SRM: Where is your hometown?
I’m a true Seattle area native and spent my childhood growing up on the Sammamish plateau. I was born at the University of Washington Medical Center, where I returned years later to complete my own medical training.
SRM: When did you first think about going into medicine?
As a high schooler, I spent one afternoon each week visiting the residents of a local nursing home with my sweet and energetic Wheaten Terrier puppy. I saw the incredible joy this brought to the residents, as they often then proceeded to tell me about the animals they had prior to living in the nursing home. The ability to brighten the day of these lovely people was incredibly satisfying, although I found myself wishing I had the ability to provide more than just emotional relief. That desire continued to grow steadily within me and fueled my desire to pursue a career in medicine.
SRM: Why did you choose to specialize in Obstetrics/Gynecology and then sub-specialize in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility?
Following my undergraduate degree, I worked in a genomic science lab on research focused on identifying genetic alterations responsible for ovarian cancer. As I transitioned from the lab and into medical school, my general love for medicine evolved into a specific passion for women’s health. I also found obstetrics and gynecology to be particularly appealing in its combination of clinical practice and surgery, with a strong emphasis on disease prevention.
In OB/GYN residency, it wasn’t until I began my REI rotation that I came to realize just how perfectly the sub-specialty blended my interests and played to my strengths as a provider. I found myself driven by my empathy for couples facing infertility and the incredible opportunity to help them realize their dreams of having a family.
SRM: What do you do to relax?
Long-distance running. My competitive nature often has me training for either a short-distance triathlon or half-marathon. I completed the Whidbey Island marathon during medical school. My first words at the finish line were “never again”, but enough time has passed and lately I’ve been reconsidering. I also truly cherish the time I get to spend with my family.
SRM: What is the most challenging part of your work?
The inherent element of chance involved in human reproduction. In the world of medicine, IVF is still a relatively new treatment with so much still to be learned. It’s difficult to see the emotional toll this can sometimes take on patients. I wish there were always concrete answers to the excellent questions patients ask or guarantees to be provided as to how their infertility journey will end.
SRM: What kind of work would you choose to do if you were not a physician?
Lately I’ve been wondering if I could have made it as a Peloton instructor, but I don’t think I’m quite perpetually caffeinated enough! I probably would have pursued a career in genomic science research or genetic counseling, as I find the rapidly evolving field of genetics to be fascinating.
Dr. Kaitlyn Wald’s bio page
We have a series of blog posts about our physician team, we hope this helps you get to know our physicians a little better. You’ll see they’re a pretty interesting group of people!