UCR School of Medicine dean search continues

Dr. Bertakis answers questions on her ideas about global health, the current level of organization at UCR SOM, and what she plans to accomplish.

On Jan. 12, Klea D. Bertakis gave a presentation describing her vision and goals if she is selected as the new dean for the UCR School of Medicine, being the third of four candidates to present.

Bertakis introduced a slideshow presentation entitled “A Vision for the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine: Community-Based, Community-Engaged and Community-Serving” This presentation explained her aims to help expand and create new programs that can give back to the community, engage medical students and residents in pipeline programs and partner with other nearby colleges.

The School of Medicine’s mission is “to improve the health of the people of California and, especially, to serve Inland Southern California by training a diverse workforce of physicians and by developing innovative research and health care delivery programs that will improve the health of the medically underserved in the region and become models to be emulated throughout the state and the nation.” Bertakis cited this statement as being one of her main sources of inspiration for her vision for the School of Medicine if she is to be named as the new dean.

While Bertakis currently admires the way that the medical school is run, she has also suggested some additions she would like to make to complement the program. She supports growing the number of practicing physicians within California and allowing medical students to become more involved with the surrounding community through pipeline programs already offered by the School of Medicine and partnerships with other colleges in the area, such as Riverside Community College.

“It’s been said there’s a report that shows that the economic impact of a practicing physician here, in our state of California, is approximately $1.9 million annually in jobs, wages and benefits, as well as taxes,” said Bertakis, who also discussed an Association of American Medical College (AAMC) report stating that 80 percent of medical students completing schooling and residency in a single state are likely to remain and pursue practice there.

Bertakis received her undergraduate degree at UC Davis in 1973, and in 1977, both her M.P.H. at UC Berkeley and M.D. at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She obtained her residency from the University of Utah in 1980, and went on to receive her board certifications from the National Board of Medical Examiners in 1978 and the American Board of Family Medicine in 2004.

Currently serving as a professor and chair of the UC Davis Medical Group’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, Bertakis has experience as a family physician and emphasizes patient education, health promotion and preventive care.

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