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Dr. Michele Moscato wanted a career in the health care field from the time she was very young. “I can remember talking about being a doctor as a child,” says Dr. Moscato. “I had a strong interest in biological sciences and I had support, especially from one of my high school teachers who mentored and encouraged me to see my goal and go for it.” Family medicine was the specialty area that was the draw for her, which can be partly attributed to a personal event. According to Dr. Moscato, “When a member of my family developed dementia, I saw firsthand the overwhelming challenges my family experienced trying to deal with the treatment and care of our loved one, which was new to all of us. We were initially lost in the woods.” She decided to take from that experience and put herself in a position armed with knowledge so she could offer her patients counsel and direction that would make their health care journey a little easier. Dr. Moscato completed her residency at Hackensack University Medical Center-Mountainside (now Mountainside/UHMC Hospital) in family medicine. After her residency, she was asked to join the hospital as a faculty physician and assistant director in women’s health. “Women’s health was and remains an interest of mine, but I also like variety, and family medicine allows me to treat all ages and all genders,” she says. “At Vanguard Medical Group, I get the opportunity to do that every day.” Vanguard is a patient-centered medical home where the patient comes first and the staff takes a team-based approach to provide quality health care. Dr. Moscato notes that one of the most important actions that she takes during every visit is to listen to, and talk with, her patients. Communication is crucial. “Taking that extra time to talk with my patients puts them at ease so they are more apt to open up and share their questions or concerns, and oftentimes the things discussed offer clues to their health,” she says. In her spare time, Dr. Moscato enjoys traveling with her husband, especially locally to neighboring states. She is an animal lover and finds time to volunteer with animal adoption agencies.