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Deborah Purcell, MD, FAAP - Emeritus Physician

Board Certified: American Board of Pediatrics
Education: Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR
Pediatric Residency: Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR

Care Philosophy

How can I describe my philosophy over 38 years of pediatric practice? Looking closely at the motto for the clinic, "To Teach, to Empower, to Heal," may shed some light on this. Many aspects of pediatric care standards changed over those years, and I changed in many ways myself. I came to humbly realize that the longer I practiced, the more information I wanted and needed to learn. In order to follow the goal "To Teach," I had to do my best to stay up to date. Being a lifelong learner, maintaining an open mind about trying new approaches, and consulting the experts to provide the best care was important to me.

I also came to know that children and families have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and my goal was to guide them in problem-solving and self-reliance. This was my way "To Empower" the patients and families: to listen and spend as much time as needed to fully understand their problems and work collaboratively to solve them. I also had the joy of witnessing the successes of many families as they went through these transitions.

Finally, I learned that pediatric patients, for the most part, have an immense ability to heal. When I first entered practice, I spent a great deal of my time treating infections and other acute illnesses. Over the years, the proportion of my time devoted to preventative care, chronic conditions, and mental health greatly increased. "To Heal," to me, means taking care of all of these kinds of problems.

I was truly blessed with wonderful patients and families over my 38 plus years of practice. I am humbled that they entrusted their care to me.


I did both my medical school training and my residency in pediatrics at OHSU.  I am a native of Portland and did my undergraduate education at Stanford University.

Since 1983, I have continued to enjoy the practice of pediatrics at Westside Pediatric Clinic.  I founded my own clinic, because I have definite goals on how to take care of my patients.  I strive to listen carefully to my patients and their parents, by not being rushed, so that I understand their concerns and can work collaboratively with them to solve problems.  I make continuing medical education a priority, in order to be up-to-date and provide evidence-based and comprehensive care.  I recognize the importance of addressing both the physical and mental health of my patients.

I have been blessed with a wonderful, supportive staff at Westside Pediatric Clinic, which really helps me provide the best care to my patients.

I have been happily married for over 35 years and have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.  In my spare time, I enjoy singing with my church choir, playing golf, hiking with my husband and dog, gardening, and travelling.