What inspired you to go into medicine?
I have always desired to help those who physically and/or emotionally suffer. I am also very interested in psychology and have found that in the field of gastroenterology, psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety and/or depression, commonly manifest as physical symptoms.
What do you do as a provider at MGHfC?
I care for children with infantile food intolerances and colic, celiac disease and functional disorders. I also lead a Mind-Body clinic on Monday mornings at the hospital's Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care where I teach patients about the impact of stress on the body, specifically its manifestation as difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation and diarrhea. I teach how to counteract stress by eliciting the Relaxation Response, which is a psychologically relaxed state reached through meditation, exercise, yoga and other methods.
What gives you the greatest joy in your profession?
Making a diagnosis that may have eluded others, such as the "colicky" baby who actually has milk protein intolerance, the young adult with chronic nausea and pain who doesn't have reflux but a poorly functioning gallbladder, or the young adult with irritable bowel syndrome who actually has past trauma manifesting as gastrointestinal symptoms. Once the correct diagnosis is made, a return to health can begin.