2023-2024 Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellows

Olivia Bernal, MD, MPH

Track: Geri-Pal
Medical School: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Residency: Johns Hopkins Bayview Internal Medicine Residency (Internal Medicine)

Olivia Bernal is thrilled to be at UCSF completing her second year of the combined Geriatrics and Palliative Care fellowship. Being in San Francisco is a homecoming for Olivia after spending over 13 years studying and training on the east coast. She attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied the biological basis of behavior. She stayed at Penn for medical school and a master's program in public health. She then moved to Baltimore with her husband, Mike, and their two dogs for internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview. She and her husband were elated to have couples matched at UCSF for fellowship (Mike is a second-year hematology/oncology fellow). They said goodbye to the snow and humidity, and happily drove across the country to be closer to Olivia's family and join the UCSF family.  

Outside of work, Olivia enjoys running and listening to podcasts— everything from true crime to politics to pop culture. She is always down for happy hour after work or a hike on the weekend. She and Mike love spending time spoiling their two dogs, Winnie and Arthur, and watching Survivor reruns.  

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
When I was in medical school, a mentor told me "You get to define what success means for you".  This message has stayed with me at every step in my life and career.  ​​

Alexis Colley, MD

Alexis Coley
Alexis Colley, MD





Track: Adult Categorical
Medical School: University of California, San Francisco
Residency: University of California, San Francisco (General Surgery)

Dr. Colley was born and raised in Northern California (Sacramento and Santa Cruz) and attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where she studied Biology and Spanish. After graduating, Dr. Colley lived in Honolulu, HI, where she found her love of working with patients while at a women’s health clinic. Dr. Colley then completed medical school at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, earning a Master’s degree in Health and Medical Sciences with a focus on patient-physician communication and shared decision making. Dr. Colley is currently in the middle of her general surgery training at UCSF, taking a slight detour into Palliative Care. After surgery residency, she plans to pursue additional fellowship-level training in colorectal surgery.

For fun, she loves spending time with her family (mom of 2 wonderful girls), swimming, trying new foods, drinking iced coffee, and spending time outside. 

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
"I want to discourage you from choosing anything or making any decision simply because it is safe. Things of value seldom are.” - Toni Morrison

Vincent Le, MD

Vincent Le
Vincent Le, MD





Track: Adult Categorical
Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Residency: Highland Hospital (Internal Medicine)

Vincent grew up in Southern California, went to medical school in Saint Louis, MO, and trained in Internal Medicine in the Bay Area. He is interested in evidence-based medicine, clinical education, and navigating barriers to healthcare.

Outside the hospital, you can find him at the beach with his partner and their dog, cooking up new recipes, or struggling his way up a mountain.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
Always stay curious and ask more questions.

Carolyn Rennels, MD

Track: Adult Categorical
Medical School: University of California, San Francisco
Residency: University of California, San Francisco (Internal Medicine)

Carolyn is a Bay Area native and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. During her medical training, she became interested in supporting patients and their caregivers to align their medical care with their values. She enjoys using creative writing to process and share experiences within and outside of medicine.

Outside of fellowship, Carolyn enjoys spending time in nature and with her family, including dog Hugo and young daughter.

What 3 words describe what you're most grateful for?
Family, Community, Nature

Ramy Sidhom, MD

Track: Adult Categorical
Medical School: University of Colorado, School of Medicine
Residency: University of California, Irvine (Internal Medicine and Pulmonary & Critical Medicine)

Ramy comes to us from the University of California, Irvine after recently finishing his Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship. He started his medical training at the University of Colorado School of Medicine before returning to Southern California for his Internal Medicine Residency at UC Irvine, where he also completed a Chief Residency year.

When Ramy is not in the hospital, he enjoys dancing with his friends, mostly different forms of Hip-Hop inspired urban dance styles. He has spent time on several competitive and non-competitive groups, most recently dancing with Culture Shock Los Angeles based out of Pasadena, California. Ramy is excited to explore the intersect between Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Palliative medicine in hopes of findings better ways to care for his patients in the future. He enjoys helping patients navigate the complexities of their diseases and how it affects them and their families. 

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
Everyone is doing the best they can, with what they have.

Sabrina Smith, MD, PhD 

Track: Pediatric
Medical School: New York University School of Medicine
Residency: UCSF (Pediatrics), University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Child Neurology)

Sabrina grew up in Colorado, attended college at Princeton University, and then spent a year in Finland doing neuroscience research as a Fulbright Fellow.  After returning to the US, Sabrina completed a combined MD-PhD (Physiology & Neuroscience) program at New York University School of Medicine. She then fell in love with the Bay Area and her husband while completing her residency in Pediatrics at UCSF. Sabrina moved back to the East Coast for her Child Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and then joined the faculty there, pursuing research in perinatal and childhood stroke while caring for pediatric patients and teaching students and residents. The Bay Area drew Sabrina back again in 2011 to work as a pediatric neurologist at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.

Through her work as a pediatric neurologist, Sabrina developed an interest in palliative care and is excited to pursue fellowship training at UCSF this year. She is particularly interested in perinatal palliative care and improving the quality of life for children with neurologic conditions. When Sabrina is not working, she enjoys hiking, kayaking and skiing with her husband, 2 teenaged sons and pandemic puppy.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

Brianna Williamson, MD

Track: Adult Categorical
Medical School: Wright State University, Bancroft School of Medicine
Residency: University of Arizona (Psychiatry)

Brianna is a newly minted psychiatrist, excited for this pivot into the Palliative and Hospice Medicine space. She grew up in Cincinnati and earned her BA in Development Studies at Brown University. She returned to Ohio for medical school at Wright State University. Halfway through, she spent a year in Guatemala working on a culturally sensitive sexual education curriculum, perinatal medicine, and pediatric malnutrition. This instilled in her a deep appreciation for community inclusive initiatives that allow mutual learning and deep respect. She continued this appreciation as a psychiatry resident at University of Arizona. Here she completed the Health Care Disparities and Spanish Speaking track, to learn more about thoughtful delivery of medicine to historically disenfranchised groups. She is also specialized in perinatal psychiatry. She is interested in the art of collaborative language-concordant communication in all settings, especially during difficult healthcare decision making. Academically, her interests include palliative medicine, international medicine, psycho-oncology, perinatal psychiatry, and culturally sensitive models of care.

In her free time, she tries to spend as much time as possible on her yoga mat, hiking in the sunshine, exploring new places, and soaking up the company of her fabulous friends and family.   

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
"Embrace full catastrophe living"