Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Laura Waters '05
Dr. Laura Waters graduated from Drury in 2005 with a major in biology and two minors in global studies and religion. She is now a pediatrician at Mercy HealthTracks Pediatrics.
“I have wanted to be a pediatrician since I was 5 or 6,” Dr. Waters explains. “I loved my pediatrician (Dr. Chris Palcheff) as a child and wanted to do what he did. I came to Drury after looking at big schools with medical [programs] and realized one night at a college fair they weren't for me. I went to a college fair and each of those bigger schools had one person handing out pamphlets of information and none of them really had time to talk to me. My mom kept encouraging me to stop by the Drury table (because she wanted me to stay in town for school), so finally I did. I met people from admissions and recruitment who found out what I was interested in and immediately introduced me to Dr. Rowley (the pre-med advisor at the time). He told me about the early acceptance programs with some of the medical schools in the state, about the pre-med program, answered all my questions- I was SOLD! I then attended events on campus and it became very clear to me Drury was where it was at!”
During her time here at Drury, Dr. Waters was involved with the Pre-Health Professions Club, and even helped plan Drury’s first Relay For Life event.
She then continued on to medical school after being accepted into the St. Louis University Scholar Program, followed by three years of training at the Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in the pediatric residency program. After completing her training, she joined Mercy’s HealthTracks Pediatrics.
“I love where I'm at,” Laura says. “I get to care for kids, play, be there for families in their best and worst moments, and constantly learn new things.”
All of those years of training and hard work have certainly paid off, as Laura has been elected to the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MO AAP) Board of Directors and was selected for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Young Physician Leadership Alliance. “Both are big honors for me especially when I'm still so early in my career. I've had a lot of great people who have encouraged me to get involved in leadership and have been very supportive of me. It's amazing to be able to affect change at the state level to advocate for and improve care for Missouri's children. The AAP's Young Physician Leadership Alliance will hopefully be a stepping stone to get more involved nationally.”
When asked if she had any plans for the future, Dr. Waters had this to say, “One of my passions is medical missions- there's nothing more basic to the heart of a doctor than caring for those who need it most. I plan to continue doing short term medical missions- with a goal of going on at least 1 trip per year. One day, when I have a little more experience under my belt, I'll run for president for the MO AAP Chapter and who knows, maybe the AAP President... whatever I can do to improve the life of a child will make it all worth it in the end.”
Written by Sarah Lee ’16