Ryan Padrez, MD is a second-year pediatric resident at UCSF Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) program. He currently serves as house staff at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco General Hospital, and Kaiser San Francisco as part of his residency training.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Ryan moved to the Bay Area to attend college. He graduated from Stanford University and spent several years working on health policy in Washington, DC and San Francisco. Ryan completed his medical school training at UCSF and was the recipient of the 2011 Gold Headed Cane Award.
Ryan has been active member of SFMS since his first year in medical school in 2007. He serves on the Membership Committee and SFMS PAC Board.
I am a SFMS member because of my strong belief in the importance of supporting organized medicine. After spending a number of years working in Washington, DC prior to medical school, I was often struck by the lack of organized voice for physicians within policy advocacy. While there may be some differences in opinions among medical specialties, there are so many more commonalities that unite physicians in their shared commitment to patient care. I find SFMS to be a group of physicians that supports this vision, and over the years I have greatly enjoyed working with physicians across specialties. SFMS is a diverse and inclusive organization that is committed to policies that improve patient care in San Francisco and state of California.
Which SFMS member resource is most helpful to you?
As a new, young physician in San Francisco, I find the network of physicians I meet through SFMS activities to be its most important member resource. As one who has only seen medicine through the lens of an academic center, it is great to meet and obtain mentorship from physicians from different practice settings around the city. While social media and virtual connections are important, there is still something special about meeting and connecting with someone in person.
My greatest achievement outside of practicing medicine is easily my marriage to my wife Kate Gregg Padrez this past year. She is also a pediatrician at UCSF and is currently one of our program’s Chief Residents. Kate is clearly the better looking, smarter, and more talented pediatrician in the relationship. We are looking forward to settling down in San Francisco and to the next challenge of raising a child, as we are expecting our first baby in March. I feel incredibly lucky.
What are some of the biggest opportunities or challenges you see in health care within the next five years?
Easily the biggest challenge for health care in the United States in the next five years will be a genuine commitment to lowering costs while maintaining, or better yet, improving quality. The Affordable Care Act implementation will remain in the media headlines and it will be critical for physicians to remain active participants in its implementation. The ACA has taken some great steps to expand insurance coverage to millions of previously uninsured. However, these expansions will soon become unsustainable unless everyone works together to contain health care costs, especially in the government programs.
I love practicing Pediatrics because I enjoy the wide range of age groups and care settings that make the variety of each day really fun. My favorite aspect of the specialty is definitely the patients. Kids are incredible. Even when it is a tough day with long hours or poor outcomes, they always find a way to put a smile on my face. The opportunity to be apart of improving their health is a real joy.
My favorite San Francisco restaurant is El Farolito on 24th and Mission. As a native to the Southwest with Mexican heritage, I have a high standard for Mexican food. Fortunately, the taquerias of San Francisco meet my bar. While I have had the privilege to eat at many of San Francisco’s best restaurants, my favorite meal is still three tacos with chips and salsa at El Farolito.
If I wasn't a physician, I would like to continue my professional course after college and remain involved in health policy in Washington, DC. Professionals within “the Beltway” have an amazing ability to stay in DC their entire careers, and I am sure I could have made it work in a meaningful way as well. However, the profession I would most like to try, is farming. I love opportunities to work outside and with my hands, and ever since I was a young child the vision of working all day on the farm has remained idealistic. Since living in Northern California, I think I might tailor my answer to farming in the wine industry. For the time being however, I will enjoy drinking the wine instead!