Not Dr. Kristi Sutton. An internal medicine doctor for CHI St. Vincent Primary Care – Hot Springs Village – Ponce deLeon, Dr. Sutton sets her heart, mind and intent on achieving what fulfills her life.
Q: Are you originally from Hot Springs Village?
A: No, I’m from North Little Rock. I live in Benton now and commute to Hot Springs Village each weekday. It’s about 40 minutes each way, but I get a lot done in that time. I’ve been practicing in Hot Springs Village for about six and a half years now, and I’ve been at the clinic for a year and a half.
Q: Did you always want to be a doctor? How did you decide to take this career path?
A: I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was really young. Very early on in my life, I knew that’s what I wanted to be. The first time I can remember thinking I would be a doctor was in the eighth grade. As I got older, I enjoyed biology and physiology, and I always found a challenge in those subjects so it held my attention and focus. I have always liked people, too, so being able to combine all the things I liked into a career was a fortunate situation.
Q: Do you come from a family of doctors?
A: No, in fact, I am the first in my family to become a doctor. When I told them I was going to medical school and would be a physician, they weren’t surprised at all. I went to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for my undergraduate degree then UAMS for medical school and residency.
Q: Was your path to the career you have now a straight line, or was it more unconventional?
A: Oh, it wasn’t straight at all. In fact, I went to medical school when I was 31. Being a doctor was always what I wanted to be, and even at the time I entered medical school, I knew it was what I had to do. When I decided to go, I was fretting a little about my age and how old I’d be when I was finished. My mother told me, “You’re going to be 39 regardless. You might as well be 39 and a doctor.” That made a lot of sense to me, and I knew I had to keep working toward my dream, which was to be a physician. Now, the most fun thing for me is when I see a patient get better and feel better. I know we accomplished that together.
Q: How has staying focused on your goals affected your life overall?
A: It’s served me well to keep my dreams as my focus. I’m busier now than I have ever been in my life. I don’t meet myself coming and going – I miss myself. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always wanted a family, and today I have three girls – one and a half, two and a half and eight years old. I’m 45 so we didn’t start our family until I was 37, but I never gave up. If I could give advice to anyone, it would be don’t ever give up on anything you want to do. Just keep trying. I did, and I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life.