Leah D. Kern, M.D., M.P.H.


Leah D. Kern, MD, MPH, is a general pediatrician with UCSD Academic General Pediatrics who provides primary care for a diverse group of children of all ages. She is interested in global health, travel medicine, HIV care, and quality improvement in general pediatrics. She enjoys teaching medical students and residents. She leads the pediatric travel medicine program which provides medical advice and vaccination for children traveling internationally. She has been involved in the UC San Diego Ethiopia Project to enhance the prevention, care and treatment of pregnant women and children with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia and provides care with the UC San Diego Mother, Child and Adolescent HIV Program. At UCSD Academic General Pediatrics, she has led quality improvement initiatives on cholesterol screening and post-partum depression screening.

She completed her residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kern earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She obtained a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She has completed a Certificate in Tropical and Travel Medicine® from the American Society of Tropic Medicine & Hygiene.

Areas of Interest

  • Global Health
  • Travel Medicine
  • Pediatric HIV Care
  • Quality Improvement and Cholesterol Screening
  • Medical Student and Resident Teaching

Ongoing Projects

  • Benefits, Risks and Impact of Cholesterol Screening among Children 9-11 Years Old
    • This project will evaluate the longer-term impact of a quality improvement project on cholesterol screening among children 9-11 years old
      • Funder: UCSD Academy of Clinical Scholars
      • Role: Primary Investigator
    • Impact of a postpartum depression screening quality improvement project at UCSD Pediatrics
      • This project will assess the impact of a quality improvement project on screening and referral rates to help moms with post-partum depression at UCSD Pediatrics.

Selected Publications

  • Kern L, Crow J, Williams C et al. Increasing universal lipid screening among 9- to 11-year-old children through a quality improvement initiative. Clinical Pediatrics 2016, published online before print Sept. 23, 2016.
  • Kern L, Edmonds P, Perrin EC, Stein MT. An 8-year-old biological female who identified herself as a boy: perspectives in primary care and from a parent. J Dev Behav Pediatr 35:301-303, 2014.


  • Director, Pediatric Clerkship Outpatient Rotation at UCSD Academic General Pediatrics
  • Preceptor, UCSD Pediatric Residency Continuity Clinic


  • Member, UCSD School of Medicine Global Health Academic Concentration Steering Committee
  • Member, UCSD Pediatric Residency Program Intern Selection Committee
  • Member, Division of Academic General Pediatrics Education Committee