This is a picture of my PA (Physician Assistant) and friend, Brooke Hovick, and I.
Kate (Armstrong) Pico ’98
- What are you doing currently?
- I graduated from Vis in 1998 and went to Boston College. I then went to Creighton for Medical School. I am currently an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand and wrist surgery. I work for HealthPartners at Tria and Regions Hospital. I met my husband in medical school and we have three wonderful kids.
- My inspiration to go into medicine has always been my dad, who was a primary care doctor for 40 years. I saw how he cared for patients and how they appreciated his time and knowledge. I got my work ethic from my mom. She is a psychologist who got her doctorate while I was in high school. I saw how hard she worked and knew I could do anything if I applied myself.
- How has your experience at Visitation shaped your life?
- My parents wanted me to go to Visitation to get a well-rounded education and to learn how to write and express myself well. I naturally gravitated to math and science but learned that art and English also challenged me to think critically. Vis afforded me opportunities that I would not have had if I had gone to a larger and co-ed school. I was exposed to wheel pottery and photography which I loved and continued in college. I was more involved in extracurriculars and sports (even though I was/am not a gifted athlete) which helped me get into college and medical school. I became a more well-rounded individual. I went to medical school for the same reason that most people do; to serve people in my community when they need help.
- When I was a junior at Visitation, my friend, Brendan Hession, died of bacterial meningitis. This was the first time I experienced real loss. I didn’t understand why God would take away my brilliant friend who was destined for great things. This also motivated me to learn more about educating the public about health issues. I see myself as a teacher to my patients every day, in orthopedics and beyond. When I was in high school, there wasn’t a vaccine for bacterial meningitis, and it is contagious. There is now a vaccine that is recommended for teenagers before they go to college. This horrible pandemic has truly brought the importance of science and education to the forefront of our lives. Science and medicine are about lifelong learning and continuing education. ‘Non-Scholae, Sed Vitae’, I am grateful for my Visitation education, teachers, and friends.
- What would your advice be to current students at Vis?
- My advice to current students would be: Never stop learning. Never stop challenging yourself. We can all do hard things. Put your phone down and make real connections. They will serve you better than Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat ever will.