John grew up in Minneapolis. He attended a year at Hampshire College and then moved back to the Twin Cities to complete his bachelor’s degree and medical degree from University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. He spent time traveling in Europe between undergraduate and medical school training. He then moved to Topeka, Kansas and spent the next four years in his residency training at The Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry. Upon completion in 1986, he was offered a job at The Fairbanks Psychiatric and Neurological Clinic in Fairbanks, Alaska. He worked in this position until 1988 where he moved back to the Twin Cities as medical director of Dakota Mental Health Center. Still maintaining a house in Fairbanks, he moved back in 1990 where he maintained a private practice. During the spring and summer of 1999, John completed an intensive acupuncture course for physicians. He moved to McMinnville, Oregon in the summer of 1999 where most of his wife’s family resides and has worked in private practice with the exception of the 2007-2008 school year, where he was the staff psychiatrist at Oregon State University Student Health Services.
Playing bluegrass music and making stringed musical instruments are John’s major interest when not working. John began playing bluegrass music professionally in the Twin Cities when he was 15. Venues include The Riverside Cafe and Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” show. At age 17, he was building guitars at the Bellville/Hoffman Guitar Company in Minneapolis. He took a year off and traveled to Europe before returning to Minneapolis to attend medical school. During his time in the Minneapolis area, he played music with his brother and sister and also with the Middle Spunk Creek Boys.
During his four years in Topeka he played in a bluegrass band, Hard Times. He lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for over 15 years playing professionally at such places as Ivory Jacks, The Pump House, on the radio, and at various bluegrass festivals in Mt. McKinley and Juneau. He moved to Oregon in the summer of 1999. He has maintained a small private practice of medicine and has been designing and building mandolins, guitars, and fiddles/violins. He was one of the featured artists in the Art Harvest Studio Tour in Yamhill County several years ago.