Some people have known since childhood what they wanted to be when they grew up. Others have a more winding path into science or medicine. We asked members our community to share their stories and photos from childhood for this month’s “Look Who’s Talking” feature. To add your voice to the conversation, please submit a comment below or via this form.
“I knew I wanted to be a doctor when I was in high school and I am currently a rheumatologist at BWH. I always enjoyed the sciences and working with people, and medicine allowed me to blend those passions and find a fulfilling and meaningful profession in medicine. When I see that photo, it reminds me of the hours of volunteering at my local hospital as a candy striper, the challenging course-load in high school, all the steps it takes, and the many years of training, to finally ‘be’ a doctor. I would have made the same decision over again and truly enjoy the long-term relationships I have with my rheumatology patients.”—Sonali Desai, MD, MPH, Rheumatologist, Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer
“After watching the reality program Trauma: Life in the ER, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field. My first step in this journey was becoming the youngest Canadian certified in CPR at the age of ten. Looking back at this journey, I have come to realize that public health was not just a product of health care policy but also a function of underlying social, cultural and economic conditions. As such, public health must be seen through a wide lens in order to understand the determinants of health and the actions necessary to not only address health care issues but also to prevent them in the first place. Perhaps this why I was drawn to epidemiology since this field considers both the science and the environment in addressing disease.” –Lewis Novack, MS, Clinical Epidemiologist, Division of Infectious Diseases
“I always wanted to be in the medical field, since I was probably two years old. My parents got me a dress-up doctor kit when I was little, and I have pictures of me running around in scrubs that are nine times too big on me and a stethoscope. Growing up, I feel like I was just one of those few people who always knew what they wanted to do…I always said, ‘I want to be a doctor.’ I think I just always wanted to help people, and I think I finally found my calling.” –Hannah Prange, MS, PA-C, Physician Assistant, Brigham and Women’s Urgent Care Center
“I was never really sure what I wanted to be when I ‘grew up’ (still not sure I have), but thought that I would end up in the arts (making music, painting/drawing/print-making, and writing). Currently I am a grants administrator. This photo is from a time when I was able to pay the rent primarily by making music and art, and although I was in my late teens at this time, this seems like a childhood photo.”
—Mark MacMillan, Grants Administrator, Cardiovascular Medicine
“I’ve always been interested in academics, as described by this story in The Boston Globe when I was just 2 years old! Not even able to read yet, but loved libraries! I’m a native of Boston, grew up here, trained here, and still live here. Currently I am director, emeritus, Obstetric Anesthesiology, and have been at BWH as an anesthesiologist for 39 years.”—William Camann, MD, Director, emeritus, Division of Obstetric Anesthesia
“As long as I can remember it was my dream to help others and become a nurse, which I ended up pursuing. You could say nursing is in my blood since both my grandmother and mother were nurses in Ukraine prior to moving to the US. From a young age I have always gone out of my way to help others and assisted them to feel safe and comfortable. As shown in my childhood picture I always walked around with a stethoscope and “medical supplies” ready to help any doll, family member or animal to provide a full work up and to assist them to feel better.” -Chandel Sheyfer RN, BSN, 11 ABD