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The parents of Kate Tigue, MD were both teachers, so it was no surprise that she was a good student who loved intellectual challenges. And while she didn’t become a teacher herself, she believes her role as a pediatrician is, at its core, an educational endeavor.

“I always had an interest in science and I like the query of medicine,” she said about her decision to become a doctor, adding, “A pediatrician is a teacher, that’s what I value about the specialty. It’s a privilege that parents trust me with their kids and my job is to educate them to be confident in caring for their child. It’s a collaborative relationship.”

Dr. Tigue graduated from King’s College with a degree in biology and went to Temple University School of Medicine. From there, she went to The University of Rochester and served as chief resident. For a time, she and her husband, fellow northeastern Pennsylvania native, John D’Elia seemed settled in Rochester. She was a practicing pediatrician who also taught at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine. She was perfectly content. “I had no thought of returning to northeastern Pennsylvania,” she said.

As with so many “expatriates,” however, everything changed when she had her first child. “Having a child really made me appreciate my roots and I wanted my children to be close to their grandparents,” she said. She and her husband returned in 2000 and Dr. Tigue joined Pediatrics of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Dickson City.

Although she was happy to educate parents in her pediatrics practice, she missed teaching medical students. For that reason, she was overjoyed as the enthusiastic grass-roots effort to build Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine gained momentum and culminated in enrolling its first class in 2009. When Geisinger Commonwealth’s Charter Class arrived, everything came full circle for Dr. Tigue, who serves an assistant professor and was regional education coordinator for pediatrics for the North Campus in Scranton from 2010 to 2014.

“Academic medicine is energizing,” she said. “So I missed that when I left Rochester and am so happy Geisinger Commonwealth is now here. I love the students’ clinical curiosity. Their excitement is contagious. They keep us honest about what we loved about medicine in the first place.”
Kate Tigue