I’ve wanted to become an endocrinologist since the early days of medical school, as its intricate physiology was a huge fascination for me. In 2011, a strong earthquake hit Fukushima, Japan, which is close to where my father is originally from. This eventually led to a level 7 nuclear accident which impacted many residents, including my family members and friends. Some, unfortunately, lost their lives.
Radiation exposure from a nuclear accident is one of the well-known causes for the development of thyroid cancer. Huge fear spread rapidly across the area. At the time, I was in my residency in Oregon and was very emotionally impacted. My hope was to go back to Japan and volunteer in the disaster medical team, but the situation at the time did not allow me to do so. I had terrible survivor’s guilt.
This personal experience led to my interest in thyroid cancer. Later, I visited Fukushima Medical University several times. The nuclear plant workers, physicians, and researchers have done a fantastic job to protect, monitor, and ensure the health of the disaster survivors. It is now proven that the incidence in Fukushima did not increase thyroid cancer in the area due to the proper action that was taken. Seeing how they were able to make a difference in their patients' lives put me on the path to where I am today.
Fred Hutch has the most abundant experience in treating complicated conditions. Our institution allows access to amazing physicians and world-class research, including promising clinical trials. To address the patient’s specific needs, our physicians go above and beyond the standard of care. In every interaction with an Fred Hutch provider — nurses, specialists or physicians — everyone is on the same page, and they’re there for the right reason: to deliver premier patient care.
Area of clinical practice
Head and neck cancers
Stanford University Medical Center; National Institute of Health - Division of Endocrinology
Oregon Health & Science University; Teine Keijinkai Hospital
Endocrinology/Diabetes/Metabolism, 2017, American Board of Internal Medicine; Internal Medicine, 2012, American Board of Internal Medicine
At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.