Jose L. Mendoza, MD, has joined the Family Medicine practice of Northern Regional Hospital, effective September 1, 2020. As a board-certified family physician, Dr. Mendoza will be responsible for diagnosing and treating a wide range of medical diseases and disorders (both common and rare), as well as referring patients to specialists, as needed. “I look forward to establishing a special bond with my patients – so they know they can trust me to help coordinate their care, especially if they need to see other specialists,” he says.
Dr. Mendoza explains that his important ‘coordinator of care’ role starts with getting to know his patients individually so he can accurately assess and guide them through treatments they may need to help maintain or improve their health. “My goal is to help prevent or effectively identify and manage clinical conditions that may disrupt a patient’s quality of life,” he says. “My approach is also very hands-on,” he adds – noting that, while some doctors rely heavily on assistants or computer modeling to reach a diagnosis, he prefers a more personal approach. “For any initial physical exam, I examine my patients thoroughly – which means talking with them, touching them, and listening very carefully to their thoughts and concerns,” he says.
Dr. Mendoza is eager to begin engaging with patients at the Family Medicine practice site, which shares the same building as Northern Wellness & Fitness Center and Northern Family Pharmacy. “I’m very pleased and proud to be affiliated with Northern Regional, one of the nation’s top-ranked community hospitals,” he said. “It’s comforting to know that my patients and I have easy access to the hospital’s top-tier clinical talent and advanced diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.”
For the 32-year-old Mendoza, becoming a doctor was the fulfillment of a childhood dream. “Since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a doctor,” he says, and that early ambition fueled his academic interests and pursuits throughout high school, college, and medical school. The unconditional support of his parents was also instrumental in helping him achieve his professional goals. “My parents were the ones who believed in me the most and would encourage me to never give up,” he said. “They are both very hard-working people and have always placed a great importance on maintaining family values.”
Born in Mexico City, Mendoza was 12 years old when he moved with his family to Atlanta, Georgia – where his father, an airline industry administrator, had been transferred. Throughout high school and during his pre-med curriculum courses at Emory University, he enjoyed and excelled in coursework related to science and medicine.
After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Emory in 2010, the aspiring physician enrolled in the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalarjara, the oldest private university and medical school in Mexico. At the end of his second year, he had an opportunity to volunteer for several months at a small, rural hospital in Haiti – which was run and staffed by a single physician and one nurse. “The physician leader was a surgeon, but she pretty much functioned as a family doctor and all-around medic,” recalled Mendoza. “She not only attended to her patients’ medical needs, she also took the time to teach them the basics of preventing disease, like the importance of hand-washing.” As he helped provide much-needed care to the Haitian villagers, Mendoza observed and quietly marveled at his mentor’s ability to positively influence her patients and the community-at-large. It was then that he decided to specialize in family medicine.
Shortly thereafter, another experience helped solidify his choice of a specialty. During his third year of medical school, he completed a required clinical rotation in Family Medicine. “I just fell in love with it,” he said. “Unlike other medical specialties that deal with just one organ or one part of the body, the practice of family medicine permits me to focus on all the organs and systems within the body, and to deal with patients in a more holistic manner.” Mendoza also admits he likes the greater variety of clinical problems and occasional medical mysteries that are typically seen by family doctors.
Following his graduation from medical school in 2016, the newly-minted physician completed a three-year residency training program at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth, a sprawling 495-bed hospital and medical complex in Chicago. While there, Dr. Mendoza developed and presented educational lectures to the public on diabetes prevention and treatments, taught third-year medical students from the University of Illinois College of Medicine; served on the Quality Improvement Committee of a busy community health clinic in west Chicago; and participated in multiple research projects. One such project, which offered recommendations for increasing the number of women who sought post-partum care after having given birth, earned a second-place award from the Medical Organization for Latino Advancement (MOLA).
Dr. Mendoza is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians; and certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. He holds certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
Having lived previously in many large cities (including Atlanta, Chicago, and Phoenix), Dr. Mendoza is looking forward to the less hectic environment and many natural wonders of Mount Airy and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains region. A regular hiker who tries to jog/hike at least five miles daily, he’s already checked out the Granite City Walkway and several hiking trails atop Pilot Mountain. “It’s just me, a water bottle and some comfortable shoes,” he says. “And sunblock!” he adds quickly.
When not enjoying the outdoors, he might be found cooking-up new adventures in his kitchen. “Before COVID, I would almost always cook my own food – just really basic stuff – but now I’ve been trying to expand my culinary horizons by subscribing to one of those services that mails you recipes and enough ingredients to make each dish,” he says. And, despite the recent avalanche of new taste sensations like Brown Butter Rigatoni, he admits that his “favorite food of all time” remains tacos al pastor – spit-grilled pork tacos that combine Middle Eastern and Mexican spices.
Dr. Mendoza looks forward to providing high-quality care to his patients while giving back to the community – including the large Hispanic community established in the area. Fortunately, his medical expertise, dedication to patients, and proficiency in multiple languages – including English, Spanish, conversational French and conversational Haitian Creole (picked-up during his volunteer work in Haiti) — will serve him well in providing that care to all patients.
To make an appointment with Dr. Jose Mendoza, call 336-786-4133 or visit the Family Medicine Practice at 280 North Pointe Boulevard, Mount Airy, NC.