Member of the Month
Tipu Khan, MD, FAAFP
Tipu Khan, MD, FAAFP is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program followed by an obstetrics fellowship at USC. He is core faculty at the Ventura County Family Medicine Residency Program and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA. An engaged member of CAFP and the Ventura Chapter for the past decade, Dr. Khan has been a faculty member at our Clinical Forum, participated in the CME Leaders Institute and on the Committee for Continuing Education Professional Development and is a Legislative Key Contact for CAFP. Dr. Khan developed an outpatient Hepatitis C treatment program using novel medications and, in addition to screening and treating patients in clinic, he also is now teaching this process to residents who will take this specific skill with them to the communities they will serve.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
I went into medical school thinking emergency medicine or internal medicine and found family medicine in my third year. I was blown away by the breadth of practice. This broad scope is what drew me to family medicine and to what continues to be my favorite aspect: I can treat anyone in any setting at any time.
Were you inspired by anyone to pursue family medicine?
One of my advisors who helped guide me to family medicine was David Acosta (at the time he was at the University of Washington where I attended medical school), who is now at UC Davis. He really helped me find the potential of family medicine and that swayed my career decision.
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
I had a patient referred to me by one of our residents for a high risk OB consult. I followed and cared for this patient through her pregnancy. I attended her delivery. Later, she brought her whole family to me for care. Her older son and his girlfriend became pregnant and I delivered their child. I also care for the in-laws in the family and have delivered two other cousins of the family. In total, I care for three generations in this family – an experience which is unique to family medicine.
What one word or phrase characterizes your style of family medicine?
Full spectrum! From working in the Emergency Department to delivering babies to seeing patients in clinic and attending the hospital service.
What is the best experience you have had so far during your career as a family physician?
The best part of family medicine, in my opinion, is the ability to meld and change your practice as you grow. I inadvertently stumbled into the field of addiction medicine and now have taken on a leadership role as a Family Physician and Addiction Specialist in my community.
It is important for me to be a member of CAFP and AAFP because:
Of the networking with colleagues and sharing of knowledge. We are the forefront of medicine and I am constantly humbled by my colleagues and their work at the state and national level.
What has been your best experience as a CAFP member? Why?
Being involved with the CCPD. Having completed the CME leaders institute a few years ago and then transitioning into the CCPD, I have learned valuable lessons about continuing education for the working professional. I use these skills daily in my full-time job as a residency faculty.
the most important resource i find cafp offers me is:
Political advocacy and high quality CME.
How do you make a difference in family medicine and in your community?
I am involved in family medicine education at the residency level as well as continuing education at the attending level via CAFP. In my community, I lead a few major projects that are helping to bolster the care patients receive from their primary care physicians: from Hepatitis C treatment to addiction in pregnancy consultations and harm reduction in the drug abusing population.
tell us about a project you are involved in and why it is important to you
I developed an outpatient Hepatitis C treatment program using novel medications. We now screen and treat most patients with Hep C in our own clinic rather than referring to GI, where it often takes a year to get an appointment. Thus we are directly reducing the prevalence of a disease by curing it as primary care physicians. That’s not an instant gratification we often get as PCPs. I am teaching this process to our residents who will take this specific skill of Hep C treatment as well as the larger skill of clinical innovation with them to the communities they will ultimately serve.
What one sentence of advice would you give to medical students interested in family medicine?
Family medicine is the direction our health system is moving. Step up and be leaders in clinical innovation in our field. It’s a great time to be a family doc!
How do you spend your free time?
Trying to keep up with my kids! Finding that ideal work-life balance as my career evolves. Every night I get home from work, we spend the first 30 minutes wrestling. That’s something I look forward to each and every day.
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
I have no idea. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else right now.
What would your best friend say about you?
Tell us something fun/unusual about yourself:
I enjoy endurance events: from 24-hour mud runs to trail ultramarathons. I have come to appreciate the idea of “earning” my black toenails.
Tell us briefly about your family:
Hamza is my five-year old, followed by Salma, my two-year old. Safa, the wife-boss, keeps all of us in line!
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.