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Santa Monica Primary Care is an independent, full service Internal Medicine practice located adjacent to Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. We are on the corner of 20th and Arizona.  

Dr. Bretsky first established the practice in 2008 after completing his Internal Medicine residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. From 2008 to 2010, the practice was based in Century City, California and moved to Santa Monica in 2010 where it was renamed Santa Monica Primary Care.

In Medicine, we often speak about a ‘standard’ of care. At Santa Monica Primary Care, our overall mission is to provide medical care to a higher level than is the community standard. There are no shortcuts to high quality care and it requires a daily commitment to maintain such. Thus the origin of Dr. Bretsky’s Twitter bio – Serious Medicine.

Our office provides both outpatient and inpatient healthcare for patients, which is a more traditional and now less commonplace approach to Medicine.  Dr. Bretsky maintains staff privileges at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. He was formerly on staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Century City Doctors Hospital, but now concentrates his efforts at a single location. He also takes care of patients at nearby Skilled Nursing Berkley East and Brentwood Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. This approach enables Dr. Bretsky to maintain a continuity of care for patients from the office, to the hospital, to a nursing center, and then back home.

Santa Monica Primary Care also takes an increasingly unique approach to patient care insofar as it is entirely MD driven. Patients will only see Dr. Bretsky for office visits as well as for laboratory and imaging review. We have expanded our consultative efforts to include telehealth and video modalities which were particularly useful during shelter-in-place restrictions for SARS-CoV-2 mitigation efforts. While generally Dr. Bretsky is on call after hours (plus weekends and holidays), any coverage is always with another physician 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Lastly, Santa Monica Primary Care is an entirely independent medical practice and has no financial or other incentivisation ties to a corporate or academic medical system. Having completed medical school at USC, trained at Cedars-Sinai, performed clinical research with UCLA faculty, maintained staff privileges at Providence and been an active member of the Los Angeles area medical community since 1997, patients can be assured that any subspeciality referral will be thoughtful and personalized.

For more detail on our history, office location, conditions treated and any new efforts please explore our website here or our companion website,

For more timely updates on topics of interest, you can follow Dr. Bretsky’s blog at

and the practice on Twitter, @santa_care.

You can learn more about Dr. Bretsky by reading his profile: Philip M. Bretsky, MD PhD

Our office is staffed with carefully selected and highly trained people who do their best to provide you with a friendly, positive experience in our office. Leading the team is Marian Henry, who brings over 20 years of business and management experience across many fields to deliver a standard of administrative excellence to our office.

Santa Monica Primary Care provides a comprehensive range of services that help our patients maintain their overall health. We offer our patients annual wellness exams, acute and chronic illness management, preventive and diagnostic skin procedures, cardiac stress testing, in-office ultrasounds, sports physicals, travel medicine, and vaccines. We believe that patients should be able to center their care around our office, which is why we offer extensive services in-house. This allows our patients more time to spend enjoying their health outside of a doctor’s office and more time with their friends and family.