Member of the Month
Panna Lossy, MD
Panna Lossy, MD is a graduate of UC San Francisco School of Medicine and completed her residency at Sutter Health Family Medicine Residency Program where she continues to teach and practice. Dr. Lossy is President of CAFP’s North Bay Chapter, a Legislative Key Contact, and has supported the FP-PAC for the last decade. “Working with the North Bay Board to put together events for our members has been fun and productive…We are excited to see our new Governor talking about “guaranteed health care for all Californians” and are currently planning an event on February 27 to talk about what that might look like and how we as primary care doctors can play a role in shaping that transformation.”
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
I chose family medicine because I love taking care of women during their pregnancies and then taking care of the entire family after birth. I love getting to see how my patients change and grow over the long haul.
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
I had a patient who was hospitalized several times a month for chronic pancreatitis and was on high doses of narcotics (MED 95). For years, I tried to help him manage the pain with different medicines, referrals to specialists, etc. Nothing really seemed to work until he decided on his own to quit opiates. After a difficult withdrawal he came to me jubilant because his pain had actually decreased dramatically. Turns out the constipation he was having due to the opiates was substantially increasing his abdominal pain. It was a horrible feedback loop that consumed his life for years.
What one word or phrase characterizes your style of family medicine?
What is the best experience you have had during your career as a family physician so far?
Being a faculty teacher is always a wonderful experience. Working with residents keeps me on my toes and optimistic.
It is important for me to be a member of CAFP and AAFP because:
I believe that it is important for doctors to be engaged in making sure that quality health care is available to everyone. CAFP and AAFP allows us to have our voices heard by politicians.
What has been your best experience as a CAFP member? Why?
Working with the North Bay Board to put together events for our members has been fun and productive. We have hosted many popular events including ones about Physician Happiness and the Dream Job. We are excited to see our new Governor talking about “guaranteed health care for all Californians” and are planning an event on Feburary 27 to talk about what that might look like and how we as primary care doctors can play a role in shaping that transformation.
The most important resource I find CAFP offers me is:
Insight into the workings of the political process.
How do you make a difference in family medicine and in your community?
As an advocate for full spectrum family medicine and reproductive health, I help to teach doctors in training that it is within our scope of practice to both deliver babies and provide abortion.
Tell us about a project you are involved in and why it is important to you:
As a current California Health Care Foundation Leadership Fellow, I am hoping to do a project that will help health care providers if they are unlucky enough to find themselves in the midst of a natural disaster. When the Tubbs Fire burned through my hometown of Santa Rosa and the surrounding areas, I found myself volunteering alongside many other doctors and health care providers in the shelters – an entirely new setting without the support we have come to rely on to provide care – patient charts, computer access, clear shifts, and equipment like Oxygen and nebulizers. I hope to learn best practices for managing the health care needs of people in shelters and find a way to share them with those who find themselves in similar situations in the future. I also will be looking at the impact on residency training and how best to cope with natural disasters for training institutions.
How do you spend your free time?
Backcountry skiing, hiking and travelling.
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
I fantasize about being a marine biologist or a park ranger.
What would your best friend say about you?
If you are going out for a hike with me, bring a headlight.
Tell us something fun/unusual about yourself:
I like to hunt for edible mushrooms.
Tell us briefly about your family:
My husband is a climate scientist and my 15-year-old daughter is an amazing cook. She takes after her dad that way.
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.