Hi, I’m Kristin Flanary and Here is My Story
I have always been a little unconventional.
I am married to ophthalmologist-by-day / internet comedian-by-night Dr. Will Flanary, better known as Dr. Glaucomflecken. (And yes, I do accept condolences for that.) We started dating as undergraduates before each earning advanced degrees from Dartmouth College.
This means I have been along for the entire medical training ride, from pre-med to private practice.
Against all “best practices,” I agreed to have our first baby during Will’s medical school years and our second during his residency. Meanwhile, I was finishing graduate school, building my own career, and helping prevent my husband’s body from trying to kill him.
By the time we were 35, Will had suffered two cancer occurrences and a sudden cardiac arrest.
I took on the unexpected roles of caregiver and “co-survivor” of these traumatic experiences. In May 2020, I woke up in the middle of the night to Will dying in our bed while our 8- and 5-year-old daughters were asleep in the next room. I called 911 and performed 10 minutes of CPR before help arrived.
Since then, I’ve become known internationally as my social media alter ego, “Lady Glaucomflecken” (@LGlaucomflecken). Occasionally, you may find me guest-starring in Dr. Glaucomflecken’s videos as the OBGYN at Glaucomflecken General Hospital. I also co-host the medically-themed comedy podcast “Knock Knock, Hi.”
But if you’re looking for boring credentials, I have those, too.
I earned a bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University in 2008 and a master’s degree at Dartmouth College in 2011. I formally trained in cognitive neuroscience and social psychology and then applied those skills to working in higher education, marketing, and communications. In 2022, I co-founded Glaucomflecken LLC, where my work advocates for caregivers and co-survivors of medical trauma and critical illness, CPR and AED use, physician families, adolescents and young adults affected by cancer, and sudden cardiac arrest survivorship. I serve as Co-Patient Editor for the Journal of Cardiac Failure, writing editorials about the healthcare system. I am honored to have received an EMS Cardiac Arrest Save Challenge Coin (2020), the Citizen CPR Foundation’s 40 Under 40 award (2021), and the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Champion award (2022).
Through my social media presence, impactful writing, creative multimedia projects, and poignant keynote speaking, I teach healthcare workers about the patient and family experience.
My perspective on the healthcare system is a unique one.
I have behind-the-scenes knowledge of what it takes to be a physician from being “married to medicine.” I have been a patient and a family member of a patient. And I am a co-survivor of life-altering diagnoses.
I have seen compassion and humanity, and the lack thereof.
Through my stories, I hope to make a difference. I hope to change how healthcare workers see their patients and their families. I hope to remind them of the importance of compassionate care.