Dr. Anne Hofer: R. Michael Ragsdale, M.D., Outstanding Graduate Award in Family Medicine

By Kristen Holland Shear

Dr. Anne Hofer didn’t grow up wanting to become a doctor. Like many, she fell into the profession through happenstance and a series of missteps.

The 27-year-old Texas native started out at UT Austin majoring in architecture and liberal arts. She dropped architecture after her first term, later replacing it with biochemistry.

“For a few years, my plan was to go to graduate school and get a doctorate so that I could do biomedical research,” said Dr. Hofer, the youngest daughter of an architect and a computer programmer. “With that in mind, I started volunteering in a molecular biology laboratory the summer before my senior year to get a taste for the techniques commonly used in the lab, such as electrophoresis, western blotting and PCR [polymerase chain reaction].

Dr. Anne Hofer

Dr. Hofer volunteered in the lab throughout her senior year, eventually deciding that although basic science research was intellectually stimulating, it was too solitary for her liking.

“I realized that I wanted to interact with people more and have the satisfaction of seeing how my work directly impacted individuals,” she said.

Enter family medicine.

Having also volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center throughout college, Dr. Hofer realized that her strengths were more closely aligned with that of a family physician.

Five years later, she is preparing to begin a family medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Her dedication to the field helped her earn the 2010 R. Michael Ragsdale, M.D., Outstanding Graduate Award in Family Medicine.

The award, given annually to an outstanding graduate student in family practice, was created in memory of a Dallas family physician who served as a mentor to many
UT Southwestern students. It includes a $500 scholarship from the Dallas chapter of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.

Dr. Hofer — who was also elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society — said she likes the flexibility that comes with being a family practice physician.

“Family practice gives one the opportunity to do colonoscopies, endoscopies and cesarean sections, as well as some minor surgeries,” said Dr. Hofer, who recently completed a four-week surgery rotation in India at Bangalore Baptist Hospital.

“Family practice also will allow me to change the way my practice looks as the circumstances of my life change.”

Those who have worked with Dr. Hofer call her a top-notch medical student who ranks in the top percentile of students with clinical assessments and judgments and really looks beyond the surface for answers.

“Anne demonstrates great dedication to excellence in learning and patient care,” said Dr. Rebecca Mahan, a fourth-year resident in the Waco Family Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Hofer said she would eventually like to practice in a rural or underserved environment.

“Since I had such a great experience living in Peru before medical school, I would love to participate in medical missions as well, most likely in South or Central America since I speak Spanish,” Dr. Hofer added.