$$ Linda Alford Baker, MD Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center
UTSW Physician Practicing at Children's Health
American Board of Urology(Pediatric Urology)
Growing up on a farm in Kentucky, Dr. Linda Baker got her first look at the practice of medicine with her father, who was a veterinarian.
“Pediatrics and veterinary medicine are somewhat similar in that your patients aren’t always able to tell you what is hurting or what is wrong, which can be challenging,” she says.
As part of the Pediatric Urology department at Children's Health℠, Dr. Baker is a skilled surgeon who takes care of patients with very serious conditions. But one of the things she likes best is working with her patients to make sure they understand treatment options and are comfortable with the process. “Some treatments are surgical, others are not, but helping them understand is the key,” Dr. Baker says.
A particular area of focus for Dr. Baker is treating patients with birth defects. “You have to be imaginative when dealing with birth defects, because the answers can’t always be found in a textbook,” she says. “You also have to be sensitive because you’re dealing with sensitive topics and with young men and women who are sometimes feeling emotionally devastated about the effect the defect has on their lives.
“One of the things I enjoy most is helping the child and the family understand the child’s condition and the options for treatment. I think it sometimes helps that I am a woman and also a mother,” Dr. Baker says.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Baker has received numerous awards. She was named one of America’s Top Surgeons by Consumers Research Council of America in 2012, was on the U.S. News & World Report list of Top Doctors in 2011, voted Best Pediatric Specialist in Dallas by D Magazine Partners – 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 – and has been named one of Texas Monthly magazine’s Texas Super Doctors from 2010–2014.
Dr. Baker received her medical degree from the University of Louisville in Kentucky. She completed a urology residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and served as an American Foundation for Urological Disease Research Scholar for two years after completing her residency program. She went on to complete a pediatric urology post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She has been a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology and has a pediatric urology subspecialty certification. Dr. Baker is one of only six pediatric urologists in the U.S. with research grants from the National Institutes of Health. "That means we make the new discoveries in pediatric urology," she says.
Dr. Baker, who is also a professor of urology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has lectured extensively, written 20 book chapters and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, and participated in multiple research projects.
“One thing that sets Children’s apart from other hospitals is that we understand the great importance of research,” she says. “We study many things. Not just surgeries and outcomes, but things that will help us get to the basic question of what causes birth defects. We have to take charge and push for what is best for our kids.”
The Kentucky farm where Dr. Baker grew up fostered a love of gardening, and she still enjoys that pastime today. She also enjoys playing the flute and piano.
Education and Training
Medical SchoolUniversity of Louisville School of Medicine (1989)
InternshipUniversity of Virginia Health System (1991), General Surgery
ResidencyUniversity of Virginia Health System (1995), Urology
FellowshipJohn Hopkins Hospital (1999), Pediatric Urology
University of Virginia Health System (1997), Nephrology
Departments & Programs
Conditions & Treatments
Research & Publications
Dr. Baker created a thriving NIH-funded research program in which she contributes to urologic discoveries, including prune belly syndrome, kidney stones, sexual development disorders, cryptorchidism, testicular torsion and congenital female vaginal anomalies. Her research team performs cutting-edge DNA testing using next-generation sequencing technologies to discover the causes of pediatric urological disorders and birth defects.
Professional Associations and Affiliations
- Diplomate of the American Board of Urology
- Subspecialty board certification in pediatric urology
- The International Society for Hypospadias and Disorders of Sex Development
- The American Society of Human Genetics
- The Society of University Urologists
- The International Children’s Continence Society
- The European Society for Paediatric Urology
- The International Pediatric Endosurgical Group
- The American Association of Pediatric Urologists
- The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
- The Society for Pediatric Urology
- The American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Urology (Fellow)
- The Society for Basic Urologic Research
- The South Central Section of the American Urological Association, Associate Member
- The Pediatric Society of Greater Dallas
- The Association of Women Surgeons
- The Society for Fetal Urology
- The American Urological Association
- The Society for Women in Urology
American Board of Urology(Pediatric Urology)