Fung Lam, MD is an obstetrician-gynecologist and senior partner at Golden Gate Obstetrics and Gynecology in San Francisco. 2015 marks his 30th year of practice at California Pacific Medical Center. Dr. Lam received his training in Cambridge at Harvard College and Tufts University. He completed his residency at the University of California, San Francisco in 1985. He has remained active in clinical research and teaching and has received over 20 teaching and research awards. Dr. Lam has authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles and chapters in women’s health related topics. He currently is a Clinical Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco and the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine.
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In addition to his clinical, research and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Lam has been an advocate for women’s health care. He has held leadership positions in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, served as President of the San Francisco Gynecological Society, and is currently Secretary-Treasurer of the Pacific Coast Obstetrical and Gynecological Society.
Why are you a SFMS member?
Before the internet and social media, the SFMS annual membership directory was the “go to” source for physician referrals. It was a huge help when I established my practice. That reference book is on my desktop today and I continue to use it to find the best physicians for me to refer my patients to. SFMS provides an opportunity to network with physicians in OB/GYN and other specialties. From the new member mixers to the annual gala, the SFMS gives me the opportunity to meet and interact with my Bay Area colleagues.
Which SFMS member resource is most helpful to you?
SFMS provides a platform to advocate for issues that impact medical practice. SFMS was a major contributor in the recent defeat of Proposition 46. This initiative proposed to lift the $250,000 MICRA cap on pain and suffering in medical negligence lawsuits. The resultant in malpractice liability premiums would have limited access to health care and resulted in higher health care costs.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I am an avid golfer, it gives me a much needed “break from the office” and a chance for me to “catch up” with my friends and colleagues. I am a regular participant in fund-raising golf tournaments such as the those sponsored by CPMC and PlumpJack’s. I also have a passion for photography, which I consider my “second career.”
What is the most important thing you learned in medical school or residency?
Medical practice is constantly evolving, many of the resources and requirements for practice are totally different than those needed when I started practice three decades ago. Whether it is minimally invasive surgery or electronic health records, continued medical education and training is essential. However, the most important constant continues to be the ability to communicate with your patients and to have empathy for their individual situations and needs.
What are some of the biggest opportunities or challenges you see in health care within the next five year?
With decreasing revenue and rising overhead costs, providing medical care is will be increasingly difficult, particularly for private practice. With the advent of hospitalists/laborists and the transition to shift work, maintenance of continuity of care will be a major concern. Also, as patients are routed to subspecialists, it will be more difficult for a new OB/GYN generalist to get enough cases to be credentialed and to maintain skills.
What do you love most about practicing OB/GYN?
OB/GYN provides me the opportunity to interact with women and their families at the most important stages of life…from childbirth, through her reproduction years, the challenges of menopause, and the management of geriatric and cancer screening. OB/GYN care encompasses primary care, surgery , endocrinology, and psycho-social evaluation.
What is your favorite restaurant in San Francisco?
La Folie. Chef Roland Passot and his wife Jaime have created a lovely restaurant and we often have meetings in their private dining room.
If you weren't a physician, what profession would you like to try?
I have been a photo-journalist. Photography continues to be my passion.