Believer in the capacity of kindness and music to unify us
Dr. Rupa Marya is an internal medicine specialist whose focus is the care of seriously ill patients in the hospital.
Marya's research explores the intersection of society and illness, including how social structures may predispose various groups to certain conditions. She is faculty director of the Do No Harm Coalition, a group of more than 450 UCSF health workers and students dedicated to ending racism and state violence. She is currently working with health leaders of Lakota and Dakota tribes to create a space for the practice of decolonized medicine at the Mni Wiconi Clinic and Farm at Standing Rock, where she serves on the board of directors. She is co-investigator on the Justice Study, a national research effort to understand the link between police violence and health outcomes in black, brown and indigenous communities.
Marya earned her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in internal medicine at UCSF. She completed an artist residency examining the art that supports indigenous movements at EDELO (a collective focused on art and social change) in Chiapas, Mexico.
Marya has been honored for her work advocating for an end to racism in medical practice through the Open My Heart Foundation, which seeks to end disparities in outcomes for black women with cardiovascular conditions. She was also awarded the William J. Rashkind Memorial Award from the American Heart Association. Videos of Marya speaking on issues of racism and health have been viewed more than 12 million times. She also serves on the board of Seeding Sovereignty, an international entity promoting indigenous autonomy in the context of climate change.
With a passion for health education, Marya mentors undocumented college students who want to pursue careers in medicine, medical students who wish to continue an active and complementary life in the arts, and individuals who want to become physician advocates.
Marya is the composer and front woman for the international touring group Rupa & the April Fishes, a project that uses music to explore the intersection of society and disease. She was also lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that liberated "Happy Birthday to You" back to the public domain.
Georgetown University School of Medicine, 2002
UCSF, Internal Medicine, 2007