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Meet Our Advocates: Dr. Kelly Kirkpatrick

What are your gender pronouns?

Where are you from?
Shelburne, Vermont

What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
Full spectrum family medicine

What first inspired you to become a doctor?
When I was in college I followed a team of doctors doing infectious disease research in The Gambia, a small country with only one public hospital. I was incredibly interested in understanding the disparities of care. The following year, I did research for a public health organization in New York City, only to find some of the same issues exist within our health care system. I wanted to become a doctor to help address those inequalities.

What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
Right now I feel like so much in health care and access to it is threatened. My patients motivate me because every day I am fighting for them, whether that is completely overbooking my patient sessions to make sure everyone is seen or spending inordinate amounts of time on the phone with insurance companies to get medications approved or trying to get them into a specialist’s office.

How do you practice self-care?
I try to find time each week to exercise, eat well, and sleep. I’m always working at it!

Who is your social justice hero?
Dr. Linda Prine has been by hero ever since I started working with her in residency. She helped start an organization to increase the number of providers performing women’s health procedures. She works tirelessly to make sure abortion is part of medical education and that everyone she works with becomes an advocate themselves.

Our Meet Our Advocates series showcases the talents and passion of one of our doctors and finds out, in their own words, what inspires them to be physician-advocates. Kelly Kirkpatrick, DO is in our current Leadership Training Academy class. Dr. Kirkpatrick practices family medicine in New York.

Read more interviews from the Meet Our Advocates series.