Alumni Profile: Kathleen Billings, MD '90

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Name: Kathleen R. Billings, MD

Class year: 1990

Current location and institution: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Describe your Rush experience.

From an academic standpoint, my Rush experience was great. I was well-prepared for the challenges I faced in my residency and career after my time at Rush. I made some great supportive friends, and the social events sponsored by Rush were fun and allowed us the opportunity to get to know each other even better outside of the classroom.

How did your Rush education prepare you for your career in medicine?

When I started my residency, I was worried about how I might match up to former Stanford and Harvard residents, etc., who were also starting their internships at UCLA, where I matched for Otolaryngology. I realized I was just as prepared as anyone else and had an excellent medical foundation for dealing with many of the problems I faced.

What work are you currently involved in and what has been the highlight so far?

I am a Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Lurie Children’s in Chicago. The work is fulfilling and rewarding. I’m glad I chose a career working with children — the day-to-day work is fun and interesting, and I have met some great people in the field of Otolaryngology.

I made the choice to pursue Otolaryngology because, while at Rush, I really liked my rotation and the residents and attendings I worked with in Otolaryngology. They made my experience enjoyable and showed me that a good lifestyle would be afforded by the specialty.

What makes you most proud about your affiliation to Rush?

The great education I received and the wonderful friends I made during my time at Rush.

Why did you decide to serve as a co-chair for Reunion 2015? Would you recommend the position to others?

I really wanted to make our 25-year reunion as fun as possible, which meant getting people to attend. I thought I could help with this effort, and I was able to get quite a few people interested enough to attend. The position was not too labor intensive with our busy schedules as I mainly emailed classmates over the course of several months to share information about the weekend’s activities and encourage their attendance. I am glad I volunteered as a co-chair because I had a great time at our reunion, and I would recommend all graduates attend their reunion celebration.

What made you decide to support the Class of 1980 Endowed Scholarship?

I supported the scholarship so other students could enjoy the opportunity afforded by a great Rush medical education in the future.

Why do you think it’s important for alumni to stay connected to Rush? How have you stayed connected?

The people I met at Rush were an important part of those four years of my life. I have fond memories of my time at Rush and staying connected affords the opportunity to catch up and stay close with friends and faculty from this important time in our careers.