I was a teacher before I was a physician. I've taught every level from Head Start to medical school. Mayo's students are bright, enthusiastic and idealistic, which keeps us stimulated. I love being at Mayo because I enjoy all three shields, but patient care is my strength. As an oncologist, I affect not just the patient but the whole family. When patients are curable, it's humbling. When they need palliative care or hospice it reminds us of our own humanity and need for compassion.
Diversity brings its own strengths and beauty to an already great institution. When I joined Mayo, I enjoyed learning some Arabic phrases and learned about Muslim culture to make my new patients comfortable. My patients in turn love learning about my Native American culture. I support Mayo's commitment to serving diverse populations. Diversity makes my practice, education and research efforts continually rewarding. That's why I was drawn to medicine, a field where patients constantly teach us new ideas.
Dec. 07, 2011