Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman

No matter where I have been at any stage of my life I’ve always been a doctor first, and everything else second— except maybe being a mom. But I’ve never seen myself as a doctor correspondent who just happens to do surgery. I’ve always defined myself as a practicing surgeon who happens to also have a second career in broadcast journalism. I started combining my love of television with my love of medicine. And the two weaved themselves together quite well. The passion in broadcasting is different. The best stuff I’ve done has been in the worst places on earth. Kosovo. Mogadishu. Bosnia. The Persian Gulf. Afghanistan. Pakistan. I think when you get a chance to look around you and see the world suffering, and you’ve reached down deep inside yourself and tried to explain that to people who may never have the good fortune to travel, in the same way, that’s where I get my passion.

And if you look at the people entering medicine today, they’re as bright as people have ever been. The youngsters entering medicine today will enter on their own terms. And they’ll make medicine what they want it to be. But I want young people—particularly young girls—to discover the thrill of science, and biology, and physics, and how it all works. And for my two girls, every time we can draw science or biology into life, we do it. Medicine’s filled with a lot of kicks. And the other great thing is, it’s this blank canvas. You want to go into medicine? You get to do anything you want to do. Become a neuropsychiatrist, become a physicist, become a neurosurgeon, be in the lab, see patients, work part-time, full-time, have kids, don’t have kids— you get to do it on your own terms. It’s great. And you can always put food on the table.