I am first generation Filipino-American and was raised in Long Beach, California. In Hawaii I found a strong sense of community created by the aloha and ohana spirit that I had not felt in other places I had lived. Also wanting my children to experience the rich Filipino heritage existing in the islands, I made the decision to settle here.
My decision to pursue a medical career resulted from several fortunate events in my life. My mother is a registered nurse, and as a child I would walk to the hospital where she worked to do my homework after school. Back then hospital policies allowed me to wander around and watch what was going on in the ICU, the ER, and other areas. When I was nine years old, I was also fortunate to take a summer enrichment course in anatomy at the local junior college and was fascinated by what I learned. After high school I served as a medic in the U.S. Air Force, where I enjoyed responding to mass casualty incidents. By then I knew that I wanted to become a health care provider. Occupational health and urgent care are disciplines that challenge my abilities to reason, react, and make decisions. They also involve numerous aspects of medicine, and this allows me the opportunity to interact with other specialists. My professional affiliations include membership in the California Association of Physician Assistants and the American Association of Physician Assistants. I am also a fellow of the Hawaii Association of Physician Assistants. I have spoken at various governmental and employment organizations in the San Diego area on the topics of communicable and exposure illnesses such as the viral hepatitis diseases, HIV, TB, and influenza contracted in the workplace. In addition to English I speak Spanish fluently, and I understand spoken Tagalog. Attending professional conferences helps me stay up-to-date with developments in my field and other areas, including occupational medicine, primary and ambulatory care, and orthopedics. During my medical training I did several academic rotations with the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG). HPMG’s highly competent staff, the services readily provided to patients, and the group’s organizational structure all were very pleasing to me, and I decided that this was where I wanted to practice. It is my belief that if patients are presented with appropriate, reasonable, and realistic treatment options, they will become more proactive and feel empowered to make decisions about their care. I look forward to hearing how my patients’ personal experiences have influenced their lives. I strive to convey my sincere interest in them as individuals first, rather than as patients with an illnesses or medical record number.
To stay balanced, I exercise daily and spend time in the outdoors. My family and I enjoy activities at the ocean and in the mountains. I also participate in contact sports and coach youth athletic teams.