Affiliations: Assistant Dean of Accreditation/ Graduate Medical Education, University of KY College of Medicine, Associate Chief of Staff for Education, Lexington VA Medical Center
Hometown: Paintsville, Ky.
Family: Husband Chris, Children: Grace Caroline (10), Ashlyn (8), and Clay (6)
Hobbies: Running, baking sweets and teaching Sunday school to kindergartners.
Vacation spot: Well, the last couple of big vacations I have been on were to Disney World, but I can’t say that is my favorite spot!  I am just happy to be with my family wherever the destination may be. I am hoping to go to Hawaii someday.
The last good book you read: I just finished Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods: The Unrivaled Pursuit of Christ. It was a great reminder that I needed to keep a close watch over my priorities.


Medical News: Why did you become a doctor? 

Angela Tackett Dearinger, MD: As a high school and college student, I LOVED science. I took a class, The Biology of Cancer, in college and was amazed at what I had learned. Unfortunately for my family, I would come home and tell them all these details about cell biology and DNA, to a level that I am sure was far beyond their interest. (But they always listened intently!) Being a doctor meant that I could learn all about how the human body worked, but also help and care for people at the same time. I couldn’t imagine a career that would be more fulfilling.

MN: Why did you choose this specialty?

ATD: I chose MedPeds (Internal Medicine and Pediatrics) because I thought it was the best of both worlds. You get to care for adults and children and can care for an entire family. I love to see families grow and be healthy.

MN: What is your role as assistant dean of accreditation at UK?

ATD: In my role as an Assistant Dean of Accreditation, I oversee residency/ fellowship program and institutional accreditation oversight and work to develop tools that will enhance GME programs’ accreditation data capture and analysis.

MN: Tell me about the KPLI program and what did you learn from it?

ATD: KPLI was a tremendous opportunity to enhance my skills in leadership, business and advocacy. It was a wonderful experience and I absolutely recommend it to any physician in Kentucky. I met some outstanding physicians who are really leading the way in terms of promoting and improving the healthcare system in Kentucky. The learning opportunities, and meeting these fabulous colleagues, helped me to recognize my own strengths, and motivated me to step up and use the leadership skills that I have.

MN: What’s the best advice you ever received? Who gave it to you?

ATD: It’s not original, but one of my closest high school friends told me years ago, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” She didn’t just tell me that, she did it in needlepoint, framed it and it hangs in my office! But it really is true. When overwhelmed with “small stuff,” I sometimes remind myself to focus on the big picture and what really is important.

MN: What is your motto? Why?

ATD: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Maybe it is because I am constantly telling my kids this, but it really is true. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all lived by this one?

MN: Who are your heroes in healthcare?

ATD: My heroes in healthcare are Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield and Dr. Charles (Chipper) Griffith. Both are nationally recognized for their contributions to public health (Scutchfield) and medical education (Griffith), and both have been mentors to me in my education and career. Dr. Scutchfield practically founded the discipline of Public Health Systems Research; and has worked tirelessly to promote improvements in population health. Dr. Griffith is such an outstanding educator that the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine national organization honored him by renaming their educational research award the Charles H. Griffith Educational Research Award. These doctors have multiple publications and accolades, but far greater to me is their dedication to students. Throughout both of their careers, they have prioritized students. Whether it was one- on- one mentoring or improving educational curriculum, they have spent their careers consistently sacrificing their time to help or mentor a student.  I would not be where I am without the mentorship of these great physicians.

MN: How do you go the extra mile, above and beyond your daily tasks to improve patient care, community health or hospital operations?

ATD: As much as possible, I like to work with people one-on-one. Whether that is calling a patient myself with his or her lab results, sitting down with a residency director to talk about curriculum, or meeting with a medical student who isn’t sure which specialty is meant for them; I try to always make time to meet with people.



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