Continuing our physician spotlight series on the blog, we recently caught up with Dr. Janet Kennedy and asked her a few questions.
SRM: Where is your hometown?
South Bend, Indiana. The University of Notre Dame is South Bend’s big claim to fame. As a kid, I went to the Notre Dame football whenever I could! I am still a “subway alumnus”.
SRM: When did you first think about going into medicine?
When I was in college in the early ‘70s, a group of friends and I went on a road trip the summer between freshman and sophomore year. We were camping out at a rock concert and a guy none of us knew came into our campsite. He was very stoned, and after a short while, he picked up a knife and shoved it into his chest. Everyone freaked out except me and one other guy. The two of us got him up to the medical tent. When I got back home I told the story to my sister’s boyfriend, who was premed at Notre Dame. He said, “Gee, Janet, that’s great. You’d make a good nurse”. I immediately thought, “Nurse, what do you mean, NURSE!” From that moment on, my goal was to go to medical school.
SRM: Why did you choose to specialize in Obstetrics/Gynecology and then subspecialize in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility?
During college and medical school, I volunteered at the People’s Free Medical Clinic in Baltimore. The patients I was involved with were mostly OBGYN patients. Between my feminist background and my PFMC experience, I developed the desire to be a gynecologist. Once I was in residency, I found that I wasn’t crazy about obstetrics but really liked the tubal microsurgery that typified reproductive endocrinology back then. Ironically, very little microsurgery is done anymore. But I’m still glad I chose to specialize in REI.
SRM: You spent much of your career in Baltimore. What brought you to Seattle?
I reached a point in Baltimore when I was ready to move to a place without such weather extremes. I chose the Seattle area because I have two sisters who have lived in Washington state for a long time and I loved coming out here to visit. My brother has also now moved here.
SRM: What do you do to relax?
I try to meditate fairly regularly. I also do beading as a hobby – mostly peyote stitch bead weaving. It reflects my love for microsurgery!
Click here to learn a little more about Dr. Janet Kennedy.