Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Ashley Griffin Ray (’04)

Dr. Ashley Ray (’04) graduated from the University of Georgia with a double major in Biology and Psychology. After completing medical school in 2013, Dr. Ray has many accomplishments, and is Macon’s only fellowship-trained breast cancer surgeon. She practices at Coliseum Hospital. She and her husband, Heston, have two children, Evaleigh (4) and Griffin (10 months).

We reached out to Dr. Ray to hear about her journey in medicine and how FPD prepared her for her career.

What was your journey from college to becoming a fellowship-trained breast surgeon?

After college, I returned to Macon and attended Medical School at Mercer University School of Medicine (2013). From 2013-2018, I attended General Surgery Residency University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. I have received AOA resident of year, Arnold P Gold Excellence in Humanism and Teaching, Resident Teacher of the Year, ER Consultant of the Year, several presentations, Chief Resident 2018. I also have completed one year fellowship at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas TX for Breast Surgical Oncology

What inspired you to be a doctor?

From a young age I knew I wanted to be a doctor. I loved care for others. My mom is a type 1 diabetic and has been since she was in 7th grade, so watching her and medical advances fascinated me as well.  My grandparents also moved in with us during my grandfather’s cancer treatment when I was in middle school.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

As a breast cancer surgeon, one of the things I love the most is the relationships I build with my patients. As a young woman I can often empathize with my patients. We are all mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. Furthermore, once someone has a cancer diagnosis, cancer surgeons play a big role in their fight against this disease. I always tell patients that we’re in this together, we’re going to figure it out, and that I am with them for the long haul. After surgery, I still see the patient’s for several years. I get to learn about their families there kids their grandkids.

How do you feel FPD provided a strong foundation for your life?

FPD provided a great foundation for me both academically and spiritually. Medical school is tough and FPD laid the foundation for the discipline it would take to get through it. In medicine we often see some scary, sad, and difficult things. We see people struggle, suffer, and lose their life. That is hard to see if you do not have a belief in Christ. I often pray with my patients when they received bad news or have a family member who was very ill. Sometimes things are out of the hands of the doctors. God is in control and only the peace of the Cross can take away fears and pain.

Any advice for FPD students who are considering being a doctor one day?

Study Hard. Be disciplined. Make a schedule and follow it. Work first; play second. But enjoy life too. And prayerfully consider this profession. Listen. Medicine requires sacrifice from you and your loved ones.  But it is a truly calling, a blessing and a privilege to do God’s work with your hands.