NJ Primary Care Doctor Loves Music, Gardening and Medicine   

NJ Primary Care Doctor Loves Music, Gardening and Medicine

Michael Kuo, M.D., sitting in a chair, smiling, holding a vinyl record.

February 22, 2024

When Michael Kuo, M.D., was young, it wasn’t hard for him to envision his future career in medicine and primary care. His father and several other family members were all doctors in Taiwan.

“That gave me such a strong background in medicine already,” says Dr. Kuo, who speaks Mandarin Chinese and English. “Biology was my main interest, and I used to have many pets at home that I learned so much about. I’m very good at taking care of others, so it felt like medicine should be my choice.”

He says it’s so important to try to prevent illness from happening to patients in the first place and puts a special focus on prevention and treatment of chronic conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol and diabetes. 

“Today, much of the U.S. population is affected by cardiovascular concerns mainly due to those three diseases described above,” Dr. Kuo says. “I try to get my patients to be more proactive about their health, because if they don’t take it seriously, they may face more complications further down the line. When I advise my patients on their health, I really hope they will listen and make the right informed decisions for their own health based on the information I have given them. One of my greatest joys is seeing my patients make good progress on their health based on the decisions we arrive at together.”

Dr. Kuo says he uses the same gentle, persuasive approach with his two daughters. “I don’t want to be a parent who tells their kids, ‘You must be this when you grow up.’ I want them to decide what they like and to do what makes them happy,” he says.

Do you have a special talent or hobby?

I love music. I used to play the piano more. I started piano when I was in 1st grade and practiced for two hours a day. My teacher was from Julliard, so my parents had dreams of me becoming a concert pianist. I have a huge vinyl record collection—everything from jazz to classical to pop and rock. I’ve been collecting records for 20 years—more than 1,000 albums—and yes, I listen to all of them. My favorite is Chopin Nocturnes.

What do you do to unplug?

I enjoy lots of things. I love sports and photography. I also garden and grow a lot of peonies, a flowering plant, because they’re quite easy and come in different varieties. I try to grow vegetables, but I’m not always that successful. I also like to read. I read a lot of things online, including multiple medical journals and The New York Times etc.

If someone told you two airline tickets are waiting at Newark International Airport right now, where would you go?

It would have to be Rwanda to see the gorillas in the lowland forest. I would track into the forest and see them up close because I am fascinated by them. They are so majestic.

Next Steps & Resources

To make an appointment with Dr. Kuo or a primary care doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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