Dr. Kristin K. Porter, M.D., Ph.D.
By Melanie Holzer
Recent graduate from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication and a minor in business administration.
Dr. Kristin K. Porter, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the MR Modality Chief at UAB Medicine. Dr. Porter also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Women Radiologists (AAWR).
In 1998, Dr. Porter received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College. Consequently, she went on to receive her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 2004. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Porter then graduated with her M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009.
Upon her graduation from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Porter completed her residency and fellowship at John Hopkins Hospital. Once completing her fellowship, Dr. Porter began her career as an assistant professor there. After a few years, Dr. Porter then moved back to Birmingham where she resides as an associate professor today.
Dr. Porter has been very involved in the AAWR since 2010, which has allowed her to be an advocate for women in radiology in which they make up only 25-30% of the field. She is very grateful for the opportunities and the network she has gained through the AAWR and encourages any women in the field to join.
An Advocate for Diversity and a Strong Support System
Advocating for diversity and women in the radiology field is something that Dr. Porter holds very close to her heart. “By many metrics, diverse teams are more successful. Further, a diverse healthcare workforce improves care for patients and training for our trainees. As such, I take every opportunity I can to work on projects and teams that are committed to improving and supporting diversity in Radiology” said Dr. Porter. She has been able to do so through the AAWR and by advising residents who are completing projects on diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Porter believes that creating a strong support system for women entering the radiology field in the early stages of their careers is crucial in order to prevent women from burning out and pursuing another path. This is important because, during her residency, Dr. Porter found it hard to admit when she was struggling due to the fear of appearing weak or unfit to be in the program. Although that was not the case, Dr. Porter hopes to be able to help prevent other women from feeling that way and instead encourage them to feel confident and worthy of being in the radiology field.
Raising the Next Generation of Women Radiologists
When Dr. Porter isn’t teaching or reading MR images, she enjoys spending time with her three children: Joe, Daniel, and Meredith. Her youngest, Meredith, who is only 3 years old, wants to work in the radiology field like her mother. Dr. Porter jokes “I am not going to hold her to it, but it definitely makes me smile when she says it! Representation matters!” Along with spending time with her children, Dr. Porter is also taking lessons to learn how to fly an airplane.
Dr. Porter is a strong advocate for women in radiology and is a perfect representation of women being able to hold leadership roles in the field. Her passion for radiology, teaching, and the process of learning shines through her work and makes her a great role model for women wanting to pursue a career in any part of the medical field.