Where do you call home?
I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and am proud to call this hilly, river-bound city my home!
What’s your specialty or area of expertise?
I am an ob/gyn who is currently in fellowship for Reproductive Infectious Disease (RID). RID focuses on complicated infections of the gynecologic tract, including sexually transmitted diseases like HIV or Syphilis.
What first inspired you to become a doctor?
When I saw that being a doctor can make you more humble, more empathetic, and a better advocate for your community–I was committed! I love how medicine gives me the privilege to be present for the challenging moments, and how I have a chance to be supportive and helpful when things are tough or out of a person’s control.
What advice do you have for medical students and residents wanting to incorporate advocacy into their day-to-day?
Advocacy starts at the interpersonal level! If you can’t organize big events, go to rallies, or participate in volunteering, I think that is totally OK. When I’m busy, I try to focus on being a kind and open person to the people immediately around me. I’d recommend that strategy for others as well!
What current policy issue especially motivates you to be an advocate?
The Affordable Care Act, and the future of health care for non-insured folks in the USA.
How have the events of the past year shaped how you view being a physician advocate?
The civil rights movement over the last year has thrown a spotlight on all our roles in systemic racism. I am trying to work on myself and improve areas of my own bias. As a physician advocate, I am trying to dig in and create programs at my institution that address the outcomes of systemic racism, like higher rates of HIV infection. I am so happy to be in the LTA, to learn how to bridge this work into policy and governmental advocacy!
What is bringing you joy these days?
Patients who have great stories, my husband and my dog, and this great city of Pittsburgh. Did you know that Pittsburgh has some of the most beautiful stairs?