We hear you were part of the Huskies’ legendary 1991 team?
Yes! I was a tight end. That was a fantastic year, because the stakes were so high, and we worked really hard. Some days, I can’t believe I was on that team. I have to pinch myself every time I walk past that statue of Coach [Don] James, or the plaque with all our names on it in Husky Stadium.
Why didn’t you keep playing after you graduated?
Well, I got a lot from playing as a student. I learned the immense power of having a work ethic and that “practice makes perfect.” At the same time, I was around all these incredibly talented football players, and I knew I wasn’t on their level, athletically. Pro football was not my path, but medicine was.
What motivates you in your work as a doctor?
I’m an internist at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, and our core tenet is to take care of everyone. Citizens support our work — we’re a county hospital, like Harborview — and it’s my job to take really good care of them.
Tell us about mentoring.
I’ve been mentoring undergrads and third-year medical students for the last eight years. I love hosting them at my medicine clerkship. When they move on from my hospital, I hope we’ve taught them three things: Keep patients first. Maintain grace under pressure. And be a good teammate.
What do you think about the future of medical care?
We live in a world where your ZIP code matters when it comes to access to care. It shouldn’t, but it does. This new generation of students is trying to change that: They’re going to take our profession to the place it needs to be. I know we’re in good hands.
Do you always wear a Husky T-shirt to work?
I’m a doctor from 9 to 5. But I’m a Husky all day long.
President, UW School of Medicine Alumni Association