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Dr. Kathy Shepherd, physician and partner at Kids First

Ask Dr. Kathy Shepherd what’s the best part of her job at Kids First, and she’ll answer adamantly: the families. “There really are a lot of down to earth, nice people who come to our practice,” she says.

But more than the kind parents and children Dr. Shepherd encounters, what excites her the most is the diversity of the Kids First families.

“I joke sometimes that I work at the U.N.,” she says.

Prior to working at Kids First, Dr. Shepherd worked in a community health center in Chicago, serving mostly Spanish-speaking under served patients. Her work there ignited her interest in other cultures, so much so that she traveled to Mexico and Guatemala to hone her Spanish speaking skills.

When she eventually left the community health center, seeking a private practice with more flexible hours, Dr. Shepherd was excited to find Kids First, with a diverse patient base.

She was also thrilled to find a set of such special colleagues. “We have a great team of nurses and doctors and nurse practitioners. We work hard at making our practice a pleasant and collegial place to be in order to provide the best patient care.”

And as for the hardest part of her job? Being a working mom. “Trying to balance work and motherhood and all the things I’m responsible for at home is hard. It’s worth it, though. I enjoy being a mom and being a doctor.”

Plus, she says, being a mom makes her a better doctor. “Being a mom has given me a better understanding of what people are going through. Being a mom is good practice. They’re my best teachers, my kids.”

Dr. Kathy Shepherd joined Kids First Pediatrics in 2006. She graduated from Emory University Medical School and completed her residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She then practiced pediatrics at a community health center caring for under served children for eight years. She has three sons who have given her plenty of practical pediatric training. Her special interests include breastfeeding, asthma and obesity. In her rare spare time she practices yoga and dreams of gardening.