“Welcome back, Dr. Kender!” patients, physicians and staff of St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) are saying when they hear the news. This spring, the long-time Lehigh Valley-based internist returned to SLUHN to care for patients and help train future internal medicine specialists in the Network.
Mark Kender, MD, rejoined SLUHN after a year of treating patients and teaching newly-minted doctors in the Philadelphia area.
He has nearly four decades of medical experience to this region, a career that began as an undergrad at Lehigh University, followed by medical school at Hahnemann University, now Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Kender’s passion for his profession, his patients and his colleagues at SLUHN has never been stronger, nor his drive to prepare internists at St. Luke’s for the challenges and the fulfillment of patient care, as the aging primary care doctors begin to retire.
He is seeing returning and new patients at the St. Luke’s Bethlehem Internal Medicine, 800 Eaton Avenue, Bethlehem, 18018.
Dr. Kender recommends that patients take the following five steps to achieve the most satisfaction during their in-person or virtual appointment with their primary care physician:
- Make a list of all medications and supplements, including doses, and bring it to your appointment.
- List in writing any medical questions you wish to discuss.
- Be sure to discuss any barriers you have to receiving care, including finances and transportation.
- List any hospitalizations or specialty care you receiving since your last visit.
- Discuss any life changes or other circumstances that might be affecting your quality of life and health.
Dr. Kender says listening to patients is among a doctor’s greatest skill, something so simple yet often overlooked, in addition to his/her ability to diagnose and treat a medical problem. He is inspired by the great physician and a founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital, who told medical students and new doctors: “Listen to your patient; he’s telling you the diagnosis.”
“Personal relationships are the foundation of a healthy life,” he says. “As doctors, patients rely on us to help them take care of themselves and negotiate the healthcare system when they need to access it for wellness, education, treatment and rehabilitation.”
Dr. Kender’s clinical skills include expertise in diagnosis, complex chronic illness management and coordination of complex care with specialists. He is a board-certified internist, professor of medicine, primary care researcher, Fellow of the American College of Physicians and provider for St. Luke’s ExecuHealth program, a one-day health and wellness assessment.
“I enjoy combining these skills with my passion for patient care,” he says.
He is certificated by the Flinders Method of Chronic Condition Management, which provides patient-directed improvement in life goals as a means to improve medical illness. He also has an interest and background in serving in-need rural communities, which he experienced as former Medical Director at St. Luke’s Miners Campus.
Dr. Kender has been named among The Best Doctors in America as a Top Doctor every year since 1996, including his election as a 2021 Pennsylvania Top Doctor.
Now back in the Lehigh Valley as a physician, Dr. Kender couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of St. Luke’s as a clinician and teacher.
“The joy of having relationships with my patients and colleagues again—now that I’m back, I realize that I missed them more than I thought!”