Tell us about the position you are starting? My current roles are Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Medical Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship. In my clinical practice I will be seeing patients on the General Infectious Disease hospital service. This means patients admitted to the hospital (who do not have transplants or malignancies) who have infections. Common conditions include skin/soft tissue infections, respiratory tract infections, and patients who are very ill from an overwhelming infection requiring ICU admission. In the outpatient clinic, I will be seeing primarily HIV-infected patients at the Specialty Care Center. Finally, in my role as the Associate Medical Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, I will be part of the team that reviews antimicrobials and their use for infections, educating patients and healthcare professionals on the importance of appropriate antimicrobial use, and from a big-picture viewpoint, helping to try to reduce the number of resistant microorganisms present in our institution, country and the world by preserve the antibiotics we do have for responsible use when needed.
Background: I was born in the Caribbean on the Nature Island of Dominica and spent my teenage years and early adulthood on another island, Antigua. I completed my undergraduate education at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and returned to Antigua for medical school at American University of Antigua College of Medicine. I completed my Internal Medicine Residency and Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota before joining the faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Why UNMC? Having done all of my postgraduate training at an academic medical center, I knew I wanted to stay in academics for my career. One of the things that drew me to this institution was the immensely collegial environment. I felt welcomed on every visit, and everyone I spoke to was happy here. I love that the faculty is strongly supported by the division in academic, educational and clinical pursuits, and that there are opportunities for junior faculty to be very involved in any of these ventures if they desire.
What about ID makes you excited? I have always been interested in mysteries and detective work. In medical school I realized that I enjoyed taking care of patients with diagnostic dilemmas rather than focusing on one organ system, so Internal medicine made sense as an initial choice. During residency I further realized that I was most excited about patients with potential infectious causes of their diagnostic dilemmas and Infectious diseases was the one rotation that never felt like “work” to me. I love that infectious diseases is both consistent and ever-changing; both old-fashioned and new-fangled, and while we have made so many life-changing advances in diagnosis and therapy like the microscope and penicillin, there is still so much discovery and change in the horizon, like HIV cure or finding ways to prevent multi-drug resistant organisms. Finally, in infectious disease, I can be both a consultant that manages specific conditions, as well develop long-term relationships with my HIV-infected patients. One of the most rewarding things about Infectious diseases is the ability to cure disease; even if disease cannot be cured such as with HIV, it is humbling to be able to care for a person who is extremely ill at diagnosis and journey with them to a place where they can live a near-normal life such that visits become less about the HIV infection itself, and more about non-infectious issues such as heart disease, cholesterol and diabetes.
Something interesting about me not related to medicine: I speak conversational (but not quite medical) French creole. I was on the track team in college. I have travelled to almost every island in the Eastern Caribbean
See more about the UNMC ID Division here.