Staff Spotlight – Christina Cifra, MD, MS

Dr. Cifra is Clinical Assistant Professor, and has been in the Division of Critical Care since 2014.

My husband, Erik, is a sociologist and teaches at the university. He is also my collaborator on research studies involving large databases and requiring coding skills to crunch numbers. We have two children, Hank, 3 years and Tilly, 9 months old. Oh, and we have two cats – Izzy and Hannah.

In my free time I spend time with my kids. It’s very hard to have hobbies now since my children are young and I am early in my career. I do still get a lot of leisure reading done though not as much as before (I used to read around 3 books a month just for fun). I catch up with family and friends, near and far. And there’s always stuff that needs to be done around the house… very domestic stuff.

This is corny, but I am thankful everyday that I am a pediatric intensivist. My mother was also a pediatric intensivist who pioneered pediatric critical care in the Philippines, and following in her footsteps have been such an honor. I do think I have the best job ever. For funsies though, I would certainly love to be the NY Times 52 Places Traveler – that would be amazing.

In terms of most fascinating place I’ve been, Baltimore is an education. Fascinating in that it taught me a lot about American cities coming as a new immigrant. Iowa is also a special place and I am learning a lot, this time about rural America.

My favorite meal is bacon with sunny-side up eggs and garlic fried rice for breakfast. This is a Filipino treat! Hands down, best meal ever. My husband and I eat this at night too when we’re too lazy to cook. Favorite restaurants: Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, Clinton St. Social Club here in town.

It’s so hard to pick a favorite book or movie! How about I just tell you about the last 3 books I read? FYI I almost always read non-fiction. 1. Fashion Climbing by Bill Cunningham – awesome autobiography of a beloved NYC institution 2. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – I’ve been on a productivity kick lately 3. Thanks, Obama by David Litt – funny and poignant memoir by one of Obama’s speechwriters.

Fun fact: I used to volunteer at an anarchist bookshop/coffeehouse in Baltimore (Red Emma’s, named after Emma Goldman). It was a great way to meet all sorts of different people. I met my husband through friends I met at the bookshop. I had a grand old time in that place!

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