Peter W. Abcarian, MD
I speak: English, French, Spanish
My gender: Male
Where I practice
I was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles. At age seven I lived in the south of France while my father taught English at the local university. At age 15 I spent a year in Mexico and learned to speak Spanish. After graduating from high school, I attended college at UC Berkeley and then UC Santa Cruz, where I graduated with a degree in biology. During my senior year I did research at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. After several more years doing research, I decided to devote my career efforts to clinical medicine. After graduating from Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, I completed an internship in internal medicine and then a residency in radiology at UCSF. The radiology internship included a one-year fellowship in interventional radiology, the subspecialty where minimally invasive procedures are done with the use of imaging equipment. During my fellowship I had the opportunity to spend a week at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua. It was a great experience, and my wife and I fell in love with the Hawaiian Islands.
About my practice
My love of science, my preference for a profession that requires a lifetime of learning, and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to society all led me to a career in medicine. Although I was attracted to several different specialties, I chose radiology because it plays a crucial role in the care of nearly all patients, it is a dynamic field where there are continuous improvements in techniques, and it requires familiarity with many different diseases. The subspecialty of interventional radiology also provides the opportunity to provide direct patient care. Although most folks have never heard of us, interventional radiologists do the majority of biopsies, angiograms, chest tubes, and a host of procedures that are designed to be less invasive than surgery. To stay up to date in my field and medicine in general, I attend radiology conferences and read professional journals on a regular basis. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to present at various conferences, publish papers in radiology journals, and teach medical students and residents. It is a pleasure to be associated with a group of well trained, highly competent, and pleasant physicians at the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG). It has been my good fortune to serve on the board of directors of HPMG and as director of Interventional Radiology and MRI subsections within Diagnostic Imaging. I also work with the teams that choose interventional radiology equipment and MRI equipment for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. In addition to listening to my patients and endeavoring to always provide compassionate care, I try to attend to details large and small and deliver care in a manner that I would want to be cared for. I always hated needles when I had to go to my Kaiser Permanente doctor in Southern California as a kid. I try to reassure patients that I understand their apprehension and will do whatever I can to make them as comfortable as possible.
How I thrive
Achieving a healthy balance between work and family life while maintaining my own physical and mental health is essential in order to be able to provide the best care for my patients. I re-energize by doing daily exercise and spending quality time with family and friends. I have been involved in competitive outrigger canoe paddling for many years and also enjoy cycling, hiking, jogging, weightlifting, and skiing as well as doing handyman work around the house, cooking and baking, listening to music, reading, and watching movies.