As a rheumatologist, what kinds of conditions do you treat?
I specialize in the treatment of arthritis and undiagnosed pain as well as lupus and fibromyalgia. It’s not always obvious what is going on with patients who suffer from these conditions, so it’s kind of like being a detective.
How do you approach your patients?
I try to be very pragmatic, and go by the evidence. I want to help my patients get control of their symptoms. Helping relieve people’s pain is extremely rewarding. People are grateful for the relief.
Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor?
My mom wanted me to be a brain surgeon, the first female pope, or the first female president. I’m really happy where I ended up.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at work?
I love to cook. I’m addicted to Chopped and I enjoy trying my hand at international cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese. A few years ago, I became a pescatarian. Having grown up in Maryland, I especially love shellfish. We eat a lot of fresh vegetables, grains and herbs. My philosophy of cooking is to put a lot of color on the plate.
My husband and I also enjoy hiking, biking, and kayaking with our daughter. We really enjoy the state parks in Door County: we love going up to Peninsula State Park and Whitefish Dunes and we live close to Potawatomi Park.
What’s the biggest health challenge you see, and how do you address it with your patients?
Obesity is the biggest health challenge, especially here in Wisconsin. It leads to conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee, and of course affects overall health. I encourage my patients to be active and exercise – it’s so important for mind and body. Sometimes people say they’re too tired to exercise, but I find it actually gives you more energy. If you force yourself, you’re halfway there. Changing into that clothing and putting your coat on, or taking your dogs out for a walk, like I do, is the best way to start.