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Meet Our Advocates: Dr. Misha Khalighi

What are your gender pronouns?

Where are you from?
I grew up in the metro-Detroit area in Michigan where my parents immigrated to from Iran and am now hoping to settle down in sunny Southern California where I am currently doing my fellowship.

What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
I am a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine.

What first inspired you to become a doctor?
I have always loved meeting and being around people so I knew I wanted a career where I could do that. Besides the fact that I loved all my science courses, I also knew I wanted a career giving direct care to people who needed it. I can’t imagine doing anything else!

What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
Access to gender affirming care in minors across our country. I am lucky enough to be training in California at an institution at the forefront of gender affirming care for youth and young adults, but there are bills being introduced across the country aiming to criminalize physicians just for affirming the existence of these young people. I hope none of these bills pass, but just the presence of them is damaging, traumatizing, and attempts to erase a group of people who cannot and will not be silenced. Hearing about these bills popping up is disheartening but reminds me, now more than ever, that I am becoming an adolescent physician to use my voice to speak up and help people get their voices heard.

How do you practice self-care?
My happy places include my hot yoga studio and the park across the street from us where my husband and I love throwing the ball for our dog, Lincoln. I also love being in nature any chance I get! It helps me feel rejuvenated and ready to take on my own hurdles.

Who is your social justice hero?
There are so many activists and social justice workers that inspire me to work harder in my own field. One of those people is Emma Gonzalez, the incredibly resilient and strong young survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who hasn’t let her age or others’ opinions silence her voice for action against gun violence and for gun reform in the United States. I was a shy teenager and seeing young people speak out for their beliefs and for the lives of their peers the way she has is incredibly inspiring and blows me away. I feel so lucky to take care of young people with ambitions and dreams like hers every day.

Our Meet Our Advocates series showcases the talents and passion of one of our doctors and finds out, in their own words, what inspires them to be physician-advocates. Misha Khalighi, MD is in our current Leadership Training Academy class. Dr. Khalighi practices adolescent medicine in California.

Read more interviews from the Meet Our Advocates series.