Public Health Commissioner for LA County

Patrick T. Dowling, MD, MPH is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and the Kaiser Endowed Chair of Community Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. A graduate of the Medical College of Ohio and the University of Michigan School of Public Health, he completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and is board certified in Family Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

His clinical, educational and research interests include prevention, specifically via screening for common conditions such as breast, lung, colon and skin cancers, all of which have much better outcomes if diagnosed and treated early, as well as the major conditions related to lifestyle that are ravaging the health of many Americans – type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels.

He is a strong advocate of prevention through the widespread use of the miracles of American scientific medicine – vaccinations – especially for those at the beginning of life and those in the twilight of life. He has found that the most effective approach to prevention involves the integration of the following: 1) widespread public education via mass media – TV, radio, social networks; 2) community-based outreach, including large health fairs which offer free or low-cost screenings and vaccinations; and 3) direct patient care, seeing patients in the UCLA Family Health Center and engaging them one-on-one to discuss prevention and lifestyle changes.

His other professional interests include health policy and the provision of care to underserved and minority communities through linkage of graduate medical education training programs to their communities. Presently, he is a Public Health Commissioner for LA County and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Charles Drew University of Medicine in South LA. 

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