You Should Know … Lani Roskes

Lani Roskes with her husband Josh Strimber
Lani Roskes (right) with husband Josh Strimber (Courtesy of Lani Roskes)

Dr. Lani Roskes, 27, works hard to make a difference in the world as a pediatric resident.

After growing up in Pikesville and graduating from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, Roskes received her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University. Most recently, Roskes attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Now, she is in her second year of a pediatric residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Roskes and her husband Josh Strimber live in Pikesville and are members of Suburban Orthodox Congregation.

What does a day in your look like?

In residency, everything is by month-long rotations. Even though we’re now committed to pediatrics, we’re trying to figure out what field within pediatrics we want to do for practice.

So we spend half of our time doing inpatient work in the hospital, either on the regular pediatric floor or the different pediatric units. Then the rest of the time is outpatient, doing either outpatient general pediatrics or trying the different subspecialties like pediatric cardiology or pulmonology. I really love working with kids. It keeps everything interesting and fun and never boring. I also love all the people that I work with because everyone’s there for the same reason: to take care of kids and keep them healthy.

How did you feel when you graduated medical school?

I was very excited. I’m glad medical school is over. I was excited for what was coming up and very grateful for the opportunities that were coming. I’m planning right now to work in general outpatient pediatrics in primary care and would like to stay [in Baltimore] and work somewhere here.

What would someone be surprised to learn about you?

I did not always know that I wanted to go into pediatrics, even though I really love it. I was strongly considering going into something like geriatrics for a while because I grew up close to my grandparents. I thought that was something that I wanted to do. Once I started rotations in medical school, I realized that I wanted to go into pediatrics.

How would you describe your relationship with Judaism?

I would say that Judaism is a guiding force in everything that I’ve done. Growing up, I knew that I wanted to go into something that would help people. I didn’t necessarily know it was going to be medicine until later. But I definitely think that that was driven by the values that I was taught at home and in school, taking care of our people and making the world a better place. [Judaism] guides my relationship with my family, with my friends, and just living life in an honest way.

How do you balance your work life and time for yourself?

I try to look at it as a long haul. Over the course of weeks to months rather than day-to-day. In medical school and non-residency, there’s a lot of time I must dedicate to work. There isn’t a lot of time to do stuff for my family or things like that. I work to look at it in the long term. There’ll be easier rotations, easier months to recover and focus more on other things. I think there are people who are concerned that medicine is so all-encompassing that there’s no time for religion or family or things like that. But when you love what you do and it’s the way that you want to give back to the world, I think that balancing them is easy. It’s all about setting priorities, but it’s definitely possible to prioritize both. I have a few friends and colleagues at my level of treating who are married, especially in pediatrics. Pediatricians in general value family, so it’s not too unusual, and our residency program tries really hard to prioritize that.

Why is living in Maryland important to you?

It’s really because my family’s here and my family’s been in Baltimore for many generations. My parents grew up here and still live here and my brother’s here. I still have two grandparents that are alive and live here. So, for me, it’s about staying close to them and close to our community.

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