Meet our #WomanCrushWednesday – Dr. Analiz Rodriguez, MD, PhD, fellowship-trained Neurosurgical Oncologist at UAMS!

Dr Analiz Rodriguez MD, PhD

“Surgery is a team sport.  Studies have shown that diverse teams with multiple perspectives function better.  Hardcore, talented surgeons can wear heels and a ponytail. We need to change the image of what a surgeon ‘looks’ like.”

Name:  Analiz Rodriguez MD PhD
Specialty: Neurosurgery
Undergraduate education: New College of Florida
Graduate education: Case Western Reserve University
Medical school: Case Western Reserve University
Residency: Wake Forest University
Fellowship: City of Hope National Medical Center
Hometown: Cape Coral, FL

Tell us about yourself?  “I am a neurosurgical oncologist who specializes in taking care of brain tumor patients. I am a surgeon-scientist so along with my clinical work, I run a research laboratory. I was a big science fair/math team nerd growing up who also wanted to be a neurosurgeon. I entered the MD/PhD program and shadowed a neurosurgeon very early on. I loved the dichotomy in neurosurgery between “hard” (i.e. drilling bone) and “soft” (i.e. delicate nuanced movements underneath a microscope). In residency, I most enjoyed taking care of brain tumor patients. Since these patients oftentimes have a short survival, the care you give them is very impactful. My goal for both my clinical and research work is to give people as much time and quality of life as possible.Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 11.32.33 AM.png

What are some fun facts about you?  “I have an artistic side. When I was in high school, my science teacher was shocked when I got second place in a statewide poetry competition.  She had no idea I wrote poetry. I also love crafts (like amigurumi) and cooking.”

What do you love about surgery? Your field?  “Neurosurgery is one of the newest surgical fields. The surgical techniques continue to evolve, and patient management is very complex. In my subspecialty, neurosurgical oncology, we deal with some of the most aggressive tumors of the human body. You have to try to outsmart the tumor without hurting the person. Every day you are trying to prolong precious lives and you have to keep going despite setbacks. It’s a field that attracts people who like challenges.”

Did you have a career before medical school?  “No, I went straight through training.”

What brought you to LR?  “As the only medical center in Arkansas, we really get to impact a large group of people. I am the only fellowship trained neurosurgical oncologist in the state right now.  Many studies have shown that when cancer patients have access to specialty care, they do better.  Given that a good proportion of people live in rural communities, we have to be creative to ensure they have access to care.  Our neurosurgery chairman, Dr. JD Day,  has a vision to provide the best quality care to people in this state which was in line with my personal values as a physician. I also really liked the research community I encountered during my interview.  There’s a lot of genuine southern hospitality here.”

What do you like to do when you’re not at the hospital?  “I am a cinephile and enjoy plays/performances.  I love French literature, museums, traveling and trying new restaurants.  My favorite activities to decompress are watching mindless, fun TV and shopping.”

Do you have some WISE words for women who want to become surgeons?  “There are many unique hurdles that you may encounter being a woman in surgery.  However, the last thing anyone needs is another woman blocking their path.  Surgery can be a “dog eat dog” environment so don’t carry a big chip on your shoulder or get bitter.  I think we need to promote sisterhood rather than competition.  Lastly, just be yourself. People feel pressure to fulfill stereotypes or to take on ‘masculine’ characteristics. Surgery is a team sport.  Studies have shown that diverse teams with multiple perspectives function better.  Hardcore, talented surgeons can wear heels and a ponytail.  We need to change the image of what a surgeon ‘looks’ like.

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 11.32.09 AM.png

https://uamshealth.com/news/2017/08/15/neurosurgeon-analiz-rodriguez-m-d-ph-d-joins-uams/

Follow us on Twitter: @WISEUAMS
Follow us on Instagram: @wise.uams

Advertisements

Dr. Ronda S. Henry-Tillman, MD, FACS

Meet this week’s #WomanCrushWednesday, Dr. Ronda S. Henry-Tillman, MD, FACS, a fellowship-trained Breast Surgical Oncologist who currently serves as the division chief of Breast Surgical Oncology in the College of Medicine surgical department at UAMS!

rht-white-coat-pic-e1516746026767.jpg

“Continuously remember to stay focused and believe in you.  During your journey, you will face stumbling blocks, set-backs, and challenges but always remember to stand tall and never waiver.”

Name:  Ronda S. Henry-Tillman, MD, FACS
Specialty: Breast Surgical Oncology
Undergraduate education: San Diego State University
Graduate education: University of California Irvine School of Medicine
Medical school: University of California San Diego School of Medicine
Residency: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Fellowship: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Hometown: Blytheville, AR

Tell us about yourself?
I currently serve as the division chief of Breast Surgical Oncology in the College of Medicine Department of Surgery at UAMS and Muriel Balsam Kohn Chair in Breast Surgical Oncology. I became a member of the UAMS faculty in 1998 and hold the position of professor in the Department of Surgery and co-leader of the Breast Tumor Disease Oriented Committee in the UAMS Cancer Institute.  Previously, I held the position of director for the UAMS Cancer Control program and was instrumental in the development of the university’s mobile mammography program.  As a board certified surgeon, I have a passion for research and have focused my efforts on colorectal and breast cancer disparities in underserved populations.  In 2016, I was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission and was elected to chairman in 2017 I am member of the Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board as well as the Pulaski County health officer for the Arkansas State Board of Health.  I hold a number of national memberships and I am engaged in a host of professional activities.

What are some fun facts about you?
I am an avid tennis player as well as an enthusiastic fan.     

What do you love about surgery? Your field?
What I love most about surgery is the ability to provide direct patient care as well as the dedicated focus required of me in the OR.
I am continuously elated at the ever changing innovations and the progression made in my field.   

Did you have a career before medical school?
I worked for a number of years as a clerk for a major grocery store chain before deciding to change my focus to the medical profession.

What brought you to LR?
Acceptance into the residency program as well as family brought me to Little Rock.

What do you like to do when you’re not at the hospital?
I truly enjoy spending time with my family, cheering my children on during their sporting events, and attending church service.       

Do you have some WISE words for women who want to become surgeons?
Continuously remember to stay focused and believe in you.  During your journey, you will face stumbling blocks, set-backs, and challenges but always remember to stand tall and never waiver.             

 

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

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

slotcavage_rachelchiefportraitsmall

“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.

RLScycling

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!

We are excited to announce…

… WISE is now an Education Sponsor of CSurgeries!

CSurgeries: The Only Peer-Reviewed Surgical Video Journal

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 9.02.44 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-01-04 at 8.59.31 PM.pngCreated by surgeons for the surgical community, CSurgeries is an online surgical video journal dedicated to creating a centralized source of brief, peer-reviewed medical videos that are accessible to a wide audience, including students and professionals in all surgical disciplines. CSurgeries aims to be a useful resource for teaching basic and complex surgical techniques, and a venue where surgical innovations can be shared across specialties. Enhance your learning by getting video publications delivered directly to your inbox.

Become a member, publish videos, and contribute today!

Contact for questions: editor@csurgeries.com