Dr. Shannon McCants: Dallas-
Ft. Worth Obstetrics and Gynecology Society Award
Dr. Shannon McCants' father, a gastroenterologist by training, was the doctor to call in her neighborhood whenever a medical crisis arose.
"Instead of calling their doctors, the neighbors would always call my dad first. So I would see my dad in action," Dr. McCants said of her childhood in Kansas City, Mo. "I got to see how he could calm everyone's fears and heal everyone ... so that is probably what turned me to medicine in the first place."
She also accompanied her father on calls for his gastroenterology skills, and saw him stop someone's bleeding or tend to other medical emergencies. "He'd save somebody's life, and then he would go back home with me. ... And I thought: 'I want to do that,'" said Dr. McCants, winner of the 2005 Dallas-Fort Worth Obstetrics and Gynecology Society Award. The award is presented each year to a medical school graduate with high academic achievement who will specialize in OB-GYN.
"Shannon is an outstanding young woman both personally and professionally," said Dr. Susan Cox, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of clerkships for the department. "She is very bright and excels in academics. Her people skills include an outgoing nature, enthusiasm, easy rapport and common sense.
"She is a delight to have on the team and just fun to be with. Baylor is getting a jewel."
Dr. McCants will begin her OB-GYN residency July 1 at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
The graduate of Texas Christian University spent her first two years at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. She said she started her third year at UT Southwestern with "no idea what I wanted to do ...I just knew I wanted to be a doctor."
Her first rotation was in pediatrics, and the neonatal part of the program interested her. Her second rotation was in surgery, and she says she loved the surgical skills part of the rotation but wanted more interaction with patients.
"And then I did OB-GYN, and it was kind of the culmination of everything," Dr. McCants recalled. "You got to be with the infants when they were developing in Mom all the way to when you got to deliver them."
An OB-GYN gets to see "a broad range of people," she notes, from "really healthy people" to very sick people, all the while developing relationships with the patient.
"I don't think there's anything better than bringing new life into the world and the joy on the part of the parents' faces when you hand over their new baby to them," Dr. McCants said. "That's got to be the greatest job in the whole world."