The Feinberg file Featured

7:00pm EDT January 29, 2008

Born: Burlington, Calif.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, economics, University of California, Berkeley; an M.D. from University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School; MBA from Pepperdine University.

What was your very first job?

When I was 9 or 10, my dad’s friend owned a travel company and my older brother and I would go — in the older days, the bag tag on suitcases you had to write in the travel codes, like HNL for Honolulu — and we’d spend eight hours a day writing airport codes on bag tags. I got $1 an hour, and you got a little extra money to buy french fries and a drink at the cafĂ© next to the building. One day I went in to ask for a raise to $1.25. I spent all day, the guy was on the phone, and I stood outside until I finally got the courage up to ask if we could get a $1.25. We got it; the guy laughed and said, ‘Of course.’

If you could be one superhero, which one would you be and why?

Really, to me, the superhero is the mom upstairs who is taking care of a kid with cancer or the husband who is taking care of his wife. The superheroes in my day are those families that are dealing with the illnesses, especially with the children. It’s incredibly inspiring to watch how they navigate through these nightmares. They are the heroes, along with our staff.

If I have to choose a real superhero, I like Flash. But I feel like we have 7,000 super-heroes that come to work every day, and the patients and the families are superheroes, too. In real life, if you think about what superheroes do, that’s what these people are doing.