How a Black Nurse ‘Brainwashed’ Her Daughter to Become a Doctor
Nov 17, 2022
Gary Zavoral
Black female doctor on video visit with man

Dr. Dineen Greer, inset, conducts a video visit with a patient in the Sutter Health commercial. “We adopted video visits very quickly in our office when the pandemic hit” in 2020, Dr. Greer says.

Dr. Dineen Greer says her mother “brainwashed” her into becoming a doctor.

Dr. Greer’s mother was a Black nurse in the South, when there was a “significant hierarchy in healthcare, with doctor high, nurse below, and a Black nurse in the South even lower,” Dr. Greer says. “She wanted her daughter to be in charge.”

Dr. Dineen Greer

Dr. Dineen Greer appreciates the long-term relationships she often develops with the diverse community of patients she serves as a primary-care family medicine physician.

Dr. Greer went to Stanford University for her undergraduate schooling and UC San Francisco for medical school.

“My mother’s plan worked as I did become a family doctor,” she says, “taking care of people from ‘cradle to grave.’”

Now she teaches doctors in residency how to do the same. In addition to seeing patients in the hospital and in her medical office, Dr. Greer is the program director of the Sutter Family Medicine Residency Program, which trains 27 resident physicians in Sacramento, Davis and a rural residency track in Amador County.

“We really take care of a very diverse group of patients that sometimes can’t find the care in other places,” she says. “We take care of a lot of patients with HIV, AIDS, drug addictions, transgender medicine. We do all of that because we know how important it is to really take care of the diverse patients population.”

In the Commercial, She’s on Screen Being on Screen

Recently, Dr. Greer answered a casting call by Sutter Health for employees and affiliated physicians to audition for roles in the nonprofit integrated network’s fall and winter 2022 advertising campaign. Dr. Greer is featured doing a video visit with a patient. (The commercial can be viewed here.)

“We adopted video visits very quickly in our office when the pandemic hit” in 2020, Dr. Greer said. “I was very involved in developing processes within our office and in training our residents in video visits.” So it was a natural role for her to play.

However, she says she never wanted to be an actor. Instead, she was a dancer and cheerleader, having performed in musicals and being a cheerleader or song leader from elementary school through college.

But her best interactions isn’t with large audiences, but is with her patients and the resident physicians.

“When I started with Sutter in 2003, the very first patient I saw is actually still my patient,” she says. “She often reminds me, ‘Remember I was your first patient here?’ … That’s what I love about primary care and family medicine. It’s actually the long-term relationships.”

See a personal video of Dr. Greer discussing her approach to care, below.

Recent Articles