I was raised in New York, and received my bachelor's degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook as a music major. For the next 12 years, I was a professional musician, most of that time living in San Francisco. I also drove cab, was a substitute school teacher, and worked as a handyman of all sorts when times were lean for music. In my early thirties, I started doing medical volunteer work and taking the pre-requisite courses for medical school. I attended the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, where I met my wife, a fellow medical student. We both then went on to complete four years of emergency medicine residency in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our two children were born during that time. We moved to Portland in 2006 and I've been working for Kaiser Permanente since then, busy with work, kids, and occasionally music.
About my practice
I practice emergency medicine at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center and am the lead physician for the emergency department at the Kaiser Westside Medical Center, currently under construction. I love the variety of emergency medicine, summarized as "anyone, anything, anytime." A typical shift may be going from a patient with a potentially life-threatening situation such as chest pain, to an elderly patient who has fallen, to a toddler with a rash, to someone dealing with complications of a chronic disease such as cancer. I take my work very seriously and try to treat all patients with the respect and attention they deserve. I also realize my limitations as someone working in such a broad field as emergency medicine that I couldn't possibly know everything about all the conditions we see. Therefore, one of the reasons I believe strongly in the Kaiser model is that we have the comprehensive support of all the other medical specialties for consultation and referral when needed. I enjoy the relationships with my colleagues and support staff, and put together a monthly newsletter for the emergency department that contains both medical and social information.
How I thrive
More than anything else, I thrive from being with my kids. They can somehow be delightful, challenging, loving, adorable, infuriating, and total crack-ups all at the same time! I also enjoy working on home projects, running, backpacking, and socializing with friends. I play music as time permits, jamming with fellow musicians and writing songs. My main instruments are keyboards, accordion, and trumpet. Travel has always been an important part of my life. I love to meet people from different cultures, experience new places, new foods, and new music. Between my former life as a touring musician and my current work, I've somehow travelled to each of the 50 states. I also speak some Spanish from several extended trips to Guatemala (which is also very medically useful), and my wife and I took a year off together before residency to do medical work in Mongolia, Peru, and Cuba.