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Women in Medicine Month

September is the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Women in Medicine Month, created to recognize the growing number of women in the profession. The Department of Pathology is proud to have a number of exceptional women in our Department. We will be highlighting a few of them here this month. 

Kruti Maniar, MD

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Where did you grow up? 

New Jersey, all the way from infancy through college.  My hometown is the central Jersey town of East Brunswick.

How did you become interested in Pathology? 

I did a pathology selective during my surgery rotation in med school and fell in love.  I loved the diagnostic nature of the field, I’m always happy at a microscope, and all of the pathologists I worked with were enthusiastic, inspiring, and great educators.  I found my place and my people!

What is your favorite food? 

Pizza, hands down.  While I grew up on New York-style thin crust, I totally dig Chicago deep dish too.

What do you enjoy most about Chicago; Northwestern? 

My husband and I have lived in Chicagoland for eight years now, and we love so much about it, from the museums to the music festivals to the parks to the food.  It’s a wonderful city to live in, and there’s never a shortage of things to do.  My favorite thing about Northwestern is the people- I have wonderful, supportive colleagues with whom I genuinely enjoy working, and our residents are just phenomenal- knowledgeable, kind, and a lot of fun.

What do you enjoy most about your pathology subspecialty? 

Gynecologic pathology is a very diverse field.  In any one sign-out session, I might see a vulvar melanoma, an ovarian germ cell tumor, and an endometrial carcinoma.  I also really like being part of a field which supports women’s health, and I think the public health aspect of HPV-related entities is particularly interesting.

What’s the greatest piece of advice your mentor ever gave you? 

The greatest thing I learned from my earliest pathology mentor was not a specific piece of advice, but rather what I gleaned from her role modeling.  As a medical student, I truly admired how my mentor showed so clearly how much she cared about the patient at the other end of each slide, even though she never saw those patients face-to-face.  It was inspiring and helped draw me to the field.

What advice do you have for new pathology trainees? 

Try to see as much as possible!  There are so many entities to see and learn about in each area of the field, and the more you can be exposed to as a trainee, the better.  Prioritize providing excellent patient care, while also being an active learner and an advocate for your own education.

Melissa Mejia Bautista, MD

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Where did you grow up? 

I am proudly Salvadoran! I grew up in Sonsonate, western El Salvador. It is a beautiful small town close to the pacific coast.   

What is your favorite food?  

Definitely seafood

What do you enjoy most about Chicago; Northwestern?  

Chicago is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and our department is a clear reflection of it. We work in a supportive and inclusive environment, where accomplishing your own academic goals is a priority for the team. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to learn from outstanding mentors and co-residents!

What do you enjoy most about your pathology subspecialty? 

I will be starting my Pediatric Pathology fellowship in 2023. I enjoy learning about peculiar diseases/conditions that occur during fetal growth and infancy.  Our diagnoses are life changing for the pediatric patients, their families, and loved ones.  

What’s the greatest piece of advice your mentor ever gave you? 

Always work with passion, enthusiasm, and empathy toward your patients. 

What advice do you have for new pathology trainees?  

Be patient with yourself. Pathology is an amazing field that requires learning an extensive amount of knowledge, and this can be overwhelming at the beginning. Find what works best for your learning process and stay motivated. Learning is a process, not a product.   

Rebecca C. Obeng, MD, PhD, MPH

 

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Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Accra, Ghana and Woodbridge, VA

What is your favorite food?

That's a tough question because I love food and trying out new flavors. So, I'll say anything tasty!

What do you enjoy most about Chicago; Northwestern?

Chicago is a beautiful city; love the landscapes, parks, and different communities. It also has a very interesting architectural and engineering history; lots of great activities (music, theatre, arts, outdoors, etc). What I enjoy most about Northwestern is the camaraderie between colleagues especially the junior faculty.

What do you enjoy most about your pathology subspecialty?

Every day is a surprise! I like the variety and the opportunity to relate my research interests to my clinical practice.

What’s the greatest piece of advice your mentor ever gave you?

Work hard and learn the most in while in training, and the rest of your career will be fun!

What advice do you have for new pathology trainees?

I'd give them the same advice I mentioned above and I'll also add to ask all the questions, whether they seem insignificant or not. That is how hidden pearls of knowledge come out.

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