Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program

UCSF is an international leader in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship training. Our priority is to develop future academic leaders, innovators, and educators who reflect the compassion, diversity and excellence we value. 

Program DirectorMessage from the Program Director. At UCSF, we provide an outstanding educational environment and unsurpassed individualized support, including mentorship, sponsorship and a unique program of personal coaching throughout training. Our program is ideal for those seeking academic and service-focused careers. Fellowship at UCSF includes 18 months of focused clinical training and 18-plus months of career development time that you design with your coach and mentors. Nearly all of our fellows stay for a fourth year to pursue training in research, education, transplant, interventional, or sleep fellowship, or other service-focused careers. 

What makes UCSF special? Our commitment to your success in a service-focused career. We are proud of our record in training top researchers, academic physicians, and leaders in global health and industry. UCSF alumni include multiple American Thoracic Society Presidents, medical school deans, department chairs and division chiefs. Our commitment to you is backed by significant resources. As the top NIH-funded public institution in the US, UCSF leverages this support to provide greater opportunity and choice for our fellows. Our training success speaks for itself: Since 2007, UCSF fellows have received more career development (K) awards than any other program. Because the academic career path typically requires longer than three years to launch, we continue to support our fellows through their post-ACGME career development. At UCSF you can continue to pursue your academic career without worrying about whether support will be available beyond year three. 

We want to help you achieve your goals while training in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Check out the rest of our site for more details on the structure of the program and all the ways we will work to help you succeed.  

- James Frank, MD, Program Director



At UCSF, we want to help you make your own career path. Here are some typical examples from recent fellows:

Clinical and Translational Research: This can include additional, elective coursework in clinical trial design and advanced statistics or even a Master’s degree (the program will cover course or tuition costs).

Global Health: UCSF is a world leader in global health. Programs within the pulmonary division are currently working at multiple sites in Africa and Southeast Asia. 

Basic Research: Mentored laboratory research with a mentor in the pulmonary division or the larger UCSF community. UCSF fellows in this track have an especially impressive record of success.  

Clinician Educator: Training for education research or other scholarly work in education with the goal of obtaining a faculty position with substantial teaching responsibilities. Fellows in this pathway take coursework and complete projects in health professions education. Some will pursue a Master’s degree (the program will cover course or tuition costs). 

Implementation Science: Work with a mentor in the Pulmonary Division or the wider UCSF community. Some fellows may complete implementation science certificate training through the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute or pursue a Master's degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is clinical training like at UCSF?
Fellows at UCSF receive outstanding clinical training during a rigorous 18-month block at the beginning of fellowship. Half of this time is spent in a range of high acuity intensive care units and half is spent focusing on pulmonary medicine and procedures. Because clinical training is a top priority, fellows' clinical training experience includes pulmonary medicine continuity clinics and elective outpatient clinic experiences throughout the 3-year program. At UCSF we value a sustainable clinical schedule. Fellows have 6 days off per month, including 2 full weekends off. We have no 24-hour call shifts. Fellows also experience a range of approaches to clinical care, including diverse patient populations as they work at each of three hospitals: UCSF Health - Parnassus Campus, Zuckerberg San Francisco General, and the San Francisco VA Health Care System. Read more

How do I apply?
Apply to UCSF through ERAS. Applications open around July 1.

How many fellows do you accept each year?
We accept 7 fellows.

How many applications do you receive?
We receive approximately 500 applications per year and interview 40-50 applicants. 

Do you accept fellows outside of the match?
No. We only accept Pulmonary and Critical Care fellows through the National Residency Matching Program. 

Do you sponsor J1 or other Visas?
No. We primarily use NIH funding to support our fellows and these funding mechanisms are only available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Applicants who bring exceptional and unique qualifications may be considered in very rare cases.

How long is your fellowship program?
The American Board of Internal Medicine requires three years of training for board certification. Nearly all of our fellows stay for 4 or 5 years as they work on developing the skills they need for their future careers in research, education, health service or other leadership roles. 

Do you have a critical care only fellowship?

How are your interview days structured? 
All interviews are virtual. Our interview days begin with a presentation from program leadership and Q&A. Fellows can expect to interview with 2-3 faculty and will meet with fellows (virtually) during the interview day. Interviews are scheduled on Mondays. If you are not able to attend one of our scheduled days, we might be able to accommodate you on a different day, but we recommend attending a scheduled interview day to make the most of your day.

What is a T32?
These are NIH grants that support fellows pursuing training in research. UCSF uses these mechanisms to support the research portion of fellowship training for most fellows beginning in year 2 or 3 of fellowship. Support from a T32 while at UCSF, or any other Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine program, requires a commitment of 2 years in research, teaching or health service. This additional, non-ACGME year is generally completed with a fourth year of training or the first year of an academic faculty appointment for fellows completing only 3 years of training. Read more

How do you support fellows' career development at UCSF? What happens after year three?
We support our fellows with an unsurpassed commitment to their academic success. The keys to this success include resources, opportunity and commitment. Read more

What if I’m not sure if I want to do research or education?
Our program is designed to train people interested in research, education, or other service-focused careers. We realize that long-term career decisions take time. Applicants who are unsure about this path, but who are willing to commit to pursuing four years of fellowship training, or three years of fellowship training and one year working in qualifying research, teaching or health service are encouraged to apply. If your primary interest is to launch a clinical private practice career after three years of training, that is not what we specialize in and we encourage you to apply to programs specializing in that training. 

Do you have career tracks/pathways?
Yes. UCSF provides opportunities in multiple career paths, but our primary goal is help you find your own path. Established training tracks include clinical or translational research, basic research, global health, implementation sciences and a clinician-educator track. None of these tracks require a separate match, but we encourage applicants to describe their interest in their application or on interview day.


Vanessa Trafas
Lead Program Administrator 
University of California, San Francisco
   Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care,
   Allergy, Sleep Medicine         
505 Parnassus Ave, Box 0111, M1097
San Francisco, CA 94143
P: 415.476.0735
F: 415.502.2605
[email protected]

Ashley Lamsen
Associate Program Administrator 
University of California, San Francisco
   Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care,
   Allergy, Sleep Medicine         
505 Parnassus Ave, Box 0111, M1097
San Francisco, CA 94143
P: 415.514.4764
F: 415.502.2605
[email protected] 



James Frank

James Frank, MD, MA
Fellowship Program Director
[email protected] 

Lekshmi Santhosh

Lekshmi Santhosh, MD, MAEd
Associate Program Director
[email protected] 

Brian Block

Brian Block, MD
Assistant Program Director for Critical Care
[email protected]

Nisha Gidwani

Nisha Gidwani, MD
Assistant Program Director, UCSF Site
[email protected]

 Antonio Gomez

Antonio Gomez, MD
Assistant Program Director, ZSFG site
[email protected]

 Nirav Bhakta

Nirav Bhakta, MD, PhD
Fellow Coach
[email protected]

 Alyssa Perez 

Alyssa Perez, MD, EdM
Fellow Coach
[email protected]



Neil Trivedi, MD
Fellow Coach
[email protected]


Leah Witt, MD
Fellow Coach
[email protected]