Temple Howell-Stampley, M.D., M.B.A, had the importance of education instilled in her from an early age.
“As the daughter of an educator, I learned quickly the importance of working hard, studying hard, and staying focused on my goals.”
One family member in particular paved the way for Dr. Howell-Stampley’s career in medicine. “My older brother played a pivotal role in my decision to become a physician. While my interest in science was still developing in high school, my brother was pursuing a medical degree at Meharry Medical College. Through his experiences, he helped me realize the intersection between science and health care. He helped me think through various options and I ultimately decided that becoming a physician was exactly the career option I wanted to pursue. My brother was quite the inspiration and I am forever grateful to him for his time, guidance, and support over the years.”
Importance of Female Mentorship
“My love for science flourished in high school while taking Biology and Chemistry,” Dr. Howell-Stampley said of her formative years.
“My science teachers were phenomenal women and passionate educators who created an environment where learning about science was fun and engaging. These teachers fostered my personal growth and development and provided additional support through mentorship. They were excellent role models who believed in academic excellence and always taught me to aim high and to dream big. They were visible evidence of what I could achieve as a woman in science.”
“I was told early on during my quest to become a physician that a career in medicine was not a path that I should pursue,” she said. “These words were meant to deter me from the path I had chosen. Instead, I used those words as fuel. As a result, I learned that I can never allow negative words or negative perceptions define who I am or who I aspire to become; dedication, diligence, and hard work are necessary ingredients to achieve success. Despite personal hardships or obstacles, success is possible.”
Advocacy for Women in STEMM
As a result of her own challenges, Dr. Howell-Stampley is especially attuned to the difficulties that women in medicine face. Her advice for the next generation of young women who want to pursue a career in STEMM is to “identify mentors early. They will help you to learn about various career options and be a reliable resource from which to seek advice,” she said. “It is important to be open to new ideas and explore multiple avenues to identify an area in STEMM that allows you space for creativity and innovation.”
The Celebrating Breakthroughs Together Project ties into Dr. Howell-Stampley’s passion for encouraging women to pursue scientific careers. “This project is an awesome opportunity to inspire young girls and women, especially those of color, to excel within STEMM,” she said.
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“My desire is to help young women realize their potential while providing them with support and encouragement. I want them to know that there is nothing too great for them to achieve.”