New Faculty

Dr. Kaori Sakurai joins the Department of Medicine

Kaori Sakurai, MD
Kaori Sakurai, MD

Dr. Kaori Sakurai joined the Department of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Sciences as an Assistant Professor in May, 2020.

Dr. Sakurai began her pursuit of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their focus on problem-based learning in small group settings was an innovative concept at the time and an intriguing teaching style to her. They also emphasized the importance and value of the patient-doctor relationship throughout their curriculum.

It was with this background that Dr. Sakurai decided to concentrate on primary care early in her clinical career, starting with her internship and residency in the Primary Care Track at Washington University School of Medicine. While there, she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Mary Beth Donica at her primary care office and saw the importance of continuity of patient care and the value of a strong patient-doctor bond.

After graduation, Dr. Sakurai worked at Esse Health, where she gained valuable skills in patient care. Subsequently, she moved to Bi-State Medical Consultants, where she stayed for over a decade and became a partner. She felt that it was interesting to be involved with not only the clinical but also the business aspects of medicine. Her office was acquired by BJC Medical Group and around that time period, she decided to spend more time at home with her preteen children.

Serendipitously, a colleague invited Dr. Sakurai to join his new post-acute care practice in a part-time capacity. Her time in this environment has helped foster her interests in transitions of care and polypharmacy as well as multidisciplinary coordination of care for quality improvement. However, she has missed primary care medicine and is eager to start this new chapter of her career, with a focus on geriatrics.

It has always been very important to Dr. Sakurai to be an advocate for her patients. She specifically enjoys focusing on individualized personal patient care and addressing dietary, nutritional, and exercise management as well as lifestyle counseling to prevent and treat chronic conditions. In addition, she has interests in cardiovascular health, gastroesophageal reflux, and osteoporosis. She looks forward to incorporating health promotion, preventive health care, and advanced care planning into her practice.