Research Summary

Urmimala Sarkar MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine at UCSF in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Associate Director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, and a primary care physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital's Richard H. Fine People's Clinic. Her work centers on innovating for health equity and improving safety and quality of outpatient care for everyone, especially low-income and diverse populations. Her research employs new tools like digital / mobile health and social media platforms to improve the safety and quality of outpatient care. Her expertise spans topics including medical errors and patient safety, diabetes, and cancer prevention and survivorship. Dr. Sarkar's research is collaborative and intersects with methods found in human centered design, human factors engineering, data science, health services research, and implementation science. As a leader and mentor, Dr. Sarkar is committed to training the next generation of health equity researchers and leaders. She is the director of UCSF's Primary Care Research Fellowship, co-directs the Learning Health Systems Early Career Acceleration Program (LEAP K12) for junior faculty, and serves as the curricular director for UCSF's Fellowship Advancement and Skills Training in Clinical Research (FASTCaR). Learn more at

Research Funding

  • June 10, 2019 - May 31, 2024 - Cancer Registry for Understanding and Improving Survivorship Experiences (CRUISE), Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA241128
  • September 30, 2018 - September 29, 2023 - UCSF Learning Health System K12 Career Development Program, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: AHRQ, Sponsor Award ID: K12HS026383
  • September 5, 2018 - August 31, 2022 - Creating Community Driven, Personalized Health Maps for Patients with Diabetes, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NLM, Sponsor Award ID: R01LM013045
  • July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2022 - Improving Survivorship Care for Diverse Cancer Patients Cared for in Safety-net Settings, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: K24CA212294


Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, B.S., 06/96, Biology
University of California, San Diego, M.D., 06/02
University of California, Berkeley, M.P.H., 06/00, Epidemiology
University of California, San Francisco, Intern, 06/03, Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, Resident, 06/05, Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, Fellow, 06/08, Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • 2019
    UCSF ZSFG Department of Medicine Mentoring Award
  • 2016-2017
    Pathways to Discovery Mentor Award
  • 2010
    Hamolsky finalist for Abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine
  • 2007
    Lipkin Finalist for Abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine
  • 2005
    Lipkin Finalist for Abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine
  • 1998
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Scholarship
  • 1997
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Student Grant Award
  • 1997
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Student Grant Award
  • 1996
    Ruth Headley Memorial Humanities Award Stanford University
  • 1995
    Cap and Gown Honor Society Stanford University
  • 1992
    David Starr Jordan Scholar Stanford University

Selected Publications

  1. Khoong EC, Fontil V, Rivadeneira NA, Hoskote M, Nundy S, Lyles CR, Sarkar U Impact of digitally acquired peer diagnostic input on diagnostic confidence in outpatient cases: A pragmatic randomized trial.  View on PubMed
  2. Lyles CR, Sarkar U, Patel U, Lisker S, Stark A, Guzman V, Patel A Real-world insights from launching remote peer-to-peer mentoring in a safety net healthcare delivery setting.  View on PubMed
  3. Zakaras JM, Sarkar U, Bibbins-Domingo K, Mangurian CV Not Just Surviving, But Thriving: Overcoming Barriers to Career Advancement for Women Junior Faculty Clinician-Researchers.  View on PubMed
  4. Sharma AE, Mann Z, Cherian R, Del Rosario JB, Yang J, Sarkar U Correction: Recommendations From the Twitter Hashtag #DoctorsAreDickheads: Qualitative Analysis.  View on PubMed
  5. Santiago-Rodríguez EJ, Rivadeneira NA, Torres JM, Sarkar U, Hiatt RA Socioeconomic status and colorectal cancer screening behaviors in a vulnerable multiethnic population.  View on PubMed
  6. Sharma AE, Mann Z, Cherian R, Del Rosario JB, Yang J, Sarkar U Recommendations From the Twitter Hashtag #DoctorsAreDickheads: Qualitative Analysis.  View on PubMed
  7. Sarkar U, Samal L How effective are clinical decision support systems?  View on PubMed
  8. Hoskote M, Le G, Cherian R, Zeiger R, Sarkar U Cancer patient perspectives on survivorship goals from the Smart Patients online community.  View on PubMed
  9. Chittamuru D, Daniels R, Sarkar U, Schillinger D Evaluating values-based message frames for type 2 diabetes prevention among Facebook audiences: Divergent values or common ground?  View on PubMed
  10. Sarkar U, Hemmat S, Linos E Sexual harassment and suicide.  View on PubMed
  11. Sharma AE, Yang J, Del Rosario JB, Hoskote M, Rivadeneira NA, Sarkar U What Safety Events Are Reported For Ambulatory Care? Analysis of Incident Reports from a Patient Safety Organization.  View on PubMed
  12. Aguilera A, Figueroa CA, Hernandez-Ramos R, Sarkar U, Cemballi A, Gomez-Pathak L, Miramontes J, Yom-Tov E, Chakraborty B, Yan X, Xu J, Modiri A, Aggarwal J, Jay Williams J, Lyles CR mHealth app using machine learning to increase physical activity in diabetes and depression: clinical trial protocol for the DIAMANTE Study.  View on PubMed
  13. Sarkar U, Lyles C Devil in the details: understanding the effects of providing electronic health record access to patients and families.  View on PubMed
  14. Lyles CR, Nelson EC, Frampton S, Dykes PC, Cemballi AG, Sarkar U Using Electronic Health Record Portals to Improve Patient Engagement: Research Priorities and Best Practices.  View on PubMed
  15. Sharma AE, Lyson HC, Cherian R, Somsouk M, Schillinger D, Sarkar U A Root Cause Analysis of Barriers to Timely Colonoscopy in California Safety-Net Health Systems.  View on PubMed
  16. Nouri SS, Adler-Milstein J, Thao C, Acharya P, Barr-Walker J, Sarkar U, Lyles C Patient characteristics associated with objective measures of digital health tool use in the United States: A literature review.  View on PubMed
  17. Khoong EC, Rivadeneira NA, Hiatt RA, Sarkar U The Use of Technology for Communicating With Clinicians or Seeking Health Information in a Multilingual Urban Cohort: Cross-Sectional Survey.  View on PubMed
  18. Betjemann J, Hemphill JC, Sarkar U We Dropped the Reflex Hammer on Hypertension 20 Years Ago-Reply.  View on PubMed
  19. Lyson HC, Haggstrom D, Bentz M, Obeng-Gyasi S, Dixit N, Sarkar U Communicating Critical Information to Cancer Survivors: an Assessment of Survivorship Care Plans in Use in Diverse Healthcare Settings.  View on PubMed
  20. Hickey MD, Lisker S, Brodie S, Vittinghoff E, Russell MD, Sarkar U Customized registry tool for tracking adherence to clinical guidelines for head and neck cancers: protocol for a pilot study.  View on PubMed

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