Top Doctors 2009

KATIE SPINA
KATIE SPINA
Vitals: Fourth-year at BU, 27, from Denver
Going into: Undecided
Ten years from now: "Practicing medicine and starting my own lab"

"You can answer really interesting biological questions in a lab, but disease and health are about much more than cells that aren't working properly. Some researchers will study a protein for 10 years, but ultimately, how is that going to help a patient? To jump back and forth between the lab and the clinic—that's going to be very challenging. To support a lab you have to be writing grants, and that's incredibly time-consuming. There's also a personality issue, since the typical lab researcher is not necessarily the typical clinician. But my goal is to be both: While I'm seeing patients I'll still have my research hat on, and when I'm in the lab I'll be taking the patient into consideration."

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