I was born in Tokyo, Japan, and grew up there until I was 17 years old. At that time, I came over to the United States to attend a boarding school in preparation for college. My parents, who had studied abroad in the United States, wanted to give all the children the same opportunities to learn in the U.S.A. My parents have always paid attentions to what would be good for me in the long run, regardless of my ability to fully appreciate it at that moment. They gave me great deals of disciplines, love, and opportunities throughout my life, and I am eternally grateful to them.
When I first came over, I could not speak English, except for key simple phrases, such as "thank you very much" and "I am sorry". It has been 14 years since then, and I am a little bit more comfortable with English, but those two phrases remain among the most important sentences. Through the hardship of language barrier, I learned the importance of heart to heart communications beyond words. In those vulnerable times, I was blessed to have had the kindness of so many people who helped me along the way. I believe those experiences play a big role of shaping who I am, and helping me to become a better physician.
After two years at boarding school, I moved on to attend Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. There, I met many intelligent faculty members and students. Swarthmore stimulated me in many ways, both intellectually and emotionally. That is where I learned how to ask the right questions in life and how to think critically. More importantly, I met my beautiful wife in my freshman year. She is very smart, intelligent, warm and caring, and I consider myself very lucky. She is currently an ultrasound fellow and faculty member at the University of Maryland. It?s funny that she started out as my medical student and intern, but has moved on to be my attending!
After Swarthmore, I went to University of Rochester for my medical school training. At that time, due to my visa status, there were very few medical schools that would even look at my application. However, I was given the opportunity to learn there. I believe that I had the best medical education that I could ever ask for. They have always been big on biopsychosocial model, emphasizing the importance of looking at the patients in levels beyond their physical disease and caring for them as a whole person, including providing social and emotional support.
Now I am finishing up my last year of the emergency/internal medicine combined residency training. Some people tell me 5 years of residency is a long time. However, I have always enjoyed learning from these two disciplines. Although they have a very different mentality and approach to patients; they do compliment each other very well. And the skill sets obtained from both specialties helps me to be a better physician.
After completing my residency here, I will be starting my critical care fellowship at Stanford. I find that the combined EM/IM training gives me the special foundation for the critical care training and I hope to contribute to all three fields through my unique experiences. My particular interest is creating portable ICU within emergency department. I believe that with aging populations and limited space in ICU, there is a greater demand on the emergency department to care for a larger number of critically ill patients. Emergency medicine is great for stabilizing the initial acute stages, but management of these patients for over several hours to a few days would be difficult and place too much strain on the services of the department. On the other hand, intensivists may not understand the unique challenges faced by the busy emergency department. I hope to fill such gaps and improve the care of the patients.
I enjoy traveling and playing tennis, volleyball, soccer, and chess. We just had a birth of baby girl, Miki, and she is absolutely a joy. I anticipate that much of my free time would be devoted to her, but it is totally worth it!!
critical care in emergency department