Dr. Kaela Pearce is the newest addition to the Triangle Physicians for Women staff, but just because she is new doesn’t mean that she isn’t already well-loved by many of our patients! We prioritize compassionate, high-quality care, which is why we wanted to devote some time to provide a thorough introduction for Dr. Pearce so that you have a chance to get to know her better. Read on to learn more about Dr. Pearce:
Born in Milwaukee, Dr. Pearce lived in Wisconsin until the age of 10. She and her family then relocated to Cary, NC, after her father was relocated for his work with IBM. She finished high school at Cardinal Gibbons and has always regarded Cary and Raleigh as her true home. After high school, Dr. Pearce joined the military, and lived in Pennsylvania for school before completing her residency in Bethesda, MD, and then moving to San Antonio, TX for military service. After serving in the military, Dr. Pearce moved back home to Cary with her wife, Lindsey. With a baby due in October, she says she couldn’t imagine raising a family anywhere else.
Areas of Interest
When it comes to education, Dr. Pearce says it was an honor to work with residents, because there was such a great reward in teaching them as well as learning from them. OB/GYN is a rigorous medical specialty that requires long hours and training while still maintaining a high level of patient care. When reflecting on this time, Dr. Pearce says, “I prided myself in the ability to teach both the tangible facts of medicine, but also the intangibles like how to care for yourself and your family and how to find joy and reward in the practice of medicine despite the rigors of training and the specialty.”
Even though Dr. Pearce no longer teaches, she says she still finds herself educating her patients every day, whether it’s about their health, giving them the tools to care for themselves, or just helping them find joy and reward in their own bodies. This is why she considers education and the general empowerment of women to be one of her most prominent areas of interest. She especially appreciates having the opportunity to educate her younger patients as they grow into adults. There is a lot of misinformation being spread on social media, so Dr. Pearce is grateful for the opportunity to provide clarification and facts so they can make safe and informed decisions when it comes to their health. When reflecting on the journey that led her to TP4W, Dr. Pearce admits, “Honestly, I was a little worried that in leaving the academic setting I would miss that education aspect, but I have really found that the opportunities to teach and to learn from my patients are still so present, just have slightly evolved, and I really love that.”
What motivates you?
I am very motivated by the opportunity to educate and empower women of all ages. It is often quite astonishing to me how little women are taught about their own bodies and health, in school or by their families. It is also astonishing how much confidence and pride in oneself that I can see develop in patients as they learn more and more about themselves and their reproductive health. Women are incredible. We are able to do beautiful, incredible things with our bodies and our minds, and to be able to have the privilege to help women realize that potential in the smallest way, is such an honor. Aside from interaction with patients, I also love the balance of algorithms/guidelines along with the creativity that my job requires. So much of obstetrics and gynecology is following strict outlined criteria for diagnosis, workup, and treatment plans. My mathematically driven brain thrives off of this organization. However, as you can imagine, most patients do not fall into a specific algorithm and it takes a lot of research, collaboration, discussion with the patient, etc. in order to come up with an appropriate and reasonable plan. I also get to do really fun and effective procedures almost every day. My creative side thrives off of those things. It is a great balance for both my right and left brain.
Do you have a certain philosophy or outlook when it comes to practicing medicine and providing care?
My philosophy is to provide a safe and educational environment for my patients to allow them to take ownership of their own health. Jefferson (medical school) preached to us the importance of truly listening to our patients and allowing for them to be the final decision maker in their own care. I strive to do this in all of my patient encounters. I strive to give patients the correct and true information, discuss the risks and benefits of the possible treatment options, and work with them and their families to come up with the best option for them moving forward. At the end of the day, they are the ones who deal with the risks or benefits of the things I can offer, so I want to be sure they feel they can make an educated and empowered decision for themselves and feel that they truly had a hand in their own care.
What is your life like outside of work?
My wife and I are huge dog and animal lovers. We had three dogs and a cat up until last year when both our cat, Kitten, and our oldest dog, Bailey, passed away. We now have two four-year-old flat-coated retriever mixes, Adeline and Tucker, who, much to our parents’ chagrin, are our pride and joy. We can’t wait for them to meet our baby this October. When we lived in San Antonio, we began fostering dogs with a group called San Antonio Pets Alive. We also spent a lot of Saturday mornings walking the dogs that were in the foster centers. We fostered 2 cats and 12 dogs in the three years we were there. Two of the midwives that I worked with and one of my OB/GYN residents that I trained each adopted one of the dogs. One of our close friends here in Cary is the proud owner of our first rescue, straight off the streets of San Antonio. We’ve taken a little break since moving home but plan to get back into it here once we get a bit more settled. Our dream is to one day have a small dog/animal rescue or farm, with the plan to likely name the place after Bailey.
I am a huge music lover as well. I have been to countless concerts and shows. It is one of the few places we splurge a little. The three best concerts I have ever been to:
- Tom Petty in Philadelphia, PA a few short months before he passed, he’s a legend and was still in his prime up until the end
- Tyler Hilton at Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonio. He was a character on One Tree Hill. My wife is a huge fan. We have a small condo in Wilmington, NC where One Tree Hill was filmed, a purchase very much inspired by her love for this show (and Dawson’s Creek). He played a super chill, intimate set and we got to meet and chat with him after. He treated us like we were old friends.
- I may lose friends or patients, but… Nickelback in Hershey, PA to a sold-out stadium under a star-filled sky on a crisp fall night; you can feel free to ask how I ended up there, but either way, it was epic, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
As previously mentioned, my wife, Lindsey, is pregnant and we’re expecting our first kid to arrive this October. Not only have I been welcomed to the new practice with open arms, but they’re taking great care of my wife, too. I’ve learned more about pregnancy in this short time as a family to a patient than I have in all my years of training. We’re super excited to meet her and welcome her to our crazy, beautiful pack.