Please share with us where you attended medical school and tell us about why it made the top of your list.
I attended medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, NJ. I was born in North Jersey, grew up in Central Jersey, and went to The College of New Jersey in Central-Southern Jersey. Medical school placed me in South Jersey which was close to family and where I grew up. I like to say I’ve been slowly falling down the East Coast my whole life!

Please share with us where you competed residency and how/why you ended up choosing that location.
I ended up staying at UMDNJ SOM to pursue a residency in Emergency Medicine. The senior residents at my program were always particularly confident with their decision-making and practice, well before they graduated and found this reassuring. I appreciated my residency was uniquely hands-on, forging confidence and competence with intensive responsibilities and independence starting from day 1. My wife was completing her residency and fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine in Philadelphia at the time which allowed us to stay close.

Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?
My Filipino family and background encourage medicine as career choice. Healthcare and nursing are particularly revered and emphasized and the field of medicine had infinite potential for me as a college student. I am motivated by meeting new people and finding myself with new, challenging situations. Going into Emergency Medicine, with its randomness and excitement was the ultimate fulfillment of that!

How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
Emergency Medicine is the most versatile specialty, in my opinion. Anyone with any number of needs or issues can walk through the doors of the Emergency Department, and with the skills I’ve learned in residency and every day on the job, I continue to be confident in being able to serve those patients in their most vulnerable moments.

Could you tell us more about being a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) and how that influences your practice?
In conjunction with my interests to remain open-minded and wholly receptive to different approaches to life itself, I find the musculoskeletal system particularly interesting. Osteopathy, in its focus on holistic incorporation of physiology and balance to traditional allopathic teachings, helped continue my interests in Medicine as a tool (in fact several tools) to understanding, utilize, and master.

What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day practice?
I enjoy talking to my coworkers, but also the privilege of meeting and providing care to new and different people every day. The Emergency Department can sometimes be tough but find that going beyond the standard minimal requirements of punching a timeclock and taking the time to connect with coworkers and patients on a human level is wholly rewarding many times over for them and myself

Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you?
My mentor in residency, Dr. Anthony DiPasquale, was one of my Residency Directors. He unfortunately passed away in 2020 but left a lasting impact on me and hundreds of his residents and students over the years. I was his student, resident, and then colleague, but most importantly we became friends. We shared many of the same interests and he became somewhat of a father figure to me. I am sure I share the sentiment as others who knew him, that Dr. DiPasquale left a permanent impact on all of us, urging us to continue striving to be better and become even greater doctors than we ever imagined we could be.

What are some of the biggest challenges of your practice, for a clinician practicing in the emergency department?
I believe the biggest challenge as a physician in the emergency department is the multitude of responsibilities we are expected to excel in, all simultaneously. As a physician, excellence and competency is baseline, but in the Emergency Department, having to contend with non-stop influx of patients, all of whom present with issues and acuity at random, while also attending your existing patients, ensuring you are listening and communicating with them well, all the while staying alert to never miss a serious diagnosis, is a monumental task.

While this is the biggest challenge, it also stands as the most rewarding when you re-assess at the end of a shift for a job well done, and you surprise yourself at the magic of reorganizing chaos into your best attempt at order.

Who/what did you want to be as a child?
I have always wanted to be a writer. Since I can remember, I’ve been interested in reading fiction, whether it be science fiction, fantasy, or military thrillers. Michael Crichton (who was also an ER doctor!), George RR Martin, and Stephen King are some of my literary heroes. The idea of being able to create my own world with its own characters, backstory, and lore, has always been a dream of mine. In fact, I’ve jumpstarted several attempts to release my own series of novels, but always backed off, wanting to revise them before they could all be released together. Perhaps one day I will be able to fulfill that dream!

Meanwhile, I do quite a lot of writing, including my own movie review blog (with a goal to become a certified Rotten Tomato critic soon…application pending!), I’ve written for Emergency Medicine publications such as Emergency Medicine News, and I do freelance ghost writing for entertainment websites and blogs.

What else have we missed?
I am extremely excited to be part of the MEMA family, it is a wonderful group and will be starting as the Assistant Medical Director at Rowan Emergency Department, with my personal goal to promote true human interaction, a genuine openness to all schools of medical knowledge, and unconventional creativity that will open doors and unlock a very bright future for our group, our patients, and all of us working in healthcare.