Since completing her diagnostic radiology residency and a women’s imaging fellowship 13 years ago, Libby Shadinger, M.D., has been a member of a diagnostic radiology group in Huntsville, Alabama. She practices general radiology, but also serves as the medical director for the Huntsville and Madison Hospital Breast Centers. We asked her questions about her past, future, and what working in Radiology means to her. 

 shadinger

What is your background at UAB?

I was a medical student at the then University of Alabama School of Medicine from 1999-2003.

Why did you choose UAB?

I chose UAB because I thought it would give me a strong foundation for becoming a compassionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable physician. Medical school training at UAB presented many challenges. However, it also offered caring, inspirational mentors and excellent training that enabled me to meet these challenges and to relish more as my confidence grew.

What encouraged you to become a physician?

Despite having zero medical background in my family, I was always intrigued with anything medical even as a small child. I always wanted to know why and how a disease process happened, and I would spend a lot of time reading that huge Better Homes and Gardens Family Medical Guide reference book which most families seemed to have during that era. That curiosity never left me (although I learned to find better medical literature sources), and I still find medicine fascinating.

What do you consider the biggest success of your career?

My biggest successes will ultimately be what my family and close friends feel that I have contributed to their lives beyond or perhaps in connection with my career. What I hope they would say is that I have loved and cared for them well even as I have worked very hard to serve my patients, to be a strong partner in my group, and to be a solid physician in my community. I have tried to be dedicated and ambitious in my career but to still be present for my children, especially, for all of the “mom” things big and small. If I can inspire my children to work hard and aim high in their careers but to work equally hard to be present in their lives outside of their work (and to do it better than me), then I will be satisfied that my career has been a success.

What is one piece of advice you would give to current residents, fellows and/or new faculty?

If I had to choose one piece of advice for those new or relatively new in their career, I would suggest intentionally and selectively seeking out strong mentors who will illuminate the path ahead and will hold you accountable to continuing to evolve yourself in your work and beyond it.