This Week’s Women in Technology Thought Leader: Michelle Coward Wells, Piedmont Cancer Center 

Michelle Coward Wells is the Lead Physicist with Piedmont Cancer Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Wells began her career as a health physicist and has practiced Diagnostic and Therapeutic Medical Physics for the majority of her professional life.

An employee of Piedmont Cancer for the past ten years, she is a clinically oriented physicist, responsible for the day-to-day technical operations of the Gamma Knife unit and several radiation oncology centers, whose offerings cover a majority of current patient treatment options.

I am a medical physicist because individuals spent time exposing me to the world of STEM and its’ possibilities.  I discovered in STEM a career that would allow me to use my curious nature to help others in healthcare.  Since STEM fields are ever evolving, opportunities present daily for improving my profession and impacting the lives of patients. It’s challenging and very fulfilling. As an organization, WIT provides opportunites  – opportunites for young women to discover STEM and, for those already in STEM, opportunities for continued growth. WIT’s mission aligns very closely with my passion.  How can I not support such a wonderful organization?” – Michelle Coward Wells

Michelle has supervised the technical installation of linear accelerators and managed their start up to a successful outcome. Her experience in program implementation includes RapidArc, IMRT, brachytherapy, stereotactic, and 3D external beam treatments. She has personally planned hundreds of patient treatments.

Michelle is board certified in both Therapeutic Medical Physics and Diagnostic Radiological Physics by The American Board of Radiology and participates in their Maintenance of Certification program. Her professional memberships include The American College of Radiology, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. As a member of the AAPM, Wells service on the Membership Committee, the Task Group 217: Strategies for Effective Physics Plan and Chart Review in Radiation Therapy, and the Work Group on Prevention of Errors in Radiation Oncology.

Michelle also serves as Chair, State Board of Directors for the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, whose mission is to provide books for local communities to prepare all Georgia preschool children for reading and learning success. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Tech Women’s Affinity Network, as well as on the Board of Directors for the Whitefoord Community Program. She has served in the past on the Boards of Trees Atlanta, the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, and the Atlanta Speech School. And is a Past President of The Junior League of Atlanta.

Wells graduated cum laude from Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina with a dual bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics. She is a past recipient of the Benjamin Wall Ingram III Young Alumnus Award from Francis Marion University. As a Presidential Fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology, she earned a Master of Science degree in Health Physics.

More About Michelle C. Wells

LinkedIn: Michelle C. Wells

Reading:  I just finished reading “The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo” by Reiss and “The Florence Prescription” by Joe Tye.  I’m starting “As Good As Gone” by Larry Watson.

Best Advice You’ve Ever Received: “You are always right where you should be – whether that place is to help yourself or someone else.”

Originally published on Atlanta Daybook