COVID-19 Updates

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UCSD Medical Center

Welcome to the UC San Diego Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care

Our Mission: To optimize the experience of aging through excellence in clinical care, inspired teaching, and transformative research. 

Our Vision:  To create a better world for aging people. 

We are ranked 13th out of more than 1500 national programs in "2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report"


William Mitchell, MD.  As a new physician early in my residency I was thrilled to be in the hospital and the clinic serving people who were struggling with illness and needed help.  It was exciting to be learning about diseases and how to treat them and wonderful to be in a position to be able to help.  But at the same time I began to realize there were gaps in care for some people, problems I didn’t know how to resolve and those teaching me also failed to manage adequately.  Two major themes emerged: symptoms that weren’t relieved and communication about serious illness that wasn’t handled well.  I saw my patients struggling and suffering unnecessarily and knew that I needed to gain some additional skills.  So, in addition to my oncology training I also completed a fellowship in palliative medicine. Today I practice both medical oncology and palliative care.  I care for patients with cancers of the chest, including lung cancer, mesothelioma and thymomas.  I also see patients in the hospital with the palliative care team.  I have served for nearly ten years as the Director of Palliative Care, leading a team of nurses, social workers, physicians, pharmacists and chaplains whose aim is improve the quality of life for those with serious or life-threatening diseases.  Our team is able to see about five times the number of patients we did a decade ago.  This has been a tough job, but also an honor and I’m proud of the work we have done.  I will soon be stepping down from this leadership role to focus more on my patient care and on research questions that I hope will help us improve the quality of our care. It is all too easy for physicians to focus on the diseases they are treating and lose site of the people who have them.  Of course our patients want us to be experts in managing diseases.  But they also want us to care about and for them as people.  My hope is that my colleagues and I can care for the patient as a whole human being rather than just a body with a disease.  I believe that we can do much to make the awful experience of serious illness a little more tolerable.

Support Us

​Join us in helping seniors live their best lives longer. Addressing the needs of our older adults is important now more than ever! Your donations ensure that our research and clinical care keep pace with the needs of our community and ensure our initiatives to further educate the geriatrics work force remain strong and expand. 

Give Now

Donor Spotlight 

Our generous donors support geriatrics/aging research and education. To learn more about our donors, click here.


Research from Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego s ...
Researchers report that hearing loss and high blood sugar are associated with poor cognitive perform ...

Division News

During her time as an AD-RCMAR scientist and funded by the UCSD Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE), Dr. Marquine led a collaborative project aimed at developing neuropsychological normative data for Spanish-speaking adults living in the U.S., titled the Neuropsychological Norms for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS). Inspired by her clinical experiences with Latinos and the consequences of the lack of appropriate neuropsychological tools for this population, Dr. Marquine’s leadership ensured that this work will benefit many patients and clinicians working with Spanish-speakers in the U.S. This impactful work has been published in a special issue of The Clinical Neuropsychologist released February 2021. Click here to read it. 

Dr. Benjamin Han co-edited a special issue of the American Society on Aging's journal Generations focused on substance use and older adults. Read it here.

Looking for COVID-19 resources specific to older adults? Visit our resources page here

Ending the Pandemic Begins Now:  We are pleased that vaccinations are now being administered, not only to our healthcare workers, but also our older patients! If you are looking for information about vaccinations, more can be found on the 2-1-1 San Diego website. If you are a UC Health patient, more info can be found here

Above: Dr. Khai Nguyen, Chief of Clinical Services, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Even with actual vaccinations starting, we must continue to follow all current measures designed to slow viral spread and infection! Stay healthy and safe!

UCSD Geriatrics #13 in the Nation!
Thanks to everyone for their part in getting us to this wonderful place!  We are proud to be ranked #13 among geriatrics programs in USNWR


We are hiring!

We are seeking a Palliative Care physician or a Geriatrician to join the team. This is an excellent opportunity to serve a medically-diverse patient population, and to assist in growing the UCSD at Home program. Click here for more information.

We have a Scientific Research Associate Position availalbe. It requires the applicant being bilingual (Spanish/English) and having a phlebotomy license. Experience administering cognitive tests is a plus. Click here to apply.

We are happy to welcome the Palliative Care physicians to our group as we become the Division of Geriatrics,  Gerontology, and Palliative Care 

The Doris Howell Palliative Care Teams at UCSDH began in 2005 with a nurse practitioner co-rounding with the Bone Marrow Transplant service. Now they represent three inpatient consultation teams, the Step Family Foundation Inpatient Palliative Care Unit, a Palliative Psychiatry team, and a growing clinic team which all strive to function in an interprofessional, shared-leadership model of providing care. They provide specialized, team-based care focused on the relief of symptoms and stress of serious illness at any stage of disease. The palliative medicine faculty come from a variety of backgrounds and many have additional shared appointments in other divisions and departments, such as nephrology, neurology, and hospital medicine, but we will be their home. They also bring along with them a large, shared physician fellowship program that trains seven palliative medicine fellows each year as well as the only Chaplain training program in the country housed within a palliative care group. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, their clinic has been a top adopter of community telehealth, which they anticipate to be a major area of expansion for them over the coming years.

Researchers at UC San Diego are investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and productivity of early career scientists. We invite post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty (rank no higher than Assistant Professor or equivalent) to complete an online survey. All responses are confidential. Participants will be entered in a raffle for a $25 gift card. Click here to participate!

The website for the new San Diego Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Biology of Aging, a collaboration between Salk, SBP, and UCSD, is now live! Check it out!

GRC Seminar Series is back with an exciting fall and winter schedule. We regularly distribute our newsletter informing our community about research opportunities, publications and local events. Career development and training pertaining to gerontology research are also provided. Subscribe now by sending an email to:

Funding Opportunities

NIA Concepts Newly Approved: Check the NIA blog listing areas that may turn into funding announcements in the future.


Fellowship: We are thrilled to report that we have three fantastic fellows joining us for the 2021-22 year! Find out more about our program and incoming fellows here.

More Information

Geriatrics Grand Rounds: Join us for our monthly series, with a range of talks from experts in the Geriatrics field. Next session will be on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. To obtain log-in information, please email

lmproving Geriatrics Education in the Community: SDSU and UCSD are co-leads on a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant to continue the San Diego/Imperial Geriatric Education Center and its important work   educating local communities on Alzheimer's Disease and geriatrics!

Looking for a good read? You might enjoy Dr. Louise Aronson's book titled: “Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life"We were fortunate to host Dr. Aronson on the UCSD campus with a lunch event that brought together over 100 community members!

We are tremendously grateful to the Hollander Trust for their generous donation in support of our geriatrics fellowship program in memory of Dr. Trude Hollander.