Why did you choose to become a doctor?
As a child, I was in and out of the hospital having multiple surgeries, and eventually I realized that I could use my experiences to inform a profession where I understood what it was like to be both doctor and patient. I was definitely not encouraged to become a doctor by my family (who are mostly artists and musicians), which made it all the more enticing.
What’s one memory from medical school that has really stuck with you?
During medical school I had a job where I took care of malaria parasites, which had to be fed every 12-24 hours. As it happened, I had the right type of blood to use for feeding them, so I also donated my blood to the lab. One year I had to go into the lab on my birthday to feed them my own blood, and I think it was then that I knew with certainty that I was not going to pursue a career in research.
You have 10 seconds to advise someone on how to stay healthy – go!
Eating fresh seasonal food is not only good for the body but it reminds us that we are connected to the planet and its seasons.
What’s a quirk of yours?
I am a little bit obsessed with going to my local farmer’s market and trying new types of produce — if it’s only around this week or it’s a variety that’s new to me, I’m intrigued.
Any book recommendations you want to share?
I’m a huge bookworm and when I’m not working or with my family, I’m reading fiction. Two of my favorites: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (a classic) and The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin. The latter is unlike anything I’ve read before — it pairs incredibly evocative writing with a really fast-paced story. It’s part cowboy odyssey and part redemptive love story (and somehow it works). I have not yet met someone who didn’t enjoy it!