Kricia Palmer MD is a talented and ambitious woman who has already managed to achieve not just one dream career, but two dream careers. A doctor and an interior designer, she has followed her ambitions and creative passions, often through unexpected paths along the way.
Kricia was a good student from a young age, and she was also artistic and creative. She began college as a dance performance major, but soon decided that a professional dance career would probably be short lived. Recalling encouragement from her high school biology teacher who told her that she was smart enough to be a doctor, Kricia decided that she wanted to take on the challenge of a career in medicine. She switched paths from dance to science during college and was accepted into Medical School. As a medical student, she did well academically and met her husband, a medical school classmate who is now an ER doctor. After her own prestigious Pediatric Allergy and Immunology fellowship at Duke University, she returned to Arkansas to practice at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
A few years later, after having two boys, she wrestled with wanting to spend more time with her family, guilt about wanting to leave medicine and a strong pull towards interior design. Kricia says that she felt as early as residency that she was not happy working as a physician. But, while she knew she was not happy, she kept waiting for it to get better and struggled with the idea that she did not want anyone to know she was considering leaving medicine. Looking back, Kricia thinks that medicine was just career mismatch for her because she craves creativity in her work.
Around the same time she was having her doubts about medicine, Kricia began to discover that interior design was a real career option. She researched the field of interior design, and shortly afterwards she left medicine to spend more time with her children. She began working towards a degree in interior design and she also started a small design business while getting her degree. Kricia explains that it has been a slow process because she loves spending time with her two young boys. Her plan is to intentionally grow her business in the coming years.
Overall, Dr. Palmer values her medical background for many reasons. In a practical sense, her son has mild cerebral palsy and allergies. She considers her experience as a pediatrician a blessing because it makes the process of managing the health and healthcare of her son easier. She also cherishes the privilege that she had in being a part of patients’ lives and says that her one-on-one work with patients touched her own life. And even in her work as a designer, Kricia says that it is easier for her to talk to people in awkward or uncomfortable situations because of her medical experience. She believes that she would not have been able to interact with people as well as she does without having had her experiences as a physician.
Now Kricia Palmer is an interior designer in Little Rock, Arkansas and she describes herself as ‘Fulfilled.’ She says that the response she gets when she tells people about her career transition is great and, surprisingly, much better than she expected during those years when she was conflicted about her career.
Kricia's interior design business is Palmer Home Designs.
Physician Success Stories