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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

  • Residencies

    Columbia University, Orthopedic Surgery, 2010

  • 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
    361 Ratings
    About our process
    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 Chen is a ~PRO~ & a natural. I deeply appreciate her kind candor (aka she is straight but can trust her)
    Sep 22, 2022
    Dr. Lan Chen is an excellent doctor with compleat knowledge and skills
    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.
    May 27, 2022
    I have an appt to get more X-rays and recommendations for surgery but at least I was informs that a serious surgery was not required.
    May 20, 2022
    This provider thought I was a previous patient that she had seen before however I was a new patient seeking consultation from a speciality service. She incorrectly read my XR initially I had to provide radiology report from outside hospital for her to locate my fracture. She never preformed H&P and she minimized my pain explaining that this type of injury isn't painful. Lastly she barely assessed my injury. As as PICU nurse I was extremely disappointed in the type of care she provides to her patients and will not be returning to her or UCSF for follow-up. Lastly I would not recommend this institution for treatment.
    May 20, 2022
    The provider always made sure I understood the instructions and included them in the after visit summary.
    Apr 18, 2022
    She was great too. Everyone was great!
    Apr 14, 2022
    She is likely a good surgeon. She is somewhat arrogant with a hint of condescension and seems unconcerned with preventative medicine and medical explanations for patients.
    Apr 02, 2022
    Very pleased with her care
    Apr 01, 2022
    Defensive and challenged my feelings.Became accusatory
    Mar 18, 2022
    All good
    Mar 03, 2022
    Dr. Chen is absolutely outstanding! So happy to have her on my care team. so professional knowledgeable and helpful. Took extra time to explain everything carefully.
    Feb 10, 2022
    Easy to talk to.
    Feb 01, 2022
    The in-person experience with Dr. Chen was great but messaging through MyChart was extremely frustrating due to questions ignored and long delays in responding.
    Dec 19, 2021
    I was in so much pain it was difficult for me to focus and concentrate. Dr. Chen quickly prioritized a plan while being very patient and kind. I truly appreciate her insight her ability to listen and take action in regards to the first steps that will lead to my recovery!
    Sep 28, 2021
    Dr. Chen is one of the best physicians that has treated me! Couldn't ask for any better!
    Sep 26, 2021
    All very dood and thoughtful
    Sep 21, 2021
    As always Dr. Chen was a very good listener and explainer and went the extra steps to share online examples of resources she suggested.
    Sep 18, 2021
    Overall more information about how to prepare for surgery and how to care for oneself after surgery would be very helpful.