Women in Medicine: Yolanda Evans

Yolanda N. Evans, MD, MPH, FAAP grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, the oldest of four children. After heading to Oregon for medical school, Dr. Evans landed in Seattle and now serves as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UW and Seattle Children’s. She has served in a variety of roles from regional provider, director of telemedicine, director of Adolescent Wellness. Currently Clinical Director and now Co-Chief.

“I enjoy caring for patients with concerns of reproductive health, eating disorders, and mood,” says Dr. Evans. “I find joy in my work because I am able to do a bit of everything! Clinical care, administrative leadership, teaching trainees and colleagues, research, writing, and advocacy. There is never a dull moment.”

Why pediatrics? “Pediatrics and adolescent medicine specifically is this very special window of time in an individual’s life where their exploring who they are, who they want to be and parents are navigating how to support their child as well as encourage their autonomy. It’s such a privilege to be a guide for a brief time in that self-discovery.”

Beyond her clinical, teaching, and administrative work, Dr. Evans has been a valuable leader in many WCAAP initiatives, including serving on the Equitable Care Workgroup, participating in legislative advocacy, connecting with schools, and contributing to efforts to increase adolescent vaccination rates and improve behavioral health. “WCAAP is a powerful force in advocacy,” she says. “The relationships with community are very valuable. Through WCAAP, I’m able to remain connected to peers and serve the families in my community.”

As a mom to three young daughters (ages 9, 6, and 3), Dr. Evans has found mentors in other women who are also mothers. “They’ve encouraged me to pursue my passions and at the same time been amazing role models for prioritizing the well-being of themselves and their children,” she says.  Family time is a priority, and when she’s not at work you’ll find Dr. Evans taking her kids swimming, playing at local parks, and going on family vacations. “During the pandemic, we’ve had to limit travel, but our kids have started a family movie night where we all spend time together,” she says.

Dr. Evans’ advice for young women pursuing a career in medicine? “There will be struggles, but don’t give up on your passions. Continually question and improve our health systems in offering safe, effective, equitable care to all community members.”