A love of sports has always kept Maria Velasco Acuna on her toes.
As a child and young adult, that passion spurred honors in four arenas – basketball, tennis, soccer and swimming. She’s now eager to get back on one court or another.
“I miss it,” she said of her time playing basketball and soccer, when honors included representing her Ecuadorian province nationally and earning a “Best Scorer” soccer trophy. She’s now turning an eye to hoops again.
“I hope I can find some people and play sometimes,” she mused.
The accolades didn’t stop on the athletic field. Ever the solid student, Velasco was medical school valedictorian and earned “Excellence in Primary Care” honors at Yale New Haven Hospital.
“My mom and brother were with me, so it was kind of a graduation gift,” she said.
Her mother is one of many teachers in the family, and growing up surrounded by educators instilled in Velasco a sense of wonder about all things.
Endocrinology quickly drew her. “It’s a field where technology plays an important role by bringing new therapies and biological breakthroughs that unlock many mysteries of endocrine pathology,” she said. “The combination of intellectual stimulation for diagnosis and readily available, practical treatments and solutions excites and motivates me. This field brings me meaningful human interaction, intellectual stimulation and professional motivation. It's fun and very rewarding.”
The opportunity to decipher, diagnose and treat is especially appealing because “I come from a family of teachers. I like learning.”