Dr. Hataya Kristy Poonyagariyagorn, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine

– I’m Dr. Hataya Kristy Poonyagariyagorn. Most people know me as Dr. Kristy Poonya. And I’m a pulmonary
critical care physician with Oregon Clinic Pulmonary West. I knew that I wanted to be a doctor as early as in my high school years. I knew I wanted to go
into a field that combined both science and service and I really thought that medicine was a good profession that could
combine the two together. I find it amazing how something as basic as breathing can be taken for granted. And nowadays we have so many different therapeutic options and
treatments that we can offer to patients who suffer from
various respiratory diseases. You know, I really value that partnership I have with patients and their journey to wellness and that is my overall
approach to when I see patients and, hopefully, finding
a way to heal them. One of the most rewarding
things I find about my job is when I get to see a
patient after they’ve been, say, started on some
sort of inhaler therapy for asthma or COPD, and
they come to me just so thankful that now
they’re able to breathe and feel normal again
and they didn’t realize that they could feel that
way and it had been so long since they’d felt that way. And that really keeps
me going in this field, to be able to give those
patients another chance at a better quality of life. A lot of people have a hard
time saying my last name, so I just break it down
for them and I say, Poonya-gariya-gorn. So, Poonyagariyagorn, but
Poonya for short is much easier. So, my last name has special meaning in that in the Thai language, it actually means blessed
family or blessed person. And so I feel very
fortunate to have grown up in such a wonderful
environment in Portland, having the great opportunity to go out and study at wonderful institutions and then having the chance to come back and be close to home again and to practice all the
things I love about medicine. One thing that people don’t
really know about me is that I used to be a competitive ballroom dancer and I still love to dance. In fact, I teach Thai classical dancing to locals, students around town, to young children as well,
promote Thai culture. So that’s a little fun tidbit of myself. But I also enjoy playing the piano, spending time with family,
of course, and seeing movies.

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