Dr. Angelica Robinson: Rolland C. Reynolds Pathology Award

Dr. Angelica Robinson's mother is the role model the young physician looks to as she seeks to make good life decisions, but the recent UT Southwestern Medical School graduate has herself become a role model for others.

From tutoring and mentoring high school students, to volunteering as a counselor at a camp for children with sickle-cell disease and speaking with at-risk teens about careers in science and medicine, Dr. Robinson's service to others earned her the 2005 Rolland C. Reynolds Pathology Award.                          

The honor, which includes $1,500, is given to a graduating medical student who has demonstrated the ability to care about and give to others. The award honors the late Dr. Rolland C. Reynolds, an alumnus and faculty member who is remembered as a talented pathologist and giving person.

Dr. Robinson, who most people call Angel, has always wanted to be a physician. She is inspired by a desire to help others, including her mother, who has muscular dystrophy.

"Growing up with someone in my family who has a chronic disease, and seeing them go from being strong to losing strength, that was a large factor in my decision to become a doctor," Dr. Robinson said. "My mom's a fighter. She's not only one of my biggest supporters, but she's also my role model."

Dr. Robinson grew up in Round Rock, near Austin, and earned a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University. As she was considering medical schools, she wasn't sure she'd fit in. Once she interviewed at UT Southwestern, however, she realized her fears were unfounded.

"Everyone was so warm and welcoming here, so willing to help," she said.

Dr. Robinson herself is willing to help, as evidenced by her many volunteer activities. In addition to serving as co-president of her medical school class for four years, she is an officer in her church; she traveled to Juarez, Mexico, on a medical mission; and she assisted underprivileged families during the holiday season by making them food baskets and wrapping toys.

"Compassion for fellow humans is an important attribute in all good physicians," said Dr. Ramiah Subramanian, professor of pathology and pathology course director. "That Angel has an abundance of compassion is easily evident from her record of social services she has performed. I am sure that she will continue to excel as a physician because of this quality."

Dr. Robinson's next step will be a surgical residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where she will be joined by her husband, Cedric, whom she has known since the eighth grade.

"Cedric has been very supportive of me and the decisions I have made," Dr. Robinson said. "Often when women go into medicine, we put our dreams of marriage and family on hold because we're pursuing this great career, but the day I got married was definitely the best day of my life."

Dr. Robinson said her other greatest supporter, her mother, is thrilled about her daughter's success.

"The biggest thing she tells me every day is, 'I'm not proud of you because you're going to be a doctor, I'm proud of you because you're Angel.'"