I grew up in Indianapolis. I moved west in 1980 to attend Stanford University, where I majored in Biology and German Studies.
After I finished college I taught high school Physics and German at the Branson School near San Francisco. This teaching experience was an important formative experience for me. It still impacts my daily interactions with patients, coworkers, and colleagues.
When I was 26 I left teaching to begin my medical training at UC San Francisco. While at UCSF I met my wife Alice, and we got married during our last year of medical school.
I am a fourth generation medical doctor. My great grandfather, Monroe T. Kuntz (later Koons), practiced for 56 years as a country doctor in the small town of Mulberry, Indiana; my grandfather and father were well known Indianapolis surgeons.
In 1993, my wife and I began our surgical residencies at the University of Washington Medical Center in ENT and Ophthalmology respectively. We both maintained busy surgical practices for two decades before branching out into other creative endeavors.