Lauren grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the high desert and moved to the bay area where she studied biology and public health in college at Santa Clara University. She spent 5 years after college in San Francisco working in public health, doing research at UCSF and helping start a health tech company. She returned to New Mexico and attended medical school at University of New Mexico. There, she found her passion for general surgery but also felt pulled toward Family Medicine because of the long-term patient relationships, holistic view of treating disease and possibility of getting to know patients on a deeper level. When she found a mentor who was a Surgical Oncologist also boarded in Hospice & Palliative Care, it became clear that she could pursue her love of surgery while also fostering her other passions in medicine. She matched into general surgery residency at University of Utah and has completed 3 years of surgery training. She is now doing the HPM fellowship during one of her professional developments (research) years and will complete her surgical training after the fellowship. During fellowship, she hopes to develop communication skills that are critical to but often underutilized during surgical care with a focus on culturally appropriate use of palliative care with Native American populations. She plans to have both a surgical and a palliative care practice serving rural and underserved populations and to incorporate palliative care into her surgical practice with a focus on shared decision making with surgical patients.
Lauren’s passions outside of work include spending time with her partner and their two dogs in nature, trail running, gardening, biking to breweries and cooking (the NY Times Cooking App is her lifeline).