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As organizers scramble for medical volunteers, family of doctors serves free clinic

April 30, 2010 |  3:26 pm

When organizers of a massive free clinic scrambled this week to find volunteer doctors to treat thousands of needy patients at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, the Vaisman family answered the call.

Dr. Boris Vaisman, 34, who practices with his mother in Woodland Hills, recruited his father, who practices in Studio City, and his brother, who will graduate from medical school in June.

Dr. Sofia Vaisman, 61, treated women, some of whom had never seen a gynecologist and did not know what a mammogram was. Dr. Mark Vaisman, 61, performed general medical exams. Joe Vaisman, 25, worked triage.


The Los Angeles County Medical Assn. estimates that there are nearly 30,000 doctors licensed locally. Organizers had hoped to attract at least 300 doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals each day. But no more than 200 are preregistered for any remaining day of the clinic, which ends Monday.

Some medical stations and dental chairs sat empty as patients waited — with hundreds of people each day asked to return.

"Everybody tends to think somebody else will do it," said Dr. Natalie Nevins, the clinic's medical director. "We need optometrists, ophthalmologists, desperately."

Read the full story here

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske at the Los Angeles Memorial Arena

Photo: Dr. Boris Vaisman, center left, with his mother, Sofia; brother, Joseph; and father, Mark, help fill the shortage of medical professionals needed to treat thousands of patients at the L.A. Sports Arena. Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times

Click for complete Times coverage of the free clinic