Member of the Month
Rossan Chen, MD
Rossan Chen, MD is a graduate of UC San Francisco and completed her residency in Family and Community Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. She currently is co-director of the Community Medicine curriculum at the Kaiser Napa Solano Family Medicine Residency Program in Vallejo. Dr. Chen serves as chapter president for the recently-reactivated Napa-Solano chapter of CAFP and regularly represents the Family Physicians Political Action Committee at local events and meetings with her legislators. When asked about a favorite current project, Dr. Chen says, “I am collaborating to build a Health Policy and Advocacy toolkit. The toolkit is designed to be used by residents on a two- or four-week health policy and advocacy elective anywhere in the country.”
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
I chose family medicine because of the comprehensive scope of care, and the ability to form longitudinal relationships with patients. My favorite aspect of family medicine is taking care of entire families over several generations.
Were you inspired by anyone to pursue family medicine?
I was fortunate to have many positive role models on my path to family medicine, but I would say Dr. Margo Vener at UCSF stands out for her dedication to mentoring medical students and helping them find their way to family medicine in a tertiary care academic environment.
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
There’s nothing better than providing prenatal care for a patient and then taking care of the baby once it’s born.
What one word or phrase characterizes your style of family medicine?
Compassionate but real.
What is the best experience you have had during your career as a family physician so far?
Speaking with our elected representatives at the CAFP Lobby Day in Sacramento in March.
It is important for me to be a member of CAFP and AAFP because:
There is strength in numbers. It’s important to advocate for family medicine and our patients, and CAFP and AAFP help us do that. If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!
The most important resource I find CAFP offers me is:
Assistance with advocacy.
What has been your best experience as a CAFP member? Why?
Leading residents to submit and present resolutions at the CAFP All Member Advocacy Meeting.
How do you make a difference in family medicine and in your community?
I co-direct the Community Medicine curriculum at the Kaiser Napa Solano Family Medicine Residency Program in Vallejo. Residents spend time at our sister FQHC community clinic, La Clinica de la Raza, working with students and teachers at the Vallejo City Unified School District, and volunteering at the food bank and Habitat for Humanity.
Tell us about a project in which you are involved and why it is important to you:
I am currently collaborating with family medicine attendings, family medicine residents and future family medicine residents (i.e., medical students) to build a Health Policy and Advocacy toolkit. The toolkit is designed to be used by residents on a two- or four-week health policy and advocacy elective anywhere in the country.
What are good qualities a family physician should have?
Kindness, compassion, humility, humor.
What one sentence of advice would you give to medical students interested in family medicine?
Family medicine is the most rewarding specialty in medicine if you enjoy providing comprehensive care to entire families over time.
How do you spend your free time?
Hanging out with my family, traveling, reading and getting outdoors whenever I can.
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
Something in health policy or public health.
What would your best friend say about you?
Don’t eat the carbs…and definitely not the sugar.
Tell us something fun/unusual about yourself.
I was named after two of my mom’s friends, Rose and Anne, who helped her adjust to life in the US when she emigrated from Taiwan. My parents decided to combine the names into one name, thus Rossan.
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.