Leadership

Members Move Medicine: Striving for professionalism in practice

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The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.

On the move with: Nicole D. Riddle, MD, an anatomical and clinical pathologist with Ruffolo, Hooper & Associates in Tampa, Florida. She is also an assistant professor and associate residency program director at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

AMA member since: 2002.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: Having had my first surgery before the age of 1 and then being a Shriners Hospital patient for 14 years, it clicked early that medicine is what I wanted to do. I have never wanted to be anything else. 

How I move medicine: Not only by being the best physician I can be, but also the best person—and helping those around me be their best. That means not only staying up-to-date on guidelines and best practices, but ensuring the best professionalism, ethics and communication from myself and teaching it to those around me. I try to help every person I meet, whether at work or in public, be better people and know a little more about their own health care and how to approach it.

Career highlights: Being on the AMA Young Physicians Section governing council has fulfilled a career-long dream for me. Having attended AMA meetings since my first semester of medical school, I am honored to serve my fellow physicians. Other highlights include making the American Society of Clinical Pathology’s 40 Under Forty list this year and The Pathologist magazine’s 2016 Power List of rising stars.

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Be sure to experience as much life outside of your bubble as you can. Be caring and compassionate to all people. And work on communication and emotional intelligence—it’s more useful in the end than knowing every nerve in the body.

Aspect of my work that means the most: Knowing that, as pathologists, we actually touch the lives of more patients than any of our other clinician colleagues. They may not know it, but we helped with their diagnosis and treatment. 

How I advocate for physicians and patients: I think I’m one of the few—if not only—pathologists in the nation who volunteers at the medical student free clinics. I also try to make sure people know they have the right to see their pathology report, review their slides, get a consult, etc. 

My hope for the future of medicine: That we move medicine forward so that all patients get better preventative care and affordable care when they need it. 

Visit MembershipMovesMedicine.com to learn more about other AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.