I have wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old. My days of play were occupied with red wagons tied to bikes. My first patients arrived to me via these makeshift ambulances. I dreamed of ideal practices of medicine where a small town doctor would care for an entire town. I watched as these men took on the weight of caring for an entire community without illness and sometimes without pay. My parents and family modeled for me the hard work and caring attitude I would need to be successful in my endeavors.
I have traveled all over the country and even parts of the world. I have never found a place that feels as much like home as Portland. For this small town Eastern Oregon girl, that was a hard realization, but I still longed to bring that sense of community to my patients. I worked in a few clinics in outer lying parts of Portland. Although the communities were smaller, the fit just wasn’t right. The places were smaller but not more intimate.
My husband and I decided to move back to Multnomah Village where we had lived during my time at Oregon Health and Sciences University for medical school. Although Portland has many wonderful neighborhoods, this is the one that spoke to us. Small shops, great food, familiar faces, great people, parks and schools within walking distance all made this neighborhood our home.
But I was still commuting to work over an hour each way each day. My little boy was starting to realize how little mommy was home on work days. I was starting to feel like my life’s calling was more of a burden than a joy and I began to plan ways to make my ideal practice a reality.
The for lease sign on the old Omni Research building next to the Lucky Lab was my sign – literally. I could visualize that this small old building and former service station, could be that medical home I was looking for. Although it meant leaving behind my patients in Hillsboro, I knew that I would be a better doctor and person if I lived and worked where I wanted to and how I wanted to. I only get one chance at this life and this is my way to be the best doctor, mom, business-person, wife and community minded me I can be!
I was born in Walla Walla, Washington but lived across the border in Milton-Freewater, Oregon for most of my formative years. My father “dragged” us to Kentucky while he completed his Master’s degree and I fell in love with the green rolling hills, warm hospitable people and the soft Southern drawl. This is why after returning to Oregon for two years of high school in Grants Pass, I journeyed again to Kentucky for college. I attended Transylvania University – no vampire jokes please. This historic small liberal arts school (think Lewis and Clark size) gave me an excellent education and an even deeper appreciation for the people of Kentucky. But my heart never left Oregon and I came home to go to Oregon Health and Sciences University for medical school. I completed my residency in Family Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona and a fellowship in faculty development through the University of Arizona. As soon as I could get out of the heat, I came running back to Oregon – home at last and for good!
Between my first and second year of medical school, I married my high school sweetheart. He has endured my long work hours and lack of sleep like the true friend that he is. We now are blessed to have two sons who makes us smile every day!
There are many things I love in life but at the top of the list behind my family are knitting and University of Oregon football. Knitting helps to ground me and keeps my busy hands and mind occupied. It also gives me a great opportunity for interaction with some great fellow knitters! Oregon football on the other hand, lets me yell at the top of my lungs for the greatest bunch of guys around – even when they lose or make poor decisions in their personal lives. We’ve had season tickets for over 10 years and sometimes this may limit your access to me during the falls on Saturdays! GO DUCKS!