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March 19, 2018

Meet Population Health Scholar–Maya Kessler, M.D.

By Advancing the Science contributor

Maya E. Kessler, M.D., M.P.H., is a primary care physician, and a Population Health Scholar in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

The research of Maya E. Kessler, M.D., M.P.H., focuses on how to most effectively use data stored in the electronic environment to improve the health of individuals and the community.

Dr. Kessler grew up in rural northern California. She attended Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and received a Bachelor of Arts in religion. Dr. Kessler went on to obtain her medical degree and a Master of Public Health through a joint program at the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Long Beach. She did her internal medicine residency training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

In 2016, Dr. Kessler joined the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota after completing a primary care research fellowship there. She practices as a primary care physician.

What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?

I come from a family of doctors and nurses. Witnessing firsthand the relationships my family members developed with patients and their positive impact both on individuals and on the community as a whole motivated me to pursue a career as a primary care physician.

What motivated you to become a Population Health Science Scholar?

The practice of medicine is changing and technology is increasingly present in the clinical encounter. I want to make sure this is a force for good, aiding the patient-physician relationship, the health of individuals and the health of the community.

Being a Population Health Science Scholar allows me to study how to integrate technology into primary care in the most effective manner possible. I'm able to innovate to come up with solutions to improve practice and study interventions to ensure they are effective.

What is your focus as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?

My focus as a scholar is to study how to most effectively use data stored in the electronic environment to improve the health of individuals and the community.

How will your research improve patient care or impact public health?

My goal is to lift some of the administrative burdens on clinicians and give them more time to spend with patients. Further, I hope to enable patients to be active partners in improving their health though improved access to quality health information.

I hope this will translate into more satisfied patients and clinicians, better uptake of preventive services, and increased rates of evidence-based management of chronic diseases.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?

Mayo Clinic's emphasis on the needs of the patients is truly unique. Every employee shares a dedication to providing the best care possible to every patient. This serves as a daily reminder of the reason I chose to pursue a career in medicine and helps motivate me to continue learning and growing as a physician and researcher.

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Dr. Kessler's selection as a scholar, and that of her fellow cohort members, was announced in late 2017. They will begin their mentored research training program in July.

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Tags: Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, education, Maya Kessler, People, population health, Population Health Scholar

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