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Tanner John, MD

Medical School:

University of Arizona College of Medicine


B.A. Religious Studies, University of Arizona Tucson

B.S. Molecular Biology, University of Arizona Tucson


It is with great joy that I join the UCSD combined residency community! I am from Douglas, Arizona, a small town located on the US-Mexico border. One of my most vivid childhood memories is witnessing the struggle of those migrating through the hostile Sonoran desert in efforts to enter the United States.  The suffering of those crossing the border imprinted on my conscience; when I left Douglas to attend The University of Arizona, I was unsure of my path but I knew that I wanted to work for justice. While completing my degree in Molecular Biology and Religious Studies, I worked at an inpatient dual diagnosis drug rehabilitation center and was overcome by the way in which addiction indiscriminately possesses people. While I did not desire to pursue medicine at that time, I became fascinated with spiritual and personal development. After graduating from college, I accepted a position as a Campus Minister at the University of Arizona Catholic Newman Center, working with college undergraduates and combining my two passions: promoting social justice and spiritual development. Through this position, I was invited to live at Casa Maria, a Catholic Worker House in which all within the community commit to voluntary poverty, working for justice for the poor and providing hospitality to those experiencing homelessness in Tucson. Hearing the stories of those living on the streets without access to adequate psychiatric care profoundly affected me, and it was here that my desire to pursue medicine was cultivated. I enrolled in medical school at the University of Arizona, and also completed an MPH with a focus on creating a medical respite center for those experiencing homelessness in Tucson. I am excited to learn how to better serve this special population during my residency, and am honored to continue my journey as a member of the UCSD combined residency program.

Outside of the hospital, I enjoy hiking and fly fishing; and never turn down the invitation to share a good cup of coffee and talk about spirituality with anyone who is willing (emphasis on the coffee – I LOVE coffee!). Most importantly, above all things, I am blessed with an amazing family, without whom, the journey would not be possible - my wife Brittany, who inspires and challenges me daily to care for others with compassion, and our beautiful daughter, Rosie, who is the joy of our lives.