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From nurse to surgeon
6/13/2017

Kelly J. Janke, D.O.

Kelly J. Janke, D.O., didn’t grow up wanting to be a physician.

“When I was in high school, I liked a lot of different things,” she said. “I wasn’t ready to commit to going to school for 10 years to be a doctor.”

Dr. Janke, a general surgeon who joined The Surgical Group of LG Health in 2016, worked as a nurse at Lancaster General Hospital for two years before she decided to go to medical school.

Her Lancaster County roots run deep. Born at LGH, she grew up in Denver and graduated from Cocalico High School. Her mother, Denise Sensenig, trained as a nurse at LGH, and her father, Bruce Sensenig, recently retired as superintendent of the Cocalico School District.

Dr. Janke liked science, and she knew that nursing was a solid career choice. She worked as a nurse’s aide and unit clerk at LGH before earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Messiah College. She returned to LGH as a nurse, where she especially enjoyed caring for post-op patients.
 

Dr. Kelly Janke, shown with her husband Bryan and children Olivia, Nicholas and Benjamin, joined The Surgical Group of LG Health in 2016.

“I interacted with a lot of surgeons on the floor, and I saw central lines going in at the bedside,” she said. “The first one I saw made me a little woozy, but then I thought it was pretty cool.”

As much as Dr. Janke liked being a nurse, she came to realize that she actually wanted to perform surgeries. That’s when she decided to go to medical school.

Her nursing experience proved valuable at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as her internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital and surgical training at Temple University Hospital.

“I was certainly well ahead of my peers when we got to the clinical setting,” she said. “It would be very difficult to go right from growing up in rural Lancaster County to opening a patient’s chest in the ER in Philadelphia.”

She and her high-school sweetheart, Bryan Janke, who works for 6 ABC Action News in Philadelphia, live in rural Reinholds, not far from their childhood homes, with their 11-year-old daughter Olivia and sons Benjamin, 9, and Nicholas, 6.

Dr. Janke appreciates the variety and versatility of general surgery and isn’t looking to specialize. When she’s not at the hospital, she enjoys running, working on home projects and spending time with her family, which includes planning camping trips.

“As lifestyles go, being a surgeon isn’t the best choice,” she said. “But I love what I do, and I work hard to maintain a balance in my life.”

 
 

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