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Several pictures of doctors who are featured on the Local Legends web site

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Jacqueline Parthemore, M.D.

Picture of Jacqueline Parthemore
Scrapbook not available

Jacqueline Parthemore, M.D.

“The most important thing in my work is people treating people, both staff and patients, the way they themselves want to be treated. That's the key to quality medical care.”


Susan A. Davis



In the fifth grade in Harrisburg, PA, Jacqueline Parthemore started telling people she wanted to be a doctor. "It wasn't any one thing," she recalled, "but I looked around and noticed that most women in those days either went into teaching, nursing or clerical work. I didn't want any of those. Later I went to an all women's college (Wellesley) and there were all sorts of women on campus as role models who believed they could do anything they wanted to do for a career."

However, she was one of only three women in her medical school graduating class of 90 students, and was the only woman in her internship program!

Now the longest standing female chief-of-staff in the Veterans Health Administration and a leader in assuring top-quality, accessible health care for veterans, Parthemore has made a habit of overcoming difficult challenges in her exemplary career.

After graduating with a degree in medicine from Cornell University Medical College, she served as a house officer in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, and afterward as an Endocrine Fellow at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, in San Diego.

In 1972, she joined the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC ), and began her affiliation with the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. She was named Chief of Staff and Medical Director of the Veterans Administration San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) in 1985, at the same time becoming Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs at the UCSD School of Medicine.

Nominated as a Local Legend by Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-CA-53), for more than 30 years Parthemore has made numerous contributions to improved health care for veterans. She is praised for her ability to direct all VASDHS clinical, medical education and research activities, as well as lead more than 2000 employees in delivering quality inpatient and outpatient care to 40,000 veterans.

She has championed clinical excellence and innovations in healthcare delivery that help return patients to their homes and communities rather than remain in the hospital, and she is widely regarded for fostering and maintaining high levels of patient care during a period of rapid expansion in the size and services of the VA hospital.

Parthemore is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. She is the author or co-author of numerous research publications, and serves on the VA Network and School of Medicine committees. In 2002 she received the Federal Health Care Executive Award for Excellence.

"I'd like to be remembered not for any individual achievement but for leading change over time that helped the people and the institution, and for mentoring medical students and young physicians", she said recently. "The most important thing for me is that I've had two wonderful children and a long-term supportive marriage, and have still been able to lead a large veteran's hospital."



Appointed Fellow in Endocrinology to Staff Physician, Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC), San Diego, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla


Becomes Acting Chief, Medical Service and Staff Physician, VAMC, San Diego, and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla


Chief of Staff, Veterans Administration Healthcare System (VAHS), San Diego, and Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla


Elected Governor, Southern California Region III, American College of Physicians, the largest professional specialty society in the United States




Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY


Internal Medicine

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