Cynthia Carmichael, MD

Family Medicine, Pinole

“The enthusiasm generated in these workshops is incredibly gratifying,” says Dr. Carmichael. “Physicians are exchanging information and fostering collegiality within and across specialties.”

Judging by the breadth of her influence and the esteem of her peers, you wouldn’t know Cynthia Carmichael, MD, joined The Permanente Medical Group only 7 years ago. She arrived after 21 years of community practice, just as TPMG was opening its first family medicine modules.

Drawing on her rich experience in family practice and clinical education, Dr. Carmichael saw an opportunity to help family medicine physicians integrate adult medicine, pediatrics and gynecology into their scope of practice. She helped develop an innovative approach to Continuing Medical Education that uses a hybrid model of practice inquiry and small-group, practice-based learning.

“In this course, we work through real-life cases in family medicine, with a specialist standing by as a resource,” says Dr. Carmichael. “Physicians learn from one another to find the best way forward.” Initially offered as part of a TPMG family medicine conference, the session was so well received that today she trains fellow family physician educators to facilitate the workshops quarterly at 14 sites across Northern California. She also recently presented the hybrid model at a national conference for the Society of Teachers and Family Medicine.

“Dr. Carmichael has had a tremendous impact on adult and family medicine, both locally and regionally,” says Judith Park, MD, physician-in-chief, KP Richmond. “She is helping to build a supportive community that enhances physicians’ practices and improves patient care.”