Contributions to STEMM
Dr. Horsager-Boehrer is an obstetrician specializing in maternal-fetal medicine. “During the course of my career, I have developed expertise with ultrasounds related to pregnancy and prenatal testing. The focus of my career has been the practice of clinical medicine,” she said. “However, over the years I have had opportunities to step into different roles and learn new skills that relate to managing clinical locations and expanding the faculty Ob/Gyn practice at UT Southwestern.”
“I went to college with a plan to apply to medical school. I wasn't sure what my major would be – at that time most applicants came from backgrounds within the sciences. My freshman year I took a course in cultural anthropology, and I was hooked on that major,” Dr. Horsager-Boehrer said. “I ended up with a degree in biological sciences as well. These days, the field of medicine is so much larger than just the clinical practice of specialty care. I encourage women interested in medicine to think about what other passions they can bring to the table beyond their strength in STEMM.”
Advice to the Next Generation
Dr. Horsager-Boehrer encourages students with diverse interests to pursue the paths that excite them most.
“Medicine needs people with passions in many other fields – so I remind students they don't need to set those interests aside. Interested in politics and advocacy? We need doctors who will represent the interests of doctors and patients at many different levels. Trained as an engineer in process management? You would be an asset in quality improvement efforts at your hospital. And with the spread of electronic health records in medicine, expertise in IT is highly valued. Regardless of where your interests lie, I urge students to explore how to utilize those talents in your career.”
The UT Southwestern Difference
In her position at UT Southwestern, Dr. Horsager-Boehrer values “the opportunity to take some chances and explore other offshoots of medicine that I never would have if I practiced at a nonacademic center,” she said. “In my mind, doctors took care of patients, and at the end of my fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine, I was going to focus on my clinical practice. I had no thoughts of ever being the author of a study guide or earning a master's degree in health care administration or writing a blog for patients that has millions of page views.”
By being part of the UT Southwestern community, such “opportunities came to me,” said Dr. Horsager-Boehrer.
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“Participating in those activities has helped maintain my interest and love for the practice of medicine. I tell junior faculty to be on the lookout for novel opportunities and not to be afraid to explore roles that are new to them and may be more than a little scary.”