Message from the Chief
Message from the Interim Chiefs — July 2021
As we look outside the windows of our brand-new office space, complete with a glorious view of the Golden Gate Bridge, we feel so grateful to have weathered the challenges of the past year and a half. Many things have changed during the last year, including the way we communicate, gather, and do work. But through it all, our division persevered and emerged even stronger.
We are also grateful for the years of service that Brad Sharpe has devoted to us as Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine. We bid him not a farewell, but a "Welcome to a wonderful new phase of your career." We are thrilled that Brad will be able to spend even more time and energy on taking care of his patients, teaching learners, and mentoring faculty. He is, and will remain, an essential part of our division.
As Interim Chiefs, we know we have big shoes to fill. We are confident, however, that our combination of skills, knowledge, and love for this division will make this transition a smooth one as we undergo a search for the next Chief. As your interim leaders, we will do everything we can to support each one of you and to ensure the ongoing successes of our division.
This group is simply the greatest academic division of Hospital Medicine in which we could imagine working. As we welcome the dozens of new faculty and fellows joining the division this year, we are eager to re-engage in person with you all and eager to celebrate our collective joys.
Please come by and say hello!
Message from the Chief — April 2021
I recently announced that I will be stepping down as Division Chief for the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF Health, effective June 30, 2021. This was simultaneously the most difficult decision I have ever had to make and the easiest. This is a truly incredible Division with a long history and an unparalleled faculty and staff. I truly believe this is the best Division Chief job in the country (I am biased, of course).
During the past few years, I have been dealing with some chronic health issues (I am okay, just some challenges to deal with). These issues led to a great deal of self-reflection on what is important to me, what is my professional identity, what is the meaning of work and life — as I approach 50 years old, a lot of appropriate existential thoughts.
I have decided that at this phase of my career I will focus more on the "life" than the "work" in the elusive work–life balance. In the coming years, I will prioritize being a spouse, father, son, sibling, and friend. I will transition out of the Division Chief role and focus on patient care and teaching. My core professional identity is as a clinician–educator, and I am excited to continue in the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF in that capacity.
I will officially step down from the role on June 30, 2021. For the 2021–2022 academic year, there will be two Co-Interim Division Chiefs, Margaret Fang and Brad Monash. Margaret will serve as Interim Chief of Academic Affairs, overseeing the research and academic enterprises, whereas Brad will serve as Interim Chief of Clinical Affairs. Bob Wachter has organized a Search Committee and launched a national search with the hopes of naming a new Division Chief for July of 2022.
The Division of Hospital Medicine is so much bigger and so much more than one person. The Division has a core ethos and culture of collaboration which is truly remarkable. I am absolutely confident the Division will thrive and continue to be a leader in academic hospital medicine. You can learn more about the position here and if you would like to discuss the position, please reach out to me directly ([email protected]).
Be safe and be well.
Message from the Chief — December 2020
As we head into the holiday season, it is difficult not to reflect on 2020. I think we can all agree it's been quite a challenging, unexpected, and unprecedented year. We have all been impacted this year by the pandemic, images of police violence, and the polarization of the country. One of our faculty shared this: "We are all in the same storm(s), just in different boats." The year has been long and hard for everyone.
As a Division, we have remained committed to our core Mission and Vision. At our core, we take pride in providing outstanding clinical care. We have focused those efforts on the care of COVID-19 patients, including opening Respiratory Isolation Units. As we see cases rise nationally and locally, we are prepared to manage any potential surge in patients.
We continue to focus efforts in anti-racism. We have three dedicated Taskforces (born out of our Social Medicine Core) focused on 1) recruiting and hiring diverse faculty and staff, 2) exploring and mitigating disparities in care (including COVID-19 care, where we know communities of color have been disproportionately impacted), and 3) ensuring a work environment that is inclusive and strives to be anti-racist.
We are actively hiring for academic and clinical positions for this year as well as for the 2021–2022 academic year. I encourage you to explore the different positions available. In particular, I want to highlight two new opportunities: the Junior Faculty Diversity Award and the Social Medicine Clinician Educator position. These are unique opportunities which seek to enhance the diversity of the Division while supporting individual faculty.
I encourage you to look around the website to get a sense of all of the amazing activities and the incredible faculty and staff. Please contact me directly if you have questions or if I can provide any information via email at [email protected].
We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season. Looking forward to 2021!
Message from the Chief — August 2020
The United States and the San Francisco Bay Area are facing multiple simultaneous challenges — the COVID-19 pandemic, the call to address police violence and systemic racism, and an economic recession. The Division of Hospital Medicine (DHM) at UCSF Health is committed to actively responding in the ways we can.
Fortunately, the Bay Area and San Francisco did not see a large spike in COVID-19 cases earlier in the Spring. Yet, we collaborated with UCSF Health to take many steps to prepare, including opening a novel Respiratory Isolation Unit (RIU) at Parnassus Heights and reopening Mount Zion Hospital to serve as another RIU. Mount Zion Hospital was previously an acute care hospital and was at the forefront of caring for patients during the flu epidemic in 1918. In the last few years, it had served as an ambulatory care site including outpatient surgeries.
With these extensive preparations, we were ready when cases began to rise in the last few weeks. We are proud of the high-quality, safe, evidence-based, equitable, patient-centered care we are providing to patients with COVID-19 and those without. We are also proud of our Research Core, which has multiple cutting-edge randomized controlled trials focused on the treatment of COVID-19. We are absolutely prepared for a potential surge in cases as well as for the reality that there may not be an effective vaccine or treatment for months or years.
It has been difficult for all of us to witness the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, challenges with police violence and systemic racism, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Years ago, our Division founded our Social Medicine Core, a group within the Division focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, disparities in care, vulnerable patient populations, and health advocacy. We are harnessing the principles of Social Medicine to work to combat racism, eliminate racist policies, ensure equitable high-quality care for all of our patients, and create a work environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and embraces diversity. Specifically, we are seeking to enhance the diversity of our physician workforce so it more closely reflects the patients we serve.
At the same time, staying true to our Mission and Vision, we continue to be leaders in medical education, quality improvement, informatics, and research. Each of these domains has been uniquely impacted by COVID-19, and our faculty and staff have innovated in truly remarkable ways.
We are proud of the work the Division has done and will continue to do. I encourage you to look around the website at the accomplishments and successes of the Division. If you are interested in joining the Division as faculty or staff, we strongly encourage you to apply.
Thank you — be safe and be well.
Message from the Chief — March 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world and changing healthcare. The Division of Hospital Medicine (DHM) is hard at work preparing our hospital medicine services for the potential influx of patients. In a few short weeks, we opened up a unique Respiratory Isolation Unit (RIU) on the 15th floor of Moffitt-Long Hospital. This RIU is focused on caring for patients with suspected and confirmed COVID who do not need intensive care unit (ICU) services.
Simultaneously we are working collaboratively with UCSF Health to open an RIU at Mount Zion Hospital, which currently has clinics and ambulatory surgery services but previously was an acute care hospital and was at the forefront of caring for patients during the flu epidemic in 1918.
We believe our providers should be at the front lines caring for patients with confirmed and suspected COVID who need acute care. At the same time, staying true to our Mission and Vision, we will be exploring educational issues, quality improvement, social medicine, informatics, and research as they relate to the COVID pandemic.
So far, we’ve been very lucky in San Francisco and have not seen the surge of COVID patients seen in other parts of the country and across the world. As such, members of our division were dispatched to New York to help aid in the COVID relief. As we look for other opportunities to send our providers to hard hit areas, we would like to highlight the below news coverage.
Bob Wachter and Armond Esmaili were interviewed on NBC Nightly News on a segment on "What did SF do right?"
Michelle Mourad was featured on the local ABC news discussing the implementation of iPads for connecting UCSF patients to their family and friends.
Saj Patel talked to NBC locals news about care around treating patients with COVID-19.
Niraj Sehgal provides insight on how 49ers losing the Super Bowl was a blessing in disguise.
Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this disease. We strongly support current public health efforts by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Stay at Home order. For more information related to COVID, please visit the official UCSF coronavirus website.
Be safe and be well.
Original Message from the Chief
The UCSF Division of Hospital Medicine (DHM) at Parnassus was founded in 1996 after the landmark publication by Robert Wachter and Lee Goldman in the New England Journal of Medicine which was the first to describe the field of hospital medicine and coin the term "hospitalist". Since that time we have grown to our current state which includes more than 90 faculty and 30 staff members.
Our vision is to be the best division of hospital medicine by promoting excellence in each individual faculty and staff member and collectively as a group. We take tremendous pride in providing high-quality, equitable, safe, efficient, cost-conscious, and patient-centered care across all of our ten inpatient services. We also strive to excel in multiple other domains including: teaching and education, research and scholarship, quality improvement and patient safety, high-value care, global health, social medicine, and clinical informatics.
Our success as a Division is driven first and foremost by the people—we seek to recruit and hire talented individuals with passion and intrinsic motivation. We commit as a Division to maintain challenging and rewarding clinical roles and to allow individuals to pursue their academic interests. We also commit to providing the necessary mentorship, infrastructure, and methodological support. We combine all that with a culture of collaboration and collegiality and set people up for a successful and satisfying career in academic hospital medicine.
The Division of Hospital Medicine has a fundamental commitment to diversity (viewed through every lens). We seek to hire and retain faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds and meet the needs of our diverse patient population. We strive to provide equitable care and to ensure an inclusive learning environment for our trainees.
Please take a look around at the website—you will see all of the tremendous activities and achievements and get a sense of the outstanding faculty and staff in the Division. If you are interested in a faculty position or one of our fellowships, just click on the Jobs tab. If you have any questions or if I can provide any information, please feel free to reach out to me directly.