2014 Top Doctor: Kristin Struble, MD

Editorial StaffApril 1, 2014
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Med School/year graduated: University of Arizona, 1998
Years in Practice: 16

Who inspired you to go into pediatrics?
My personal hero is my mom. She was an only child and,
despite losing her dad as a toddler and her mom as a young teenager, she persevered. She received an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, where she also met my other personal hero, my dad.

What is the hardest part about working with kids?
Honestly, I don’t have challenges working with kids. Their innocence and positive energy make me smile every day. The biggest challenge is the unpredictability; some patients aren’t yet old enough to express themselves in words, while others have difficulty finding the right ones. For example, a child who comes in for a rash may, upon full examination, have unforeseen breathing issues. I may be seeing a patient for a cough, who reveals in the exam room that he/she is struggling with symptoms of depression.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…”
My undergraduate degree is in nutritional science. I am passionate about general nutrition and lactation education as disease prevention. I am writing a children’s book and proper nutrition is the primary focus.

You published a children’s book partly illustrated by your patients. What was the book about? What was that experience like?
I was a novice at writing and publishing. I am confident this experience will be invaluable to my future endeavors. The book was illustrated mostly by kids with chronic or terminal diseases. The children demonstrated their solid resilience in their youthful, innocent souls. Kids shine their brightest light and inspire others (in a dark disease state). Their positive energy is infectious.

What are your favorite kid-friendly places around the Valley?
We love the Scottsdale Railroad Park, the Children’s Museum (of Phoenix) and the Arizona Science Center. Whenever there is a planetary exhibit or teaching at the Science Center, we are there, as my son is obsessed with the solar system.

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