Where do you find meaning in medicine?
I find meaning in relationships with my patients, my staff and colleagues, and my learners.
What is your favorite experience working in medicine?
My favorite experiences fall into two categories, those with my patients and those with my learners. It is an honor for patients to choose me as their surgeon and put all of their trust into my care. It is also incredibly rewarding and exciting to see my residents and students progress in terms of technical skills, clinical skills, or just as human beings.
What is a challenging issue you face and how to do you overcome it?
In the world of medicine where it is easy to become overwhelmed with the destructive power of disease, long work hours and endless paperwork, the challenge I face is avoiding cynicism and detachment. I have learned to diversify my professional activities, cultivate relationships at work and honor the ones I hold dear at home. I remind myself that my work matters. And, I run, a lot.
Any career can be stressful, but particularly for those who work with patients every day. What is your wellness strategy?
My wellness strategies include eating well and running. When I run, I often practice mindfulness. I also am incredibly lucky to have a wonderful husband and children who are my guiding lights. I cherish my life with them.