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

MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Juliana Grace Szakacs, M.D.

Picture of Juliana Grace Szakacs
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Juliana Grace Szakacs, M.D.

“Teaching medicine has undergone huge changes. You can't just read a chapter from a book. As teachers we need to bring the students closer to patients so they learn about dealing with people. Medical students need to see real patients and conduct real medical interviews.”


Jim Matheson



Juliana Grace Szakacs was just out of graduate school and working as a social worker with the Ute, a tribe of Native Americans in Northeast Utah, when she saw a mother suffering from epilepsy forced to give up her child because of a lack of healthcare in the community. It was a defining moment for Szakacs.

"How could this happen?" she recalls thinking. "With more doctors here, we could prevent this." Determined to serve those in need and to teach, she change careers to study clinical chemistry, enter medical school and become a physician.

After a rewarding career in family medicine, she then switched to pathology and is currently Medical Director of Pathology for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston. She is also an acclaimed teacher whose career highlights include teaching at medical schools in Florida, New Hampshire, Utah, and now Massachusetts.

Nominated as a Local Legend by Jim Matheson (D-UT-2), Szakacs served as Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah, receiving numerous scholastic honors for her teaching and marvelous praise from a former student, who wrote of her, "She is an amazing instructor of medicine. She stretches and invigorates the minds of her students, and is a mentor and example to many students. She is so inspiring that when you are around her, you have a desire to learn and study so that you can be elevated to her level of knowledge."

Says Rep. Matheson, "Juliana Szakacs' continuous accomplishments in Clinical Chemistry and Pathology are truly representative of a woman who has committed her life to medicine."

Szakacs' awards include the Resident Teacher Award of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (1987), the Most Outstanding Pre-Clinical Professor (1993 and 1994), and the Association of Clinical Scientists-Diploma of Honor (2003).

"I love teaching," she declares. "Every once in a while I'll receive a letter out of the blue from a former student, somebody I tried to help-maybe somebody not at the top of the class, but somebody who went on to be a caring, compassionate physician. And that's a great feeling to know you helped along the way."

Szakacs is also a dedicated community volunteer. During her years in Utah, she assisted the Salt Lake City High Schools and volunteered in many high school work study programs. While in Florida, she served as volunteer healthcare provider at local clinics.

At the University of Utah School of Medicine, she served as Chair of the 122nd annual meeting of the Association of Clinical Scientists, and was Director of the Women in Medicine program and liaison to the Association of American Medical Colleges. She also served as Faculty Advisor for the American Medical Women's Association, and as moderator for the Veteran's Administration and the University of Utah's ARUP Laboratories Hematology and Coagulation training programs.

A widely published author of many articles, abstracts, book reviews and presentations, she has served as an editorial board member for the Annals of Clinical & Laboratory Science.



Appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa


Appointed Assistant Professor of Pathology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH


Appointed Chief of Anatomic Pathology; Appointed Acting Chief Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service, VA Hospital, White River Junction, VT


Appointed Assistant Professor (1996), Associate Professor (1999), and Professor of Pathology-Clinical (2003), University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT


Appointed Director Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service, VAMC, Salt Lake City


Appointed Director, Autopsy Service and Course Director, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City


Appointed Medical Director of Pathology, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Boston




University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL



Sub Specialty

Pulmonary Pathology