The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine - Spring 2011
A Life of Purpose and Compassion
Dr. Quincia Williams Focuses on Caring for People in Field
The University of Texas at Tyler graduate Dr. Quincia “Queenie” Williams knows her purpose in life – to care for people.
As a resident in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, that calling can be life-consuming – Williams often works more than 80 hours a week. But she says it is well worth it.
“Working so many hours as a resident, it’s hard to stop and realize you’re actually making a difference. But occasionally you have families who express their appreciation for the great care you give their loved ones,” she said. “I always tell them that I just treat them how I would want someone treating my loved ones in the hospital.”
As part of her residency with UT Southwestern, she does rotations at other hospitals including Methodist Dallas, Children’s, Dallas Veterans Administration and Baylor University medical centers.
Williams, who graduated from UT Tyler in 2005 with a bachelor of science in biology, said she learned early that medicine is just as much about people as it is about science.
“My mother is a three-time cancer survivor so I witnessed medicine more than the average person,” she said. “There were so many times that we left the hospital unclear about what was going on. I could never understand why the physician only spent five minutes a day speaking with her. Going into medicine, I vowed to myself to never get so busy and forget about my purpose – to take care of the patient.”
With the long hours and demands in medicine, it can be easy to forget about the very people you are charged with helping, the Carthage native said.
“Someone once told me that the enemy of compassion is being too busy. Even though we still only spend five minutes in the patient’s room on rounds, I make a special effort to go back afterwards and answer any questions the patient or their families may have.”
“UT Tyler taught me discipline and balance. Being involved in so many extracurricular activities on campus, I had to learn to balance it with my school work,” she said. “The coursework was very challenging but it introduced me to the value of perseverance.” Williams said her time at UT Tyler helped prepare her for the rigors of medicine and showed her the rewards of serving others.
While at UT Tyler, Williams served as an officer of the Student Government Association and as president of the Pre-Med/Pre-Dental Society. The year before she graduated, Williams spent a summer at Yale Medical School taking pre-med coursework. And she was named Miss UT Tyler during the 2004 homecoming.
She was a member of Caring Clowns, an organization that uses clowning as a way to bring smiles and joy to children with leukemia, cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
With her clown outfit in tow, Williams joined legendary physician and clown Patch Adams and the Gesundheit! Institute on a trip to Guatemala to bring smiles to children in orphanages, HIV homes, hospitals and day care centers.
“Being a clown … it’s very goofy as you could imagine,” she said. “I love incorporating clowning into medicine. Some patients and their families get so consumed by theirillness, they forget how to smile, they forget life outside of their illness.”
Williams said the experience helped her learn that a little compassion with medical care goes a long way. “My clowning experience in Guatemala with Patch Adams taught me compassion I never knew possible,” she said. “It requires giving so much of yourself, but the expressions on their faces make it all worthwhile.”
She has also been an active member of St. Vincent’s Clinic, a student-run facility that provides free health care to the indigent population of Galveston County. Throughout her education, she has studied tropical diseases in Costa Rica, conducted medical mission trips in Nicaragua and provided health care to those in Mexico.
In 2006, Williams began medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She graduated in June 2010 from UTMB with a doctor of medicine degree, specializing in anesthesiology.
Throughout medical school, Williams was involved in many organizations. She served as her class vice president and played a vital role in securing parking and food services on campus after Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston. As a member of the Texas and American medical associations, she lobbied at the state capitol for increased funding of Graduate Medical Education and Children’s Health Insurance programs.
During her third year of medical school, she was named to the Gold Humanism Honor Society, which promotes humanism and professionalism around campus. In addition, she was a recipient of the Merck Manual Award based on leadership qualities, service to UTMB and academic accomplishments.
UT Tyler is proud to help provide an educational foundation and service opportunities for students like Williams, who pursue a life of purpose and compassion serving others.