AlumNow: Hillcrest grad turns love of science into a rewarding career

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For Hillcrest High School alum Katherine Hall Jelliffe (Class of 2004), the lessons she learned from one of her favorite teachers taught her that women can excel in science. Today, Jelliffe is a fourth-year Obstetrics & Gynecology resident physician at Parkland Hospital where she teaches younger residents and interns.

AlumNow, a Hub feature that checks in with district alumni for an update on what they’ve been doing, checked in with Dr. Hall to find out how things are shaping up for her.

What are you doing now?

Each month, I work in a different area of OB/Gyn (gynecology, obstetrics, gynecology oncology, urogynecology, reproductive endocrinology) with a team of residents. I am responsible for teaching the younger residents and interns. I see patients who are admitted to the hospital as well as in the clinic setting. I perform gynecologic surgery including pre-operative and post-operative management. My favorite part of my job is seeing patients for prenatal care and managing labor & delivery.

Briefly list career and/or personal highlights.

There have been so many great moments during my medical education and residency. Being a part of the move to the New Parkland Hospital has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My first delivery of twins was something that I will never forget. I also got to deliver triplet boys via cesarean section this past June. Delivering babies and seeing the reactions of the parents truly never gets old.

What was your favorite subject or activity/involvement in high school?

I was on the Panader Drill Team all four years of high school. I met my best friend who is still my best friend to this day. I was also on the Hillcrest Hurricane staff sophomore and junior years, and I was co-editor my senior year.

Who was your favorite teacher?

Teresa Oriabure is a teacher who I will never forget. It was in her class that I realized I loved science and wanted to study biology in college. She was so excited about the subject matter that it made her class very enjoyable. She also showed us that women can excel in the sciences.

What lesson did you learn in high school or beyond that has served you well through the years?

Being on the Hillcrest Hurricane staff and an officer in drill team were two very large time commitments. I also graduated third in my class. Balancing all of those extra curricular activities with my AP course work taught me time management skills that still serve me well today.

What advice, if any, would you offer to high school students today?

Find what you love to do and don’t let anyone stop you from doing it.

What inspires you?

When patients are grateful for the care we provide them at Parkland, it really makes all of the hard work and sacrifice I have put in worth it.

College/University and degree(s) earned:

Southern Methodist University, BS in biology with minors in chemistry and German, 2008, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

UT Southwestern Medical School, MD 2012, Alpha Omega Alpha

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