My Childhood

I was born in a small Malaysian town called Klang. Both of my parents were teachers, so they taught me the importance of education early on.

I lost my dad in a car accident at age five. That day I began to attempt the impossible … filling my dad’s enormous shoes as the man of the house. I felt a responsibility to make life easier for our family.

I aced school to please my mum, but my real passion was sports. I loved them all, but gravitated to tennis early on. By age nine I was winning tournaments. I would have turned pro if my height hadn’t gotten in the way! As it turned out, there were other incredible challenges and opportunities in my future.

Move to England for University

One of those challenges and opportunities came at just 17 years old when I won a merit-based scholarship from the British Government to study medicine at Liverpool University Medical School in England.

Before I knew it, I was living in a country with bland food and gray skies. I did not know a soul. My first year was tough. I missed my mum and my life in Malaysia. Everyone was taller and smarter than me.

And … I was broke. You see, my scholarship only covered tuition and I needed to handle my own living expenses. Many days I survived on a packet of chips. I literally waited to eat until water could no longer keep my hunger at bay. I kept getting colds. I was not a happy camper.

A Change of Perspective

My life transformed when I changed the lens through which I saw the world and began embracing my new reality. I made the conscious decision to stop focusing on the negative and hunkered down with hard work. I scrubbed floors, stocked freezers and flipped burgers … all with an eye on graduation day – July 21st, 1995.

When I wasn’t working, I practically lived at the hospital library. It was warmer than my cold room and provided me with books I couldn’t afford. Sometimes I even slept there! I became so close to Betty the librarian that when my mom couldn’t make it to graduation, Betty was my guest.

First Exposure to Emergency & Sports Medicine

After a year of internship, I entered a three-year training program in Surgery. There I was exposed to Emergency Medicine and immediately knew it was for me. So, after completing my training in Surgery, I trained in Emergency Medicine.

Finally! Graduation!

That medical degree meant the world to me, but more than a medical degree, I’d received a degree in life.

I often tell people that I was born in Malaysia, but grew up in England. It was there that I learned how to accept the good with the bad, work harder than I knew possible and never give up.

Never ever give up. I learned that the quality of my life was entirely in my hands. I was creating my own destiny. That became the guiding principle for my life – live life on your own terms.

Ara, meet Golf. Golf, meet Ara.

After a year of internship, I entered a three-year training program in Surgery. There I was exposed to Emergency Medicine and immediately knew it was for me. So, after completing my training in Surgery, I trained in Emergency Medicine.

My Life Today

12 years later, I am an ER physician, Chief Wellness Officer of Florida Emergency Physicians, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Central Florida Medical College and personal physician to many of the world’s top professional golfers. I love my ER job and have been thrilled to support my golfers through every major competition on the planet. I’ve met presidents and my childhood sporting heroes.

I share my story to reveal this critical point: Given my history, I was never the most likely person to achieve success. In fact, when I decided to apply for residency training in the US, I received 352 rejections for an interview. 352 rejections over the course of 6 years! But I just kept trying. I knew I wanted to live in the US and I did not give up! Eventually, a very special American doctor took a chance on me and I now get to call America home.

As I launch this site, I am humbled by the extraordinary opportunities I’ve been afforded and indebted to those who helped me along the way. I want you to know that you too can achieve great things … if you set a goal, work relentlessly and find people to mentor you. And if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that good health allows us to be successful and elevates any success we already have.

That’s why I created this on line office – to empower you with the tools for optimal health. Here I will share what I know about Emergency Medicine, Sports Medicine and general wellness. There will be blogs, webinars and podcasts. I will bring you the latest in relevant research and share my insider’s perspective on breaking news. You will have opportunities to ask me questions and share your opinions.

I look forward to serving you, just as you have all served me, my entire career. Please reach out with questions. I’d love to meet you virtually or in person (but not in the ER!). Until then, be well … and go live life on your terms!