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Local Pediatrician Has Big Shoes to Fill

Local Pediatrician Has Big Shoes to Fill

Dr. Patricia Tenold Continues Family Legacy of Caring for Kids and Families

When Dr. Susan Dugoni left her Fremont pediatrics practice in August, she took comfort knowing her daughter was ready to help local children and families just as she had throughout her medical career. Dr. Patricia Tenold joined Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF) last March.

“I have big shoes to fill,” Dr. Tenold says. “My mom was so well loved and respected. She was named Best Pediatrician in Fremont many times. She is an amazing pediatrician and I’m honored to follow in her footsteps.”

Dr. Dugoni was the first woman to join the Fremont pediatrics practice where she worked for 36 years. She notes that in those days, medicine was a man’s world and her daughter agrees.

“My mom was not only a pediatrician in a man’s world, but a mom in a man’s world—and she was great at both,” Dr. Tenold adds. “There are a lot more women in pediatrics today—and in medicine in general—which is awesome. In my residency class of twelve, eleven were women.”

Dr. Tenold describes her mom as her role model. She was an incredible doctor while still managing to raise five kids with her physician husband, Dr. Ramsey Araj, who at the time was a WTMF surgeon.

“The most rewarding part of my career has been the relationships I’ve built with parents and their children,” Dr. Dugoni notes. “As a pediatrician, you get to guide parents and children as they go through the various stages in life. Patients I took care of from birth are now old enough to have children of their own. It’s humbling to think that I did my job well enough that they trust me with their children. There have been so many wonderful families over the years. I know they will be in good hands with my daughter.”

Dr. Dugoni shares that when Dr. Tenold was a pediatric resident, she spent a month working in her office. “It was interesting to see how similar our styles are,” Dr. Dugoni continues. “She has the same passion for caring for children of all ages.”

Family Practice

Dr. Tenold said coming from a “medical family,” it’s not that surprising that she decided to become a doctor.

“I got my Master’s in Public Health, but I was pretty sure I wanted to be a doctor,” she said. “It became clear to me that I would have the biggest impact as a physician.”

She earned her medical degree in 2016 from Albany Medical College in New York, where she met her husband, Dr. Matthew Tenold, an oncologist with the UCSF – Washington Cancer Center in Fremont. The couple have two young children together.

Dr. Tenold completed her pediatric residency at UC Davis in 2019 and then worked for Kaiser Permanente in Roseville for three years, while her husband completed his fellowship. She then joined Washington Township Medical Foundation.

Dr. Tenold grew up in Fremont and wanted to raise her kids in the Bay Area so they could be close to family. When she heard that WTMF was looking for a new pediatrician, Dr. Tenold jumped at the chance.

Like her mother, Dr. Tenold finds building relationships with local families incredibly rewarding. “You get to watch children grow up and you really bond with these families,” she says. “I love taking care of babies. It’s such a special time for families and I’m honored to be part of it.”

Dr. Tenold says she learned a lot from her mom. “One of the biggest takeaways from watching my mom was not just her knowledge, but how she had this great way of making the visit fun,” she adds. “She was able to engage with both the patient and their parents. I saw her get down on the floor with the kids, and in the process parents learned about the developmental stages of their child.”

Dr. Dugoni is proud of her pediatrician daughter and feels confident local families will be able to get the care they need. “I had a sense she was really good at what she did when she worked with me during her third year of residency. I could see firsthand how great she was with the kids. And when I went to her residency awards dinner and she received almost every award, I also realized that she is very humble.”

Dr. Tenold adds, “It’s a little intimidating coming back to the community where my mom was so successful doing what she did, but I’m honored to continue the legacy of caring for local children and families.”

To learn more about Dr. Tenold, visit For more information about programs and services at Washington Hospital that can improve your family’s health, visit