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Dr. Frances McLemore Fisk

Year of Birth / Death

b. 1944

Medical School

University of New Mexico School of Medicine


New Mexico

Career Path

Obstetrics and gynecology
Dr. Frances McLemore Fisk


Science has always fascinated me, especially biology and the human body. I became interested in medicine while hospitalized at age eight for a week with appendicitis. I watched the dedication of the nurses and physicians caring for the other children in the ward. The staff seemed happy and to genuinely enjoy their work.


A practicing obstetrician-gynecologist in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Frances McLemore Fisk, M.D., works as a partner with her patients to ensure that they reach and maintain both physical and mental well-being. She considers herself an advocate for the rights of the patient and firmly believes in the importance of viewing health care problems within the wider context of each individual's circumstances.

Frances McLemore was born 1944 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Thomas Edward and Juanita Mary Sloan McLemore. In 1964 she married Franklin Benjamin Fisk III, an electrical engineer, and two years later she graduated with a bachelor of science in chemistry from New Mexico State University. Their son Franklin was born in 1968.

Frances Fisk was working at the 6571st Aeromedical Research Lab at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico when she decided she wanted a change of career. In 1972 she entered law school at the University of New Mexico, but she left the course after a year to join the medical school and train as a physician.

After receiving her doctor of medicine degree from the University of New Mexico in 1977, Dr. Fisk juggled family responsibilities and child care for her young son with an obstetrics and gynecology residency and fellowship at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. Receiving her board certification in obstetrics and gynecology in 1984, Dr. Fisk went into private practice with the New Mexico Gynecology Consultants. Throughout her practice she has held hospital privileges at St. Joseph Medical Center, Lovelace Medical Center and the Presbyterian Hospitals.

At Presbyterian Hospitals she has been a member of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Care Evaluation Committee since 1993. A member of Southwest Clinical Research since 1994, Dr. Fisk has conducted clinical trials for various pharmaceutical companies, and was recently a supporting investigator in the development of the Ortho-Eva contraceptive patch.

Dr. Fisk is a member of the Association of American Indian Physicians and in 1972 was named one of the Outstanding Young Women of America. Listed in the New Mexico State University's Who's Who, Dr. Fisk is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

Childcare and developing the self-confidence to tackle medical school, because I had been out of school for six years.

How do I make a difference?

In our practice, which includes three nurse practitioners, we try to treat each patient as we would wish to be treated, to educate them, and to view their health care and problems in relation to their whole personal situation. We encourage them to participate and make decisions in their care, and we act as coaches in regard to their physical and mental well being. We also encourage patients to continue treatment plans started by other physicians. We encourage them to educate themselves and to ask questions. Much is achieved simply by listening and by being a patient advocate.

Who was my mentor?

Many individuals were mentors at different stages of my life. My parents always encouraged me to continue my education and taught me to believe there are no boundaries. My husband of thirty-eight years continues to be always supportive. The New Mexico State University chemistry faculty was supportive, especially Dr. Latimer Evans, Ph.D. After graduation from New Mexico State University, Dr. Robert Schoentag, M.D., a pathologist and my supervisor at the 6571st Aeromedical Research Lab at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, strongly encouraged me to consider medical school. Carey Handley, Ph.D., in biochemistry of the University of New Mexico Medical School and the University of New Mexico Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology Department were all very supportive. My patients and staff are my greatest supporters now. Over the years, I've learned a lot from my patients and I continue to learn from them every day.