2002 HUMANITARIAN - BRUCE GREENBURG, M.D.
TThe Humanitarian Award, established
in 1990, was created to give recognition annually to an alumna/us of the UC Davis School of Medicine
or the UC Davis Medical Center
for outstanding contributions to his/her community through distinguished public service.
Dr. Greenberg was honored on June 8, 2002 at the School of Medicine Alumni Day reception and dinner. Dr. Greenberg has practiced for the past 24 years as a family physician in the communities
of King City and Greenfield. He became a member of the active
medical staff of Mee Memorial Hospital
in 1978. Dr. Greenberg graduated from the UC Davis School of Medicine
in 1975, and he completed
in family practice at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas. While still a resident, he helped to organize the first program that allowed
medical students to perform
rotations at Natividad. He was mentor to the first student in that program, Antonio Velasco, at that time a UC Davis student. Despite his busy schedule as a resident, Dr. Greenberg remembers Antonio convincing him to do volunteer work for the needy at a nearby labor camp a couple of nights a week. He was nominated for the award by Antonio Velasco, M.D., '79 a family physician in Salinas and former recipient of the award.
After completing his training,
Dr. Greenberg moved to King City and joined what was then the Southern Monterey County Medical
Group, now known as the Mee Memorial Clinics. Interestingly, King City had been the hometown
of Dr. Len Hughes Andrus, the first chair of the Department
of Family Practice at UC Davis, who had mentored and encouraged Dr. Greenberg.
When Dr. Andrus learned that Dr. Greenberg would be doing his residency in Salinas, he suggested that the young doctor look up his former colleagues in South County, probably never realizing that this would turn into a long-term working relationship.
Since his arrival in King City, Dr. Greenberg has worked with the local medically underserved, rural population. As many of his patients were Latino, with a little encouragement from his wife Ana, a native of Puerto Rico, he became more knowledgeable about Hispanic culture and proficient in the Spanish language. Dr. Greenberg still practices "full scope" family medicine and estimates that through the years he has engaged in well over 100,000 patient encounters and has delivered more than 2,000 babies.He has also continued to maintain his privileges to perform Caesarean sections, and has volunteered to take additional night and weekend calls because of the shortage of obstetricians in the area.
Hoping to improve the local hospital in his then "new" community, Dr. Greenberg ran for, and was elected to serve on, the Board of Trustees of Mee Memorial Hospital from 1978 to 1987. He has also helped to provide medical coverage for athletic events at King City High School since his arrival in the area and, more recently at the new Greenfield High School. As director of the Mee emergency room in the early 1980s, he helped to organize a paramedic training program in Southern Monterey County, in conjunction with Stanford University, and served as a preceptor and mentor for the first local paramedic students. Dr. Greenberg also served as a preceptor in the Family Practice Clinic at Natividad during his first few years in practice, and later at his offices in King City and Greenfield, taught third- and fourth-year medical students as a member of the volunteer clinical faculty of UC San Francisco School of Medicine.
Dr. Greenberg has also supervised electives in rural medicine for the Natividad residents, and in 2001 was promoted to the rank of associate clinical professor at UCSF. He has been a preceptor for students in the UC Davis Family Nurse Practitioner Program, as well as mentoring first-year medical students through the California Academy of Family Practice summer preceptorship program. He currently serves as a preceptor for nursing students from Hartnell College in Salinas, as he firmly believes that it is important to be involved in the training of the "next generation" of health providers, just as those who came before did for him.
A profile of Dr. Greenberg and his practice, entitled "Country Docs," appeared in the 1990 edition of the UC Davis Physician Magazine. He hopes that by winning this award he will be able to cast more light on the unique challenges and sacrifices involved in practicing rural medicine, where the hard work required to provide quality medical care is often seemingly overlooked. Dr. Greenberg will tell you that his accomplishments are "all just part of a day's work"– or "maybe part of a couple of decades of work."