Dean Schillinger, MD

Dean Schillinger, MD

Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF

Phone: (415) 206-8940 (voice)
Box 1364, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-1364

View on UCSF Profiles

Cancer Center Membership

Associate Member » Cancer Control

Research Summary

Dean Schillinger, M.D. is Professor of Medicine in Residence at the University of California San Francisco, and Chief of the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). He is a practicing primary care physician at SFGH, an urban public hospital, where he sees patients, teaches in the primary care residency program, and conducts research. Dr. Schillinger served as Chief of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program for the California Department of Public Health from 2008-2013. Dr. Schillinger carries out research related to healthcare for vulnerable populations, and is an internationally recognized expert in health communication science. His work focuses on literacy, health communication, and chronic disease prevention and management. He has been honored with the 2003 Institute for Healthcare Advancement Research Award; the 2008 Research Award in Safety and Quality from the National Patient Safety Foundation; the 2009 Engel Award in Health Communication Research; the 2010 Outstanding Bay Area Clinical Research Mentor; and authored a 2012 commissioned IOM paper on the attributes of Health Literate Healthcare Organizations. Dr. Schillinger is the founding director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, whose mission is to carry out innovative research to prevent and treat chronic disease in populations for whom social conditions often conspire to both promote chronic disease and make its management more challenging. Dr. Schillinger currently directs the CVP Health Communications Program. He is the co-founder of, a social marketing diabetes prevention campaign to empower minority youth to change the conversation about diabetes and become agents of positive social change. In 2013 he received the Everett M Rogers Award from the American Public Health Association in recognition of his lifelong contributions to advancing the study and practice of public health communication.


Brown University, BA, 1986, Russian Language and Literature
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, MD, 1991, Medicine
UC San Francisco, SF General Hospital, SF, CA, Resident, 1991-94, Internal Medicine
UC San Francisco, SF General Hospital, SF, CA, Chief Resident, 1994-95, Internal Medicine
UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 2002-3, Advanced Clinical Research Scholar

Professional Experience

  • 1995-2002
    Assistant Professor, UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine
  • 1995-1998
    Medical Director, General Medical Clinic, SF General Hospital
  • 2003-2004
    Scientific Advisory Board, ACP Health Communication Initiative
  • 1995-present
    Faculty, UCSF Primary Care Research Center, Medical Effectiveness Research Center
  • 2002-present
    Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine
  • 2006
    Visiting Scholar (1 semester), University of Chile School of Public Health, Santiago, Chile
  • 2007-present
    Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, SF General Hospital
  • 2008-present
    Professor of Medicine in Residence, UCSF Department of Medicine
  • 2008-present
    Faculty, RWJ Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program; UCSF Global Health Sciences
  • 2008-present
    Chief, Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, California Dept of Public Health
  • 2009-present
    Acting Chief, UCSF/SFGH Division of General Internal Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • 2001
    Reviewer, Institute of Medicine Report on Insurance, Access, and Health
  • 2003
    Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award, Institute for Health Care Advancement
  • 2004
    Contributing Author, Institute of Medicine Report on Health Literacy
  • 2005
    Outstanding Research Paper of the Year Award, Society Teachers of Family Medicine
  • 2005-2006
    JCAHO Policy Roundtable on Literacy and Patient Safety
  • 2006
    Contributor, Surgeon General Workshop on Improving Health Literacy
  • 2008
    Advancing Patient Safety Research Award in Health Literacy, Nat Patient Safety Foundation
  • 2009
    George Engel Career Research Award, Am. Assn Communication in Healthcare

Selected Publications

  1. Tuot DS, Velasquez A, McCulloch CE, Banerjee T, Zhu Y, Hsu CY, Handley M, Schillinger D, Powe NR. The Kidney Awareness Registry and Education (KARE) study: protocol of a randomized controlled trial to enhance provider and patient engagement with chronic kidney disease. BMC Nephrol. 2015; 16(1):166.
    View on PubMed
  2. Ratanawongsa N, Karter AJ, Quan J, Parker MM, Handley M, Sarkar U, Schmittdiel JA, Schillinger D. Reach and Validity of an Objective Medication Adherence Measure Among Safety Net Health Plan Members with Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Study. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2015 Aug; 21(8):688-98.
    View on PubMed
  3. Lyles C, Schillinger D, Sarkar U. Connecting the Dots: Health Information Technology Expansion and Health Disparities. PLoS Med. 2015 Jul; 12(7):e1001852.
    View on PubMed
  4. Chao MT, Handley MA, Quan J, Sarkar U, Ratanawongsa N, Schillinger D. Disclosure of complementary health approaches among low income and racially diverse safety net patients with diabetes. Patient Educ Couns. 2015 Jun 25.
    View on PubMed
  5. Zhang YT, Laraia BA, Mujahid MS, Tamayo A, Blanchard SD, Warton EM, Kelly NM, Moffet HH, Schillinger D, Adler N, Karter AJ. Does Food Vendor Density Mediate the Association Between Neighborhood Deprivation and BMI?: A G-computation Mediation Analysis. Epidemiology. 2015 May; 26(3):344-52.
    View on PubMed
  6. Karter AJ, Laiteerapong N, Chin MH, Moffet HH, Parker MM, Sudore R, Adams AS, Schillinger D, Adler NS, Whitmer RA, Piette JD, Huang ES. Ethnic Differences in Geriatric Conditions and Diabetes Complications Among Older, Insured Adults With Diabetes: The Diabetes and Aging Study. J Aging Health. 2015 Aug; 27(5):894-918.
    View on PubMed
  7. Laraia BA, Blanchard SD, Karter AJ, Jones-Smith JC, Warton M, Kersten E, Jerrett M, Moffet HH, Adler N, Schillinger D, Kelly M. Spatial pattern of body mass index among adults in the diabetes study of Northern California (DISTANCE). Int J Health Geogr. 2014; 13(1):48.
    View on PubMed
  8. Rosland AM, Piette JD, Lyles CR, Parker MM, Moffet HH, Adler NE, Schillinger D, Karter AJ. Social Support and Lifestyle vs. Medical Diabetes Self-Management in the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). Ann Behav Med. 2014 Dec; 48(3):438-47.
    View on PubMed
  9. Barton JL, Koenig CJ, Evans-Young G, Trupin L, Anderson J, Ragouzeos D, Breslin M, Morse T, Schillinger D, Montori VM, Yelin EH. The design of a low literacy decision aid about rheumatoid arthritis medications developed in three languages for use during the clinical encounter. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2014; 14(1):104.
    View on PubMed
  10. Khanna R, Stoddard PJ, Gonzales EN, Villagran-Flores M, Thomson J, Bayard P, Palos Lucio AG, Schillinger D, Bertozzi S, Gonzales R. An automated telephone nutrition support system for spanish-speaking patients with diabetes. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2014 Nov; 8(6):1115-20.
    View on PubMed
  11. Karter AJ, Parker MM, Duru OK, Schillinger D, Adler NE, Moffet HH, Adams AS, Chan J, Herman WH, Schmittdiel JA. Impact of a Pharmacy Benefit Change on New Use of Mail Order Pharmacy among Diabetes Patients: The Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). Health Serv Res. 2015 Apr; 50(2):537-59.
    View on PubMed
  12. Bauer AM, Parker MM, Schillinger D, Katon W, Adler N, Adams AS, Moffet HH, Karter AJ. Associations between antidepressant adherence and shared decision-making, patient-provider trust, and communication among adults with diabetes: diabetes study of Northern California (DISTANCE). J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Aug; 29(8):1139-47.
    View on PubMed
  13. Barton JL, Trupin L, Tonner C, Imboden J, Katz P, Schillinger D, Yelin E. English language proficiency, health literacy, and trust in physician are associated with shared decision making in rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2014 Jul; 41(7):1290-7.
    View on PubMed
  14. Bailey SC, Brega AG, Crutchfield TM, Elasy T, Herr H, Kaphingst K, Karter AJ, Moreland-Russell S, Osborn CY, Pignone M, Rothman R, Schillinger D. Update on health literacy and diabetes. Diabetes Educ. 2014 Sep-Oct; 40(5):581-604.
    View on PubMed
  15. Berkowitz SA, Karter AJ, Lyles CR, Liu JY, Schillinger D, Adler NE, Moffet HH, Sarkar U. Low socioeconomic status is associated with increased risk for hypoglycemia in diabetes patients: the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2014 May; 25(2):478-90.
    View on PubMed
  16. Ratanawongsa N, Handley MA, Sarkar U, Quan J, Pfeifer K, Soria C, Schillinger D. Diabetes health information technology innovation to improve quality of life for health plan members in urban safety net. J Ambul Care Manage. 2014 Apr-Jun; 37(2):127-37.
    View on PubMed
  17. Sarkar U, Lyles CR, Parker MM, Allen J, Nguyen R, Moffet HH, Schillinger D, Karter AJ. Use of the refill function through an online patient portal is associated with improved adherence to statins in an integrated health system. Med Care. 2014 Mar; 52(3):194-201.
    View on PubMed
  18. Brach C, Dreyer BP, Schillinger D. Physicians' roles in creating health literate organizations: a call to action. J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Feb; 29(2):273-5.
    View on PubMed
  19. Jones CD, Holmes GM, DeWalt DA, Erman B, Wu JR, Cene CW, Baker DW, Schillinger D, Ruo B, Bibbins-Domingo K, Macabasco-O'Connell A, Hawk V, Broucksou K, Pignone M. Self-reported recall and daily diary-recorded measures of weight monitoring adherence: associations with heart failure-related hospitalization. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2014; 14:12.
    View on PubMed
  20. Pandit AU, Bailey SC, Curtis LM, Seligman HK, Davis TC, Parker RM, Schillinger D, DeWalt D, Fleming D, Mohr DC, Wolf MS. Disease-related distress, self-care and clinical outcomes among low-income patients with diabetes. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2014 Jun; 68(6):557-64.
    View on PubMed

Go to UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI