Medical School

Passions for ophthalmologic analysis, care encourage 2023 Ho Din Award winner

The sphere of ophthalmology instantly hooked Whitney Stuard, M.D., Ph.D., as she discovered that her passions for affected person care and analysis fused seamlessly right into a specialty with limitless potential for affect.

“As a physician-scientist, I’ll have the chance to impact change,” Dr. Stuard mentioned. “The attention’s worth and significance in every thing we do attracted me to the core mission of the career.”

Past Dr. Stuard’s devotion to analysis and medical care targeted on the eyes, she additionally has spent the previous 4 years of medical faculty at UT Southwestern getting concerned in each method possible. She excelled in neighborhood service, management, and medical care, resulting in her choice for the Ho Din Award, UT Southwestern Medical Faculty’s most prestigious honor. The award, bestowed yearly by the Southwestern Medical Basis to a recipient with the abilities of a fantastic doctor, was established in 1943 and comes with a medal, certificates, and $10,000 scholarship.

“Whitney Stuard is an incredible alternative for the Ho Din Award,” mentioned Michael McMahan, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Basis. “She has lived the values of knowledge and compassion that this Award represents by means of her dedication to deep tutorial accomplishment and neighborhood service. We can be delighted to observe her life and profession as she continues to guide and serve in drugs in the course of the years to return.”

“Dr. Stuard has a prolonged report of excellence in teachers, service, and scholarship. She developed an curiosity in analysis early in medical faculty and was accepted to the Dean’s Analysis Scholar program for 2018-2019, throughout which she found a love for fundamental science analysis,” added Blake Barker, M.D., Affiliate Dean of College students, Affiliate Professor of Inside Medication, and Chair of the Pupil Awards Committee.

After her third yr of medical faculty, Dr. Stuard joined the Perot Household Students Medical Scientist Coaching Program (MSTP) at UT Southwestern. She obtained a Nationwide Institutes of Well being F30 Predoctoral Fellowship grant from the Nationwide Eye Institute to check dry eye illness mitochondrial well being.

Whitney Stuard, M.D., Ph.D.

“After one yr of devoted analysis, I acquired a ardour,” Dr. Stuard mentioned.

As an MSTP scholar, Dr. Stuard investigated what occurs in cells of the cornea throughout eye illness. Working within the laboratory of Danielle Robertson, O.D., Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, she printed 9 first-author papers. Final yr, Dr. Stuard efficiently defended her Ph.D. and printed a research within the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s journal.

“To me, the eyes are probably the most magical a part of the human physique: a mix of artwork, emotion, and science,” she mentioned. “I hope to mildew this curiosity I’ve developed by means of each my laboratory and medical experiences to make a contribution in restoring sight to those that have misplaced it.”

She provides credit score to excellent mentors for her success, particularly the help she obtained from Dr. Robertson.

“Dr. Robertson emphasised the significance of eloquently conveying my imaginative and prescient and rising my community, and she or he helped me put together for nationwide displays. Most of all, she gave me the chance to domesticate mentorship expertise of my very own,” Dr. Stuard mentioned, including that she want to mannequin herself after Dr. Robertson and physician-scientist Andrew Zinn, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and a Professor of Inside Medication with a secondary appointment within the Eugene McDermott Middle for Human Development and Improvement.

“Like them, I aspire to work as a analysis scientist at an instructional establishment and to be part of the management of that establishment,” she mentioned.

As for her instant post-graduation plans, Dr. Stuard will head off to Johns Hopkins College this summer time, the place she matched for her residency to pursue her profession in ophthalmology.

Rising up in Plano, Texas, with two sisters, Dr. Stuard cherished math and science from an early age and graduated from the Texas Academy of Arithmetic and Science in Denton. She then enrolled in UT-PACT, a seven-year mixed B.A./M.D. program at UT Dallas and UT Southwestern.

Her preliminary attraction to drugs has a household connection. Her mom is a registered nurse in emergency drugs, whereas her father just lately retired as an elementary faculty principal. One other sturdy affect was Robert Gunby, M.D., who delivered Dr. Stuard when she was born and stays her doctor to today.

“He’s a pacesetter within the Texas Medical Affiliation (TMA). One in all my favourite reminiscences was having the ability to work alongside him within the TMA since we have been each delegates of the TMA to the American Medical Affiliation,” she added.

Dr. Stuard’s dedication to neighborhood service grew from her work in center and highschool within the Nationwide Charity League, a mother-daughter philanthropic group. At UT Southwestern, that devotion continued as she co-founded a scholar curiosity group targeted on disabilities and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group, Cradled with Love, which has offered greater than 1,000 moms with child wraps to permit for “kangaroo care,” skin-to-skin contact between a caregiver and baby to advertise bonding. As well as, she was certainly one of three medical college students who co-founded and manages Brother Invoice’s Serving to Hand student-run free clinic – which gives pediatric care and public well being schooling in an underserved neighborhood in Oak Garden.

By means of a world Schweitzer Fellowship, Dr. Stuard created a STEM Empowerment and Training Course for 250 center faculty college students and in addition used a $2,000 TMA Basis grant for a STEM challenge that impressed greater than 4,000 college students to think about careers as aerospace engineers. Whereas at UTSW, Dr. Stuard obtained the Gold Presidential Service Award for volunteer hours 4 occasions and was a finalist for the UTSW Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award in 2016.

By means of all of it, she by no means stopped studying. She mentioned a medical rotation at a Dallas County hospital taught her how language and cultural boundaries can affect affected person care. “In hopes of higher regarding my sufferers, I took Spanish courses by means of medical faculty, constructing on my earlier publicity throughout a university semester overseas in Spain,” she mentioned. “Whereas not an alternative to a medical translator, I discovered that small conversations and actions have been essential in bringing consolation to a affected person’s expertise. I discovered this private contact to be an integral a part of my very own satisfaction and pleasure in working towards drugs.”

Anytime she encounters a necessity, she tries to ascertain a response. A previous President of UTSW’s TMA scholar chapter, Dr. Stuard helped lead its choice because the 2022 TMA Pupil Chapter of the 12 months, and she or he helped creator greater than 30 insurance policies to enhance affected person care by means of her volunteer advocacy, she mentioned.

Requested how she will be able to do all of it, she laughed, “Quite a lot of espresso and a continuous starvation to maintain pushing ahead!”

Watch: Whitney Stuard receives 2023 Ho Din Award

Medical faculty additionally held another journey for Dr. Stuard.

Throughout a conventional multiday Indian wedding ceremony within the Dallas space in April, she married UTSW Medical Faculty graduate Varun Sambhariya, M.D., who was finishing his residency in orthopedic surgical procedure at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Price.

“We first met one another after I was solely 15 years previous and joined the Texas Academy of Arithmetic and Science. He was one yr forward of me and went off to the College of Southern California for school. We re-met my first yr of medical faculty when he was an MS2,” she mentioned. “We began relationship a few weeks into my first yr of medical faculty and have been collectively for the final eight years!”

The couple plans to reunite in Baltimore after Dr. Sambhariya completes a backbone fellowship at Harborview Medical Middle in Seattle in the course of the subsequent tutorial yr. And though she deliberate to stroll at commencement underneath her maiden identify, as soon as she arrives in Baltimore for her subsequent journey, she can be often called Dr. Whitney Stuard Sambhariya.

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