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AMWA Member Spotlight — Lisa Wong, MD

Lisa Wong, MD

Lisa Wong, MD
Pediatrics, Music/Medicine

Tell us about your work?

I have been a practicing pediatrician at Milton Pediatric Associates since 1986 and see patients from birth to 22, when they graduate from college. I am blessed that many of my grown patients are coming back to me now with families of their own.

At the same time, I have had a deep interest in the role of music in education and health – an interest that has been both a vocation and avocation. I have been teaching a Harvard undergraduate seminar on the subject for the past 3 years.

What helped get you there?

My love of music for children began when I was myself a child. Music was in many ways my first language – I began the piano at the age of 3 and violin at 8. All of my siblings also were musicians -it was our playground in many ways. At the same time, we played in our church, in hospitals, and for our grandparents. By the time I got to college, I was determined to somehow combine working with kids, music and healing.

Have there been any interests that you have continued to pursue outside of medicine? Have you been able to combine these with your medical career? The Longwood Symphony Orchestra, Boston’s orchestra of the medical community, began in the mid-80s, just as I was finishing my pediatric residency at MGH. Since that time, LSO has been my musical home. There is a sense of community among the musicians, most of whom are healthcare providers or work in the health industry. In addition, every LSO concert is in collaboration with a medically related charity. I am also involved as a board member with several arts organizations. In education, I’m on the board of CLCS, a Boston charter school that educates children through daily musical training and expeditionary learning.

As a co-director of the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School, we are exploring ways to integrate the arts and humanities into medical education, both curricular and extracurricular.

What challenges have you faced in your medical career?

Balancing time for my family, my patients and my larger community obligations has always been a challenge. I have found that working part-time in pediatrics gives me time to also work part-time in the many nonprofit organizations to which I’m committed.

What advice do you have for women in medicine?

Reach out, find mentors, and never believe that medicine demands that you give up the other things about which you are passionate. You are your best caregiver when you are in balance.

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