CHOC wants its patients and families to get to know its specialists. Today, meet Dr. Alexandra Roche, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine, who was recently named a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
What is your education and training?
I received my undergraduate degree in anthropology from Barnard College, attended medical school at New York Medical College, and completed my residency in pediatrics at CHOC.
What are your special clinical interests?
Adolescent medicine is my specialty because I love working with teens. I am fascinated by their transformation from kids into mature adults. I often work with teens who have eating disorders and on obesity medicine.
How long have you been on staff at CHOC?
What are some new programs or developments within your specialty?
Eating disorders have changed over the last 10 years that I’ve been working with adolescents. The diagnosis criteria are being defined, and we are seeing more males suffering from eating disorders. The obesity epidemic often leads to disordered eating; it can lead to rapid weight loss in unhealthy ways.
What are your most common diagnoses?
Many patients come to me for acne, menstrual concerns, eating disorders, anxiety, questions related to sexuality.
What inspires you most about the care being delivered here at CHOC?
We take a holistic approach to treating each patient. If someone has an ear infection, we don’t just prescribe an antibiotic; we ask ourselves, “How do I take care of the whole patient?” The reason why so many doctors are committed to practicing medicine at CHOC is the medical staff’s dedication to working their hardest to help each patient receive their best possible outcome.
Why did you decide to become a doctor?
I wondered, “How can I effectively change someone’s life?” I wanted to help people get through the day feeling better about themselves.
If you weren’t a physician, what would you be and why?
I would work for the National Park Service. I love being a tour guide when I have visitors in town.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?
Spending time outside, being in nature, hiking.
What have you learned from your patients?
I have learned just how resilient kids are. It doesn’t matter what they go through, they have so much strength and can persevere through anything if they have someone to show them the way.