I was born and raised in the land of cows and corn in northeast Ohio and attended The Ohio State University College of Medicine. I did my internal medicine residency, followed by a fellowship in gastroenterology (GI), at Baylor College of Medicine. My first job was with Duke University, where I spent the first nine years of my career. My wife and daughters are my biggest inspiration. I want to make my girls proud, and I hope to instill in them compassion and a work ethic that’ll serve them as they grow. After vacationing in Hawaii, we all fell in love with the islands and decided to move here permanently.
The reasons I love being a doctor are not the same now as when I was in medical school. I was always interested in science and in helping people, but back then I didn't realize all that’s involved in this profession. A part of my job that I now more fully appreciate is seeing the trust my patients have in me and striving to live up to that trust.
As a student, I most enjoyed abdominal cases during surgery rotations and my gastrointestinal rotation. Gastroenterology combines internal medicine and surgical specialties, which means GI doctors get to intervene to fix something or to take a biopsy and see what's really going on. It’s also gratifying to talk to patients about their concerns and to educate them on how lifestyle impacts their health.
When I was a GI fellow, I participated in research on risks and benefits of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and factors involved in safely prescribing them. After fellowship, I was invited to give a presentation on the types of calls first-year GI fellowship trainees can expect to receive from patients at home and from nurses on the floor.
To keep up with the latest thinking in GI and related fields, I read journals from my professional associations, the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association. Social media also helps to keep me informed. In addition, annual GI conferences provide updates on the future of GI care.
I determined that the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG) was a great fit for me even before my family decided that Hawaii was where we wanted to live. I’ve always believed in the Kaiser Permanente model, so the transition was easy.
My philosophy of care involves making patients feel comfortable and listening to their concerns so I can do the very best for them. Less is more, and I always want to be certain that an endoscopy or X-ray is necessary before ordering it. I find that a good way to connect with others is through humor. In more serious situations I spend as much time as necessary to let my patients know that I’m there for them.
To stay physically healthy and improve my mind and mood, I do weight training and spend time outside jogging, swimming, and playing tennis and baseball. I also enjoy reading, watching baseball, and eating out, as well as spending time at home with my family.