From a young age, Bethany Werner has had ambitions to become a doctor. This month, upon completing medical school at UT Southwestern, Werner made those dreams a reality. At 24, Werner has made strides in the fields of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her work has earned her one of UT Southwestern’s most coveted honors; the Ho Din award.
“Ho Din stands for the spirit of medical wisdom and human understanding,” Werner says. “The Ho Din award is awarded to one medical student annually from the graduating class and it is presented by the Southwestern Medical Foundation. To me, The Ho Din symbolizes all of the hard work and just treating my patients with the utmost compassion.”
Werner became inspired to work in the medical field after having grown up around medical professionals and spending much time in doctors offices. Her father was a paramedic and a firefighter, and Werner always found his stories inspiring. In high school, when she suffered two lung collapses, and when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Werner saw firsthand the impact doctors make in one’s life.
“Being on the other side, as a patient and a caregiver, amade me realize that doctors can be really instrumental in people’s lives,” Werner says, “and that was something that I could really see myself doing every single day.”
After graduating from Plano Senior High School in 2012, Werner went on to study at UT Dallas, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Pre-Med Biology in 2015, just three years later. She then began medical school at UT Southwestern. Werner admits that at times, maintaining her sense of self was a challenge.
“Medical school is definitely not easy,” Werner says, “and I think we try to form our professional identity physician while still remembering the person you grew up being.”
Now that Werner is finished with medical school, she will begin her residency program at UT Southwestern next month. During her residency, she will spend the next four years working alongside supervisors called attendings who will help guide her patient care and help her make lifesaving decisions. She will also be doing more research and continuing to sharpen her expertise in the realm of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
In the future, Werner would like to complete a fellowship program in a specialty called Maternal-fetal medicine.
“Within Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal-fetal medicine really focuses on the Obstetrics portion, Werner says,” so I would be learning how to be an expert in pregnancy, and all things mom and baby. That’s some additional training, but I know I want to be in a place like UT Southwestern, a big academic medical center, where I am able to do research and learn from great mentors and work with a diverse patient population.”
As a 24-year-old OB/GYN, Werner hopes that her achievements help inspire other young women pursuing careers in the medical field. She believes that now is the perfect time for women to shatter glass ceilings and is grateful for the opportunities she has received at UT Southwestern.
“The more women in medicine, the better,” Werner says. “I think it’s great that we can take these roles and empower other women and empower patients. The road isn’t easy, but we’re so supported now, and medical schools and medical centers across the country, UT Southwestern included, are embracing the fact that women make great physicians.”
Having accomplished such feats at a young age, Werner believes that making time for self care is essential.
“I always try to make efforts to keep my cup full,” Werner says. “We are all our best selves when our cups are as full as possible. In my career, it benefits my patients when I’m at my best, and I believe that applies to everyone else in their careers as well. I think it’s important to block off time in your calendar and schedule things that bring you joy. For me, it may be exercising or going to a Dallas Stars game, and the rest will follow.”
The next four years look to be busy for Werner, however, if anything like the previous four, the next shall prove fruitful.
“I have so much gratitude for the Southwestern Medical Foundation and to UT Southwestern,” Werner says. “We all come into medical school nervous about what’s to come, but I am proud of the person I have become.”