Health Policy Opportunities for Residents and Fellows

The UC San Diego Department of Anesthesiology strongly encourages policy work by Anesthesiology Residents and Fellows. Importantly, we believe those trained in anesthesiology have the unique opportunity to lead policy development domestically and, in particular, globally.


The Department’s policy activities are led by Vice Chair of Education and Residency Program Director Dr. Daniel E. Lee, San Diego Center for Patient Safety Director Dr. Bryan A. Liang, and San Diego Center for Patient Safety Investigator Timothy Mackey, MAS, PhD.

National and International Contacts

Dr. Daniel E. Lee MD, PhD

  • Has worked extensively overseas on humanitarian medical trips as an anesthesiologist and pediatrician.
  • International efforts have included: direct clinical care, research activities, teaching of indigenous health care workers, and lecturing.
  • As Program Director for the UC San Diego Anesthesiology Residency Training Program, Dr. Lee actively encourages and supports international work by residents.
  • Maintains contacts in Mexico, Africa and Asia; Dr. Lee continues to seek out new global health opportunities where UC San Diego faculty and residents can have a positive impact on systems, education and direct patient care.

Dr. Bryan A. Liang MD, PhD, JD

  • Has briefed and testified in Congress on patient safety issues.
  • Helped draft federal Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Act signed into law in 2005.
  • Served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Minority Health and AHRQ Healthcare Safety & Quality Research Study Section.
  • Participated as a Core Member of the Council on Foreign Relations Global Drug Safety Roundtable.
  • Assisted the World Health Organization International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce.
  • Has given plenary addresses to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Community,Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Intellectual Property Organization.
  • Works with public and private stakeholders globally to ensure safety of the drug supply.
  • Is a regular contributor and sought after expert in national media on policy perspectives and commentary.
  • Provides legal medicine lessons for physicians as Doctor’s Docket editor of the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia and health policy commentary as a Contributing Editor to the Survey of Anesthesiology.

Dr. Timothy Mackey MAS, PhD

  • Is the Carl L. Alsberg MD Fellow for Safe Medicines and is completed his PhD in global health under Dr. Liang’s mentorship.
  • A fluent Japanese speaker, reader, and writer, Mr. Mackey has worked extensively in global health, including as an analyst in the Department of Public Health, Innovation, Intellectual Property & Trade at the World Health Organization.
  • Has provided strategic analysis for the Executive Office of the President, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, White House.
  • Has given presentations at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement-13th Round of Negotiations, World Congress on Public Health, Global Risk Forum Davos Health Meetings, and Consortium of Universities for Global Health.
  • Has been featured by the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health – CPATH, CSPAN-3, and ABC World News, and is participating in global governance strategic policy efforts with the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.
  • He currently also chairs the American Public Health Association Trade Forum.

Protected Time

The Department of Anesthesiology offers residents 1-6 months of the residency devoted to research, and is supportive of resident public policy research & advocacy activities.

Selected Areas of Focus

  • Pediatric Health Rotations: A dedicated group of the UC San Diego pediatric and regional anesthesia faculty are active in providing humanitarian support for underserved children and adults undergoing surgical procedures both globally and domestically. Each year, interested residents have the opportunity to participate in these humanitarian efforts with the strong support of Dr. Manecke, chairman of the department, and the faculty generally. Faculty have also provided extensive financial support to fund resident travel and housing for humanitarian endeavors. Current trip opportunities include Cambodia, Vietnam, and Mexico. We are expanding opportunities to include The Gambia (telemedicine thus far), Mozambique, and Central America over the coming year. Residents are welcome on any of these trips, which involve educating local health care providers and directly caring for children and adults requiring primarily oromaxillofacial reconstructive, cardiac or orthopedic surgery. These are busy and extremely rewarding medical experiences that provide life-changing medical care and education in underserved areas of these countries. Pediatric anesthesia faculty have also participated in humanitarian care within the United States through Samaritan's Purse and Fresh Start locally in San Diego.
  • Advocacy and Global Health Policy. The San Diego Center for Patient Safety (SDCPS) is a policy research center that focuses upon analysis of patient safety issues, broadly construed. The Center is unique, assessing patient safety issues in the USA and globally through a policy lens. Although there have been important clinically-oriented efforts to promote safety, approaches assessing broader social policy factors influencing patient safety have not garnered as much attention. Because these factors influencing patient safety do not confine themselves to a single discipline, the efforts of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety encompass use of inter-, trans-, and cross-disciplinary tools and perspectives to systemically assess and address patient safety issues. These include approaches from medicine, law, policy analysis, public health, economics, and social science. Fellows, residents, and medical students work with SDCPS to research and publish on key global health concerns, from online pharmacies, illicit surgical equipment access, and stem cell sales through global public health governance, brain drain from developing countries, and counterfeit drugs.
  • Didactic Work. Residents and fellows also have the opportunity to take classes in Influencing Public Policy and a series in Global Health Policy taught by Dr. Liang and San Diego Center for Patient Safety Investigator Timothy Mackey. These classes provide both workshop-type learning for grassroots advocacy as well as an opportunity to learn about, debate, and contribute to global health policy through research and publication. Currently, the department is in discussions to create a Global Health Policy certificate program as well as a Master’s Degree in Health Policy - Global Health Policy concentration. These opportunities are specifically for clinicians and are an offshoot from the already existing, public policy-oriented, Health Policy Masters in Advanced Studies degree that is offered through UC San Diego and sponsored by the Department of Anesthesiology.