Med School/Year Graduated: Creighton University, 1988
Years in Practice: 25
As an internist, do you have a favorite organ? Which do you find most fascinating?
The brain. It’s command central. It’s the interface for us to take in every sight, sound, smell or touch we experience. Every thought, relationship, good or bad behavior we express, and memories of a life of experiences are governed and housed in three pounds of tangled wiring.
Any new techniques or research in the field of internal medicine that you’re excited about?
The patient-centered, team-based approach to health care. Am I really the best person to instruct someone in the best diet for managing their diabetes? No, but a registered dietitian is. So, while I can map out the plan and goals for success, the nutrition expert provides the education and tools a diabetic needs to become successful in managing their health at home, and [they] can have ready access to someone when they have questions.
You speak Spanish. How has that helped you working in Phoenix?
Yes. As increasingly multicultural as our society is, being bilingual or multilingual is an asset. Accurate language translation to ensure you get a medical story right in the medical environment is a must. Good care hinges on this.
Your Banner bio says you love exploring the outdoors with your husband and son. Do you have a favorite Valley hike?
Tom’s Thumb in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The “thumb” is recognizable from many parts of the Valley. It’s a heavily-trafficked trail, so timing the trip right is important. Springtime flowers and the green desert floor growth smell and look awesome. The Ogre’s Den makes for a good story and can coax out-of-town visitors [to] walk the trail with us.
You also love cooking. What is your signature dish?
I don’t know that I have one signature dish, but I do have a favorite cooking technique: braising. A hot oven and a great piece of enameled cast iron to start. Vegetables, meat, spices, a bit of broth or wine, a few hours and some patience, and you will be rewarded with a fragrant kitchen and a table full of happy people that think you’re a star! Braising is truly a global cooking style, so it really is a passport to the world’s cultures, foods and flavors.
“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be...”
A marine biologist in Northern California. My undergraduate years were spent at the University of California, Davis. The field requirements for the degree at the time were more than I could commit to with family commitments, so I took a turn down a different path.