My school counselor steered me toward medical school.My father was old fashioned and did not think a woman should be a doctor. Back in those days only 20% of medical school students were women. I rose to the challenge. It became the ultimate challenge when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wanted to fight this devastating disease. I did two years of clinical and two years of bench research. I ultimately decided that I preferred to have patient contact; rather than work in the lab and I went into Private Practice.
We never planned to move to the U.S. My father was a General in the Italian Airforce and he was stationed in Washington, DC, for three years; when we were kids. So, we all became fluent in English. When my father was stationed in Holland, years later, my sister met and married an American diplomat and moved to the U.S. I was graduating from medical school, at the time. My sister and I were very close. So she offered to let me stay in her home; if I wanted to do my training in the US. I trained at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University.