2015 Texas Christian Leader of the Year: Kathryn Waldrep

November 13th, 2015

People who know Dr. Kathryn Waldrep will not be surprised to learn that she has been named Texas Christian Leader of the Year. Her substantial curricula vitae cites that she was the first female chief of staff at Medical City Hospital – Dallas; she has been voted one of the Best Doctors in Dallas numerous times; and she has served in leadership positions on numerous boards and medical organizations—a small sampling from her long list of accolades.

Kathryn views the practice of medicine as a profession, a ministry, and a great privilege. God has used her skills and acumen to save many lives and usher thousands of new lives into the world. Those who know Kathryn as their OB/GYN have experienced firsthand how she lives out her faith at work in countless ways.  In addition to caring for her patients’ physical and emotional wellbeing, many women are quick to share how she has cared for their spiritual wellbeing as well. A few examples:   

“When I got frightening diagnoses, she prayed with me.”
“She listens, really listens to me—even when she’s running behind schedule.”
“I decided to go back to church because I read a church bulletin she placed in a treatment room.”
“I trusted Christ and began growing as a Christian because she invited me to a Bible study she hosts at her home every week.”
“I confided in her about a hopeless situation I was facing and she told me about the Source of hope in her life.”

Her family also sings her praises. Kathryn and her husband David have been married for 45 years. They have three children and two grandchildren. I could write volumes about Kathryn because I’ve known her since we were in ninth grade—and I know her path to medicine was not easy.

When Kathryn read the biography of Albert Schweitzer in high school, she knew she wanted to be a doctor. SMU was her college of choice but it was cost-prohibitive—and in those days, pre-med scholarships for women were unheard of. But her excellent grades did gain her a full-ride scholarship in engineering, which she accepted.

By her junior year she was able to change her major to chemistry, and she graduated summa cum laude from SMU in 1972. Before she could apply to medical school, however, she needed some pre-med courses that she was unable to fit into her schedule while studying engineering.

She took the required courses and earned Master’s Degree in chemistry while teaching high school chemistry to earn money. In 1974 she was admitted to Southwestern Medical School. After medical school she served as Chief Resident at Parkland Hospital. Following her training, in 1983 she co-founded the first female OB/GYN practice in Dallas. Her success story is legendary.

Kathryn says any success she’s achieved is a gift from God, and she derives her identity from who He says she is.  This gives her the freedom to be transparent and authentic—to share her own struggles and to ask for prayer.

In 2014 Kathryn spoke to students at LeTourneau University.  She serves as an inspiring example of what it looks like to faithfully follow Christ in what you believe to be His will for you, and to see your work as your ministry.

We congratulate Texas’ Christian Leader of the Year: Kathryn Waldrep.   

Channel(s): Leadership: Workplace