Dr. Mary Katherine Welch

  • Photo by Anthony Jinson

Company/organization:

Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.

Job description

Gynecologist.

Professional background

I graduated from MU undergrad (1994) and medical school (1998). I did residency in obstetrics and gynecology in Wilmington, North Carolina. My first job was in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where I was in practice for four years. We moved back to Columbia in 2006, and I started working at Women’s Health Associates. This year, I moved to the VA to help start the gynecology department.

Hometown

Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

Years Lived in Columbia

22 and a half.

Quote you live by

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” from “Auntie Mame” and “The question isn’t who is going to let me. It’s who is going to stop me,” from Ayn Rand.

Favorite volunteer/community activity

We love First Fridays and going downtown to shop and eat.

Favorite recent project

Recent and ongoing — working on our place at the Lake of the Ozarks. (Now I know why my parents never wanted a second home!) But when we’re there, I am able to be “away” and relax. I can’t worry about all the things that need to be done at home. All this for a 90-minute drive.

A Columbia business person you admire and why

Charlie Graznak and Rebecca Fahrendorf of McAdams Limited. When we first moved back to Columbia, our daughter, Elizabeth, was 4 years old. She loved (and still loves) beautiful things, so I took her to McAdams when it was still downtown. We talked about looking with our eyes and not our hands, but Charlie and Rebecca let her touch and hold everything she wanted. They even let her try on beautiful jewelry. This Christmas, Elizabeth went to McAdams and bought gifts for me and my husband, Jon. She remembered how nice they’ve been to her over the years and was excited to have saved her hard-earned money to be able to shop there herself.

Why you are passionate about your job

I get to help women in their health care journey.

Why you are passionate about your company

Female veterans are strong and resilient and don’t like to ask for help. Being allowed to be part of their care is a privilege.

What people should know about your profession

It’s wonderful, scary, and exhausting. We get to see people at their best and their worst. Being allowed to be part of something that is very personal is an honor and not something taken lightly. 

The next challenge facing your industry

Having enough providers to care for the growing population. The number of medical school graduates is not keeping up with the need. This is even more true in rural areas,  which is most of Missouri.

Your next professional goal

To become more proficient at the electronic medical records at the VA.

Biggest lesson learned in business

Taking care of your clients — in my case, my patients — is everything.

How you want to impact the Columbia community

By continuing to provide care to women by being the first gynecologist at the VA. 

Greatest strength

Persistence when I want something.

Greatest weakness

Chocolate and my daughter — she usually gets what she wants.

What you do for fun

Read, walk, and go to the Lake. Hoping to get back to weekly coffee with my girlfriends as COVID vaccination ramps up and cases decline!

Family

My husband, Jonathan, and our daughter, Elizabeth. My parents, Bob and Mary, are still living in Excelsior Springs in the home they have been in for nearly 50 years. I also have two sisters — Allison and her husband, Bob, and children, Anya and Rowan, live in Charleston, South Carolina, and Suzanne and her husband, Jim, and son, Quillan, live in Kansas City.

Favorite place in Columbia

Williams and Solliday Fine Antiques and McAdams.

Accomplishment you are most proud of

Our daughter. She is a freshman at Truman State and thriving. She is kind and compassionate and puts others above herself.  She is also very intelligent and strong-willed. I truly believe she will do great things!

Most people don’t know that you

I’m kind of an open book, so I don’t know!  

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