What inspired you to go into medicine?
Several aspects of my life contributed to my developing interest in the medical field. Throughout childhood, I was surrounded by medical providers as well as parents who were medical administrators. Exposure to the medical community was part of my daily life, and I quickly appreciated that my interest in that community revolved around working with patients and improving health on a broader level. During my medical training, I became particularly interested in how health and disease is related to development during childhood. I ultimately pursued a career in pediatric gastroenterology because it allows caring for a vast array of patients, from infants struggling with growth to older children and adolescents with more complex intestinal disorders. The field is unique in that it requires a variety of skills, from clinical to procedural expertise, to adequately care for patients.
What do you do as a provider at MGHfC?
In addition to caring for patients in our main campus in Boston and at MassGeneral for Children at Mass General Waltham, I am a gastroenterology consultant for the Angelman and Down Syndrome programs at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC). Part of my time is also dedicated to investigating bacterial products that may help promote normal, healthy development of the intestine in premature infants. As an associate director of our fellowship program, I find educating fellow trainees in the art and science of our field endlesslessly rewarding. Finally, I dedicate time to my role as Physician Quality Champion, focusing on patient safety and improving health care delivery within our division.
What is one piece of advice you would give a woman entering the field of medicine and/or healthcare?
My advice to women entering healthcare is to identify and align with dedicated mentors early in your career. It is reasonable to consider partnering with more than one mentor to assist you with the various facets of your professional self. Identify your goals and work toward them relentlessly while always remaining humble, asking for help when needed and respecting those who support you along the way.
What gives you the greatest joy in your profession?
The long-term relationships that we have with our patients mean so much. Seeing a patient grow up, graduate high school and then college and watching them succeed is such a rewarding experience.
The greatest joy for me comes from improving the health of a child who can then participate in their lives fully, grow to their potential and progress to their next stage of development, whether that’s toddlerhood or young adulthood. I also fully enjoy balancing my various roles, which are all rewarding and contribute to improving the health of children in distinctly different ways.