Growing up in the country taught new pediatric psychologist Krista Caldwell, Ph.D. how to put her heart into work. Although she’s miles away from the family farm that taught her the value of helping others, her career keeps her close to what she enjoys most – caring for others. In the department of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology, Dr. Caldwell treats children and teens with a wide range of emotional and behavioral disorders, but specializes in those with eating disorders. Understanding that families are an essential part of the recovery process, Dr. Caldwell implements individual and family therapy to help patients and their families navigate a child’s recovery from an eating disorder throughout the course of treatment.
Q: Why did you want to become a doctor?
A: My parents raised me to have a heart for others. I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to have a positive impact on the lives of those around me. Being a psychologist allows me to do just that and, through my training, I have learned that I particularly love working with teens and young adults. Adolescence and emerging adulthood is such a tricky period of life. I am grateful I get to help my patients better understand their identity, values and goals to help them overcome the various barriers that may present in their life.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: When I traveled abroad, I fell in love with Munich, Germany. The English gardens were beautiful; the city was pristine; and, I loved the views of the Alps. I dream of becoming a college professor there one day.
Q: When you curl up on the couch to watch a movie, are you most likely to have a bowl of popcorn, chocolate or box of tissues?
A: We don’t watch a ton of movies at home but, when we do, I love to make air-popped popcorn. The secret is to buy spray butter and as the popcorn pops out of the machine, you try to hit every piece with the spray. It’s like a game and it’s so, so tasty.
Q: What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
A: Mornings typically aren’t my thing, but recently I’ve started running first thing in the morning. As much as rolling out of bed may be difficult, starting with a run has really helped me get a positive start to my day. It’s also nice ending my run with a cool down walk with my pup.
Q: What song do you know all the words to by heart?
A: My husband will tell you the answer to this is “too many to list.” I love music and have a knack for retaining lyrics. That being said, I think most people are surprised that I know all the words to Grundy County Auction by John Michael Montgomery. Years ago my grandpa recorded it for me on a cassette tape because the lyrics reminded him of me. 🙂
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in a little town in Northwest Ohio called Napoleon. I was raised on a pig farm out in the country and loved being a country girl.
Q: Who makes up your family, including pets?
A: My little family includes my husband, Rusty, and our rescue dog, Chai.
Q: Have you ever met anyone famous?
A: Technically, I didn’t get to meet them, but I stood 5 feet behind Brooks and Dunn (country musicians). In high school, my best friend’s family helped crew their hot air balloon at Country Concert and, as a thank you, they let me ride on the balloon and took us backstage. It was an amazing experience, but unfortunately I failed to take a picture!
Q: Do you have any hidden talents or something people may not know about you?
A: I don’t know if it’s necessarily a talent, but I LOVE karaoke! I can put on an okay show once I hit the stage and sort of hit diva status when performing.
Q: Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s?
A: My job is a dream position for me. It’s truly what I was working towards throughout my graduate career. My goals in training were to work with teens and young adults diagnosed with an eating disorder and develop a program that provides evidence-based support and research to help improve treatment. Now those goals are a reality. When I interviewed at Children’s, I couldn’t get over how happy everyone was and how dedicated they all seemed to this organization. I’ve only been here a short time, but it has been a joy to see so many smiling faces as I walk through the hospital. It’s wonderful to witness first-hand how dedicated everyone is to providing the best care possible to our patients.