Road to Graduation: Continuing the family legacyBy Christine Boatwright
Published: May 6th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Students
When a child follows in his or her parent’s footsteps to become a doctor, the commencement ceremony is certain to stir great pride and accomplishment within both the graduate and the parent. When the parent is a UF faculty member, however, the parent has the unique opportunity to participate and hood their child on graduation day.
Amy Driebe grew up in Gainesville watching her father, UF professor and former chair of ophthalmology William Driebe Jr., M.D., help patients and teach residents, but she never considered becoming a physician until one of her three sisters became ill during her later high school years.
“Watching her go through the process of doctors and appointments and recovery made me realize I wanted to do something bigger with my life,” Amy Driebe said.
Driebe, a fourth-year UF College of Medicine student, specialized in obstetrics and gynecology, though she “kept an open mind” during her ophthalmology rotation during her third year.
“I’ve always been very driven toward women’s health,” Driebe said. “I come from a family of all girls. I like the fact that within women’s health there are a lot of social issues you have to deal with.
“Plus, (going into ophthalmology) was pretty big shoes to fill. My dad is so well known within the field. I think I wanted to do my own thing,” she added. “Luckily, he never pushed me in one direction or the other. He always said this is something that you have to do for the rest of your life, and if you’re not passionate about it, you’re not going to be the best physician that you can be.”
Driebe will be the third in her family to become a physician, as her grandfather, William Driebe Jr.’s father, was a radiologist.
“I never met him because he died the year I was born,” Driebe said. “The idea of being a third-generation Dr. Driebe appealed to me.”
Driebe will move to San Diego this summer, marking the first time she’ll move away from Gainesville. She matched at the University of California at San Diego.
William Driebe Jr, M.D., told his daughter she was entering a “noble profession, which would give her the opportunity to make a difference and give back.”
“We told her to work hard to become the best physician she could be,” William Driebe Jr. said. “We told her to put her heart into it.”
Benjamin Srivastava, a fourth-year medical student, also grew up around academic medicine. His father, Arun Srivastava, Ph.D., was recruited from the Indiana University School of Medicine to the UF College of Medicine department of pediatrics while Ben Srivastava was finishing high school.
Srivastava decided early not to pursue a career as a research scientist, but was inspired by his father’s clinician colleagues. A long list of research internships and UF College of Medicine mentors helped shape Srivastava’s desire to attend medical school and pursue clinical psychiatry. His stepmother, Jacqueline Hobbs, M.D., Ph.D., is a UF College of Medicine assistant professor of psychiatry, though Srivastava plans “blaze his own trail” in the field.
“The thing is, I want to stay in academic medicine. I plan on doing research, but what I realized through my mentors was that I primarily want to be a clinician and treat patients,” Srivastava said. “The questions I ask arise from seeing a lot of patients and treating them and seeing where things can be improved and wondering what’s happening on a deeper, neurobiological level.”
Srivastava matched at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, which was his first choice of residency.
Arun Srivastava also had the lifelong dream, like his son, of becoming a medical doctor, but his family’s financial situation in India prevented him from attending medical school. He attended graduate school instead, and has become a noted pediatric researcher.
“So, when Benjamin decided to go into medicine, I was thrilled, to say the least,” said the elder Srivastava. “My wife, who is a physician-scientist here at UF, and my daughter and my mother-in-law still think that I should go to medical school and become a real doctor. However, having worked as a basic science researcher for nearly four decades, I cannot imagine doing anything else. So, I think I will be perfectly content living vicariously through them.”