Despite being a local girl from Winston-Salem, I was thrilled to come to Wake Forest. While I began contemplating a career in medicine early in my college career, political science quickly piqued my intellectual interest and sparked my passion. Balancing pre-medicine courses and a non-science major was challenging at times, but I am truly glad I was able to pursue both. At Casa Artom in Venice I not only learned Italian, studied Venetian Renaissance Art in person, but I also was able to learn about Western European politics while living there! During my senior year, I was able to combine both of my passions (medicine and political science) by writing a thesis comparing the health care systems of the United States, Great Britain, and Germany.
I graduated in 2002 with a major in Political Science, and a minor in Biology. I moved on to study medicine at Emory University. In 2006 I traveled westward to complete my pediatrics residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I just concluded one year as Chief Resident, and I am continuing my training as a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow.
My education in political science, and my strong liberal arts education in general, has been invaluable in my career as a physician. Especially as a pediatric infectious disease specialist, public policy and domestic and global political forces profoundly influence health care for children and many public health issues, including funding for HIV research and treatment. Through medicine, you can affect one life at a time. Through changing health care and public health policy, you can affect the lives of many. More broadly, the political science faculty helped me hone my skills in academic writing, scholarly research, and critical thinking, all of which are crucial to my career as an academic physician. I will be forever grateful to my professors and the incredible learning experience I was so fortunate to receive at Wake Forest. [posted March 2011]