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Dr. Robert Wachter

Department of Medicine at UCSF
Professor and Chair

Robert Wachter Headshot.jpg
 
 

Dr. Wachter is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he is the Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine and holds the Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine. In 2017, the UCSF department of medicine was ranked first in the nation by US News & World Report, and the department is the country’s leading recipient of grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Dr. Wachter is an author of 250 articles and 6 books. He coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and is often considered the “father” of the hospitalist field, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. He is past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine and past chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine, as well as a former Trustee of the ABIM Foundation.

In the safety and quality arenas he edits the U.S. government’s leading Web site on patient safety and has written two books on the subject, Internal Bleeding and Understanding Patient Safety, the world’s best-selling safety primer. In 2004, he received the John M. Eisenberg Award, the nation’s top honor in patient safety. 

Modern Healthcare magazine has ranked him one of the 50 most influential physician executives in the U.S. thirteen times; he was #1 on the list in 2015. His 2015 book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age, was a New York Times science bestseller. He recently chaired a blue ribbon commission advising England’s National Health Service (NHS) on its digital strategy.

Dr. Wachter received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed his residency and chief residency in internal medicine at UCSF. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at Stanford University, and studied patient safety in England in 2011 as a Fulbright Scholar.