Education: B.S., biology, University of Puget Sound; M.D., University of Oklahoma; residency in psychiatry, University of Oklahoma
Professional background: As regional associate dean for the College of Medicine at UAMS Northwest, Worley oversees the academic training of medical students and resident physicians in Northwest Arkansas in close collaboration with regional healthcare partners to expand residency training programs in the region. She is also a member of the teaching faculty at the Center for Professional Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
What inspired you to pursue the career you are in? In the fall of my senior year of high school, my 46-year-old father, an active, seemingly healthy high school teacher suffered a ventricular arrhythmia while on his graduation scuba dive. I learned how quickly life can change and developed a deep passion for understanding, recognizing and intervening in potentially preventable problems and decided to become a physician. Later, one of my medical school classmates ended her life by suicide. This tragedy influenced my work in professional health.
What was your dream job as a kid and why? Working at Lake Serene Pony Farm, first as a trail guide and later teaching summer day camp. I loved witnessing the transformation of children’s confidence as they interacted with their assigned ponies.
What qualities do you feel are most important in a company leader? Integrity, trustworthiness, approachability, openness, inclusiveness and empowerment of others.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself? Determined, creative, optimistic.
Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential and why? Dr. Gordon Deckert, M.D., opened my eyes to the power of nonverbal communication and the connection between the mind, body and spirit. I never would have considered a career in psychiatry had my life not intersected with his.
What’s the most important aspect of achieving a balance between your career and your family? Keep a sense of humor.
What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far? Being trusted in the most difficult moments of another person’s life, see them through to see them flourish and contribute their unique purpose and calling in the world.
What’s the next big personal or career challenge you plan to take on? Creating a highly sought-after healthcare destination in Northwest Arkansas.
What’s the last good book you’ve read? “Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership” by Mark Rashid, and “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World” by Melinda Gates.
What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? Listen to your inner calling, step up and give it your very best, and take care of yourself.
What’s the first thing you do at the office each morning? Say good morning to the team.
How do you spend your time away from work — if there is such a thing? Quiet moments in nature, time with dear friends, family and animals.
Do you feel like we’re getting closer to gender equality in the workplace? We are making headway but still have some mountains to climb.
What’s your biggest passion and why? Empowering others to discover and realize their calling. This world needs us all to step up and make a meaningful difference.
What is something unique people would be surprised to know about you? I love to dance. Cha-cha and hustle are my very favorites.
What time do you get up on workday mornings? About 6 a.m. when I hear the click of a coffee mug nestled into the coaster on my bedside table, its fresh brewed aroma filling the room. I married well.
What are the top three things on your bucket list? No. 1, get my “Smooth Sailing Life Nautical Metaphor” book published on the secrets for achieving a life of meaning and fulfillment. No. 2, give a TED talk explaining it. No. 3, create a state-of-the-art academic training program in Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning and Therapy partnering with key stakeholders in order to leave a lasting impact on the world because I’ve lived.