Dr. Azad Paul Kurkjian Recognized For Excellence in Care in Underserved Areas

Organization: Service: Story Topics:
Mental Health

Dr. Azad Paul Kurkjian is a board-certified adult and pediatric psychiatrist specializing in neuropsychiatry and serving as the medical director of the MemorialCare Center for Mental Health & Wellness at Community Medical Center Long Beach. Recently, he received the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment award, an honor that encourages specialized physicians to practice in underserved areas.

Dr. Kurkjian realized early in his career that he found great satisfaction working with underserved patients, particularly in low income Spanish-speaking communities.

While earning his B.S. from the University of California, San Diego, he participated with Chicanos for Creative Medicine in performing free cataract removals for individuals in Mexico through a partnership with The Flying Samaritans.

As a student at Drexel University College of Medicine, Dr. Kurkjian helped run diabetes screenings at a local church in Pennsylvania with the Latino Medical Student Association. He performed screenings, education and referrals for Mexican migrant workers and their families.

Dr. Kurkjian completed his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Cedars Sinai, where he was Chief Fellow. He treats patients at Community Medical Center Long Beach, and offers consultation services at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. Dr. Kurkjian also works in outpatient clinics such as Para Los Niños, El Centro Del Pueblo, the Bickerstaff Pediatric Family Center and The Children’s Clinic — all in the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach — seeing mostly Spanish-speaking families of low socioeconomic status.

Dr. Kurkjian volunteers with various organizations through his wife’s not-for-profit organization, a housing and counseling agency called Haven Neighborhood Services. He works with Haven to provide free psychoeducation at Animo Charter Schools in South Los Angeles and California State University, Long Beach during their parent education classes, discussing mental illness, cultural stigma and barriers to treatment with Spanish-speaking families.

Dr. Kurkjian, who came from a low-income background, enjoys challenging the views of children about how life should or could be by sharing his life story with them.

“I am living proof of the doubts they can overcome. Thanks for helping me help others,” he said.

Azad P. Kurkjian, MD
Featured physician:

A. Paul Kurkjian, MD

Medical Director, MemorialCare Center for Mental Health & Wellness, Community Medical Center Long Beach
Specialties:
  • Psychiatry - Pediatric, Psychiatry