How did you discover your passion for what you do?

Many of my natural characteristics led me to my chosen career path. I have a strong desire to help others, require challenging subject matter to remain engaged, and am inspired by the beauty of science. These innate desires led to a career in medicine after taking a neuroscience course as a teenager. In medical school, an open mind, along with the encouragement of stellar mentors and support from my family, allowed for me to find my home in neurosurgery. As a former classical pianist, working with my hands came easy and was something I enjoyed. As I have progressed through neurosurgical training, I have become particularly interested in neurotrauma and neurocritical care, which is what I completed my subspecialty fellowship training in.

 

How do you continue to grow and be a lifelong learner?

For me, learning is a privilege and a joy. There is nothing more motivating than the critically ill patient –  the innate desire to help keeps me inspired to read and better myself despite the exhausting work hours. I try to read daily, make a schedule/routine and surround myself with like-minded learners which helps to promote the culture of lifelong education. Furthermore, I have a significant interest in medical ethics and emotion intelligence in medicine (i.e. how empathy and compassion affect person-centered medicine). I learn every day through listening to my patients, their families, nurses and other colleagues. This allows me to grow as a person and provider every day.

 

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

My husband and I love to travel! We were workaholics and never took time for ourselves until a health scare for my husband five years ago. We promised each other to live in the moment and not take time or health for granted after that event. We realized that we aren’t promised retirement to be able to live out our bucket list. Since that time, we have enjoyed traveling to Europe, South America, Africa and Asia, forming lasting friendships from all over the globe. Having the opportunity to interact with diverse people from around the world, admire great achievements of man throughout history, and bearing witness to God’s beautiful planet gives me peace, inspiration, and allows for personal growth that in turn make me a better physician and leader.

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