Q&A With Our January 2021 Cover Doctor Nancy Daisy Dodd

Nancy Daisy Dodd of Fullerton is a physician at Kaiser Permanente who specializes in pediatrics and infectious diseases. She was recognized by the Orange County Medical Association as among the most accomplished and caring physicians in the county.

What kind of patients do you treat on a daily basis?
I see patients anywhere from (birth) up to 21 years. We concentrate on infectious disease patients where their primary doctor feels like they can use the expertise of a specialist. We see a multitude of infections but the bulk of it is tuberculosis, complicated pneumonia, oncological patients with superimposed infections, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases. I have a good repertoire of patients. There’s not a boring moment in my practice.

Where did you study medicine?
I went to Cal State Long Beach for my undergraduate studies. Then I went to Guadalajara University and transferred to UCI School of Medicine. I graduated from UCI and did my residency and fellowship at UCI.

Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor?
Oh my gosh, yes. My mom told me I was probably three years of age when I told her that I wanted to be a doctor and “go far away.” Now, I do missionary work and go around the world and try to help underprivileged people in developing countries.

What were some challenges you faced in becoming a doctor?
I was born in Cuba and my family came to the U.S. when I was eight years old. My parents worked very hard. I was the very first in my family to graduate with a (bachelor’s) degree and a medical degree. Back then, being a female doctor and a minority wasn’t welcome and you had to do that much more to be recognized. I’m a minority times three. I’m a woman, I’m Hispanic, and I’m dark-skinned. Sometimes, I wake up and think, ‘Wow, I’m a doctor!’

Tell us about one of your most memorable patients.
Her name is Marisol. I still remember it was a Friday, because back in the day, I used to wear high heels and a dress on Fridays. Her mother brought her in and she was limp, blue, and about to die. One more minute and she would have died. We resuscitated her and called the paramedics. I remember trying to jump into the ambulance in this semi-tight dress and high heels. She came back a few years ago with her mom, now as a beautiful woman about to get married. She told me, “Doctor, you’re the reason I’m alive and I want you to come to my wedding.”

You’ve been with Kaiser Permanente for 32 years now. What has your experience been like?
I’ve had patients that I took care of in the neonatal unit come back as adults and bring their children to see me. To me, it’s not only the fact that they trust me with their children’s care, it’s the fact that there are two generations that I’ve had the opportunity to take care of. Occasionally, I have had a grandkid in there.

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