bayside clinician profile

Paula Brinkley, MD

BA, Johns Hopkins University
MD, Tulane Medical School
MPH, Tulane Medical School
Peds Residency, Rainbow Babies and Children's
Board Certified, Pediatrics


I grew up on the beautiful, multicultural Pacific island of Guam, although my parents were originally from the mainland U.S. Somehow I had the idea from a very young age that I wanted to be a pediatrician. At age 15, I left the humid, laid-back tropics for the rigors of boarding school in snowy New England—while this transition was quite challenging, all subsequent transitions have seemed relatively easy by comparison. I went on to undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, followed by medical and public health school at Tulane University in New Orleans. I was part of the inaugural class of international health pediatric residents at Rainbow Babies’ and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, where I combined pediatric residency with obtaining a masters’ degree in cultural medical anthropology at Case Western Reserve University.

I always wanted to educate myself as broadly as possible, in public health and medical anthropology, to be able to care for a wide range of patients, both here and abroad. So I studied tropical medicine and Spanish, and during my training spent several months working in less developed areas, such as Bolivia, the Caribbean, Kenya, and Kosovo.

After residency I became Board Certified and returned to Guam to work as a general pediatrician for two years. Then I was the field coordinator for a small nonprofit U.S. health organization in Laos helping to create Laos’ first pediatric training program. Going back yet again to Guam I was for seven years the medical director of the Guam Department of Public Health, practicing pediatrics and overseeing two community health centers.

I might still be in Guam, but for a man. My husband Steven is a Berkeley kind of guy, and I have learned to love California, too, so here we are, the two of us and our two great kids, Eli and Sarita. I spent some time at home with them, which probably helps me to empathize more than ever with parents and patients! I consider it a great privilege to be a pediatrician, partnering with parents to take optimal care of their kids, and feel very fortunate to join a practice as congenial, diverse, and patient-focused as Bayside Pediatrics. I look forward to meeting you and to helping you understand and take care of your children.