Brightest minds: Doctors

When you choose a physician at Kaiser Permanente, you can be sure that we’ve already reviewed and confirmed his or her credentials.

When you search for the best of anything, you don’t begin with a field of thousands. You start with a set of trusted, high-quality options, often verified by third parties.

That’s what you get with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., the independent medical group whose doctors exclusively serve Kaiser Permanente members. They are a group of physicians whose credentials, education, and training are reviewed, and who are trained on communicating with their patients and practicing evidence-based medicine.

How do we do it?

Before any physician is hired at the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, he or she must first undergo a rigorous screening process. Physicians are board certified or have to earn board certification within a limited period of time after joining the medical group. This means they have had additional training in their specialty and successfully completed a medical specialty exam. Their performance is then constantly monitored and evaluated. From patient satisfaction surveys to clinical quality, that data informs who stays, who receives support and training, and who is asked to leave the group. In addition, all physicians go through a review process every two to three years to verify that their credentials, including license and board certification, are up-to-date.

The Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group has become an employer of choice for top-notch physicians. It offers a system of prevention in health care, a coordinated approach to disease management, all the expertise needed to tackle complex, high-acuity care, and an invaluable contribution to medical advancement through research.

Meet a few of our Cancer Care doctors

Meet Dr. Leon Hwang, MD and hear about our cancer care from our chief of medical oncology Leon Hwang, MD.


Medical Education: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Residency: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Fellowship: Johns Hopkins Hospital

Board certification: Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine

“Top Doctor” awards: Washingtonian Magazine (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015), Washington Post Magazine (2012, 2013), Washington Consumers’ Checkbook (2011)

Meet Elizabeth Pfaffenroth, MD and hear about the special relationships she forms with her patients.


Medical Education: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Residency:Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Fellowship:National Cancer Institute

Board certification: Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine

“Top Doctor” awards:Washington Post Magazine (2013)

Meet Timothy Kim, MD, one of our Urologic Oncologists, and hear about advances in the treatment for prostate cancer.


Medical Education: Medical College of Georgia

Residency: University of South Florida

Fellowship: Moffitt Cancer Center

Board certification: Urology, American Board of Urology

“Top Doctor” awards: Northern Virginia Magazine (2016)

Meet a few of our Cardiac Care doctors

Meet Ameya Kulkarni, MD, a cardiologist, and hear about how he works with a team to ensure his patients have healthy pregnancies.


Medical Education: Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Residency: Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

Fellowship: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Board certification: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiology – Interventional, American Board of Internal Medicine

“Top Doctor” awards: Northern Virginia Magazine (2014–2017)

Meet Emil Thattassery, MD, cardiologist, and hear about his passion for treating patients who have heart disease.

Medical Education:
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Residency: Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Fellowship: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

Board certification: Cardiovascular disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

Joseph Lodato

Meet Joseph Lodato, MD, and hear about how Kaiser Permanente members have access to some of the most sophisticated cardiac care in the region.


Medical Education: Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

Residency: University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Fellowship: University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Board certification: Cardiovascular disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

Meet a few of our Chronic Care doctors

Meet Sos Mboijana, MD, a Kaiser Permanente primary care physician, and discover how Kaiser Permanente uses remote monitoring to manage chronic diseases.


Medical Education: Howard University College of Medicine

Residency: Medstar Washington Hospital Center

Board certification: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

“Top Doctor” awards: Top Doctor, Washingtonian Magazine, 2018, 2019

Awarded recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Diabetes Recognition Program, 2012-2015

Meet Gregory Khan-Arthur, DO, a pain specialist, and hear more about how Kaiser Permanente helps patients overcome chronic pain to live a better life.


Medical Education: UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine

Residency: Maimonides Medical Center

Board certification: Pain Medicine, American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians 

Family Medicine, American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians

Meet a few of our Maternity Care doctors

Meet Carla Sandy, MD, one of our ob-gyns, and hear how she works with a team to deliver the best care to moms and babies.


Medical Education: Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA

Residency: Medstar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC

Board certification: Ob/gyn, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

“Top Doctor” awards: Top Doctor, Washingtonian Magazine, 2015, 2016
Rising Star Doctor, Washington Post, 2013

AAGL Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology Designee at Holy Cross Hospital

Meet Dennis Amini, MD, a maternal fetal medicine physician, and hear about how better detection can lead to better outcomes.


Medical Education: Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC

Residency: Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC

Fellowship: Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC

Board certification: Ob/gyn, Maternal and Fetal Medicine, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

“Top Doctor” awards: Top Doctor, Washingtonian Magazine, 2015, 2016,
Super Doctor, Washington Post, 2013
Top Doctor, Washington Post, 2012

Meet Kiila Johnson, MD, one of our ob-gyns, and hear more about how you can access care.


Medical Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Internship: Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Residency: Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Meet a few of our Neurology Care doctors

Ejaz Shamim, MD

Meet Dr. Shamim, chief of neurology, and hear about the novel treatments Kaiser Permanente is using to treat neurology patients.



Medical Education: Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan

Residency: Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC

Fellowship: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Board certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Nidhi Gupta, MD

Watch Dr. Gupta as she explains how one of her patients benefitted from an out-of-the box line of treatment for her neurologic condition.


Medical Education: Government Medical College Chandigarh, Chandigarh

Residency: State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY

Fellowship: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY 

Board certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; Clinical Neurophysiology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; Vascular Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Meet a few of our Pediatric Care doctors

Dr. Dakara Wright

Meet Dakara Wright, MD, a pediatric dermatologist, and hear her describe why access to a network of doctors working hand-in-hand can ensure that every condition is addressed by the right experts.



Medical Education: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Internship: New Jersey Medical School at UMDNJ, Newark, NJ

Residency: Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI

Fellowship: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Board certification: Dermatology, American Board of Dermatology; Pediatric Dermatology, American Board of Dermatology

Meet Dawn Johnson, MD, an emergency medicine physician with more than 30 years experience


Medical Education: The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science, Washington, DC

Residency: University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

Fellowship: Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA

Board certification: Emergency Medicine, American Board of Emergency Medicine; Pediatric-Emergency, American Board of Emergency Medicine

Shashi Ranganath, MD

Meet Shashi Ranganath, MD, a radiologist, and discover the new imaging technology Kaiser Permanente is using to treat its youngest patients.


Medical Education: St. George’s University School of Medicine, St. George’s, Grenada

Internship: Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, Boston, MA

Residency: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Fellowship: Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA

Board certification: Diagnostic Radiology, American Board of Radiology; Radiology – Pediatric Radiology, American Board of Radiology

Brightest minds at work

Because any diagnosis can be overwhelming, we strive to get our patients into a coordinated treatment plan the whole team agrees on as quickly as possible.

We believe care cannot happen in silos — and requires providers working collaboratively to solve complex problems and tackle diagnoses from all sides. Every day, our surgeons, primary care physicians, specialists, radiologists, and more work as teams to review, assess, and develop improved preventive screening pathways and treatment options that go above and beyond traditional approaches to treat various conditions.

Many of our doctors have extensive training beyond their medical residency. For example, we have radiologists fellowship-trained in abdominal and breast imaging, and fellowship-trained interventional radiologists who offer cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures to treat select cancers. 

We also have maternal fetal medicine physicians that specialize in treating women with high risk pregnancies. Cardiologists and interventional cardiologists trained in cutting-edge procedures that minimize the length of hospital stays.

We also employ experts in both medical genetics and genetic counseling who help assess and interpret the right tests to identify at-risk patients and which treatments may be most effective for each individual.

Because doctors at Kaiser Permanente are not paid based on volume of treatments (which is the structure for most physicians outside of Kaiser Permanente), they can take the time to listen to their patients’ needs and understand what’s important to them, which shapes the right care plan. In fact, our physicians view each conversation with their patients as an important opportunity for greater understanding, compassion, and support.

At Kaiser Permanente, the patient is at the center, always involved with their doctor to make decisions in their care and treatment.