Drs. Kimberly A. Aparicio and Allison M. Peddle: William F. Ross, M.D., Scholarship Award in Family Medicine

By Donna Steph Hansard

Dr. Kimberly A. Aparicio and Dr. Allison M. Peddle have been named the 2012 recipients of the William F. Ross, M.D., Scholarship Award in Family Medicine.

The award, given to graduating medical students, includes a $1,000 scholarship from the Dallas chapter of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. It is named for the Chairman of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern from 1984 to 1993. Both recipients will receive the scholarship.

“These students are truly amazing, especially in their commitment to serve the underserved in their local communities and around the world,” said Dr. Dan Sepdham, Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine. “They have servant hearts, and I know they are going to have a big impact on the lives of many people.”

Dr. Kimberly A. Aparicio

Dr. Kimberly A. Aparicio
Dr. Kimberly A. Aparicio

Born at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dr. Kimberly Aparicio has come full circle. And now she seeks to give back to her community what she has been given as a family medicine physician.

Dr. Aparicio, the daughter of a Guatemalan family, said she was raised in a predominantly working-poor Latino neighborhood in Dallas’ inner city where there were “few professional role models from the community that one could relate to.”

“Growing up, I didn’t know anyone with a college degree in my neighborhood,” she said. “I feel that there are pockets of population today, especially in inner-city communities, that still have this problem. Lack of exposure to professionals and networking limits your understanding of the world and the opportunities around you.

“I was one of the lucky ones who was accepted into a magnet school and had the opportunity to participate in a work-study program early in high school. I count my blessings daily, and now I feel that I can help fill that gap, as a family medicine physician in my old neighborhood.”

While in middle school, Dr. Aparicio attended Alex W. Spence Talented/Gifted Academy in Dallas. There she had a science teacher who taught anatomy and physiology, subjects in which she thrived. 

She then attended the School of Health Professions at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center to “explore a possible career in medicine.” While there, she worked as a surgical orderly at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, a job she continued while obtaining her undergraduate degree in biology at Southern Methodist University.

“As a surgical orderly, I assisted in surgeries and worked side-by-side with great surgeons,” Dr. Aparicio said. “Although the hours were long and tiresome, I was able to pay for college and received early exposure to the medical field.”

Dr. Aparicio will perform her residency training at Baylor Family Medicine at Garland. Eventually she hopes to complete more medical training in Latin America and “ultimately work as a faculty member in a residency program.” She also wants to establish a work-study program with her former high school in order to have more students exposed to family medicine.

“Kimberly grew up in an impoverished Hispanic neighborhood and is a testament to persevering against the odds,” Dr. Sepdham said. “She plans to give back to her community and continue to work with the underserved.”

Dr. Allison M. Peddle

Dr. Allison M. Peddle
Dr. Allison M. Peddle

Opening a family medicine clinic in South America is Dr. Allison Peddle’s long-term ambition. The Colorado native, who has wanted to be a doctor since kindergarten, anticipates a “lifelong work in missions,” particularly with underserved and geriatric patients. 

“I see places like South America as having a great need, because with the U.S. influence, these countries have an increasing burden of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiac conditions,” Dr. Peddle said. “Local physicians there are struggling with how to manage these diseases. My most enjoyable days at UT Southwestern Medical Center were those I spent in the international health clinics, free clinics, and homeless shelters. I liked the added challenges of cultural differences and social problems, as I tried to motivate my patients to take better care of themselves.

“As a family medicine doctor, I will not give up on these populations. I plan to practice in underserved areas. After I practice rural medicine for three to five years after residency, I plan to forge a career in long-term mission work in South America.”

Dr. Peddle is a graduate of the University of Denver, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental chemistry and general biology, followed by a master’s in analytical chemistry.

She studied abroad in Ecuador during her senior year of college, gaining an affinity for the area and its people. She plans to complete a four-year residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, focusing on international medicine, and hopes to follow that with a fellowship in geriatric medicine.

“Allison wants to further the cause of family medicine and primary care in South America,” Dr. Sepdham said. “She has been working with our department and the underserved of Dallas since her first year of medical school. She specifically assisted with a project to help elderly Hispanic patients understand and take control of their blood pressure.”

Dr. Peddle said she loves “working for and with the community.”

“The doctor-patient relationship is a unique and personal bond,” she said, “a relationship built on trust and respect, which allows patients to freely express their most private concerns. In turn, doctors can positively transform their patients’ lives.”