CALIFORNIA GIRLS STATE ALUMNAE SPOTLIGHT
Our Medicine Network
Tell us about your role. What does a typical week look like?
I am currently an Adolescent Medicine fellow at Seattle Children's Hospital. It is a 3-year position that includes training in medical issues that affect our adolescent population, including eating disorders, mental health, reproductive health, school-based medicine, and transgender youth care. During the week I can be found in the hospital doing consults or at different clinic facilities, including the local free homeless youth clinic, juvenile detention clinic, and my own clinic at the hospital.
What did you do to become an Adolescent Medicine Fellow?
I went to undergrad at UCLA, medical school in Israel, and then pediatric residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. To be a specialized physician, there is A LOT of schooling, training, and student loans, so you need to be passionate about whatever specialty you want to go into. For me, the LGBTQ adolescent population is an extremely underserved population within medicine, and this became the driving force for adding three more years of training and student debt to my journey.
Is this where you thought you'd end up?
When I was in medical school, I helped spearhead our school's first LGBTQ Pride Week. One of the events we hosted was a panel with transgender individuals who shared the horrific encounters they had with medical personnel. From that day on, I knew I wanted to help advocate for our transgender youth through medicine.
What's the coolest thing you have been able to do in your career?
The most exciting thing I have done so far is prescribe the first testosterone dose for a transgender male patient. The patient and his mom were giddy with excitement, and it was contagious.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in this field?
I think there are unique difficulties for women that pursue medicine. As a pediatric resident, I was working 80-hour weeks and thinking to myself, how am I supposed to enjoy a personal life? How am I supposed to cultivate my own interests when it feels as though I am constantly in the hospital? It took far too long to understand this concept, but these extracurricular activities are what kept me sane throughout such an arduous journey. It is extremely hard to be responsible for patients in the hospital when I was not taking care of my own wellness!
How has California Girls State and/or its alumnae community positively impacted your life and career?
I will never forget my experience at Girls State, and that is entirely because of the amazing girls I was surrounded by. We worked as a team to accomplish all of our personal and city goals for the week. This was an early experience that taught me the importance of supporting and receiving support from other women around me.