A Moment With Patricia Kapur, MD, Leffingwell Honorary Lecturer

  • Sibert, Karen, MD, FASA
| Mar 25, 2015

Every year, the CSA asks one outstanding anesthesiologist to deliver the Forrest E. Leffingwell Memorial Lecture at our Annual Anesthesia Meeting. This year, Patricia Kapur, MD, has graciously accepted our invitation. 

We spent a few minutes with Dr. Kapur in a question-and-answer session to learn about her work and her vision for academic medicine, anesthesiology, and patient care.

Q:  As the Executive Vice President of UCLA Health and the Chief Executive Officer of the UCLA Faculty Practice Group, what are some of the most challenging issues you face? 

Dr. Kapur: We are expanding the reach of UCLA health into our southern California communities by partnering with physicians in those communities, with organized medical groups, and with other health systems.  We are doing this to be able to participate with these colleagues for population health management for the future of healthcare, and to remain relevant to support our educational and research missions. Equally important is facilitating the integration of traditional academic departments into a multi-specialty clinical group.

Q:  What sparked your interest in anesthesiology as a profession?

Dr. Kapur:  Managing fast-paced physiological changes and pharmacological interactions in real time, in the high-stakes operating room and procedural settings. I found it very satisfying to help patients during very significant events in their lives: high-stress surgical and medical interventions.

Q:  What do you find to be the most challenging issues faced by physician anesthesiologists today?

Dr. Kapur: Physicians’ roles are broadening, and require flexibility and adaptability.  Our roles within our hospitals will have more administrative, supervisory, and health system components.  We need to embrace these challenges and prepare our next generation for them.

Q:  The Leffingwell Memorial Lecture is of special importance to CSA annual conference attendees each year. What does this honor mean to you personally?

Dr. Kapur:  This is a wonderful chance to share a career’s worth of perspective with CSA colleagues.

Learn more about Dr. Kapur’s forecast for the future of anesthesiology and patient care when you attend the CSA Annual Meeting and Workshops, April 16-19, 2015 in San Francisco.  Find out more about the entire program and register today!

Editor’s Note:

We celebrate the remarkable legacy of Forrest E. Leffingwell, MD, each year with the lecture named in his honor.  Dr. Leffingwell received his M.D. degree in 1933 at the College of Medical Evangelists, known today as Loma Linda University School of Medicine. After seven years in general practice, in 1940 he went to White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles for anesthesiology training. During World War II, Dr. Leffingwell served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Medical Corps. After the war ended, he returned to California, helped to found the CSA, and became our second-ever president in 1949. 

Dr. Leffingwell went on to become the first Speaker of the ASA House of Delegates in 1953, and was elected ASA President in 1962.  Never an academician, he was dedicated nonetheless to the advancement of resident training in anesthesiology. He served on the American Board of Anesthesiology and as a trustee of the Wood Library Museum.  Dr. Leffingwell died in 1969, just two days before he was to receive the ASA’s Distinguished Service Award.

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