kathleen ackert headshot

KAThleen ackert '16

Resident Physician, St. Luke’s University Health Network

Hometown: Originally from Manhasset, NY, now living in Bethlehem, PA

Studied while at Siena: Biology major with minors in Health Studies and Chemistry

Current Involvement: In addition to being a resident physician, I actively participate in research as one of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology’s Social Media Scholars as well as fuel my creative side as a Doximity OpMed Fellow for the 2021-2022 year. 

Involvement while at Siena: Swimming & Diving team, Study Abroad (Quito, Ecuador & Galapagos Islands), Chemistry Club

Describe a typical day in your life.

It depends on the day! As a resident, I switch each month what rotation I am on and what my responsibilities are. This month, I am on the benign gynecology service, which includes rounding on and managing any GYN patients admitted to the hospital, scrubbing into surgeries, and seeing patients in my residency clinic. As the second year resident, I am responsible for most of the minor laparoscopic cases which include salpingectomies (tying tubes), oophorectomies (removal of ovaries), and endometriosis cases. I recently did my first robotic assisted total laparoscopic hysterectomy! 

How did your Siena education prepare you for the work you’re doing today? 

Siena taught me the value of hard work and to ask for help when you need it. I remember studying so hard for my chemistry classes and attending office hours where help was always available for when anyone I have found the same almost everywhere I go! I think Siena also does a nice job of valuing both the arts and sciences, and I have found that I am able to balance the left and right sides of my brain because of that. 

Describe your professional progression since leaving Siena. 

After graduating from Siena in May 2016, I started medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine that summer. I graduated in May 2020, and was awarded “The Soul of Medicine” award and was honored with the Mason Pressly Medal at graduation, which is awarded to the most outstanding graduating student. I was blessed to match into my top choice of residency at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, PA where I am now a resident physician, specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecologic Surgery.


Professor: Dr. Erin Kolonko, Dr. Elaina Frulla, Dr. Greg Byrnes
Class: Organic Chemistry, Sociology of Aging
Location: Club Standish…aka the library!
Study-break food: Coffee…but I will always fondly remember going to practice in the morning followed by one of Limmy’s omelets
Residence Hall: I will always have a special place in my heart for Ryan 3 South
Class Year: Junior year, because I got to study abroad! I spent 4 months in Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands where I spent my study breaks snorkeling and eating sweets from the local panaderia. 
Favorite memory: The summers I spent participating in the summer research program with my friends. We had the whole campus to ourselves, used to go to math trivia Monday at Bomber’s in Troy (so nerdy, I know!), and we had so much fun. 

Advice for current Saints: 

Soak up everything that you can! Participate in study abroad, stay up too late with your friends, take classes that interest you. College is the one time where you can take classes for pure enjoyment and I wish now as a 27-year-old that I could go back and take philosophy classes for fun or work on my Spanish language skills. 

Career advice for current students:

Get out there and show them how awesome Siena grads are! There are so many things when you’re starting out that you won’t know how to do, but it takes no special talent to show up early, work hard, have a positive attitude, and be coachable. No one expects you to be the best at anything you ever start doing, but with a little bit of hard work, anything is possible!