Robert Wachter, MD

Chief of Hospital Medicine
Chief of Medical Service

Dr. Robert Wachter is chief of the medical service and chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF Medical Center. His primary interests are health care quality, safety and health policy. He has published over 200 articles and six books on these topics, and is generally credited as the founder and academic leader of the hospitalist specialty in medicine, the fastest growing specialty in U.S. medical history. He is past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Wachter is an international leader in safety and quality. He is the editor of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Web M&M, an online patient safety journal, and of AHRQ Patient Safety Network (PSNet), the leading federal patient safety portal, which together receive 3 million yearly visits. He has written two bestselling books on patient safety: Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America's Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes (Rugged Land, 2004), and Understanding Patient Safety (McGraw-Hill, 2008). He is the chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He writes regularly on health care policy, quality, hospitalists and patient safety on his blog, Wachter's World.

Wachter received a medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed aresidency and chief residency in internal medicine at UCSF. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University, and studied patient safety in England in 2011 as a Fulbright Scholar.

Read a Q&A with Wachter.

Academic Title

Chair, Department of Medicine

More about Robert Wachter


University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 1983


UCSF Medical Center, Internal Medicine 1986

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Wachter RM, Howell MD. Resolving the Productivity Paradox of Health Information Technology: A Time for Optimism. JAMA. 2018 May 29.
  2. Wachter RM, Gupta K.. Understanding Patient Safety, 3rd Edition. 2018.
  3. Patel H, Fang MC, Mourad M, Green A, Wachter RM, Murphy RD, Harrison JD. Hospitalist and Internal Medicine Leaders' Perspectives of Early Discharge Challenges at Academic Medical Centers. J Hosp Med. 2017 Dec 06.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.