Ellie has known forever that she wanted to be a physician. Partly because the profession is an excellent fit for her intellectual curiosity, drive, and compassion, and also because she has had the best role model – her mom.
“She is a brilliant physician- an MD, PhD who has become a national expert on breast pathology and has spearheaded local and national projects on breast cancer care. She taught me what it means to be a feminist, to want equality and opportunity as a woman no matter what the norm is supposed to be. She is also a loving and supportive mother and wife and built the warmest and happiest family. I want to be like her when I grow up.”
At Duke, Ellie pursued a Biology major with a minor in International Comparative Studies and a concentration in Genome Sciences and Policy. She studied abroad in Geneva and held leadership posts in her sorority and the Duke International Relations Association. She followed the rigorous pre-health curriculum and interned at the Tisch Brain Tumor Center at the Duke University Medical Center.
Ellie advises first-year women to join an organization that is out of your comfort zone.
“Thinking back on my time at Duke, my greatest memories are those that come from meeting new friends that have grown to be innovators in their own lives and careers. Through joining Duke Model UN, getting involved in my sorority’s leadership, and (of course) joining the Baldwin Scholars program, I was able to make meaningful friendships with amazing individuals I may never have crossed paths with in class since the sciences and humanities tend to draw different groups of students. But now, ten years after graduation, I reflect on my closest friends from Duke and know that joining new clubs and organizations led me to these lifelong friendships- I wouldn’t trade them for the world!”
Following two years at Putnam Associates, a strategy consulting firm in Boston that works with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, Ellie attended medical school at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University/Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.
She currently serves as a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellow at Yale University.
“In my career, I’ve always pushed myself to find a passion and have been encouraged to never back down, even when it is outside of the norm. Deciding to pursue a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and then opting for a fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology is a very unique path (the vast majority of breast surgeons are general surgery trained) and for a while I was scared that I would fail/wouldn’t match into a fellowship position. But reflecting back on the passion I had for breast cancer care and surgical management of disease, I convinced myself to keep trying and have been thrilled with the outcome. Taking the easy way out would have meant that I’d never get to be in this career- to be a breast surgeon who can also counsel her patients on the gynecologic side effects of cancer treatment, their sexual health, or surgical risk reduction of ovarian cancer. I’m so grateful that I took the leap and pursued this clinical passion, even when the road was less clear- I love my job and am so grateful. Trust your gut!”
Ellie is at a point professionally where she sees her mom not only as a role model but as a senior colleague.
“She always has the answers to my breast cancer questions and is an expert at bridging the gap between clinical and diagnostic medicine.”
It sounds like Ellie is right on track, not only to follow in her mom’s footsteps, but to make her own important mark in this field.