- Camille Kaldahl, Alumni columnist
Kirbi Yelorda was not only an incredible athlete at Midland Adventist Academy, but a leader, mentor, and hardworking student. Whether you saw her balling on the court or putting on events as SA President, she always met everyone with a bright smile and genuine conversation. Her favorite memories included the many basketball tournaments that were met with camaraderie and sisterhood (and Mustang dominance) and her role as Mrs. Anderson (the wife) in Father Knows Best during her Senior Benefit.
When asked what she would tell her high school self, she remarked that, “You can’t please all the people all the time. Measure your value and worth on a metric that’s meaningful to you. Parents and mentors truly want the best for you. Trust them. Listen to them. Soon you will be on your own and independent, and that is a good thing too.”
Overall, she commented that her time at Midland equipped her with leadership tools that she continues to use. “Midland taught me the value of service and helped me discover leadership qualities that I use every day.”
From Midland, she was accepted into The University of Missouri-Kansas School of Medicine where she went on to complete her Doctor of Medicine in their six-year program. When asked what drew her to becoming a doctor, she explained that “Since elementary school I’ve wanted to be a doctor. I looked forward to going for checkups as a kid, and I always looked up to my Pediatrician. I was always taught that we were put on this Earth to serve others. I think Midland taught me that. I figured, what better gift can you give someone than the gift of their health and improving their quality of life?”
While she is only in her second year as a General Surgery resident at Stanford, she has already received an award as the Stanford University Department of Surgery 2018 Intern of the Year – voted by chief residents. Starting in July, she will have the opportunity to take two years away from clinic work and focus on research. Her short-term goal is to have her research completed, which focuses on diversity in the physician workforce and health disparities among minorities. During this time, she also hopes to earn her Masters in health research and policy at Stanford. After completion of these two years she will return to the clinical setting and finish the last three years of her residency program.
When she’s not making precision cuts in the OR (in her KC Chiefs scrub cap I might add), you can find her shredding the mountains in Tahoe on her snowboard, karate kicking in her black belt, lifting weights at the gym, or calling “check mate” in a game of chess. Fun fact: she can still do all that even after tearing both of her ACLs! I count myself lucky enough to have seen Kirbi’s leadership and humor in high school and can honestly say that she has and will continue to leave behind a legacy for many to follow.