What was your first experience at Mayo Clinic?
"I completed a clerkship at Mayo Clinic during the summer of my third year of medical school. I had heard about Mayo Clinic but didn't know much about the place. My mentor in medical school had graduated from the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program at Mayo Clinic, and he was the one who recommended Mayo Clinic to me.
During the clerkship I spent two weeks in a rehabilitation unit; two weeks participating in patient consultations and one week in the sports medicine clinic. Everyone was so nice during the clerkship, and the staff members I worked with were eager to teach. It was a very positive experience that solidified my choice to pursue Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as a specialty; and also helped me confirm that I would like to do my residency at Mayo Clinic. I was very happy when I matched for the program."
Where does your interest in medicine come from?
"My interest in science has always been there. Perhaps it stems from my mother's role as an operating room nurse. She worked in cardiovascular and orthopedic surgery and some of her interests obviously rubbed off on me. Then later I played baseball in college and was drafted to play professional baseball in the [Cincinnati] Reds' minor league. When that finished, I started medical school. I was very interested in combining the science of sports injuries and the practice of medicine. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation turned out to be a great fit with my interests."
How long have you been practicing at Mayo Clinic?
"Since July 1997. When I finished my residency in Rochester, there was a physical medicine and rehabilitation position open in Arizona."
What do you think is Mayo Clinic's greatest strength?
"I think that one of Mayo Clinic's greatest strengths is the collegiality and teamwork that are involved with patient care. It is rare to find a place like this where people are working so closely together to help patients."
What is your perspective on diversity?
"Diversity is always a work in progress, as it should be. When I started in Rochester, it was different than what it is now. Here in Arizona, just the location makes it different. The surrounding community is diverse and there is a reflection of the community here on campus.
Mayo takes diversity seriously. There is definitely a culture that encourages mutual respect for colleagues and the patients that we serve. To achieve the goals we set for patient care, everyone has to be on the same page, and mutual respect is part of that."
What is the most significant motivation for your life?
"My family. I love being a dad for my two kids. Family to me is my utmost priority, and I base my decisions professionally and otherwise on the impact they will have on my family. Honestly, I think it should be that way for everyone. There can be struggles trying to balance family and work, but at Mayo Clinic there is space to make the decisions that allow me to be with family."
Nov. 11, 2010