ZSFG Clinical Studies

Research conducted in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center focuses to carry out innovative research to prevent and treat chronic disease in populations for whom social conditions conspire to promote chronic disease and make management more challenging. We are a practice-based research center focused on translating research into community and public health practice and infusing our local practice back into research.

The Richard H. Fine People’s Clinic (RFPC) provides access to clinical and non-clinical data for a diverse patient population. Residents, fellows and faculty interested in performing research projects involving RFPC patients must obtain approval from the RFPC Medical Director or Associate Medical Director and other appropriate members of the Division of General Internal Medicine at ZSFG. Please see the RFPC Research Guidelines below.


Process for initiating research studies at RFPC:

  1. Initial contact by research PI with Medical Director or Associate Medical Directors.
  2. RFPC research criteria are sent to requesting research PI.
  3. If research PI believes they do or can meet all criteria, protocol or summary is sent to RFPC Medical Director who is also available to answer any questions prior to submission of protocol.
  4. Summary or protocol is reviewed by the RFPC Management Team for consideration, and if preliminarily approved, is reviewed by the DGIM Division Chief for final adjudication.
  5. If approved, the research group must submit a one-page summary of the study along with any patient fliers or recruitment materials for RFPC records, as well as the IRB application and associated approval letter.
  6. If the study involves individual patient contact:
    • Research group provides lists of potential patient contacts to primary care providers for review and approval.
    • Primary care providers indicate which patients should not be contacted, for whatever reason, for the study.
  7. Study proceeds. Consent for RFPC to participate is not permanent; RFPC reserves the right to withdraw its consent to participate based on provider, staff and patient experiences with the study and/or if QI priorities or performance metrics demand a shift in focus.
  8. Research group gives presentation at RFPC staff and/or DGIM meetings on outcomes of study.

The following criteria must be met for any research studies to be conducted at the RFPC:

  1. No or only minimal additional administrative work for RFPC staff or providers.
  2. No significant impact on patient, staff or provider flow in the clinic.
  3. No obvious duplication of patient contacts by concurrent research studies.
  4. Letters to patients are not signed by RFPC staff or providers. There is no implication of RFPC provider involvement, unless appropriate and previously approved by RFPC Medical Director.
  5. Providers are given patient lists for review prior to patient contact, as appropriate.
  6. Study is relevant to our patients, and appropriate patient incentives are included.
  7. Research group will be available to provide a written and/or oral presentation of the outcomes of the study at RFPC staff meeting and/or DGIM meeting
  8. Study must be approved by the UCSF IRB.
  9. ZSFG Research Protocol Application must be completed and a copy provided.
  10. Study should align with RFPC and SFHN QI priorities and performance metrics and not represent competing time demands or shift clinic focus from these objectives.
  11. Clinic space is not infringed on.

Contribution to RFPC

The RFPC requests that all studies involving RFPC patients or providers make a donation to the RFPC Fund via the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (details will be provided). The requested donation is $1-2000 for PIs who are RFPC providers/faculty and $3,000 for PIs who are non-RFPC faculty. For NIH and Foundation-funded studies, this is a requirement. If this would represent a hardship, please let us know and we can discuss your circumstances. These funds are used to support RFPC staff development and team-building activities.