Katie Murray, DO, MS, Assistant Professor of Urological Oncology

Hometown: Farmington, MO

Current City: Columbia, MO

Graduation year: 2005

Major: Biology

Sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta

What other degrees have you earned?

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine 2009; Master of Science in Academic Medicine, University of Missouri 2018

What is your current career position?  Assistant Professor, University of Missouri, Urological Oncology

Please describe your current work.

I work as a urological oncology surgeon at University of Missouri and Harry S. Truman VA Medical Center in Columbia, MO. I operate three days a week and spend one entire day in clinic seeing patients and one day dedicated to research and teaching. I operate on kidney, bladder and prostate cancer, mostly.

What are your future goals?

To become the chair of a Department of Urology at an academic Institution.

In terms of your professional life, what would you say is your overarching purpose today?

I enter people’s lives at a time of need. It is often at the diagnosis of cancer,  and I have the opportunity to walk them and their family through this process and dealing with the life changes that come with this. I get to be a part of their life and make a difference that impacts them forever.

Did your liberal arts education allow you to uncover particular passions that you’ve carried into your career?

I learned how to be a leader and stand up for my opinions and views while at Westminster.  I had many leadership roles: SGA and Kappa Alpha Theta taught me how to resolve conflict and be a leader for positive change. This has influenced my career goal of being a national leader in a male-dominated surgical specialty. I learned to network appropriately and make connections that last a lifetime and enhance my life and knowledge. I am a default hard worker and overachiever, and college taught me to be social, have fun and also excel in the classroom all at the same time.

What does leadership mean to you?

I think being a leader is growing and always climbing the ladder. I don’t believe in any career or life there is a plateau stage, and I strive to always be going up the ladder and not down the slide. Leadership doesn’t have to be in the limelight. In medicine, I get to lead the care of my patients and lead them through decision making during difficult times. This is a huge, rewarding leadership position. I also get to lead within my division and with medical students and residents at the School of Medicine.

What is it about Westminster that makes it the kind of community that empowers students to discover their purpose and find success?

Honestly, I think it is the mix of academics and social responsibility on campus. It makes you want to attend class and do well but also encourages and rewards after hours and weekend interaction and fun times on campus. This is what completes the liberal arts education, in my mind. I learned how to be successful academically while still being very involved in the campus and making friendships.

Do you recommend Westminster to prospective college students?

I think it is the full picture of all college experiences and the relationships are amazing. I tell stories of walking on the Hill and passing the president of the College and speaking with him in the middle of the day. There are not many places where those close interaction could ever occur.

Favorite Westminster faculty member?

The late Doug Fickess. He was my advisor, and he scared me from the moment I met him.

Favorite spot on campus?

The Quad is amazing. My friends and I also loved going to Robbie. We have so many fun stories and we never realized how many were focused around our times in the cafeteria.

Favorite movie or TV show?

I watch a lot of Showtime and HBO series.

Favorite way to spend a Sunday?

My sister has three children (Pearl: 6, Paris: 5, Ambrose: 2), and I absolutely love hanging out and being with them; whether it be in Farmington, in Columbia, at the Lake tubing and skiing, on vacation or just watching them in fun extracurricular activities.


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