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Guiding Future Doctors Pam Taffera-Deihl, D.O., MBA ’02

Guiding Future Doctors Pam Taffera-Deihl, D.O., MBA ’02
Dr. Taffera-Deihl ’02, pictured here in 2013, has visited Haiti several times with members of the MAC.

When Pam Taffera-Deihl, D.O., MBA ’02 looked at prospective colleges with her father, she had no idea what she would choose to do in her career. But one thing she did know was where she wanted to figure that out. 

“The presentations at the other schools didn’t compare to the one Scranton had given us,” she recalled. “We’d get about halfway through an open house somewhere else and I’d say, ‘Nope, this isn’t Scranton.’” 

The University’s emphasis on its Jesuit roots and the concept of cura personalis, or care for the entire person, struck a chord with the then-high school junior and has remained with her since. Dr. Taffera-Deihl said she even looked back to her positive first experience at Scranton when choosing a medical school, pursuing her MBA and selecting her employer. 

“You bring Scranton everywhere you go,” she explained. “It has touched everything I’ve done. When I was struggling or having a hard time, I met the challenges thanks to the lessons I learned when I was there. It’s what helped me to be successful in my career.” 

Taffera-Deihl, who lives in Berks County and is a hospitalist with WellSpan Health Hospitalist Group, remains an active part of the Scranton community. After several years as a member of the University’s Medical Alumni Council (MAC) Executive Committee, she is now entering her second year as chair. The MAC offers undergraduate pre-health professional students education and guidance during their college years and allows alumni practitioners a chance to remain in touch through networking, educational programming and mentoring opportunities. 

Taffera-Deihl said her position as chair came at the perfect time: She had just moved away from a teaching role in academic family medicine to devote more time to her young family (she and husband, Steve, are raising her stepson, Reed, a daughter, Annie, and son, Joseph). While she said she is very rewarded professionally, she missed the opportunity to mentor students. 

“It’s a joy to work with undergraduates,” she said. “At Scranton, they already have an amazing program in place with the most prepared students. They have passion and excitement that hasn’t been burned out by the culture of health care.” 

She credits her mentor, Mary Engel, Ph.D., director of fellowship programs, with helping her reach her dreams, and enjoys watching her do the same with current students. 

“I really like to give credit where it is due,” she said. “Mary is amazing at identifying something special in the students and helping them realize their potential.” 

macThrough the MAC, Taffera-Deihl has joined students and medical alumni on four medical mission trips to Haiti, and she intends to return when her children are a bit older. “It’s an amazing trip for so many reasons, but it’s also the most transformative time in students’ lives — where they truly become physicians. It really gives them perspective into the world.” 

Taffera-Deihl worked with the MAC’s executive committee to plan this year’s annual fall event, titled “Keeping Cura Personalis in your Professional Training and Practice,” held Sept. 10, in Philadelphia. A spring event to be held in Scranton will follow, and a new project, called Dinner with a Doc, which connects University students interested in medicine with alumni who are doctors, begins this fall. 

“It’s another chance,” she said, to expand on her connections with students and alumni. 

“We Scranton folks flock together,” she said. 

For more information on the MAC, its symposium programming, or to become involved, email Lynn King Andres ’89, associate director, Volunteer Engagement at lynn.andres@scranton.edu. 
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