As a 5th grader, I appropriated my older brother's high school biology textbook, and I was hooked: I knew I wanted to be a physician. I completed my residency at the University of Illinois in Internal Medicine before serving my Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan. Fiber-optic endoscopy was first developed at UM, and while there I had the honor of meeting some of the people who were instrumental in this technological achievement. As an amateur astronomer and photographer, optics have always fascinated me, and the ability to examine the “inner space” of the gut still awes me every day. The practice of Gastroenterology combines the cognitive challenge of forming a diagnosis based on a given set of symptoms with the satisfaction of being able to confirm that diagnosis through an endoscopic exam. I am immensely gratified when I can intervene, without surgery, in situations involving bleeding, difficulty swallowing, gallstone disease, and preventing colon cancer.
When I was an intern and resident, Dr. Donald Rager was my mentor and program director. He gave new interns a talk titled "The Golden Early Moments," which went something like this: "Be quiet for 10 minutes and listen; the patient is handing you the diagnosis. Then ask some clarifying questions and do an examination. After that, if you don't have a diagnosis, you're in deep trouble." I have found this to be true. Once a physician starts asking questions, objectivity is lost. Not infrequently, a member’s offhand remark provides the missing link to a diagnosis.
I enjoy amateur astronomy, photography, astrophotography, and photomicrography. While in Wisconsin, I tried my hand at brewing beer and making cheese—a silly idea, considering Wisconsin is famous for both, and both are done better by experts. Subsequently, I took up keelboat sailing at the University of Wisconsin’s Hoofer Sailing Club, which I hope to continue. I also enjoy cycling and own a recumbent bike.