Internist Mark Kender, MD, Returns to St. Luke’s

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“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.


Credit: St. Luke's University Health Network

Internist Mark Kender, MD, has returned to St. Luke’s University Health Network after a year spent working in the Philadelphia area. He is now seeing patients at St. Luke’s Bethlehem Internal Medicine on Eaton Avenue in Bethlehem.

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 in this region, gained during a career that began as an undergraduate at Lehigh University. Lehigh was followed by medical school at Hahnemann University, which is 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 has his drive to prepare St. Luke’s internists for the challenges and fulfillment of patient care, as aging primary care doctors begin to retire.

Dr. Kender is seeing returning and new patients at St. Luke’s Bethlehem Internal Medicine, 800 Eaton Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18018.

He recommends that patients take the following 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 have received since your last visit.
  • Discuss any life changes or other circumstances that might be affecting your quality of life and health.

Dr. Kender said listening to patients is among doctors’ greatest skills, and something so simple, yet something that is often overlooked. He is inspired by the great physician and a founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. William Osler, 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,” Dr. Kender said. “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 said.

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, and was also named 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!” he said.

Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.

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