I was born in socialist Romania, and there I spent my summers in my grandmother's tiny village: surrounded by vineyards and still lacking paved roads and running water. I decided to pursue medicine after observing my mother's practice in her ENT (ear, nose, and throat) office, and then entered one of Romania's top medical universities after completing high-school. I completed four of the required six years of medical school before moving to Portland, Oregon in 1991. This lovely city was a great fit for me so I never left. I worked first as a medical interpreter, then completed my college degree at Portland State University. I decided to continue my medical training at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), followed by a residency at Providence Portland Medical Center. I joined Northwest Permanente in 2004. I have three children, all born at Kaiser Permanente, whose ages differ by as much as 13 years, and whose very different interests and personalities always keep me busy.
About my practice
As a hospitalist, I care for patients from the moment they are admitted in the emergency room until they are discharged, and for surgical or psychiatric patients I help them as a consultant. My focus is on timely and accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and patient's comfort. I see patients at very vulnerable times in their lives, when they are distressed, suffering, and have many questions. I appreciate the opportunity to explain the disease process, educate about possible lifestyle changes, and to reassure and comfort them. I enjoy the higher complexity and acuity of the cases compared with a clinic setting, and the opportunity to work together with our Emergency Room (ER) physicians as well as sub-specialists in providing integrated care. I also work closely with the rest of our multidisciplinary team (nurse, physical, occupational and speech therapy, dietitian, wound care nurse, and diabetic educator) to ensure all of the patient's needs are met. Together with my nurse care coordinator, I connect and communicate with the family in order to ensure all questions are answered, and that a safe discharge plan has been crafted, be it at home or a nursing facility. I feel extremely proud to be a part of the Northwest Permanente Hospitalist Department, a superb and dedicated group of clinicians who constantly strive to deliver the best, evidence-based care to our hospitalized patients.
How I thrive
Between working nearly full time and being a single mother, it's sometimes difficult to find personal time. However, I am acutely aware that I need to carve time for myself if I am to succeed in these important roles. Three times a week I make time for my favorite activities: yoga, Argentine tango dancing, and opera (when in season). I've always enjoyed a variety of pursuits, so I leap at the chance of learning new things, even at the risk of making only slow progress. Over the years I've tried out pastimes as varied as glass fusing, African drumming, and rock climbing. Currently I am taking a tree-climbing workshop, trying to learn Hawaiian, and riding my scooter as much as the weather allows.