As a pediatric dermatologist, I care for babies, children and young adults who have a broad spectrum of skin conditions, including birthmarks and vascular malformations, rare genetic skin issues (such as ichthyosis) and autoimmune skin diseases (such as lupus and dermatomyositis). I also treat more common conditions such as alopecia, eczema and psoriasis.
I have always loved to be around children and was a teacher for several years before I realized that my true calling was to make children's lives better on the most basic level — helping them be as healthy and active as possible. I love working one-on-one with patients and families, as well as addressing public health issues that affect many patients and families. There is nothing more rewarding to me than seeing a child get better and feel comfortable in their own skin or be able to do things that their skin problem had prevented them from doing.
Skin disease is sometimes minimized as an aesthetic issue, particularly because many skin problems are not life-threatening. However, the skin is the body's largest organ and is visible to the world, so the physical, psychological and social impact of skin disease can be profound.
I want visits with me to be a positive experience for patients and families. I love my job, so I’m usually smiling and like to joke, play and chat with my patients. I try to put everyone at ease, keep the mood light and make it very clear that I see them as people. I want to know who they are, their goals, and how their skin condition impacts their lives. I try to ‘read between the lines’ to understand barriers to care and work collaboratively with families to find care plans that work for them. I do my best to use the skills I honed during my time as a teacher to make sure the patient and family understand their treatment options. I enjoy doing skin surgeries and laser treatments for pediatric patients and it’s my mission to make them as non-painful and non-scary as possible.
Part of my duty as a physician is to help address the social and economic factors that affect health and healthcare in the U.S. and throughout the world. I have done public health work in rural Haiti, taught dermatologists in Nepal about pediatric dermatology and given medical care in Honduras and Colombia. In medical school, I participated in a special program called the Urban Service Track, where I received training on addressing the needs of patients in underserved communities and supporting programs that helped them.
In my research, I’m involved primarily with clinical trials to test new medicines so that we can develop better treatments for children with skin problems.
During my free time, I love spending time with my family and being outdoors. I enjoy running long distances, cycling, skiing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and traveling.