What inspired you to go into medicine?
I was drawn to medicine because it is a combination of education and science. The human body is so amazing to learn about and then to teach patients about how it works (and how it sometimes doesn't work). The gastrointestinal tract is so interesting and it is where we get the energy for every other organ to work. Beyond that, I've seen how inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has affected both my family and friends. I take that into each and every patient visit. When we talk about finding the best treatment, it's important to take a holistic approach and make sure that someone's IBD symptoms doesn't prevent them from reaching their potential.
What do you do as a provider at MGfC?
While I see a variety of gastrointestinal problems, I am a member of the MGfC Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, so my focus is on patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. My research focus is in how genetics affect patients with inflammatory bowel disease (in both causing the disease and potentially predicting the response of certain medications).
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 other great moments of my day are when I'm talking to a patient or family member and we have a great back-and-forth conversation about their condition and how they can better understand it. Part of the reason I went into medicine was for the education aspect. When I have a patient or family member asking lots of deep questions about inflammatory bowel disease, it is really exciting.