Q&A with Dr. Ali Wong, Plastic Surgery Resident and Creator of Sketchy Medicine

Dr. Ali Wong is a plastic surgery resident in Nova Scotia, Canada and creator of the website Sketchy Medicine, in which she shares graphical representations of various medical concepts. Dr. Wong received her Bachelor of Science with Honours in Neuroscience (2009) and her MD (2013) at Dalhousie University. Following initial year in residency, she went on to receive an MSE (Master of Science in Engineering) from Johns Hopkins University (2016). Dr. Wong has been published in Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryJournal of Hand Therapy, and Behavioral Brain Research.

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Q&A with Dr. Shane Quinonez, Pediatric Geneticist

Dr. Shane Quinonez is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Associate Program Director of the Pediatric Residency Program  at The University of Michigan. He earned his MD at The University of Michigan and then completed his pediatrics, medical genetics, and biochemical genetics training there as well.

When did you first decide to become a physician? Why?
I wish I could answer this question by showing a childhood picture of myself with a toy stethoscope around my neck. The truth is not nearly as cute. As an undergraduate student at The University of Toledo, I initially enrolled in pharmacy school, thinking I would become a pharmacist. Around my sophomore year I began reflecting on what truly gave me fulfillment in all of my previous jobs, educational experiences, and extracurricular activities. I quickly realized that I was most happy when I was interacting directly with people and was presented with opportunities to improve their lives. While these elements were clearly available in pharmacy, I felt that I would be best able to explore these interests as a physician. Though my decision was fairly calculated, I do not think I would be nearly as fulfilled and happy with my choice had I not made that decision based on the person I truly am rather than the person I wanted to be. 

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Q&A with Jonny Kim, MD, NASA Astronaut Candidate

When the 12 members of NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class report to Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX for their two years of training, two of them—Dr. Jonny Kim and Dr. Frank Rubio—will leave behind medical careers for the chance to explore the final frontier. SDN recently spoke with Dr. Kim about his nontraditional path to medical school and his transition from emergency medicine resident to astronaut candidate.
Dr. Jonny Kim started his career in the US Navy, where he trained as a Navy SEAL and completed more than 100 combat missions, earning a Silver Star and a Bronze Star with Combat “V”. He earned a degree in mathematics at the University of San Diego and his MD at Harvard Medical School. He is currently finishing the intern year of his residency in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. At the end of the two years of astronaut training, Dr. Kim and the other astronaut candidates could be assigned to any of a variety of posts furthering NASA’s mission.

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Q&A with Dr. Sarvi Eastell, Surgeon, Entrepreneur, and Digital Health Advisor

Dr. Sarvi Eastell is a surgeon, entrepreneur, and digital health advisor. She is the founder and CEO of Holding Your Hand, a company that helps patients navigate the healthcare system by connecting them with expert impartial advocates. She is an Honorary Colorectal Surgeon at St Mark’s Hospital Foundation Trust and Chief Medical Officer at Thriva Ltd, a company that produces at-home diagnostic kits to enable personalized health monitoring. In her spare time, she is passionate about mentoring doctors who want to innovate and/or diversify their careers. She speaks on leadership and personal development and provides workshops on the anatomy of mindfulness. Her mentees have approached her via channels such as Medic Footprints, Women Like Us, Google’s London Campus, Surgify.co and LinkedIn.
Dr. Eastell obtained her medical degree from King’s College London (2001). During medical school, she also intercalated and obtained a dual bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering and Mathematics (1998).

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Q&A with Dr. Jennifer Villwock, ENT

Dr. Jennifer A. Villwock is the current Rhinology and Skull Base Fellow at the University of Kansas Medical Center. After graduating in 2011 from the Michigan State College of Human Medicine, she completed her ENT residency at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University. Dr. Villwock is active in the American Academy of Otolaryngology and serves on the Ethics Committee of the American Rhinologic Society. You can reach her on Twitter @docwock

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Q&A with Dr. Abeyna Jones, Occupational Medicine

Dr. Abeyna Jones is an occupational medicine registrar at King’s College Hospital and the Medical Director of Medic Footprints, a social enterprise for doctors and medical students promoting alternative careers and wellbeing. She is also a Fellow with the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellowship, devised to support UK doctors develop their enterprises whilst in clinical training and practice.

Dr. Jones received her medical degree from the University of Nottingham (2006) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education from the University of Edinburgh (2011).

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20 Questions: Tyler Edwards, MD, Family Medicine

Dr. Tyler Edwards is an attending physician who specializes in family medicine, practicing for almost 15 years. In addition to his duties as a family physician, Dr. Edwards also works as a hospitalist at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, the same hospital in which his outpatient practice is affiliated. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, he matriculated at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, subsequently earning his M.D. degree in 1999. He thereupon moved to Ogden, Utah, to complete his McKay-Dee Family Medicine Residency program, which lasted three years. Dr. Edwards has been married for 18 years and has four children. As a keen advocate for exercise, he enjoys physical, outdoor activities, such as cross-country skiing, running, swimming, and hiking.

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20 Questions with Dr. Cosima Gretton, Health Technologist

Dr. Cosima Gretton is a medical doctor and product manager at Karius, Inc., a biotech startup specializing in infectious disease genomics. She is also a Technology Entrepreneurship Teaching Fellow at UCL, where she is currently designing and delivering a new health care pathway which would guide entrepreneurs through the UK healthcare system, and a fellow at the Digital Health Forum, which brings together industry, academic and clinical experts in digital health. Furthermore, she is a mentor for Startupbootcamp’s healthcare accelerator.
In 2011, she co-founded the AXNS Collective, a science communication company which is looking to advance public engagement in neurology and psychology with the help of scientists and artists.
Dr. Gretton obtained a degree in Experimental Psychology from Oriel College, Oxford University (2009), followed by her medical degree from King’s College London (2015). While at medical school, she studied at the University College London (UCL) Mobile Academy, which supports individuals with new business ideas. She also studied at the Silicon Valley think tank Singularity University, where her team founded an at-home salivary diagnostic start-up called Mitera.
She most recently worked as Product Manager at Outcomes Based Healthcare, designing and building a research app to gather smartphone sensor data for diabetic patients; as a technical lead for RADAR-CNS at the NIHR Biomedical Research Center, a project seeking to find predictors of relapses in a number of neurological conditions; and as a digital health innovation consultant.
Dr. Gretton has written a number of featured articles for The King’s Fund, WIRED Magazine, and KQED Science, and has been published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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20 Questions: Sara E. Gottfried, MD, OB-GYN

sara goddfried

Sara E. Gottfried, MD, is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist; founder and CEO of Gottfried Center for Integrative Medicine, Inc.; and volunteer clinical faculty at University of California at San Francisco Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Gottfried received a bachelor’s degree in engineering cum laude from the University of Washington (1988), followed by a Doctorate of Medicine with a focus on public health and integrative medicine from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Physician Scientist Training Program (1994). Dr. Gottfried completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at UCSF (1994-98).

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Q&A With Physician-Author Dr. Richard Friedman

richard friedman

Dr. Richard Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and a psychopharmacology clinic director at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he focuses on mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to his research, Dr. Friedman has interests in mental health policy and psychiatric practice, and is a classical pianist and long-distance swimmer. He graduated from Duke University in 1978 with a degree in physics before graduating from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1982. He has written for The New York Times science section since 2002, and recently became a contributing opinion writer in 2015. He has also written for The New England Journal of MedicineThe American Journal of Psychiatry, and The Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Friedman graciously agreed to talk with me over the phone. This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Q&A with Physician-Author Dr. Matt McCarthy

Matt McCarthy

Dr. Matt McCarthy is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and an assistant attending physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and went on to complete his internal medicine residency at Columbia University Medical Center. Before that, Dr. McCarthy graduated from Yale University with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and then spent a year in Minor League Baseball. He wrote about his stint in baseball in Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit. The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year is his most recent book, and details the trials and tribulations of internship year. Dr. McCarthy has published in USA Today, Sports Illustrated, The Atlantic, Slate, Reuters, Deadspin, and Stat. I sat down with Dr. McCarthy at an Upper East Side café to pick his brain. This interview has been edited and condensed:

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20 Questions: Laura C. Londra, MD, FACOG, Reproductive Endocrinology

laura londra

Laura C. Londra, MD, FACOG, is a reproductive endocrinology and infertility physician at Ohio Reproductive Medicine in Columbus, as well as an adjunct instructor at Ohio State University in the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology. As a native of Argentina, Londra attended Universidad Nacional de La Plata (1988-1993), before receiving her MD from Universidad de Buenos Aires (1993-1995). She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Hospital de Clinicas, University of Buenos Aires (1995-1999), followed by a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at the Instituto de Ginecologia y Fertilidad de Buenos Aires (2000-2002). In the U.S., Dr. Londra completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Wayne State University, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Detroit (2008-2012), and a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Baltimore (2012-2015).
Dr. Londra received the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society Scholarship Award (2013, 2015), Midwest Meeting Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Symposium Scholarship (2014), and Edward E. Wallach Fellowship Research Fund Award for fellows research initiatives in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (2014). She’s been published in numerous journals, including International Journal of Women’s HealthFertility and SterilityInternational Journal of Gynecology and ObstetricsSeminars of Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, and Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a member of the Howard Kelly Society, Johns Hopkins Alumni, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, as well as a junior fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and fellow in Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Londra is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and prior to her current work, she was on staff at Instituto de Gynecología y Fertilidad (2002-2006).

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20 Questions: Terry L. Wahls, MD – Internal Medicine

Terry Wahls, MD, is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, where she teaches internal medicine residents, sees patients in the traumatic brain injury clinic and conducts clinical trials. In addition, she’s director of the Extended Care and Rehab Service Line at the Veteran Affairs Iowa City Health Care System. She received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Drake University in Des Moines (1976), a Doctor of Medicine from University of Iowa in Iowa City (1982), and an MBA from University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis (2001). Dr. Wahls completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Barnes Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis, as well as a residency in internal medicine at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

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20 Questions: Norman Pastorek, MD – Plastic Surgery

Norman J. Pastorek MD, FACS specializes in facial plastic surgery. He trained at The University of Chicago Illinois and is board certified by both the American Board of otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery. He has a private practice on Park Ave in New York.

When did you first decide to become a physician? Why?

It was really by accident. I had graduated from high school and decided to go to a college in Davenport, Iowa on a whim. At that point, I was considering being an engineer, so I took all of the required math and mechanical drawing courses. Long story short, I hated it—and I did not excel at my work because I didn’t like what I was doing.
After that first year, I went back to work in a factory where I was a welder. I was content enough doing that work, so for a time I thought I would just stay on that course. It wasn’t until I ran into an old coworker who was going into medicine that I started considering other options: he asked if I liked biology and suggested I go into pre-med. So I did.

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20 Questions: Natalie E. Azar, MD – Rheumatology

Dr. Natalie E. Azar is assistant clinical professor of medicine and rheumatology at the Center for Musculoskeletal Care NYU Langone Medical Center, as well as medical contributor to powerwomentv.com, member of the admissions committee for NYU School of Medicine, and instructor of the Physical Diagnosis Course at NYUSoM. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from Wellesley College (1992), where she was a Phi Beta Kappa (1991), Durant Scholar (1992), and Who’s Who Among American College Students (1991). Azar received her Doctor of Medicine from Cornell University Medical College (1996), with honors for academic excellence in anesthesiology (1998). Dr. Azar completed both an internship and residency in internal medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center (1996-97, 1997-99), and a fellowship in rheumatology at Hospital for Joint Disease, New York University Langone Medical Center (1999-2001).

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