Dr. Caley Spotts wants to make a difference in the healthcare industry. Since finishing her residency in 2011, Caley has been taking care of acutely ill patients admitted to the hospital. She works part-time for both Methodist Healthcare, mostly at Methodist University Hospital and Inpatient Physicians of the MidSouth, a private hospitalist group. During her seven years of practice, this doctor has come to the realization that changes need to happen in the healthcare industry. This past January, she took on the role of student through an online MBA program at Pepperdine University to give herself the background and education she needs to have more of a leadership role in healthcare administration. “Having more physicians in leadership roles is one of the first steps to fixing the healthcare industry,” she says of her decision to go back to school. And we feel confident that this busy doctor and mom of three will be making an impact. We are pleased to introduce you to today’s FACE of Memphis, Dr. Caley Spotts.
Dr. Caley Spotts: FACES of Memphis
Where were you born and what was your upbringing like?
I was born in Blytheville, Arkansas, as this was the closest hospital to my hometown of Hornersville, Missouri. Hornersville is a small town of a little over 600 people that is in the boot heel of Missouri, affectionately referred to by locals as “Horner’s Corner.” My dad is a cotton and watermelon farmer, and my mom is a stay-at-home mother of four. I am the oldest, with two sisters and the youngest [is] a brother. During the summers, my sisters and I had to chop watermelons and pitch cantaloupes. We all played softball or baseball, so our lives were filled with lots of softball and baseball tournaments. Lake trips in the summer with our family and friends were also a highlight.
What made you decide to become a doctor?
When I was a senior in high school, my counselor asked me what career I wanted. I hadn’t really given it much thought, so I told her I didn’t know, but maybe I would be a doctor. Her son, who was in my class, also wanted to go to med school, and she had found a six-year combined undergraduate and med school program in Kansas City. She told me that he was applying and said that I should too. So I said, “Sure.” I was accepted into the program and then felt like it was an opportunity that I could not turn down, so here I am.
Tell us about your practice.
I work in the hospital and make rounds on acutely ill patients who are hospitalized. We work with many clinic physicians and admit their patients to the hospital to our service and take care of them while hospitalized until discharge. Once discharged, the patients return to their primary care physician for follow-up. This allows primary care doctors to focus on their office practice, and allows hospitalists to focus on acute-care medicine, which are totally different realms of medicine.
What has been the most exciting part of being a physician? What has been the most challenging?
The most exciting and gratifying thing about being a physician is being able to see someone in their most critical moments through their illness to complete recovery. The most challenging thing is managing my schedule to balance home life with work.
And now you are also getting your MBA? Tell us about that decision.
I started back to school at Pepperdine University to get my MBA in January. I am very passionate about healthcare and realize it is a broken system. I do not think I have all the answers, but I do think one of the first steps in fixing the system is putting more physicians in leadership positions. My goal is to take on more of a leadership role in healthcare administration, and an MBA was the next logical step in making that a reality. I am also currently in the Methodist Physician Leadership Academy and will graduate that program in September.
What are your top three words of advice on being healthy?
- Drink lots of water.
- Move!!! As in, exercise, exercise, exercise.
- Get your flu shot. The flu can be deadly.
Why did you choose Memphis as home?
My husband lived in Memphis when we started dating. I was living in Jonesboro at the time, finishing my residency. He moved to Jonesboro with me when we got married, but it just wasn’t the place for us. My dad had gone to college in Memphis, and I grew up only an hour and a half away, so Memphis was our closest big city. I had grown up coming back and forth to Memphis for shopping and other fun events. When my husband and I decided we needed a change from Jonesboro, Memphis was the obvious choice. We loved the changes that we were seeing in the city and thought it would be a great place to raise our family.
Where do you take visitors when they come to Memphis?
We always take our friends to get some delicious Memphis barbecue!
How do you find balance in your busy schedule, especially with three little ones?
It’s difficult, but I make it a priority. I work hard during the day to get my work done and also as much school stuff as I can. When my children are home, I try to focus on spending time with them and my family. They are in bed by 8 p.m., so if there is any residual work that has to be done, I do it when they go to bed. My husband and I do take time to have a date night at least once a week to keep in touch with each other outside life at home with the children.
What do you do when not in your lab coat?
These days I’m studying! I love to read, so if I have spare time, you can find me with a book. I also love fashion, and follow tons of fashion bloggers whose sites I love to peruse and shop — when not picking up children from gymnastics or tennis, that is!
Finish this sentence: If I had a superpower, it would be _________.
The ability to snap my fingers and relocate anywhere in the world. We love to travel, and those travel days are long, especially when traveling internationally with children. If I could be anywhere in a snap and eliminate those plane rides, that would be amazing!
If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
To not take myself so seriously and to roll with the punches. Also, not to worry so much about the way things were going to turn out.
What piece of advice do you treasure these days?
Stay true to yourself. Be open, honest and real.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My family by far. Those three little people are the most amazing thing I have ever done. I’m proud of the life my husband and I have built together and the loving environment we have provided for our children.
Besides faith, family and friends, what three things can you not live without?
Books, music and travel
Thank you, Caley, for sharing your life lessons, incredible work and valuable insights with us!
Thank you to Mary Kate Steele for today’s awesome photos of Dr. Spotts.
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