Why did you choose to become a doctor?
My grandmother was a nurse – we were really close and so, genetically and with her as a role model, healthcare was important to me. I saw her being an amazing nurse.
My younger sister was also profoundly disabled and ill. So I spent a lot of time in the hospital when I was really young. The doctors and nurses showered me with attention and toys, and it set this very positive impression of the healthcare setting for me. And being around my sister and other disabled children, I was exposed to all different sorts of people.
She’s functionally quadriplegic, she can’t speak, but I would see that she has quality of life. She’s happy, she’s smiling, she interacts. It gave me this different appreciation for what meaning in life can look like and the ability to sit in discomfort around difference and illness.
My fifth grade teacher then set me on fire for science. There comes a point where you have to ask, “Well, what do I want to do with that?” It was either research or medicine, and I realized I love interacting with people. Being a doctor seemed like it would bring my love of science with my love of people all together, bringing me more joy in my career.
What’s one memory that stands out from your early career as a doctor?
Pretty early out of residency I got a call from my mom that my dad had collapsed after a bike ride. His friend performed CPR and he was taken by an ambulance to the hospital. I flew straight there and spent the entire time in the hospital at his bedside. He ended up having a quadruple bypass. It was intense.
There I was, this young doctor, asking, “What medication are you giving him? Yeah, but he had this interaction…” My dad joked that it was finally paying off that he paid for my medical school. But it really was amazing to have a doctor in the family right at his bedside. I did catch some near misses and that became my true north for what I want for my patients to feel – like they have that family doctor right there right there alongside them.
Any book recommendations you want to share?
I love The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. It’s a book I always come back to for how the author demystifies mindfulness and being in the moment. I can read just a couple of sentences and it grounds me, puts me in that mindful state.
Why are you excited to join Private Medical?
I always wanted to practice this style of medicine where I don’t have to rush through patients, where there’s time to give people the care they need. Private Medical is more than any one doctor, any one nurse, any one team. It’s this whole organism helping care for our patients – and it really allows for amazing relationships.