I was born and raised in Ka’u, a small town on the Big Island of Hawaii. Although my father never realized his dream of becoming a doctor, he was persistent about my education and encouraged me to read from a young age. As a result, reading became my passion and I consumed every book in the house and the local library. I was the first of my six siblings to graduate from college and I dedicate my success to my father.
In the eighth grade I knew I wanted to pursue a professional career that would significantly impact people’s lives. After volunteering at our local hospital during college and being able to watch my family physician perform surgery, I knew I wanted to become a doctor. I chose to be a pediatrician because I love children, and every day is eventful, from providing life-saving treatment to celebrating milestones. The highlight of my job is the interaction in the exam room with my patients and their families. In Hawaii, everyone is considered family or ohana, so I encourage my patients to skip the formalities and call me “Aunty Marsha” or “Dr. Moto.” This helps to bring me closer to my patients and their families on a more personal level. I am honored when my patients grow up and choose me to be their child’s pediatrician. My goal as the professional chief of the pediatrics department is to make a difference in the lives of our children by improving the care delivered to all of our keiki (kids). My philosophy of care is for my patients to feel better when they leave my office, whether it is medically or emotionally. I am very passionate about prevention; especially promoting immunizations, tackling childhood obesity, and improving the developmental and emotional health of our children. My goal for the pediatrics department is to have the children of our communities grow up to be healthy adults. It is a pleasure to work with my colleagues at the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group as we are all committed to doing the right thing and continuously strive towards providing world class care. I would not practice anywhere else.
Being a doctor, wife and a mother of two sons is a challenge. My husband has been my foundation and support in balancing family and work; he has enabled me to practice medicine without the guilt of neglecting time with my family. When I am not in the clinic I enjoy taking family vacations and have recently taken up golf. I am also a huge fan of U.H. Warrior football and Rainbow Wahine volleyball.