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(From left) Anthony Scholer, MD; Abhineet Uppal, MD, holding baby Fred Kledzik; Molly Kledzik, MD; Juan Santamaria, MD, and Trang Nguyen, MD

residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. While there she met Perry Shen, MD, a year 2000 graduate of the JWCI Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program. “He loved JWCI and told me a lot of his mentors were still here,” Dr. Kledzik recalls. She had already decided she wanted to become a surgeon, fascinated by the need to thoroughly understand anatomy and touched by the relationships surgeons form with patients and their families. “The deep trust patients put in their surgeons appealed to me—especially with cancer patients, because you see them and their families for years and years,” she says. “I probably empathize with

patients because of my dad.” Today Dr. Kledzik is busy with surgical shifts and research, with baby Fred tucked away safely at the health center’s day care center. She performed surgery the day before childbirth and went on rounds that morning before checking into labor and delivery. Her co-fellows appeared in her hospital room shortly after childbirth to share the joyous occasion. “We all met during interview season last spring,” she says. “Now we talk all the time and try to get pizza and drinks at some point during the week.” The fellows typically come from very different backgrounds, but they form a special bond in their time at JWCI,

Dr. Fischer says. “They arrive with different reasons for wanting to go into the specialty, but they are all very compassionate and patient-centered in their care.” During Dr. Kledzik’s maternity leave her colleagues filled in for her, and she repaid the favor by taking extra on-call shifts for them once she returned, Dr. Fischer notes. Dr. Kledzik remained engaged in her program even while caring for an infant, he noted, by calling into the weekly fellow conferences. “She didn’t miss a beat,” he says. “She would call into the conferences on Fridays and stay up with what was going on. It speaks to her commitment to the program.” SAINT JOHN'S MAGAZINE

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Profile for Moon Tide Media

Saint John's - The Magazine of Saint John's Health Center - Summer 2019  

Saint John's - The Magazine of Saint John's Health Center - Summer 2019