I like fixing things. My favorite part of this job is helping my patients heal and return to play. It is incredibly gratifying to see an injured child recover and return to their favorite activities. I approach my patients as individuals with attention to their global well being in developing a treatment plan. Pediatric patients are not just little adults, they have different needs based on their unique family situation, educational activities and athletic endeavors.
I start patient treatment with education, so that at the end of the visit, parents and patients are comfortable and understand the pathology and treatment plans. My husband, Tom, is also a doctor. Together, we try to keep up with our son, John Paul, who loves music, sports, and playing with our two rescue puppies, Siri and Alexa.
An 11-year-old girl broke her arm while boogie boarding. I remember meeting with the family after fixing the girl’s fracture. Her 5-year-old twin brothers had just learned that their sister had been injured. While discussing the injury to the young girl’s arm, the two brothers appeared alarmed. One brother exclaimed, “She broke it off!?!” The other brother asked, “Did you put it back on?”
I looked at the parents and we realized that they thought it was like a doll’s arm. We all had a good laugh. It was a reminder to try not to overestimate a child’s understanding of anatomy and physiology."
I am known for being a team player and doing whatever needs to be done. If patients are waiting in clinic and the staff is tied up, I put patients in exam rooms, bring snacks for the staff to keep us going, and, I cannot walk by a ringing phone without answering it. I love our team at CTPO!
What I enjoy most is spending time with the people I love. I enjoy traveling to new places, experimenting in the kitchen, scuba diving, and spending time with family, friends and our dogs. Beyond this, we also enjoy the Austin arts scene supporting organizations such as Black Fret and the Paramount Theater. Of course, we also embrace all things Star Wars – the Force is strong in my family!
A child’s reactions reflect our own-- if the parents react to their child’s injury with distress and anxiety, the child will do the same. If a child is isolated after an injury, they will become distressed and depressed. However, if we reassure our patients that they will be ok and try to get them back to their friends and community, they will adapt and recovery more easily.
I recently received a graduation announcement for a former patient who had had a serious knee injury and major knee reconstruction when he was 14 years old. He went on to play collegiate baseball for the Naval Academy and graduated with honors. It was great to hear how well he was doing and really touching that he remembered me so many years later!
I am tremendously proud to be one of the few women in orthopedic surgery. More than 90% of orthopedic surgeons are men; however, it is a great field for women as well. I am proud of my work with female high school and medical students through the Perry Initiative and the Ruth Jackson Orthopedic Society to expose and, ideally, attract them to the field of orthopedic surgery.
Even in my own clinic, I believe that when our children see a woman orthopedic surgeon, they realize that there is nothing that a woman cannot do!
From infants with clubfoot and hip dysplasia to teenagers with ACL tears and shoulder instability, I enjoy taking care of patients from pre-natal consults to late adolescence. My subspecialty interests include pediatric and adolescent sports medicine and children's fractures, in addition to general orthopedics.