Alicia Fernandez, MD

Professor of Medicine
+1 628 206-5394

Alicia Fernandez, M.D., is Professor of Medicine at UCSF and a general internist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She is the founding Director of the UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence, a HRSA and UCSF funded initiative to increase academic diversity. Dr. Fernandez directs the Latinx and Immigrant Health Research Program at the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations which generates actionable research to increase health equity and reduce health disparities in at-risk populations in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and nationally

Dr. Fernandez' research expertise includes language and literacy barriers in health care, health care equity in chronic disease, and racism in medicine. Most recently, her NIH funded research has focused on improving diabetes care among immigrant populations. Dr. Fernandez has served on the National Academy of Science Roundtable on Health Literacy since 2014. Dr. Fernandez is on the Board of Governors and Chair of the Science Oversight Committee at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Center. Since 2020, she serves on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

At UCSF, Dr. Fernandez is a member of the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators. She received the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Professorship for Humanism in Medicine (2009-2013). Along with colleagues at UCSF, she edits the textbook, Medical Management of Vulnerable and Underserved Patients (Lange,2nd edition)


Abstract P282: A Simple Clinical Scoring System Using Readily Available Clinical Measures for Prediction of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Evidence From the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).


Luis A Rodriguez, Stephen Shiboski, Patrick Bradshaw, Alicia Fernandez, David M Herrington, Jingzhong Ding, Ryan D Bradley, Alka M Kanaya

Physician and Trainee Experiences With Patient Bias.

JAMA internal medicine

Wheeler M, de Bourmont S, Paul-Emile K, Pfeffinger A, McMullen A, Critchfield JM, Fernandez A

Medical Students' Perceptions of and Responses to Health Care Disparities During Clinical Clerkships.

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

Glaser J, Pfeffinger A, Quan J, Fernandez A

Barriers and facilitators to healthy eating among low-income Latino adolescents.


Beck AL, Iturralde EM, Haya-Fisher J, Kim S, Keeton V, Fernandez A

Challenges and Successes with Food Resource Referrals for Food-Insecure Patients with Diabetes.

The Permanente journal

Marpadga S, Fernandez A, Leung J, Tang A, Seligman H, Murphy EJ

How Does Acculturation Influence Smoking Behavior Among Latinos? The Role of Education and National Background

Ethnicity and Disease

Erik J. Rodriquez, Alicia Fernández, Jennifer C. Livaudais-Toman, Eliseo J. Perez-Stable

Regulatory initiatives to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Latin America.

PloS one

Bergallo P, Castagnari V, Fernández A, Mejía R

How Small Differences in Assessed Clinical Performance Amplify to Large Differences in Grades and Awards: A Cascade With Serious Consequences for Students Underrepresented in Medicine.

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

Teherani A, Hauer KE, Fernandez A, King TE, Lucey C

Language barriers and LDL-C/SBP control among Latinos with diabetes.

The American journal of managed care

Fernandez A, Warton EM, Schillinger D, Moffet HH, Kruger J, Adler N, Karter AJ

Collaborative Care for Depression among Patients with Limited English Proficiency: a Systematic Review.

Journal of general internal medicine

Garcia ME, Ochoa-Frongia L, Moise N, Aguilera A, Fernandez A

Consequences of Recent Anti-Immigration Policy-Reply.

JAMA internal medicine

Fernandez A, Rodriguez RA

Perspectives of low-income chronically ill patients on complex care management.

Families, systems & health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare

Mao AY, Willard-Grace R, Dubbin L, Aronson L, Fernandez A, Burke NJ, Finch J, Davis E

Undocumented Immigrants and Access to Health Care.

JAMA internal medicine

Fernández A, Rodriguez RA

Adherence to Newly Prescribed Diabetes Medications Among Insured Latino and White Patients With Diabetes.

JAMA internal medicine

Fernández A, Quan J, Moffet H, Parker MM, Schillinger D, Karter AJ

Association of Patient-Physician Language Concordance and Glycemic Control for Limited-English Proficiency Latinos With Type 2 Diabetes.

JAMA internal medicine

Parker MM, Fernández A, Moffet HH, Grant RW, Torreblanca A, Karter AJ

Comparing Strategies for Lipid Lowering in Argentina: An Analysis from the CVD Policy Model-Argentina.

Journal of general internal medicine

Konfino J, Fernandez A, Penko J, Mason A, Martinez E, Coxson P, Heller D, Moran A, Bibbins-Domingo K, Pérez-Stable EJ, Mejía R

Projected Impact of Mexico's Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Policy on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: A Modeling Study.

PLoS medicine

Sánchez-Romero LM, Penko J, Coxson PG, Fernández A, Mason A, Moran AE, Ávila-Burgos L, Odden M, Barquera S, Bibbins-Domingo K

Identifying Spanish Language Competent Physicians: The Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE).

Ethnicity & disease

Chaufan C, Karter AJ, Moffet HH, Quan J, Parker MM, Kruger J, Schillinger D, Fernandez A

San Francisco childcare centers' preparedness in the prevention and management of asthma among preschool-aged children.

The Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma

Young CA, Stookey J, Patel AI, Chan C, Evans J, Cohn K, Agana L, Yen IH, Fernandez A, Cabana MD

The Association Between Limited English Proficiency and Unplanned Emergency Department Revisit Within 72 Hours.

Annals of emergency medicine

Ngai KM, Grudzen CR, Lee R, Tong VY, Richardson LD, Fernandez A

Dealing with Racist Patients.

The New England journal of medicine

Paul-Emile K, Smith AK, Lo B, Fernández A

Research in the Sociology of Health Care

"It's not the doctor - it's me." How self-blame obscures language and other structural barriers to diabetes care mong low-income Latinos with limited English Proficiency.

Chaufan C, Fielding H, Chesla C, Fernandez A.

Development of a Tool to Evaluate Asthma Preparedness and Management in Child-Care Centers.

Pediatric allergy, immunology, and pulmonology

Young CA, Chan C, Stookey J, Patel AI, Evans J, Cohn K, Agana L, Yen IH, Fernandez A, Cabana MD

Self-care and Subjectivity among Mexican Diabetes Patients in the United States.

Medical anthropology quarterly

Seligman R, Mendenhall E, Valdovinos MD, Fernandez A, Jacobs EA

Development and implementation of a workshop to enhance the effectiveness of mentors working with diverse mentees in HIV research.

AIDS research and human retroviruses

Gandhi M, Fernandez A, Stoff DM, Narahari S, Blank M, Fuchs J, Evans CH, Kahn JS, Johnson MO

Undocumented immigration status and diabetes care among Mexican immigrants in two immigration "sanctuary" areas.

Journal of immigrant and minority health

Iten AE, Jacobs EA, Lahiff M, Fernández A

Age and glycemic control among low-income Latinos.

Journal of immigrant and minority health

Naranjo DM, Jacobs EA, Fisher L, Hessler D, Fernandez A

Differences in the clinical recognition of depression in diabetes patients: the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE).

The American journal of managed care

Hudson DL, Karter AJ, Fernandez A, Parker M, Adams AS, Schillinger D, Moffet HH, Zhou J, Adler NE

Advances in measuring culturally competent care: a confirmatory factor analysis of CAHPS-CC in a safety-net population.

Medical care

Stern RJ, Fernandez A, Jacobs EA, Neilands TB, Weech-Maldonado R, Quan J, Carle A, Seligman HK

Risk factors for reporting poor cultural competency among patients with diabetes in safety net clinics.

Medical care

Seligman HK, Fernandez A, Stern RJ, Weech-Maldonado R, Quan J, Jacobs EA

Susto, coraje, and abuse: depression and beliefs about diabetes.

Culture, medicine and psychiatry

Mendenhall E, Fernandez A, Adler N, Jacobs EA

Interpretation for discussions about end-of-life issues: results from a National Survey of Health Care Interpreters.

Journal of palliative medicine

Schenker Y, Fernandez A, Kerr K, O'Riordan D, Pantilat SZ

Concepts of diabetes self-management in Mexican American and African American low-income patients with diabetes.

Health education research

Lynch EB, Fernandez A, Lighthouse N, Mendenhall E, Jacobs E

Effect of Spanish language immersion rotations on medical student Spanish fluency.

Family medicine

Reuland DS, Slatt LM, Alemán MA, Fernandez A, Dewalt D

Food insecurity and glycemic control among low-income patients with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes care

Seligman HK, Jacobs EA, López A, Tschann J, Fernandez A

"Her husband doesn't speak much English": conducting a family meeting with an interpreter.

Journal of palliative medicine

Schenker Y, Smith AK, Arnold RM, Fernandez A

The association between housing instability, food insecurity, and diabetes self-efficacy in low-income adults.

Journal of health care for the poor and underserved

Vijayaraghavan M, Jacobs EA, Seligman H, Fernandez A

Ethnic differences in appointment-keeping and implications for the patient-centered medical home--findings from the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE).

Health services research

Parker MM, Moffet HH, Schillinger D, Adler N, Fernandez A, Ciechanowski P, Karter AJ

Food insecurity and hypoglycemia among safety net patients with diabetes.

Archives of internal medicine

Seligman HK, Jacobs EA, Lopez A, Sarkar U, Tschann J, Fernandez A

Adherence to laboratory test requests by patients with diabetes: the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE).

The American journal of managed care

Moffet HH, Parker MM, Sarkar U, Schillinger D, Fernandez A, Adler NE, Adams AS, Karter AJ

Accuracy of physician self-report of Spanish language proficiency.

Journal of immigrant and minority health

Rosenthal A, Wang F, Schillinger D, Pérez Stable EJ, Fernandez A

Asian Americans and obesity in California: a protective effect of biculturalism.

Journal of immigrant and minority health

Wang S, Quan J, Kanaya AM, Fernandez A

Case 34-2010: A woman with an incorrect operation.

The New England journal of medicine

Fernandez A, Ettinger KM, Lo B

Assessment of medical students' shared decision-making in standardized patient encounters.

Journal of general internal medicine

Hauer KE, Fernandez A, Teherani A, Boscardin CK, Saba GW

Language barriers, physician-patient language concordance, and glycemic control among insured Latinos with diabetes: the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE).

Journal of general internal medicine

Fernandez A, Schillinger D, Warton EM, Adler N, Moffet HH, Schenker Y, Salgado MV, Ahmed A, Karter AJ

Impact of student ethnicity and patient-centredness on communication skills performance.

Medical education

Hauer KE, Boscardin C, Gesundheit N, Nevins A, Srinivasan M, Fernandez A

Racial composition of residential areas associates with access to pre-ESRD nephrology care.

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN

Prakash S, Rodriguez RA, Austin PC, Saskin R, Fernandez A, Moist LM, O'Hare AM

Speaking through diabetes: Rethinking the significance of lay discourses on diabetes.

Medical anthropology quarterly

Mendenhall E, Seligman RA, Fernandez A, Jacobs EA

A strategy for improving health disparities education in medicine.

Journal of general internal medicine

Ross PT, Wiley Cené C, Bussey-Jones J, Brown AF, Blackman D, Fernández A, Fernández L, Glick SB, Horowitz CR, Jacobs EA, Peek ME, Wilkerson L, Lypson ML

Teaching about health care disparities in the clinical setting.

Journal of general internal medicine

Glick SB, Fernandez L, Irby DM, Harleman E, Fernandez A

Interventions to improve patient comprehension in informed consent for medical and surgical procedures: a systematic review.

Medical decision making : an international journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making

Schenker Y, Fernandez A, Sudore R, Schillinger D

The impact of limited English proficiency and physician language concordance on reports of clinical interactions among patients with diabetes: the DISTANCE study.

Patient education and counseling

Schenker Y, Karter AJ, Schillinger D, Warton EM, Adler NE, Moffet HH, Ahmed AT, Fernandez A

Time to establish national standards and certification for health care interpreters.

Patient education and counseling

Fernandez A, Schenker Y

Placebo prescriptions are missed opportunities for doctor-patient communication.

The American journal of bioethics : AJOB

Schenker Y, Fernandez A, Lo B

Accuracy of self-assessed Spanish fluency in medical students.

Teaching and learning in medicine

Reuland DS, Frasier PY, Olson MD, Slatt LM, Aleman MA, Fernandez A

Responding to the Language Challenge: Kaiser Permanente's Approach.

The Permanente journal

Meyers K, Tang G, Fernandez A

Getting by: underuse of interpreters by resident physicians.

Journal of general internal medicine

Diamond LC, Schenker Y, Curry L, Bradley EH, Fernandez A

Navigating language barriers under difficult circumstances.

Annals of internal medicine

Schenker Y, Lo B, Ettinger KM, Fernandez A

Acute myocardial infarction length of stay and hospital mortality are not associated with language preference.

Journal of general internal medicine

Grubbs V, Bibbins-Domingo K, Fernandez A, Chattopadhyay A, Bindman AB

Recommendations for teaching about racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care.

Annals of internal medicine

Smith WR, Betancourt JR, Wynia MK, Bussey-Jones J, Stone VE, Phillips CO, Fernandez A, Jacobs E, Bowles J

Language barriers in health care.

Journal of general internal medicine

Saha S, Fernandez A

Reducing language barriers and racial/ethnic disparities in health care: an investment in our future.

Journal of general internal medicine

Saha S, Fernandez A, Perez-Stable E

The impact of language barriers on documentation of informed consent at a hospital with on-site interpreter services.

Journal of general internal medicine

Schenker Y, Wang F, Selig SJ, Ng R, Fernandez A

BiDil for heart failure in black patients.

Annals of internal medicine

Bibbins-Domingo K, Fernandez A

Impact of student ethnicity and primary childhood language on communication skill assessment in a clinical performance examination.

Journal of general internal medicine

Fernandez A, Wang F, Braveman M, Finkas LK, Hauer KE

Effect of awareness of language law on language access in the health care setting.

Journal of general internal medicine

Grubbs V, Chen AH, Bindman AB, Vittinghoff E, Fernandez A

Shared decision making and the experience of partnership in primary care.

Annals of family medicine

Saba GW, Wong ST, Schillinger D, Fernandez A, Somkin CP, Wilson CC, Grumbach K

Effects of limited English proficiency and physician language on health care comprehension.

Journal of general internal medicine

Wilson E, Chen AH, Grumbach K, Wang F, Fernandez A

Unintended consequences of a quality improvement program designed to improve treatment of alcohol withdrawal in hospitalized patients.

Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety

Pletcher MJ, Fernandez A, May TA, Westphal JR, Gamez CA, Hersh DF, Gonzales R

Primary care physicians who treat blacks and whites.

The New England journal of medicine

Fernandez A, Goldstein L

Physician language ability and cultural competence. An exploratory study of communication with Spanish-speaking patients.

Journal of general internal medicine

Fernandez A, Schillinger D, Grumbach K, Rosenthal A, Stewart AL, Wang F, Pérez-Stable EJ

[Detection of domestic violence against women. Survey in a primary health care clinic].


Pontecorvo C, Mejía R, Aleman M, Vidal A, Majdalani MP, Fayanás R, Fernández A, Pérez Stable EJ

Physicians' ability to predict the risk of coronary heart disease.

BMC health services research

Pignone M, Phillips CJ, Elasy TA, Fernandez A

Educacion Medica

Residentes de primer ano de Medicina Interna: distribucion horaria de las tareas

Majdalani M, Mejia R, Fayanas R, Fernandez A, Perez-Stable EJ

Primary care physicians' experience with disease management programs.

Journal of general internal medicine

Fernandez A, Grumbach K, Vranizan K, Osmond DH, Bindman AB

Friend or foe? How primary care physicians perceive hospitalists.

Archives of internal medicine

Fernandez A, Grumbach K, Goitein L, Vranizan K, Osmond DH, Bindman AB

The populations and quality improvement seminar for medical residents.

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

Schillinger D, Wheeler M, Fernandez A

[Awareness and detection of domestic violence by clinical physicians].


Mejia R, Aleman M, Férnandez A, Pérez Stable EJ

Heart Failure

Anticoagulation in Patients with Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation

Fernandez A and Goldschlager N