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Lan Chen


Orthopedic surgeon
Foot and ankle specialist, modern mother and world traveler

Dr. Lan Chen is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle surgery. She cares for patients with all conditions of the foot and ankle, including arthritis, bunions, flatfeet, tendon disorders and bone fractures, and performs surgeries ranging from minimally invasive procedures to complex reconstructions. Her goal is to offer treatment options that enable patients to regain a high level of function and improve their quality of life.

Chen's research interests include complications after total ankle replacement surgery, complications and hospitalization outcomes after ankle fusion surgery, validating foot and ankle outcomes for adults who develop flatfoot, validating foot and ankle outcomes for patients with hallux valgus (a foot deformity that affects the big toe), and gene therapy using bone marrow stem cells to deliver the therapeutic genes.

Chen earned her medical degree and completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed a fellowship in orthopedic surgery, with an emphasis in foot and ankle reconstruction, at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a member of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.

Chen speaks conversational Mandarin. She enjoys travel, good food and spending time with her family.

  • Education

    Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, MD, 2005

  • Fellowships

    Hospital for Special Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, 2011

  • Academic Title

    Associate Professor

My goals are always aligned with the patient's. I provide accessible care with clear communication and an integrative team approach.

Where I see patients (2)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    374 Ratings
    About our process
    Jan 03, 2024
    Absolutely fantastic. Thank you.
    Nov 07, 2023
    I don't mind when a provider doesn't know the answer/diagnosis and is honest about that, so it was no problem that the doctor told me she was out of ideas. Still, waiting for 30 mins to see her and then getting 7 minutes to talk about something that has severely impacted my life for over a year and a half felt pretty frustrating. I know that this isn't concierge medicine or anything, but the doctors at UCSF are some of the smartest and best you can find, so I guess I would've expected her to want to research/dig into what's going on instead of brushing me aside and not even engaging in conversations that weren't strictly about the foot/ankle. When a case isn't obvious it would be really nice to have a doctor that cared enough to try to partner with you and really get to the bottom of what's going on, even if they specialize in something
    Nov 04, 2023
    Dr Chen, the nurse, and anesthesiologists were very caring and explained everything they were doing to make sure I was comfortable and calm for my surgery.
    Nov 01, 2023
    I have great confidence in Dr. Chen and appreciate the time she takes to explain rationals for best decision making.
    Oct 10, 2023
    Dr. Chen is outstanding and if needed, I will request her care again.
    Oct 08, 2023
    Dr. Chen was thoughtful and professional, explained everything clearly and helped me find a good direction forward.
    Oct 07, 2023
    Dr Chen is just amazing
    Sep 21, 2023
    Glad to recommend, but seldom comes up in conversation.
    Sep 19, 2023
    Care provider seemed pretty disinterested and didn't know what was going on. In simple terms she meant to say "deal with your problem" and didn't entirely provide a solution or further testing.
    Aug 31, 2023
    Dr. Chen was running late (which I was made aware of), but the moment she entered the room it felt like she was rushing to leave. Talking quickly, looking antsy, and literally moving towards the door as I was trying to ask follow up questions. I knew I had a tear in a tendon from the radiology report, but I don't think I learned much more from actually seeing Dr. Chen in person (I don't know the severity of the tear). She also mentioned I could need surgery, but only mentioned it was due to the arch of my foot. As I left, I realized I didn't actually learn why surgery may be necessary.I was glad to get a recommendation for a boot, prescription for an anti inflammatory, and a PT Rec.
    Aug 28, 2023
    The Dr.Chen was excellent. Getting an appointment the same day helped me avoid a trip to the ER for the X-ray.
    Aug 01, 2023
    Despite my frustrations about not being able to go barefoot in the future, I was really happy with my visit. Everyone was very friendly and knowledgeable, listened well, and explained the issue, options, risks, and benefits thoroughly.
    Jul 27, 2023
    It would have been helpful to know what kind of boot I was going to need before the visit so I could have had it in time for the visit rather than finding out at the visit and having to wear a temporary splint until I got my boot.
    Jul 18, 2023
    I love UCSF
    Jun 16, 2023
    I like Dr Chen.
    Jun 10, 2023
    Dr Chen is wonderful
    Jun 07, 2023
    Overall a very good experience
    May 31, 2023
    The doctor's honesty concerning my diagnosis is very commendable.I will refer her to anyone that I know would be interested in seeking medical attention about foot/ankle health care.
    Apr 27, 2023
    Very nice and comprehensive
    Apr 25, 2023
    My surgeon Dr Lan Chen was courteous and was very thorough about her instructions on what I needed to do before and after surgery. She showed genuine care and put me at ease. I would definitely recommend her.
    Apr 18, 2023
    Glad to be there at UCSF
    Apr 14, 2023
    I was beyond grateful that she saw me later In the day even though I had missed my appointment that day. Exemplary work ethic.
    Mar 29, 2023
    I felt the time with the provider was a bit rushed. I felt like I needed to quickly ask questions before the provider moved to the next patient. The provider offered limited information about potential surgery I might be seeking.
    Mar 20, 2023
    Excellent surgeon. Very satisfied with my care
    Mar 20, 2023
    Dr Chen, is very serious about her work but often seemed distracted by my questions and did not capture key aspects of my recommended care in her after-visit notes. She frequently said things like "I don't know." While I accept that some aspects of patient recovery are unknown I think better answers might have been "this is the range of patient experience from this kind of injury."
    Mar 11, 2023
    Dr. Chen continues to be an excellent physician. She listens, she asks questions about me, and how I feel my toe is, and recommends options from the least intrusive to a procedural correction. She is not pushy. She is very mindful and considerate. I have recommended her to several people.
    Mar 11, 2023
    She explained why it would not be wise to have surgery now - bone healing issues. She gave me steps to take to move forward as well as items to buy to help with pain management. I absolutely trusted what she was explaining to me in detail. I understood the bigger picture. I will follow all of her instructions.
    Mar 10, 2023
    I'm glad you're there and I'm glad to be here
    Mar 04, 2023
    Great Dr very knowledgeable
    Feb 24, 2023
    Dr. Chen was excellent in every way. She listened, explained, answered questions, gave me her recommendations, and never once rushed me. I truly appreciated her time.
    Feb 23, 2023
    Dr. Chen saw me for an ankle injury that required immediate attention, she excelled in every way to support me .
    Feb 23, 2023
    Dr Chen is an excellent provider who listens, is compassionate, explains everything, takes your opinions into account and is meticulous when performing procedures
    Feb 18, 2023
    Dr. Chen was very knowledgeable but made me feel rushed and didn't take the time to read my history. I know UCSF is very busy but time needs to be taken to give patients the courtesy to at least know which extremity you are having issues with. Also tests and X-rays should be reviewed with the patient automatically not just because they ask.
    Feb 10, 2023
    Dr. Chen has been wonderful throughout this journey. I cannot rate her highly enough.
    Feb 09, 2023
    Not a friendly provider and very aggressive
    Feb 01, 2023
    Compared to my last doctor, I felt she was thorough in helping me understand the problem, treatment, and timeline for recovery. I was very happy with the information and guidance she provided.
    Jan 31, 2023
    She gave reasonable advice, but I felt "dismissed" regarding my concerns and pain. She told me that my injury was not "complicated" and that I could go to any physical therapist. I understand that she meant that I did not need a specialist, but I still felt my situation was minimized.
    Jan 23, 2023
    She's great!
    Jan 12, 2023
    Dr. Chen is current, knowledgable, warm, and listens to her patients. Feel well-cared for and In competent hands.
    Jan 10, 2023
    It should be mandatory for anyone that provides care/suggestions for a patient to best understand the situation by reading their complete file to be able to correctly advise and avoid legal problems.
    Dec 24, 2022
    I feel very lucky to have Dr. Chen take care of my foot. She is a great doctor!
    Dec 06, 2022
    Dr Chen is excellent at communicating the pros and cons of a treatment choice. She listens to my concerns. Overall she wants to best and safest care for me
    Dec 03, 2022
    This provider was rude, refused to examine a part of my foot that started hurting after the initial exam. The exam was so fast that I couldn't give real time feedback. I would say that hurts but she had already squeezed two other places thus creating a false feedback loop where she didn't know which of the manipulations I was talking about. The provider did not acknowledge my experience and didnt offer alternative options to a therapy that I've had a bad experience with in the past. I would never subject someone to this doctor.
    Nov 17, 2022
    I was taken aback by how abrasive they were, and how they flat out didn't listen. This is no exaggeration, it was the worst experience I've received in the care space and I left that day feeling extremely defeated and demoralized. Put me in a total funk.
    Nov 10, 2022
    I understand my case is not easy and obvious, but I felt like the doctors shrugged their shoulders about what treatments might help.
    Nov 10, 2022
    Dr. Chen is outstanding!
    Nov 08, 2022
    Printer not working
    Nov 08, 2022
    Thorough. Good bedside manner.
    Oct 18, 2022
    This is the second visit I had with this provider. The first visit not much information was given, just that I had a fractured and to take vitamin D. Second visit, was horrible. My provider was not listening to my concerns and needs. Was very dismissive about my injury, kept telling me that based on X-ray the bone was healing, at one point she said it was all heal when clearly the bone is still fractured. I told my provider I had a recent fall which hurt my foot again. She pressed on it so hard and it was super painful, I made noises as she pressed on my foot. Later on, she checked again and pressed extremely hard. I got so frustrated from the pain she was causing and her not listening to my needs and concerns that I broke down crying so hard. It wasn't until she saw me crying that she started showing some empathy. I have never felt overwhelmed with the care I've had at Ucsf until this visit. I hate giving reviews like this, especially for a provider because I think they all deserve respect but my experience yesterday was awful.
    Oct 14, 2022
    She never looked at the MRI that I brought in, just the x-rays so she did not have the whole picture for evaluation. She missed the bone chip & 4/damaged ligaments. I had seen 2 other orthopedic surgeons who said that it was too complicated for them but she never looked at the MRI so she could not give a full diagnosis.
    Oct 13, 2022
    Dr. Chen is A+ in all areas!
    Oct 09, 2022
    As far as I know and was told, Dr. Chen is expert in treating my foot and ankle problem.
    Oct 06, 2022
    She is very good
    Sep 22, 2022
    Dr. Lan Chen is an excellent doctor with compleat knowledge and skills
    Sep 22, 2022
    Dr Chan is a ~PRO~ & a natural. I deeply appreciate her kind candor (aka she is straight, but can trust her)
    Aug 09, 2022
    Dr. Chen quickly conducted a physical exam of my ankles and gave me a diagnosis. She explained the normal solution - wearing a boot - would not work because it's both of my ankles rather than just one and you can't wear 2 boots at the same time. She said she would write an Rx for 30 days of antiinflammatories. I understood all of that, but I felt rushed through like she just wanted to write me a prescription and get me out if there. She seemed annoyed when I asked about whether she would suggest physical therapy. She simply replied "if you want." When I said I don't understand, and asked if she advised it, she said if I still feel pain after 30 days then I can start PT if I want, but it is not advisable to start PT right away when I currently have pain. When I asked for clarification by stating I didn't understand the difference, she really shut down on me and said she didn't know how else to help me. She was cold and rude. It was the worst experience with a doctor I have ever had and I was shocked to be treated that way at UCSF.
    Aug 04, 2022
    Doctor was professional, thorough and friendly. I really appreciated the time she spent with me.
    Jul 30, 2022
    Dr seemed rushed
    Jul 27, 2022
    I would recommend the provider but not sure about the system, operations, ir care for the elderly
    Jul 23, 2022
    I think Dr. Chen is outstanding.
    Jul 19, 2022
    Clinicians are excellent.