Having followed up her master’s degree in speech and language pathology with a medical degree and three years as an internal medicine resident with Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, Lori Selleck, M.D., thought she’d be all about working with patients.
“What I did not expect was, in addition to caring for patients, the opportunity to explore a variety of roles within my medical group aimed at improving our care as well as improving physician skills and abilities to take care of our members,” she said.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY
EDUCATION: Masters in speech and language pathology, followed by medical degree from the college of human medicine at Michigan State University. I completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Kaiser hospital in San Francisco in 1990.
STAFF: Novato is a small satellite of the main medical center in San Rafael. In the department of medicine there are about 12 providers and about 15 staff including medical assistants, nurses and LVNs.
I have been an internist with TPMG in Novato for 26 years. I was very interested in a large group practice with a focus on prevention and health promotion and I made the right choice when I joined Kaiser Permanente. Our model has become increasingly successful and other groups are now trying to emulate us. What I did not expect is was, in addition to caring for patients, the opportunity to explore a variety of roles within my medical group aimed at improving our care as well as improving physician skills and abilities to take care of our members.
I have held the following roles over the last 25 years: chief of health education, physician manager in the novato medicine department, chief of physician wellness, communication consultant and assistant physician in chief for health promotion. This has allowed me to enjoy multiple facets of the health care arena.
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE PAST YEAR OR SO
Nothing different in the past year just that it feels like an accomplishment to continue to juggle multiple roles while caring for patients in a time of explosive growth in our membership. We have all been extremely busy and I am thankful every day that I am in a group practice where we can support each other.
WHAT IS THE ACHIEVEMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Raising two wonderful children while working full time.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TODAY?
The biggest challenge in primary care is managing the ever increasing requirements for documentation in our electronic medical record while ensuring the patient has felt heard and given the kind of care I would like my family and friends to receive.
WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU: Curious, energetic and compassionate.
AS A SUCCESSFUL FEMALE PROFESSIONAL, WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES YOU FACED AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Managing a career and raising children at the same time was the biggest challenge. There was never a feeling of balance between the two, and it was easy to feel that each part was not receiving my best. It was hard to not feel guilty and to take care of myself.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR PROFESSION WILL CHANGE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
I hope the rest of the medical profession will focus on prevention and being a better steward of the dollars spent on health care. We need to take the “fee for service” mentality out of medicine, and focus on prevention, health promotion and using resources wisely, removing the profit motive. More work with be done virtually instead of in person visits when appropriate.
Lori Selleck, M.D.
Internal medicine physician
97 San Marin Dr., Novato CA 94945
Hometown: Wadsworth, Ohio