Niran S. Al-Agba, MD is a third-generation primary care physician practicing for 20 years in her hometown. She began working in her father’s medical office on Saturdays when she was 9 and has done every job in a medical office that there is including receptionist, medical assistant, janitor, and all the way to physician owner. After graduating from Michigan State University with a BS in Lyman Briggs Physiology and History of Health and Humanities, she attended University of Washington School of Medicine, graduating in 1999. She completed internship and residency at Denver Childrens Hospital/University of Colorado SOM and returned home to work in her father’s practice in 2001 for a few months and then permanently in 2002.
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Since her father’s unexpected death three years ago, she has been in solo practice with countless patients who are patronizing the practice for the 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th generation. She has been on the University of Washington SOM Medical Admissions Committee since 1996, part of the PALS regional and training center faculty for the American Heart Association since 2002, and is currently serving as a preceptor for the Northwest Family Medicine Residency Program since 2018.
Additionally, Niran is a writer with a regular column for the past three years in the Kitsap Sun newspaper, a subsidiary of USA today and has been syndicated to other newspapers in the Pacific Northwest area from time to time. She writes for the Deductible, KevinMD, the physician magazine, Physician Outlook, and has had columns published in Fortune and the Seattle Times. She has interviewed with CNN’s Martin Savage and NBC’s Ronan Farrow about Healthcare Consolidation, an issue which is near and dear to her heart.
Dr. Al-Agba’s Prescription for Success:
Number 1: Be exactly who you are; don’t try to change for other people
Number 2: Learn to sift the personal from the professional feedback. It’s not about you as a human being, rather about something you did or can do better.
Number 3: Be brutally honest. Don’t sugarcoat the message, tell people, for good or bad, exactly what you’re thinking.
Connect with Dr. Al-Agba
Dr. Al-Agba also writes a regular column for the Kitsap Sun Newspaper: https://www.kitsapsun.com/
Dr. Al-Agba’s book: Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare.
Notable quotes from Dr. Al-Agba’s interview
I still have that ethics book somewhere at home. And I’ve talked about things like that with my kids even. And I still find it useful to discuss even today.
I mentioned the baton twirling and he said, Well, it’s not like playing basketball or the violin.
There were nights I was in charge of 70 patients, there was always somebody who was coding. And it was busy, but it really taught us to be comfortable in almost any setting.
We need to be given grace. I know because my patients have given me more grace than any doctor deserves.
There’s intent and then there’s impact. I’ve learned impact matters and sometimes we don’t know our impact and that’s obviously where we can learn.
There’s these universal truths about human beings. That kindness goes a long way. Empathy is always important, listening to your patients, valuing who they are, even if you don’t always agree with them.