Dolores Maria Leon, M.D., was the first woman to serve as flight surgeon in the United States Army. In 1975, she received the "International Woman of the YearKorea" award. According to her nomination for that title, Captain Leon "represents the highest order of achievement in today's United States Army... During the difficult training to become a flight surgeon, Captain Leon distinguished herself both by her ability and her enthusiasm."
Delores Leon earned her undergraduate degree in biology from the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California, in 1970, and her doctor of medicine degree from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine in 1974. She completed a residency in internal medicine at the Letterman Army Medical Center, San Francisco, in 1978.
Dr. Leon served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1973 to 1980. From 1975 to 1976 she was a commanding officer and flight surgeon for the 545th Dispensary at Camp Humphreys. She was chief of the medical clinic at Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, North Carolina from 1978 to 1979, and was an internist in the medical clinic at Silas B. Hayes Army Medical Hospital in Fort Ord, California from 1979 to 1980.
After working in private practice in California's Dinuba and Orosa in the 1980s, Dr. Leon worked in emergency medicine until 1992, when she took on her present duties as administrator for A Woman's Place in Roseville, California, a crisis intervention and health resource center.
Dr. Leon is a member of the National Hispanic Medical Association, and a life member of the United States Army Flight Surgeon Association. She serves on the California Department of Education's Hispanic and Migrant Advisory Task Forces, and is a member of the department's Child Care and Development Block Grant Advisory Group.
In 1985, Dr. Leon was one of only eight women nationwide to receive the "Hispanas in Public Life Award" at the First National Network of Hispanic Women Conference in Denver, Colorado. The award is given in recognition of women in leadership roles, committed to public policy and dedicated to improving the quality of life for other Hispanic women.