Forward is the new approach to primary care, offering customized plans to help you control the future of your health. Today, we sit down with Dr. Richard Lam to hear his take on tech-enabled, member-centered healthcare.
Dr. Richard Lam — physician at our Los Angeles location at The Americana in Glendale — received his medical degree from UCLA, completed his residency in internal medicine as well as a fellowship in palliative care medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He values shared decision making between physician and members and has a special interest in improving the quality of lives of members through healthier lifestyle choices.
What first drew you to practice medicine?
I think we all know someone that has been affected by health issues, and I’m no exception. During the Khmer Rouge, my brother passed away due to poor access to medical care. This personal tragedy drove me to pursue a life of helping others and preventing them from experiencing loss due to limited access to quality healthcare.
What areas of interest do you have as a physician?
I am interested in helping members establish personal goals to live better and identifying strategies for them achieve their health goals. My training in palliative care medicine taught me how to have difficult conversations, as well as identify the importance in quality of life. After my time in palliative care, I wanted to return to primary care to help people live longer, healthier lives.
What do you value most in your relationships with members?
The physician-member relationship is a sacred pillar of medicine. I truly value building relationships with my members, and I love seeing that we’re dramatically improving their health.
What is your experience with the current healthcare industry? Where would you most like to see improvements or changes?
The current healthcare industry is complex, fragmented, and difficult to navigate. It is not surprising that so many people have such a negative perception of the healthcare system. This often leads to delays in seeing a doctor and worsening of preventable conditions. The biggest place where the system needs to improve is in the experience of care, in order to improve engagement in health. I’m thrilled that Forward provides such an amazing experience for our members.
Why did you decide to join Forward?
I joined Forward because of the amazing people that work tirelessly to build a better healthcare system for our members and the value given to innovation and collaboration.
What are a few fun facts about you that our members might not know?
I am named after the doctor who delivered me.