Why I Became a Doctor: Kina Peppers, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology

Northwestern Medicine
News February 22, 2013
Kina Peppers, MDThe NMH Newsblog is launching a new series called “Why I became a doctor” which will feature Northwestern Medicine physicians discussing the path they took for a career in medicine. In our first post of this series, we talked to Kina Peppers, MD, a obstetrician/gynecologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a instructor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Peppers is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and Veteran of the Army Medical Corp with 24 years of service. She delivered emergency medical and gynecological surgical care to U.S. and Coalition forces during two tours in Iraq. Her clinical interests include high risk obstetrics, contraceptive counseling including Essure, hysteroscopic tubal occlusion, evaluation of abnormal pap smears, endometrial ablation, laparoscopy and management of uterine fibroids.

Q: Dr. Peppers, tell us a little bit about why you became a doctor?

A. When looking back over my childhood, I can’t recall a memory that didn’t include the goal of becoming a doctor. 

My mom and I often joke about being classmates because I started elementary school at the very same time that she began a nursing program.  My mom, sister and I would complete our homework assignments together.  I eagerly volunteered with dissections and was amazed by the anatomies of cats and pigs. These lessons lead to a first place finish in the school science fair.  I was extremely proud of my science project.  It was a frog dissection with every organ neatly labeled!   My mom, who went on to become an exceptional emergency room nurse shared fascinating stories of ER traumas and the lives that she impacted.  Through her efforts, she became my sole inspiration for studying medicine.  In fact, any success that I have or will achieve as a clinician can be directly attributed the work ethic, perseverance and tenacity instilled by my mother. 

Growing up on Chicago’s south side, I also saw pregnant teen girls who lacked prenatal care. I’ve always worked to make a difference in the lives of at risk girls.  Regardless of socioeconomic status or insurance coverage, I feel strongly that everyone deserves quality health care, especially expectant mothers.   

Is there a Northwestern Medicine doctor who you would like to see profiled? Send your recommendations to socialmedia@nmh.org.