Kaitlin has been there for me and my family in so many different ways over the past couple years of me being her patient. I established care with Kaitlin while my husband and I were in the midst of struggling with infertility. We had lost two babies due to miscarriages, and she was one of the medical providers who made me feel like their lives mattered. She shared our belief that they were our children even though we would never meet them.
Kaitlin was there for us and shared in our complete joy when we conceived our daughter naturally after being told we would need IVF in order to conceive. She shared our tears of joy and helped me cope with the many rollercoaster emotions of navigating through the first trimester. I was so scared every single day that we would lose this baby too, especially when I had some symptoms that mimicked a miscarriage. She was nothing but supportive and provided reassurance in the form of emotional support and appropriate medical testing. As excitement grew toward the end of our pregnancy, she shared in our joy, and always made my husband and me feel like we had unlimited time with her to talk about anything we needed to, including our personal lives.
We welcomed our beautiful and healthy daughter into the world. Kaitlin was overjoyed and even took time out of her busy on-call schedule on the labor and delivery unit to stop by our room and meet our new addition. Much to our complete shock and surprise, we were delighted to find out we were pregnant again only 8 months after our daughter entered the world. Kaitlin once again stepped in and has been providing phenomenal prenatal care throughout this pregnancy, both emotionally and physically.
I’ve always felt confident in her clinical skills and expertise, but she proved this to me and my entire family ten-fold this past week when she discovered I had Influenza A while 22 weeks pregnant. I had seen other providers in the days prior while ill and I was not diagnosed, but after her careful exam and sincere concern, she provided additional testing that hadn’t been offered to me yet and diagnosed me properly. I was so sick by that point; she needed to admit me to the hospital. After 3 days in the hospital, I am doing well and so is my baby.
Each time I am with her, I feel like I am the only patient she has and that she has as much time as I need to spend with her. Even though I am sure she is juggling several other patients, she sits down and makes me feel like we are just two friends catching up over coffee, even though I am sitting on an exam table in a paper-thin gown. Our relationship has grown from patient/provider to a friendship that I would trust with my life.
Kaitlin exemplifies what it means to be a skilled clinician: she has the perfect balance of intelligence, empathy, and compassion, all of which combine to be everything and more that the Mayo Clinic Values hopes to portray through its employees.