Dr. Kristi Sutton: Internal Medicine Physician Keeps Her Eye on the Prize
By Kelli Reep for AY magazine.
Most people will tell you that the key to success is setting a goal and working every day toward it. Most people, however, get diverted or change goals before ever achieving their original aim.
Q: Did you always want to be a doctor? How did you decide to take this career path?
A: I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was really young. Very early on in my life, I knew that’s what I wanted to be. The first time I can remember thinking I would be a doctor was in the eighth grade. As I got older, I enjoyed biology and physiology, and I always found a challenge in those subjects so it held my attention and focus. I have always liked people, too, so being able to combine all the things I liked into a career was a fortunate situation.
Q: Do you come from a family of doctors?
A: No, in fact, I am the first in my family to become a doctor. When I told them I was going to medical school and would be a physician, they weren’t surprised at all. I went to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for my undergraduate degree then UAMS for medical school and residency.
Q: Was your path to the career you have now a straight line, or was it more unconventional?
A: Oh, it wasn’t straight at all. In fact, I went to medical school when I was 31. Being a doctor was always what I wanted to be, and even at the time I entered medical school, I knew it was what I had to do. When I decided to go, I was fretting a little about my age and how old I’d be when I was finished. My mother told me, “You’re going to be 39 regardless. You might as well be 39 and a doctor.” That made a lot of sense to me, and I knew I had to keep working toward my dream, which was to be a physician. Now, the most fun thing for me is when I see a patient get better and feel better. I know we accomplished that together.
Q: How has staying focused on your goals affected your life overall?
A: It’s served me well to keep my dreams as my focus. I’m busier now than I have ever been in my life. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always wanted a family, and today I have three girls. If I could give advice to anyone, it would be don’t ever give up on anything you want to do. Just keep trying. I did, and I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life.
Dr. Sutton is welcoming new patients, including Medicare. Click here for her complete profile.