Meet Our Graduates
School: Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Degree: MD ‘23
What’s Next: Ophthalmology residency at North Shore LIJ/Northwell Health
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? What other degrees do you have?
I have lived in Brooklyn and White Plains and currently live in Queens, but Brooklyn is my hometown. I graduated from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and received a master’s degree in Biology from New York University prior to medical school. (Can you tell I love NY?!)
Did you have a career prior to medical school?
Yes, I worked for the AIDS Institute at the NYS Health Department, and prior to that, I was a licensed commercial and residential real estate broker. Real estate in New York City provides interesting experiences about working with people. There is similar information asymmetry, and you get to work as a team to help clients work through certain realities and understand their options. I feel as though the positive similarities helped develop my bedside manner as a doctor.
Are there any other physicians or healthcare professionals in your family?
I’m the first in my immediate family. My parents have always been supportive, and I grew up around hospitals and healthcare. Being the first in my family has been an exciting yet uncharted experience. I didn’t know what to expect at any point in my training and am kind of charting my own course, but I’m so excited to help people in my community in ways I couldn’t before.
Did you always want to be a doctor? Was there a defining moment when you knew?
I always knew I wanted to be involved in improving healthcare, whether that was through public health, research, or clinical service. But once I found myself constantly gravitating toward patients and their stories, even in my master’s program and public health work, I knew that being a physician was my passion.
What drew you to the Zucker School of Medicine?
The school’s Initial Clinical Experience curriculum, which introduces students to clinical settings from year one, interested me. I learn best when I physically implement the things I’m learning and observe how they’re applied. It’s one thing to learn from a book, but it’s a whole other experience to work with a patient; you don’t forget that.
What are some of the most memorable experiences of your med school career?
Being selected to present my research at the National Medical Association’s Virtual Oral Poster Presentation Ophthalmology Section Rabb-Venable Event was one of the highlights of my medical school career. I was honored to present my research - Identification of Telemedicine technology used during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase access to pediatric ophthalmic care in the rural US and international low-access areas. In addition, being selected to speak at commencement by my class was such an honor. I’m proud I get the chance to rep our class with some of the final words of our medical school career.
You matched in Ophthalmology at North Shore/LJI, Northwell Health. Why that specialty?
Ophthalmology is a beautiful blend of neuroscience, physics, technology, and technical skill, all mixed with longitudinal patient care, all things I needed in a future career. Patients, especially those in minority communities, often don’t get care until it’s very late, and significant vision loss is often the result. Ophthalmology provides a unique opportunity to be an expert clinician that can affect the health of a community, all while wielding technical skills and utilizing new technologies.
What are your plans after graduating as you prepare for residency?
Well, I plan on relaxing a bit first, so I’m going to do some traveling! I think the plan is to finish all my onboarding documents and then lightly read through my roles and responsibilities as a brand-new intern!
Other than traveling, do you have any hobbies, community service or other things you like to do when not in school?
I love to dance! I dance to the Bachata and Salsa. I enjoy learning languages. I speak French and Spanish, and currently, I’m learning Arabic. I’ve been doing a lot of work with the new immigrant communities in New York, helping them acclimate to NYC and ensuring they feel heard and their needs are met.