I live in Raleigh. I’ve been back in North Carolina since 2006. I grew up in North Carolina. I’m a rare North Carolina native living in the Triangle; there’s probably not very many of us. I grew up near Winston-Salem, a little town half an hour north of Winston. When I was a kid it was a little farming community. There is still some farming there now, but it’s grown since then. Not so much farming now. Off in the distance is this really distinctive mountain, Pilot Mountain, that’s sort of an oddball mountain that sticks up out of the low, rolling hills of the Piedmont. That was my growing up. Now I’m in Raleigh many years later. I’ve got a family and most of my time I spend with kids’ activities going from this sporting event to that dance event, taking kids to school, and that’s the majority of what I do these days. Every once in a while, I’ll fly radio control planes, a hobby I had as a kid and picked back up a few years ago. It’s a nice diversion that’s totally different from anything else that I’m doing.
As far as being a primary care doctor, I love primary care. I love what I’m doing. I think this is one of the best jobs on the planet. I absolutely am in love with this. And I’ll tell you a couple of stories about me getting to be where I am now and falling in love with primary care. The first story is a science one, and the second one is more of the personal contact of medicine.
When I was an undergrad, I remember sitting in the library in a physiology class and I was studying the blood system and hemoglobin that carries the oxygen and the blood. And I remember reading that the fetal hemoglobin of a child in the womb has a stronger affinity for oxygen than does the mother’s hemoglobin, the point of which is so that the fetal hemoglobin can draw oxygen across the placenta for the growth and all of the nutritional needs of the growing child, and I remember coming to that moment and reading this in a textbook and thinking, holy cow — this was one of these just amazing moments of this wonderful complexity of our biological systems. That’s the moment that just drew me deeper and deeper into biology and into science. Ultimately, it’s that fascination and being mesmerized by the sciences that drew me into medical school.