For medical school, please share which school you attended and tell us about why it made the top of your list.
I attended State University of New York Brooklyn (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine. I chose this medical school because I wanted to train in NYC. And you know, you can’t beat in-state tuition!
Where did you complete your residency?
I completed my EM residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. NYC offers a large and culturally diverse patient-base, so I not only had to learn the medicine to treat patients, but I also had to adapt to their cultural expectations. For example, there is a large Hasidic Jewish population in that area of Brooklyn and in their culture, men cannot touch women. So, when I introduced myself to my male patients, I learned not to extend my hand to shake theirs (remember before the pandemic when we could shake each other’s hands?). It is acceptable, in their culture, for me to perform a physical exam as their doctor, but these nuances were important to learn.
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?
Both my parents are physicians; my father was a hematologist with an MD/PhD, and my mother was a family practice doctor. They are retired now, but they both showed me the important work that physicians do. Also, my grandmother inspired me to become a physician. She was an internal medicine doctor and treated the Chinese community in the Rockville, MD area. When I was growing up, we would visit my grandmother on the weekends and she was always busy on Saturday mornings because she would treat patients at her house in her basement office during that time. So, in addition to treating patients in the clinic and in the hospital during the week, she even spent her weekends treating patients in her home. My grandmother was so dedicated, loved medicine, and taking care of her patients so much, I wanted to be just like her.
What about becoming a physician was attractive?
I think the most attractive thing about being a physician for me was knowing that after I became a physician, I would have the tools and skills to truly help and treat those who were sick.
How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
I chose EM because I love the critical thinking this specialty requires, and I also love the act of performing life-saving medical procedures. I really enjoy practicing intubation, central lines, and chest tubes. Oh, and I find shoulder reductions really satisfying.
What led you to practice with MEMA?
During my MEMA interview, I was very impressed not only with the high caliber physicians in the group, but also with the compassion the physicians with MEMA had for each other. I had been an independent contractor up until I joined MEMA and had never been part of a democratic physician run ER group but liked the idea. This was the first group that offered me health insurance!
Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you?
Well currently we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while it’s on the forefront of all healthcare workers, I know this experience will stick with me forever.
What was your dream job when you were a child?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic which would have combined my love of taking photos with my love of traveling.
What about Charlotte excites you?
Now, that I have lived in Charlotte for 5 years, I’d say the thing that excites me most about Charlotte are the people. Charlotte is a healthcare town and the community really stepped up to support each other and healthcare workers during this pandemic. I am grateful for all people I know in Charlotte.
Do you have any hobbies, interests, secret powers that are unique to you?
I love playing tennis and ultimate frisbee. I also love fishing and biking. I asked my spouse if she thought I had any secret “superpowers” and she said she thought it was my ability to simply be a good friend. I have a few close friends that I have carried with me throughout my life, and even though I don’t see them all the time, we keep in touch, and we take care of each other.