Dr. Kelly Lear: Coroner and Forensic Pathologist
To say that we had a LOT of questions for Kelly Lear is a huge understatement. When she offered us the chance to visit her at work at the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office we jumped at the chance. I think I speak for both of us when I say that the work Kelly does as a coroner and forensic pathologist is incredibly inspiring but what stood out even more is the humanity and compassion she brings to the job. Enjoy the episode!
WD: What is the biggest challenge in your personal life?
KL: My current challenge is having a temporarily-long-distance relationship becoming more permanently long-distance, with my girlfriend moving to Washington state in a couple of months. We are facing the challenges of the lack of employment for me in that area (not solvable in the short-term, and a challenge both personally and professionally), as well as needing to have buy-in from my ex if I were to eventually move with my daughter out of Colorado.
WD: What is your biggest challenge professionally?
KL: Having to be elected is my biggest on-going professional challenge, although the opioid crisis has caused a severe shortage of forensic pathologists, so in the short term, my daily challenge is being short-handed at work, and covering the work of two physicians.
WD: Was there a defining moment that set you on your current path? What?
KL: A paper I wrote in junior high set me on my career path, so that is probably my most defining moment...
WD: Who is your support system?
KL: Besides Megan, I have a handful of close friends who are my personal support system, as well as my mom and dad (my mom in particular is a huge support with helping with Paige and backing me as a single mom)--I also live in a neighborhood that provides a ton of support for my daughter.
WD: Do you have a secret talent?
KL: My only talent seems to be running and triathlon--not really a secret though. I raced Ironman at the elite-amateur level for many years.
WD: What is the best advice you've ever gotten?
KL: That I am not defined by my successes, and failures do not diminish me. I have spent so much of my life feeling like I have to win, or be the best, or be perfect and meet certain expectations. I have lost time being afraid to fail and building that life that I planned without seeing that other options exist.