“It is so rewarding when parents come back after learning how to care for their child. They are proud that they followed through and that they did it. Maybe it was hard to do, hard to implement, but then it worked,” said Cynthia Krull, MD, a 2006 and 2009 alumna of the University of Minnesota Medical School. “Pediatrics includes teaching the adults who, in turn, help their kids. It’s about helping the whole family, and it’s my dream career.”

While Dr. Krull attended classes in the beginning at the Medical School’s Duluth Campus, her focus began with family medicine. She saw the value and appreciated the lifelong relationship that physicians in this field would build over time. “During medical school, however, I started to realize that my passion was pediatrics. I am fully committed to treating kids until they’re 24 years old, especially the complex care children who need the support and knowledge of their pediatrician to transfer to specialized care once they’re older,” she said.

Throughout her career, Dr. Krull has worked closely with complex-needs kids, with her current work at the Children’s Hospital and Outpatient Clinic in Hugo, Minnesota. “If I have a pediatric patient who needs additional care because of heart challenges, for instance, it helps the child if I am their pediatric physician until they’re 23 or 24 years old. At that time, an adult provider is connected with them who, in turn, can also handle the pediatric care of a patient who is biologically an adult,” Dr. Krull said.

During her medical school experience, Dr. Krull enjoyed the smaller classes and personal climate that the Duluth campus offered and said, “I would have felt swallowed by a larger campus. I was also closer to my parents who lived in Virginia, Minnesota.”

Even though the location was ideal for family connections as well as the close community of the campus between students and faculty, the bridge between the Duluth campus and the Twin Cities campus was a large part of her desire to attend the U of M Medical School. “It’s a win in every way,” she said. “The small class sizes in Duluth but then the two years in the Twin Cities offered all of the variety of the metro area when choosing clinical rotations when I was ready for that step in my education.”

Since completing her residency through the Medical School in 2009, Dr. Krull has enjoyed the past 12 years in her field of work. “I really like the enthusiasm of toddlers and preschool age children. It’s fun to watch them grow and develop. There’s an opportunity to mold them and guide them with a healthy start. Teaching the parents, teaching the kids. It’s a wonderful career,” she said.