I was born and raised in Baltimore Maryland with a mother who was a nurse and a father who was a university based academic physician (and a sister who later became a physician), so I was raised in a medical environment. I enjoyed science in high school and in college. One summer between junior and senior years of college I had the opportunity to work in a research lab. That laboratory studied metabolic function of aging rats. I had a great experience and thought I was going to pursue a career in laboratory research. After college I got a job working as the laboratory manager and researcher to set up the cell biology lab of a researcher who also was a physician. That physician happened to be an ophthalmologist, in fact a retinal surgeon. I enjoyed my time in the laboratory studying causes and treatments of abnormal blood vessel growth in diabetes and other conditions using molecular and cell biology techniques and animal models. However, I missed the opportunity to interact with patients to see what the end product of the research would involve and who it would benefit. My boss, who became one of my early mentors, also had an active practice as a Retinal Specialist. I saw that a person could pursue both activities and make a great impact on both science and patients. So I went to medical school, and I loved everything that I did. At the end of it all, I choose ophthalmology because I enjoyed the surgical aspect of “fixing things,” and the ability to take care of patients of both sexes and all ages, implement exciting new surgical technologies, use lasers (what male wouldn’t like to use lasers), help people with an organ system that all of us know is essential for our daily function but sometimes take for granted, and I wanted to continue the research that brought me there initially.
I want to learn things to help people and to make a difference. I have been so fortunate to be here at the Eye Institute with such fantastic colleagues where goal one is to take world class care of patients and to do world class research, and goal two is to take care of each other – and right in Milwaukee’s backyard. I’m grateful for having a great job.