Skip to Main Content

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
    51 Ratings
    Explained things in a way that was easy to understand
    51 Ratings
    Did the doctor pay attention to your concerns
    51 Ratings
    Gave easy to understand instructions about taking care of health problems or concerns
    51 Ratings
    Knew the important information about your medical history
    51 Ratings
    The provider showed respect for what you had to say
    51 Ratings
    The provider spent enough time with me
    51 Ratings