Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
I announced to my parents that I wanted to become an orthopaedic surgeon when I was five years old. During my internship, I realized that every time I had a child in my lap, I was happy. I knew then that I wanted to work with children every day for the rest of my life. I came to Childrens Hospital to obtain specialized training because I felt Childrens Hospital had the best pediatric spine program in the world. Today, as Director of the Scoliosis & Spinal Deformity Program and Director of the Childrens Orthopeadic Center, I feel I absolutely made the right choice! changing the life of a child, and knowing that child can often go on to live the rest of their lives essentially normal. It is deeply gratifying to watch a child’s self-image and confidence dramatically increase after treatment. A child will come in for an evaluation wearing dark clothing, self-conscious and avoiding eye contact. After treatment, that same child will return standing taller, smiling, brimming with confidence. More than one mother has joked after I perform scoliosis surgery for their teen, “What did you do to my child - she behaves like a normal teenager now and doesn’t listen to me?”I wake up each day around 3:30 a.m., meditate, go to the gym, and get to work by 6 a.m. From 6 to 8 a.m., I work on papers or textbooks and then begin doing surgery at 8 a.m. After lunch I take a nap (NBC News actually did a special on me taking naps). I finish up work in time to get home for dinner with my family.