I was born in a dispensary on the Big Island of Hawaii, and grew up on the sugar plantation, where I attended Laupahoehoe High & Elementary School. Laupahoehoe was a typical small town where everyone knew their neighbor. The school and community were very supportive and focused on education. My parents are a source of inspiration. They stuck together through very difficult times and managed to raise four children. Making the most of limited resources, they provided us with piano lessons, braces, bicycles, and everything we needed. Beginning in elementary school, I've also been fortunate to have teachers who have encouraged me. My high school science teacher challenged me to participate in enrichment courses, science fellowships, and research projects. This likely was the beginning of my interest in medicine.
I enjoy practicing medicine because it allows me to combine my aptitude for science with my interest in working with people. Pulmonary medicine likewise felt like a great fit. I saw that pulmonologists were comfortable working with patients in the clinic, hospital, and critical care units and have the opportunity to interact closely with both primary and specialty care physicians. I'm very happy with my selection of this specialty. I am a member of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society. I am a Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians (FCCP) and was recently elected a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP). At the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, our attention is focused on doing what's best for the patient. In our clinics and hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other professionals work together to achieve optimal results. My "philosophy of care" has developed largely from what I've learned from my mentors and teachers. Early on, our professor asked us to remember that the patient comes first, that doctor means teacher, and that we should have fun. In keeping with this guidance, I spend time at the beginning of the visit listening to my patients’ stories. I try not to appear rushed or impatient. At the end of the visit, I share my impression and plan with the patient using terms he or she can understand. I am open to questions.
I try to stay fit with a variety of activities including jogging, swimming, biking, playing golf, and doing yard work. Sharing time with my family is important to me. I'm very fortunate to have parents still relatively healthy and happy. My grandchildren are growing quickly and I try to spend time with them when I'm free. I like to travel.