I have been interested in being a doctor from my earliest memories. When I was younger, I identified this interest with wanting to help people. As I’ve gotten older and clear on exactly who I want to be in life, I’ve discovered that practicing medicine is the perfect career to manifest compassion with people. Being a physician has turned out to be a perfect career for me. I love what I do.
I was born in Colombia, South America, and came to this country at the age of 4. I grew up in New York City, and completed medical school and an Emergency Medicine residency there. Emergency Medicine doctors are trained to diagnose and treat emergency medical conditions of all kinds – including medical, surgical, traumatic, pediatric, gynecologic and more. This means that all of my clinical work is done in the Emergency Department.
I chose emergency medicine for many reasons – the excitement of not knowing what may come through the Emergency Department doors next; the challenge of establishing effective communication and gaining trust with people in a short period of time; the opportunity to help people in crisis; and many more. After 19 years of practicing emergency medicine, I still enjoy all of those things, but I have also found that one of my greatest satisfactions now comes from teaching and motivating patients to take better care of themselves. I believe that our attitude towards illness is a huge determinant of how that illness affects us. The more we know about our illness, and the more we participate in our own care, the more likely we are to live a healthy and satisfying life. So, in my practice of Emergency Medicine I treat emergency conditions when they come up, but I also try to motivate and teach patients to better care for themselves when they are not in crisis.
In addition to my clinical practice in the Emergency Department, I have been involved with disaster medical relief work domestically and internationally. I have participated as a member of an Urban Search and Rescue team in disaster responses to the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center bombing during 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and more. In addition, I have done disaster relief work internationally in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, Haiti, Nigeria, and more.
I have been able to bring this “disaster medicine” experience back to my work with Kaiser and in Sacramento in various administrative roles. I am currently the Sacramento County EMS Medical Director, and have medical oversight over pre-hospital 9-1-1 care delivered by the EMTs and paramedics of Sacramento County. For Kaiser Permanente, I also work on Hospital Emergency Preparedness, as well as Physician Volunteerism and Community Service.
My personal interests revolve largely around my family and the outdoors. The lion’s share of my personal time is spent with my three children, and we spend as much of it as possible skiing, camping, hiking, biking, and traveling.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little about me. I firmly believe that Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to provide excellent quality medical care for our members. I am proud to be part of an organization with that mission. But we can’t do it without the interest, and participation of our members, so thank you.
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|New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY|
|St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY|
|Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY|
|Emergency Medicine, American Board of Emergency Medicine|
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