Please tell us which program you chose for your Physician Assistant studies? Why did this program make the top of your list? 

I attended Wake Forest University PA program. Though I was living in Brooklyn during the application process, my parents and some other family live in Chapel Hill, NC. I knew that it would be helpful to be in close proximity to family during the rigorous two years of PA school, which led me to apply to some programs in NC and surrounding areas. When I was accepted to Wake Forest, it was a no brainer. Their faculty includes some of the foremost PAs in North Carolina and in the country, and the resources they have available for PA students are top notch. I have only great things to say about my time there and would choose Wake Forest over and over again! 


Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine. What about becoming a PA was attractive?

I knew I would have a career in medicine for as long as I can remember, but I always thought it would be as a doctor. When I learned about the Physician Assistant field in high school, it was immediately appealing. Opportunity for lateral mobility between specialties as well as improved work-life balance were the two main reasons I chose to become a PA. As much as I love medicine, I knew that I wanted a career that would allow me to live a very full life outside of work as well. 


How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?

My clinical experience prior to PA school was in a busy urgent care in NYC. I loved the variety of clinical cases and the vibrant energy of this setting, never knowing what each day of work would bring. In my two emergency medicine clinical rotations in PA school, my decision was solidified. For me, time flies by in the Emergency Department. I love being able to take care of people on what might be their worst day, and for my ever-curious, problem-solving mind, the ED is a place where I am never bored. 


What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day practice? 

I think you’ll have to ask me this in a year when I have some more time under my belt! But, I can say that my favorite part of the past year of clinical rotations was getting to connect with patients. I love listening to their stories and I walk away from every patient encounter with something new I’ve learned, whether it’s perspective, fun facts, gratitude – the list goes on. I think of providing care for patients as an enormous privilege. 


What led you to practice with MEMA?

I was initially introduced to MEMA by a long-time friend and former coworker, and current APP with MEMA, Jen Kormelink. The more I learned about the group, from Jen and talks with Patrick DeVane, the more appealing it became. I knew that as a new PA, I wanted to go somewhere that cared about my learning and growth as a provider. MEMA’s new graduate mentorship program was a huge selling point and I am confident that it will set the foundation for a lifelong career of learning and practicing evidence-based, compassionate medicine.


Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you? 

On my first emergency medicine rotation, I went to see a patient who presented with vomiting and abdominal pain. The more she told me about her symptoms, the more concerned I became that she had some sort of cancer. I could feel a large, irregular mass in her abdomen and her imaging ended up showing extensive metastatic disease of unknown origin throughout her abdomen and pelvis. I accompanied the attending physician to her room to deliver the news, and she reached out for my hand with tears in her eyes when he said the word ‘cancer’. I think it is a blessing to have the opportunity to care for patients on their worst day, to be there for them through all of the emotions, and to do everything to care for them as best as I can.


What are some of the biggest challenges of your practice, for a clinician practicing in the emergency department? 

I anticipate one of the biggest challenges of being an EM provider will be caring for the patients with complex socioeconomic challenges, whose main reason they present to the ED may not actually be medical in nature. Those that come because they are hungry, lack shelter, can’t afford prescriptions, don’t have access to preventative care, etc. We do what we can for these patients, but it never feels like enough. 


Have you received any awards or been recognized by your peers? If so, tell us about it!

I received an award for Academic Excellence in my Hispanic Studies major at Boston College! While I studied in college, I had the opportunity to take classes for my major in Barcelona, Spain, where I made some of my favorite memories. I also joined several medical service trips in Guatemala, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic as an interpreter for providers in rural, medically underserved areas of these countries. I am grateful for the ability to connect with and relate on a deeper level with Hispanic patients that speaking Spanish affords me.


What about Charlotte excites you?

I’m new to the area, so I’m super excited to explore Charlotte! I’ll definitely be familiarizing myself with the various parks and trails with my dog, Charlie, and trying out lots of restaurants and coffee shops on my days off. Please send any and all Charlotte recommendations my way! 


Do you have any Hobbies, interests, or secret powers that are unique to you? 

I have a dog, Charlie, who is my whole life. We love going on walks and hikes or just laying in the sun together (she’s one of those solar-powered dogs). I also love going to the gym, trying new restaurants, and traveling! I speak Spanish so traveling in Spanish-speaking countries is a major plus.