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About Us

Brief History


Current Officers

Members of the Governing Board


Brief History

The Permanente Medical Group, consisting of the Northern California physicians and podiatrists who are part of the Kaiser Permanente family, began in 1948 under the leadership of Dr. Sidney Garfield and other founding fathers. The roots of KP go back to Dr. Garfield's collaboration with Henry J. Kaiser to provide pre-paid health care to thousands of workers and their families who came to remote areas of the West to build dams and aqueducts in the 1930s. The concept continued when Mr. Kaiser operated great shipyards along the West Coast during World War II, employing hundreds of thousands. After the war, many of those workers stayed nearby and were glad to participate in a similar health care program. 

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At its start, pre-paid managed health care faced bitter opposition from the existing fee-for-service establishment, including the AMA. Those early Permanente physicians often were regarded as socialists, and sometimes were refused admission to medical societies. Things have changed a lot over the years! As of 2014, Kaiser Permanente had almost 18,000 physicians nationwide, of whom about 9,000 are part of TPMG. Permanente physicians have held leadership positions in many medical societies, and have contributed to important discussions at all levels regarding the future of American medical care. 

Learn more at http://www.kaiserpermanentehistory.org/ or see Dr. John Smillie's history of TPMG, “Can Physicians Manage the Quality and Costs of Health Care? The Story of The Permanente Medical Group”. (©2000 The Permanente Federation, LLC / McGraw-Hill Companies)


The Retired Physicians' Association has existed for at least 20 years. Currently, the RPA has over 900 members. Members receive the quarterly newsletter, pay a discounted price at the luncheons, and have full access to this website. The RPA makes a charitable donation in the name of recently deceased members. 

Our aims are:

  •  To remind us of our TPMG heritage

  •  To keep us up to date with happenings within the group and the KP    program

  •  To help us keep in touch with each other

  •  To cover issues particularly relevant to retired physicians

Current officers of the RPA: 

The governing board of the RPA includes: