Bertakis named distinguished professor

July 12, 2017

Klea Bertakis, professor of family and community medicine, has received the honorary title of distinguished professor, in recognition of her exceptional level of scholarship and excellence in teaching.

Klea D. BertakisA member of the UC Davis faculty since 1980, Bertakis is a nationally renowned thought leader in primary care research and patient care. She is a family physician and longtime proponent of patient-centered care, which encourages patients to be actively involved in their own health as partners with physicians. Today, patient-centered care has become a focal point of national discussions on improving quality of care and patient satisfaction.

As one of the nation’s leading primary care medical schools, Bertakis believed it was important to conduct research on the practice of primary care. She founded the UC Davis Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care in 1994, an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to improving public health. Evaluating the effectiveness and interrelationship between health access, delivery, costs and patient outcomes advances both the practice of medicine and physician training.

Bertakis was one of the first women at UC Davis Health to become a full professor. She has conducted groundbreaking work assessing the influence of gender on physician practice styles, the doctor-patient relationship, physician practice behaviors and patient satisfaction, and evidence-based patient outcomes. She has held many leadership positions including chair of the family and community medicine department, chair of the Council of Chairs and chair of the Practice Management Board.

Throughout her career, Bertakis has received many honors and awards. She was the youngest recipient of the Curtis G. Hames Research Award in Family Medicine, a lifetime achievement award that recognizes contributions to family medicine research. She was the first faculty member trained in family medicine within the University of California system to receive this honor, as well as the first to receive tenure.  

Bertakis earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology from UC Davis and a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley. She received her medical degree from the University of Utah. She is a licensed physician and surgeon.


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