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Exceptional Physician Award

Winner Profiles


2023-2024 Award Winners

Lela Bachrach, MD, MS

Health Sciences Clinical Professor Adolescent and School-Based Health Medical Director, 
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland

Dr. Bachrach is the medical director of the adolescent team at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. She leads the Human Trafficking Intervention Prevention team, a multidisciplinary professional group dedicated to ending exploitation and supporting survivors in a trauma-informed fashion. She co-created the health education program at Children’s Oakland school-based health centers. She is passionate about reproductive justice and has expanded access to comprehensive family planning services in Oakland.  Dr. Bachrach enjoys clinical work, especially empowering her patients to prioritize their health and well-being.


Emily Bergsland, MD

Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology,  Department of Medicine
Director,  Center for Neuroendocrine Tumors, Associate Director of Education, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Bergsland is a gastrointestinal oncologist at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the director of the UCSF Center for Neuroendocrine Tumors. She directed the UCSF Oncology Fellowship for ten years and now leads the Cancer Center’s education efforts for faculty and staff. She regularly mentors trainees and junior faculty, especially women. Dr. Bergsland’s patients travel from across the country to be treated by her because of her unwavering commitment to her patients ​exceeds​ standard care.


Peter Carroll, MD, MPH

Ken and Donna Derr-Chevron Distinguished Professor, 
Department of Urology, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Carroll is a urologist who first came to UCSF for his residency and joined the faculty in 1986. He organized UCSF’s Urologic Oncology Service and served as its chair for more than 23 years. He grew the department so it served more patients, expanded its research programs, and recruited the best physicians in training. Dr. Carroll is a national leader in urologic oncology, has served as past president of the American Board of Urology, and has been honored by the most prestigious urology and urologic oncology associations in the country.


Jie Jane Chen, MD

Chief Resident, 
Department of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Chen is a chief resident in the UCSF Radiation Oncology department and is known for her exceptional leadership and inspiring advocacy for her patients, colleagues, and teams. Her research addressing disparities in palliative radiotherapy for patients with cancer parallels her clinical and educational mission to foster equity and inclusivity. Within her department, Dr. Chen leads the resident education committee and has developed innovative curricula, including organizing and leading a series of lectures and hands-on experiences on breast radiotherapy for radiation oncology residents, medical physics residents, and other interprofessional team members. Dr. Chen cares for patients and she mentors students and residents with the greatest respect, integrity, and commitment to health care equity.


Patricia C. Conroy, MD

Chief Resident, 
Department of Surgery

Dr. Conroy is an administrative chief resident for General Surgery, an award-winning educator, and an accomplished researcher. She co-founded the UCSF Surgical Study Group to support her peers as they prepare for their annual in-service exam. Dr. Conroy is an active member of the UCSF Muriel Steele society, illustrating her dedication to inspiring, supporting, and promoting women surgeons.


Jesse Courtier, MD

Division Chief of Pediatric Radiology, 
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

Dr. Courtier is division chief of Pediatric Radiology at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, San Francisco, and a clinical professor in the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. His clinical research and passion for education are intertwined. He investigates how augmented reality can be used in medical imaging for training and surgical planning. He’s a leader in several radiology residency and fellowship programs, and created a pediatric radiology mini grand rounds lecture series to facilitate continuous education.


Alejandra de Alba, MD, MPH

Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Pediatrics,
Department of Ophthalmology

Dr. de Alba is a pediatric ophthalmologist and a Professor of Ophthalmology. She is a strong advocate for equitable patient care. She created the pediatric ophthalmology service at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and she directs UCSF Health’s Retinopathy of Prematurity Service. She is the vice chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the department of Ophthalmology. Dr. de Alba is also co-director of Differences Matter Focus Group, Innovations in Data for Equity. Currently working in identifying gaps in and innovating on the collection and use of sociodemographic data and data on social determinants to dismantle systems of oppression in health, healthcare, research, medical education, and workplace culture at UCSF. 


Bella Doshi, MD

Professor, Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine,  
BCH Oakland

Dr. Doshi is a pediatrician and director of the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Doshi's collaborative approach benefits both her patients and colleagues. She acts as a liaison between her young patients' families and their various health care providers, coordinating care with multiple specialists to ensure the best treatment plans and outcomes possible.


Jahan Fahimi, MD, MPH

Professor of Emergency Medicine & Medical Director,  Emergency Department,
Physician Lead for New Hospital Readiness and Transition

Dr. Fahimi is the medical director of the UCSF Parnassus Emergency Department and UCSF Health’s medical director for value improvement. He is an impressive emergency department clinician, mentor to physicians-in-training, and researcher who focuses on firearm violence in the United States. Dr. Fahimi brings a remarkable talent for operations and systems improvement to his leadership role in the Emergency Department. He has developed and implemented numerous systemic improvements that increase efficiencies and ensure that UCSF Health better meets the needs of our patients, staff, and providers.


Dawn Gano, MD, MAS

Associate Professor of Neurology & Clinical Director, Fetal Neurology Center for Excellence
Department of Neurology and Pediatrics

Dr. Gano is a pediatric neurologist, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology, and member of the Neurointensive Care Nursery Leadership Committee. Dr. Gano’s research has identified a number of new clinical syndromes. She completed a two-year program, New Minds/New Ideas fellowship, aimed at reducing the burden of preterm birth locally and globally.  Equity and diversity are central to Dr. Gano’s care. In addition to ensuring language accessibility, she understands social drivers of health, and thinks not only about the disease being addressed, but also the context of her patients’ lives.  


Jacob Johnson, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor,
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Johnson is an otolaryngologist, head and neck surgeon, and assistant clinical
professor, and an innovator of medical technologies. His practice has been at the forefront of many recent innovations in otolaryngology, and he has built his medical practice with partnerships at UCSF, MarinHealth, and Sutter Health. He developed a commercial hearing aid that collects movement and heart rate data and helped pioneer acoustic resonance therapy for sino-nasal congestion-a new therapy through the FDA trail and approval process. 


Lauren Linett, MD, MHCM

Clinical Professor,  Division of Hospital Medicine 

Medical Director, UCSF-SMMC Internal Medicine Program

Dr. Linett is a Professor of Medicine and the medical director at St. Mary’s Medical Center. She implemented new clinical processes that have made multidisciplinary rounds more effective, streamlined communication about new patients, and increased the number of UCSF transfers to St. Mary’s. She is a champion of inclusion, supporting her group of diverse faculty and staff and helping St. Mary’s fulfill its commitment to improving the health of the most vulnerable. She is known for her tenacity, collaboration, and genuine commitment to people.


Rebecca Olin, MD, MSCE

Medical Director, Inpatient Hematology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy (HBC) Program, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, 
Department of Medicine

Dr. Olin is an attending oncologist and the medical director for UCSF Health’s inpatient services for the Hematology, Blood and Marrow Transplant, and Cellular Therapy Program. She is nationally recognized for her work in geriatric malignant hematology and leukemia, and conducts clinical treatment trials focused on improving patients’ experiences. Dr. Olin has the ability to rapidly solve complex problems, while simultaneously instilling comfort and confidence in her patients and colleagues. She is a strategic thinker who fosters an environment of equity and inclusion — appreciating and celebrating differences among her patients and colleagues. 


Neil N. Patel, MD, MSc

Chief Resident, 
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Patel is a chief resident in UCSF Health’s Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery department. Dr. Patel takes an innovative approach to facial reconstructive surgery for head and neck cancer patients. He strives for excellence in his research collaborations related to sinusitis. As a mentor for medical students and junior residents, Dr. Patel is committed to teaching and preparing them for operating room cases and all aspects of patient care, and inspires them to exceed their own expectations.


Karolina Plonowska-Hirschfeld, MD

Chief Resident, 
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Plonowska-Hirschfeld is a chief resident in the UCSF Health Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery department. Dr. Plonowska-Hirschfeld ensures everyone’s voice is heard and valued. She continually reinforces a culture of mutual respect and dignity for her team on the clinical wards and in the operating rooms. She takes care of her students and junior residents, and advocates for all members of her team.


Arun Raghupathy, MD, FACC

Interventional Cardiologist, Co-Director Structural Heart Program 
Department of Cardiology

Dr. Raghupathy is an interventional cardiologist and co-director of the Structural
Heart Program at MarinHealth. His practice has been at the forefront of cardiac care in Marin County for many years. As a leader of the program, he helped expand interventional cardiology services to treat patients with complex structural heart disease using minimally invasive therapies. He is a regional expert in left atrial appendage closure and principal investigator for several clinical trials. Dr. Raghupathy understands the value of primary prevention for all patients, and collaborates with the South Asian Heart Center to help reduce the burden of heart disease in this especially high-risk population. He enjoys educating and empowering patients to lead their best heart healthy lives.



Alison Reed, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, 
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes

Dr. Reed is a pediatric endocrinologist who serves as the director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. She is also the co-director and medical director of the UCSF Novel Interventions in Children's Healthcare program, known as NICH, which helps youth with complex medical conditions and psychosocial challenges improve their health outcomes and quality of life. In addition, Dr. Reed is a dedicated clinician and strong advocate for both her colleagues and patients.


Stanley James Rogers, MD

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX, 
Distinguished Professor of Global Surgery

Professor and Interim Chief,
General Surgery

Dr. Rogers is Professor, Interim Chief of General Surgery, Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Director of the UCSF Bariatric Surgery Program. His minimally invasive surgery career began at Zuckerberg San Francisco General treating liver tumors with radiofrequency ablation, and grew to UCSF where he has lead programs in bariatric surgery, robotic general surgery and surgical endoscopy. Dr. Rogers holds two endowed chairs which were given by grateful patients. The first is the Ruth M. Dunn Endowed Chair in Minimally Invasive Surgery. The second is the His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX Distinguished Professorship of Global Surgery, through which Dr. Rogers has established a global surgery training program in minimally invasive and robotic surgery for Thai surgeons.


Stephanie Rogers, MD, MPH, MS

Associate Professor of Medicine, 
Division of Geriatrics

Dr. Rogers is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics and Associate Chief of UCSF Clinical Geriatrics Programs. She created and leads UCSF Health’s Age-Friendly Health System which is an Internationally-recognized interdisciplinary quality improvement program aimed at improving clinical care for older adults receiving care in all sites at UCSF Health. In her new role as co-medical director for adult transitions, Dr. Rogers is working to improve transitions of care across settings and reduce readmissions.  


Laura H. Rubinos, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Associate Pediatric Residency Program Director, 
Department of Pediatrics 

Dr. Rubinos is a neonatologist who cares for vulnerable premature and ill newborns at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. Dr. Rubinos led the overhaul of the advising and mentoring system for pediatric residents. She focused on supporting trainees from historically underrepresented backgrounds in medicine, while applying the best practices and cutting-edge science to improve the program.


Andreea Seritan, MD

Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Neurology, 
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine 

Dr. Seritan is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Neurology and geriatric psychiatrist who specializes in treating patients with neurodegenerative diseases and  associated psychiatric symptoms. She is deeply committed to her patients' care and has developed several innovative clinical programs at UCSF Health that have improved patient outcomes. One program is a brief consultation model that combined medication management and psychotherapy. Another is an embedded psychiatric practice in the UCSF Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Center – specializing in treatment for patients with advanced movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Seritan values being an educator and mentor to the next generation of health care professionals.


Chau Tai, MD

Clinical Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgery
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland

Dr. Tai is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and chief of the Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery Program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. She is a selfless leader and advocate for her colleagues, staff, and residents. Dr. Tai reaches into the community to build a diverse pipeline into medicine and improve the lives of young patients. She mentors Oakland high school students in the CHAMPS program, which prepares teens of color for healthcare careers. She ​volunteers her time and finds corporate donors to raise money for ​Camp Winning Hands​, a local foundation that empowers children with ​congenital limb differences. 


Melissa Zimel, MD

Associate Professor,
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Zimel is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Oncology who treats pediatric and adult patients with bone and soft tissue tumors. Her collaborative, compassionate, and respectful approach yields unparalleled patient care. Her clinical impact reaches beyond individual families. She is a member of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society’s Executive Board and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Soft Tissue Tumor Panel. Dr. Zimel is a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Within her department, she leads the diversity committee and has helped create a robust DEI educational program that includes multidisciplinary workshops and lectures.




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