Born in 1961 and raised on a sugar plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jane Chiyoko Tanaka learned much about caring for others, early in her life, from her parents, teachers, and other mentors from a generous and culturally diverse, working-class, rural community.
Having graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California in 1983, she then began her medical studies at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine. It was during her last two years of medical school that she was inspired by faculty role models to train in both Psychiatry and Pediatrics. After being conferred the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1988, she then trained as a Pediatric Intern at the UCSD Medical Center. She then completed three years of training in inpatient and outpatient Adult Psychiatry at the San Diego VA Medical Center and UCSD Medical Center, including a year as Chief Resident at the Gifford Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. This was followed by two more years of postdoctoral training as a Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic in San Diego and the San Diego County Mental Health Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital.
She then joined PsyCare Inc, as an Outpatient Psychiatrist in Poway, California in 1994. She learned much from the high volume of patient care there. In 1996 she opened the first full time psychiatric practice in downtown Ramona, California.
In order to provide a more private and tranquil setting for her patients, and upon the suggestion by her most supportive husband, she then moved her practice to an office setting at her private residence on eight hillside acres of boulders and chaparral in Ramona, California. As required by law, and per the psychiatric health care standards, the office has a private entrance, waiting room, and consultation room , separate from the residential quarters, due to extensive remodeling. She retired from PsyCare in 2003. She then immediately opened a solo practice in order to offer quality, personalized, affordable outpatient psychiatric care, unencumbered by the constraints of managed healthcare systems. She has served as an Adult, Adolescent and Child Psychiatrist to generations of people over the years from Ramona, Julian, Escondido, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Lakeside, Santee, La Mesa and Alpine, and even a few from as far away as Borrego Springs, La Jolla, Coronado, Temecula and Riverside.
Her area of special expertise has become that of re-evaluation and treatment of “difficult” or “complex” patients, who have already seen other Psychiatrists through their insurance and closer geographically, and are in need of more personalized and accessible care. Children, adolescents and adults have often been referred to her “by word of mouth” of their neighbors, teachers, therapists and other physicians, based on her work and reputation. She has co-treated many adults, adolescents and children with a number of exceptionally skilled licensed psychotherapists in the community. She works hard to be available to her patients when they are in crisis and does her utmost to prevent the need for inpatient hospitalization. However when it is not possible to keep a patient safe at home, she will personally refer him or her to an appropriate, safe inpatient setting.
As she has always enjoyed teaching, she has been honored with teaching awards by the UCSD School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry in 1992 as a Chief Resident, and by UCSD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2003 and 2006 as a voluntary supervisor of Fellows in training. She also has given seminars to other Psychotherapists on Pediatric Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Pediatric Bipolar Disorder. Although she is current and well read on these topics, she bases most of her clinical knowledge and expertise on what she has learned from her patients and their families. For this teaching she is extremely grateful. In 2009, she was also nominated as Mental Health Person of the Year in San Diego County, and also was also granted the Patient's Choice Award, which is conferred to less than 5% of active physicians in the United States based solely on patient feedback.
“Dr. T” is also grateful for the support of her ever-patient husband, Greg Chick, who is a Plumbing Contractor and active volunteer community leader in Ramona; her parents who migrated from Hawaii to Ramona to be with her; and her Webmaster/IT/computer-guy Michael J. O’Connor. She is also forever indebted to (or enslaved by) her furry office helpers—Ralph (the Underdog), Leche (the Chiweenie), Sumo-Kitty, Tum-Tum & Fufu (the felines) who all make it much more natural for kids (and maybe for adults too) to want to come back to see THEM rather than their “Shrink”.