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Resident Spotlight: Jerry Abraham, MD, MPH, CMQ

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It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of the day. That’s why we love these Spotlights on our members. It gives us the chance to take a moment and recognize the individuals who give so much to our community, their patients and healthcare as a whole. Recognizing the drive, passion, intelligence and commitment they demonstrate in their work. Dr. Jerry Abraham, our Resident Spotlight for this week, possesses all of these qualities and more.

In December 2016, Dr. Abraham was recognized by CA Academy of Family Physicians as Member of the Month.

CAAFP asked Dr. Abraham why he chose Family Medicine. Here’s part of that interview:

My choice of family medicine was actually a bit circuitous. My initial degree was a Masters in Public Health. I care deeply about advancing public health, and when I noticed all of the high-level decision makers in that field had medical credentials, I decided to go to medical school. When it came time to think about where I fit in to medicine, family medicine was the obvious choice. I am hard-wired to engage with my community. I take walks in my neighborhood, consider serving on the school board, feel concern about public safety … I care about all of the diverse issues that affect the lives of our/my patients. Family medicine allows me to grapple holistically with the challenges of individual patients and to prioritize public health. I also believe as a family physician my potential is endless. I might someday work in public health, global health, or in advocacy and the legislature. My work as a family doctor is directly translatable to all of these.

In addressing the need for engagement, Dr. Abraham recently wrote:

This past presidential election was tough. The inauguration even more so. I’ve never seen the country divided and so many of my peers and loved ones so deeply wounded and bruised by national political events. Thankfully, I knew the story didn’t need to end there. Despite our well-founded fears about the upcoming administration becoming true, I knew that what was worse was the sense of defeat I saw and felt all around me. Thankfully, all the frustration around engendered a new sense of civic engagement and political activism, including women’s marches, robust celebrations of MLK Day and Black History Month, demonstrations in support of our immigrant brothers and sisters, scientists up in arms to protect our planet and scientific progress, among others. Joining the bandwagon, I was excited to work with my friends and colleagues to form a grassroots led initiative, “The Single Payer Action Network of California” or “SPANC” for short.  We churched our anguish into action, having cottage meetings in California Assembly Districts in Los Angeles and created a grassroots activism campaign to rally together to advocate for healthcare for all via single payer, primarily public healthcare system in California. We had a clarion call, a call to action. Our cries to rally together to protect and evenly boldly call to further expand access to and coverage of healthcare are being heard. But more importantly, these efforts enabled and furthermore empowered Family Physicians, Residents, Students, Patients and other allies to shift their frustrations with their new administration and their sense of defeat into productive activism. We now have bills in the California State Assembly and California State Senate and we believe that this moment among the electorate will only continue to grow. But more importantly, this election has taught all of us the importance of being engaged and the dangers of becoming asleep at the wheel. Despite the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election, I am thankful that it has embolden my colleagues, my peers, my friends and my loved ones to rise up and take action for our patients.  And I’m just thankful to have been a part of it.

Dr. Abraham serves on the AMA-RFS Governing Council as Vice Speaker and serves on the CMA Council on Governance & Bylaws.  He is a Family Medicine Delegate in the AMA House of Delegates and has served as Immediate Past Vice President of the Committee of Interns & Residents CIR/SEIU, the nation’s largest physician union. He is also Trustee of the American College of Medical Quality and Councilor of the Los Angeles County Medical Association.

Thank you Jerry for all you do for…everyone!

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