I am a surgical pathologist. My life is looking at tissues taken during surgery or sampled in biopsies to find and understand what is normal and what is not. I make diagnoses based on what I see. I report and explain my findings to the surgeons and other physicians who manage patients' care more directly. Although I have been doing this work for more than 30 years, I still learn something almost every day. I feel like I have the best job in the world, and I look forward to every new day and every new case.
I was raised in Lynwood, California, across the street from my high school, until I left home for college and medical school. I served as a flight surgeon at a base in the central highlands of Thailand during the Vietnam War. After this service, I received training in pathology at UCLA. Two American Cancer Society clinical fellowships followed, one at UCLA and the next at USC. I joined the faculty of Loma Linda University Medical School, where I taught, learned, and practiced for 14 years. In 1991 I was invited to join Kaiser Permanente in Orange County.
Among the best things about my job are working with seven other great surgical pathologists in Orange County and being part of a community of about 100 Kaiser Permanente pathologists in Southern California. Many are superb generalists; others are recognized experts in special fields. We all make one another better. Together we have a depth of experience and knowledge that we feel is second to none.
However much I delight in it, there is more to life than surgical pathology. I also find joy in my wife, children, grandchildren, and friends. I make things with my hands in the garden and in the garage. I bicycle, walk, travel, and eat well. I mentor a 2-year-old Labrador retriever-German shepherd mix as she learns life skills. Late in life, I have rediscovered zinfandel, thanks to a favorite winery in Paso Robles. And I fall in love with the opera diva Cecilia Bartoli at every opportunity.