Infectious diseases grabbed headlines last winter, from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the spike in measles in the United States. What do you think was the biggest story during the past year?
Both diseases also show global problems we have with infrastructure, access to fresh and clean water, limited resources in terms of antimicrobial agents and the complacency/resistance towards vaccine-preventable diseases.
Why did you decide to specialize in infectious disease?
I chose infectious diseases because it is like solving puzzles and mysteries. The specialty is interesting because microorganisms can infect a person and cause a whole host of symptoms and effects that can differ from person to person.
If you could convince your patients to change one behavior to improve their health, what would it be?
Weight control and exercise. Although smoking and alcohol cause significant disease, I believe obesity has a much greater impact on human health. Not only from the amount of weight present on one’s body, but the effects on immune system function and healing that can lead to conditions such as chronic wounds and skin breakdown, which increases the risk for infections.