What are your gender pronouns?
Where are you from?
Tempe, Arizona but I’ve lived in the Northeast since college.
What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
Obstetrician and gynecologist with a specific interest in advocacy and health policy.
What first inspired you to become a doctor?
I wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I worked as a family planning counselor at a community health center after college that I felt the drive to pursue becoming an ob/gyn. I loved interacting with women at all stages of their lives. I also saw the power of access to contraception: women had control over their reproduction, economic freedom, could pursue education and careers, and they could start a family when they were ready.
What story about one of your patients most sticks with you?
When I was in residency, a woman had traveled to our state seeking an abortion later in her pregnancy. She had a very wanted pregnancy but the fetus had a lethal anomaly. She and her partner made the decision to end the pregnancy, but she could not find a provider in her area that would perform the procedure. She traveled nearly six hours to come to our facility for a two-day procedure. She was so grateful for the care she received and later sent us handwritten thank you notes. I’ve kept that note ever since. Messages like hers remind me why I became an ob/gyn and feel so strongly that ALL women deserve the same access and respect.
What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
Unfortunately, there are many to choose from, but currently I am focused on the threats to Title X. The community health center I work at receives Title X funding and this funding is critical to ensuring my patients receive preventative health screening, sexually transmitted infection testing, and access to all contraception options. The proposed changes to Title X would require me, as their provider, to withhold important counseling information regarding abortion and provide misleading information to patients who chose an abortion. Politics don’t belong in the exam room and I will continue to fight to ensure I am able to provide comprehensive reproductive health care to all my patients.
Who is your social justice hero?
Although there are incredible leaders in the social justice movement, I can’t say I have one specific hero. I am inspired every day by friends, acquaintances, and strangers that work to improve the lives of people everywhere, whether it’s in reproductive rights, environmental health, immigrant rights, prison reform; it all matters and encourages me to work harder.