John Cullen's Story and  Time-line


John Cullen, MD  has served on Board of Directors for the American Academy of Family Physicians since October 2017.


 John Cullen practices full-scope family medicine in his busy clinic  in Valdez, Alaska.   You will also find him covering the Emergency Room at Providence Valdez Medical Center every fourth night.

Dr. Cullen served for twenty years as Chief of Staff at the Providence Valdez Medical Center. He is currently the  Director of the EMS, and he owns  Valdez Medical Clinic with his partner Dr. Kathy Todd.  From the small town practice he as stepped to State and National Leadership positions.


Dr. Cullen is an advocate for Family Medicine and for his patients on Capitol Hill and across the Nation.


His time on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health for CMS put him in position to help shape the of the Affordable Care Act before it was enacted.


Teaching is also a passion for Dr. Cullen. He is faculty at Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth for students who come to Alaska to experience family medicine, as well as FP residents who come to Valdez for a rural rotation.  Dr. Cullen enjoys speaking  to students across the country about the possibilities of Family Medicne.

Full scope family practice entails delivering babies and watching them grow up. Dr Cullen has delivered over 1,000 babies. He works with a great staff and three dedicated physicians, Kathy Todd MD, Megan Rayman MD, and Sam Shirk, MD.



Family is the center of John’s life and career.  He is extremely proud of his three children, Kerstin, William and Kaden.  He and Kerstin often perform onstage at local events.  Here he is at Gold Rush Days with Kerstin and his medical partner, Sam Shirk MD.


His wife, Michelle, is his biggest fan.  Their home is filled with music, family, friends and love.

Time Line of John Cullen's Life



Middle Child

     Born 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio

Doting Parents

     Father William Cullen, Architect  and  mother Kathryn Cullen, Business manager

Desert Raised

    1969 moved to Scottsdale, Arizona along with his siblings,  Ted and Karen

    Graduated from Chaparral High School in 1981

Wilderness House Co-ed

     Earned his degree in Molecular Biology at University California, San Diego 1985

     John Muir College Wilderness House

Love of his Life

     Meets Michelle Cullen in Leadership Course, “Wilderness and Human Values”  1985

Medical Career Begins

     Medical School, University of Arizona, in Tucson.

Spring Break Wedding

     Married Michelle in 1989

Full scope FP Residency

    Stanislaus Family Medicine Family Residency Program in Modesto, California 1991 - 1994

Three Kids

    Settled in Valdez, Alaska 1994

    Raised three  children, Kerstin, William, and Kaden

    8 exchange students.

    Now has an has an "empty nest"

 Full scope family  practice

    Works in Valdez Medical Clinic since 1994

    Delivers babies and does c-sections

    Cross country ski team doctor and physician at high school football games.

 20 years of AAFP service

     Active in Alaska Academy of Family Physicians

     AKAFP Chapter President 1999

     AAFP commissions  … many many different ones

Alaska Adventure Life

     Exploring Prince William Sound with family on Sailboat over 20 years

     1995- 2000 Physician for World Extreme Ski Championship.

     Explorer, hunter, and gatherer

     Back country Skier and Road Bike Rider


     Chief of Staff at Valdez City Hospital  and at later Providence Valdez Hospital

     Director of EMS in Valdez

     President of AKAFP second term

     Speaker at  State and National AAFP Conferences

     2007- 2013 State of Alaska Medical Board

     National Advisory Committee on Rural Health for CMS

     Elected to the Board of American Academy of Family Physicians

5 guitars

     The number of guitars John has and plays.

     Local Band, Three Below

     Loves to get a crowd singing

 Fun facts about Dr. Cullen

     Policy wonk

     Loves to play board games with family and friends

     Toddler plus guitar equals a jam session of “Old McDonald”





Learn more about Dr. Cullen and his adventurous life under MEDIA