I was born in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. At age five I moved with my family to Massachusetts, where I grew up. I returned to the Islands for college and decided to make Hawaii my home once again. My dad has always been an inspiration to me. When he was 19 years old, he was working as a printer in Indiana, and although he was a good worker, he lost his job to a college graduate. Determined, he overcame his previous disinterest in school, went off to college himself, and ultimately became an associate dean at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I have always admired his perseverance. In addition to my education, I worked at various jobs in my teens and twenties. I think that this real world experience was as valuable as school because it gave me a better understanding of diverse groups and people.
I have always enjoyed the sciences. I became interested in health and nutrition in my twenties and decided to go into medicine soon after that. I find internal medicine interesting because it is wide-ranging—I like to consider how all of the body’s systems interact with each other to result in health or illness. I also like to look at the individual as a whole, taking into account the effects of nutritional status, exercise habits, and environmental factors. My favorite interaction with my patients is simply talking with them and advising them on health issues. I believe that most patients are capable of making good choices about their care and health. I respect their decisions and encourage them to take as much ownership of their situations as possible.I believe that Kaiser Permanente exemplifies a highly effective care delivery model, where the values and objectives are based on providing high quality health care. Our model focuses on the patient first and foremost, which I believe should be a standard in health care delivery.
Hawaii is an ideal home for me as I enjoy participating in numerous outdoor water sports, including surfing, kayaking, and stand up paddling. I also enjoy slacklining (similar to tightrope walking at a lower height), reading, and spending time with my family.