I was born and raised in Kansas, where I had a pretty typical childhood and learned traditional Midwestern values such as honesty, generosity, and responsibility.
I went to college and medical school at the University of Kansas, attending medical school on an Army scholarship. I then served nine years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a general surgery resident and staff general surgeon. During my time in the service, I greatly enjoyed taking care of active duty service members, veterans, and dependents from around the world. After my military service, I completed a second residency, in thoracic surgery, at the University of Oklahoma.
During my last year of general residency training in the Army, I met and married Julie, who was then a traveling nurse from rural northern Iowa. We’ve now been married for 24 years, and are the proud parents of three handsome sons: Cole, Jake, and Caleb. Julie and I are also now proud grandparents of Liam, Jake’s son, born in 2019. Our family relocated to Iowa in 2004, where I was a surgeon at Mercy Hospital and also covered other nearby hospitals in Iowa. I now own and operate a surgical clinic in Coralville, Corridor Vein Center. Julie also works at my clinic, both as a nurse and as our office manger.
I became more interested in policy, economics, and politics during the time of the great recession, and during subsequent discussions of healthcare reform. I felt that many of our elected officials seemed to lack an adequate understanding of complex issues that our country should address, to include the causes and management of the great recession, and more substantive efforts at healthcare reform. I was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016 and 2018. While I lost those races, I gained valuable insight and experience from both efforts, and made lots of new friends!
I am currently focusing my efforts on the advancement of Better Angels, a national group which seeks to foster more civility in our civic sphere, and thereby reducing destructive political polarization. As I like to point out, we are supposed to be a self-governing society; but, how can we govern ourselves if we can’t even talk to one another? I’m very optimistic that Better Angels can improve our political dialog and help to heal our divided nation. If you’d like to know more about Better Angels in Iowa, please reach out to me!