DOCTOR TO DESIGNER
I have had a wonderful career as a physician, a radiologist. I have no regrets and would probably do it again, simply because my experiences as a physician have shaped who I am today. A friend and colleague once described our work in radiology as "magical" - that as radiologists we can find and understand abnormalities in images that are a complete mystery to others, even to doctors in other specialties. Working in this highly visual field has been intellectually challenging and fundamentally rewarding, but for me the work lacked the creative outlet I craved.
As a child I was immersed in the arts - music, drawing, and dance. In college I suppressed my creative side when I stepped onto the medicine treadmill; pre-med courses, MCATS, medical school, internship, residency, fellowship, licensure and board exams. A wake-up call to my need for a creative outlet came with the illness of a dear friend, sadly a "life-is-too-short" experience through which I found clarity. It compelled me to explore an innate calling for design. I gave notice to my radiology practice and opted for part-time radiology work while pursuing a Master's degree in interior design at Marymount University in Arlington, VA.
flower cart, Edinburgh, Scotland
My formal education in interior design was a very special opportunity to rediscover my creative talents and to develop my technical and computer skills. I enjoy every phase of the design process, especially the discovery and challenges that occur during programming and space planning, and the exploration of materials and finishes. I feel accomplished in the creation of meticulous construction documents. Revit and I have a special bond as I worked long and hard to learn the software, and to make it do what I want it to do. While in school I enjoyed both residential and commercial design projects, gravitating toward creating highly functional spaces that generate a sense of calm and restoration.
A CAREER EVOLUTION
I have come to think of my journey as an evolution rather than a change in career. My focus remains on the wellness of others, though now is through the lens of the built environment. An appreciation of the impact of the physical environment on my own sense of comfort and well-being is now supported by a formal education in interior design. Areas in which I have developed a particular interest include aging in place, sustainable design, and optimizing home and work environments for individuals with particular sensory or physical needs, such as autism, dementia, and seasonal affective disorder. My first professional design experience at HDR, Inc. did much to cultivate my interest in healthcare planning.