January 28, 2024
Doctors Share Insights about Medical Profession
Through our Leadership Center, KO students were fortunate to hear about the medical profession from two members of the KO community: dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Pennoyer ’85 P ’14, ’22 and ob/gyn Dr. Kelly Sturrock P ’24, ’27.
Pennoyer and Sturrock entered the medical profession by different means. For Sturrock, she went to Siena College, which had a program where you’re admitted into medical school as a freshman in college. For Pennoyer, it wasn’t until the spring of her junior year that she decided she wanted a pre-med route.
Both doctors explained how the medical profession has changed since they started. In both cases, the doctors explained how patients have become more educated and have access to their lab results before the doctor even has time to review them. Although both agree the collaboration between doctor and patient has become stronger, there are downsides to the amount of medical information proliferating on social media and the Internet, including information that could be incorrect. “People are demanding certain tests,” Sturrock said, “because they’ve read about something which maybe doesn’t apply to them, but they want to get it.”
As working mothers, Pennoyer and Sturrock shared that striking a proper work-life balance is not always easy, and there may be times when you fall short. Both acknowledged that it takes a team to navigate life. “I think you have to look at where you’re the happiest. I could work more and make more money, but you have to decide what’s enough,” Sturrock said.
The doctors shared that doing work that you love makes the day-to-day easier because the path through medical school, residency, etc, is not an easy one. “You’re going to have your setbacks,” Pennoyer said. “You’re going to fail a test. You know it’s not going to be the easiest path. Just keep going. Just keep your head down and keep going.”
Clinical rotations were helpful in helping the doctors decide on their specialty. Sturrock shared that originally, she thought she would go into pediatrics, but after treating strep throat cases ad infinitum she changed her mind. Through her surgery and OB rotations, she found her passion because she enjoys developing long-term relationships with her patients, seeing them through their childbearing years and beyond.
Pennoyer said it’s helpful to observe the satisfaction level of the residents to determine if the specialty is right for you. “It was interesting to see the attendants of who had a life and see where you fit and where you felt most comfortable,” Pennoyer said.
The medical profession and the various treatments are always updating, so the doctors said they are constantly learning new procedures or new pieces of equipment.”If you don’t like learning, medicine is not a field for you because it’s always going to change, and you’re always going to have to learn something new,” Pennoyer said.
“It’s important to still have that level of learning because if you don’t, then you’re going to halt your practice and not be offering what you should,” Sturrock.