What inspired you to go into medicine?
My father and grandfather were both physicians, so I had medicine on my radar from a young age. Becoming a pediatric physician was the perfect fit for me since I loved working with kids. Ultimately, I decided to become a pediatric gastroenterologist because it allowed me to interact with patients and their families in a wide range of ages from newborn through young adults. It also gave me the chance to do endoscopy procedures. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what is causing symptoms and it is quite satisfying when we are able to diagnose the problem on endoscopy.
What do you do as a provider at MGfC?
I see children of all ages with all types of gastroenterological (GI) conditions. Many of my patients, who I see at the Lurie Center for Autism and in my other clinic locations, have autism or other developmental delays. Taking care of patients who might have more difficulty explaining or identifying their symptoms presents a unique challenge. Sometimes we have to take a nontraditional approach in order to sort out what is going on for them, in terms of deciding which tests to do and the treatments to use. It can take creativity and a real partnership with the family to figure out the best way to get the information we need.
What gives you the greatest joy in your profession?
There are many things that give me joy in my profession. One is building relationships with my patients and their families and getting to know them over time. I also enjoy when we are able to “graduate” a patient because their GI issue has totally resolved. That is very gratifying moment.
I also find joy in making a true difference in a patient’s life. For example, caring for a child with autism who is having abdominal pain to the point of self-injury who is finally comfortable enough to participate in their therapies and make developmental progress once we get their GI issues under control. Lastly, I also really enjoy working with my colleagues in Pediatric Gastroenterology and other specialties to approach the whole patient and figure out a system of care that will be most beneficial.