Kendra Unger, MD, FAAMA

“I do this for my patients. The patient is the reason I work so hard, and I work to better my own skills to provide the best possible care I can for my patients.”

Tell me about yourself.

I am from Belington, West Virginia. I went to college at Concord University in southern West Virginia and came to West Virginia University for medical school. While at WVU, I was part of the WVU Department of Family Medicine Rural Scholars Program and decided I wanted to serve with the department after graduating. I’m now a family medicine physician and faculty member. I’m also board certified in medical acupuncture.

Why did you choose to become a doctor/researcher/expert in your field? Was there a specific “a-ha” kind of moment? 

I chose to become a family medicine physician because love serving people of all ages and backgrounds. I enjoy the medicine and the relationships that come from this specialty. The type of medicine I practice is very broad and allows me to study many conditions. It is also very rewarding to care for patients of all ages.

What in your educational experience and training stood out to you, and what advice would you share with students who are in that position now? 

Pursuing an education in medicine is very difficult and challenging. It requires many hours of study and long shifts caring for patients. I was taught by some of the best physicians who reminded me during these hard times that my efforts would be appreciated by my patients in the future. Always remember the joy of helping a patient, this will recharge you in the hard times.

Why did you choose your field? Does it have any special significance for West Virginia? 

I chose family medicine specifically because it allows me to work on the front lines of medicine for the people of West Virginia. I am the product of a rural town in West Virginia, and I understand how important and valuable the people of these communities are. I wanted to chose a specialty that I love that would allow me to have a high impact and a part in the lives of people I hold so dear.

Why did you choose to come work for West Virginia University? 

West Virginia University embodies the mission and values that I wish to live by.

What’s the best thing about doing what you do? 

Being able to serve others in a positive way.

What are your aspirations while at WVU? 

My aspirations are to be the best clinician I can while learning from and teaching residents and students.

What honors/awards/accolades stand out to you in your career? 

I am currently the vice-chair of education for the Department of Family Medicine. I am also proud to serve as the MS3 clerkship co-director. I have also had the honor of serving for 2 years as the president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.

What do you like best about your new role so far?

My favorite aspect of my new role thus far is getting to be part of all the amazing teaching efforts the faculty in my department are doing.

What do you hope to accomplish as the vice-chair of education in order to give our learners the best possible experience?

As vice-chair of education, I hope to give our learners the best possible experience by providing faculty development and engagement, educational support and coordination of our efforts.

How would you describe the culture of your program? 

Warm and welcoming.

Tell us something unique about you that others may not know. 

I enjoy making quilts.

Anything else you would like to add?

I do this for my patients. The patient is the reason I work so hard, and I work to better my own skills to provide the best possible care I can for my patients.