I grew up in Chester, New Jersey, about an hour west of New York City, with my parents and two siblings. My father is an Infectious Diseases physician in private practice, and my mother, who previously worked in Special Education, now fund raises for a community hospital. I went to a small Catholic all-girls school, which provided a great academic foundation. I was very busy with extracurricular activities, which mostly included sports. I went to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where I was a chemistry major, and then moved to New York City for medical school at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. During medical school, I was able to do clinical rotations in Shiprock, New Mexico; Boulder, Colorado; and Dublin, Ireland. I started my Internal Medicine residency at UVa three years ago and will be staying for an additional year as a Chief Resident. I plan to apply to Infectious Disease fellowships this summer, and I plan to work in academic medicine and incorporate patient care, medical education, and clinical research.
Why did you decide to become a doctor?
From a young age, I liked science, and as I grew up watching my father work as a physician, I thought that medicine would be a good match for me. I like that it’s a scientific field that allows you to establish interpersonal relationships.
What do you like about the Charlottesville area?
One of my favorite things to do in Charlottesville is walk the Saunders-Monticello trail with friends. I also enjoy hiking in Shenandoah National Park, tasting wine at the local vineyards, and going to see live music. Fridays After Five and Veritas Starry Nights have been some of my best memories as a resident at UVA.
What opportunities do you have at UVa that made you choose us?
During my fourth year of medical school, I came down to UVA for an away elective with the Infectious Disease consult team. The housestaff were knowledgeable and collegial. I could picture myself enjoying working with them. My attendings were Dr. Donowitz, Dr. Sifri, and Dr. Wispelwey, and they impressed me with their amazing bedside manner, academic prowess, and ability to still crack a joke. I thought the area was beautiful. After that elective, I knew I wanted to match at UVA.
Proudest/greatest achievement outside the professional realm?
My greatest achievement outside of work is maintaining close friendships with important people in my life. I still talk with and see friends from childhood, high school, college, and medical school. These friendships are a priority.
What are you usually doing on the weekend or during your time off?
During the weekend, I usually spend time with friends or family. If the weather is nice, I try to be outside!
Favorite vacation or recreational activity spot?
My favorite vacation spot is Barnegat Light, New Jersey. It is a small quiet relaxing fishing town where my parents have had a beach house for about 10 years. It’s on the end of an island so it’s off the beaten path and has a historic lighthouse. After a day on the beach, we will ride our bikes to pick up the fresh fish and produce for the night’s dinner. We do some spontaneous recipe planning at the produce stand, and luckily, with such fresh ingredients, it’s always delicious.
Most admired person, and why?
My paternal grandfather is the person I admire the most. He came over to the United States from Northern Ireland in his 20’s and served in the military in order to gain US citizenship. He had many different jobs, from working on the shipyard to owning an Irish pub, The Killarney Castle, in New York City. He worked hard every day of his life in order to make sure that his family was comfortable and educated. Despite many hardships, he was always happy and appreciative for what he had. I try to remember and emulate his work ethic and his gratitude.
Best advice anyone ever gave you?
In high school, one of my favorite teachers told my class, “be kind to each other and to yourself.” I have tried to pay attention to this advice during residency.
What about you would surprise us?
Growing up, I played the flute. Two of my more recent interests are skiing out west and visiting national parks.