A: I earned my B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1988. I obtained my MD degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in NJ in 2007. I completed by residency training at Somerset Medical Center in NJ in 2010.
Q: Why did you choose to become a doctor?
A: I’ve been fascinated by the inner workings of the human body for as far as I can remember. My fascination had many positive influences, it began with my mother practicing alternative medicine in our town and I keenly observed her work. I learned that the practice of medicine included: formal education, empathy, patience, and relationship building among others things.
Q: Why did you choose to practice in an open access primary care practice?
A: I really enjoy the diversity of my workday. I never know what I’m going to see. I might be working on a laceration one minute then see a 6 year-old with uncontrolled asthma, and then move to a 90 year-old with life threatening respiratory problems. But I also enjoy the opportunity of developing close professional relationships with long-term patients and their families. This allows me the unique opportunity of knowing them more closely, understanding how the day-to-day influences their physical health.
Q: What unique skills do you possess?
A: I am a bilingual (English-Spanish) physician, and have knowledge of French
Q: Describe your day to day activities, priorities and tasks. What do you like best?
A: I get immense personal satisfaction when I know I have made a positive difference, no matter how small, in the lives of my patients. When I hear someone say: “Dr. Rivera I started walking and cutting down on fried foods” to “I was able to stop using sleeping pills”. These are important steps that change the quality of their overall health.
Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
A: Becoming a physician later in life after a career in scientific research in adolescent and women’s health is one of my biggest professional accomplishments. On a personal level I completed a triathlon and overcame my fear of open water swimming in the ocean. I use these accomplishments to help me motivate my patients as I realized that the body is capable of so much more than what we ask of it if we take good care of it and train it.
Q: What are the key challenges of this field of medicine? How is it changing?
A: While medicine continues to advance, receiving healthcare as a patient is fundamentally a human process. The challenge today is to maintain effective progressive care while still forming a personalized connection between patient- physician.
Q: If you couldn’t be a physician, what would you be doing?
A: Professor, Researcher, Working on Health Programs and Policy in DC.
Q: What makes working at Care Station special?
A: It is great to work as part of a team of people that are professional, friendly, and supportive; we all look out for each other and care greatly about our work.
Q: Why should patients choose Care Station for their primary care?
A: It is the best choice given the quality of providers and the flexible schedule. Patient centered approach is our mission.
Q: Tell us a little something about yourself.
A: I enjoy exploring NYC, staying current with global events in the USA and abroad, having a good laugh with family and friends…always trying to find humor in everything.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: Swimming, running, watching foreign movies, and painting.