The Spark: Medical Education Podcast


podcastThe Spark: Medical education for curious minds presents the people and stories behind medical education at UCSF and our community of learners. Through The Spark, we feature perspectives and insights from faculty, staff and students in the School of Medicine’s medical education community, delivered over each episode monthly. Hosted on Sound Cloud and available on iTunes.

Podcast interviews with students and faculty will illustrate how our medical school’s curriculum supports and fosters core values of the UCSF physician.

Episode 15: Gun Violence

Gun violence is one of the biggest health & policy epidemics gripping the country right now. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people in the United States died from guns. Perhaps more surprising, in the United States of America, firearms are the second leading cause of death for children. In this episode, join your host Tessnim Ahmad (MS4) as she discusses the role of medical professionals in the firearm policy debate with Dr. Jahan Fahimi, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Board Member of SAFE: Scrubs Addressing the Firearm Epidemic, and fellow students Daniela Cordero and Mary Turocy.

Episode 14:

Improving the Care of Dementias
In this episode, we showcase the latest research and patient care initiatives at UCSF and its School of Medicine focused on treating people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, including student work in this area.


In this episode, we showcase the latest research and patient care initiatives at UCSF and its School of Medicine focused on treating people with chronic pain, including student work in this area.  We’ll hear from Dr. Mark Schumacher, MD, PhD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, as well as a third-year medical student. 


In this episode, we feature initiatives in the School of Medicine focused on diversity, equity and inclusion – both in approaches to patient care and research, as well as in medical education via the Bridges Curriculum.   We’ll hear from Dr. Michelle Guy, a professor of medicine and a dean’s diversity leader in the Differences Matter Initiative, as well as second year medical student Daniella Cordero, who has been instrumental in activism around gun violence prevention, White Coats for Black Lives, as well as gender and health equity.  Both interviews give context to how the School of Medicine is building the most equitable, inclusive medical school nationally.


In this episode, we feature UCSF initiatives and research aimed at caring for people with sleep disorders. We’ll hear from Dr. David Claman, a sleep disorders specialist who directs the UCSF Sleep Disorders Center. Dr. Claman discusses advances in research and treatment for Bay Area residents struggling with disorders such as sleep apnea and breathing difficulties.  We also talk to fourth-year medical student Daniel Schwartz, who completed a research project in this area as part of his learning in the Bridges Curriculum.


In this episode, we feature UCSF initiatives aimed at incorporating the social determinants of health. We’ll hear from Dr. Dan Dohan, Professor of Health Policy and Social Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Dohan discusses advances in research, prevention, and treatment for Bay Area residents struggling with issues such as homelessness, mental illnesses, or inadequate nutrition.  We also talk to first-year medical student Hannah Borowski, who completed electives in the Bridges Curriculum Health and Society Block on the social determinants of health. 


In this episode, we’ll hear from Dr. Scott Steiger, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, and Deputy Medical Director of the Opiate Treatment Outpatient Program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG). Dr. Steiger will discuss his research and patient care initiatives in treating people with substance use disorders in some of the city’s most vulnerable communities. We also talk to a first-year medical student who shadowed Dr. Steiger at ZSFG, and who will be pursuing a summer research experience in addiction medicine for adolescents.


This episode focuses on faculty excellence and professionalism in medical education. We’ll hear from Associate Professor of Medicine Dr. Stephanie Rennke, a recipient of this year’s Maxine Papadakis Awards for Professionalism and Respect. We also talk to a fourth-year medical student who nominated faculty for this year’s teaching excellence awards which were presented in October.


This episode is part 2 of a special edition to welcome this year’s incoming class of first-year UCSF medical students. We’ll hear from the School of Medicine Dean Dr. Talmadge King, as he reflects on medical career highlights, inspirations, and mentors such as Alvin Poussaint, MD. We also talk to first-year medical student Ryan Badiee with his thoughts on what’s most exciting embarking on medical school at UCSF.


This month’s episode is devoted to breast cancer awareness month. We talked to second-year medical student April Liang about her research project on ‘deep learning’ about breast mammography data and how this may help improve breast cancer screening. April’s work is part of the Explore track of the Bridges Curriculum’s Inquiry program, and her work with mentors Dr. Dexter Hadley and Dr. Hari Trivedi. We also interviewed Dr. Hope Rugo, a UCSF medical oncology and hematologist, who directs the UCSF Breast Oncology Clinical Trials program. Dr. Rugo gives perspectives on the latest advances in breast cancer research and patient care at UCSF.


In this episode, we celebrating the 11-year anniversary of PRIME, the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved. PRIME-US is a five-year track at the UCSF School of Medicine and the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program for students committed to working with urban underserved communities.

We talk to medical student Adali Martinez, who’s completing her final year of the PRIME program, and who completed community engagement work with the organization Mission Girls, an after-school program for girls in grades 3-8 in San Francisco’s mission district.

We’ll also hear about the program’s goals, mission and successes from Dr. Leigh Kimberg, PRIME program director for 3.5 years and UCSF Professor of Medicine; and Dr. Monica Hahn, who was a student in the very first PRIME class 11 years ago and who is now director of evaluation in inquiry, for PRIME, as well as assistant clinical professor at UCSF’s Women's Health Primary Care center.


This episode is a special edition devoted to back-to-school week, and a welcome to this year’s incoming class of first-year medical students. We talk to three School of Medicine education deans as they reflect on their medical career highlights, plus their medical school mentors and inspirations.

Stay tuned for interviews with Vice Dean for Medical Education and Executive Vice Dean for the School of Medicine Dr. Catherine Lucey, Associate Dean for Students Dr. Lee Jones, and Associate Dean for Competency Assessment and Professional Standards Dr. Karen Hauer. Find out what topped their list of medical school memories and motivators.


In this episode, we hear from fourth-year medical student Christine Zachek, who explains her research on Chagas disease, a tropical parasitic illness, plus her upcoming research project in Brazil. We also talk to Professor of Medicine Dr. Peter Chin-Hong about his research into the detection and treatment of infectious diseases caused by the Zika virus, yellow fever, and dengue, how a continually curious scientific mind keeps pace with the rapid advances in this field


In this episode, we talk to medical student Ogonna Nnamani, who explains the concept of spiral learning – a key part of the Bridges model – and how it impacts her training at UCSF and her work as a physician in training. We also interview Susan Masters, PhD, the School of Medicine's former Associate Dean for Curriculum, who retired last month and who helped develop the medical school’s Bridges curriculum. We’ll hear part of Susan’s journey over 30 years on faculty at UCSF, from pharmacology professor to curriculum architect, and what she found most inspiring and impactful during her career as an educator and leader at UCSF.


We hear from John Davis, MD, PhD, the School of Medicine's Associate Dean for Curriculum who joined UCSF in July. In an interview with Associate Dean for Medical Education, Kevin H. Souza, MS, Dr. Davis tells us why and how he’s set to help lead the roll-out of the medical school’s Bridges curriculum. And you’ll learn about his unique expertise in LGBT issues in medicine, what the hot buttons are, and why it matters to health professionals. Building on the theme of healthcare equity and diversity, you’ll also hear from medical student Danielle Cipres, winner of this year’s Dean’s Prize in Health and Society, whose leadership in bringing more equitable care and women’s health resources to Latin Americans has set her on track to be another UCSF physician who cares without barriers.