Vanessa Lauzon, MD

Vanessa Lauzon, a native of Southern California, completed her undergraduate education at the University of Southern California (USC) where she majored in Spanish and Biological Sciences. During college she lived and studied overseas in Madrid, Spain. She received her MD from the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

 During medical school, Vanessa demonstrated her strong commitment to the underserved. She was an active volunteer at inner-city free clinics in LA, and with Healing Hearts Across Borders, a medical humanitarian organization providing healthcare to indigent patients in Tijuana, BC, Mexico. Vanessa was a leader in the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) as the National Director of AMSA's Medical Education Leadership Institute. She also designed and fully implemented a medical Spanish program at her medical school, including securing funding for successive years of the program. Vanessa also excelled academically in medical school; she was a Dean's Scholar and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. At graduation, she was awarded the Keck School of Medicine's Community Achievement Award, which recognizes "the graduating medical student who has most impacted the general population and the medical community as a whole, and who has been an example of the effect medical students can have on patient care at all treatment levels."

During residency in San Diego, Vanessa has continued her involvement in organized medicine and community outreach. She is the resident representative to the San Diego Psychiatric Society, our local chapter of the APA. At the national level, Vanessa was awarded a 2-year APA Public Psychiatry Fellowship (2010-2012) and was a member of the APA Council for Advocacy & Government Relations. Vanessa also volunteers with NAMI San Diego, doing community education & outreach with patients and family members. She has presented at multiple state and national conferences, including the APA Institute on Psychiatric Services and the NAMI California annual meeting. Vanessa also volunteers at the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic, precepting first- and second-year medical students. Now in her final year of residency, Vanessa is part of the inaugural class of the UCSD Fellowship in Community & Public Psychiatry. This fellowship focuses on honing the specific administrative knowledge and leadership skills necessary to run a public mental health system.

After completing combined training, Vanessa plans to focus on creating models of comprehensive care for patients with serious mental illness, delivering primary care and psychiatric treatment in a single coordinated setting for this vulnerable underserved population. She hopes to combine teaching, direct clinical care, administration, public policy, and community advocacy in her career. Outside of medicine, Vanessa enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, watching USC football, and cooking.