Dr. Mary Lazarus is a clinical psychologist at Children’s Health and an assistant professor in psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She earned her doctorate in psychology from Regent University in Virginia. Dr. Lazarus is embedded in the hematology practice and works with patients in the hospital’s sickle cell program. Sickle cell is a blood disorder; instead of red blood cells being in a circular shape, they are banana shaped. This disorder is painful and can have some very serious complications. Lazarus screens patients for anxiety, depression, pain and pain management skills, and provides interventions to help them. She also helps those that are admitted into the hospital and provides strategies that patients can use (non-pharmacological pain management). For those that have greater needs in adjusting and dealing with pain management, she provides outpatient therapy.

(Photo Courtesy of Mary Lazarus)

(Photo Courtesy of Mary Lazarus)

Why did you pursue your doctorate degree?

“I decided to pursue my doctorate degree in clinical psychology because I was interested in helping people figure out how to help themselves out of difficult situations. With a doctorate degree, you can affect change on multiple levels, including the individual, family and systems level with fewer hierarchical barriers.”

What would you tell others who are considering pursuing a doctorate degree?

“If you are considering getting your doctorate, make sure you evaluate multiple programs to see what would be a great fit for you. Have an idea of what population you might want to work with, or if you are interested in answering big questions through research, then make sure the program provides good mentorship for your educational and (eventually) career development goals.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced while pursuing your doctorate degree?

“I wanted to get significantly more clinical child psychology training/mentorship in graduate school than I did due to the fact that there was a transition in child-focused faculty during my time there. I had great experiences in child assessment and adult-focused work and did a lot of work in the community with child counseling agencies to make up for the difference.”

What was the biggest reward for earning your doctorate degree?

“The biggest reward is in being both a clinical provider, where I bring evidenced-based interventions and adapt them to real-life scenarios, as well as a life-long learner, growing in the knowledge of my specialty.”

Robin D. Everson’s appreciation for art, food, wine, people, and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. As a multi-faceted entrepreneur, Robin brings a unique look at the world of business through her many interviews and articles. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com