Anne Michels, MD, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology (practitioner) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, is the first of two new full-time female gynecologists to join USC Student Health. Michels will be providing care for USC students full-time on both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. Keck Medicine of USC assumed administrative oversight of clinical services at both student health centers earlier this year.

Michels graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2000 and completed her residency training at New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2004. She earned her BA in psychology from Colby College in Maine and completed her premedical program at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

Michels, who was raised in upstate New York and had spent her whole life to that point on the East Coast, decided to make a change as soon as she completed her residency and obtained her California state license in 2004.

“Looking for a change, we moved our family from New York City out to Los Angeles,” said Michels, who lives with her husband and three children in the Pasadena area. “I fell in love with the sunny weather and have made Southern California my home since.”

Shortly after arriving in California, Michels started as an associate physician in the OB-GYN department at Kaiser Permanente in Baldwin Park. Three years later, she became a partner physician, a position she held from 2007 to last week.

At Kaiser, Michels held several quality management roles. She was in charge of quality and the peer-review process for the OB-GYN department, and she served as lead for the perinatal quality group and perinatal safety project, which involved ensuring that quality of care in the delivery room was of the highest caliber possible.

She also provided care to women of widely diverse ages — from teenagers to postmenopausal women and everything in between. Michels said she looks forward to focusing on the health care of college-aged women at USC.

“I clearly remember my own experience going to student health at Colby College, and it was the first time at the doctor’s without my parents,” Michels said. “It’s an important educational opportunity for young women to understand how their bodies work, how to protect themselves from STDs or pregnancy, and how to take care of themselves.

“I want to empower and educate the young women in my care,” she said.

Michels said her father, a urologist who worked long hours and was committed to his patients, influenced her decision to pursue medicine.

“That left a positive impression on me,” she recalled. “But it was my third year in medical school when I saw my first delivery of a baby that I knew that obstetrics and gynecology was the field I was going to go into.”

She said the troubling allegations around the past actions of a former physician only solidified her commitment to her future patients at USC.

“I realized this is an opportunity to make a real positive difference for the young women at USC, and I felt there was no better time to do so than now,” Michels said. “I want my patients to know they will receive the highest quality in care and that they can trust their providers at USC.”

— Andrea Bennett