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Meet the Doctors
Joel M. Snyder, M.D.
Dr. Snyder is a board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in zoology from the University of Maryland. Then he received his medical degree from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. His pediatric training was done at Children’s Hospital/University of Colorado in Denver Colorado. He also spent a year there as chief resident in pediatrics. Dr. Snyder then went on to do a two-year fellowship in child development at Children’s Hospital Medical Center/Harvard in Boston Massachusetts. He then moved his wife and three children to San Diego to take a position as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
In 1983 he began in the private practice of pediatrics which he continues today. In the intervening years, in addition to an active clinical practice, Dr. Snyder has been Chief of Pediatrics at Grossmont Hospital, Chief of Staff of Pediatrics at Alvarado Hospital and chairman of the bioethics committee at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. Dr. Snyder is currently senior staff at Rady Children’s Hospital, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, and Sharp Grossmont Hospital.
“My job is to be your consultant, to try to keep you as informed as possible about your child’s health, illnesses, and development. Each age, from infancy to the young adult, is unique, filled with amazing behaviors and challenges for the children as well as their families. My joy is to be a partner with you in this process. There is no such thing as a silly question. Any question you have is important.”
Karen A. McGowan, M.D.
Dr. McGowan is a board certified pediatrician and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received her medical undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at University of California, San Diego. She received her medical degree from University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine where she graduated with honors. She then completed her internship and residency training at University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Dr. McGowan is on the Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children with Disabilities.
“I enjoy working with both my patients and their parents. I strive to treat my patients and parents as I would like to have my daughters and myself treated- with respect, intelligence, and a bit of humor.”
Diana Stafford, M.D.
Dr. Stafford is a Board Certified pediatrician who earned her medical degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She then completed her residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Her primary areas of interest include behavioral health, ADHD, endocrine disorders, and preventative medicine. She has attained professional working proficiency in Spanish. She loves spending time with her family and friends, playing music, and doing art.
“I love the practice of medicine and find children to be fascinating! My heart is in helping families navigate the experience of raising healthy and happy children.”
Dr. Alisa Lawrie
Dr. Alisa Lawrie is a board certified pediatrician and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She grew up in San Diego and earned her undergraduate degree in Human Biology at Stanford University. She received her medical degree from the University Of Colorado and then completed her internship and residency training at the University of Iowa. Dr. Lawrie has been practicing pediatrics in San Diego since 2001. Dr. Lawrie loves forming long term relationships with her patients and their families and helping them grow into healthy, happy young adults. Dr. Lawrie has a special interest in preventative medicine, children with Down Syndrome, and asthma management. In her spare time you will likely find her with her two active boys at the hockey rink, parkour gym or beach.
“My passion is forming long term relationships with my patients and their families. By providing reliable information, compassion, and support I hope to guide my patients from infancy through adolescence to become happy and healthy adults.”
Dr. Andrea Bell, DNP, APRN, CPNP, FNP-C
Andrea Bell is a board-certified pediatric and family nurse practitioner. Prior to becoming a registered nurse, she graduated from UC Davis with Bachelors’ degrees in Psychology and Italian, with a minor in Human Development. She then attended Roseman University of Health Sciences in Utah, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Andrea received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of San Diego. She has worked in a variety of settings including a walk-in health clinic, medical-telemetry, antepartum/postpartum, psychiatry, and public health. Andrea enjoys every aspect of pediatric medicine, including getting to know her patients and their families.
“In her free time, she loves to spend time traveling, playing classical piano, cooking, hiking, and spending time with family. Andrea is also fluent in Portuguese.”
Catherine Taylor Zendejas, CPNP
Taylor Zendejas is a board certified Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She became a registered nurse in 2010 and spent several years working in the Emergency Department. She received her Masters of Nursing at the University of South Alabama. She promotes a holistic and individualized approach to healthcare in the pediatric population. Her passions include newborn care, military families, and partnering with parents to determine the best plan of care. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and going to the beach.
Danielle Patterson, CPNP
I have been practicing Pediatrics in San Diego for 20+ years, both at Rady’s Children’s Hospital and outpatient. I enjoy seeing my little patients grow into young adults and helping in the process. As a mother of 3 girls, I love to combine my Medical, Nursing and Mother’s experience to help my patients and parents achieve their goals as healthy families. I strive for parents to leave each visit well informed, empowered, and with the resources to better care for their kids. I love kids and feel so blessed to be a part of their lives.