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February Alumnae Spotlight, Dr. Candyce Williams, Merry Mac of 1973

In what ways did your Ursuline education prepare you for the work you’re doing now? 
My Ursuline education prepared me for a lifetime of studying, learning, exploration, and discipline. My goal to become a physician was realized in no small part, by understanding the importance of academic excellence in college, in medical school and in my residency. The skills and habits that were inculcated during my years at Ursuline served me well as I pursued my goals. Importantly, I learned from my Ursuline teachers’ compassion, lots of patience, humor and support. I believe my patients feel I provide this for them. When people ask me where I learned to type so fast in a new and changing field of electronic medicine, I attribute it to my senior elective of typing at Ursuline. Today, 40 years later, I can take a medical history, look at my patients and never glance at the keyboard as I type!!! Who knew that typing would impact our lives so much in the 21st Century?
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Ursuline Academy. 
Being of service to others was a significant value that has guided my life since I attended Ursuline. It drove my career choice and continues to impact my choices regarding philanthropy and community engagement. I apply that value every day in my medical practice and have been involved in several organizations where service to others is paramount.
Describe Ursuline in one word. Explain. 
Community. Ursuline is a wonderful, supportive, and nurturing community. I love being a Merry Mac and the school spirit that imbues all aspects of Ursuline continues to encourage through engagement despite the years that have passed since I graduated. When we entered Ursuline, we were a group of smart, curious, fun-loving girls, ready to engage with a world about which we really knew little. Gently guided and nurtured by a community of loving adults, we were encouraged to be our best selves and aim high! It was a pivotal time in our lives, and a strong sense of community provided an important foundation that allowed us to move on with confidence and certainty that we could achieve our dreams. The friends I made while at Ursuline truly are life-long friends. I know that, although geographic distances separate many of us, we could get together, start a conversation and the year and miles would simply melt away. Such are the strong bonds of Ursuline!  


Candyce Williams, MD, is a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation focusing on neuro-rehabilitation and spinal cord injury medicine at Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She is board certified in internal medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and spinal cord injury medicine.

Dr. Williams’ expertise includes neuro-rehabilitation, spinal cord injury medicine, treatment of spasticity, intrathecal baclofen pump therapy, and pain management. She is a member of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Spinal Injury Association.

Dr. Williams received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.  She completed her internal medicine internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Williams also completed a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago.

Dr. Williams’ research interests include the use of exoskeletons in the neuro-rehabilitation population and its metabolic impact and potential cardiovascular benefits.