I was born and raised in the South as the daughter of a college professor and smart, engaging mother. My father was born in Hawaii and eagerly returned to the islands upon retiring. Hawaii seemed to be an ideal place to practice medicine, so I followed him to the islands some years later. In addition to having my wonderful husband here with me on the Big Island, I am fortunate to also have my sister and her family living nearby. My other siblings and their families live on the U.S. Mainland, from Washington D.C. to California.
My mother’s intelligence and compassion influenced my career choice to practice medicine. Had she lived in a different era, I think she would have almost certainly gone to medical school. I like to think that in a way, through me, she did. While I see mainly internal medicine patients, I specialized in internal medicine/pediatrics during my medical residency. One of the great joys of pediatric medicine for me was seeing children grow and blossom. At the opposite end, as an internist, I get to help senior patients retain their vitality and continue doing the things they love. It is tremendously satisfying to see the joys of the circle of life. As the chief of the Hilo clinic, working within the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group is an honor for me. It is uniquely gratifying to be part of a skilled cooperative team of supportive colleagues. From a professional perspective, having a variety of specialists on hand with whom I can consult helps to provide more efficient and productive patient care. The very best way I can connect with my patients is through empathy. By trying to see things from their perspective, we can accomplish more together. My philosophy is to give the same compassion and energy to the treatment of others that I would expect for my loved ones and myself. This helps to provide the highest quality care possible and helps my patients feel more comfortable. I like it when my patients share aspects of their lives with me beyond the issues of their health.
Yoga offers me a balanced and rewarding path to both physical and mental well-being. I hike when I can and play a little tennis but honestly, there is no finer exertion for me than a few hours spent in the yard, gardening among the greenest and richest of foliage. Nothing gives me more pleasure than the company of family and close friends. In the absence of that, I am always game for a trip out to see a live performance or stay home to snuggle up with a good book. Life can be wondrous at times, but for me happiness usually comes in small, sweet doses.