It has been a year since Lifestyle Asia June 2018 cover girl Lauren Liechtenstein took up residency at the Medical City and the work has practically taken up all of her time. “It is nothing like I thought it would be. I always had this impression that life as a doctor would be like Grey’s Anatomy.”
The days are long to say the least, demands are great and expectations are high especially in a field where lives are concerned. “There are days when we are working 36 hours straight and that’s when you want to be an even better doctor. You don’t just power through those days and just get the job done. You become the kind of doctor you and your loved ones would want to have when you’re sick,” stated Lauren.
There was no other career path for Lauren but medicine. “I think my mom seeded the idea since I was a little girl,” she joked. “But seriously, when you know that you’ve played a part in helping someone feel better. Or when you see a sickly child smile, then it becomes worth all the long hours.”
Community work with Zonta Club has also become a big part of Lauren’s life. It has allowed her to share her expertise and experience in the medical field with likeminded women advocating women’s and children’s rights. “We do work ranging from scholarships to health to women’s rights. We also participate in spreading hepatitis and breast cancer awareness,” described Lauren with enthusiasm.
A glow once again filled her eyes when she began talking about working with her young patients. “With pedia, you don’t just deal with the kids, you also have to know how to deal with their families. That can be a challenge sometimes. The thing with the kids is, when they come in sick, they’re kicking and crying. But then when they’re better, they hug you and they forget about the pain. That’s precious.”
The young doctor is also an art patron, throwing soirees with fellow members of an organization called the Toe Shoe Foundation. “It is an initiative by a group of young art patrons who support dance companies like Ballet Philippines and local arts. We are into fundraising to help support our dancers. So my next thing would definitely be a dinner to get all these young patrons together.”
She further explained that dancers in other countries like New York go through a pair of toe shoes in one night. In the Philippines, professional dancers use theirs for at least good six months. “And that can be dangerous sometimes for a dancer. But because these shoes are quite pricey at around P6,000 pair, our dancers are unable to just discard them after a few performances.”
Performance Arts is something that Lauren holds close to her heart. Before medicine and her residency, Lauren trained as an opera singer (at Masterclass Level) at the Royal College of Music in London. “It was more of a hobby. Sometimes I’d take on the role of performing monkey at dinner parties,” she jested. But Lauren can and has performed at the professional level. She’s performed as a soprano at the Royal Albert Hall and the Cultural Center of The Philippines. “You learn to love that things you’re good at.”
Her advocacy for supporting local artists was rooted on experiences of her contemporaries in music school. “When I see friends from when I was studying at the Royal College of Music—I realize that being in the arts is such a struggle. So I guess this is why I am passionate about supporting local artists. It’s important to celebrate our local talent and let the world know how excellent they are. With Toe Shoes, we hope to bring this experience of art to a young audience. To let them experience art and live it.”
Read the full cover story about Lauren Liechtenstein in the June 2018 Issue of Lifestyle Asia in leading bookstands now. For a digital copy download the FLIP100 app now.