Dr. Celia Pantoja was born in Lima, Peru where she attended and graduated from Medical School at Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University in Peru in 1999. Upon graduation, she started working as program supervisor for the National Tuberculosis Program of Peru and research fellow for the Alexander von Humboldt Research Institute of Altitude Diseases, affiliated to her Alma Mater. She also worked as a General Practitioner in private practice.
She participated as associate investigator in research projects involving tuberculosis adherence program and failure and relapse of tuberculosis, also participated actively in projects involving chronic lung disease associated with firewood smoke exposure performing on site visits to Andean communities in Peru.
She completed her year of Rural Medicine Service in the city of Chosica, Peru in 2003. She also pursued master's degree studies in Social Projects Management at Cayetano Heredia University. During this time, she also presented for the USMLE exams which she completed in 2003.
Dr. Pantoja trained in the Internal Medicine Residency Program of Bronx Lebanon Hospital (Now Bronx Care) associated with Albert Einstein School of Medicine during 2004-2007. Dr. Pantoja recertified in Internal Medicine in 2017, Internal Medicine with Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine in 2018 and is also Obesity Medicine Board Certified as of 2020.
She worked as a primary care physician for Peoples Community Health Center in Waterloo, Iowa in 2007-2010 while raising her son. She decided to move to the Rio Grande Valley in 2010 to practice as a Hospitalist and to be close to her friends from Peru. Here is where she met and married her husband.
Dr. Pantoja was affiliated as Associate Clinical Professor for the School of Medicine at UTRGV in July 2016 through 2022.
In July 2023 Dr. Pantoja came back to join DHR Health to work as a hospitalist and joined the newly minted DHR GME Internal Medicine Program as the Associate Program Director.
Dr. Pantoja loves to travel with her family, likes to cook Peruvian food and enjoy learning new dishes from international cuisine, loves cats. The Rio Grande Valley is now home to her and her family.
She is extremely grateful and thrilled to be an active participant of DHR Health in its noble mission to provide healthcare and graduate medical education to the people of the Rio Grande Valley.