Member of the Month
Clarissa Kripke, MD, FAAFP
Clarissa Kripke, MD, FAAFP is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine and completed her residency at VCU – Fairfax Family Practice Center. Dr. Kripke currently serves as the Director of the Office of Developmental Primary Care at the University of California, San Francisco, where the mission is to build the capacity of the health care system to serve youth and adults with developmental disabilities. An engaged member of CAFP and the SF Chapter for more than 25 years, one of Dr. Kripke’s special passions is advocacy; she serves as a Legislative Key Contact, is a consistent FP-PAC donor and regularly attends the All Member Advocacy Meeting in Sacramento.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
I chose a career in family medicine because healing is about relationships. Being with people on their journeys at the transformative moments of their lives – birth, graduations, marriage, death – is a tremendous privilege and never gets dull.
Were you inspired by anyone to pursue family medicine?
My mother was a primary care doctor who trained in public health. She showed me why it is important to make a difference on a community, policy and public health level as well as to serve individuals.
It is important for me to be a member of CAFP and AAFP because:
We are stronger together. Family physicians are leaders who make the world more just. Family physicians care for the people in every part of this diverse state and this country and make it great. We are there for our patients and for each other in good times and bad.
What has been your best experience as a CAFP member? Why?
I love the All Member Advocacy Meeting every year. I always come away feeling supported, sustained and inspired by the amazing work being done by family physicians in every corner of our diverse state.
the most important resource i find cafp offers me is:
The most important resource that CAFP offers me is a voice in Sacramento about the issues which affect my practice and patients. The legislative and policy team at CAFP is top notch.
tell us about a project you are involved in and why it is important to you
I am Director of the Office of Developmental Primary Care at the University of California, San Francisco. Our mission is to build the capacity of the health care system to serve youth and adults with developmental disabilities through clinical service, advocacy, research and training. Health care for people with developmental disabilities is interdisciplinary, team-based care with patients and their caregivers at the center of the team. People with disabilities are vulnerable and complex; Family physicians are ideally suited to improving their health outcomes and full participation in all aspects of family and community.
What one sentence of advice would you give to medical students interested in family medicine?
When you are a student, it can be daunting to study the full scope of family medicine. But anything you can master in a six-week rotation will soon get dull. Family medicine is a career in which you can become an expert in common things, but you will never stop learning.
Each month, CAFP highlights one outstanding California family physician member who lends their voice, time, talent and resources to strengthen the specialty of family medicine and his or her community. The Member of the Month interviews are conducted by CAFP staff. If you choose to share this article, feel free, but give appropriate source and author information. If you would like to share your story or know a family physician colleague who deserves to be recognized for his or her impact or leadership, contact us at (415) 345-8667 or email.