When I was growing up, I was influenced by TV medical dramas like ER. That show, and other shows like it, framed the field of medicine as this exciting opportunity to save lives. During medical school and residency, once I actually began seeing patients, I started to realize that quality of life — not just quantity —was an important and somewhat underappreciated aspect of medicine. Digestive health, in particular, plays a huge role in a person’s well-being; you need a happy gut to have a happy life. Recurrent episodes of nausea or other gastrointestinal issues can be very detrimental, and I enjoy helping people manage these problems so they can go about their daily lives or continue a treatment regimen. However, being a gastroenterologist isn’t just about addressing the gut; it’s about connecting with people and cheering them on in the face of difficult circumstances.
My philosophy is to empower you and your family by setting realistic yet optimistic expectations and clearly explaining what medical issues are at play. I welcome your opinion on what treatment options seem reasonable to you and what seems unlikely to be a good fit. My intention is to create an atmosphere where you can be yourself, freely express your frustrations and voice any concerns or questions that come up. If loved ones are present, and it’s okay with you as the patient, I welcome their input as well. It’s rare that I can solve all of your digestive issues in one visit; however, we’ll set goals and lay out a plan for accomplishing them together.
Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, GI problems associated with cancer and cancer treatment
I am a board-certified gastroenterologist who specializes in the digestive issues associated with cancer or cancer treatment. These issues can range from nausea and vomiting to diarrhea and abdominal pain, among others. I provide care for patients with all types of cancers in order to improve their quality of life and help them successfully complete treatment.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, I lead a lab that studies the gut microbiome: the communities of tiny organisms, such as bacteria, that live in the human digestive tract. Our mission is to better understand how the microbiome influences cancer risk and response to therapy so that we can ultimately prevent gastrointestinal cancers and help reduce treatment-related burdens for patients.
Yale University School of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, Internal Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, Gastroenterology
Internal Medicine, 2008; Gastroenterology, 2011, 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.