I am a medical doctor (MD) who is passionate about healthy living and optimized functioning of the human body. My life’s mission is to use scientific knowledge as a tool to maximize the human experience for myself and my patients. Life is precious, and I believe that science can help us all experience better, happier, and healthier lives, if we choose to implement scientific knowledge in an effective way.
Originally from Washington, DC, I headed west for college, and graduated with Honors from Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology, with a concentration in the Cellular and Genetic Basis of Disease. At Stanford, I was elected president of my 1,600 person class, worked for 2 years in a Dermatology lab, and ultimately was awarded Stanford's “Excellence in Human Biology Honors Research Award” at my graduation. I went on to earn my medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, after which I pursued 4 years of post-graduate training in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery (ENT) at Oregon Health & Science University. I chose not to complete my final year of surgical residency in order to pursue additional training in Functional Medicine. During my medical training, I was involved in extensive biomedical research, publishing seven peer reviewed scientific articles and speaking at numerous research conferences. My research experience over the past 13 years has included positions at the National Institutes of Health, the Departments of Dermatology and Otolaryngology at Stanford University, NYU Skirball Institute for Developmental Genetics, and Oregon Health & Science University’s Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology. I also have a passion for Wilderness Medicine, and have trained at Stanford and the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wilderness Medicine, and have led backpacking trips in Oregon, California, and Wyoming.
My four years working on the hospital wards and in the operating room during surgical residency provided me with deep medical experience, but I was very unsatisfied with my role of “managing” disease with surgery or pills. Sure, you can always shut down inflammation with a steroid or ibuprofen, but to me, the most important question is: what is causing the inflammation in the first place, and how can we reverse that? Sure, you can “fix” an autoimmune thyroid problem by removing the thyroid (which I did many, many times!), but why aren’t we diving into why the body is attacking its own tissue in the first place? Science provides answers to much of this, but we are not yet incorporating enough of this knowledge into standard practice.
Diseases do not occur overnight; they can take years or decades to develop in the setting of adverse conditions (sedentary lifestyle, processed food, nutrient deficiencies, chronic stress, chronic environmental toxin exposure, etc), and we need to intervene earlier to prevent disease. In the conventional model, we typically diagnose diseases based on symptomatic presentation, but symptoms typically do not manifest until months to years after the "train has gone off the rails" from a root cause perspective. For instance, chronic inflammation due to poor diet may smolder for years sub-clinically, but we initiate a workup and treatment plan only when overt symptoms pop up, such as arthritis, depression, sinusitis, pain, allergies, cancer, IBS, etc. Once a disease or symptom has become apparent, it is most helpful to address the features that cause disease, rather than just mask symptoms with pharmaceuticals, or remove the offending body part with surgery.
We now have the research knowledge and tools to address biologic dysfunction much earlier in the disease spectrum. Functional Medicine aims to understand the underlying causes and triggers of dysfunction in the human body, and addresses these before they lead to the expression of symptoms and disease. "Symptoms" and "diseases" are signals that conditions are sub-optimal. I work to optimize these conditions.
As such, I shifted my clinical energy to using the tools to give patients solutions that do not carry as many side effects, morbidity, pain, or risk as surgery and pills often do. I sensed from my patients that they knew they needed something more than just 20-minute office visits, another prescription, or another surgery. They were dissatisfied. I was dissatisfied. Our system can effectively manage acute emergencies and serious infections in an unparalleled fashion. But, when it comes to keeping Americans healthy and addressing our chronic disease epidemic, the conventional model falls short, focusing primarily on "sick-care" rather than "healthcare."
In 2018, I left the world of surgery, and I started training with the Institute for Functional Medicine. This allows me to merge my conventional medical training with an expanded perspective and toolbox of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. It allows me to get to know each unique patient more completely, use the cutting edge understanding of network biology, precision medicine, genetics/epigenetics, nutritional biochemistry, pharmacokinetics, mind-body medicine, and other areas of the biosciences to create personalized, high-impact plans with my patients.
I am licensed to practice medicine in the state of Oregon. I see patients in person and online in Oregon, and will also be seeing patients in California remotely by mid-2019. Please see my "Work With Me" page for more information on how to connect.
Internship, General Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University (2014-2015).
Residency, Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University (2015-2018). Disclaimer: I chose to not pursue board certification in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery. I completed 4 years of surgical residency training prior to leaving to pursue training with the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice, Institute for Functional Medicine, 2019.
Cardiometabolic Advanced Practice training, Institute for Functional Medicine, 2019.
Immune Advance Practice training, Institute for Functional Medicine, 2019.
License: Active, licensed by the Oregon Medical Board.
Awards: First Place Award for Excellence in Basic Science, Department of Otolaryngology-HNS, OHSU (Awarded June 2017). Gold Humanism Honor Society (Inducted July 2013). Honors medical students who have “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion, and dedication to service.” Stanford MedScholars Research Grant (Awarded January 2012). Stanford Excellence in Human Biology Honors Research Award (Awarded June 2009).