Ten Reasons to choose UCSF CIF

Here are just ten of the reasons to consider our fellowship program.

  1. Tremendous depth amongst our faculty in artificial intelligence, workflow analytics, entrepreneurship, and practical implementation. Between the Center for Clinical Informatics and Improvement Research, the Bakar Institute, the Center for Digital Health Innovation, the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Medical Effectiveness (CHIME), and the Office of the Chief Health Information Officer, UCSF's digital health faculty span numerous areas of interest for the clinical informatics trainee, and provide mentorship and avenues into digital health careers.



  2. Data for all the Universities of California. The University of California Health System, with 17 health professional schools, 6 medical centers, and 10 hospitals, has built a secure central data warehouse (UC Health Data Warehouse, or UCHDW). The repository securely holds data on over 5 million patients in over 100 million encounters. Our faculty have played critical roles in compiling this data and have significant expertise in mining it.
  3. (Even more) Data from the VA. In addition, our faculty are leaders and experts in accessing and analyzing data from the National Veterans Health Administration—a database including more than 20 million patients. Critically, both the VA data and the UC data above are on the OMOP common data model, meaning SQL code written for one can be used to query the other. Both datasets represent amazing opportunities for those seeking to understand data science or even pursue a career in it after fellowship.
  4. Decision Support AB testing. UCSF has established methodologies to AB test decision support alerts, leading to publications as well as the Learning Health System infrastructure and know-how we are using to expand this work in the future.
  5. Flexible curriculum, self-selected. Our didactics are project-based and include classes in research methodology, statistical computing, an introduction/review of programming, and the history of informatics. In addition, fellows have done away rotations, deep dives at local organizations, and worked with external companies during our fellowship. Much of the learning is self-driven.
  6. Familiarity with programming on matriculation or graduation. UCSF, differently from other programs, does not assume or require coding knowledge upon matriculation. Both our fellows and our faculty come from varying backgrounds and have majored in everything from computer science to religious studies. We offer coursework to foster an understanding of development principles and bridge between developers and clinician users, but this coursework can be accelerated based on fellows' existing knowledge.
  7. Diverse health systems with unique advantages and challenges. At UCSF, fellows can be exposed and immersed in any of numerous settings: a major tertiary care center setting running on Epic (UCSF Health), a safety net system that is about to install Epic (San Francisco DPH), our local Veterans Administration hospital and its associated transition to Cerner (San Francisco VA Health Care System), and a private hospital using Cerner (St Mary’s Medical Center).
  8. Unique expertise in informatics for the underserved. Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG) has a unique group of world-renowned researchers and mentors who focus on the digital divide, digital literacy, and digital design for underserved populations.
  9. Silicon Valley next door. There are plenty of opportunities to engage with the digital health startup space. Many of those startups have active collaborations with UCSF and many more are a short drive or walk away in the city or just down the Peninsula. UCSF has a track record of enabling faculty and trainees to start their own companies.
  10. San Francisco is an amazing place to live. Never too hot, never too cold, with an amazing mix of city life, a short transit to any outdoor activity one could imagine, and a food scene for every taste and budget, San Francisco provides a social and intellectual environment of tremendous ferment. The UCSF CI Fellowship, through the ACGME, also offers a competitive housing stipend to help defray the cost of living.