As a future physician who will be on the front lines of public health issues such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, how has this experience been for you?
“Everything is shutting down around us, but the health care system is still chugging along. I really admire and look up to the physicians and health care workers on those front lines. They’re putting themselves at risk just by showing up to work. I feel honored to be part of the health community. I hope nothing like this ever happens again.”
What drew you to pediatrics?
“I grew up in a Coptic orthodox community where family and community values were huge. It was the mentality that it takes a village to raise a child. I worked with underserved populations within my own church and community as a teacher and a camp counselor. Before medical school even started, I knew 100% that I wanted to work with kids. It’s such a nice feeling to know what you want to do early on.
“During my pediatrics rotation, I found my people. The patients were by far the best part of the rotation. Kids have such a natural joy and hope. I try to emulate that and learn from the kids to find joy in the simple things. Even at their worst, they bounce back so quickly.”
What makes you so passionate about preventive pediatric care?
“I didn’t realize how big of an impact preventive medicine could make until I went on a mission trip back to Egypt the summer before medical school. I saw the lack of education on topics like nutrition and hygiene. A big part of pediatrics is teaching our patients healthy habits, making sure they stay immunized and safe. It’s a lot easier to prevent bad things from happening than to fix them once they happen.”
How do you feel the UF College of Medicine has prepared you for residency?
“I’m so thankful to be part of the UF College of Medicine. I’ve had so many opportunities, and our education was absolutely superb. All the faculty and staff were a joy and inspiring to work with. I feel really prepared because UF gave us a solid foundation. This is the first time we’re going to be solely responsible for our patients. With that comes a bit of fear and apprehension, but I’m so excited to work with my patients one-on-one and do the best I can for them.”
What do you want your career to look like after you finish your training?
“My husband is a pediatric dental resident at a UF program in Naples, Florida. Our 10-year plan is to open a joint medical and dental office for underserved populations. A lot of times, transportation and taking time off work for health care can hit single-parent households hard. Our dream is to open a one stop shop for complete health care.”