By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Pacific Palisades is well known for many things: ocean views, a small-town feel—and its tight-knit community.
The relationships that are built within the Palisades extend true to the medical practice of Dr. Julie Ma, who started the Palisades Medical Group in 1999 and has served generations of families.
Ma shared that her interest in healthcare stemmed from her parents.
“Both my parents were in healthcare—my mom was a nurse, my dad was a dentist and a microbiologist, and I kind of always knew that I wanted to go into medicine,” Ma said to the Palisadian-Post. “I grew up near and around UCLA, and was always inspired to follow in the sciences.”
Although Ma grew up locally, she spent some time on the East Coast to attend a combined undergraduate and medical program at Bryn Mawr College and the Medical College of Pennsylvania.
She met her husband, a local orthopedic surgeon, while in residency, and they moved back to Los Angeles where they raised their three daughters—and have remained here ever since.
She said the office has gone through several iterations before getting to where it is now: When she started the practice, it was a satellite primary care office for the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999. Very soon after, she was joined by Dr. Richard Johnson.
Johnson grew up north of Seattle and studied in Washington before completing his residency at UCLA in family medicine. He has lived in the Palisades since 1980.
Johnson was once head of family medicine at UCLA and worked there for about 25 years. Now he and Ma have served over 20 years as full-time clinicians at Palisades Medical Group, where they recently transitioned into a concierge only practice.
“We’re really proud of the practice and what it’s become and what we’ve established here in the community,” Ma said. “We take care of families, multi-generations of families … Our commitment is providing highly personalized care for our patients.”
Ma and Johnson said that they have been actively practicing, that the clinic has remained open through the COVID-19 crisis and the relationships they have built with the community have helped them direct their care.
Johnson said they have been asked about many scenarios, like caring for the elderly, children moving in and out of the house, dealing with virus exposure, and whether or not patients should travel or attend a funeral or wedding.
“We have patients that we’ve known for a long time, so we kind of know how they perceive illnesses and that’s been very helpful in terms of trying to deal with their concerns,” Johnson said.
Ma added that she thinks that’s one of the best things of the medical group.
“Because we’re a small office and we’ve been here and know our patients really well, we’re able to give patients the time and attention and also know their situation so that we could apply what’s going on in the world to their specific case,” she said. “Giving them more than just data and helping them apply information so that it’s more relevant to their lives.”
Appointment requests can be made online. For more information about the Palisades Medical Group, visit palimed.com.
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