Professor Awarded Lifetime Achievement

Recognition for Contributions in a Four-Decade-Long Career as Physician and Teacher for Dr. Alesia Wagner

March 29, 2024
Dr. Alesia Wagner sits at a wooden table next to her lifetime achievement award

At the 2024 Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OPSC) convention, Dr. Alesia Wagner, DO, FACOFP Distinguished, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award, only the seventh individual to receive it.

Wagner had previously won OPSC’s Physician of the Year award in 2019, and was celebrated for her dedication to the profession, patients, and community for 41 years, as both a physician and educator.

“Dr. Wagner's remarkable dedication to osteopathic medicine has not only enriched our institution but has also positively influenced countless lives within the medical community,” says Tami Hendriksz, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Interim Chief Academic Officer of Touro University California (TUC). “This recognition is a testament to her outstanding contributions and unwavering commitment to excellence. I am immensely proud to have Dr. Wagner as part of our team, and her achievement brings great honor to our institution.”

After medical school, Wagner, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at TUC, went into private practice and family medicine, while also organizing rotations and residencies for medical students. In 2013 Wagner joined TUC as an assistant professor, and while she had always wanted to be a teacher, she believed that it meant choosing between a career in medicine or education. Joining TUC allowed Wagner to do both.

“I made it my job to learn how to be a good teacher and to learn about teaching preclinical students through a variety of different pedagogical methods and ideas to deliver curriculum,” says Wagner, who evolved her role as her career progressed. “I do a lot more in the way of mentoring, guiding students, teaching, advocating for them in a leadership role as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.”

Reflecting on her career, Wagner attributes much of her success to the influence of her father and the supportive network of physician family friends who guided her along the path to osteopathic medicine. Her diverse experiences in various medical settings have shaped her into a well-rounded physician, with a deep-rooted belief that caring for patients is her true calling.

“The easiest thing I do is to take care of a patient, which doesn't mean it's easy to have the knowledge, but the easiest, most natural thing I do is treat a patient” says Wagner. “I often wondered in the beginning; did I choose it for somebody else? Did I choose it for my father? I look back now, and I think there's nothing else I would rather do.”