February 26, 2024
Pnysician of the year

Dr. Phillip Kissel named San Luis Obispo County Physician of the Year

Dr. Kissel has performed over 10,000 neurosurgical and spinal cases in San Luis Obispo

– The Central Coast Medical Association honored Phillip Kissel, MD, as the 2023 Physician of the Year for San Luis Obispo County. Nominated by peers, the award is for a physician who has worked to improve the quality of health care, contributed to the education of other physicians, and engaged in community service and other activities outside of medicine.

Dr. Kissel’s journey in the medical field began with a bachelor of arts in Biology and a postbaccalaureate in neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University in 1983, followed by a surgical internship at UCLA/Harbor General Medical Center, and a neurosurgical residency at the University of California, Davis, which he completed in 1989.

Dr. Kissel has been practicing at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center for nearly 35 years, and he has served as the director of the Comprehensive Spine Center since 2013. His commitment to excellence is further underscored by his role as president of the California Association of Neurological Surgeons in 2016, service on the San Luis Obispo Medical Education & Research Foundation’s Board of Directors since January 2021, and more than three decades of membership with the Medical Association.

Dr. Mike Ryan, a colleague of Dr. Kissel for more than 20 years, presented him with the award at the Central Coast Medical Association’s Annual Membership Celebration. Dr. Ryan commended Dr. Kissel as, “a surgeon who is thoughtful and careful, technically gifted, easy to work with, and someone that you just want to have as a friend.”

Over the course of his career, Dr. Kissel has performed over 10,000 neurosurgical and spinal cases in San Luis Obispo. His visionary leadership has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of neurosurgical and spine care, exemplified by the groundbreaking partnership between UCSF and Tenet Health Central Coast, a unique collaboration that has significantly benefited the Central Coast community.

Surrounded by his family, including his wife of nearly 40 years, Dr. Kissel graciously accepted the award, emphasizing the collaborative nature of medicine. He highlighted the importance of organized medicine in advancing the greater good, underscoring his commitment to fostering a team-oriented approach in the medical field.