Dr. Rachel Jamison: Kurt Ian Wey, M.D., Senior Pediatric Award

By Erin Prather Stafford

During her third-year pediatric rotation, Dr. Rachel Jamison provided care for a patient suffering from severe meningitis. The young boy’s initial prognosis was uncertain, but over the next two weeks his condition slowly improved. Eventually he would walk down the hallway with a physical therapist, smiling and waving to Dr. Jamison as he passed. It was the first time she truly felt like a health care provider, and she loved it.

“There were several things that led to my decision to go into pediatrics,” Dr. Jamison said. “I love that the specialty is incredibly broad and encompasses every stage of life from birth to adolescence to adulthood. I also enjoy the patients and their families. Kids can always make you smile and remind you why you work so hard. Pediatrics also requires a team effort where all specialties and support staff come together to take care of the patient. It’s an aspect of the field I really enjoy.”

Dr. Rachel Jamison

Dr. Jamison is the recipient of the 2010 Kurt Ian Wey, M.D., Senior Pediatric Award. The honor is given each year, along with $2,500, to a fourth-year medical student in memory of the 1998 UT Southwestern graduate who died in an automobile accident. The award, established by Dr. Wey’s family and friends, recognizes someone who shows empathy and compassion for sick children, has significant clinical knowledge and maintains a good sense of humor. Dr. Jamison also was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society.

“Rachel embodies so many of the qualities that we look for in our future pediatricians,” said Dr. Soumya Adhikari, assistant professor of pediatrics. “But perhaps more than anything, what sets her apart, achievements aside, is her empathy and passion to make a difference.”

As a young girl Dr. Jamison often “treated” her dolls and stuffed animals. While earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Providence College in Rhode Island, she took part in medical mission trips to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Her passion for missionary work continued at UT Southwestern.

In 2009 Dr. Jamison traveled to the West African country of Guinea through the organization Hope Ignited. While there she worked with local physicians to set up free neighborhood clinics in Conakry, the capital city, and also provided medical care to women and children in a local prison.

Dr. Jamison dreams of one day developing a children’s wing for Guinea’s main hospital, as well as programs to educate native physicians, nurses and community health care workers and to improve overall medical care for the country’s children.

She credits her success to her husband and family for their unwavering support throughout her journey to becoming a physician. After graduation Dr. Jamison will start her residency at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.