Contributions to STEMM
Dr. Fielding’s position at UT Southwestern “is a combination of administration and reading CT and ultrasound images,” she said. “The administration part is balancing the clinical, research, and operations work of my colleagues in a manner that encourages personal growth and maintains a collegial atmosphere. I spend much of the year recruiting new faculty and fellows. The clinical portion is always interesting. Correct interpretation of imaging significantly improves patient care.”
As a young woman, Dr. Fielding desired a career that provided “control of my own destiny, intellectual stimulation, and the ability to ‘be on the side of the angels,’” she said. Initially, “I trained in ballet throughout my childhood. I saw my teachers work harder than any physician – but the career was short, and I would not have been able to attend college. I decided to study chemistry; it was there that I met lots of women with a variety of backgrounds. They were really smart and encouraged me to look beyond a job in industry. Medicine looked like a great fit.”
Dr. Fielding cites a specific experience that helped prepare her for a career in STEMM. “During my junior year in high school I was invited to a program at Michigan Technological University to recruit college students to study engineering. This program was just for girls and combined hands-on work with one-on-one and group discussions,” she said. The experience pushed her out of her comfort zone, something that she encourages young women to emulate.
“Taking risks is the only way to advance your professional career. They don’t always pay off, but you learn a great deal from the experience, and you are seen as a serious competitor.”
Looking to the next generation of physicians, “I advise girls and young women to avoid distractions – including much of social media – and concentrate on the use of facts to solve problems. Do not be afraid to compete,” Dr. Fielding said.
The UT Southwestern Difference
Dr. Fielding believes that the Celebrating Breakthroughs Together Project is a pivotal recognition for herself, and the other female physicians featured. “It is about time that women, who comprise 50% of physicians, get credit for their hard work,” she said. “For years women were passed over for promotions, systematically underpaid, and remained on the sidelines. I am proud to have played a small part in getting women the respect that they deserve.”View Academic Profile