Dr. Rebecca Yarborough: Dr. Richard Mays Smith Award in Internal Medicine

Rebecca Fant grew up in a Garland household that embraced numbers. Her parents, John and Melony, are both Dallas CPAs. Her older brother, Michael, also works in the financial world. 

Dr. Rebecca Yarborough
Dr. Rebecca Yarborough

Now married and graduating from UT Southwestern Medical School, Dr. Rebecca Yarborough chose a different path, yet still puts a number above all others – one, as in the single patient she’s treating at a given time.

“I went to UT Austin and earned a degree in business honors and accounting in December 2009,” she said. “I was originally planning to pursue a business career, but I decided in my first semester that it really wasn’t the right fit. I did some soul-searching and decided to pursue a career in medicine. Since then, I really haven’t looked back and am just so thankful to have found something about which I am passionate.”

Dr. Yarborough is the 2014 recipient of the Dr. Richard Mays Smith Award in Internal Medicine. The award is given annually to a graduating medical student who excels academically during clinical rotations and exhibits an interest in and compassion for patients.

Dr. Amit Shah, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, said top academic marks and evaluations provide only a small portion of Dr. Yarborough’s attributes. “In addition to outstanding academic performance, Rebecca is humble and radiates a genuine love of medicine,” he said. “She has obvious passion for medicine and we are fortunate that she has chosen internal medicine as her calling.”

Dr. Elizabeth Paulk, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, said: “It was my pleasure to work with Rebecca on the palliative care service. Several things stood out about Rebecca almost immediately. First, she is clinically mature beyond her years. Her fund of knowledge is great, but her judgment about how to apply the knowledge is even better. She is thoughtful, organized, efficient, capable, and functions at the level of a second-year resident. The second thing that stood out is her intuitive sense of how to connect with seriously ill patients and their families. She has a great clinical gift, and I am very eager to watch her career unfold.”

Matching at UT Southwestern allows Dr. Yarborough and her husband, Ben, to stay in familiar, and valued, surroundings.

“I am so excited to stay here for the next step in my training,” Dr. Yarborough said. “I love this institution and the Internal Medicine department here. Being in Dallas near my family is an added bonus.”

In her mind, internal medicine clearly adds up. “The field covers such a broad range of pathology, and you have the chance to problem-solve every day to diagnose and treat your patients. I love the privilege we get to step into a patient’s life and hopefully make it better.”