July 2016 Member of the Month
Kevin Rossi, MD
Kevin Rossi, MD, is a family physician with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. He joined the Permanente Medical Group after completing his internship and residency at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Los Angeles. A graduate of UCLA School of Medicine, he was drawn to family medicine from childhood, when he idolized fictional doctor Marcus Welby, MD. Born and raised in the Bay Area, he is still a loyal fan of the Oakland Raiders. He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Mary. They have two children in college — one in pre-med.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
I chose family medicine because of the variety of practice and patients. I still feel energized after seeing patients in my office, then working urgent care, then covering patients in the hospital including the Emergency Department and the ICU.
Were you inspired by anyone to pursue family medicine?
I also love the longitudinal experience primary care provides to patients. I met the early leaders of family medicine at UCLA when I was there as a freshman in medical school. I was impressed by how different they were from other attending physicians at the hospital.
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
Years ago I took care of a severely chronically ill patient who had a keen interest in Star Trek. We always talked about the TV series. At his funeral I talked about our relationship –what an honor!
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?
The ability to practice a wide range of activities. Kaiser Permanente supports family medicine beautifully. I was a Regional Chief of family medicine for southern California for seven years, representing 1,500 family physicians in the group.
It is important for me to be a member of CAFP and AAFP because:
It gives me the ability to feel part of a movement and a family of docs focused on primary care.
What has been your best experience as a CAFP member? Why?
Mentoring younger physicians. Working with colleagues on issues very important to family medicine in LA County. I am also heavily involved in advocacy with state and federal governments.
The most important resource I find CAFP offers me is:
Support for advocacy and resources /technical support and staffing for statewide and local projects supporting family medicine. For example, I am a long-time participant in the AAFP’s Family Medicine Congressional Conference, traveling to Washington every spring with fellow California FPs and being briefed with FPs from all over the country by top AAFP lobbying staff and others about key issues for family medicine and our patients. We meet with our California Senators and with our Congressional representatives, respectively, and the power of family medicine is palpable. I do the same thing at CAFP’s early March All Member Advocacy Meeting – we’re briefed by the CAFP lobbyist and staff and then head to the State Capitol to meet with our Assembly and Senate members.
How do you make a difference in family medicine and in your community?
By being a practicing physician with a large group, both in the office and the hospital, I bring direct front-line experience to the specialty and I can advocate for family medicine specialists and their patients.
Tell us about a project in which you are involved and why it is important to you:
I am chairman of the board for a large community health center in downtown LA. I spend much of my time helping manage its growth to cover the safety net in LA County. We have particular issues with hiring family physicians because of the high demand for their care. I have always volunteered with community clinics, and I encourage all physicians to be involved in “giving back.” It is something I’m very proud of, and it gives me great satisfaction.
What are good qualities a family physician should have?
Flexibility and willingness to see a variety of problems and patients. “I don’t see this” is not an option.
Do you remember your personal statement for medical school? If so, would you like to share an excerpt?
I have been interested in legislative issues related to health care ever since I spent a summer in Washington, D.C. working for Alan Cranston, a Senator for California. I have been continuously involved in advocacy since. My personal statement for medical school outlined my interest in the impact physicians have had in advocacy regarding health care in the U.S.
What one sentence of advice would you give to medical students interested in family medicine?
Family medicine is an ideal career to pursue in medicine; you will never become bored as you would with a narrower specialty.
How do you spend your free time?
I am an avid swimmer, runner, and tennis player. I also spend time travelling to see my children, who are in college in New Hampshire and Chicago.
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
I would be Director of Government Relations for the CAFP.
What would your best friend say about you?
I don’t think I can say this publicly.
Tell us something fun/unusual about yourself:
I was born in Oakland and, even though I live in LA now, I am still an Oakland Raiders fan. I’m still looking for them to move to LA for me!
Tell us briefly about your family:
I’ve been married to my wife Mary for almost 30 years. We live near the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. We have two children in college. Our 22-year-old-son an engineering major, and our 18-year-old daughter is pre-med.
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.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 CAFP at 415-345-8667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.