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Lekshmi Santhosh


Medical education researcher and restaurant recommender

Dr. Lekshmi Santhosh is a pulmonary medicine and critical care specialist who sees patients with a broad range of conditions related to the lungs. She is also the physician faculty lead of the specialized OPTIMAL Clinic for patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 or who have persistent pulmonary symptoms.

In addition to working in the clinic, she cares for patients in the medical and neurological intensive care units, as well as those admitted to the hospital through the general inpatient medical service.

Santhosh believes that medical care must begin with hearing a patient's story. Although she specializes in pulmonary medicine, she thinks carefully about the entire body. Her work in the ICU and the hospital's general medicine wards informs her consideration of interactions among all the organ systems.

Santhosh's research focuses on medical education. She has particular interests in developing women in leadership roles, clinical reasoning (decision-making in health care), and subspecialty education and career choice. She also studies the process of transitioning patients out of intensive care.

After earning a bachelor's degree in psychology/behavioral neuroscience at Yale University, Santhosh completed her medical degree at Harvard Medical School. She completed a residency in internal medicine at UCSF, serving as chief resident for an additional year. She also completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at UCSF and a master's degree in health professions education at the University of California, Berkeley.

Santhosh is a member of the American Thoracic Society. She serves as associate program director for UCSF's fellowship program in pulmonary and critical care medicine.

In her free time, Santhosh enjoys cooking and baking, dining out, traveling, hiking and spending time with her two daughters.

  • Education

    Harvard Medical School, 2011

    UC Berkeley, MA, Health Professions Education, 2019

    Yale University, BA, Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience, 2007

  • Residencies

    UCSF, Internal Medicine, 2014

  • Fellowships

    UCSF, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, 2018

  • Board Certifications

    Critical Care Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Pulmonary Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

I believe strongly that great patient care starts with listening to the patient's story.

Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    65 Ratings
    About our process
    Dec 03, 2023
    Dr Santhosh is a VERY careful listener and a great communicator!
    Oct 07, 2023
    Dr. Santhosh is absolutely wonderful the ideal doctor; thoughtful; caring; extremely knowledgeable. She inspires confidence and I feel I am in very good hands under her care.
    Sep 04, 2023
    Dr. Santhosh is wonderful
    Sep 02, 2023
    I was impressed with the degree Dr Santhosh had familiarized herself with my case. She read through all my previous tests & shared insights & how that informed her decision on next steps. She was very pleasant and thorough. She has the best "bedside manner" of any dr I have encountered in years.
    Jun 24, 2023
    The doctor was excellent. She listened. She definitely has experience. She understood the symptoms gave us some new ideas about how to treat his chronic cough was very understanding. Very nice. She explained what was going on. It was very easy for us to understand. She actually cares about her patience and is very good at her job. She left us feeling wonderful hopeful and that we were in good hands. We felt like we've known her forever and this was our first visit with her. In addition to her all the help we have received at UCSF has been top notch. Thank you we appreciate it.
    Jun 17, 2023
    He was very friendly
    Apr 30, 2023
    Dr Santhosh is one of the best I have ever encountered
    Apr 25, 2023
    Dr. Santhosh was great! This was the best experience I've ever had of a specialist listening thoroughly to my concerns and taking time to give me helpful advice and treatment .
    Apr 15, 2023
    Apr 09, 2023
    I am so very lucky to be under the care of Dr. SANTHOSH for several years now. She is always listening to my concerns and treats me with kindness and compassion while providing the best care. She is truly the best!
    Mar 22, 2023
    Dr Santhosh was very thorough and was a great listener
    Feb 25, 2023
    She is very good to listen and explaining step by step.
    Jan 07, 2023
    My Doctor was just perfect. She was smart friendly and very sincere. Gives her full attention and full concern. Excellent job.
    Nov 19, 2022
    Made me fill like my life mattered instead reminding me how old I am. Very uplifting
    Aug 22, 2022
    Dr. Santhosh was great. I would definitely come back to see her
    Aug 15, 2022
    Dr Santhosh is simply fantastic. She's an outstanding physician who cares deeply for her patients well thoroughly evaluating all medical options.
    Aug 13, 2022
    We felt better after the visit I felt she was knowledgeable about my situation and gave good advice
    Jul 30, 2022
    Absolutely love this doctor and she is so thorough and knowledgeable. Best specialist I have ever seen.
    Jul 12, 2022
    This was the best experience I've ever had of a doctor listening carefully to my concerns acknowledging their validity and taking the time to discuss them with me and offer ways to proceed.