What is your current position/how do you spend your time?
I’m a third-year pediatric endocrinology fellow at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I’m in my last month of training and it’s amazing how fast the last three years have flown by! In addition to my clinical work, I’m also involved in an exciting clinical research study at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a branch of the NIH, in nearby Research Triangle Park. Under the mentorship of Dr. Natalie Shaw, I’m investigating hormone dynamics and normal reproductive in early post-menarchal girls as they transition from anovulatory to ovulatory cycles.
I grew up near Holland, Michigan and went to college at Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana where I pursued a pre-med track with double majors in Biology and Spanish. After undergrad, I spent two years working in basic science research in a hepatology lab at Cincinnati Children’s. I then went to medical school at Ohio University followed by pediatrics residency at Wright State University/Dayton Children’s Hospital. For my fellowship training, I was thrilled to match at UNC, which is what brought me to beautiful North Carolina! After fellowship, I’ll be staying in the area and will be joining a community hospital-based pediatric endocrinology practice in Raleigh.
What are your interests? (clinical, research, educational, etc)?
My primary clinical interests are pubertal disorders and adrenal disorders. I’ve also enjoyed the collaborative care involved in treating children with endocrine complications after a cancer diagnosis. During fellowship, I’ve developed an interest in medical education and have sought out learning opportunities through UNC’s Academy of Educators and I’ve also really enjoyed being a part of the PES Fellows’ Education Sub-Committee. After fellowship, I plan to focus my scholarly pursuits on medical student and resident education.
What inspired you to choose pediatric endocrinology as a career?
My interest in the field began during my medical school’s endocrine block. I found the intricate pathways and feedback loops to be fascinating and I enjoyed learning about the wide variety of pathology. During residency, I spent time on an endocrinology elective which further sparked my interest for several reasons: the continuity of care allowing the physicians to build strong relationships with their patients, being able to partner with patients and their families in treating chronic diseases, and the stimulating combination of both inpatient and outpatient work. Also during residency, I was able to volunteer at a summer camp for children living with diabetes and that is what really sealed the deal – I was certain pediatric endocrinology was the right field for me!
Were there any mentors that were particularly inspiring to you along the way?
I’ve had many wonderful mentors at each stage of my medical training. During my time in Dayton, I cherished the mentorship of my program directors Drs. Ann Burke and Daniel Schulteis and was grateful for the mentorship from the endocrinology team there, especially Drs. Paul Breyer and Moira Pfeifer. I’ve been fortunate to have many amazing mentors here at UNC as well – all the pediatric endocrinology faculty, but especially my program director, Dr. Amy Levenson, and my research mentor, Dr. Natalie Shaw.