Growing up in a medical family - my grandmother and aunt were nurses and my mother was a pharmacist - it seemed inevitable that I would go into medicine. I was always fascinated by how the body works and how physicians care for individuals when things go wrong. Several teachers encouraged me go into medicine, especially my fourth grade teacher.I originally planned to be a surgeon but chose pediatrics, with its emphasis on preventing disease and working with families to help children grow up healthy, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer while in medical school.
In addition to general pediatrics, I concentrate on three medical challenges with children: I help other physicians diagnose and treat overweight children and prevent type 2 diabetes. I evaluate children suspected of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning problems and teach other physicians how to diagnose and treat ADHD. I also work with our HIV prevention group to educate parents, children and staff about HIV and actively work to help prevent HIV infection within our Kaiser Permanente region.Teaching others is a big part of my life. I previously served as chief of medical education for our medical group and am on the medical staff of Emory University.
I believe in challenging myself to both learn new things and be physically fit. I lift weights regularly and have completed many road races and triathlons, including an Ironman race.I love traveling and learning new languages before visiting a new country. I am fluent in Spanish and practice it with my Hispanic patients and on my yearly medical mission trip to Honduras. I am currently learning Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, as I plan to visit the Philippines soon. My goal is to learn all the languages of my ethnicity, including Norwegian, Swedish, French, Flemish, German and Cherokee.In my spare time, I hang out with my three English Springer Spaniels and sing with a local community chorus.