Dr. Sara Hoyt, a retired pediatrician who practiced medicine in Rome in the 1950s and 1960s, was recently recognized with the UNC School of Medicine Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award.
Hoyt was a trailblazer while at the UNC School of Medicine. When she graduated in 1954, she was one of only two women to graduate from the institution’s first class of four-year graduates.
A graduate of Tusculum College, Hoyt received a master’s degree in medical technology for Wayne State University, and then worked as a medical technologist for several years before enrolling at the UNC School of Medicine.
After her graduation from UNC, Hoyt completed an internship in pediatrics at Duke University before returning to UNC for two years of residency training. When her husband, Bill Hoyt, completed his PhD training at Duke Divinity, he took a faculty position at Berry College and the young family moved to Rome.
In Rome, Hoyt joined a local private practice, seeing patients full time until 1966, when she left private practice to care for her three young daughters, but would often fill in for local pediatricians when they were ill or on vacation.
She was also a prominent leader and community advocate in Rome, serving on the board for Hospitality House, a home for abused women and children, the Rome Arts Council, the Rome Beautification Society, and other organizations.
“Dr. Hoyt is a trailblazer and incredible role model, accomplishing her academic pursuits successfully, even as a distinct minority, building a robust career as a clinician, advocate, and leader,” said Dr. Julie Byerley, UNC School of Medicine’s Vice Dean for Education. “In recognition of her exceptional achievements as a clinician, advocate, and enduring role model, we are proud to present the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award to Dr. Sara Hoyt.”
In 2001, the Hoyts moved to Asheville, N.C.