Meet A Mom — Primary Care Doctor —
Dr. Kaylan Graham, MD
“My favorite part of our town is the nearby beaches, where Sawyer can play in the sand and water.”
How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
I have one son, age 2. His name is Sawyer.
Which area of North County do you call home? How long have you lived here?
I live in Carmel Valley, and I have been here since 2014.
What do you love about living in North County?
I love the family-friendly atmosphere. We frequently enjoy the many well-maintained parks, giving Sawyer abundant opportunities to explore outdoors. We also take advantage of living near beaches and hiking trails.
What’s your favorite part of North County and your favorite mom and child activity/place(s) to visit.
My favorite part of our town is the nearby beaches, where Sawyer can play in the sand and water. We also love taking our dog, Bob, to the dog beach in Del Mar. A frequent activity is to get food from a local restaurant and have a sunset picnic at Powerhouse Park. Sawyer loves watching the trains going by during dinner!
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in North County?
My favorite place to eat is at Sky Deck in the Del Mar Highlands shopping center.
What’s your favorite item on the menu at Sky Deck?
I order from a variety of restaurants there, but my favorite dish is Green Curry with Tofu from Kiin Extraordinary Thai
What’s so good about Kiin Extraordinary Thai’s Green Curry with Tofu?
Kiin makes a wonderful green curry sauce, and the tofu is steamed instead of fried. I order extra tofu so I can share the dish with Sawyer. He loves Thai food, and calls the dish “tofu with sauce!”
“I love our dog, Bob. We call him our “once in a lifetime dog.”
Tell us about your career as a physician.
I work as a primary care doctor in the division of Internal Medicine at Scripps Clinic in Carmel Valley. I chose internal medicine, and specifically, primary care because I truly believe in the importance of preventing disease. Having a primary care doctor and seeing them regularly will improve your long-term health.
How many are on your staff and can you describe your style of leadership?
I work with a Medical Assistant and nurse. I am very involved in taking care of my patients, so I encourage my staff to always communicate with me for any questions or needs. They know they can call me any time, even when I’m not in the office
How long have you worked for Scripps Clinic?
I have worked for Scripps Clinic since I graduated from my residency program at UC Irvine in 2014.
What do you love about your job?
I love meeting so many wonderful people and taking care of them over a short or long period of time. It’s rewarding to be part of someone’s journey, sometimes in the happy moments, and sometimes in the difficult ones.
What are your suggestions for new moms to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a newborn and/or young children?
It can be difficult! In our home, we eat a plant-based diet, and we have raised Sawyer on this diet since he started eating solids. We always eat the same things, so I eat healthier because I want him to benefit from that. We also love hiking, so we put him in a backpack on the weekends and hit the trails.
Throughout your practice, you must see moms in all stages of motherhood. I’m curious, from a doctor’s perspective, how women change emotionally (and physically) through their children’s infancies to preschool and elementary years, teenage middle and high school years, and then college.
Have you come across any interesting observations about how women change through the cycle of motherhood as they and their children age?
Every woman’s journey is really different. Family structure, external support from family/friends, and other factors vary so much. I see most women really trying to balance it all – careers, children, personal time. It is definitely hard for most women at times! The balance might get a little bit easier as the kids get older and more independent.
What are the best ways women can maintain a focus on staying healthy despite busy lifestyles while raising their families?
Incorporate the family into a healthy lifestyle. Cook healthy at home, and make sure everyone is eating the same thing. Pick family activities that involve some exercise, such as biking or hiking.
“I love meeting so many wonderful people, taking care of them over a short or long period of time. “
Do you have any hobbies? If so, tell us about it/them!
I love hiking, camping and backpacking. My absolute favorite backpacking trip was to Glacier National Park. My favorite camping spot is near Lower Peppermint Creek in Sequoia National Forest. I love our dog, Bob. We call him our “once in a lifetime dog.” I also enjoy biking. I frequently bike to work (my significant other refurbished the bike my dad bought my mom in 1978, and I love it!). We ride our bikes all over Carmel Valley, to dinner, the parks, and friends’ houses.
How do you juggle work (a thriving medical practice) and motherhood?
I don’t always do it gracefully! My significant other is a stay-at-home dad (and a great one at that!). He is a tremendous help to me. I have also created some boundaries at work that I didn’t have before becoming a mother. I am home every night for dinner, and I do bedtime every night with Sawyer. It’s our special time together.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
Someone told me at my baby shower, Don’t listen to everyone’s advice. It really stuck with me! There are so many ways to parent a child. Families are unique. I love my son tremendously, and as long as I keep that at the heart of everything I do with him, I can’t go wrong.
How can our North County moms find out more about your practice at Scripps?
You can find my profile at Scripps.org.
Maria Felicia Kelley recently spoke with Dr. Kaylan Graham
to showcase another North County standout in this fourth TNCMs’ Meet-a-Mom series interview!