I am a native Northwesterner with grandparents from Tillamook and St. Johns, Oregon and Wallace, Idaho. My father was a high school history teacher and my mother was a social worker in the Seattle, Washington school system working with pregnant girls. I grew up in Seattle and came to Portland, Oregon to attend Reed College and majored in biology. After graduation I thought I was heading towards the study of evolution and environmental biology but two years of research at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Columbia University got me headed towards medicine and I started at Yale Medical School with a direction towards basic science research. My course changed as I found that I had the heart to be a good doctor and applied to primary care residencies and ended up back in Portland, Oregon where I have been since 1986. My family is my greatest joy. My wife and I live in the Irvington neighborhood. We have four fine children all of whom went to Grant High School.
About my practice
Medicine has been a great experience for me. It combines my love of science and my family's values of social responsibility. But, I still have aspirations to be a forest ranger someday. I am quite aware that the history of medicine is full of good intentions that proved to be ineffective or even harmful to patients. My interest in medication safety started with my thesis at Yale on adverse effects of medications used to control hospitalized patients who were acutely agitated. I am fond of the saying that has been attributed to Mark Twain that states, "to a kid with a new hammer, everything looks like a nail." Medicine has too readily started pounding with new drugs and devices before we really know how safe and effective they are. Of course we want to take advantage of new breakthroughs but again we must recall that lots of things seemed like a good idea at the time and proved to be disasters later. My work with the Regional Formulary and Therapeutics Committee keeps me up to date on medication therapy and I am honored to be in a position to impact the care that Kaiser Permanente organizes. I feel very fortunate to have met so many great patients over the years. I learn from them and hopefully I impact their lives in a meaningful way at times. I believe that time heals most things but that my job is to be on the ball when either action or reassurance is needed. I believe that each of us has the ability to make our lives and our health better. Some are dealt terrible hands and the road is hard and my job is to try to help make it better.
How I thrive
Thrive to me means Music and Nature. I am a terrible singer but can't resist in the shower. I am a second rate guitar, banjo, and ukulele player but I keep working at it. I like to hike and be out in the wilds but I also feel fortunate that I live in a neighborhood right in Portland that is an urban forest of hawks, coyotes, salamanders, and outstanding trees. I will keep playing basketball as long as the body holds up. But, baseball is the best sport by far.