Dr. Unger, MD, ABFM, FACE
Dr. Unger is a third-generation physician and graduate of the University of Iowa and the Northwestern University School of Medicine, where he decided to specialize in family practice. He spent his residency at Kern Medical Center (KMC) in Bakersfield, California and published his first peer-reviewed article during that time, on toxoplasmosis.
Chronic Medical Disorders and Endocrinologist in San Bernardino County
Dr. Unger’s distinguished career has been informed by a passion for research as well, defining him as a leading metabolic specialist, diabetes researcher and endocrinologist in San Bernardino County. His research focuses on the management of chronic medical disorders, and he published numerous articles on diabetes, migraine, pain and mental illness, while interacting with pharmaceutical companies, scientists and some of the world’s leading clinicians in the field of diabetes and migraine. Dr. Unger published his textbook on diabetes treatment, Diabetes Management in Primary Care, in 2007, and updated it with a second edition in 2012 following years of cutting-edge research. Transitioning to the Catalina Research Institute in 2008, Dr. Unger served as the principal investigator in over 50 clinical trials.
Unger Primary Care Medical Group in Rancho Cucamonga
Dr. Unger has been practicing in the local area since 1980 and opened the Unger Primary Care Medical Group in Rancho Cucamonga on February 1, 2014, where he specializes in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. They have provided concierge-class medicine through Cypress Concierge Medicine since March 1, 2015.
Dr. Unger continues his family’s proud heritage as in the medical field. His grandfather was one of the first allergists in the United States and administered the country’s first injection of adrenaline, which he discovered in a German trench during World War I while serving as a British Army physician. Dr. Unger’s father, Donald, recently retired as a practicing allergist at age 85. Dr. Unger fondly remembers going on house calls with his dad and grandfather at just 8 years old. The best part of the house call was when patients with acute asthma stopped wheezing and told his dad, “Thank you so much, doctor!” Dr. Unger was fascinated by the appreciation patients showed to his family members. Dr. Unger still enjoys doing house visits, thanks to the lessons that he learned from the senior Unger Clan.
After attending The University of Iowa, Dr. Unger spent two years studying medicine and Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico. “That was an incredible experience,” Dr. Unger says, “because there are some days when I speak more Spanish than English at my office. I don’t use a translator. No need. I am the only bilingual person in the office.” Dr. Unger graduated from Northwestern University School of Medicine in 1980, following in the exact footsteps of his dad and grandfather. While at Northwestern, Dr. Unger decided to pursue a specialty in family practice because he “loved everything about medicine.” From 1980-1983, Dr. Unger worked as a resident physician at Kern Medical Center (KMC) in Bakersfield, California. There he developed a knack for writing and teaching. He published his first peer-reviewed article as an intern while at KMC on a disease called toxoplasmosis. Dr. Unger set up his private medical practice in Chino, California, joining other clinicians to form Chino Medical Group (CMG), one of the first group practices in Southern California to treat HMO patients.
Dr. Unger was quickly troubled by his position at CMG. He was seeing over 70 patients each day at one time and was expected to be even more productive, according to senior management. Two years after joining the group, Dr. Unger experienced career burnout and decided to change his practice style and focus. Having diabetes himself, Dr. Unger decided to focus on the management of chronic medical disorders. He began writing articles on topics related to diabetes, migraine, pain and mental illness. Soon, he was invited to attend advisory board meetings by pharmaceutical companies, where Dr. Unger was given the opportunity to interact with some of the world’s leading clinicians and scientists in the field of diabetes and migraine. Dr. Unger taught about these disorders internationally and significantly improved his clinical skills, improving his patients’ health as well. In 2007, Dr. Unger published Diabetes Management in Primary Care, a widely used textbook on diabetes treatment. He departed CMG the following year, took only one day off, then walked across the street to join Catalina Research Institute (CRI) with his wife, Lisa.
At CRI, Dr. Unger worked on developing new drugs to treat diabetes, pain, headaches and other metabolic conditions. Since 2008, Dr. Unger has been the principal investigator in over 50 clinical trials, allowing his patients access to novel therapies only available through his research center. With knowledge gained through working in the research field, Dr. Unger published the second edition of his diabetes textbook in 2012.
Lisa and Dr. Unger transitioned to private medicine in 2013, paring the practice size from 2500 patients to just 300. On February 1, 2014, with the outstanding foresight of Lisa, Unger Primary Care Medical Group opened its doors for the first time. With the help of Cypress Concierge Medicine, the transition phase completed on March 1, 2015.
Lisa is the proud office manager of Unger Primary Care Concierge Medical Group. Lisa not only designed the office space, but is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the center. Lisa is also the proud sponsor of four amazing children, all of who have played a role in working or developing the practice.
Lisa also is Dr. Unger’s program director. Why is this necessary? Dr. Unger delivers over 100 talks annually in different parts of the world. Without Lisa’s assistance, he would be heading to the airport on the wrong day or double booking himself to give two talks at the same time — one in Florida and the other in Alaska (This has happened before Lisa took over the scheduling).
Lisa also supervises the concierge membership program. She is the boss. We listen to her.
Sarah, Dr. Unger’s oldest daughter, has been working with the practice for the past seven years. Sarah supervises the personnel and billing services. She manages the front desk and is also our executive in charge of phlebotomy services. Sarah also makes certain that our members receive a special birthday greeting each year.