I grew up in the Seattle suburbs, the product of immigrant parents and the public school system. I hold a B.A. in history from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.D. from the University of Washington School of Medicine, and I stayed in Seattle for residency training in general internal medicine. Recently I left my position as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and now practice hospital medicine in the Seattle community.

The written word is an important part of my life. My first book was What Patients Taught Me, about becoming a doctor in the rural Pacific Northwest. My second book is House of Hope and Fear: Life in a Big City Hospital. My writing has appeared in numerous medical journals and other publications. I don’t have formal training as a writer, but I read a lot — highbrow, lowbrow, print, online, and especially good narrative nonfiction. A few of my shorter health care writings:

Can You Prescribe Something?” in Health Affairs, Jan 2006, Vol 25, pp 226-30.

House Call” in Annals of Internal Medicine, Feb 2005, Vol 142, pp 222-23.

The Hospitalist’s Story” along with Anneliese Schleyer, in JAMA 2006, vol. 296, pp 2067-68.

I live in Seattle with my husband and with two dogs who would prefer farm life but tolerate the city. Something I’m passionate about is mind and body wellness; I like to eat and keep a separate blog called Eat Local Northwest, which began as a record of my experience cooking and eating a 40 pound share of cow. I volunteer for a local organization called Northwest Harvest that distributes food to 300 food banks in Washington state, because I’m a believer that the basics like good food are essential to health.

On this blog, Bonus Tracks, I’ll examine the question of whether health and wellness are only available to a certain strata of our society, and whether that’s mutable. I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say, too, so stay tuned as efforts toward health care reform heat up in 2009.

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