THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Dr. Annie Hovsepian, MD.
Dr. Annie Hovsepian was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to USA when she was 10 years old. After finishing high school, she attended the University of California, Irvine and earned a degree in Biological Sciences. Then she attended St. Louis University Medical School and did her residency in Internal Medicine at University of California, Davis.
She then worked at Sutter Medical group briefly before joining Kaiser Permanente in Oakland in 2000. She worked at urgent care before joining the hospitalist group in 2001, where she has been for 19 years. Her duties include admissions from the Emergency Department, rounding on the hospitalized patients and recently in Pre-Operative Medicine Department as well as Bridge Clinic where patients are discharged. Her duties are diverse and keep her involved in all facets of patient care. Most importantly she works with talented, compassionate group of doctors. She shares that her colleagues feel like a second family and for that she feels truly blessed.
Question: What is your life philosophy?
My life philosophy changes as I grow and learn about myself and my environment but I hope that kindness is at the core of what I do not only as a provider but also as a parent, a daughter, a friend and a citizen of this world. Being kind and empathetic toward all is what I try to cultivate in my daily life sometimes with success and other times not.
Question: What is your hope for the future?
My hope for the future would be for mankind to be less materialistic. We live in such a consumerist world. I wish we could connect with each other in real and authentic ways that has less to do with chasing money and more to do with being a good human being. I think being in lock-down has shed some light on this as we remember what is important like family and health and happiness.
Question: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian?
My Armenian heritage has enriched me in so many ways. I feel very privileged in having an Armenian identity. I have traveled to Armenia twice and want to return. I love the culture: the music, dance, and art of Armenia. I love the landscape and its people. My son and daughter attended Armenian elementary and middle school and through them I also came to appreciate Armenian history and relevant social topics.
Question: Deepest gratitude to you and all the Healthcare HEROS, what thoughts to you have on our current global pandemic?
As a hospitalist, I have been taking care of COVID positive patients. We are fortunate that we don’t have too many patients afflicted with coronavirus. I remember when the Princess Cruise ship first docked at Oakland harbor and we received patients from the cruise. At the time, we really didn’t know what we were dealing with, but as time has gone by, we, as an institution feel more confident in taking care of patients. We work closely with our infectious disease as well as ICU staff and together have implemented workflows as how to best take care of these patients. Our collaboration has been invaluable not only in offering the best care for our patients but also in working together as a team. I am happy to report that although it is stressful, our morale is high and camaraderie at its peak. We have had many successful discharges home.
Being an Armenian female doctor in these unprecedented times has made me appreciate my work, my patients and my colleagues. It has brought out my vulnerabilities in such a way that I hope will make me a better doctor and a human being in the future. We are truly in this together.