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The Fabulous Basseri Boys

Physician Family Making Rounds at Cedars-Sinai

First there were the three tenors. Now there are the three Basseris.

Chief resident Eraj Basseri, M.D., and his cousins, second-year resident Benjamin Basseri, M.D., and fourth-year medical student Robert Basseri, have all been making their rounds at Cedars-Sinai.

"It was exciting to see my cousins come to Cedars-Sinai," said Eraj, 31, a sixth-year resident hoping to continue his studies with a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery. "They always essentially had me to look to as a mentor. And when they got into medical school, it was rewarding."

Eraj Basseri and the two brothers have a lot in common. All grew up on the Westside and went to UCLA for their undergraduate studies. Both Eraj and Robert attended medical school at UC San Diego.

Now a resident in internal medicine, Benjamin, 27, is used to people asking if he's related to Eraj. By the time Robert, 25, went through college and started the internal medicine rotation at Cedars-Sinai, professors already knew his last name.

"A lot of people who taught me and worked with me now have Bob as a medical student," Benjamin said.

Occasionally, there has been overlap among the Basseris with Cedars' patients and staff.

"Eraj and I are in different specialties," Benjamin said, "but sometimes we'll run into the same people at the hospital."

Eraj went into medicine - and eventually surgery - because he always felt he connected well with people.

"I always wanted to use that attribute to help people," he said. "And the closest connection that exists is that between a surgeon and his patient."

But the two brothers - who both happened to be born at Cedars-Sinai - had different reasons to get into the field.

Robert said growing up with an older sister who has autism "was one of the main reasons I wanted to become a doctor."

His older brother, Benjamin, wanted to help people and found "the art of medicine" to be very exciting in itself. Becoming a doctor was "the perfect blend," Benjamin said.

Leo A. Gordon, M.D., associate director of surgical education, said he hasn't heard of three relatives all going through their training at Cedars-Sinai at the same time.

"I think it's a unique event and shows the strength of medical interest within a family," Dr. Gordon. "Perhaps, in our lifetime, it will be the Basseri Clinic instead of the Mayo Clinic."