Ashwin Kotwal, MD

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address4150 Clement St, #220G
San Francisco CA 94121
Phone415-221-4810 ext. 26626
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-6137-8512 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Northwestern University, Evanston, ILBA2009Anthropology
    University of Chicago, Chicago, ILMS2013Biostatistics
    University of Chicago, Chicago, ILMD2014Medicine
    Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MAResidency2017Internal Medicine
    University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CAFellowship2019Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    UCSF Medical School2023Deep Explore & Inquiry Curriculum Mentor of the Year Award
    UCSF Medical School 2022Deep Explore & Inquiry Curriculum Mentor of the Year Award
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society20202020 Editor's Choice Award
    American Geriatrics Society Health in Aging Foundation2020New Investigator Award
    American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting2020 Best Abstract, Epidemiology Section
    2019Annals of Internal Medicine Top Reviewer
    University of Chicago2014Department of Medicine Award
    University of Chicago2014Catherine Dobson Prize for Best Oral Presentation in Clinical or Social Science
    American Federation for Aging Research2010Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Award
    Northwestern University2009 Oswald Werner Prize for Distinguished Honors Thesis in Anthropology
    Northwestern University2009Phi Beta Kappa

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Kotwal is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. He completed undergraduate training in Anthropology at Northwestern University, and his medical and biostatistics training at University of Chicago. He went on to complete his Internal Medicine residency at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an integrated clinical fellowship in Geriatrics and Palliative Care at UCSF.

    Dr. Kotwal devotes most of his time to research focusing on understanding and enhancing social connections of older adults to improve their quality of life and health care access. Recent work has investigated experiences of loneliness and social isolation among older adults with cognitive impairment, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social well-being. His research interests involve evaluation of community-based interventions to address loneliness and isolation, particularly among older adults with cognitive impairment or approaching the end of life.

    Dr. Kotwal is funded by the National Institute on Aging K23 Career Development Award. He is currently a research scholar in the UCSF Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and has received funding from the National Palliative Care Research Center, Hellman Family Fund, and Metta Foundation. He is co-Associate Director of the UCSF Division of Geriatrics NIH-funded T32 Aging Research Fellowship and has a strong interest in mentorship.

    Dr. Kotwal's clinical work focuses on advancing telehealth palliative care at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) where he has been Director of the Outpatient Palliative Care Telehealth Program since 2019.
    Collapse In The News

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    The impact of COVID-19 on social well-being, psychological health, and health care of older adults
    Metta Fund Oct 1, 2020
    Loneliness and Social Isolation Among Older Adults with and without Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia in the Last Years of Life
    NIH K23AG065438Sep 15, 2020 - May 31, 2025
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Loneliness and Social Isolation Among Older Adults with and without Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia in the Last Years of Life
    NIH K23AG065438Sep 1, 2020
    Developing an Intervention for Loneliness and Social Isolation among Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment
    Hellman Foundation Fellows Award Aug 1, 2020
    Loneliness and Social Isolation among Older Adults in the Last Years of LIfe
    NIH R03AG064323Aug 1, 2019 - May 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Social Health of Older Adults in the Last Years of Life
    National Palliative Care Research Center Kornfield Scholars Award Jul 1, 2019 - Jun 30, 2021
    Role: Primary Investigator
    UCSF Older Americans Independence Center
    NIH P30AG044281Jul 15, 2013 - Jun 30, 2023
    Role: Co-Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Featured Publications
    Collapse Collaboration Interests
    Collapse Faculty Mentoring

    Collapse Featured Content 
    Collapse Twitter
    Collapse Featured Videos

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Social Isolation and Worsening Health Behaviors Among Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2023 Nov 14; 78(11):1903-1916. Choi KW, Waite LJ, Finch LE, Kotwal AA. PMID: 37591797; PMCID: PMC10645306.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    2. Association of Social Isolation With Hospitalization and Nursing Home Entry Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2023 09 01; 183(9):955-962. Pomeroy ML, Cudjoe TKM, Cuellar AE, Ihara ES, Ornstein KA, Bollens-Lund E, Kotwal AA, Gimm GW. PMID: 37486647; PMCID: PMC10366946.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. Understanding Pandemic Experiences Among America's Elders. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022 12; 41(12):1827-1831. Aronson L, Kotwal A. PMID: 36469814; PMCID: PMC10120730.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    4. End-of-life health care use among socially isolated and cognitively impaired older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2023 03; 71(3):880-887. Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Yaffe K, Perissinotto C, Smith AK. PMID: 36420540; PMCID: PMC10023302.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Loneliness Among Older Adults. Health Aff (Millwood). 2022 10; 41(10):1530. Rudy ET, McNamara KC, Parker A, Kotwal AA, Perissinotto CM. PMID: 36190881.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Key Elements and Mechanisms of a Peer-Support Intervention to Reduce Loneliness and Isolation among Low-Income Older Adults: A Qualitative Implementation Science Study. J Appl Gerontol. 2022 12; 41(12):2574-2582. Fuller SM, Kotwal AA, Tha SH, Hill D, Perissinotto C, Myers JJ. PMID: 36053132; PMCID: PMC9669726.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    7. Persistent loneliness due to COVID-19 over 18 months of the pandemic: A prospective cohort study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 12; 70(12):3469-3479. Kotwal AA, Batio S, Wolf MS, Covinsky KE, Yoshino Benavente J, Perissinotto CM, O'Conor RM. PMID: 36054661; PMCID: PMC9539351.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    8. A paradigm shift-Loneliness as a root cause of symptom distress among older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 08; 70(8):2201-2204. Kotwal AA, Meier DE. PMID: 35607720; PMCID: PMC9378438.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Takes Two to Tango: Cognitive Impairment and Sexual Activity in Older Individuals and Dyads. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2022 05 05; 77(5):992-1003. Waite LJ, Iveniuk J, Kotwal A. PMID: 34460903; PMCID: PMC9071474.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. The Experience of Homebound Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Gen Intern Med. 2022 04; 37(5):1177-1182. Ankuda CK, Kotwal A, Reckrey J, Harrison KL, Ornstein KA. PMID: 35167063; PMCID: PMC8853401.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    11. A single question assessment of loneliness in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: A nationally-representative study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022 05; 70(5):1342-1345. Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Waite LJ, Smith AK, Perissinotto CM, Hawkley LC. PMID: 35141875; PMCID: PMC9106870.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    12. Social Health in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2021 12 17; 76(Suppl 3):S251-S265. Waite LJ, Duvoisin R, Kotwal AA. PMID: 34918156; PMCID: PMC8678439.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Analyzing Birth Cohorts With the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2021 12 17; 76(Suppl 3):S226-S237. Waite LJ, Hawkley L, Kotwal AA, O'Muircheartaigh C, Schumm LP, Wroblewski K. PMID: 34918157; PMCID: PMC8678436.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Use of High-risk Medications Among Lonely Older Adults: Results From a Nationally Representative Sample. JAMA Intern Med. 2021 11 01; 181(11):1528-1530. Kotwal AA, Steinman MA, Cenzer I, Smith AK. PMID: 34309620; PMCID: PMC8314172.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Engaging Diverse Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment and Caregivers in Advance Care Planning: A Pilot Study of the Interactive PREPARE Website. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2021 Oct-Dec 01; 35(4):342-349. Kotwal AA, Barnes DE, Volow AM, Li BH, Boscardin WJ, Sudore RL. PMID: 34310443; PMCID: PMC8604734.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. A peer intervention reduces loneliness and improves social well-being in low-income older adults: A mixed-methods study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 12; 69(12):3365-3376. Kotwal AA, Fuller SM, Myers JJ, Hill D, Tha SH, Smith AK, M Perissinotto C. PMID: 34449870; PMCID: PMC8648986.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Can remote social contact replace in-person contact to protect mental health among older adults? J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 11; 69(11):3063-3065. Hawkley LC, Finch LE, Kotwal AA, Waite LJ. PMID: 34337740; PMCID: PMC8595630.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. The epidemiology of social isolation and loneliness among older adults during the last years of life. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 11; 69(11):3081-3091. Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Waite LJ, Covinsky KE, Perissinotto CM, Boscardin WJ, Hawkley LC, Dale W, Smith AK. PMID: 34247388; PMCID: PMC8595510.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 31     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Formal and informal social participation and elder mistreatment in a national sample of older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 09; 69(9):2579-2590. Yang EZ, Kotwal AA, Lisha NE, Wong JS, Huang AJ. PMID: 34105769; PMCID: PMC8440381.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Pre-estimating subsets: A new approach for unavailable predictors in prognostic modeling. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 09; 69(9):2675-2678. Aliberti MJR, Kotwal AA, Smith AK, Lee SJ, Banda S, Boscardin WJ. PMID: 34002370; PMCID: PMC8440346.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Palliative Care for Patients With Noncancer Illnesses. JAMA. 2020 10 13; 324(14):1404-1405. Harrison KL, Kotwal AA, Smith AK. PMID: 33048142; PMCID: PMC7771527.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Social Isolation and Loneliness Among San Francisco Bay Area Older Adults During the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Orders. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 01; 69(1):20-29. Kotwal AA, Holt-Lunstad J, Newmark RL, Cenzer I, Smith AK, Covinsky KE, Escueta DP, Lee JM, Perissinotto CM. PMID: 32965024; PMCID: PMC7536935.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 126     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    23. Cancer Screening in Older Adults: Individualized Decision-Making and Communication Strategies. Med Clin North Am. 2020 Nov; 104(6):989-1006. Kotwal AA, Walter LC. PMID: 33099456; PMCID: PMC7594102.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. A Toolkit for Community-Based, Medicaid-Funded Case Managers to Introduce Advance Care Planning to Frail, Older Adults: A Pilot Study. J Palliat Med. 2021 03; 24(3):428-432. Nouri SS, Ritchie C, Volow A, Li B, McSpadden S, Dearman K, Kotwal A, Sudore RL. PMID: 32865472; PMCID: PMC7894043.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    25. Cancer Screening Among Older Adults: a Geriatrician's Perspective on Breast, Cervical, Colon, Prostate, and Lung Cancer Screening. Curr Oncol Rep. 2020 08 15; 22(11):108. Kotwal AA, Walter LC. PMID: 32803486; PMCID: PMC8191500.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. "Social Distancing" Amid a Crisis in Social Isolation and Loneliness. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 06; 68(6):E27-E29. Cudjoe TKM, Kotwal AA. PMID: 32359072; PMCID: PMC7267573.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 64     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    27. The New Normal: Key Considerations for Effective Serious Illness Communication Over Video or Telephone During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. Ann Intern Med. 2020 09 15; 173(6):486-488. Flint L, Kotwal A. PMID: 32422084; PMCID: PMC7236893.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    28. Integration of an Objective Cognitive Assessment Into a Prognostic Index for 5-Year Mortality Prediction. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 08; 68(8):1796-1802. Kotwal AA, Lee SJ, Dale W, Boscardin WJ, Waite LJ, Smith AK. PMID: 32356919; PMCID: PMC8189656.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Geriatric oncology research at the 2019 American Geriatrics Society (AGS) annual meeting: Joint perspectives from the Young International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) and AGS Cancer and Aging Special Interest Group. J Geriatr Oncol. 2019 11; 10(6):994-997. Kotwal AA, Presley CJ, Loh KP, Huang LW, Lam V, Wong ML. PMID: 31272896; PMCID: PMC6814544.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. Are We Choosing Wisely? Older Adults' Cancer Screening Intentions and Recalled Discussions with Physicians About Stopping. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 08; 34(8):1538-1545. Kotwal AA, Walter LC, Lee SJ, Dale W. PMID: 31147981; PMCID: PMC6667516.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    31. 'Til Death Do Us Part: End-of-Life Experiences of Married Couples in a Nationally Representative Survey. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 12; 66(12):2360-2366. Kotwal AA, Abdoler E, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Kelley AS, Ornstein KA, Boscardin WJ, Smith AK. PMID: 30251423; PMCID: PMC6289600.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Cognitive Function and its Risk Factors Among Older US Adults Living at Home. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2018 Jul-Sep; 32(3):207-213. Dale W, Kotwal AA, Shega JW, Schumm LP, Kern DW, Pinto JM, Pudelek KM, Waite LJ, McClintock MK. PMID: 29334499; PMCID: PMC6728147.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. Cancer Screening in the Elderly: A Review of Breast, Colorectal, Lung, and Prostate Cancer Screening. Cancer J. 2017 Jul/Aug; 23(4):246-253. Kotwal AA, Schonberg MA. PMID: 28731949; PMCID: PMC5608027.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 26     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    34. Social Function and Cognitive Status: Results from a US Nationally Representative Survey of Older Adults. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 08; 31(8):854-62. Kotwal AA, Kim J, Waite L, Dale W. PMID: 27130624; PMCID: PMC4945567.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 48     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Differences between husbands and wives in colonoscopy use: Results from a national sample of married couples. Prev Med. 2016 07; 88:46-52. Kotwal AA, Lauderdale DS, Waite LJ, Dale W. PMID: 27009632; PMCID: PMC5554589.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Novel physical activity interventions for older patients with prostate cancer on hormone therapy: A pilot randomized study. J Geriatr Oncol. 2016 Mar; 7(2):71-80. Sajid S, Dale W, Mustian K, Kotwal A, Heckler C, Porto M, Fung C, Mohile SG. PMID: 26916611; PMCID: PMC4818675.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 28     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Evaluation of a Brief Survey Instrument for Assessing Subtle Differences in Cognitive Function Among Older Adults. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2015 Oct-Dec; 29(4):317-24. Kotwal AA, Schumm P, Kern DW, McClintock MK, Waite LJ, Shega JW, Huisingh-Scheetz MJ, Dale W. PMID: 25390883; PMCID: PMC4789770.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 44     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    38. Comorbidity and chronic conditions in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), Wave 2. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2014 Nov; 69 Suppl 2:S154-65. Vasilopoulos T, Kotwal A, Huisingh-Scheetz MJ, Waite LJ, McClintock MK, Dale W. PMID: 25360017; PMCID: PMC4303089.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 55     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    39. Measuring cognition: the Chicago Cognitive Function Measure in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, Wave 2. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2014 Nov; 69 Suppl 2:S166-76. Shega JW, Sunkara PD, Kotwal A, Kern DW, Henning SL, McClintock MK, Schumm P, Waite LJ, Dale W. PMID: 25360018; PMCID: PMC4303105.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 44     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    40. Relationship between persistent pain and 5-year mortality: a population-based prospective cohort study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Dec; 61(12):2135-2141. Shega JW, Andrew M, Kotwal A, Lau DT, Herr K, Ersek M, Weiner DK, Chin MH, Dale W. PMID: 24320761; PMCID: PMC4140782.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    41. The influence of stress, depression, and anxiety on PSA screening rates in a nationally representative sample. Med Care. 2012 Dec; 50(12):1037-44. Kotwal AA, Schumm P, Mohile SG, Dale W. PMID: 22955835; PMCID: PMC3494796.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    42. Interventions to improve decision making and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the management of prostate cancer: a systematic review. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Aug; 27(8):1068-78. Sajid S, Kotwal AA, Dale W. PMID: 22798216; PMCID: PMC3403148.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 17     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    43. Remaining Life Expectancy Measurement and PSA Screening of Older Men. J Geriatr Oncol. 2012 Jul 01; 3(3):196-204. Kotwal AA, Mohile SG, Dale W. PMID: 22773938; PMCID: PMC3388723.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    
    44. Physical and psychological health of first and second generation Turkish immigrants in Germany. Am J Hum Biol. 2010 Jul-Aug; 22(4):538-45. Kotwal AA. PMID: 20309991.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    45. Preoperative breast magnetic resonance imaging in early breast cancer: implications for partial breast irradiation. Cancer. 2009 Apr 15; 115(8):1621-30. Tendulkar RD, Chellman-Jeffers M, Rybicki LA, Rim A, Kotwal A, Macklis R, Obi BB. PMID: 19224552.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
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