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Catherine Lau, MD

TitleAssociate Professor
SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
DepartmentMedicine
Address505 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco CA 94117
Phone415-476-6753
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Stanford UniversityB.S.06/2002Biological Sciences
    New York UniversityM.D.2006School of Medicine
    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA06/2009Medicine Intern and Resident

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    Catherine Lau is an Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF and a member of the Division of Hospital Medicine since 2009. She currently serves as the Director for Quality and Safety in the Division of Hospital Medicine and is also the Director of Caring Wisely at UCSF Health. In both of these roles, Catherine focuses her efforts in redesigning and innovating systems of care at UCSF Health to improve quality, safety, value, and the patient experience. During her clinical time, Catherine attends on the medicine teaching service, Hospitalist Procedures Service, and Neurosurgery Comanagement Service. Catherine is also one of the inaugural UCSF School of Medicine Bridges curriculum coaches, where she closely works with 12 medical students in teaching them systems improvement skills, clinical reasoning, the patient interview, and the hypothesis-driven physical exam, while assisting them with career exploration advice.

    Catherine obtained her undergraduate degree with departmental honors from Stanford University in 2002 and received her M.D. at New York University in 2006, where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha and was awarded the AMWA Glagow-Rubin Award for Excellence in Academics and Professionalism. She completed her medical residency training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA before joining the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF in August 2009.

    Catherine is the former medical director of the Nighttime Hospitalist Service and former Director for Patient Safety and Quality in the Department of Neurological Surgery.


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    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.
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    1. Magill ST, Wang DD, Rutledge WC, Lau D, Berger MS, Sankaran S, Lau C, Imershein SG. Changing Operating Room Culture: Implementation of a Post-Operative Debrief and Improved Safety Culture. World Neurosurg. 2017 Aug 23. PMID: 28843757.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Gonzales R, Moriates C, Lau C, Valencia V, Imershein S, Rajkomar A, Prasad P, Boscardin C, Grady D, Johnston S. Caring Wisely: A Program to Support Frontline Clinicians and Staff in Improving Healthcare Delivery and Reducing Costs. J Hosp Med. 2017 Aug; 12(8):662-667. PMID: 28786434.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Birk HS, Han SJ, Rolston JD, Rowland NC, Lau C, Theodosopoulos PV, McDermott MW. Resident-led Implementation of a Standardized Handoff System to Facilitate Transfer of Postoperative Neurosurgical Patients to the ICU. Cureus. 2016 Jan 18; 8(1):e461. PMID: 26929888; PMCID: PMC4762767.
    4. Han SJ, Rolston JD, Zygourakis CC, Sun MZ, McDermott MW, Lau C, Aghi MK. Preventing Delays in First-Case Starts on the Neurosurgery Service: A Resident-Led Initiative at an Academic Institution. J Surg Educ. 2016 Mar-Apr; 73(2):291-5. PMID: 26774935.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Lau C. Quality improvement tools and processes. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2015 Apr; 26(2):177-87, viii. PMID: 25771273.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Han SJ, Rolston JD, Lau C, Berger MS. Improving patient safety in neurologic surgery. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2015 Apr; 26(2):143-7, vii. PMID: 25771269.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Rolston JD, Zygourakis CC, Han SJ, Lau C, Berger MS, Parsa AT. Medical errors in neurosurgery. Surg Neurol Int. 2014; 5(Suppl 10):S435-40. PMID: 25371849; PMCID: PMC4209704.
    8. Berger MS, Wachter RM, Greysen SR, Lau C. Changing our culture to advance patient safety: the 2013 AANS Presidential Address. J Neurosurg. 2013 Dec; 119(6):1359-69. PMID: 24289847.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Rolston JD, Han SJ, Lau C, Berger MS, Parsa AT. Frequency and predictors of complications in neurological surgery: national trends from 2006 to 2011. J Neurosurg. 2014 Mar; 120(3):736-45. PMID: 24266542.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Han SJ, Saigal R, Rolston JD, Cheng JS, Lau C, Mistry RI, McDermott MW, Berger MS. Targeted reduction in neurosurgical laboratory utilization: resident-led effort at a single academic institution. J Neurosurg. 2014 Jan; 120(1):173-7. PMID: 24125592.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Lau C, Greysen SR, Mistry RI, Han SJ, Mummaneni PV, Berger MS. Creating a culture of safety within operative neurosurgery: the design and implementation of a perioperative safety video. Neurosurg Focus. 2012 Nov; 33(5):E3. PMID: 23116098.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Haber LA, Lau C, Sharpe BA, Arora VM, Farnan JM, Ranji SR. Effects of increased overnight supervision on resident education, decision-making, and autonomy. J Hosp Med. 2012 Oct; 7(8):606-10. PMID: 22865395.
      View in: PubMed
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