Louisville Medicine Volume 65, Issue 11 - Page 35

MEMBERS

DR . Who

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT BARBARA WEAKLEY-JONES , MD

Aaron Burch

Although you may not be familiar with Dr . Barbara Weakley-Jones , you know of her work . As the Jefferson County Coroner and longtime State Medical Examiner , Dr . Weakley-Jones has professionally examined or documented many major fatalities outside of a hospital in the last 37 years .

The first Chief Medical Examiner , Dr . George Nichols , hired her as an assistant in 1981 . Dr . Weakley-Jones found a fascination with analyzing the deceased .
“ I enjoyed doing autopsies ,” she explained , reminiscing about her 30 years as a medical examiner . “ Most people don ’ t but , for me , each person was like getting a new book .”
Although she has made a career of examining the deceased for the Commonwealth of Kentucky , this path was not Dr . Weakley-Jones ’ first choice , believe it or not . As the daughter of a general surgeon and an anesthesiologist , she was familiar with the intricacies of health care from a very early age . However , her interests were decidedly elsewhere .
“ I was going to teach and train horseback riding ,” she explained . It was her passion , growing up riding the family ’ s two horses . She studied for two years at Stephens College Equestrian Center in Missouri , but the future looked too pricey to make a final commitment . “ It ’ s a very expensive hobby and hard to build into a career . So , I took my love of animals and decided I wanted to be a veterinarian instead .”
Returning to Louisville to finish the science courses she needed , Dr . Weakley-Jones applied to numerous veterinary universities . “ I was applying out of state , because Kentucky still doesn ’ t have a vet school . I had good grades but after two years of applying , I only received one interview . No one would take me . There just weren ’ t many female veterinarians in those days ,” she said .
Determined to pursue the science she ’ d been working towards , Dr . Weakley-Jones applied to the UofL School of Medicine and was quickly accepted . If she could show the veterinary universities she
had what it took in another scientific discipline , they had to accept her . She started medical school in 1973 , and found it rewarding in its own right .
Although she loved practicing medicine , Dr . Weakley-Jones grew attached to her patients and was devastated when some were lost . “ I realized that I couldn ’ t deal with my patients dying . I sat there and cried for my patients in internal medicine ,” she said . “ It was just terrible . I ’ d go home and wonder , ‘ Did I miss something ?’ So , I looked to other specialties .”
Inspired by her older brother , who was partly paralyzed due to a flu vaccine reaction when he was in middle school , Dr . Weakley-Jones became interested in physical medicine and rehabilitation . “ He ended up totally paralyzed on his left side . I ’ m amazed he survived . My brother ’ s doing fine today . He can walk and talk , but he still doesn ’ t have feeling on that side .”
Not long after she began medical school , Dr . Weakley-Jones met her husband-to-be , Dr . W . Scott Jones . The couple stayed together and made plans to marry . However , to stay together through residency matching , they each had a limited number of specialties to choose from . It was no problem for her husband , a general surgeon in training . For Dr . Weakley-Jones though , she had to once again
( continued on page 34 )
Editor ’ s Note : Welcome to Louisville Medicine ’ s member spotlight section , Dr . Who ? In the interest of simply getting to know each other as a society of colleagues , we ’ ll be highlighting random GLMS physicians on a regular basis . If you would like to recommend any GLMS physician member to the Editorial Board for this section , please e-mail aaron . burch @ glms . org or call him at 736-6338 .
APRIL 2018 33
MEMBERS DR. Who MEMBER SPOTLIGHT BARBARA WEAKLEY-JONES, MD Aaron Burch A lthough you may not be familiar with Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones, you know of her work. As the Jefferson County Coroner and longtime State Medical Exam- iner, Dr. Weakley-Jones has professionally examined or documented many major fatalities outside of a hospital in the last 37 years. The first Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. George Nichols, hired her as an assistant in 1981. Dr. Weakley-Jones found a fascination with analyzing the deceased. “I enjoyed doing autopsies,” she explained, reminiscing about her 30 years as a medical examiner. “Most people don’t but, for me, each person was like getting a new book.” Although she has made a career of examining the deceased for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this path was not Dr. Weak- ley-Jones’ first choice, believe it or not. As the daughter of a general surgeon and an anesthesiologist, she was familiar with the intricacies of health care from a very early age. However, her interests were decidedly elsewhere. “I was going to teach and train horseback riding,” she explained. It was her passion, growing up riding the family’s two horses. She stud- ied for two years at Stephens College Equestrian Center in Missouri, but the future looked too pricey to make a final commitment. “It’s a very expensive hobby and hard to build into a career. So, I took my love of animals and decided I wanted to be a veterinarian instead.” Returning to Louisville to finish the science courses she needed, Dr. Weakley-Jones applied to numerous veterinary universities. “I was applying out of state, because Kentucky still doesn’t have a vet school. I had good grades but after two years of applying, I only received one interview. No one would take me. There just weren’t many female veterinarians in those days,” she said. Determined to pursue the science she’d been working towards, Dr. Weakley-Jones applied to the UofL School of Medicine and was quickly accepted. If she could show the veterinary universities she had what it took in another scientific discipline, they had to accept her. She started medical school in 1973, and found it rewarding in its own right. Although she loved practicing medicine, Dr. Weakley-Jones grew attached to her patients and was devastated when some were lost. “I realized that I couldn’t deal with my patients dying. I sat there and cried for my patients in internal medicine,” she said. “It was just terrible. I’d go home and wonder, ‘Did I miss something?’ So, I looked to other specialties.” Inspired by her older brother, who was partly paralyzed due to a flu vaccine r V7FvVRv2֖FFR66G"vVЦWԦW2&V6RFW&W7FVB66VF6RB&V&ƗFF( ĆRVFVBWFFǒ&ǗVB2VgB6FR( VBP7W'ffVBג'&FW.( 2FrfRFFR6vƲBFƲ'W@R7FFW6( BfRfVVƖrFB6FR( ФBrgFW"6R&VvVF666G"vVWԦW2W@W"W6&BF&RG"r66GBW2FR6WR7FVBFvWFW BFR2F''vWfW"F7FFvWFW"F&Vv&W6ЦFV7F6rFWV6BƖ֗FVBV&W"b7V6FW2F66Rg&Bv2&&Vf"W"W6&BvVW&7W&vVখG&rf"G"vVWԦW2FVv6RBF6Rvࢆ6FVVBvR3BVFF.( 2FSvV6RFV7fRVF6^( 2V&W"7FƖvB6V7FG"vFRFW&W7Bb6ǒvWGFrFrV6FW 266WGb6VwVW2v^( &RvƖvFr&Ft2662&VwV"&62bRvVBƖRF&V6VBt066V&W"FFRVFF&&&Bf"F26V7FV6RR&'W&6v2&r"6Bs3bc33$#3