Dr. Kathryn Best, PGY-2
1. Please introduce yourself (name, age, Canadian undergrad/masters, medical school, graduate year, residency program and year, AOA or ACGME, and state)?
Kathryn Best, DO. Undergraduate degree: bachelor of arts in biology with minors in chemistry and equestrian science from William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. Medical School at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, graduated in june of 2013. I did an AOA Traditional Rotating Internship at St Anthony's Hospital in Oklahoma City. Currently finishing up my internship in Pediatrics at University of Texas Health Sciences Center - San Antonio, ACGME program.
2. Why Pediatrics?
Pediatrics because kids are awesome! I did a year of mostly adult medicine in OKC during my first internship, I learned a lot but I felt like I became jaded when treating adults. Now I get to go to work and be an advocate for children; I get to make sure that they get the best care and the best chances at healthy future which is so satisfying. Plus it is normal and expected to play your patients and dress up for halloween, etc! It's way more fun!
3. What is a typical day like as a pediatric resident?
I don't think there is a typical day in pediatrics, that's the fun part! Plus I change rotations every month so life is constantly changing. Currently I am on NICU, we have babies who were born at 24-25 weeks on oscillators fighting for their lives and a term infant that is being treating for congenital neruoblastoma. We are constantly being faced with new challenges while treating these critically ill infants on a daily basis. In a few weeks I start a research month where I get to pick a project and spend most of my days reading and working from home or from the library. There is some consistency with my continuity clinic, every Wednesday afternoon I go to clinic where I see my own panel of patients, it's been a blast watching babies grown up from visit to visit!
4. What 3rd and 4th year rotations do you recommend for someone interested in Pediatrics?
I would definitely recommend doing a general outpatient pediatrics rotation as well as an inpatient rotation. I would also recommend doing an icu or higher acuity month because treating very sick kids can be very difficult. It takes special people to care for critically ill children and knowing that you can handle it is important.
5. Why did you pursue the DO route? Did you have any hesitations at the time? Why or why not?
I applied to both MD and DO schools. I just liked KCUMB the best and felt the most comfortable during the interview. I also was reassured by the fact that it was one of the oldest and most reputable DO schools. I did not have reservations about it at the time but I will admit I don't think I fully understood the politics between the MD and DO worlds.
6. Did you receive an H1B or J1 visa for your residency training? Was it difficult to obtain? Were many programs hesitant about sponsoring a visa? And How did you approach programs about this issue?
I currently am practicing under a J-1 visa. It was the only that was really offered to me at any of the interviews. At every interview when I met with the program director I brought up the fact that I required a visa, most were very open to it and stated that the program was able to sponsor a J-1 without a problem. I was just honest and up front about it, some programs did not even know I would require a visa because I was an American medical graduate so definitely broach the subject at every single interview. So far the process has not been that difficult, it is just more paperwork.
7. Any advice regarding the whole visa process?
The only advice I can give is to start the process as early as possible after the match. Obtaining the letter from the Canadian government was actually the process that took the longest.
8. Do you plan on returning to Canada to practice after residency? How difficult is the entire process?
At this point I do not plan on returning to Canada to practice Medicine. I did undergrad and med school in the USA and plan on staying at this point. However, I plan on doing fellowship in PICU so have another 5 years of post-graduate training ahead of me before having to make that decision. And the laws of the J-1 visa are constantly changing as far as exceptions and where we can practice in the US after training. So basically I will cross that bridge when I get there!
9. Would you still recommend the DO route to Canadian premed students?
I definitely recommend the DO route to everyone! I am proud to be a DO. Now, with the merging of the AOA and ACGME match I think there will be changes, hopefully for the good!
10. Last question (and most important), do you think it is time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to rebuild?
I'm not sure about the Maple Leafs but I am an Oilers fan, born and bred and I'm truly hoping they can rebuild, or at least not be last in their conference!
Interviewed by Sevan Evren