Sandi Lam

Division Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Ann and Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/ Professor of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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If you can be a part of understanding how people and how things work, you can be a part of making the world a better place.

What do you do?

Brain surgery for children.

Why did you choose this field?

There is no greater responsibility and privilege than helping children and their families through times of tremendous risk, stress, uncertainty, and morbidity, and often being able to effect change in a way that allows children to live to their full potential.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

It does not matter if you do not look like other people ahead of you in the roles that you are aspiring toward. It does matter that you work hard to gain skills so that you can consistently bring value to the world. Live everyday to make the world around you a better place and make a real difference in people's lives.
You do not need permission to be an agent of positive change: you have a choice to actively live out your values.
The path to being a neurosurgeon was not a straight one for me, but there is nothing wasted. Every single piece of life experience now gives me more perspective and more knowledge from which I draw to strive to be a better surgeon, a better doctor, a better educator, a better mentor, and a better human being.

Why do you love working in STEM?

No two days are the same in STEM and in pediatric neurosurgery. I can use my knowledge and skill set to help patients, students, colleagues, healthcare systems, healthcare policy, and global health in the US or around the world. The impact can be one-on-one or on a larger scale to elevate the health of kids and communities. I cannot wait to see what we can all achieve together.

Best advice for next generation?

If you can be a part of understanding how people and how things work, you can be a part of making the world a better place.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Never regret a day in your life:
good days give happiness,
bad days give experience,
worst days give lessons,
and best days give memories.”

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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