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2019 Vallejo Service Hero: Isabelle Haller, DO, COM 2007

HallerWhen Dr. Isabelle Haller graduated from Touro University California, half of the school’s programs didn’t exist. Her COM program hadn’t yet been around for a full decade and there was a sense of being a real pioneer.

“I didn’t really know a lot about it. I knew it was unusual,” Dr. Haller said. And unusual could describe Dr. Haller’s route into medicine.

Having worked as a pediatrician for nearly a decade now, her path to being a physician wasn’t so clearly laid out early on.

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in molecular cellular development, Dr. Haller went to work for a biotech firm for three years. There was something missing during that stretch of time – people.

As is the case for so many students, Touro University offered Dr. Haller a non-traditional pathway into a career in medicine.

“When I got accepted, I just decided to go for it,” Dr. Haller said.

She wasn’t done with that non-traditional sensation even when deciding on a career in pediatrics.

“I didn’t really think I’d go into pediatrics,” Dr. Haller said. That opinion changed during a rotation as part of her residency at USC. The pediatrician she worked with at USC had a passion for his patients, she said, and she realized, “it seemed that I had a much more profound impact than in my other rotations.”

That profound impact has not gone unnoticed as Dr. Haller was recently honored with a Local Hero Service award at Kaiser-Vallejo.

Those chosen for the award can be nominated by anyone and are selected as outstanding from among all of the employees working at the sprawling Vallejo hospital campus.

“It came as a bit of a shock,” Dr. Haller said. “It’s really quite an honor.”

In the end, it all comes back to what drew her into medicine in the first place – people.

“(Vallejo) is a great community,” she said. “I have really awesome patients.”

Congratulations Dr. Haller! Video