Stacy Smith-Foley, MD | CARTI Cancer Center | Medical Director/Breast Imaging Specialist
Day at Work…A typical work day involves seeing diagnostic patients, performing a few breast needle biopsies, interpreting some screening mammograms and breast MRIs, following up on pathology results from prior biopsies, calling patients with biopsy results, consulting with colleagues, and managing the day to day issues that come up in a medical practice.
Beginning Interests…I am the 4th generation of physicians in my family, skipping my dad. My paternal grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were all physicians in a small town in Nebraska. My grandfather died before I was one year old, so I was never really exposed to a career in medicine from that standpoint. At an early age, I knew I wanted to become a physician. I gave all my dolls check-ups and medicine with my Fisher Price doctor kit – the one with the hard plastic case which I still have. My educational focus was getting accepted into medical school and everything I did was designed with that goal in mind.
UCA Education…The University of Central Arkansas was instrumental in my successful application to medical school. I was concerned about the rigors of college as a pre-med biology major graduating from a very small high school in a class of 51 students. My advisor helped me plot a course to success while still enjoying campus life. I studied hard, but still was able to enjoy Greek life. The Honor’s College, especially the late Dr. Scheddler, took a personal interest supporting me intellectually, emotionally and financially. I applied for academic and music scholarships and maintained the requirements for all four years. This allowed me to graduate from college debt free. Through an undergraduate research grant I spent one summer volunteering at Children’s Hospital gaining exposure to the medical field.
LOVE the Work …I love supporting my patients though the challenging process from screening, to work-up to diagnosis. I am a huge proponent of screening and early detection, and strive to give my patients personalized care. Empowering patients through genetic testing and advanced imaging for high risk makes my day. My favorite part of my day is connecting with my patients and colleagues on a personal level.
Surprising but True…You can come from a small town, attend a state college and become a leader in your field through hard work, determination and a lot of support from friends, family and teachers. You will learn so much more from your perceived failures than successes. All of your experiences will some together and make you a unique final product. It is possible to wear 3 inch heels all day and be a doctor.
Advice…You can still be feminine and be successful in a STEAM career. Look for a mentor and reach out for advice. It is even possible to achieve a high level of professional success and have a family but it is difficult to do alone. Build your fan club and allow people to help you. You bless others by allowing them to support you.
These wonder women are redefining what “full STEAM ahead” means in Arkansas. With exciting careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – each reflects WIT (Women in Tech) and true grit for making the most of every opportunity. Here’s to the powHER of knowledge.