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I'm proud to say I'm a real Los Angeles native, growing up just three miles from the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. I spent some time up in Berkeley going to college, moved to Chicago for medical school and returned to the Bay Area for my residency. I eventually moved back to Los Angeles in 1993. Southern California is definitely where I want to be. At Berkeley, I was a zoology and genetics major with plans to go to veterinarian school. But that all changed after I volunteered in the Emergency Department at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland. I soon learned that medicine, especially pediatrics, was the thing for me. Surprisingly, the part of pediatrics I enjoyed most during my residency was seeing the teenagers. Most pediatricians like the babies, which I do, but taking care of teenagers is more challenging and fun. So when I finished at Oakland, I moved to L.A. to do a fellowship at UCLA in adolescent medicine.
I'm very lucky to work here at the teenage medicine clinic. It's different than most pediatric and adult clinics in that I like seeing my patients first by themselves and then afterwards asking the parent or guardian to join. Although some parents think they are being excluded, they aren't. I just speak to them later to make sure I'm not missing anything and make sure their questions get answered. After all, part of my job is making sure my patients grow up to be responsible and healthy adults. As much as possible, I try to partner with my patient's parents or guardians to reach this goal.
Research Article: Primary Health Care 2014, 4:152
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