Describe your journey into health care.
I knew early on that I loved science. My dad, a neurosurgeon, would help me with science projects and bring me into his office on weekends where I would use his stethoscope and play with the reflex hammer. Because of that, I knew fairly early on in life that I wanted to be a doctor, and I pursued pre-med courses in college at Stanford. When I entered medical school at Tulane, I wasn't sure what specialty I'd go into, but I was immediately enthralled by our basic anatomy lab and then neuroanatomy.
After spending a couple weeks on the neurosurgery service, I knew that it was the specialty that was going to keep me interested and inspired throughout my career. I enjoyed, and still enjoy, the immediate impact on patient lives: the way you can diagnose patients just by talking to them, watching how they move their body or checking their vision. And every single case is unique.
My job is never boring. It's always rewarding and a source of lifelong learning. It is everything I could have hoped for as a young girl hoping to be a doctor.
What is one piece of advice you would give a woman entering the field of medicine and/or healthcare?
Admiration of your peers and colleagues is great, but comparing yourself to others can be a zap of time and energy. Trust in your own instincts and become involved in areas that you truly care about.
What is special about Mass General?
The "can do", "can help", "can heal" approach that exists across all Mass General employees and caregivers.
What do you like most about your job?
Having an impact on my patient's lives during their most difficult hours and days.
Why is Women’s History Month important to you?
It reminds me to try to approach life with the same courage, persistence and passion that came from the women who have helped shape history.
How can we encourage more women and girls to enter the sciences?
We should let women know that if they enjoy science, not only can they be great in the field, but also the field of science and medicine needs them!
Has there been an influential woman in your life who supported or inspired you on your journey into health care/medicine?
My mom and three sisters always inspire me to pursue my dreams.