The odds were stacked against Antonio Webb, beginning with his childhood in Shreveport, Louisiana. Friends and family members were serving jail time, or addicted to drugs. Some close friends were even killed amidst the challenges of the neighborhood.
With these influences in his life, it seemed he was destined to turn out the same way. But fate had something else in mind for young Webb. While in high school, he developed an interest in biology and medicine and his grades earned him a spot in a local medical magnet program for disadvantaged students. Inspired by this experience, he began to dream of a career as a doctor, even though no one in his family had completed college, let alone medical school.
Webb realized his best chance for financial help with higher education would come if he served in the military. After 17-year-old Webb graduated high school in the top 5% of his class, his father consented to let him join the U.S. Air Force, in 2001.
While on his 8-year active duty commitment in the Air Force, Webb worked as a medic and simultaneously attended undergrad at the University of Texas at San Antonio, taking classes whenever and wherever he could to compete his degree. 6 1/2 years after first beginning, Webb became the first person in his family to hold a college degree.
He was later deployed north of Baghdad, Iraq, where he served as a combat medic; on a base dubbed “Mortarville” for the frequency of mortar attacks it endured. He treated just over 800 patients during his deployment and earned several medals in the process.
When he left the military in 2009, it was time to pursue his medical training full time, beginning with the Georgetown Experimental Medical Studies Program, which worked to prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds for success in medical school and beyond. From there, he was accepted into the renowned Georgetown University School of Medicine, and he says he considers the day he was accepted the most unforgettable moment of his life thus far.
His studies covered medicine as well as medical research and he earned honors in the fields of Renal, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry and Critical Care ICU, leading to his Doctorate of Medicine degree in 2014.
Today, Dr. Antonio Webb is completing his residency at the University of Texas, San Antonio, specializing in Orthopedic Surgery. But that isn’t enough for the tireless and disciplined doctor. He’s putting the finishing touches on his first book, his life story, aptly titled Overcoming the Odds, and is frequently sought after for inspirational speaking engagements.
One of his most rewarding activities, however, is serving as a mentor for underprivileged middle and high school students interested in a career in medicine. He volunteers to help because he says it is important for students to know “If I can do it, they can, too.” Webb says his proudest moment would be when he encounters a student in later years who says, “I am in medical school because of you.”
It’s been a long road from impoverished child in a dangerous environment to decorated soldier and award-winning medic, and Antonio Webb, MD is aware of the amazing journey that has been his life. “I don’t take anything for granted,” he says. “I know I am incredibly blessed.”
Air Force Achievement medal
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with a bronze oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service medal
Iraq Campaign Ribbon
Global War on Terrorism Service medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Medal
Air Force Training Ribbon
USAF NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon
759th Medical Ops Medical Technician of the Year, 2002
59th Medical Wing Medical Technician of the Quarter- 2002
59th Medical Wing Senior Airman below the Zone Early Promotion, 2002
Medical School Awards
Student Life Scholarship Recipient, 2013
Gregory Threatte, MD Award Recipient, 2013
Georgetown Dahlgren Memorial Library, READ Poster Recipient, 2010
Medical School Honors: Renal, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Surgery, Critical Care ICU