Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, UCSF; Associate Chair for Faculty Experience, Department of Medicine, UCSF; Associate Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations

Cancer Center Program Membership

Cancer Control

Research Summary

Urmimala Sarkar MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine at UCSF in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Associate Chair for Faculty Experience for the Department of 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 https://sarkarlab.ucsf.edu

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. Lyles CR, Adler-Milstein J, Thao C, Lisker S, Nouri S, Sarkar U. Alignment of Key Stakeholders' Priorities for Patient-Facing Tools in Digital Health: Mixed Methods Study. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Aug 26; 23(8):e24890.  View on PubMed
  2. Chu JN, Sarkar U, Rivadeneira NA, Hiatt RA, Khoong EC. Impact of language preference and health literacy on health information-seeking experiences among a low-income, multilingual cohort. Patient Educ Couns. 2021 Aug 26.  View on PubMed
  3. Blacklow SO, Lisker S, Ng MY, Sarkar U, Lyles C. Usability, inclusivity, and content evaluation of COVID-19 contact tracing apps in the United States. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 08 13; 28(9):1982-1989.  View on PubMed
  4. Khoong EC, Nouri SS, Tuot DS, Nundy S, Fontil V, Sarkar U. Comparison of Diagnostic Recommendations from Individual Physicians versus the Collective Intelligence of Multiple Physicians in Ambulatory Cases Referred for Specialist Consultation. Med Decis Making. 2021 Aug 11; 272989X211031209.  View on PubMed
  5. Khoong EC, Olazo K, Rivadeneira NA, Thatipelli S, Barr-Walker J, Fontil V, Lyles CR, Sarkar U. Mobile health strategies for blood pressure self-management in urban populations with digital barriers: systematic review and meta-analyses. NPJ Digit Med. 2021 Jul 22; 4(1):114.  View on PubMed
  6. Urmimala Sarkar. Imag(In)Ing the Nation. . 2021 Jul 21; 75-90.  View on PubMed
  7. Sarkar U, Cassel C. Humanism Before Heroism in Medicine. JAMA. 2021 Jul 13; 326(2):127-128.  View on PubMed
  8. Hemmat S, Khoong EC, Olazo K, Sharma AE, Mangurian C, Fernandez A, Sarkar U. Using incident reporting to understand and characterize sexual harassment of physicians by patients. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Jul 12.  View on PubMed
  9. Nguyen KH, Fields JD, Cemballi AG, Desai R, Gopalan A, Cruz T, Shah A, Akom A, Brown W, Sarkar U, Lyles CR. The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Improving Chronic Care for Safety-Net Populations. J Am Board Fam Med. 2021 Jul-Aug; 34(4):698-708.  View on PubMed
  10. Figueroa CA, Aguilera A, Chakraborty B, Modiri A, Aggarwal J, Deliu N, Sarkar U, Jay Williams J, Lyles CR. Adaptive learning algorithms to optimize mobile applications for behavioral health: guidelines for design decisions. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 06 12; 28(6):1225-1234.  View on PubMed
  11. Lyson HC, Sharma AE, Cherian R, Patterson ES, McDonald KM, Lee SY, Sarkar U. A Qualitative Analysis of Outpatient Medication Use in Community Settings: Observed Safety Vulnerabilities and Recommendations for Improved Patient Safety. J Patient Saf. 2021 Jun 01; 17(4):e335-e342.  View on PubMed
  12. Halley MC, Mathews KS, Diamond LC, Linos E, Sarkar U, Mangurian C, Sabry H, Goyal MK, Olazo K, Miller EG, Jagsi R, Linos E. The Intersection of Work and Home Challenges Faced by Physician Mothers During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Analysis. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2021 04; 30(4):514-524.  View on PubMed
  13. 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. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 03 01; 28(3):632-637.  View on PubMed
  14. 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. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 02 15; 28(2):365-370.  View on PubMed
  15. Jonathan Xin Wang, Sulaiman Somani, Jonathan H Chen, Sara Murray, Urmimala Sarkar. Health Equity in Artificial Intelligence and Primary Care Research: Protocol for a Scoping Review (Preprint). JMIR Research Protocols. 2021 Feb 7.  View on PubMed
  16. Linos E, Halley MC, Sarkar U, Mangurian C, Sabry H, Olazo K, Mathews KS, Diamond L, Goyal MK, Linos E, Jagsi R. Anxiety Levels Among Physician Mothers During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Am J Psychiatry. 2021 02 01; 178(2):203-204.  View on PubMed
  17. Anjana E. Sharma, Elaine C. Khoong, Malini A. Nijagal, Courtney R. Lyles, George Su, Triveni DeFries, Urmimala Sarkar, Delphine Tuot. Clinician Experience with Telemedicine at a Safety-net Hospital Network during COVID-19: A Cross-sectional Survey. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2021 Jan 1; 32(2S):220-240.  View on PubMed
  18. Lyon ZM, Yang R, Savoie MB, Schear S, Dong J, Javaherian K, Hauser K, Sarkar U, Garcia-Grossman I. Rapid Implementation of a Volunteer-Run Service to Combat Social Isolation in Hospitalized Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Am J Med Qual. 2021 Jan-Feb 01; 36(1):63.  View on PubMed
  19. Mehta KM, Babaria P, Bibbins-Domingo K, Sarkar U. Research Beyond the Ivory Tower: Partnering with Safety-Net Health Systems for Equity. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2021; 32(3):1181-1187.  View on PubMed
  20. Urmimala Sarkar, Jane Lee, Kim Hanh Nguyen, Sarah Lisker, Courtney R Lyles. Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation of Virtual Reality as a Pain Management Modality in Academic, Community, and Safety-Net Settings: A Qualitative Analysis (Preprint). Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2020 Dec 18.  View on PubMed

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