I'm a clinical fellow in neonatology. I work in the Perinatal Institute, where we meet families at a challenging time in their lives, and I enjoy being the one who is there to support them. I like that there is a degree of continuity within the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) since some of our patients stay there for an extended period of time, and I get to watch them grow.
My interest in medicine stems from the amazing pediatricians who cared for me during my childhood and whom I looked up to as role models. I became interested in neonatology because it incorporates an extensive range of pediatric subspecialties, allowing me to further explore my interests in various topics—from genetics to healthcare ethics to neurology.
My current area of research explores how we can optimize infant growth in the NICU with breast milk, specifically focusing on low birthweight infants since they often have suboptimal postnatal development. I hope to contribute to the growing body of research investigating how maternal factors and breast milk components can affect infant growth.
I have also been involved in quality improvement projects to increase breast milk use in the NICU. Breastfeeding and providing breast milk can be such a bonding moment for mothers; unfortunately, breastfeeding is often difficult in the NICU, with limitations on what parents can do for and with their infants. In addition, I have also led advocacy projects to help improve the transition of care from the NICU to outpatient care as part of the Improving Medicine: Pediatricians and Communities Together (IMPACT) Program at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. I have also had the honor of participating in the Medical Scholars Program at Saint Louis University Medical School, where I received the Rodney M. Coe Distinction in Community Service.