BECOMING A UC DAVIS PHYSICIAN
When internist Theresa Dizon first began practicing medicine in Davis, California, she never really considered working anywhere else. Dizon attended medical school at UC Davis and completed her residency there. She represents the new generation of UC Davis-trained doctors who make a commitment to local community service — a tradition at the core of physician education in the Department of Internal Medicine.
Dizon always believed her calling was in missionary work. She was about to join the Peace Corps when she was accepted into the UC Davis School of Medicine. Dizon decided that the best way she could help others was to become a doctor, and that the best place to get her medical education was UC Davis. "UC Davis offered an environment that stressed community and volunteerism, which fit in with what I wanted to do with my life," she recalls. As a medical student, Dizon came to understand that in medicine, as in life, there are different paths for reaching one's goals and discovering solutions. "My training prepared me to look beyond the textbooks for answers, to think scientifically, and to be flexible in considering treatment options," she says.
Later, deciding to do her residency at UC Davis proved an easy choice. Dizon already knew the UC Davis faculty, including those in the Department of Internal Medicine, as remarkable teachers, mentors and physicians. "My teachers were excellent role models and prepared me well for my work as a physician," she explains. "They taught me medicine as well as humanity — how to treat each patient as a whole person, how to support patients and talk to them." Dizon chose internal medicine as her specialty because it affords her the opportunity to work with adults, which she enjoys, and offers her research MEDICINEpossibilities in several fields of interest, including cardiovascular disease and dermatology. "The focus of health care is moving toward internal medicine," she says. "It's where I want to be."
Dizon enthusiastically endorses the medical training she received at UC Davis. Although she admits the demands were rigorous, she found the exposure to such a diverse patient base and the chance to study a wide range of diseases invaluable. Her training also provided state-of-the-art equipment and interaction with well-known, experienced medical staff, including surgeons, radiologists and other internists. Additionally, the program at UC Davis was unique in that it offered maximum time to work in a hospital setting, allowing Dizon to gain firsthand knowledge of how both hospitals and clinics function. "I received a high-quality education in a high-tech hospital," she observes. "My medical training was simply the best."
However, Dizon emphasizes that the key to the success of the medical education program at UC Davis continues to be its people. Her faculty supervisors and mentors, who gave her such tremendous support during her training, have now become her colleagues. They're a large part of why she stayed to practice medicine in Davis. "The people who work here are great doctors and well-respected in their fields," says Dizon. "But most important, they're incredible people who really want to take good care of their patients." Dizon maintains that this compassion is her legacy from UC Davis. It's what drew her to the medical school and residency program and what inspires her to serve the Davis community. "The most important part of my medical education was the kind of doctor they trained me to be," she notes. "They taught me how to put my patients first."