Why is Women’s History Month important to you?
We certainly still have a long way to go in our struggle and right for equality. Taking time to honor the achievements, leadership and courage of the incredible women here at Massachusetts General Hospital and MGHfC, in the community and nationwide is certainly a move in the right direction and inspires me to want to do more!
How can we encourage more women and girls to enter the sciences?
Start early! The observations our girls make and the messages they receive begin at a very young age. Just the other day, our family watched the Space X rocket launch together. When cheers erupted and the cameras scanned the control room, we didn’t see a single woman. My husband and I immediately made a point of turning to our 7-year-old daughter and making sure she knew that if she wanted to be a space engineer, she absolutely could. Read books to your kids about women in science. Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty is a favorite in our home. Talk about science and math as it relates to your everyday life. Try out some bedtime math at bedtimemath.org! Be an advocate in your community for early opportunities for STEM exposure. Most importantly, volunteer to serve as a mentor and help to connect young women to mentors in any area that they find exciting!
Has there been an influential woman in your life who supported or inspired you on your journey into health care/medicine?
When anyone asks me about my decision to pursue a career in medicine, I immediately think back 20 years to the summers in college that I spent working with Dr. Diane Fountas at “the pink house,” an old Victorian home converted into a private pediatric office in Watertown, Conn. Like most college freshman, I had some thoughts about what I wanted to do, but hadn’t gained any real life experience. Diane graciously offered to have me follow alongside her at the hospital and in clinic. She was passionate, dedicated, well respected in her field and had an amazing rapport with her patients and their families. Within days, I was hooked and inspired to pursue a career in medicine. After a few weeks, Diane hired me to help in the office rooming patients, answering calls and eventually doing some research for my college thesis. I returned to work at the pink house each summer until medical school learning more and more from Diane about the medical field and what makes a great physician truly great. I will always be thankful to Diane for the time she spent mentoring and believing in me. I hope that I can do the same for young women interested in medicine in the future.
What is special about MassGeneral Hospital for Children?
I’ve been at MGHfC for more than 12 years! I am currently a primary care pediatrician at MGH Revere Health Center and the medical editor for MGHfC CARMA, an intranet resource website for pediatricians at MGHfC. I started as a pediatric resident at MGHfC in 2005 and haven’t left since. This seems to be a common theme among residents and fellows who have trained here. Our pediatrics department is truly incredible. I feel so lucky to have trained here and to continue to work with such caring and dedicated colleagues.