Get to know another member in the latest episode of Real Doctors of SERMO, where a long-time favorite offers up her Hawaiian home as a SERMO clubhouse…like you needed another reason to join!
Why did you become a doctor?
I was a reporter for the American Forces Radio and Television Service before I went to medical school. Through the information that would come in every day from the United Press International (UPI) and the American Press (AP), I was made aware of tragedies around the world where medical care and medications were not available to those who needed it most. My goals in choosing to become a doctor were to provide medical care to underserved populations, educate the public about important health issues, and to get involved in research to advance our knowledge in the field of medicine.
Why did you choose your specialty?
I REALLY thought that I was going to be a PEDIATRICIAN! During my subinternship in pediatrics, I discovered that I have a very difficult time accepting death and dying in the pediatric population. However, I found strength in getting to know individuals and families during crises and guiding them to develop coping skills that would ultimately lead to positive mental health outcomes. I specialized in addiction psychiatry because patients with addictions were the most challenging patients I had during the early years of my residency.
Have you ever been on a medical missions trip? If so, do you have a memorable moment or patient?
I went on a medical mission to Japan where I was asked to assess and make recommendations to the medical community regarding treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. The entire trip was memorable in that I travelled from the southern islands up to Tokyo and visited many addiction centers along the way. They do not have the resources that we have in the U.S. My medical mission now consists of trying to get drug addicts off the streets in Honolulu and encouraging them to come in for treatment.
What is your proudest moment in your career?
My proudest moment was on medical school graduation day when I walked across the stage with my 1-year-old daughter who was also dressed in a matching cap and gown!
How do you unwind after a long day?
Logging on to SERMO!
Have you lived in Hawaii your entire life? If not, what brought you to Hawaii?
I grew up in Japan, attended U.C. Berkeley and did my medical training in the Midwest. After eight years of freezing cold, snowy winters I was graciously offered a position to be the first graduate of the Addiction Psychiatry residency program at the University of Hawaii. I couldn’t resist!!!
When we think of Hawaiian cuisine, we think of exotic and savory foods. Do you have a favorite signature Hawaiian dish you make or love to eat?
I LOVE TO EAT!!! The fresh Maui Gold pineapples are the BEST. However, I love to make haupia (coconut cream custard), and I highly recommend the kalua pig at a luau.
Do you have a favorite cocktail?
I make GREAT Pina Coladas! However the Lava Flow and the Blue Hawaii are also favorite drinks that our guests enjoy a lot.
We saw in a recent post that you were going to create a SERMO clubhouse (we assume you were kidding, but still think this is amazing). How would you decorate it?
We had severe flood damage on the first floor of our home when a kitchen pipe burst while we were away. During the renovation (which is almost completed) my husband and I decided that we should create a Sermo Clubhouse (suggested by DocLMG, SMURFY, reliant and several other Sermoans) for visitors to Hawaii (Sermo membership required) who would like to relax and party during their vacation. We have a wet bar, comfortable new furniture, a big screen TV and an island where we can gather around and talk. There is also a nook in our living room area where one can quietly read or look out over the ocean.
What is your favorite type of book/genre to read while overlooking the ocean?
I LOVE BOOKS!!! My favorite books are medical mysteries, biographies, and Animalia (you have to check out this last book)!
What is the number one activity you would recommend to a SERMOan visiting Hawaii for the first time?
First timers to Hawaii should visit the beaches in Waikiki and to hike up Diamond Head and literally be on top of the world.