Sink or swim. That’s been the reality for first-year Ophthalmology Resident Sona, who found herself in the ICU after answering the all-hands-on-deck call to action to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in Los Angeles, CA. She wasn’t quite sure what she was signing up for, except that she knew she’d do anything to help. Long hours and harrowing cases left her feeling overwhelmed at times, but more than anything it’s solidified what she’s known all along: medicine is the place for her.
I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO LEARN, EDUCATE, AND EMPOWER.
WHAT ATTRIBUTES DO YOU HAVE IN ABUNDANCE THAT HAVE ALLOWED YOU TO SUCCEED?
I’ve always been a creative. My artistic background has fostered my ability to innovate and better understand the world around me, which has really shaped my perspective and approach in medicine.My desire to capture narratives through my art allows me to better connect with my patients — to understand their stories and to empathize with their experiences. I do think that everyone defines success differently, and for me I think that passion and resilience have played a large role — you have to be able to bounce back, and you’ll find a way if you love what you do. What drives me through it all is that I’m a people person — I want to connect, collaborate, and help make a difference in whatever capacity I can.
2020 HAS BEEN A TOUGH YEAR ACROSS THE BOARD – HOW ARE YOU TACKLING IT? WHAT HAS IT TAUGHT YOU?
Day by day. Every day has brought a different challenge. I never thought that my first year as a physician would be during a pandemic and such a pivotal moment in our history. I’ve also never been more inspired by how everyone has come together during these challenging times. Watching my coworkers give their all to patients and families, while also working to create systemic change in health care, has shown me that we can make a difference every single day.
WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA FOR LIFE?
WORK HARD. BE GRATEFUL. BARRY’s. (and of course, #wearfigs)
EVERYDAY I WAKE UP AND…RUN THE DAY…after my oat milk latte, of course.
SUCCESS COMES FROM…Taking risks, resilience, and loving what you do.