Member Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Czar Taon
At a very early point in his career, Dr. Matthew Taon dedicated his life to the preservation of life and prevention of human suffering. He constantly seeks to combine his interests in innovation, invention, and advanced technologies with his passion for caring for the underserved, global and public health.
He received his medical degree in 2015 from the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences. After finishing medical school, he went on to become a Post Graduate 3rd year Radiology Resident focused on Interventional Radiology at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center while also being a commissioned Captain of the U.S. Air Force.
Dr. Taon is passionate about using technology to improve physician training and education, clinical patient care, and access to care. His career goal is to practice Clinical Interventional Radiology as he continues to patent technological innovations and serve in global health.
As a LACMA delegate to the California Medical Association’s House of Delegates, Dr. Taon was elected to represent his peers by attending and actively participating in delegation caucus meetings. At this year’s House of Delegates, Dr. Taon described why it is so important for young physicians to participate in the formation of health policy:
“Please, we need you here. All residents, all fellows, please join in. We need more leadership, strong excellent leadership and we could use your help!”
LACMA asked Dr. Taon a few questions about the future of healthcare and how all physicians can impact positive healthcare change.
Do you think it’s important for physicians of all specialties to have a voice in the future of medicine?
Physicians of all specialties must join together as a collective voice to ensure that the science, art, and business of medicine is organized in a way that most benefits patients, physicians, and society in general. We need all the ideas, experiences, and opinions to be shared to make the most informed decisions.
What advice do you have for other physicians that want to get involved and take action on issues they find pertinent?
I think the CMA online discussion boards are helpful for expressing thoughts and ideas. However, the most effective way for doctors to get involved is to take leadership roles in their hospitals and communities. A simple method for creating change is to simply identify who your CMA or AMA representatives are. This can help escalate important policy issues.
As a physician that has a passion for tech innovation, in what ways would you like to see organized medicine evolve to fit the needs of physicians in the digital age?
Countless physicians use Facebook and are familiar with the “like” function. In addition, a numerous people obtain their news/education through social media.
One day I would like to see an online platform where physicians can be educated swiftly on topics in an online format and have the opportunity to vote on issues of interest on the spot.
This would give our organization a swift pulse on the thoughts and desires of our physician community.
Tell us your favorite thing about being a doctor.
I love being a physician. It is fulfilling for me in a spiritual and cognitive way.
I love the relationships I build with patients and colleagues. The opportunity to guide and counsel patients and families through challenging times is a sacred gift that I cherish.
Also, I am invigorated by the scientific rigors in the field of medicine. This continues to push me to innovate.
Any new and innovative things happening at Kaiser that physician community should know about?
Kaiser Permanente performs a high volume of minimally invasive image-guided procedures through interventional radiology.
A few prime examples include uterine fibroid embolization to treat fibroids, cerebral artery aneurysm coil embolization, endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma. When patients are in need in need of procedural treatment, I think it’s always a good idea to ask, “what is the least invasive option that can provide the most optimal outcome?”
Lastly, we are also doing work integrating augmented reality and wearable technology into our minimally invasive image-guided procedures.
Interventional radiology is a growing field with more and more opportunities to serve patients.