Rebecca Sudore, MD
|Title||Associate Professor in Residence|
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||4150 Clement Street|
San Francisco CA 94143
|Society of General Internal Medicine||2012||Junior Investigator of the Year|
|Hartford Foundation Center of Excellence||2010||Faculty Scholar |
|Bay Area Symposium on Clinical Research||2009||Best Research Poster|
||2012||Physician Faculty Scholar|
|American Geriatrics Society||2009||Junior Investigator Award|
|Bay Area Symposium on Clinical Research||2007||Best Junior Faculty Research Project|
Dr. Rebecca Sudore is an Associate Professor In-Residence in the Division of Geriatrics. She is dedicated to helping vulnerable older adults and their families make informed medical decisions, especially for advance care planning and at the end-of-life.
Rebecca’s inspiration for her research and her expertise in tailoring health education materials to patients with limited health literacy derives from her work with vulnerable populations at homeless clinics; San Francisco General Hospital; the Geriatrics, Palliative Care and Hospice Services at the San Francisco VA; and the adult literacy program through the San Francisco Library.
Since 2002, Rebecca has provided primary care to vulnerable, older Veterans in the Geriatrics clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Many of her patients have dementia or are seriously ill. Therefore, her care and guidance often extends to family members and caregivers. Rebecca also attends on the Palliative Care Service at the VA which performs palliative care consults in the acute hospital setting and in the VA Community Living Center, and provides care to patients in the VA inpatient hospice unit. Rebecca particularly loves the teaching opportunities that come from her clinical work, including teaching fellows, residents, and medical students on the inpatient wards as well as through formal didactic sessions on health literacy, advance care planning, ethics, and geriatrics. Although Rebecca is a clinician researcher, her primary passion is first, and foremost, direct patient care for vulnerable older adults.
Advance Care Planning
Health Literacy and Vulnerable Populations
Medical Decision Making and Health Communication
Rebecca’s primary research focus is on improving advance care planning and medical decision making for vulnerable older adults with limited health literacy. She states, “Making medical decisions, especially about medical care for serious illness, is stressful and intimidating. Given the fractured nature of our healthcare system, many patients and their families feel alone and terrified. Yet, these decisions are that much more difficult for older adults who are unable to read, understand, or process complex medical information and understand their choices.”
Rebecca has dedicated her research program to making medical information easier for patients and their families to understand. She published the first prospective study demonstrating the effect of limited literacy on mortality in the elderly, and has shown that elders with limited literacy have greater difficulty making medical decisions for informed consent and advance care planning. She has also designed and tested an informed consent process for patients with limited literacy and an advance directive that is both literacy and culturally appropriate. Both interventions have been shown to benefit patients - particularly those with literacy and/or language barriers. Even though her low-literate advance directive has been translated and widely disseminated, further research with patients and surrogate decision makers helped her realize that advance directives alone are not enough. In 2010, she published a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine calling for a shift in advance care planning from DNR/DNI checklists to preparing patients and their loved ones for medical decision making. Her current research program is focused on designing and testing interactive, web-based interventions to prepare patients and their surrogate decision makers to make difficult medical decisions.
Rebecca is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a NIA K23 Award, VA Career Development Award, an RWJ-VA Physician Faculty Scholars Award, a National Palliative Care Research Center Grant, and a VA Investigator Initiated Research Award.
Implementation Science, Older adults, People with limited English proficiency, Socioeconomically marginalized groups, Migrants/refugees, Clinic, Community-based organization, Department of public health, Decision aids, Education, Health fairs, Support groups, Web site, Advance Care Planning, Medical Decision Making, Health Communication, Health Literacy, Health Disparities, Mentoring junior faculty or trainees, Interdisciplinary research collaboration, Brief implementation science training courses, Works-in-progress seminars, Implementation & dissemination science listservs
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