passionate about medical education. We needed to find an institution that presented good opportunities for both our unique mutual interest as well as my uncommon specialty.

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What do you like to do when you’re not at the hospital?
I am a devoted road cyclist and currently training for a time trial in March. I sometimes pretend to be a runner, and my preferred distance is the 10k. I’m also a huge foodie, which is likely how the above two hobbies came to be!

Do you have some WISE words for women who want to become surgeons?
No one can do it all. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can. It’s all about balance – at times you will be a better doctor, at times a better wife or mother, at times a better housekeeper, and at times you won’t get out of bed on a Saturday! Be prepared to acknowledge that you aren’t perfect, but still strive to beat yesterday every day. Never compete with anyone other than yourself – your dreams and goals are yours alone, and if you achieve them, you have been successful. No matter what, it takes a village – your family, significant other, friends, and colleagues – but never forget that you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of YOU!

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Dr. Kyla Shelton, MD, MS, RPVI, Vascular Surgeon at UAMS

Meet this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday, Dr. Kyla Shelton, MD, a vascular surgeon who recently returned home to Little Rock from University of Cincinnati to join the vascular team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She is the first and only female vascular surgeon in the state of Arkansas.

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Name:  Kyla R. Shelton, MD, MS, RPVI

Specialty: Vascular Surgery

Undergraduate education: University of Central Arkansas

Graduate education: University of Central Arkansas

Medical school: UAMS

Residency: UAMS

Hometown: DeWitt, AR

Tell us about yourself? I was born and raised in DeWitt, AR. I always knew I wanted to be a surgeon. My dad is a diesel/tractor mechanic and when I was a kid, he gave me my first “hemodynamics” lecture when he was explaining to me how you have to have pressure to have flow in some engine hydraulic thing.  I got my BS in biology at UCA and then MS with an emphasis in molecular biology at UCA. I went to medical school at UAMS. I got interested in vascular surgery during medical school while working in a lab for a vascular surgeon here at UAMS. We were studying the pathophysiology of abdominal aortic aneurysms in mice. When I applied for the integrated vascular surgery residency, there were only 19 positions in the US and I matched here at UAMS. I completed my vascular surgery residency in 2015. I have spent the past two years practicing vascular surgery at the University of Cincinnati. I just got back to UAMS last month and I am happy to be back. I met my husband in medical school and we were married during residency. He is almost done with his urogynocology fellowship. We had two kids during our two years in Cincinnati. My son is 2.5 years old and my daughter is 15 months old.

 

What are some fun facts about you?

  1. I did not get into medical school the first time and now I am the first and only female vascular surgeon in the state of Arkansas
  2. I was on a shooting team in high school.
  3. I DON’T do snot! It is my husband’s job to handle our kids’ snot.

What do you love about surgery? Your field?

I love surgery for the same reasons everyone else does. As for vascular surgery, I like that many times it is not straight forward. There are multiple medical and surgical options in treating vascular disease and you have to pick what is best for that patient, whether it is endovascular (like stenting) or open surgery (like bypasses). These patients also tend not to be the healthiest (diabetes, smokers, etc), so that adds another level of complexity.  Vascular surgery is just awesome! There’s nothing like a 9 cm abdominal aortic aneurysm thumping in your face during surgery or like putting a clamp on the carotid artery that feeds the brain while you clean out the gunk in the artery.

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Did you have a career before medical school? Just a career student.

What brought you to LR? This is home. And it is a chance to give back to the state that gave me so many opportunities.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the hospital? Eat, travel, wine/beer…the usual.

 

Do you have some WISE words for women who want to become surgeons?

It is very important for women to be supportive of each other. We tend to be each other’s worst and harshest critic. It is also good to recognize the gender discrepancies in surgery. This allows you to arm yourself with the tools you need to become successful and advance your career. However, it is just as important not to dwell on those discrepancies. This can have a negative effect on all the hard work you have done and be counterproductive.

Lastly, get exposed to surgery early! Anyone interested in vascular surgery please email me or come by my office. You can do some shadowing, get involve in research, etc. There is also a student organization within the Society of Vascular Surgery and they give out scholarships every year to students to pay for them to attending the national meeting.

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Dr. Kyla Shelton and her family.

 

Dr. Alexis White, MD, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at UAMS

Meet this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday, Dr. Alexis White, MD, an Obstetrician and Gynecologist that recently finished her residency at University of Missouri-Kansas City and decided to pursue her love of academic medicine at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

Dr. WhiteDr. Alexis White with her husband, an Emergency Medicine physician at Baptist Hospital in Conway, Arkansas. 

Name:  Alexis White
Specialty: OB/GYN
Undergraduate education: Arkansas Tech University, majored in Mechanical Engineering
Medical school: UAMS
Residency: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Hometown: Greenwood, Arkansas

What are some fun facts about you?
I fainted when I say my first vaginal birth when I was 15.
I have been skydiving.
My husband and I know how to swing dance.
I married my high school sweetheart.

What do you love about surgery? Your field?
With surgery you have the opportunity to really see and address the source of a problem and fix it. I chose OBGYN because I love taking care of women.  In OBGYN, surgical opportunities arise when you need to remove a uterus that causes problems, or bring life into the world! How cool is that!

What brought you to Little Rock?
I realized in my 4th year of residency that I really liked teaching so I wanted to stay in academic medicine.


What do you like to do when you’re not at the hospital?

My hobbies include knitting and baking. My husband and I love to travel. We are foodies and love trying new foods/restaurants.

Do you have some WISE words for women who want to become surgeons?
At home, practice doing things with your hands, like playing an instrument or knitting or crochet, or wood working.  This will help you with muscle memory and obtaining a tactile sensation of using instruments. 

 

 

Dr. Abby Nolder, MD, Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Meet this week’s #womancrushwednesday, Dr. Abby Nolder, MD, a fellowship-trained pediatric otolaryngologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, AR. She is a teacher, mentor, and a role model for all aspiring women surgeons!

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“Don’t get caught up in society’s idea of what a woman surgeon/physician/professional’s life should look like. Pave your own way and make life what you want it to be.” – Dr. Abby Nolder, MD

Name:  Abby Nolder, MD
Specialty: Pediatric Otolaryngology*
Undergraduate education: University of Arkansas
Medical school: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2002-06
Residency: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2006-11
Fellowship: University of Kansas, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO 2011-12
Hometown: Little Rock, AR

Tell us about yourself?
I was born in Wichita, Kansas, but moved to Little Rock with my mom, dad, and older brother when I was 2 years old. I am close to my family and am blessed to have them nearby. I got married last year and we have two 9-year old fur babies-a black lab and a golden retriever. My husband is a general surgeon so we stay busy!

What are some fun facts about you?
– I knew I wanted to be a doctor when I was only 8 years old. I used to read medical dictionaries for fun!
– I did sinus surgery on a chimpanzee at the Little Rock Zoo in 2015. It was an awesome experience!

What do you love about surgery? Your field?
I love the variety and pace of surgery and have always felt at home in the operating room. I chose Pediatric ENT because it stimulates and challenges me like no other specialty in otolaryngology. No two days are the same! Serving my pediatric patients is my greatest honor and privilege.

Did you have a career before medical school?
I worked as an operating room tech for one year between college and medical school. I had no prior experience and my boss took a chance on me. It was one of the best years of my life!

What brought you to LR?
My family. Little Rock is home.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the hospital?
I’m an introvert at heart so I love quiet nights at home with my husband. I am also a Pure Barre addict and try to go any chance that I get!

Do you have some WISE words for women who want to become surgeons?
– Don’t get caught up in society’s idea of what a woman surgeon/physician/professional’s life should look like. Pave your own way and make life what you want it to be.
– Remember to take time for yourself as well as unplug and be present with those that love you and have helped you make it this far.

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* What is otolaryngology?
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: “Otolaryngology (pronounced oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jee) is the oldest medical specialty in the United States. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT), and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.” Click here to learn more

 

Dr. Katie Kimbrough, MD, UAMS Trauma Surgeon

Introducing our first #womancrushwednesday, Dr. Katie Kimbrough, MD, a fellowship-trained Trauma and Critical Care Surgeon at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).  She is a mentor, friend, and an inspiration for all women pursuing careers in the surgical fields.

Dr. Katie Kimbrough, MD

“Your compassion is not a weakness, it is your strength.  I was once told I was ‘too nice to be a surgeon’…I hope I can successfully show you that YOU CAN BE BOTH!!”
– Dr. Katie Kimbrough, MD

Name:  Mary Katherine (Katie) Kimbrough
Specialty: Trauma/Acute Care General Surgery/Surgical Critical Care
Undergraduate education: Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA
Medical school: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA
Residency: General Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA
Fellowship: Surgical Critical Care, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
Hometown: Ruston, LA

Tell us about yourself?  I am a wife, a mom, a surgeon, and a teacher!  I am a Louisiana girl, but moved to Arkansas 4 years ago with my husband and our bulldog Louie.  We have made Arkansas our home, and both of our daughters were born here at UAMS.  We live in Hillcrest and our family loves Hillcrest events like Harvest Fest and the Pumpkin Roll!

What are some fun facts about you?  I met my husband online through eHarmony while I was doing my fellowship in New Orleans!  We met in person for the first time on Ash Wednesday after Mardi Gras in 2011, after we had texted and talked on the phone for several months. I am quite the introvert and I wasn’t really into dating anyone from the hospital, so online dating was the only way for me to meet anyone!

What do you love about surgery? Your field?  I love surgery because of the pace, the chance to think on my feet, and work with my hands.  I love Trauma for the same reasons, and also because the cases are challenging and always different.  Trauma is exciting and although somewhat algorithmic (ABCs!) in our approach to patients, it gives me the chance to think critically about a problem and come up with a solution. Two patients with the exact same injuries might have totally different hospital courses.  I also enjoy the family interaction that I get to do with Trauma and Surgical Critical Care.  We have to establish rapport with the patients and their families very quickly and often in life-threatening situations, and get them to trust us to care for themselves or their loved one.  It’s a tough task, and not for everyone, but it’s worth it when our patients have critical injury/illness and start to recover and how amazing and exciting it is for the families.  And finally, I LOVE my job because of the residents and students I get to work with every day.  It is truly a privilege to come to work and get to mentor and train the next generation of surgeons.  Seeing a resident grow and mature from an intern to a strong, confident chief resident surgeon is one of the highlights of my job.

Did you have a career before medical school? My first real job was as a peach packer at the local peach orchard in Ruston, LA!  I inspected and selected peaches off the assembly line and packed them into the cartons for sale!  The only other jobs I held before medical school were as a girls’ summer softball league umpire and as youth group intern at my church in Ruston, LA!

What brought you to Little Rock?  The job!  Dr. Jason Mizell (a UAMS Colorectal surgeon) is one of my good friends from general surgery residency in Louisiana and he texted me one day after I’d had several bad call nights in a row “Hey we are looking to build the trauma program in Little Rock at UAMS, would you be interested in coming up to interview?”  I came to interview just a few weeks later and the rest is history!

What do you like to do when you’re not at the hospital?  I like hanging out with my family and spending quality time with my girls (playing, snuggling, going to the zoo, going to the park, etc).  I like reading, watching TV/movies, and traveling!  I love a good road trip, although a road trip with a 3 year old and a 1 year old presents some challenges!!

Do you have some WISE words for women who want to become surgeons?  Always strive to make the next generation…students, residents, surgeons…better than you.  Be kind, compassionate, and respectful to everyone…treat the CEO of the hospital the same way you treat the janitor of the hospital.  Be resilient…resilience is the strength of understanding your own vulnerability.  Your compassion is not a weakness, it is your strength.  I was once told I was “too nice to be a surgeon”…I hope I can successfully show you that YOU CAN BE BOTH!!