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Kian Mostafavi, MD

Vascular Surgery, KP San Leandro

“What I enjoy most about teaching are the individual connections I make. While students have different backgrounds and different things that motivate them, we all have a common thread – the underlying fact that we love helping others.”

Dr. Mostafavi has been a vascular surgeon for 17 years, 9 of which have been with The Permanente Medical Group. Having had previous practices in Saint John New Brunswick, Canada, and Dayton, Ohio, he’s had his fair share of adapting to the many facets of different health care systems. But one thing that has remained a constant has been his involvement in medical education.

“Teaching has been a passion of mine for nearly 2 decades,” he says. “It’s the secret ingredient that makes my medical practice all the more enjoyable.”

Dr. Mostafavi expressed an interest in teaching from the moment he joined the medical group, and has been involved for nearly a decade with multiple teaching institutions as clinical faculty in the Greater Southern Alameda service area (GSAA). “He’s really helped our service area establish a footprint in graduate medical education,” says Eric Cain, MD, physician-in-chief at KP Fremont.

According to those who know him, what sets Dr. Mostafavi apart most as a teacher and mentor is his individualized approach. He creates a separate learning plan for each resident because he understands that each one has different approaches to how they learn. And he ensures everyone feels he or she is a member of the team.

“One of his students once commented to me that when he walked in the room, Dr. Mostafavi made him feel like he was just as important as the lead surgeon himself,” says Kapil Dhingra, MD, physician in-chief at KP San Leandro.

He’s also had an impact on his colleagues. “When they see him teach, they often comment, ‘I want to be just like him,’ and then say something about how much he’s done for our entire program,” says Dr. Dhingra. “Kian is warm, he’s humble, and he’s compassionate. If you need anything for your patient, regardless of what specialty you’re in, he will always go the extra mile. And the students see that.”

“I’ve always believed in teaching the humanism behind being a physician — emphasizing the importance of attentiveness, humility, connecting with patients, and treating them like you’d want to be treated,” Dr. Mostafavi says. “This is my ultimate objective when I’m working with students.”

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