“In my heart, I was always wanting to help people.”
That’s ultimately what brought Dr. Kathy Perkerewicz – or ‘Dr. Perk’ – to pursue medicine.
Her career trails back to a start in social work and some time spent in the military.
Coming from what she calls a ‘patriotic family,’ it just seemed right. She says she was also fueled by the fact that her family didn’t have much when she was growing up… and she knew college would be a far reach.
Fast forward a bit, the Washburn native left for Desert Storm and came back ready for a change.
“You’re never too old to try something,” she said. “If you have a dream, if you know and find what your calling is in life then that’s what you should do. Even if you’re older.”
She went to medical school a little bit later in life than the average med student, but she’s been bringing life into the world for nearly two decades.
She says, “There is nothing like that.”
While there’s nothing like the miracle of life, some days aren’t so miraculous in the OBGYN world.
She sees death, too, and has a few ways of coping.
One, she says, is the group of doctors and nurses she’s surrounded by .. they’re able to come together in tough times.
Another is through the healing powers of music.
She sings at the annual Sanford Health bereavement service and recently sang for a virtual variety show.
“The song itself [Hallelujah] is very moving. I would say that for me, also, it would bring kind of that sense of joy. We’re coming upon Christmas, where baby Jesus is born and brings joy to the world. We all sing that Christmas joy to the world. I think for me that’s part of the emotions that was going through when I was singing the song .. to go through what the words are and really listen to them.”
Another way she finds joy is through mission work.
For three years, she’s been to Uganda through “Mary Mission.”
The group has built a school and provides healthcare opportunities for things like gynecology, family practice, de-worming, and immunizations.
“It’s so rewarding, I really enjoy it,” she said.
While there’s much more to Dr. Perk than music and medicine — those are just two reasons why she’s Someone You Should Know.
Although her plans have been restricted this year, she also enjoys traveling the world.
Her goal is to make it to every continent at least once, but she does wonder if she’ll end up making it to Antarctica.