2023 WIM Desiree LaBeaud

Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Why did you pursue a career in medicine?

I loved people and science and wanted to help heal those who were sick. I also loved biology and the mystery of the human body and wanted to really understand human life.

What is a challenge you experience in pursuing a career in medicine?

I am a physician-scientist, so I practice clinical medicine but also lead a research laboratory. It is difficult to wear many hats and to keep a solid stream of funding going to maintain a robust research team and portfolio.

What is the most fulfilling part of your work? 

Working alongside other individuals who are committed to excellence in patient care, research and teaching. And seeing sick kids get better.

What strategies do you use to maintain your own well-being? 

I exercise regularly, try to sleep at least seven hours per night and drink lots of water. I know that my time and energy are limited, so when opportunities come my way, I ask myself if the opportunity is in alignment with my greater purpose and my values and if not, I say no.

What advice would you give someone starting in the field? 

I believe that the climate crisis is the crisis of our lifetimes, so I would encourage anyone starting out in medicine to learn about the many health impacts of climate change and to become advocates for a healthier, greener, more equitable world- Through practicing greener health care practices, making greener personal choices and by educating their patients on mitigation and adaptation strategies to blunt ongoing impacts of climate change on health.