Dr. Stephanie Cheng is a palliative care specialist who provides supportive care for patients with terminal or life-altering illnesses. With a primary focus on managing symptoms for patients with cancer, she also facilitates group medical visits – which can help patients with chronic conditions improve their self-care skills – through the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Health. She has a special interest in relieving symptoms and improving quality of life through a whole-person approach that considers each patient's physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs.
Cheng co-created group medical visits that center teaching patients integrative approaches to treat common cancer-related symptoms. She will also be leading group medical visits focused on self-compassion, qigong and narrative medicine, which looks at medical care in the context of a patient's life story. A nature and forest therapy guide, she also facilitates virtual forest therapy walks, which are based on the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, and involve therapeutic immersion in nature at a location of one's choice.
Cheng has a long-standing meditation practice and has completed trainings in chaplaincy through the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies, mind-body therapeutic techniques through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, awakening joy practices with meditation teacher James Baraz, and self-compassion through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. She also completed a two-year program focused on illness, aging, death and compassionate action from a contemplative perspective through Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center and the Metta Institute.
After studying anthropology, Cheng earned her medical degree at Oregon Health & Science University. She completed a residency in family medicine at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (a UCSF affiliate), followed by a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine, with a focus on integrative medicine, at the George Washington University.
Cheng is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. She is passionate about planetary health and serves as a faculty affiliate at the UCSF Center for Climate, Health and Equity.
Outside of work, Cheng enjoys spending time with her family and dog, as well as playing the harp.