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Gurpreet Kaur Padam, MD, practices adult medicine and hospice with the Permanente Medical Group. She is fellowship-trained and board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine, board-certified in family medicine, and completed a mini- fellowship in ethno-geriatrics.
Dr. Padam is a founding board member of the Sikh Family Center, which promotes healthy families in the Sikh American community by closing current gaps in access to resources and increasing community awareness and activism.
In 2015, Dr. Padam wrote about her family 's experience surviving the 1984 Sikh Massacre for San Mateo County Physician.
How My Life Steered Me to the Path of Medicine Gurpreet Kaur Padam, MD
The most difficult question anyone has ever asked me is “Why did you become a doctor?” A new patient recently asked me that and I was dumbfounded. Like a movie on a projector, my pre-teen years flashed before my eyes. I held back my tears and responded, “let us talk about it another time.”
She respected my wishes and agreed that we would defer the discussion. I wish the answer were as simple as, “My father bought me a Red Riding Hood doll when I was little, and instead of playing dress up, I gave her injections and tried to heal her imaginary ailments.” I knew I wanted to be a physician; in fifth grade my conviction was reaffirmed.
A dark haze lowers over my memories when I think about October 31st, 1984. We were let out of school early, around noon, and it was announced that the Indian Prime Minister had been assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. When I reached home, my mother hurried us to the market to stock up on food, as a curfew was anticipated. While mom was picking out essentials, the shopkeepers hastily pulled down the shutters. Thud, thud, thud, and the shops were locked up. The shop keepers folded their hands in request that we leave the plaza right away, for our own safety, as things were about to get ugly. Read more...