Women in Medicine: Rae Adams
At Texas A&M, we celebrate the American Medical Association’s Women in Medicine Month this September by highlighting a few of our extraordinary female researchers, scientists, physicians and students who are making meaningful contributions to medicine every day on our campuses and across the globe.
Rae Adams, MD, is one of these remarkable women. After graduating both Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M College of Medicine, she has returned to Texas A&M to help teach the next generation of family medicine physicians and make an impact on the local community. She is a primary care physician with Texas A&M Physicians and program director of the Texas A&M Family Medicine Residency. To help mark Women in Medicine Month, she answers some questions about the profession and her life.
Q: Why did you chose to become a physician?
A: I have wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember. I love science and—more importantly—I love people. I believe that medicine allows these two passions to be realized, and it is a great fit for me.
Q: What’s the greatest aspect of being a physician?
A: I love the relationships that I am able to build with each patient. The ability to know my patients and their hopes, dreams and fears is an amazing gift that I cherish. I chose family medicine because it affords me the capacity to care for patients and families from birth to death and every step in between.
Q: What do you enjoy about working at Texas A&M Physicians?
A: I am blessed to serve in three major responsibilities: a full-scope family physician, a resident educator and a leader of a wonderful group of faculty and residents. This is the hardest and most fulfilling job I could ever want. It’s an honor to serve the community and university in this role.
Q: How are you advocating for women’s health issues?
A: Texas A&M Family Medicine Residency advocates for underserved patients. We collaborate with the Prenatal Clinic to provide comprehensive prenatal and obstetrics care for women of the Brazos Valley. In collaboration with the School of Public Health, Texas A&M Physicians was awarded a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Women’s Health Grant. This grant allows for screening and diagnostic procedures (including breast and pelvic exams, pap smears, mammograms, breast ultrasounds and biopsy, colposcopy and LEEP) for uninsured and underinsured women of the Brazos Valley and surrounding communities. Texas A&M Physicians also provides prenatal care, contraception counseling and management services, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings and intimate partner violence screenings. We are passionate about providing excellent care to patients of all ages.
Q: Are there any women in medicine, past or present, who inspired or influenced you to pursue a career in the field?
A: Growing up in a rural Texas community where there were no female physicians, my mother and grandmother inspired and gave me the confidence to pursue whatever career I felt the Lord’s calling. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Q: What obstacles have you personally faced as a woman in medicine?
A: The largest hurdle that I have encountered (and continue to face) is how to juggle the many hats that I must wear. I am a wife, a mother, a physician, an educator and a leader of a great residency to name a few. These tasks are very difficult to balance, but ones that I am committed to and called to manage.
Q: Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give young girls who want to pursue a career in medicine?
A: I would recommend that young women find a female mentor and spend some time investing in that relationship before pursuing a career in medicine. Medicine is a difficult career choice and one that requires much sacrifice. Make sure that it is your passion and calling. I would also encourage a young female to be careful when choosing a spouse, as they are equally affected by your sacrifice. I am so blessed to be married to an amazingly patient and understanding husband who helps out way more than his share and does so without grumbling or complaining. I could not do any of it without him!!
Q: What is your personal motto?
A: In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus declares “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the motto that I try to live by: loving God and others more than myself. I fail at it most days, but in seeking to reach it, I am able to humbly serve.