I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in a family where learning was a high priority. I tended to push myself constantly in all that I did, yet it was through my parents’ encouragement that I understood the value of applying oneself in academics. Through hard work and perseverance, I was able to excel academically in college and medical school. After residency, I sought professional opportunities in medically underserved communities. A federal program that was placing physicians in rural areas on the Big Island drew me to Hawaii. I accepted a position with the State of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii, which was a great move for me and I am happy to have rural Hawaii as my home.
My interest in medicine stems from my own experiences as an asthmatic child. I learned first-hand that intervention can make a difference in one’s life. Deciding on a specialty was difficult because I was torn between psychiatry and more intensive fields such as surgery. In the end, my fascination with the link between the brain and behavior won out. I found the physician-patient relationship in psychiatric medicine to be one of the most powerful, and it compelled me in my decision. As a physician within the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, I feel fortunate for the unique camaraderie between physicians and other medical staff. Our collaboration and the electronic medical records help us to provide highly coordinated care for our members. I also appreciate that the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group fosters an environment that enables me to spend ample time with my patients, which allows me to provide the best care possible. I find it rewarding to be involved in unfamiliar and complex issues with patients, helping them to work through discomfort and to discover things that can improve their lives.
To stay fit, I run or jog and work out in a gym several times a week. Vigorous exercise helps balance me and offsets the more cerebral nature of my work. My children are daily reminders that life and time are precious. Spending time with them keeps me young and thinking creatively. I really enjoy all music, playing the guitar, and sharing my musical interests with my children.