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Catholic School Leads to Career as OB/GYN

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by Kary Ellen Berger

When studying to become a doctor, medical students might make an oath to practice medicine with integrity, honesty and compassion to best meet the patients’ needs. With this in mind, mastering both the academics and compassion for others made Kristin (Reeve) Renner the doctor she is today.

Moving to the Dayton area with her family at 12-years- old, Renner attended Incarnation School in Centerville from sixth through eighth grades, then attended Alter High School. “The science curriculum I received in school, particularly some of the more advanced biology classes offered at Alter, helped foster my interest in how the human body worked,” said Renner.

After participating in advanced science classes and extracurricular activities, which included being a sports medicine student aid and Science Olympiad member, she was excited to see what her future held. That future became Ohio State University for a Bachelor’s degree, then four more years of medical school.

“I had an interest in science and medicine from a young age, but I did not make the final decision to apply to medical school until I was in college,” said Dr. Renner. “But having the science educational background—as well as the faith formation—of my years at Catholic school made it an easy decision to make … and I have not regretted it.”

Following medical school, Dr. Renner trained in both OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine (high risk obstetrics) and completed a Master’s degree. She now lives in Louisville, KY, practicing maternal-fetal medicine, care for pregnant women and their babies when either has high-risk complications.

“My faith helps create a frame of reference for all my daily activities,” said Dr. Renner. “If I am frustrated and things aren’t going according to ‘my’ plans, it is helpful to take a step back and remember that God has a perfect plan, of which I am only seeing a small part right now. This perspective helps me in everything, from minor inconveniences like traffic making me late to work, all the way to caring for a critically ill patient in the ICU who isn’t getting better despite my best efforts.”

“On the opposite side of the coin, my work also helps strengthen my faith,” said Dr. Renner. “The more I have learned about the human body and all the ways things can go wrong, the more I appreciate the miracle of when things go right—and they usually do!”

She noted that some may not connect a medical profession and faith-based mindset, but the combination is indeed truly possible. “When I realized God was calling me to be an OB/GYN, probably one of the most ethically challenging medical specialties for a practicing Catholic, I was initially terrified. But I have been blessed to have many people in my corner, and their support and prayers have helped make my vocation very fulfilling.”

This article appeared in the January 2023 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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