Marietta Vazquez, MD, was drawn to her field of pediatric infectious diseases during the AIDS epidemic. “I was a medical student in the early 1990s, when AIDS was still a new infection we knew very little about,” Dr. Vazquez says.
Fortunately, the last congenitally infected HIV patient at Yale New Haven Hospital was more than 10 years ago, Dr. Vazquez notes.
Now, she treats a variety of infections, from the commonly seen cases of ear infections, pneumonia, and respiratory infections to more rare and complicated conditions including meningitis, brain and bone infections.
“I love the mind work that goes into my job,” Dr. Vazquez says. “I love solving problems. If someone comes in and says, ‘I’ve been having a fever for x number of days,’ I enjoy sitting down and interviewing them and figuring out the missing pieces of the puzzle.”
In addition to infectious diseases, Dr. Vazquez practices general pediatrics at the Primary Care Center and runs the Yale Clinic for Hispanic Children (YCHiC) for families with children up to 1 year old. “We run everything in Spanish, and we provide a service to the community in a way that is culturally competent,” she says. “I love the variety of what I do, that I can go from taking care of someone who is very ill to sitting down and talking with parents about vaccinating a very healthy baby to celebrating culture, music, and food while providing child care at YCHiC.”
Dr. Vazquez’s research focuses on vaccines, and she is also involved in global health studies, mostly examining issues such as gastroenteritis in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is an associate professor of general pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine and is vice chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Department of Pediatrics.