I have wanted to be a pediatrician since I was in high school, and I love what I do today.
My immediate and extended family lives in the greater Kansas City area. I attended Blue Valley North High School. Out-of-state education aside, I have always wanted to be here and have no plans on leaving. I love the people, the sports, the choices of activities and the quality of life it offers.
I have a wonderful wife, Dayna, who is dedicated to education. We have two teenagers who make us laugh and think. Most of all, they make us proud to be their parents. I will never forget when my youngest, who was three or four years old at the time, told people her Dad was a “pretty trashman!”
I believe the most important part of my bio is how I describe what kind of person and doctor I am. First off, I am someone who learns from experience. Despite all the textbooks and journals I read, I’m at my best “in real life” when I see and treat my patients. During my education and career, I have been fortunate to see many rare diseases and conditions, and this experience enriches my practice today.
One of the most important experiences was being a patient myself. During my second year of medical school, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I simultaneously experienced medicine from both sides — to be scared as a patient and be a doctor. I learned what it was like performing and receiving painful treatments. I learned about trust between a patient and doctor. I learned about having patience and how practicing medicine and having a good grasp on what the patient is thinking and feeling is invaluable.
Like most doctors, the way I practice has evolved. Despite the changes, I remain a physician who focuses on being thorough and patient. Most problems can be solved by talking to your patient and/or their parent(s). I take nothing for granted and never assume. A great testament to this is when I noticed a girl’s knee reflex was absent. I tried and tried but could not get it. She ended up having a tumor in her pelvis. This is a message I tell students and residents: Be thorough. Do not skip steps just because it never seems to result in anything. The moment you do, you will miss something.
Another thing to know about me is that I love to use different techniques with my patients. I will turn the lights off to calm a baby and listen to their heart or perform a light show to distract a baby or child, so that I can finish a physical exam. I will draw pictures on the exam paper showing an older child or teenager what is going wrong in their body. Several of my older patients remember me drawing the “Poop Monster” story when they were four or five years old and refusing to go to the bathroom.
Medicine has changed a lot during my time in it. I continue to enjoy coming to work every day and am grateful for my colleagues. They bring a wealth of information and make work fun. I am thankful for the community I serve and for every parent who places their trust in me to take care of their children.