Jamie (Spurrier) Kondis, MD, Child Abuse Pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Hometown: Vincennes, IN; currently based out of St. Louis, MO
Graduation year: 2002
Sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta
What other degrees have you earned?
MD from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2006
What is your current career position?
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine
Please describe your current work.
I am a Child Abuse Pediatrician at Washington University School of Medicine/St. Louis Children’s Hospital. My job consists of seeing patients, doing research and teaching medical students, resident physicians and other medical professionals and community professionals. I am also on the Admissions Committee for the medical school and serve on several committees in the community. I am also a mom to three children, ages 8, 5 and just born!
What are your future goals?
I would like to continue to advance in my career as a physician, researcher and educator. As my children get older, I would also like to become involved with more community oneorganizations.
Another goal is to raise my three children to be successful, happy and healthy individuals and hopefully convince to come to Westminster!
In terms of your professional life, what would you say is your overarching purpose today?
I feel that I make a difference in children’s lives every day, which is very important to me. As a Child Abuse Pediatrician, I diagnose children with physical or sexual abuse or neglect and I then work with community partners (police, social workers, attorneys) to make sure that the children are safe and not subjected to further abuse. I frequently testify in court and help to educate our community partners. My goal is to help as many children as possible escape the cycle of abuse and neglect and also bring down the rates of abuse and neglect in our community!
Did your liberal arts education allow you to uncover particular passions that you’ve carried into your career?
Yes, my liberal arts education allowed me to explore more areas of study than I would have at a different institution. For example, although I was a Biology major, I minored in French and European Studies. As part of the European Studies minor, I took several political science classes. This got me very interested in political science and law, which has served me well in my career, because I frequently work with attorneys and testify in court. My liberal arts education also allowed me to have a very open mind when it came to my career choice. Child Abuse Pediatrics is a very small field of Pediatrics (only about 350 of us practice this field in the United States), and being open to a very different career was something that came easily, given the variety of classes I had exposed myself to in college.
Were any relationships you formed at Westminster particularly influential in helping you find clarity of purpose?
I was very fortunate to have extremely excellent biology and science mentors, but I also had many mentors outside of my field, including Dr. Jefferson in political science, Dr. Schaneman in French and Dr. Shapiro in English. They all helped me to broaden my horizons and be open to different career paths. In addition, by being a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, I was exposed to other leading women from a variety of backgrounds, which also helped to broaden my world view.
What does being a “leader” mean to you?
Being able to help and teach others and being able to pass on lessons that I have learned to others. Following Westminster, I attended medical school and, thanks to the many leadership opportunities that I had at Westminster, it was very easy for me to try and obtain leadership opportunities at medical school, and I did. I joined medical student council as well as a variety of other organizations. This continued in residency and beyond. Westminster helped me become an outgoing and outspoken leader, never afraid to speak my mind or defend my opinions.
What does success mean to you?
Advancing in my career, helping as many children as I can and also raising successful children who are happy and healthy!
What is it about Westminster that makes it the kind of community that empowers students to discover their purpose and find success?
The fact that all of the professors take time to know you as a person and they are there for you through all of your ups and downs. Also, they are very focused on getting students to the next stage of their careers, whether it is a job, grad school, etc. The students are all focused on similar goals and work together and help one another.
Do you recommend Westminster to prospective college students?
Of course! I recommend it to everyone! I recommend it, because at Westminster you are never a number, your faculty and staff get to know you personally. Also, there are so many wonderful leadership opportunities, such as Greek Life, volunteering, Student Foundation, etc. The campus is beautiful, and the educational opportunities are second to none!
Favorite Westminster faculty member?
The late Dr. Doug Fickess with Dr. Judy Schaneman as a close runner up! Also Mike Amspoker, Kurt Jefferson, Rebecca Shapiro … so many!
Favorite spot on campus?
The Theta lounge! I loved hanging out with my sisters there and doing a variety of fun activities! It was especially fun when I was an RA at Wetterau for two years! Second favorite is probably JCI, because I loved getting the salads, pizza and the grilled cheese on Texas toast! Also, I liked checking my mailbox!
Last book you read?
Do You Believe in Magic? and Pandora’s Lab, both by Paul Offit, MD. He is an amazing researcher, vaccine creator and advocate and all-around nice guy, in addition to being an incredible writer! I highly encourage everyone to read all of his books!
Favorite movie or TV show?
TV show is definitely The Blacklist. I love James Spader, and I even met him once, and he is an extremely nice person. I also love anything on The Food Network! Movie, not sure, I like a lot of movies, although mostly what I watch these days is the kids’ movies. I have seen The Lego Movie and Lego Movie 2 about 100 times …
Probably Waze, since I have no sense of direction! Also Instagram!
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Going to church and then doing something fun with my husband and kids! Although right now, I am home with my newborn!