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, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA241128
  • September 30, 2018 - September 29, 2023 - UCSF Learning Health System K12 Career Development Program , Co-Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, 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, 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, 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. Nouri S, Lyles CR, Sherwin EB, Kuznia M, Rubinsky AD, Kemper KE, Nguyen OK, Sarkar U, Schillinger D, Khoong EC. Visit and Between-Visit Interaction Frequency Before and After COVID-19 Telehealth Implementation. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Sep 05; 6(9):e2333944.  View on PubMed
  2. Sharma AE, Lisker S, Fields JD, Aulakh V, Figoni K, Jones ME, Arora NB, Sarkar U, Lyles CR. Language-Specific Challenges and Solutions for Equitable Telemedicine Implementation in the Primary Care Safety Net During COVID-19. J Gen Intern Med. 2023 Aug 31.  View on PubMed
  3. Mehta S, Lyles CR, Rubinsky AD, Kemper KE, Auerbach J, Sarkar U, Gottlieb L, Brown Iii W. Social Determinants of Health Documentation in Structured and Unstructured Clinical Data of Patients With Diabetes: Comparative Analysis. JMIR Med Inform. 2023 Aug 22; 11:e46159.  View on PubMed
  4. Dy M, Olazo K, Lyles CR, Lisker S, Weinberg J, Lee C, Tarver ME, Saha A, Kontson K, Araojo R, Brown E, Sarkar U. Usability and acceptability of virtual reality for chronic pain management among diverse patients in a safety-net setting: a qualitative analysis. JAMIA Open. 2023 Oct; 6(3):ooad050.  View on PubMed
  5. Dy M, Olazo K, Lisker S, Brown E, Saha A, Weinberg J, Sarkar U. Virtual Reality for Chronic Pain Management Among Historically Marginalized Populations: Systematic Review of Usability Studies. J Med Internet Res. 2023 06 06; 25:e40044.  View on PubMed
  6. Purnell L, Sierra M, Lisker S, Lim MS, Bailey E, Sarkar U, Lyles CR, Nguyen KH. Acceptability and Usability of a Wearable Device for Sleep Health Among English- and Spanish-Speaking Patients in a Safety Net Clinic: Qualitative Analysis. JMIR Form Res. 2023 Jun 05; 7:e43067.  View on PubMed
  7. Honcharov V, Li J, Sierra M, Rivadeneira NA, Olazo K, Nguyen TT, Mackey TK, Sarkar U. Public Figure Vaccination Rhetoric and Vaccine Hesitancy: Retrospective Twitter Analysis. JMIR Infodemiology. 2023; 3:e40575.  View on PubMed
  8. Fontil V, Khoong EC, Green BB, Ralston JD, Zhou C, Garcia F, McCulloch CE, Sarkar U, Lyles CR. Randomized trial protocol for remote monitoring for equity in advancing the control of hypertension in safety net systems (REACH-SNS) study. Contemp Clin Trials. 2023 03; 126:107112.  View on PubMed
  9. Grenon V, Szymonifka J, Adler-Milstein J, Ross J, Sarkar U. Factors Associated With Diagnostic Error: An Analysis of Closed Medical Malpractice Claims. J Patient Saf. 2023 04 01; 19(3):211-215.  View on PubMed
  10. Sharma AE, Khosla K, Potharaju K, Mukherjea A, Sarkar U. COVID-19-Associated Misinformation Across the South Asian Diaspora: Qualitative Study of WhatsApp Messages. JMIR Infodemiology. 2023; 3:e38607.  View on PubMed
  11. Fleming MD, Safaeinili N, Knox M, Hernandez E, Esteban EE, Sarkar U, Brewster AL. Conceptualizing the effective mechanisms of a social needs case management program shown to reduce hospital use: a qualitative study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Dec 26; 22(1):1585.  View on PubMed
  12. Lyles CR, Nguyen OK, Khoong EC, Aguilera A, Sarkar U. Multilevel Determinants of Digital Health Equity: A Literature Synthesis to Advance the Field. Annu Rev Public Health. 2023 04 03; 44:383-405.  View on PubMed
  13. Wong J, Lee SY, Sarkar U, Sharma AE. Medication adverse events in the ambulatory setting: A mixed-methods analysis. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2022 12 05; 79(24):2230-2243.  View on PubMed
  14. Priya Srinivasan, Pallabi Chakravorty, Urmimala Sarkar. Crossroads. . 2022 Sep 22; 1(1).  View on PubMed
  15. Zeng B, Rivadeneira NA, Wen A, Sarkar U, Khoong EC. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Internet Use and the Use of Digital Health Tools: Secondary Analysis of the 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey. J Med Internet Res. 2022 09 19; 24(9):e35828.  View on PubMed
  16. Lozano PM, Lane-Fall M, Franklin PD, Rothman RL, Gonzales R, Ong MK, Gould MK, Beebe TJ, Roumie CL, Guise JM, Enders FT, Forrest CB, Mendonca EA, Starrels JL, Sarkar U, Savitz LA, Moon J, Linzer M, Ralston JD, Chesley FD. Training the next generation of learning health system scientists. Learn Health Syst. 2022 Oct; 6(4):e10342.  View on PubMed
  17. Sarkar U, Bibbins-Domingo K. Achieving Diagnostic Equity in Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA. 2022 09 06; 328(9):827-828.  View on PubMed
  18. Santiago-Rodríguez EJ, Rivadeneira NA, DeVost MA, Sarkar U, Hiatt RA. Cancer Risk Behaviors, Cancer Beliefs, and Health Information Seeking Among Under-Represented Populations in San Francisco: Differences by Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Health Equity. 2022; 6(1):669-680.  View on PubMed
  19. Chakraborty H, Kayal T, Lianthuamluaia L, Sarkar UK, Das AK, Chakraborty S, Sahoo BK, Mondal K, Mandal S, Das BK. Use of geographical information systems (GIS) in assessing ecological profile, fish community structure and production of a large reservoir of Himachal Pradesh. Environ Monit Assess. 2022 Aug 05; 194(9):643.  View on PubMed
  20. Santhosh L, Rojek AE, Yim JWL, Lisker S, Wang K, Dy M, Sarkar U. Analysis of Narrative Text in Evaluations of Continuing Medical Education Faculty by Gender. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 08 01; 5(8):e2227948.  View on PubMed

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