Sujatha Sankaran, MD

Associate Professor

Sujatha Sankaran is an Associate Professor of Medicine with the Division of Hospital Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and subsequently completed her training in Internal Medicine at the Georgetown Universty/Washington Hospital Center program in June 2005. She then worked as an Academic Hospitalist at Columbia University in New York City, where she was actively involved in resident education. Subsequently, Sujatha volunteered in sub Saharan Africa.

After returning from Africa, Sujatha switched to primarily providing outpatient medical practice for five years before joining the Division of Hospital Medicine as an Assistant Clinical Professor. During this time, Sujatha started a non-governmental organization aimed at training health workers in the developing world to prevent chronic cardiovascular disease. Her current career interest involves providing high quality and safe care to patients in under-resourced regions, both domestically and globally.

In 2015, Sujatha was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study mechanisms for cardiovascular disease management in under-resourced areas of Southern India. As part of her Fulbright, she partnered with a local rural health site to create a community health worker hypertension program, and helped develop strategies for quality improvement in rural and urban settings with a large burden on chronic diseases. Sujatha has worked on tobacco policy in India and was formerly the Medical Director for Smoking Cessation at Moffitt-Long Hospital and the Physician Champion for Smoking Cessation at UCSF Moffitt Long Hospital. Sujatha is currently the medical director for inpatient substance use at UCSF Health. In this role, she is spearheading efforts to build an inpatient substance use management program and chairs the Substance Use Committee.

Since 2018, Sujatha has been the director of the quality and safety program for the Department of Neurosurgery. In this role, she leads a number of quality improvement projects for the department, delivers a quality improvement curriculum to the neurosurgery residents, leads efforts to improve patient safety through the incident reporting and M&M systems, sits on the Neuro unit based leadership team, and acts as a representative of the neurosurgery department in institution-wide efforts to improve quality of neurosurgical care.

Sujatha sits on the UCSF Social Determinants of Health Taskforce, the De-Escalation Steering Committee, and the UC-wide Social Determinants of Health Collaborative. Sujatha is also currently in the Learning Health System Coaching Program for the UCSF Medical Center and in 2020 became a UCSF Lean Champion.
  1. Ammanuel SG, Edwards CS, Chan AK, Mummaneni PV, Kidane J, Vargas E, D'Souza S, Nichols AD, Sankaran S, Abla AA, Aghi MK, Chang EF, Hervey-Jumper SL, Kunwar S, Larson PS, Lawton MT, Starr PA, Theodosopoulos PV, Berger MS, McDermott MW. Are preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate showers associated with a reduction in surgical site infection following craniotomy? A retrospective cohort analysis of 3126 surgical procedures. Journal of neurosurgery. 2021. PMID: 33930864

  2. Simon G Ammanuel, Caleb S Edwards, Andrew K.H Chan, Praveen V Mummaneni, Joseph Kidane, Enrique Vargas, Sarah D’Souza, Amy D Nichols, Sujatha Sankaran, Adib A Abla, Manish K Aghi, Edward F Chang, Shawn L Her vey-Jumper, Sandeep M Kunwar, Paul S Larson, Michael T Lawton, Philip A Starr, Philip V Theodosopoulos, Mitchel S Berger, Michael W McDermott. Preoperative Chlorhexidine Showers Are Not Associated With a Reduction in Surgical Site Infection Following Craniotomy. Neurosurgery. 2020. PMID:

  3. Young JS, Chan AK, Viner JA, Sankaran S, Chan AY, Imershein S, Meary-Miller A, Theodosopoulos PV, Jacques L, Aghi MK, Chang EF, Hervey-Jumper SL, Ward T, Gibson L, Ward MM, Sanftner P, Wong S, Amara D, Magill ST, Osorio JA, Venkatesh B, Gonzales R, Lau C, Boscardin C, Wang M, Berry K, McCullagh L, Reid M, Reels K, Nedkov S, Berger MS, McDermott MW. A Safe Transitions Pathway for post-craniotomy neurological surgery patients: high-value care that bypasses the intensive care unit. Journal of neurosurgery. 2020. PMID: 32470928

  4. Sankaran S, Andrews JP, Chicas M, Wachter RM, Berger MS. Patient safety movement in neurological surgery: the current state and future directions. Journal of neurosurgery. 2019. PMID: 31585429

  5. Jacob S Young, Andrew Kai-Hong Chan, Jennifer Viner, Sujatha Sankaran, Alvin Y Chan, Dominic Amara, Stephen T Magill, Joseph A Osorio, Lizbeth Gibson, Peter Sanftner, Mariann Ward, Tracy Ward, Stacy Wong, Manish K Aghi, Edward F Chang, Shawn L Hervey-Jumper, Line G Jacques, Philip V Theodosopoulos, Mitchel S Berger, Michael W McDermott. Safe Transitions Pathway for Postcraniotomy Neurological Surgery Patients: High-Value Care That Bypasses the Intensive Care Unit. Neurosurgery. 2019. PMID:

  6. Rutkowski M, Sankaran S. Preoperative risk stratification of patient mortality following elective craniotomy; a comparative analysis of prediction algorithms. Journal of clinical neuroscience : official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia. 2019. PMID: 31279701

  7. Morshed RA, Young JS, Safaee M, Sankaran S, Berger MS, McDermott MW, Hervey-Jumper SL. Delirium Risk Factors and Associated Outcomes in a Neurosurgical Cohort: A Case-Control Study. World neurosurgery. 2019. PMID: 30872201

  8. Breshears JD, Haddad AF, Viner J, Rau J, Sankaran S, McDermott MW. A Reduced Exogenous Steroid Taper for Postoperative Brain Tumor Patients-A Case-Control Study. World neurosurgery. 2019. PMID: 30639502

  9. Flanigan PM, Jahangiri A, Weinstein D, Dayani F, Chandra A, Kanungo I, Choi S, Sankaran S, Molinaro AM, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Aghi MK. Postoperative Delirium in Glioblastoma Patients: Risk Factors and Prognostic Implications. Neurosurgery. 2018. PMID: 29462362

  10. Michael Safaee, Ramin A Morshed, Jordan Spatz, Sujatha Sankaran, Mitchel S Berger, Manish K Aghi. 334 Interfacility Neurosurgical Transfers: An Analysis of Nontraumatic Inpatient and Emergency Department Transfers With Implications for Improvements In Care. Neurosurgery. 2018. PMID:

  11. Safaee MM, Morshed RA, Spatz J, Sankaran S, Berger MS, Aghi MK. Interfacility neurosurgical transfers: an analysis of nontraumatic inpatient and emergency department transfers with implications for improvements in care. Journal of neurosurgery. 2018. PMID: 30074453

  12. Osorio JA, Safaee MM, Viner J, Sankaran S, Imershein S, Adigun E, Weigel G, Berger MS, McDermott MW. Cost-effectiveness development for the postoperative care of craniotomy patients: a safe transitions pathway in neurological surgery. Neurosurgical focus. 2018. PMID: 29712529

  13. Sankaran S, Ravi PS, Wu YE, Shanabogue S, Ashok S, Agnew K, Fang MC, Khanna RA, Dandu M, Harrison JD. An NGO-Implemented Community-Clinic Health Worker Approach to Providing Long-Term Care for Hypertension in a Remote Region of Southern India. Global health, science and practice. 2017. PMID: 29284700

  14. Magill ST, Wang DD, Rutledge WC, Lau D, Berger MS, Sankaran S, Lau CY, Imershein SG. Changing Operating Room Culture: Implementation of a Postoperative Debrief and Improved Safety Culture. World neurosurgery. 2017. PMID: 28843757