What’s the easiest part of Dr. Catherine Walker’s job? Talking to kids all day, of course! Children are fun, they don’t take themselves too seriously and they often have more insight than we give them credit for, she says. From a baby’s giggles to a preschooler’s joke to a teen’s future goals, kids are what make her job exciting, interesting and meaningful.
As our newest pediatrician at Akron Children’s Pediatrics, Stow, Dr. Walker treats kids and teens with minor to acute medical conditions with a special interest in pulmonary medicine, specifically asthma. She loves it when she can educate families on what symptoms to watch for and when to intervene, so kids can run and play without their asthma interfering. It’s one of many ways Dr. Walker helps kids — and their families — breathe easy.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s?
Akron Children’s 3 promises really speak to me, but especially the promise “to treat every child as our own.” As a mother, I can only think of what I would want for my own child when I look at a patient.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
As a primary care pediatrician, I hope to partner with families to help their children become their healthiest selves and reach their full potential.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I have a special interest in pulmonary medicine, specifically asthma. Asthma affects so many kids and their families. We have much better tools now to control asthma symptoms. I love it when I can educate families on what to look for and when to intervene, so their kids can run and play without their asthma interfering.
When did you decide to become a provider and why?
I didn’t know I “always” wanted to be a doctor until I was 26. Initially, I thought I would go into research. But I soon realized that I wanted to have a more direct impact on patients’ lives. I’m not sure if it was because I was always very shy or because there weren’t any physicians in my family, but it wasn’t until a mentor suggested medical school that I truly considered it.
What do you like most about being a provider?
It’s an honor to have families entrust their child to my care. The idea of being the person a family looks to with questions, to figure out what’s wrong and to help their child succeed is something that never gets old.
What do you think is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is how the current political climate has changed how we interact with each other. You’re either in Camp A or Camp B, and sometimes it feels like there’s not enough room for the middle ground. If we all could listen more and approach things with an open mind, we would probably learn something and be more effective.
What is the easiest part of your job?
The easiest part of my job is talking to kids all day. Kids are fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously. They often have more insight than we give them credit for. I love to watch a parent’s reaction when a child describes their symptoms in their own words.
What would you most like to change about health care today?
I hope for greater access to quality health care for all.
Where did you grow up?
I am originally from Flint, MI, but I have been living in the Cleveland area since 2008.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My family includes my husband, Randy, and our 3 kids: Randall, 11, Becca, 9, and Ella, 5. We also have 3 guinea pigs: Luke, Nate and Flash.
What makes you get up in the morning?
My 2 alarm clocks and coffee wake me up every day. I am NOT a morning person.
How do you unwind from a busy day?
I love to be outside whether that’s hiking, gardening or just taking my kids to the playground. Being outside rejuvenates me.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I love to go camping. We recently bought a pop-up trailer and are excited to go adventuring!