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Professor of Pediatrics
Subspecialty: Adolescent Medicine
I was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and spent my early childhood there, but grew up and went to school in Ohio. I’m the third of four siblings and while each of us chose some area in the health care field, including social work, nursing and a child health specialist, I am the only physician in my family. I grew up in an inner city urban area in an impoverished at-risk neighborhood but was lucky enough to be surrounded by powerful role models and people who cared. From early childhood, I always knew that either medicine or music would be my career path. I attribute a lot of my inspiration to my parents, who always encouraged me, my wife of over 30 years who has always kept me on the straight and narrow and my two children, who have chosen engineering and the law as career paths. I went to medical school at Case Western Reserve University, completed my residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati and completed a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. I came to Hopkins in 1984 and completed my MPH in health policy, as a new faculty member, and discovered an exciting area around which I built my academic career, educating health professionals about substance abuse as a health problem and the impact that addiction has on families. My career took a detour outside of medicine for a while as I served in a high level policy position in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy but ultimately my love of patient care brought me back to clinical medicine and Hopkins. I attribute the most important and influential elements in the success of my academic career to meaningful mentoring relationships that I have developed over the years. I truly enjoy the work that I do and my message to students is simply to realize that “good things come to those who do good for others.”