WD Spotlight: Julie Fridlington, MD
Dr. Julie Fridlington is a board certified dermatologist, beloved by her co-workers and patients because of her expertise and warm, endearing personality. Dr. Fridlington has led the growth of our Round Rock clinic since joining the WD team in 2010. She recently shared with us why she got into the field of dermatology and what she loves about Austin.
WD: Why did you decide to become a dermatologist?
JF: Between eczema, acne and irregular moles, my skin was always a disaster growing up. I was raised in rural Iowa with no access to medical specialists so my poor mom was always having to drive my sisters and I hours away to the nearest city to see the dermatologist. My identical twin sister (who is also a dermatologist in San Antonio) and I would always complain that the doctor made us feel awkward and uncomfortable and more like specimens than humans. After one such visit, which must have been around my sophomore or junior year in high school, my mom interrupted our complaints stating that if we didn’t like the way the doctor behaved that we should just go to medical school and do it better. I guess that pretty much stuck for both of us.
I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and spent my childhood dissecting various plants, bugs and road-killed animals in my backyard. In fifth grade the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a chemistry set so that I could do more experiments out in the yard. Seems like medical school was a pretty natural progression from that.
WD: What is your favorite part about being a dermatologist?
JF: I love all aspects of dermatology because it is such a “hands on” field. I picked dermatology because I didn’t want to limit my scope of practice to one particular type of patient. I enjoy the variety of getting to take care of children and adults and men and women. I am most passionate about skin cancer prevention and treatment, so I really enjoy my surgery time during the day. Not only do I get to feel good about treating skin cancer, but I enjoy getting to use my hands and the opportunity to slow down and spend quality time talking with my patients.
WD: What are you typically doing when you are not at work?
JF: I am a super active person. I love anything that is physical and going to get my heart rate up and sweating. Running, crossfit, lapswim, and long walks are all part of my regular routine. On the weekends you can find me tearing up trails all over the city with my epic sidekick (labradoodle). I spend a lot of my free time in San Antonio with my sister and two amazing nieces. I am definitely a bit of a book worm and spend lots of time reading on my patio.
WD: Where is your favorite place to travel to?
JF: In my time off I am usually on the go. I love exploring new places. Usually my vacations will involve lots of hiking, biking or other physical adventures. When it is hot in the summer getting away into the mountains is always a priority. My favorite places I have been are Patagonia, Peru, and Iceland. I spent time backpacking through Europe after medical school with my sister, which is one of my favorite memories. Paris is probably my favorite city… to me it is magical.
WD: How long have you lived in Austin?
JF: I first came to Austin to run my first marathon when I was a 2nd year medical student at UTMB in Galveston. I was immediately enamored with the city and promised myself that I would live here someday. That promise actually came true when I moved to Austin right after I finished my residency in June 2010.
WD: What do you like most about our city?
JF: I love Austin for a million reasons. From a professional standpoint, as a medical provider it is amazing to live somewhere where people want to take responsibility for their own physical and mental health and wellness and not take a passive back seat in their own health. I adore my Round Rock community which feels so much like home to me. Our patients are so friendly and kind and open to sharing their lives with me and letting me be a part of their community. I have some families where I am currently taking care of 3 generations of skin.
WD: What are your favorite foods?
JF: My favorite foods are Tex Mex and sushi. My guilty pleasure is chocolate chip cookies. I love good food and trying new restaurants and Austin is the perfect place to eat! I like to joke that I spend a lot of time “eating my way” through Austin. Thank goodness it is a city full of outdoor activities to balance that out. It is also great to be living in such a dog-friendly city so that my labradoodle can come everywhere with me.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Fridlington.