Alumni Spotlight: Miles Leviste
Our series on alumni who served as Big Brothers in the earliest years of our Men's Leadership Project continues this week with Miles Leviste. Miles graduated from the College with an Anthropology major in 2009. Today, Miles is a third year Pediatric resident physician at the University of North Carolina.
1. Tell us about the path you’ve taken to where you are now in your career. Has it been planned? Organic? Some of both?
During my time at UVA, I debated between a career in education versus medicine. I was a child who made trips to the emergency room for asthma and severe food allergies, which led to the idea of potentially being a doctor. In college, I worked in many teaching/mentorship programs. I ultimately realized that medicine would allow me to work in the healthcare field and in education. I took three years off from school to be a nurse aide, which gave me a wealth of priceless experiences. I was able to interview at UNC and matched to their pediatric program. Despite being in Tarheel country, I will always cheer for the Hoos!
2. What was your very first job and what’s something you learned from it?
My mother’s family owned a Filipino restaurant in Vallejo, California. I had many responsibilities such as wiping tables, cleaning dishes, working the cash register, etc. The job taught me how to balance multiple things at one time and how to prioritize tasks.
3. How do you practice work/life fit?
I can average somewhere between 40-80 hours of work per week. A shift can be anywhere from 8 to 27 hours. In Pediatrics, when it’s good it can be great but when it’s bad it can be depressing. The importance of work/life fit cannot be over stressed. I’m fortunate to have a strong support group both at home and at work. When I leave my shift, I try to leave all my responsibilities in the hospital/clinic and focus on my wellness while I’m away. Cooking meals, spending time with my significant other and my dog, exercising, or just taking time to rest at home are some of the ways I focus on my own wellness.
4. What lessons or skills from your work with MLP play a role in your career or life today?
One of the lessons I, as a big brother, would try to teach my lil brother would be to embrace the differences of each individual. Even if we don’t have the same beliefs or come from similar backgrounds, we need to appreciate and respect others. Every one of my patients and their families come from different upbringings. How they identify themselves varies from patient to patient. It’s the best part of my job to interact with so many unique personalities.
5. What is your favorite UVA memory?
Walking down the Lawn for graduation is an experience of a lifetime. Four years of hard work leading to this event was one of my favorite memories.
6. Looking back, what advice would you give your former, student-self?
No matter how much of a blueprint you have for your future, life will have its own plan for you. That’s okay. You are surrounded by family and friends who love you and will support you throughout this journey.