Complementary care combines the best of alternative therapies — such as acupuncture, massage, meditation, herbs and nutrition — with conventional medicine to promote good health and treat illness.

Generally, alternative medicine is defined as treatments used in place of conventional medicine, while complementary medicine involves alternative practices used together with conventional medicine. A third category, called integrative medicine, combines mainstream medical treatments with alternative therapies that have been studied and determined to be safe and effective.

At the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, located at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, our doctors, nurses and therapists use these tested practices to address the biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of health care. Our team includes specialists in women’s health, cancer, chronic pain, repetitive strain injury, headaches, cardiac disease, nutrition and healthy living.

They say change your operating system, is what they used to say, on your laptop or get a new iPhone and try to figure out how to use it. Keeping your mind flexible and moving is how we can keep the circuitry in action, I think.

You also said another point that is really — Andrew Weil calls it compressed morbidity. Live a long, healthy life for as long as you can and then when it’s your turn go, go quickly and not have a drawn out exit. But we can’t always control that, but that concept of compressed morbidity I think is certainly one to shoot for.

Chair Massage

If you’re seeking relief from the stress of daily life or from a chronic injury or illness, try a chair massage at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Massage therapy, one of the oldest healing arts, is used to help reduce pain and anxiety as well as promote general health.

Research has found that massage can be effective in treating fibromyalgia, lymphedema, musculoskeletal disorders, neonatal care, pregnancy and sleep disorders, in part by reducing stress hormones.

Healing Through Dance Class

In this class, participants use movement, expression, imagery and creativity to facilitate their own healing. Re-awakening the body to action enhances participants’ confidence and freedom, while rehabilitative exercise improves function, mobility and strength.

By giving participants the opportunity to tell their story, listen with care, dance their life experience, and mobilize their spirit to deal with pain and loss, the class profoundly transforms an individual’s course with illness.

It is not necessary to have a dance or movement background. Instead, people are encouraged to engage wholly — with body, mind and spirit — in their healing process. Participants bring their unique journey with illness and treatment to the class, sharing their struggle and profound changes in physicality, lifestyle and life view brought about by cancer.

Goals within a class session might include freeing up feeling in the body; expressing survival, the will to live or blocks to the life force; resolving emotional and life issues; working creatively on ways of doing things that make life meaningful; and increasing movement range, strength and resilience. Additionally, participants work on managing stress by learning techniques to deal with tension, enhance relaxation and cope with medical procedures and physical limitations.

Finally, the class works on incorporating healthy lifestyle changes. Finding how the body can be an ally in dealing with the physical, emotional and spiritual changes of cancer gives participants new lifestyle tools.

This class is sponsored by the UCSF Cancer Resource Center. It is open to cancer patients and their caregivers. You do not need to be a patient of UCSF.

Core and More Class

Exercise can improve physical functioning in cancer patients. It can also reduce feelings of fatigue, depression and nausea, improve mental well-being and quality of life, and make it easier to perform daily tasks.

This class includes Pilates-based mat exercises to work on core strength and stability. We also use rollers, bands, balloons and body weight as tools to enhance range of motion, flexibility, balance and muscular strength. Our goal is to increase your ability to attend to activities of daily living, and to have fun doing it.

Meditation and Guided Imagery for Cancer Patients

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine offers free, drop-in meditation and guided imagery classes for people with cancer and their caregivers.

Classes are open to beginners and experienced meditators and are sponsored by the Ida & Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center.

Meditation can help:

Deepen concentration

Facilitate the healing process

Gain self-awareness

Reduce stress and relax

Unlock creativity

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention from moment to moment in a non-judgmental way. This simple practice opens the door to self-healing and insight. It also can provide options for coping with the stress of everyday life and the stress of illness.

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction is an eight-week program offered by the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF. It introduces you to the practice of meditation, body awareness and mindful movement. This course is modeled after a program developed at the University of Massachusetts by Jon Kabat-Zinn. There are more than 250 similar programs nationwide.

Medical research has shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction is effective for the physical and emotional symptoms of general stress as well as stress due to illness, such as cancer, depression, anxiety disorders, fibromyalgia, psoriasis and chronic pain. Benefit also has been seen in a wide range of other heart and vascular, gastrointestinal, and psychological conditions.

The program includes:

Private interview with an instructor

Weekly 2-1/2 hour classes for eight weeks

Guided mindfulness practice, group discussion and instruction

All-day retreat

The book, “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Audio CDs to guide home practice


Qi Gong

Qigong (pronounced chee gong) is an ancient Chinese health care system that utilizes physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. It promotes good health by facilitating the body’s internal healing mechanisms to relieve stress, develop flexibility, improve coordination and increase stamina.

This 10-week course will complement your existing health care program and provide you with more energy for your treatment process.

This class is co-sponsored by the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and the Ida and Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center. It is open to cancer patients and their caregivers. You do not need to be a patient of UCSF.

Restorative Movement Class

The Feldenkrais method is a revolutionary approach to fitness and health that is rapidly gaining recognition as a powerful means of rehabilitation for those who are injured or in chronic pain, as well as people who simply want to learn to move better and feel more comfortable in their bodies.

Tapping into the natural processes by which babies learn to crawl, sit, walk and speak, physicist Moshe Feldenkrais spent more than 40 years developing and refining his method. During the class, you are guided through a series of deceptively simple floor exercises which have a profound effect on your posture, breathing and movement capabilities.

In this fun and supportive class, you might explore such common human functions as standing, sitting, turning, bending and reaching, or even recreate movement patterns you learned as an infant, such as crawling or rolling.

These gentle and pleasurable movement explorations help you to discover new options for moving and acting with more comfort, precision and power. This class is geared toward those in recovery from cancer — including spouses, family and caregivers — and is offered free of charge.

Each week we focus on a different individual’s needs, giving special attention and hands-on guidance for each student.

A wonderful complement to any medical treatment or exercise program, these classes are especially beneficial for anyone experiencing fatigue, pain or restriction of movement due to injury, surgery or treatment.

This class is sponsored by the UCSF Cancer Resource Center. It is open to cancer patients and their caregivers. You do not need to be a patient of UCSF.

Spiritual Care

Being hospitalized and dealing with illness can be an extremely challenging time. Many people find that talking with a chaplain can help during this period. Chaplains with Spiritual Care Services provide support to patients, family members, friends and staff members at UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

An integral part of our health-care team, chaplains representing many faiths are available around-the-clock to be a caring presence, offer spiritual and emotional support, and listen with openness and understanding. Patients, families and staff are encouraged to call a chaplain when experiencing fear, anger, loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, grief or loss, or when they just need someone to talk to. Chaplains also are available for times of celebration, prayer and rituals.

We are available to support all our patients regardless of beliefs and religious affiliation. Patients do not need to be affiliated with a congregation or faith community to call a chaplain. However, if you do belong to a community, we can notify a faith community of your choice to make a visit. Your minister, rabbi or other spiritual advisor may visit you or your family member at any time.



Guided meditation and relaxation for relief from emotional and physical pain

Support groups

Support with grief, loss and bereavement for patients and family members

Religious rituals or sacraments

Pastoral support in times of stress

Contact and coordination with your home congregation and clergy

Individualized, brief concerts in your hospital room, through the Music Is Good Medicine Program

Lifecycle events including memorial services, weddings and commitment ceremonies, baptisms, blessings and welcome rituals for new babies

Spiritual literature or sacred texts

We also work with other staff to provide:

Support with end of life issues

Ethics consultations

Spiritual assessment and interventions for healing

Family support and participation at family-physician conferences

Help in interpreting patients’ cultural and spiritual needs to staff, including treatment preferences and dietary restrictions

Advance care planning

We also offer the following materials for use by patients and their families:

Spiritual literature and sacred texts

Ritual items for most faith traditions and spiritual practices

Guided relaxation exercise CDs and audio files

“Communicating with a Loved One at End of Life” pamphlets

Meditation Rooms

We have mediation rooms at our Parnassus and Mount Zion hospital locations. These are quiet places available to you and your family for reflection, prayer, meditation and comfort.

Tai Chi Chuan Classes

Tai Chi Chuan is an ancient form of self-defense that has been refined into a slow, graceful and rhythmic exercise. Often referred to as moving meditation, it’s designed to increase circulation throughout the body, calm the mind and improve balance. Tai Chi Chuan has been shown to improve physical confidence, musculoskeletal flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. The practice also is effective in helping to prevent falls among the elderly.

Tai Chi Chuan is said to have originated in 100 B.C. with the ancient Chinese doctor Hua Tuo. Because he believed that imitating the movements of animals would yield health benefits, he prescribed them to his patients. Today, most practitioners refer to a legendary Taoist priest, Cheng San Feng, who is said to have created Tai Chi Chuan by combining the movements observed in animals with other principles of nature.

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine offers group beginner and continuing Tai Chi Chuan classes. Participants will learn the basic movements of the Yang-style long form. Classes are taught by Joseph S. Acquah, a licensed acupuncturist and expert in Tai Chi Chuan.

Yoga Classes

Yoga has been used for more than 3,000 years to help maintain and restore health. Most people associate yoga with exercise and most yoga classes focus entirely on physical movement. But yoga is in many ways opposite of exercise, and some of the non-movement-oriented practices of yoga can have a profound effect on the physical body.

The postures (asanas) and breathing practices (pranayama) together constitute hatha yoga.

In the Sanskrit language of ancient India, “ha” means “sun” and “tha” means “moon.” The two together, “ha-tha” indicate the balance of opposites (night and day, yin and yang).

Asana focuses at its core on flexibility of the spine: forward bends balance backward-bending poses, left twists balance twists to the right. There are even inverted positions to counter-balance gravity.

The goal is to keep the muscles relaxed in movement so that muscle fibers elongate. This results in increasing flexibility and a sense of well-being. The yoga practitioner engages the body in a stretch, extending and elongating into a pose as much as comfortable, not as much as possible. The breath is crucial in this work because it both focuses and calms the mind.

While the spine is integral for physical balance, self-awareness, which is developed through yoga, is integral for emotional balance. The attitude one brings to hatha practices is as important as the practice itself.

The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine offers specialized yoga classes to meet the different needs of our participants. These include Gentle Yoga for Cancer Patients, Therapeutic Yoga for Stress and Medically Related Conditions and Continuing Therapeutic Yoga for Stress and Medically Related Conditions.

All classes are located at the Osher Center and are taught by Rachel Lanzerotti, MSW, RYT500 and Julie Locke, RN, RYT200:

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

1545 Divisadero St., Fifth Floor

San Francisco, CA 94115

Yoga Cares – Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer Patients

This class is designed specifically for cancer patients and combines gentle movements, postures, slow deep-breathing, meditation and relaxation.

Therapeutic Yoga for Low Back Pain

Therapeutic Yoga Series for Low Back Pain is a 7-week progressive class series for students of all levels and abilities, with instruction in yoga poses, basic anatomy, breathing practices, and deep relaxation to help alleviate chronic low back pain and tension.

This program is based on the two largest, most definitive studies utilizing yoga therapy for the treatment of chronic lower back pain. This is a particularly gentle form of yoga with a strong focus on individual adaptation and breath development. It is extremely accessible for all body types.

There are some conditions, such as serious disc herniation, recent diagnosis of disc compression with radiating/nerve pain, recent back surgery, severe sciatica, and spondylolisthesis for which this program may not be beneficial in a group setting. For consultation regarding individual yoga therapy, please contact the instructor. If you are experiencing lower back pain, please consult with a physician or health care practitioner before beginning this or any other yoga or exercise practice.

When to Call 911

Call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Department if you think you’re experiencing a life-threatening condition or symptoms such as:

Any sudden or severe pain, or unusual abdominal pain

Changes in vision

Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure lasting two minutes or more

Confusion or changes in mental status, unusual behavior, difficulty walking

Coughing or vomiting blood

Difficulty speaking

Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness

Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea

Suicidal or homicidal feelings

Uncontrolled bleeding

International Services

International Services at UCSF Medical Center assists patients from countries outside the United States. Our staff coordinates all aspects of your visit to our hospital and clinics and is committed to making you and your family feel as comfortable as possible during your stay. Each patient receives care in an environment that respects diverse traditions and backgrounds.

UCSF Medical Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 hospitals in the United States. At UCSF, you’ll find medical solutions not available elsewhere. Patients travel long distances to benefit from our care. Our goal is to provide you with a level of customer service that matches the world-class medical treatment you’ll receive.

New Patients

Medical Records

Please provide all relevent medical records in English to International Services, prior to scheduling an appointment. A doctor will evaluate your condition to determine if appropriate for treatment at UCSF.

Financial Requirements

Before you arrive at UCSF Medical Center, you’ll receive an estimate of charges. You’ll be asked to either make an advance payment or provide verification of authorization from an insurance plan accepted by UCSF. When your financial clearance is confirmed, we will schedule the necessary appointments, tests and procedures. You’ll be asked to review and sign our standard Patient Financial Policy form.

Our Financial Policy and Patient Information and Registration forms are available online.

Care Confirmation

After you receive financial clearance, you’ll receive an appointment letter with a unique patient identification number and a medical care cost estimate, based on the UCSF doctor’s recommendation.

The appointment confirmation will include directions and maps as well as a list of personalized services and resources available to international patients. Our staff is available to help you arrange the services you need.

If you require extensive care, a personalized treatment plan will be developed.

Other Services

International Services is committed to ensuring that your stay at UCSF is as comfortable as possible. We would be pleased to help make the arrangements you need including:


Car rental or other transport needs, including medical transportation and limousine service, as well as directions

Churches, places of worship and other spiritual care needs

Home care and private nursing care

Language assistance

Tourism and entertainment

Visa support

UCSF MyChart

UCSF MyChart is an easy, confidential way to stay in touch with UCSF Medical Center . . . while at home, work and anytime or anyplace you have an Internet connection.

UCSF MyChart is an online resource for your routine health care needs. There’s no charge for requesting appointments or referrals, checking lab results and requesting medication refills.

Unlike email, UCSF MyChart’s messages use secure technology. Only you, your provider and your provider’s authorized staff have access.

UCSF MyChart can help you:

Send a message to your provider

Refill a current medication

Check certain lab results and compare with past results

View some electronic health information

Request an appointment or a referral

View past visit information for some services and upcoming appointments

Link to your child’s health record by proxy

Ask your doctor for more information.

Already enrolled? Sign in at

Want to enroll? To log on to UCSF MyChart, you need an activation code. Call MyChart Customer Service at (415) 514-6000 or send an email to

Patient Services

A clinic visit or hospital stay can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. UCSF Medical Center provides an array of services for patients and their families to help make the experience here go as smoothly as possible. Here are some of the services we provide to help make you comfortable during your visit or stay or to meet a special need.

Art for Recovery

Case Management and Social Work

Chair Massage

Great Expectations Pregnancy Classes

International Services


Lactation Consultant Support

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class

Patient Health Library

Patient Relations

Spiritual Care

Stop Smoking Classes

Tai Chi Chuan Classes

Women’s Health Resource Center

Yoga Classes

Services for Cancer Patients

Art for Recovery

Breast Cancer Decision Services

Cancer Exercise Counseling

Cancer Resource Center

Cancer Survivorship Program

Core and More Class

Friend to Friend Gift Shop

Healing Through Dance Class

Meditation and Guided Imagery for Cancer Patients

Oncology Social Work

Peer Support Program for Cancer

Prostate Cancer Patient Services

Qi Gong Class

Restorative Movement Class

Online Bookstore

See our online bookstore for a sampling of books recommended or written by our doctors, nurses and others. Click on the title to read more about the book or to buy it on

Support Groups

Support groups at UCSF Medical Center help patients and their families cope with disease and treatment and learn from the experiences of others. Here’s a listing of support groups available to our patients. Some are open to the general public.

Bariatric Surgery


Eye Care

Memory and Aging Disorders


Organ Transplant


Sleep Disorders

Stop Smoking

Peer Support for Cancer Patients

The Peer Support Program offers cancer patients the opportunity to speak with survivors or with veteran patients who have already “been there.” This is a free, on-the-phone service. All cancer patients are welcome regardless of where the care is received. Patients are matched with peer support volunteers according to criteria such as diagnosis, stage, age, gender or by preference of the person seeking support.

For breast and prostate cancer patients, the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center also offers Online Peer Support, where patients can submit a question online and connect with a volunteer.

Online Bookstore

See our online bookstore for a sampling of books written and recommended by our doctors, nurses and other health care staff.

Patient Education

See our library of patient education on topics ranging from arrhythmia to weight-loss surgery.


For information about hotels, motels and short-term apartment rentals, visit our campus Housing Office website.

Please make your lodging arrangements as far in advance as possible because San Francisco hotels tend to be busy.

If you have questions, call our Referral Center at (888) 689-UCSF or send us an email to

See the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital website for information about accommodations for the parents and family members of pediatric patients.

Admissions and Discharge

Before you are admitted to the hospital, an admissions counselor will call you to obtain preliminary information, provide important information regarding your hospital stay and answer your questions. Your doctor also may schedule routine medical tests, such as laboratory tests or X-rays, before your hospitalization. Other routine tests may be done on the day of your admission.

For pediatric admissions, please visit our UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital site.

If you are scheduled for a surgical procedure, your doctor will schedule an appointment for you with the Prepare Clinic, our anesthesia and surgical evaluation program. The Prepare Clinic will make sure you are ready for surgery and provide tests and blood work. The clinic at Parnassus is located on the first floor of the hospital in room L-170. The clinic at Mount Zion is on the third floor of the medical center at 1600 Divisadero St.

Hospital Team

When admitted to the hospital, your care will be provided by a team of health care professionals trained to meet your specific medical needs. The following is a brief description of some hospital staff members.


Your doctor, sometimes referred to as an attending physician, is responsible for managing your care. If necessary, your doctor may consult with other specialists. Since UCSF Medical Center is a teaching hospital, you may be seen by fellows, residents and medical students who work with your doctor. As a result, you receive the benefit of having a number of doctors working together with shared concerns for your well-being.

Attending physicians are members of the team that determine and supervise your medical care. Attending physicians also teach other doctors to care for patients. You will be assigned an attending physician. They change periodically, so please ask your nurse or doctor about the scheduled rotation of doctors on your child’s unit.

Fellows are physicians who have completed their residency training and are now receiving advanced training in a specialty. Fellows work with an attending physician and help teach interns and residents under the guidance of attending physicians.

Residents and interns are physicians completing their training. They work under the guidance of attending physicians and fellows.


Our nursing staff coordinates and provides care. Many of our nurses have received advanced training in specialized fields.

Charge nurses are responsible for overseeing the nursing care on your hospital unit during a shift.

Clinical nurse specialists are registered nurses with advanced education in special areas. These nurses help coordinate your care.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education in special areas. These nurses have training and skills in assessment, physical diagnosis and managing health needs in their specialty areas.

Patient care managers are responsible for supervising all nursing care on every shift on your unit.

In addition to our nursing staff, other health professionals help to ensure you receive the highest quality of care.

Patient care assistants are trained to help nurses care for you. They work under the supervision of a nurse and provide routine care activities but are unable to give medications.

Patient support assistants help units stay clean and equipped.

Unit coordinators provide clerical support, directions and answer questions for families and visitors.


If you need skilled nursing care or physical therapy at home, Case Management/Social Services will help you arrange this service if medically necessary. We also will arrange ongoing hospitalization at a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation hospital if needed. If you have any questions, please call Case Management/Social Services.

If you are not physically able to return home when you are ready to leave the hospital, you may require acute rehabilitation or skilled nursing care in another facility. If your doctor thinks you will need this kind of care, you may wish to visit several facilities before your admission to UCSF Medical Center. Our Case Management staff can assist you with the process.

Patient Relations

Patient Relations provides services to ensure that your experience at UCSF Medical Center is a good one. If you or a family member has a question or concern about your hospital stay, please let us know. We suggest you first discuss your concerns with your nurse, department manager and your doctor. If your concern remains unresolved, the Patient Relations staff or a nursing supervisor are available to help you reach a resolution or provide more information.

Advance Directives

We encourage all patients to complete an advance health care directive, which allows you to state your preferences for medical treatments and to select an agent or person to make your health care decisions in case you’re unable to do so or if you want someone else to make decisions for you.

Our advance health care directive kit is available online. The nine-page guide includes forms to complete.

For more information about advance health care directives at UCSF Medical Center, please contact Social Work or Patient Relations.

Social Work: (415) 353-1504

Patient Relations: (415) 353-1936

If you already have an advance health care directive, please bring a copy with you when you’re admitted to the hospital so you can discuss your wishes with your health care team. Your advance health care directive will be placed in your medical chart.

More information on advance health care directives, durable powers of attorney for health care and living wills is on these websites:

California Medical Association

California Attorney General

Hospital Policies

Cellular Phones

Patient Privacy

Patient Rights

Safety Drills


Cellular Phones

Please do not use cellular phones in patient care areas. The use of cellular phones in patient care and medical procedure areas can disrupt medical equipment performance. The medical staff can direct you to public telephones or areas appropriate for usage.

Patient Privacy

UCSF Medical Center is committed to protecting your medical information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 mandated significant changes in the regulations governing the provision of health benefits, delivery and payment of health care services, and security and confidentiality of patient health information.

For information about your rights and our obligations regarding the use and disclosure of medical information, please see our Notice of Privacy Practices.

Patient Rights

Patients have the right to express concerns or complaints about their care with the assurance that the quality of their care or future access to care will not be compromised. You also have the right to expect a reasonable and timely response to your concerns.

We encourage you to address your concerns immediately to staff or managers of the specific department at the time of service so we can respond quickly to any concerns.

You also may contact the following departments or agencies:

Patient Relations — File a complaint with Patient Relations by writing or calling:

Patient Relations at UCSF Medical Center

350 Parnassus Ave., Suite 603

Campus Box 0208

San Francisco, CA 94143-0208

Phone: (415) 353-1936

Fax: (415) 353-8556

TTY: (415) 885-3TTY


You also may fax or email a Patient Visitor Report.

Compliance Coordinator — File a discrimination complaint or grievance based on a physical or mental disability with the hospital’s Compliance Coordinator.

Patient Relations at UCSF Medical Center

350 Parnassus Ave., Suite 603

Campus Box 0208

San Francisco, CA 94143-0208

Phone: (415) 353-1936

Fax: (415) 353-8556

TTY: (415) 885-3TTY


State Department of Health Services — File a complaint or grievance with the state Department of Health Services, whether or not you use the hospital’s grievance.

Department of Health Services, Licensing and Certification

350 90th St., Second Floor

Daly City, CA 94015

Phone: (800) 554-0353

TTY: (916) 657-3042

You also can file a complaint with your health plan insurer or other external organization.

Medical Board of California — File a grievance regarding a doctor or podiatrist with the Medical Board of California or Board of Podiatric Medicine.

Medical Board of California / Board of Podiatric Medicine

1426 Howe Ave. Suite 54

Sacramento, CA 95825-2322

Phone: (800) 633-2322

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — File a written privacy complaint with Patient Relations at UCSF or with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights

50 United Nations Plaza, Room 322

San Francisco, CA 94102

Phone: (415) 437-8310

Fax: (415) 437-8329

TTY: (415) 437-8311

Medicare — If you are a Medicare patient, file a complaint or grievance regarding quality of care, a coverage decision or premature discharge appeal with Medicare’s Quality Improvement Organization at (800) 841-1602 or (800) 881-5980 (TTY).

Joint Commission — Contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring, if you feel your concerns about patient care or safety have not been adequately addressed by UCSF Medical Center.

Joint Commission

Division of Accreditation Operations, Office of Quality Monitoring

One Renaissance Blvd.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Phone: (800) 994-6610


Fax: (630) 792-5636

Safety Drills

Safety is a fundamental concern. We participate periodically in fire and emergency drills to test safety equipment and as part of our continuing Safety Education Program for all employees. If an alarm sounds while you are here, please stay calm and follow the instructions of the staff. We will take care of you.


Because we care about your health and the health of others, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and UCSF Medical Center are smoke-free. Smoking in and around the hospital premises and affiliated sites is prohibited. Outdoor smoking areas at the medical center have been eliminated.

Hospital patients who smoke will receive nicotine replacement therapy and counseling by our smoking cessation team. Nicotine replacement products will be available in the hospital Gift Shop at Parnassus and Mount Zion for family members and visitors who smoke.

See more information about our smoke-free workplace.

NOTE — It is our policy not to engage in discrimination against or harassment of any person employed or seeking employment or patient care with UCSF Medical Center on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), pregnancy, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran (special disabled veteran, Vietnam era veteran, or any other veteran who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized). Non-discrimination information is available in an alternative form of communication to meet the needs of persons with sensory impairments.

Patient Rooms

We have both private and double occupancy rooms, which are assigned depending on availability and your medical needs. If you would like a private room, please make the request through your doctor. If a private room is not available at the beginning of your stay, we will make every effort to provide one as soon as possible.

If you have a private room, an adult may stay overnight with you. (Children may not spend the night.) We will try to provide a sleep chair or cot. Please let us know as soon as possible if you will have someone rooming with you. Overnight guests aren’t allowed in semi-private rooms.

Telephones are located at each bedside, except in critical care areas. Incoming calls can be received from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. You may place outgoing calls at any time.

Cellular phones may not be used in patient care areas because they interfere with medical equipment. Our staff can direct you to public telephones or areas where you may use cellular phones.

Each patient room has a wall-mounted television. It provides major network programming as well as Spanish language channels and a music channel.

Special Needs

If you are hearing impaired, pay phone TTYs (teletypewriters) — also known as TDDs (telecommunication devices for the deaf) — are available throughout the medical center. We also provide bedside TTYs, phone amplifiers and pocket talkers for patients. Medical center operators are available 24 hours a day by TTY.

TTY Operator (415) 885-3TTY

Books on tape are provided by Volunteer Services for visually impaired hospital patients.

Volunteer Services (415) 353-1196

For any other services or special requests, please ask your nurse or call Patient Relations.

Patient Relations (415) 353-1936

Internet Access and Videoconferencing

UCSF Medical Center has partnered with Skype to connect hospital patients with family and friends who are unable to visit in person. The Skype video and voice-calling program is available to patients during their stay in UCSF hospitals.

Using designated laptop computers with Skype software, patients can have virtual visits on a secure network.

Laptops also are available to patients for Internet access.

To borrow a laptop, call Volunteer Services at (415) 353-1196, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Patient Safety

While receiving care at UCSF Medical Center, your safety is our primary concern. Many procedures are in place to protect your well-being and to secure the best medical outcome possible for you. However, as with any system, these safeguards are not completely error proof. By working with your health care team, you can help us ensure a safer health care experience for you.

Please let us know is something seems unsafe or you see something that we can do better. We welcome your concerns and questions and encourage you to express them to your doctors, nurses and other staff as they will know whom to contact to correct the situation.

Call the Patient Safety Hotline at any time and anonymously report your safety concern:

Patient Safety Hotline (415) 353-8787

If you prefer, you may contact Patient Relations at (415) 353-1936.

Steps You Can Take to Help Prevent Medical Errors

Medication Tips

Recognize your medication. If the medications you are given do not look familiar, speak up and alert your doctor or nurse. Do the same when picking up medication from the pharmacy.

Make sure that all of your doctors know about everything you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines as well as dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs.

Make sure your doctor and your nurse know about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to medications.

When your doctor writes you a prescription, make sure you can read it.

Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand — both when your medicines are prescribed and when you receive them.

Hospital Stays

Know your health care professionals. All UCSF Medical Center employees — doctors, nurses and other staff — wear a photo identification badge while on duty. If you’re not sure who someone is or what their role is, please ask.

Make sure your caregivers wash their hands if they perform any “hands on” procedures. Evidence is overwhelming that washing your hands is the single most important thing that anyone — including your caregiver — can do to prevent the spread of infection.

When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to explain the treatment plan you will use at home.

Other Important Tips

If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor and your surgeon all agree clearly on exactly what will be done. Make sure you know who is in charge of your care. This is particularly important when many people are involved in your treatment or when you have many health problems.

Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have the right to know about your care. We encourage you to discuss your questions and concerns with your doctor or any member of your care team.

If you can, ask a family member or friend to be there with you and to be your advocate. It is important to have someone who can help get things done and speak up for you if you can’t.

To learn more, please review our Patient Safety Booklet.

Contact Us

If you have safety concerns that have not been resolved, you may contact the administration of UCSF Medical Center:

Mark Laret

Chief Executive Officer

UCSF Medical Center

500 Parnassus Ave.

San Francisco, CA 94143-0296

Phone (415) 353-2733

If you feel your concern about patient care or safety has not been adequately addressed by UCSF Medical Center, you may contact the Office of Quality Monitoring of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) by calling (800) 994-6610 or sending an email to You also may contact the state Department of Health at (800) 554-0353, your health insurance company or other agencies.


Online Bill Pay

Patients of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital can pay bills online with American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa credit cards by enrolling with the Online Billing Manager. Patients can view outstanding balances, pay in full or select specific payments. To learn more or to enroll, visit Payments take 48 to 72 hours to be reflected in your online account.

Transactions are securely processed by Patient Compass, a subsidiary of McKesson Corp., and are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standard.

Understanding Your Bill

As a patient at UCSF Medical Center or UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, you may receive a bill from one of several offices. You may receive a bill from the hospital or medical center for its services and you may receive a bill from one or more physicians who provided your care.

For example, after a stay in the hospital, you most likely will receive two bills — one from the hospital and one from your physician.

Hospital Bill

One bill is for hospital services, which includes room and board. If you had diagnostic tests such as X-rays, electrocardiograms (EKGs) or breathing tests, you will receive a bill indicating fees for the service provided by a technician and fees for the use of equipment and supplies involved with the test or service.

Initially, you’ll receive a statement indicating the fees charged and the amount covered by your insurance company. This is not a bill but simply a statement.

If there is a balance owed by you that was not covered by insurance, you’ll receive a second document by mail. This is a bill indicating the amount you owe.

If you have questions regarding these hospital fees or for billing inquries, please call Patient Financial Services.

Physician Bill

This bill is from the doctor who provided your care during your hospital stay or the doctor who read and interpreted your test results. Since this doctor is not an employee of the hospital, the service is billed separately. You are not paying twice for the same service. This bill is typically printed on tan or pink paper.

If you have a question regarding the doctor’s bill, please call Customer Service.

Payment Tips

Please keep each statement separate. Do not combine your statements and submit one payment. Each office must be paid separately.

We accept American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa as well as personal check, cashier’s check and money order.

Generally, you will receive a bill one to three weeks after you receive services from the physicians of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. If you have health insurance, our billing office will first bill your insurance carrier for all services. If your insurance plan does not cover a service or procedure or does not cover the entire cost, you will be responsible for the uncovered fees.


If you are covered by Medicare, we will submit your claims to Medicare on your behalf. After Medicare makes its payment, we will bill your supplemental insurance carrier for the remaining balance. If you do not have supplemental insurance, you will be responsible for the balance.


Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program, a medical assistance program for low-income residents funded by the state and federal government. If you are covered under this program, please provide an eligibility card or other proof of eligibility for each month of service.


If you don’t have insurance or if you’re seeking care that’s not covered by your insurance plan, you are considered a self-pay patient.

UCSF Medical Center offers a discount to all self-pay patients. If you can’t afford the discounted rate, you may qualify for government programs or our charity care assistance. Financial counselors are available to discuss your options and offer assistance in the financial planning of your medical care or services.

Payment is required within 30 days of billing, except for elective procedures. All elective procedures require a deposit unless patients are eligible for care under a government program or under our charity care policy. Deposit terms are determined by Financial Counseling based on the outstanding payment.

Health Insurance

Dealing with health insurance and other benefits can be very confusing. If you have questions, please call your insurance representative to better understand how your policy works and what it covers.

Please bring your Medicare, Medi-Cal or insurance identification card to your visit at UCSF Medical Center. Your insurance may require prior authorization before seeing a UCSF doctor. If so, please ask your primary care doctor or insurance company to fax your authorization to the UCSF doctor’s office and bring a copy to your appointment to ensure you aren’t billed for services covered by your insurance. You may be called for insurance or authorization information before your appointment.

Your insurance may require an office co-payment. If so, you will be asked to make your co-payment in full at your visit. If your visit is not covered by a health plan or insurance, you will be asked to pay for your visit on arrival. For your convenience, we accept cash, checks and credit cards.

UCSF Medical Center contracts with many major health insurance companies. A list of health insurance companies that provide coverage for our services is available below

Medical Records

To request your medical record, please complete the health information release form or send us a written request with your medical record or unit number, full name at the time of treatment and your signature to authorize release of this information. If you don’t have your medical record number, please provide your birth date and Social Security number. Send your request to the following address:

UCSF Medical Center

ATTN: Medical Records, Box 0308

Release of Patient Records

185 Berry St., Lobby 1, Suite 2000

San Francisco, CA 94143-0308

You also may submit your request in person at the Medical Records office. We do not accept email or fax requests.

Your request will be processed within 15 days. We will mail the copy of your medical record to the address you provide or you may pick up your copy at our office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

We charge 25 cents per page to copy medical records. We will notify you by phone in advance of the total charge to retrieve your records. You may pay the fee by mail by sending a check or in person, if you pick up your records.

If you would like to review your health information in the Medical Records office, please call (415) 353-2221 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday to make an appointment.

Radiology Images

A copy of your Radiology images and report on CD will be provided to you at no charge, if you request it.

To request your images and report, complete a health information release form and fax it to the Radiology Library where you had your exam. Please include the following information:

Patient name


Medical record number (if you know it)

Date of exam and type of exam

Your telephone number

Your mailing address, including zip code

If you have any questions about getting a copy of your images and report, please call the Radiology Library at (415) 353-1640 , 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Radiology Library at Parnassus

505 Parnassus Ave., Room M-381

San Francisco, CA 94122

Phone: (415) 353-1640

Fax: (415) 353-8583

Radiology Library at Mount Zion

1600 Divisadero St., Room A-118B

San Francisco, CA 94118

Phone: (415) 885 7466

Fax: (415) 885-7449

Privacy Practices

UCSF Medical Center is committed to protecting your medical information. For information about your rights and the obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your medical information, please see our Notice of Privacy Practices


Notary services are available by appointment for patients with health-related issues.

If you have an urgent need to have a health-care document notarized while you are a patient in the hospital, you may call Patient Relations at (415) 353-1936 for assistance.

A list of local and traveling notaries is available.

Find a Doctor


Get Help Finding a Doctor

For personal help finding a doctor,

please call us at (888) 689-UCSF (689-8273)

Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST) or

email us at

For pediatric doctors and staff, see UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Meet Dr. Allen

Dr. Christina Allen specializes in the treatment of knee injuries, especially those of women athletes. An avid soccer player, she’s an expert in treating anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

Learn more about Dr. Allen

Find Doctor by Name



























Find Doctor by Specialty

Allergy & Immunology



Blood Diseases & BMT


Colorectal Surgery

Critical Care


Ear, Nose & Throat/Head & Neck Surgery

Emergency Medicine


Fetal Surgery




Hospital Medicine

Infectious Diseases

Integrative Medicine




Medical Genetics



Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Health

Occupational Medicine

Optometry & Opthalmology

Organ Transplants

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine

Palliative Care


Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Primary Care





Vascular Surgery

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, a part of UCSF Medical Center, is recognized throughout the world as a leader in health care, known for innovative medicine, advanced technology and compassionate care. For more than a century, it has offered the highest quality medical treatment. Today, our expertise covers virtually all pediatric conditions, including cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, organ transplant and orthopedics as well as birth defects.

Innovative Medicine

UCSF Medical Center is one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation, according to the annual ranking by U.S. News & World Report. As an academic medical center, we’re a world leader in research that leads to medical breakthroughs, new technology and the highest quality care. We offer the most advanced treatments, many developed here at UCSF and not available elsewhere. In addition to world class medicine, the compassion of our doctors, nurses and other staff are key to our success.

For Visitors

Guest Services at UCSF Medical Center provides assistance to patients, family members and visitors to help make their visit or stay as smooth as possible. Our representatives are available to assist with services ranging from locating a patient’s hospital room to finding a clinic or wheelchair.

Our information desks are in the lobbies of our hospitals and medical office buildings. Lobby staff, Greeters and volunteer Ambassadors provide resources such as lodging and local attractions, help with driving directions and public transportation or assistance with the drop-off and pick-up of patients.

To reach us, call:

Guest Services (415) 353-1664

After business hours, your call will be forwarded to:

Operator Services (415) 476-1000

Contact a Patient

To contact a hospital patient by phone, call (415) 353-1664.

You also can send a patient a message by completing a form online or by mail.

Surgical Family Lounges

Parnassus Hospital

The Surgical Family Lounge at UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus is a check-in and waiting area for patients who are staying overnight in the hospital after surgery. Guest Services staff provide family members and friends with amenities and updates on patients during surgery.

Your surgeon may connect with a family member or your designee in the lounge after your surgery. Please do not bring food and beverages into the lounge as a courtesy to surgery patients who are required to fast.

To contact the lounge, call (415) 353-1626 or (415) 353-1231.

Surgical Family Lounge

UCSF Medical Center

505 Parnassus Ave., Room M-104J for check-in

Hours: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday to Friday

Mount Zion Hospital

The Surgical Family Lounge at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion is a waiting area for family members and friends of patients undergoing surgery. A hospital representative provides amenities and updates on patients during surgery. Free wireless Internet access is available.

Your surgeon may connect with a family member or your designee in the lounge after your surgery. Please do not bring food and beverages into the lounge as a courtesy to surgery patients who are required to fast.

To contact the lounge, call (415) 514-8441.

Surgical Family Lounge

UCSF Medical Center

1600 Divisadero St., Room A-325, Third Floor

Hours: 5:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., Monday to Friday

Information Desks

Guest Services representatives are available in the following locations in San Francisco:

UCSF Medical Center Hospital

Information Desk

505 Parnassus Ave.

Phone: (415) 353-1664

Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday to Friday

10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, Sunday, Holidays

Medical Office Building 1

(Ambulatory Care Center)

Information Desk

400 Parnassus Ave.

Phone: (415) 353-2048

Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Information Desk

1600 Divisadero St.

Phone: (415) 353-9548

Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

The manager of Guest Services is Nancy Arcelona, who can be reached at (415) 353-4009.

See information for visitors at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Smoke-Free Environment

UCSF is a smoke-free environment. Smoking in and around the hospital and affiliated sites is prohibited. Hospital patients who smoke will receive nicotine replacement therapy and counseling by our smoking cessation team. Nicotine replacement products are available in the hospital Gift Shop at Parnassus and Mount Zion.


Osher Clinical Center Services

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Home

About the Osher Center

People and Leadership

Osher Clinical Center

About the OCC

Our Services

Our Practitioners

For Patients

For Medical Professionals

Make a Gift to the Osher Clinical Center


Education Initiatives

IM Research Forum 2014

News and Events

Connect with Us

We are available to see patients for individual treatments or for a multidisciplinary evaluation. This collaborative approach has been particularly helpful for musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain, neck pain, overuse injuries, or other problems such as, headache disorders and stress related conditions.

Comprehensive services available at the Osher Clinical Center Medical Therapies for patients include:

Acupuncture – traditional Chinese and Japanese;

Chiropractic care;

Cranial Sacral therapy;

Therapeutic Massage;

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction;

Occupational Therapy;

Therapeutic Tai Chi/Yoga.

The Osher Clinical Center offers consultations on:

Behavioral health/mind-body evaluation;

Cholesterol management and cardiac risk reduction;

Dietary herbs, vitamins and supplements;

Integrative medicine – health, wellness and prevention;

Neurological disorders;

Non-surgical approaches to orthopedic problems;

Nutrition counseling.

The Osher Clinical Center also offers courses to help you improve your health and wellbeing. Click on the links below to learn more.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program


Core Integration for Improving Lower Back Function

I.        Tai Osher Clinical Center Services

We are available to see patients for individual treatments or for a multidisciplinary evaluation. This collaborative approach has been particularly helpful for musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain, neck pain, overuse injuries, or other problems such as, headache disorders and stress related conditions.

  1. Comprehensive services available at the Osher Clinical Center Medical Therapies for patients include:
  1. The Osher Clinical Center also offers courses to help you improve your health and wellbeing. Click on the links below to learn more.


For Medical Professionals

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine Home

About the Osher Center

People and Leadership

Osher Clinical Center

About the OCC

Our Services

Our Practitioners

For Patients

For Medical Professionals

Make a Gift to the Osher Clinical Center


Education Initiatives

IM Research Forum 2014

News and Events

Connect with Us

Why should I refer my patient to the Osher Clinical Center?

Highly Skilled Staff

Every one of our providers is extensively qualified in his or her specialty and has been vetted by industry leaders in his or her field. The following links provide additional information regarding our acupuncture, chiropractic, and therapeutic massage services, and our staff bios give in-depth details on all of our licensed providers.


Every week our providers meet to discuss complex patient cases.  These inter-disciplinary meetings allow providers to run their ideas past members of their discipline as well as any other providers who might have some insights into a given situation. These meetings focus on case management with insights from the latest research related to our fields, all of which work toward our mission of advancing both patient health and the knowledge base of our field.

Partners’ Electronic Medical Record System (LMR)

Your patients will benefit from the seamless experience afforded by the Partners organization’s advanced Electronic Medical Record System. This system, which is shared by all of the Partners affiliates, allows for each component of your patient’s care at the Osher Clinical Center to be documented digitally and made available to you at your request.  It also allows our medical director and clinicians to take a much more in-depth look at your patient’s medical history, avoiding much of the red tape that can be involved in obtaining medical records and expediting our providers’ understanding of your patient’s specific needs.

Keeping Pace with Science

The research happening within the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine enables us to keep abreast of the latest research related to what we do. This allows us to serve as an incubator for numerous research projects conducted by our Harvard Medical School fellows.  In turn, we are better able to serve the scientific community, but, most importantly, it enables us to continuously refine our unique approach to health care with fresh ideas as we seek to do everything in our power to better serve our patients.

Facilitating the Open Flow of Communication among Providers

We believe it is important to maintain communication with all of the providers involved in a patient’s care.  For this reason, we are very careful to keep patients’ PCPs, and any other providers concerned, up to date on patient progress. We are also happy to hear from those providers about any suggestions or concerns they may have. Ultimately, we seek to use all information available to ensure that the patient receives the best care possible, whether at our clinic or yours, and our positioning in such a well-established institution as Brigham and Women’s Hospital helps make this goal a reality.


  1. I blog frequently and Igenuinely thank yyou for your information. Your article haas really
    peaked my interest. I amm going to bookmark your site and keep checking
    for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed

Bir Cevap Yazın

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.