Sonali Tatapudy, MD
“Throughout my pediatric training, I was most drawn to supporting the patient-family unit as they navigated the most difficult days of their lives, and found a perfect career fit in Pediatric Palliative Care. Among the fellowship programs I considered, UCSF’s holistic approach to education, emphasis on transdisciplinary care and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion stood out to me. For me, UCSF’s pediatric track had the best of both worlds – the chance to work with incredible adult-trained co-fellows and learn critical outpatient symptom management and palliative care skills in the adult SMS clinic, while also being clinically immersed in the inpatient Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine team throughout the year. Being in both worlds and doing rotations in both of UCSF’s Children’s Hospitals helped me understand the range of possibility in pediatric palliative care and has allowed me to develop a strong network of mentorship and friendship that continues to help me thrive in this work!”
After graduating from fellowship in 2021, Dr. Tatapudy officially joined the UCSF family as an attending physician on the pediatric palliative care team at UCSF’s Children’s Hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco. Academically, her interest lies in the intersection of medical education, wellbeing, and communication – she has worked to promote wellbeing and reflection via curriculum-building, leading support groups for residents, and facilitating communication training for medical students, residents and fellows. Personally, she has a strong affinity for big hugs, groan-inducing puns, and feeding peoples’ souls and bellies. Since moving to California and becoming a parent, she has also acquired some experience in exploring new trails, making silly rhymes, and dancing to Baby Shark with her daughter and husband.
David Wang, MD
"I thought I understood teamwork as an emergency physician. At UCSF, I experienced what a robust transdiscplinary palliative team could achieve together. I think back fondly to how my teachers met me where I was and kept me at my learning edge. It reflect this program's ability to train fellows from all backgrounds. To this day, I sometimes pause with wonder at how clinicians across the enterprise consistently shared in the mission to put patients first. I count myself lucky to have trained alongside those who daily made me want to become better."
Graduating in 2017, Dr. Wang now leads a service line of 30 palliative providers at Scripps Health, a community health system in San Diego spanning 12 sites of care. He also serves as a national thought leader advancing the integration of palliative care and emergency medicine. Career aside, he is pursuing an intentional study of fatherhood.
Nauzley Abedini, MD
"I was drawn to UCSF for Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship for several reasons. First, UCSF is a leader among institutions in mobilizing a cadre of innovative solutions - educational, system-based, research - to improve palliative care delivery within health systems and within the community. I wanted to learn first-hand from national leaders how to design and implement such programs and how to work collaboratively across disciplines to expand the reach of palliative care to new frontiers. Second, I had a strong interest in global palliative care, and having the opportunity to participate in the Global Palliative Education Consortium - a joint effort between UCSF, Harvard, and Tulane - was a unique and amazing opportunity to expand my network and practical knowledge in this space. Lastly, the learning environment at UCSF is at once diverse and also incredibly supportive. I felt truly cared for as a learner and as a human being, and this allowed me to truly flourish in my career development."
Dr. Abedini is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the Assistant Program Director for Wellness serving 170+ residents in the UW Internal Medicine Residency Program. Additionally, she is co-PI on two research collaborations with our Departments of Neurology and Global Health aiming to improve delivery of palliative care to diverse patients with stroke and their caregivers locally and in Peru. Clinically, she attend on both general medicine wards and the inpatient palliative care consult service at Harborview Medical Center - a large, regional trauma center and safety net hospital serving diverse and traditionally marginalized populations. She enjoys interacting with learners of all stages. Outside of medicine, she loves to explore the outdoors and connect with nature. While in San Francisco, she enjoyed living near Mount Sutro Forest where she could breath in the eucalyptus scent, and see the fog dissipate into the trees.
Josh Lakin, MD
"UCSF's incredible people helped me discover my passion for palliative medicine, focusing my efforts on helping our patients to find symptom relief and feel decisional control during some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives. Having access to remarkable clinicians from whom to learn while getting the mentorship I needed to complete my first efforts at academic work provided the unique opportunity to grow both as a bedside physician and as someone trying to find a role working to improve our healthcare system."
Graduating in 2013, Dr. Lakin joined the faculty at Dana-Farber Cancer Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School where he continues to pursue his passion for improving the delivery of care to seriously ill patients. He works clinically on two teaching services, the inpatient palliative care consult service and Inpatient Palliative Care Unit. His academic efforts build on his fellowship experience through his leadership of projects to improve communication between seriously ill patients and their primary care, hospital based, and emergency medicine clinicians.
Laura Schoenherr, MD
"The decision to stay at UCSF for palliative care fellowship was an easy one. I was attracted to the program for its esteemed faculty, structured resiliency training, focus on transdisciplinary practice, and diversity of clinical experiences (with rotations everywhere from a quaternary academic referral center to a county safety net hospital; the opportunity to care for patients at home, residential, and inpatient hospice; and a longitudinal outpatient experience at the clinic of our choice). Moreover, although I am originally from New England, I loved living in the Bay Area and wanted to stay for fellowship so I could continue to enjoy the area’s temperate climate, welcoming culture, and accessible natural beauty."
After graduating from fellowship, Dr. Schoenherr joined the Division as faculty. She divides her time between inpatient clinical work at Parnassus and Mission Bay, research, and program development. Her scholarly interests lie in quality improvement and health systems research to identify program- and population-level interventions to optimize the practice and delivery of palliative care both at UCSF and for the field more broadly. As Associate Chief for Inpatient Services at UCSF, she coordinates and develops the inpatient consult and inpatient hospice services by creating and disseminating innovations to improve provider's work experience, expand access to specialty palliative care in the inpatient setting, and optimize the quality of the clinical care provided to patients and families at UCSF. When not at work, she spends most of her time wrangling her two young children and exploring the culinary offerings and natural beauty of the Bay Area. Tahoe, Yosemite, and wine country are all driving distance from home, and she tries to visit each as often as she can.