Our Team/Philip M. Bretsky, MD PhD

Dr. Bretsky is an experienced, Board-certified Internist and primary care doctor located in Santa Monica, California. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and has won numerous awards including the Irving Lasker award for best research from the USC Keck School of Medicine, and the prestigious Scholar-In-Training award from the American Association of Cancer Research.

Dr. Bretsky was raised in the town of East Setauket on Long Island, New York. He frequently visited New York City, spent summers at his grandparents’ ranch in Texas, and as soon as he could carry a pack he became a field assistant for his dad, a Geology professor. Dr. Bretsky began traveling the world at a young age including time in Denmark and Sweden as a grade-schooler. After finishing high school in India, he returned to the U.S. to attend Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He majored in English Literature, and was a collegiate athlete in both baseball and football. Dr. Bretsky then went on to attend Yale University, where he received his Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology with an emphasis in Infectious Disease. Along with this degree, Dr. Bretsky also received an award for his Master’s Thesis on Rabies, as well as high honors and Distinction from Yale University. After Yale, Dr. Bretsky moved west to California and worked for the Los Angeles County Health Department conducting Alzheimer’s Disease research. There he wrote an influential paper demonstrating an association between ApoE genotype and dementia in women. Following this work, Dr. Bretsky enrolled in a dual-degree program at USC Keck School of Medicine. There he received three separate scholarships based on his academic research, and graduated in 2005 with his MD and a PhD in Epidemiology. His graduate thesis examined the relationship between several genes and risk of breast cancer under the direction of Dr. Brian Henderson, Dean Emeritus of the USC Keck School of Medicine. As part of his research, he also had the opportunity to work as a pre-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Lander at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, where the majority of the human genome was sequenced. To date, Dr. Bretsky has authored 28 published, peer-reviewed scientific articles, and has appeared for over 35 presentations at scientific conferences.

One of his most personally rewarding distinctions is the Circle of Friends award from Cedars Sinai Medical Center. This award is given when a patient makes a donation in the name of their physician to advance biomedical research and training at Cedars Sinai. It is a significant and highly regarded honor.

Throughout his career, Dr. Bretsky has remained passionate about internal medicine and the desire for more personal, compassionate primary care. His knowledge of science and medicine is used to benefit and provide the best personal care to each individual. He remains committed to offering the most complete and comprehensive primary care on the Westside. His approach to medicine has been described by patients and fellow physicians as attentive and caring, which has earned him numerous accolades and acknowledgments. These include Most Compassionate Doctor awards and Top Doctor awards, as voted on by patients.

When he’s not practicing medicine, Dr. Bretsky spends time with his wife and three children. He stays active by snowboarding, running, and playing baseball with his kids.

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
B.A., English Literature

Yale University
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
New Haven, Connecticut
MPH, Infectious Disease Epidemiology

University of Southern California
Keck School of Medicine
Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California
Keck School of Medicine
Department of Preventive Medicine
Los Angeles, California
Ph.D., Epidemiology

Post-Doctoral Training

Department of Internal Medicine
Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, California
2005 – 2008

Board Certification and Licensure

California Medical Board
Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Hospital Affiliations

Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, California

Professional Memberships

American College of Physicians