1. Describe your career and typical activities associated with your position as a non-tenure track faculty member.
My primary activity is providing clinical care to the students of UVA. This includes urgent care as well as primary care. Working at Student Health has allowed me to discover a love of travel medicine. Over the past 15 years, the number of students we see who travel internationally has exploded. I have been highly involved in developing our Travel Clinic to accommodate these needs. In 2013 I joined the International Society for Travel Medicine and in 2014 I became Certified in Travel Health. I love to travel and I love hearing about what students will be doing abroad. Our students are so adventurous, and I hope that with our travel counseling, their journeys will be safe and rewarding. We also see a many students returning from trips abroad with various injuries or illnesses. Itís important for our clinic to be up to date with emerging infectious diseases and other health risks. I enjoy teaching my colleagues about the latest topics in travel medicine that may affect our students. I have also recently been interested in doing research in the field of travel medicine, specifically as to how it pertains to our college student population.
2. Why did you choose to build (or continue) your career at UVA?
I trained in and always planned to practice internal medicine. I never planned for a career in college health, but by happy circumstance, I obtained a part time position at the UVA Student Health clinic when I moved to the area with my husband. The patient population and lifestyle appealed to me and I decided to settle in Charlottesville, and work at Student Health full time. I have been most fortunate to work at the clinic with my husband, Dr. Neil Silva, who is also a physician in the Department of General Medicine at Student Health.
3. What are the most significant advantages/rewards associated with your career at UVA?
I love working with students. Because coming to a health clinic on their own is a new experience for many young people, my job as a clinician involves a lot of education. I also enjoy working with my colleagues in General Medicine; the priority here for all of the providers, nurses and administrative support staff is the health and well-being of our patients. I have really loved developing the travel clinic for UVA Student Health, and hope to make further improvements in conjunction with UVAís mission to become a global university. Not only can we help our students be better prepared for international experiences, we can also learn from them and contribute to the developing field of travel medicine.
4. What are the most significant challenges that you face (or have faced) in your career at UVA?
Primary care and travel health are ever-changing and expanding fields. It is exciting to consider areas for expanding and growing our programs. It is a challenge to balance these goals with available resources. However, these limitations inspire us to be creative, particularly with our travel clinic.