I am the youngest of four siblings, raised by my school teacher mother and my academic theologian father. My dad was also the pastor of our church in Los Angeles, and I think I internalized the lessons of faith and the focus on excellence, reverence and respect for others that my parents stressed. My father counseled others throughout his life. As a child, I recall passing by the living room and overhearing my father's conferences with church members. He never interrupted their accounts of joy, grief and struggle. I realized that he often helped others by giving them the gift of unhurried listening. Through witnessing those interactions as a child, I believe that the seed of helping others was sown. In college, I ran track and studied biology. Although I love surf fishing and the ocean, I ultimately chose medicine over marine biology. I am grateful to everyone who has inspired and assisted me along the way, including church members, classmates, teachers, and of course, my parents, siblings, fantastic wife and our two wonderful children. They have all given my life purpose and meaning.
As a pulmonary and critical care physician, I enjoy the range of experiences from working with hospitalized patients to busy days in the office. I try to enjoy every new member I meet and that helps me enjoy my job. I was taught that you should treat each patient as if that person was the only patient in your practice. I try to do this, but as a result I sometimes run late. I work hard to stay abreast of new information in my specialty and I also try to learn about other areas of medicine to remain well-rounded. I enjoy patient education, and I often learn a great deal from my patients as well by just listening. While I have a tremendous array of medications at my disposal, I can often accomplish the most by getting members to quit smoking, eat a balanced diet in moderation and maintain physical activity. Some patients feel that with respiratory problems, they need to slow down, but I think that the opposite is true. I have found that the Kaiser Permanente electronic medical record is a wonderful tool that helps keep our members educated and informed. This system allows me to stay in touch with our members and colleagues like never before.
I have been blessed to have the education and experiences to understand the elements of a healthy life: Manage stress, stay positive, remain physically active, eat to live and engage with the people and activities you enjoy. I am lucky to have a physician wife who is a fantastic cook. I love to hear her utter those three wonderful words, "Are you hungry?" She always prepares great salads and fresh vegetables, and we try to avoid overeating. I am aware of the hazards of liquid calories, so I try to avoid sodas and juice. I come from a family of track athletes, and I still enjoy competing in master's track and field. I have been able to place in the top five in the nation (in my age group) in the 400 meter dash for many years. Someday I will win. Just training to compete keeps me motivated. As I have aged, I have learned that adequate rest is very important to performance, both athletically and professionally. I have a strange hobby of raising turtles (a carryover from childhood). I get very excited when I see hatchlings! I also enjoy biking, surf fishing and coaching. I am proud to have mentored several young people who have gone on to medical school.