Why is Women’s History Month important to you?
It’s a time for me to reflect on the great accomplishments women in medicine have made before me who have made my career possible.
What do you like most about your job?
The people I work with and care for. I meet the most wonderful children and families in my job, and care for them with colleagues who also care deeply for them and about their work. Each day is different. I never go home having not learned something!
How can we encourage more women and girls to enter the sciences?
Introduce them to the sciences early! I was exposed to women in science from an early age. My mother had been told by her college counselor she could not be a lawyer because of her gender, so she made sure I was exposed to professional women in elementary school. Throughout my childhood, she and my father made sure that I understood that I could be anything I wanted to be if I worked hard.
In addition, gather support from those around you, both male and female. Many males in power throughout my medical career have encouraged me to take on leadership roles and strive for advancement, including Bob Witzburg, MD, dean of Boston University Medical School, Alessio Fasano, MD, chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MGHfC, my mentor, Allan Walker, MD, of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and Ronald Kleinman, MD, physician-in-chief of MGHfC.
Has there been an influential woman in your life who supported or inspired you on your journey into health care/medicine?
My mentor, Elsie Taveras, MD, chief of General Academic Pediatrics at MGHfC, continues to inspire me every day. I went into medicine to provide care to the underserved and to ensure all children have an opportunity to live a full and healthy life. Dr. Taveras has shown me how to translate our research into clinical care and public policy to improve the lives of all children.
What advice do you have for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
As women in medicine we must balance our lives as physicians, mothers, daughters and significant others. We need to be kind to one another and genuinely praise each other for the superheroes we are!
What is special about MassGeneral Hospital for Children?
What drove me to MGHfC was the kindness of the physicians, nurses, staff and trainees. Every day, I’m reminded how lucky I am to work in such a warm place where others genuinely care about the patients we are serving and each other.