Education & Training
Medical School / Education
Questions & Answers
What led you to your career as a neurology doctor/surgeon?
My grandfather was a country doctor and I admired him a great deal. He was in practice up until his death and he had a tremendous impact on his community. He led a very modest life and was a noble man, often working without pay. As a child I could tell he was so happy and as I matured, I realized at least part of that had to do with how fulfilled he was professionally.
What is the best thing about your job?
I love what I do. I enjoy interacting with children and their parents/siblings. I enjoy the technical aspects of more complicated clinical neurophysiology applications in the operating room and I am fascinated by sleep problems. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to explore all of these opportunities at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Have you received a special gift of thanks or piece of artwork from a child?
I had a patient who I met 8 years ago. She lost her vision right in front of me due to vasculitis. There was seemingly nothing we could do. Everything we tried failed her. By the time we got things settled down, she could no longer see and her cognitive abilities had changed. Previously, she played multiple instruments and wrote poetry. After she lost her sight, she started painting. I have one of her first canvas pieces in my office at home. It is a desert scene at night with coyotes and cactus and the moon. That picture humbles me every time I walk in there. Parents trust us with their children and sometimes we let them down due to the limitations of our expertise; that picture drives me to always be learning more.
What is your favorite children's book?
How do you go about calming a child's fears, aside from the wonderful work of the Child Life team?
Nothing specific. I am honest about what to expect and that I will do my best to help them.
How do you build trust with a parent?
The best way is to be honest about what I can provide as their doctor. Parent's expectations about what to expect from their child's doctor are very different. Some just want you to tell them what to do, others want to make decisions together, some need to talk to you every other day, some once a year. After you figure out what everyone wants, clear initial plans with contingency also clearly outlined seems to provide the most constant direction for the patient and family. I also think it is important to relate my understanding of their fears/concerns as I am also a father of three and I always ask myself what I would want for one of my own kids and strive to obtain that for those I am fortunate enough to be involved in their care.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Watching my kids play sports and spending time with my family. I also swim, bike or run daily.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Can you tell us about your family?
I have a super hot wife and 3 wonderful kids (1 girl, 2 boys).
Where are you originally from, and how did you get here?
I grew up in Nebraska, went to college in Kansas and moved to Arizona as my wife's family had a winter home here and it was always so beautiful here. I was headed to law school when I wound up applying to the osteopathic medical school here. I did not want to leave for residency and was fortunate enough to do all my subspecialty training at Barrow Neurological Institute.