Karen Maples, MD
2023
Distinguished Alumni Award
 
recipient

Karen Maples, MD

BSS
 ’
76
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Karen Maples, MD
2023
 
Distinguished Alumni Award
 recipient

Karen Maples, MD

BSS
 ’
76
 ’
 ’
  ·  

Karen Maples, MD (BS ’76), who served as an obstetrician and gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente for 38 years, is recognized for her trailblazing role as one of the first Black female undergraduates at Caltech, and for her outstanding accomplishments as an obstetrician, which include delivering the world’s first surviving octuplets.

During her time at the Institute, Maples distinguished herself in the classroom, in the laboratory, and among her peers, serving as president of the Caltech Y, working as head usher for Beckman and Ramo auditoriums, and acting as a student manager of Caltech’s track and field team. She also worked as a lab technician at Huntington Hospital and received two summer fellowships at JPL. Through her engagement activities as a student, and her continued involvement with the campus community and other organizations in the years after, Maples has inspired generations of underrepresented students to realize their full potential.  

After Caltech, Maples attended the UCLA School of Medicine (now the David Geffen School of Medicine), after which she joined Kaiser Permanente as an obstetrician and gynecologist. In addition to safely delivering Nadya “Octomom” Suleman’s octuplets, Maples was the assistant area medical director of Kaiser’s Downey Medical Center from 2011–19, and mentored countless residents, midwives, and nurse practitioners throughout her career.
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