Where are you from?
I was born in Montana way back when, but spent the majority of my formative years in Reno, Nevada, which I consider my home! I currently live in Maryland, as I met an East Coast partner who isn’t quite acclimated to the high desert—yet!
What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
I am a generalist ob/gyn.
What first inspired you to become a doctor?
My earliest memory of wanting to be a doctor was when I was about four. My mom asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I replied “I want to be a doctor in the morning, a banker in the afternoon, and play the flute in an orchestra on the weekends.” Turns out, I wasn’t so great at the flute and banking is somewhat boring. Medicine was the only thing that stuck! But I keep being a doctor because it allows me to do my part to help the human race. I feel as if being a physician helps me to strengthen not only my patients, but my community and state. I also feel that medicine has so many avenues outside of the exam room to make real change. Whether that involves lobbying Congress, helping to craft standards of care, teaching future clinicians, etc.—there are so many ways to make a difference.
What story about one of your patients most sticks with you?
I once had a young woman come to triage because her blood pressure was very high. She was about 20 weeks pregnant with a very desired pregnancy. We diagnosed her with severe preeclampsia. She was very sick and needed to be delivered to save her life. Given that she was only at 20 weeks, we explained to her the baby wouldn’t be able to live. She agreed to an induction of labor. After she delivered her beautiful baby, she spent a long time saying goodbye, as did the rest of her family.
I felt thankful that I was able to help her through this extremely difficult time while also helping to ensure she could eventually have another child.
What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
Women’s health is extremely important. Women make up over 50% of the population, and if we don’t care for our of women, as a society, we will fail. This must include access to complete comprehensive ob/gyn care, including but not limited to routine screenings, birth control, maternity care, and abortion care. A woman’s health care decision should be made by herself and her physician, and that’s it. She deserves the right to make whatever decision is the best for herself and her body.
Who is your social justice hero?
Ruth Bader Ginsberg.