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National Stuttering Association

Kirsten SilveyInternal Medicine / Geriatric Medicine

    Kirsten Silvey

    Briefly describe your daily job duties.

    Educating people about their disease process and providing them with the tools to improve their health.

    As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.

    The most challenging part of my job is calmly communicating with the upset patient or family member, followed closely behind by cold-calling colleagues who have never met me.

    What are your long-term career aspirations?

    I aspire to promote a holistic model of healthcare that employs multidisciplinary teams partnering with patients and their caregivers to provide high-quality care with positive healthcare outcomes while decreasing unnecessary treatment costs.

    Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process? If so, how did you do it and how do you currently disclose your stuttering to unsuspecting co-workers, clients and or customers?

    I start off EVERY conversation with a new person with my background followed by a disclosure of my stutter and permission to ask me to repeat myself if they are having difficulty understanding me.

    What is your proudest moment at your current company?

    I was secretly thrilled when I was named the Geriatrician of the year in 2020 by my colleagues in The Albuquerque Magazine.

    Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.

    As a physician, stuttering requires me to talk more slowly and deliberately while utilizing plain and concise language. Patients appreciate this. It also allows me to empathize with and comfort patients who are feeling frustrated, broken, or lesser than.

    What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?

    Do not hide your stutter. Address it and then move on. If it becomes an issue, show how it is an asset. Never believe people who tell you that you cannot do a certain job. I believed I could not be a physician for eight years. However, I do not regret postponing my career. My prior careers as a medical researcher and science writer / editor have made me a better physician and leader today.