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Dr. Castellanos is a fellow in the Pediatric Endocrinology Program.
My passion for medicine stemmed from an interest in pediatric endocrinology starting at age fourteen. I was losing an exceptional amount of weight, was growing increasingly anxious at school, and had developed a neck mass. My mother grew concerned and took me to visit my pediatrician, who referred me to an endocrinologist. I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease and was promptly put on a treatment regimen. Although I did not understand my diagnosis well, I was fascinated by the systemic effect thyroid hormones could have and the remarkable difference I felt after treatment. Over the years, my interest has matured through research and clinical experiences that have all confirmed endocrinology as the field I wish to pursue. Although my dream to become an endocrinologist began as a young teenager attempting to understand her diagnosis, my understanding of the field and respect for its complexity has deepened. Overall, the academic stimulation produced in diagnosing and managing patients and the rewards involved in following these patients long-term are the aspects of the field I find most fulfilling.
The first research experience that exposed me further to endocrinology was as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas, where I participated in aptamer research in a lab that had automated the process of in-vitro selection. I discovered that the principles of aptamer research could be applied to thyroxin-binding globulin (TBG) with the goal of a therapeutic approach to hypothyroidism. I was ultimately able to present the research at an undergraduate research forum and this stimulated an interest in thyroid disorder research.
Pediatric Hospitalist Medicine case presentation July 2017 • Presented case on steroid induced adrenal insufficiency, first author