Faculty ProfilesTheresa Allison, MD, PhD
4150 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
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.
Awards and Honors
Superstar Award, Department of Veterans Affairs, 2103
Teacher of the Year, UCSF Division of Geriatrics, 2016
Special Contribution Award, Department of Veterans Affairs, 2013
New Investigator Award, American Geriatrics Society, 2011
Best Poster, Quality of Life Section, American Geriatrics Society, 2009
Ida Halpern Award for Research in Native American Music, Society for Ethnomusicology, 2001
Doctoral Completion Award, P.E.O., 2001
Teachers Ranked Outstanding by their Students, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997-1999
Teachers Ranked Outstanding by their Students, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1994-1995
Recent Articles (12)
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.
Allison TA. This Thing Called Music. V Levine and P Bohlman (Eds.). Recording the Life Review: A Case Study from the Medical Humanities. 2015.
Allison TA. In Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Geriatrics. CS Landefeld, B Williams and A Chang (Eds.). Long-Term Care, Nursing Home and Rehabilitation. 2014.
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.
Allison TA. Ethnomusicology. Book review: The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing through Music and the Arts. 2013; 57(1):137-141.
The nursing home as village: lessons from ethnomusicology. Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts. 2010; 4(3):276-91.
Allison TA. Transcending the Limitations of Institutionalized Aging Through Music: Ethnomusicology in the Nursing Home. PhD dissertation. 2010.
Allison TA. 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.
Win AZ, Ceresa CL, Arnold KV, Allison TA. Jo Nutrition, 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.
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.