Why did you choose to become a doctor?

Well, truth be told, my dad thought I was the best suited for medicine of his four kids. Ha! (My interests were in other areas when I was 17 – flirting with the possibility of journalism or art history!) My parents were both physicians so I guess you can say medicine is in my blood.

I have great memories as a kid driving to my dad’s office with him – waiting for him to round on patients or suture someone up. When he saw I didn’t pass out at the sight of blood, I think he pegged me for the doctor!

My mom somehow pulled off raising all of us kids and working full-time – never missing out on dinners together. They both always told me how grateful they were for their work. No doubt, I had the best role models.

What’s one of your most memorable medical school memories?

I don’t remember anything about my med school years except graduating! I attended a combined BA/MD program right out of high school and it was nothing but a big blur ’til graduation day.

I will say the greatest lesson on caring for patients came from my mom. We were not religious but we loved Christmas and the Santa thing. We did presents and the whole shebang. She was on call and of course, was called out on one Christmas morning. I remember being really frustrated and whiny that my mom would miss our Christmas morning together. When she turned to me very calmly and said, “My patient is in the hospital and I have to go and hold my patient’s hand and wish her a merry Christmas and then I’ll be right back,” it really struck me. It’s stayed with me all these years – a great lesson in the art of medicine and really caring for someone.

You have 10 seconds to advise someone on how to stay healthy – go!

Easy and yet so hard: Find your path to good sleep, take lots of outdoor walks, and eat well. Put energy into nurturing relationships – with your husband, wife, kid, sibling, friend… Oh, and stay up-to-date on routine vaccinations!

What’s a quirk of yours?

Well, in the era of COVID, I’m known to collect masks like my son collects Pokémon cards. I have hundreds at home ready to go and I’m likely wearing at least two at all times.

If you could achieve one medical breakthrough, what would it be?

Mending a broken heart.