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Texas Oncology–Keller Welcomes Dr. Mary K. Watters

December 13, 2019

Texas Oncology–Keller is pleased to welcome medical oncologist, Mary Katherine Watters, M.D. We sat down with Dr. Watters to learn more about her experience, aspirations, and her dream superpower.

I’ve often thought it would be wonderful to have the Flash’s capabilities. I could complete the more mundane tasks in a flash, so I can focus on what I truly love – my family and my patients.

Where did you go to school and receive medical training?

My journey to medical school was not exactly a straight path – I started as a nursing major at Louisiana State University (LSU), but ultimately changed my major to biochemistry. I continued on to complete a master’s degree in cell and molecular biology at Tulane University before attending medical school at LSU Shreveport. After receiving my medical doctorate, I was trained in internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where I fell in love with oncology … and my husband. Eventually, we moved to Dallas for a fellowship at UT Southwestern and to be closer to family.  

In your opinion, what is the single most important breakthrough in cancer research to date, and how have you seen it change the course of treatment?

One of the most important advances in medicine was the advent of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Immunotherapy, specifically checkpoint inhibitors, have changed the way we treat many cancers and have improved survival, sometimes even rendering patients cancer-free who were previously considered incurable.

What are you most looking forward to as cancer treatment continues to evolve?

How individualized cancer treatment is becoming. The paradigm for treating cancer is moving in the direction of personalized medicine already. With the implementation of next-generation sequencing of tumor DNA, we are getting smarter with our approach to treatment. As we learn more about genes involved in spreading cancer cells, our treatment for cancer will become more effective and less toxic.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

As a wife, mom, and physician, I’ve often thought it would be wonderful to have the Flash’s capabilities. I could complete the more mundane tasks (laundry, unloading the dishwasher, writing notes, etc.) in a flash, so I can focus on what I truly love – my family and my patients.

What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to be a doctor?

Discover your motivation and find your passion. Medicine is an incredibly rewarding field, but there are difficult times and life-altering moments you share with patients and co-workers. Get your heart right and know your motivation, so you can take care of yourself and your patients through the good and bad times. I feel incredibly blessed to have the privilege to be an oncologist and am thankful for all of the people who have helped me become the person I am today.


For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.