Public Policy

Advancing public policy is a core component of the mission of the Department of Medicine, on a par with teaching, clinical care and research. We work to provide non-partisan scientific data to support public policy that focuses on the fundamental issues of health and healthcare. Department of Medicine faculty members are already leaders in the development of public policy at the local, regional, state, national and international levels. Our influence extends beyond health policy, broadly affecting areas related to the well-being of individuals and entire communities.

During the spring of 2011 the Department of Medicine faculty were surveyed about their work in public policy. They were asked to categorize their effort into three main domains: research in public policy, direct work with policymakers and work with groups that advocate for policy change. Among the more than 200 respondents, over half (corresponding to more than 20% of the Department's total faculty) reported that they are involved in at least one of the three activities. 51, or about 10% of the entire Department's faculty, have published research related to public policy, 67 have worked directly with policymakers and 93 are working with advocacy organizations to promote public policy change.

Department faculty have authored more than 700 peer reviewed articles on public policy.

Below please find recent examples of our work to advance healthcare public policy. Articles were published in our newsletter, the Frontiers of Medicine.


Colorectal Cancer: Screening More Patients at Lower CostIssue 14, Spring 2012

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, and is expected to cause nearly 50,000 deaths in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. If caught early by routine screening, the prognosis for patients with colorectal cancer is quite good. Unfortunately, about 40 percent of Americans who meet ... » Read More


Writing for Change Issue 13, Fall 2011

"When you come face to face with patients who have a stroke because they couldn't afford to pay for their blood pressure medicines, it can be very demoralizing," says Alice Chen, MD, MPH, medical director of the Adult Medical Center at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). She recalls teaching a resident who was ... » Read More


The Center for Tobacco Control Research and EducationIssue 11, Fall 2010

Each year, a terrible epidemic kills more than 400,000 Americans: the epidemic is tobacco addiction, and it continues to be the nation's leading preventable cause of death. UCSF's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education is a world leader in fighting this scourge. Directed by Stanton Glantz, PhD, the American Legacy ... » Read More


Shaping Public Policy to Advance HealthIssue 10, Spring 2010

The Department of Medicine brings together a diverse community of innovators. We aim to transform the way that medicine is practiced — through discovering new therapies and technologies, applying these discoveries to provide our patients with the best care, training future generations of outstanding physicians, and using our knowledge to ... » Read More