I grew up in a small town in the Texas Hill Country. I received a scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin and chose to study English in order to continue to expand my appreciation of literature while fulfilling my medical school prerequisites. I attended the University of Texas at Houston Medical School and quickly realized that only internal medicine could fulfill both my desire to develop close relationships with patients and provide stimulating diagnostic challenges. After serving as a chief resident, I hope to complete a fellowship in hematology and oncology.
Why did you decide to become a doctor?
I decided to become a doctor in high school due to the respect and assurance I felt during visits to my pediatrician. I thought it would be amazing to have an occupation with such responsibility and potential to affect people in such a positive way.
What do you like about the Charlottesville area?
It seems as though Charlottesville was tailor-made for me. I am in awe of the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and spend most of my free time hiking and backpacking on the trails. Coming from Austin, I am also a huge audiophile and enjoy the vibrant live music scene in Charlottesville. The local food, beer and wine are truly world-class.
What opportunities do you have at UVa that made you choose us?
I chose UVa because of the residents that I met when I interviewed here; everyone genuinely enjoys working and spending time together. I found that camaraderie too appealing to pass up.
Proudest/greatest achievement outside the professional realm?
Up until one month ago, I would have said that my proudest moment was marrying my amazing wife, Melissa, shortly before moving to Charlottesville; then on April 25th, my beautiful daughter, Olivia, was born.
What are you usually doing on the weekend or during your time off?
In my free time, I try to enjoy everything Charlottesville has to offer with my family and friends. Hiking, breweries and vineyards during the day, and restaurants and live music at night, with a little basketball mixed in.
How did you meet your spouse?
I actually met my wife in elementary school. We were friends and even went on a few dates in high school (including our senior prom), but didn’t start dating until after college when “dinner with an old friend” felt like the greatest date I had ever been on.
Favorite vacation or recreational activity spot?
Going home to my native country of Texas is always reinvigorating, but my favorite vacation spot was Florence, Italy where I spent part of my honeymoon, the food and energy there made it hard to leave.
Most admired person, and why?
The list of people I admire, attempt to emulate, and of whom I am secretly envious encompasses all of my family, friends, teachers, and mentors. Everyone I am close to has shown me something to work toward.
Best advice anyone ever gave you?
The best advice I ever got was from my dad, who has been telling me since I was very young that, “you won’t know until you ask.” This simple expression conveys so much about life, growth, and relationships, and I seem to hear it in my head whenever I feel hesitant or confused.
What about you would surprise us?
I am not very good about surprising people because in general I am very open and I probably share more than people want. Some may be surprised that I am a once-published poet who just had another poem accepted for publication.