I grew up in Southern California. I spent a lot of time at the beach and travelling. I was raised to value the power of education , especially of girls, our interconnectedness as a human family, and that our divisions and suffering are ultimately rooted in how we treat one another. I believe that story and art has the power to nurture, transform, and better us all. And I know that our health care efforts need to value that power.
I am curious about nearly everything. That’s led me down some beautiful paths, the most important to my heart being getting to watch my four kids grow up , with my husband beside me.
Some interesting tidbits about me:
* I spent 5 years dancing flamenco under the mentorship of Celina Zambon — who danced alongside Dustin Hoffman in Little Fockers.
* I‘ve eaten Jiffy peanut butter in the former USSR.
* I realized I’d apply to medical school while walking along a beach in Honduras — where I voluneered at a remote village hospital.
* One of my strangest experiences has been watching the Ms. Universe pageant (not by choice!) while riding on a bus through the Malaysian rainforest.
* I love discovering new music to listen to, and find some of the best poetry in song lyrics.
* Singing and dancing ( all art, really) are a daily medicine I can’t live without.
* I will never turn down a hot cup of tea or chocolate covered strawberries.
I write poetry and create stories to compel and foster the health and human connectIons needed to create a better world.
I write for children of all ages. My picture book, When You Breathe (Cameron Kids, a division of Abrams), is a poetic and mindful introduction to respiration, brought to life by the exquisite fine art of Billy Renkl. My verse novel, Wave (Cameron Kids, a division of Abrams), released on March 29th, 2022. In it, poetry and music as healing forces take center stage.
My poems have been presented in journals, gallery exhibits and live story telling events. Some of them are calls to action on what needs to change in modern health care. One such poem, Dear Medicine, was included in a groundbreaking 2019 report by the National Academy of Medicine, Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout — an issue close to my heart.
You can watch my feature length documentary film, American Rhythms, at my YouTube channel. It’s a film love letter to the power of music and rhythm in child health.
I care for patients as a primary care physician at Stanford University, where I focus on adolescent, college and young adult health. I am an an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford’s Medical School. I‘ve served as the Assistant Director of the Program in Bioethics and Film at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and teach as an Affiliated Faculty and Steering Committee member of its Medical Humanities and Arts Program. I’m a product of a Peace Studies Degree at UC Berkeley and Child and Family Public Health fellowship, with a storytelling for health Impact focus, at UCLA — both infuse my art and doctoring work.