Dr. Jamie Becker is a clinical psychologist in the Center for Pediatric Psychiatry and embedded in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Children’s Health. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern. She specializes in pediatric psychology, helping children with chronic illnesses and those with mental health issues. She also helps her patients take their prescribed medications.
“We help by getting children to engage in being actively involved in their medical care, whether it is taking medications or understanding their disease and how to transition pediatric care to adult care as children grow older,” said Becker. Becker also educates parents in chronic illness care for their children: “For example, it is about empowering the parent of a diabetic child that receives an insulin injection and help that parent to know that their child will have to do this for themselves when they go to high school and off to college.”
Why did you pursue your doctorate degree?
“I always had a strong interest in medicine, and somewhere in my studies, I realized that I had a stronger affiliation for the talking and connection about health than the math and science involved in treating medical conditions. I had great mentorship and role models in my education who opened up a field that I did not even know existed until I took a college course in health psychology.”
What would you tell others who are considering pursuing a doctorate degree?
“It’s a long, tough road that has incredible outcomes. If you are willing to put in the time, expense and energy, you will have a career that is becoming more and more a part of integrated health care and the promotion of wellness and health in general. Having said that, trying to get some exposure before applying to school in a research lab can help someone explore whether this field is a good fit.”
What was the biggest challenge you faced while pursuing your doctorate degree?
“My biggest challenge was writing my thesis and dissertation. Sitting down to both conduct research and write-up findings is a long, lengthy process that requires a significant time investment, as well as a hearty amount of self-motivation.”
What was the biggest reward for earning your doctorate degree?
“I love my job. I can’t express how perfect a fit my career is for me. I get to work in medicine and help people take better care of themselves. I am also a training director, so I get to teach and help early career psychologists find their footing and their path to success in this field.”
Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com