2627 N. Third Street, Ste. 100, Phoenix, AZ 85004 | 14418 W. Meeker Blvd., Bldg B, Ste. 102, Sun City West, AZ 85375
602-277-4327 | www.azhear.com
A Bandleader, a Physician, and Me
My Path to Arizona Hearing Center
I don’t know how complicated those at-home DNA testing kits have become, but they wouldn’t need to be hyperadvanced to predict that I would end up a neurotologist/ otologist. My grandfather was a bandleader, devoting his life to creating sounds for people to enjoy. My father was a physician, devoting his to helping people be healthier and feel better. If you add up those two professions, you get something resembling mine. That’s how genetics work, right? All kidding aside, the real formative experience that set me on my path was watching one of my brothers suffer from hearing loss as a result of treatment for a brain tumor. His hearing loss greatly affected his quality of life. Activities my brother had taken for granted became incredibly challenging. His communication faltered, his athletic performance dipped, and his laughs grew less frequent. I saw firsthand just how much hearing loss can hamper a person’s experience. Obviously, it made an indelible impact on me.
considered deviating from pursuing a career in medicine. I double majored in philosophy and biology, and there was a long period where I mulled over becoming an academic and philosopher. Eventually, though, I remembered how much my father enjoyed his profession. He had the chance to work with people, learn about their lives, and make them feel better in a time of need. I also remembered my brother’s experience. I still believe that philosophers help people live their lives in their own way, but the connection is certainly less direct. After residency and fellowship, my main focus was becoming as good a surgeon as I could possibly be. Once I started to see a transformation in patients, I realized exactly why my dad found his job so rewarding. It is amazing to be able to serve others and improve their lives. The way we hear informs every aspect of the way we are. To be able to improve somebody’s hearing is a gift I never take for granted. Eventually, though, I began to wonder if there was a way I could do more to improve those patients’
lives. One of the characteristics of philosophy majors, for better and worse, is that we ceaselessly question everything. When you read Heidegger, for example, you have to relearn what “to be” means. My form of this questioning was an investigation into the system we use to diagnose and treat hearing loss in this country. Over the years, I couldn’t help but cultivate a theory that we weren’t doing enough — that people suffering from hearing loss were not treated at the right time or taken care of in the right way. Like others who strive to provide excellent care, I’ve sought to create a better approach to meeting the needs of patients with hearing loss. That, more than anything, is the goal of Arizona Hearing Center. I’m still learning, and the journey shows no signs of slowing down. Throughout it all, what matters is making sure everyone who can benefit from treatment receives it. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of energy for accomplishing this mission. It’s in my blood, after all, and I take it personally.
My years as an undergraduate were the only ones when I seriously
"His hearing loss greatly affected his quality of life. Activities my brother had taken for granted became incredibly challenging. His communication faltered, his athletic performance dipped, and his laughs grew less frequent."
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