I was born in Augusta, Georgia, but spent most of my childhood in Merritt Island, FL. I did undergraduate work at the University of Florida where I majored in zoology and with a minor in geography. I subsequently went directly into Medical School at the University of Florida and decided early on that I was interested in Gastroenterology. I moved to Charlottesville for my Internal Medicine Residency in 2010 and will complete a chief resident year during the 2013 – 2014 academic year. I plan to complete a Gastroenterology fellowship and pursue an academic career as an advanced endoscopist.
Why did you decide to become a doctor?
I decided on a career in medicine fairly early on in life. My first exposure to medicine was my father, who is a private practice gastroenterologist in Florida. I worked with him in the office during the weekends, and summers throughout high school and undergraduate. This allowed me the opportunity to see how much he loved what he did, in addition to how much appreciation his patients had for him. I always had a strong interest in science and in particular in physiology so it naturally led me into a career in medicine.
What do you like about the Charlottesville area?
I have always been very involved in outdoor recreational sports. In Florida I was an avid sailor, and after moving to Charlottesville the lack of water meant that the mountains were the next best thing. My wife and I enjoy hiking in Shenandoah, mountain biking, and getting out to Wintergreen and Snow Shoe for skiing in the winter. We also enjoy the culture that Charlottesville has to offer including live music, Fridays after five, and excellent dining.
What opportunities do you have at UVa that made you choose us?
When searching for a residency program I had a few very important parameters. I wanted a strong academic training program that would give me the opportunity to do meaningful clinical research and would allow me to match into a strong fellowship in GI. I also wanted a program located in the Southeast in a town that my wife and I would enjoy living in. These two factors led me to UVA where the camaraderie amongst the residents and faculty was immediately apparent.
Proudest/greatest achievement outside the professional realm?
I am most proud of my wonderful wife Amanda and our beautiful new 6 month old daughter Hannah.
What are you usually doing on the weekend or during your time off?
I can typically be found hiking in Shenandoah, spending time with friends and family on the downtown mall or at local wineries or working at home.
How did you meet your spouse/partner?
My wife and I first met in first grade at a small Montessori school in Indian Harbor Beach, FL. We attended the same schools through 9th grade, and subsequently went to high school at International Baccalaureate programs in two different counties. She went to college at Stetson University in Deland, FL, while I went to University of Florida in Gainesville. Both of us grew up spending time sailing and cruising throughout the Bahamas, Keys and off the Florida coast. During one of these trips during my junior year of undergrad, I ran into her on a tiny island just off Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas called Man-O-War Cay, and we have been together ever since.
Favorite vacation or recreational activity spot?
My favorite vacation is sailing in the Caribbean. Either making the crossing from Florida to the Bahamas, or chartering a boat in the British Virgin Islands. I also enjoy snow skiing and still spend a week per year skiing in the Rockies, most recently in Breckenridge, CO.
Most admired person, and why?
The person that I most admire is my father. Throughout my childhood he served as an example of what hard work, perseverance, and honesty could achieve. He loves what he does for a living and, as a result, he is an excellent clinician who is highly respected by his patients and peers.
What about you would surprise us?
I enjoy working on my car and frequently race in local autocross events. I also enjoy wood working and have built many of the pieces of furniture in our home.