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.