Dr. Matulevicius’ early experiences in health care shaped her desire to pursue medicine. “Starting when I was in middle school, my mother, an oncology nurse, took me annually to a support weekend for oncology patients and their families,” she said.
“I got to see firsthand the impact the oncologists and my mother had on the physical as well as spiritual and emotional health of these patients and their families. I wanted to have a career that would allow me to give selflessly to others like my mother did.”
Contributions to STEMM
She lists curiosity and perseverance as the most important aspects of a successful career in medicine. She employs these characteristics every day as she provides top tier clinical care as a cardiologist “with an interest in imaging the heart and applying imaging to the care of heart patients,” she said. Dr. Matulevicius is an expert in echocardiography and cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and enjoys providing care to all cardiology patients, from those trying to prevent cardiac disease to those living with heart failure or coronary artery disease.
“I learned early about the importance of finding what is meaningful in my life. Whenever I choose something to do, I invest myself fully in it and am fully committed. Being reliable, passionate, and consistent has allowed me to succeed in my career.”
Early in her career, Dr. Matulevicius experienced harsh criticism that led her to question her place as a scientist. “On a grant application the feedback I got was ‘the science is solid, and questions are important but she will never be anything more than a collaborative scientist’ and it hurt. This one sentence made me feel unworthy and really made me question my own value,” she said. The experience taught her “the power of words and the importance of basing my own self-worth not on the words of others but on the objective data and information presented to me.”
“I define my happiness and value on internal motivators instead of external measures of worth.”
Commitment to Advocacy
In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Matulevicius dedicates her time to administration, serving as the Inaugural Assistant Dean of Faculty Wellness. The Office of Faculty Wellness, in the Office of Faculty Affairs, supports UT Southwestern faculty with programming and benefits that better their lives – both on and off campus. This includes mental health resources, support for working parents, and professional coaching opportunities. “I am a fierce and passionate advocate who champions system-level changes and creates a culture of wellness that supports our faculty’s personal and professional well-being so that they can optimally achieve our institutional missions of clinical, research, and educational excellence,” she said. “I really enjoy collaborating with others and being a catalyst for change in how we value the people who make UT Southwestern the powerhouse that it is.”
Dr. Matulevicius sees her involvement in the Celebrating Breakthroughs Together project as an honor.
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“Over 75% of UT Southwestern employees are women, so having a physical and visible acknowledgment of women’s success and contributions honors the unseen contributions of many women in making UT Southwestern truly a leader in clinical care, research, and education.”