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Theresa Allison, MD, PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
DepartmentMedicine
Address4150 Clement St
San Francisco CA 94121
Phone415-221-4810
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    UCSF Division of Geriatrics2016Teacher of the Year
    Department of Veterans Affairs2013Special Contribution Award
    Department of Veterans Affairs2103Superstar Award
    American Geriatrics Society2011New Investigator Award
    American Geriatrics Society2009Best Poster, Quality of Life Section
    P.E.O.2001Doctoral Completion Award
    Society for Ethnomusicology2001Ida Halpern Award for Research in Native American Music
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign1997 - 1999Teachers Ranked Outstanding by their Students
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign1994 - 1995Teachers Ranked Outstanding by their Students

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Theresa A. Allison, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, with a secondary appointment in Family and Community Medicine. She completed her M.D. in 2002 and her Ph.D in Musicology in 2010, at the University of Illinois Medical Scholars Program. She completed family practice residency in 2005 and geriatric fellowship in 2007, at UCSF. Her primary appointment is at the San Francisco VA Health Care System, where she serves as medical director for the Home Based Primary Care Program (HBPC), providing interprofessional care for high cost, high needs patients from San Mateo through Humboldt Counties. Dr. Allison focuses her efforts on the implementation of evidence based, interprofessional models of care for vulnerable older adults, and on building the workforce needed to keep complex, chronically ill older adults safely housed in the community.

    Dr. Allison’s research is in the medical humanities, with a focus on the roles of music in creating community in nursing homes, on the roles of musical memory in the context of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, and on the perceived and measurable health effects of singing and exercising in choirs.


    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Romo RD, Allison TA, Smith AK, Wallhagen MI. Sense of Control in End-of-Life Decision-Making. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Dec 28. PMID: 28029695.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Johnson JK, Nápoles AM, Stewart AL, Max WB, Santoyo-Olsson J, Freyre R, Allison TA, Gregorich SE. Study protocol for a cluster randomized trial of the Community of Voices choir intervention to promote the health and well-being of diverse older adults. BMC Public Health. 2015; 15:1049. PMID: 26463176; PMCID: PMC4603966.
    3. Allison T . This Thing Called Music. V Levine and P Bohlman (Eds.). Recording the Life Review: A Case Study from the Medical Humanities. 2015.
    4. Allison T . In Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Geriatrics. CS Landefeld, B Williams and A Chang (Eds.). Long-Term Care, Nursing Home and Rehabilitation. 2014.
    5. Allison TA, Sudore RL. Disregard of patients' preferences is a medical error: comment on "Failure to engage hospitalized elderly patients and their families in advance care planning". JAMA Intern Med. 2013 May 13; 173(9):787. PMID: 23545699.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Allison T . Ethnomusicology. Book review: The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing through Music and the Arts. 2013; 57(1):137-141.
    7. The nursing home as village: lessons from ethnomusicology. Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts. 2010; 4(3):276-91.
    8. Allison T . Transcending the Limitations of Institutionalized Aging Through Music: Ethnomusicology in the Nursing Home. PhD dissertation. 2010.
    9. Allison T . The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology, Koen B, Barz G and Brummel-Smith K, Eds. Songwriting and transcending institutional boundaries in the nursing home. 2008.
    10. Win AZ, Ceresa CL, Arnold KV, Allison T, Health and Aging. In press. High prevalence of malnutrition among elderly Veterans in Home Based Prmary Care. In press. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging.
    11. Romo R,* Allison TA, Smith AK, Wallhagen M . Sense of control in end-of-life decision making. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. In press.
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