Announcing the appointment of Dr. Urmimala Sarkar as our new Associate Chair for Faculty Experience

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH has accepted the position of Associate Chair for Faculty Experience for the Department of Medicine, effective November 1, 2020. Urmimala is Professor of Medicine at UCSF, Associate Director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations, and a member of the ZSFG Division of General Internal Medicine.

A lifelong Californian, Urmimala grew up in the San Fernando Valley outside Los Angeles. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her MD from UC San Diego. During medical school, she earned her MPH in epidemiology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She came to UCSF in 2002 to train in the categorical residency track and remained for her general medicine research fellowship. She joined the ZSFG faculty in 2008.

Urmimala is an active clinician as well as an outstanding clinical investigator with a strong portfolio of published scholarship. Her research has focused on interventions to improve the safety and quality of chronic disease management for low-income, diverse populations. She also studies social media as a health communication modality, digital health equity, and cancer care quality. She has published over 150 original articles and is currently funded by National Cancer Institute, the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the California Healthcare Foundation, and the Commonwealth Fund, among others. She is a dedicated mentor to junior faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students, and serves as faculty for CTSI’s K Scholars program.

The selection of an Associate Chair for Faculty Experience was challenging for two reasons. The first was that the new Associate Chair has very big shoes to fill: those of Beth Harleman, who is stepping down from this role in order to assume the position of Vice Chief of Medicine at ZSFG. As the inaugural Associate Chair for Faculty Experience, Beth led all of our DOM retreats and strategic planning in areas such as transforming our use of technology, promoting diversity and equity, faculty recruitment and retention, and bringing our sites closer together. She was a champion for our underrepresented-in-medicine faculty, female faculty, junior faculty, and faculty with leadership roles. She conceived of and led a number of highly regarded leadership training programs, as well as our orientation programs for new faculty. I am grateful to Beth for her outstanding work as Associate Chair and am pleased that she’ll continue to contribute to our community through her new role at ZSFG.

The second reason the selection was difficult was that we had an outstanding applicant pool. I want to thank the applicants, many of whom are already doing wonderful work to improve faculty experience in their divisions and at their sites. I’m also grateful to the members of the search committee, chaired by Meshell Johnson, chief of the SFVAHCS Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and our new Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In the end, Urmimala was selected for the Associate Chair role based on her track record building effective programs, her long history of successful mentorship, her experience in using digital tools to support and scale our work, her commitment to DEI and to underserved populations, and her deep appreciation of the work of our faculty across all of our mission areas.

Please join me in congratulating Urmimala Sarkar as she assumes her new role as Associate Chair for Faculty Experience in the Department of Medicine.


bob signature

Robert M. Wachter, MD
Professor and Chair, UCSF Department of Medicine
Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine
Marc and Lynne Benioff Endowed Chair