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Department of Surgery »  About Us

Message from the Chair

The Department of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco is one of the leading surgical departments in the world with a rich history of scientific, educational, and clinical advancements. Although our care is primarily dedicated to the people of the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the state of California, our reputation draws patients nationally and internationally. We are one of the largest clinical services at UCSF, performing a high volume of procedures, many among the most complex and technically challenging, and for rare conditions seldom seen in community practices. This allows our surgeons to continually improve their skills, resulting in better outcomes for patients.

To better care for patients, we have six major San Francisco Bay Area hospitals: UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, UCSF Medical Center at Mt. Zion, UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG), San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC), and Highland Hospital, in Oakland through our UCSF East Bay Program. Both ZSFG and Highland are Level 1 Trauma Centers.

Department Structure

The Department of Surgery is comprised of seven divisions with over 70 clinical, research and education programs. Our faculty are preeminent, nationally and internationally, with many serving as officers of major surgical societies, specialty boards and NIH study sections.  Faculty development is a high priority for the Department.  Faculty are recruited based on clinical strengths, research potential, teaching interest and aptitude. Basic and clinical research is fundamental to our mission. NIH funding of departmental research has increased  for most of the past decade garnering the second highest level of NIH funding among all departments of surgery nationwide. Funding from extramural sources (federal, industry, foundations, and gifts) has grown steadily.

Education & Training

Our mission is to develop the next generation of leaders in academic surgery. The UCSF General Surgery residency program is one of the top programs in the country, highly competitive, and comprised of a diverse group of resident trainees, reflecting our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our program also offers a broad menu of ACGME and non-ACGME clinical fellowships

UCSF was recently ranked No. 2 nationally for the surgery curriculum taught in medical school, placing it in the top 3% of schools surveyed by U.S. News & World Report. 

The curriculum, developed by our highly acclaimed Department of Surgery faculty, perennial winners of Teaching in Excellence Awards at UCSF, encompasses didactic in-class learning fused with early longitudinal immersion in clinical teams, an inquiry-focused learning environment that encourages medical students to ask questions that push the frontiers of science and understanding of human health and disease.


Our Department has a major commitment to creative activity in bench research, health services research, clinical trials, clinical training, education, and global health, and was ranked in the top three institutions for NIH research funding among comparable academic surgery programs nationwide.  

I invite you to explore our websites and experience the depth and scope of our surgical specialties, research labs, and educational programs all reflecting our abiding commitment to excellence.

Julie Ann Sosa, M.D., M.A., FACS
Leon Goldman, MD Distinguished Professor of Surgery and
Chair, Department of Surgery
Professor, Department of Medicine
University of California at San Francisco-UCSF

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