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Elizabeth Dzeng, MD, MPH, PhD

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Medicine
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Phone415-476-7335
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0001-5235-8053 Additional info
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Global Brain Health Institute, UCSF2018Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health
    University of CambridgePhD 2016Medical Sociology
    Johns Hopkins School of MedicineFellowship2015General Internal Medicine
    Columbia New York Presbyterian HospitalResidency2011Internal Medicine
    Johns Hopkins School of MedicineMD2009
    University of CambridgeMPhil2008Development Studies
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthMPH2007Health and Human Rights/Humanitarian Aid
    Stanford UniversityMS2003Chemical Engineering
    Stanford UniversityBS2003Biological Sciences and History
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    California Department of Public Health2019  - 2024Alzheimer's Disease Research Award
    National Institute of Aging2019  - 2021NIH Loan Repayment Program Renewal Award
    National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC)2017  - 2019Junior Investigator Career Development Award
    UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)2017  - 2020KL-2 Scholar
    National Institute of Health2017  - 2019NIH Loan Repayment Program Award
    UCSF Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center2015  - 2016Research Core Development Scholar
    Ethox Centre for Bioethics and Green Templeton College, University of Oxford2016Andrew Markus Scholarship
    American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)2015  - 2016Research Scholar Award
    Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM)2014  - 2015Founders Grant Award
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine2014  - 2015Ho-Chiang Palliative Care Research Fellowship
    University of Cambridge2011  - 2015Gates Cambridge Scholarship
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health2007Delta Omega Public Health Honors Society Inductee
    University of Cambridge2007  - 2008Gates Cambridge Scholarship
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health2006  - 2007Watt Hansell Scholarship

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Dzeng is a sociologist and hospitalist physician conducting research at the nexus of sociology, medical ethics, palliative and end-of-life care, and human-centered design. She is an Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Division of Palliative Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology program. She is an affiliated faculty member of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health based at the Global Brain Health Institute at UCSF's Memory and Aging Center. She completed her PhD in Medical Sociology and an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge at King’s College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and was a General Internal Medicine post-doctoral clinical research fellow and palliative care research fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. As an undergraduate and engineering graduate student at Stanford, she participated in the first class of Stanford's Biodesign Innovation program where she co-invented and patented a device to non-invasively cool the heart through the esophagus to prevent myocardial damage during a myocardial infarction (US Patent 7,758,623; 2010). In August, 2019 this patent was licensed to Attune Medical.

    Her current research examines the influence of neoliberalism and specifically the culture and ethical implications of neoliberalism on an institution's ethical priorities in the United States and United Kingdom and its effects on the provision of non-beneficial high-intensity life-sustaining treatments near the end of life in older adults with dementia and serious illness. This research builds on her doctoral research which explored the influence of institutional cultures and policies on physicians’ ethical beliefs and how that impacts the way they communicate in end of life decision-making conversations. Through a comparative ethnography employing semi-structured in-depth interviews and participant observation, Dr. Dzeng seeks to understanding the macro-, meso-, and micro-sociological factors (and in particular ethical decision-making climate) that contribute to potentially non-beneficial high-intensity care near the end of life. Using this ethnographic data, she will subsequently co-design a systems-level intervention using human-centered design to mitigate the culture of burdensome end-of-life care.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Identifying factors that contribute to burdensome treatments near the end of life in older adults with dementia in the US, UK, and France
    Alzheimer's Association UK and Global Brain Health Institute Sep 1, 2019 - Sep 1, 2021
    Role: Principle Investigator
    Human-Centered Desiqn to Mitiqate Burdensome Life-Sustaininq Treatments at the End-of-Life
    California Department of Public Health Jun 28, 2019 - Jul 1, 2024
    Role: Principle Investigator
    Identifying contributing factors to burdensome ICU treatments in older adults with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in the United States and United Kingdom
    NIH R03AG060098Aug 1, 2018 - Jul 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Featured Publications
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse Collaboration Interests
    Collapse In The News
    Collapse Twitter

    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.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Dzeng E, Wachter RM. Ethics in Conflict: Moral Distress as a Root Cause of Burnout. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Oct 30. PMID: 31667744.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Batten JN, Blythe JA, Wieten SE, Dzeng EW. No Escalation of Treatment: Moving Beyond the Withholding/Withdrawing Debate. Am J Bioeth. 2019 03; 19(3):63-65. PMID: 31543041.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Elizabeth Dzeng, Nancy Kentish-Barnes, J Randall Curtis, Anne-Sophie Debue. A Codified Process for Multidisciplinary Team Consensus Around the Termination of Life Sustaining Treatments (LST) in France: An Interview Study (S822). Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2019 Feb 1; 57(2):493.
      View in: Publisher Site
    4. Jason Batten, Gregory Taylor, Jacob Blythe, Karin Porter-Williamson, Elizabeth Dzeng, Miriam Cotler, Joshua Kayser, Stephanie Harman, David Magnus. 395. Critical Care Medicine. 2019 Jan 1; 47:178.
      View in: Publisher Site
    5. Bryant J, Markes A, Woolridge T, Cerruti D, Dzeng E, Koenig B, Diab M. Concurrent and Overlapping Surgery: Perspectives From Parents of Adolescents Undergoing Spinal Posterior Instrumented Fusion for Idiopathic Scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2019 Jan 01; 44(1):53-59. PMID: 29901538.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Dzeng E, Pantilat SZ. Reply to: Social Causes of Rational Suicide in Older Adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Feb; 67(2):407-408. PMID: 30506678.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Dzeng E. Habermasian communication pathologies in do-not-resuscitate discussions at the end of life: manipulation as an unintended consequence of an ideology of patient autonomy. Sociol Health Illn. 2019 02; 41(2):325-342. PMID: 30460704.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Craig A, Dzeng E. Response to "Added Points of Concern About Caring for Dying Patients". AMA J Ethics. 2018 11 01; 20(11):E1110-1112. PMID: 30499442.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Dzeng E, Pantilat SZ. Reply to Rational Suicide in Older Adults: Not by Default an Ageist Concept. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 08; 66(8):1648-1649. PMID: 30084189.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Craig A, Dzeng E. How Should Physicians Care for Dying Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis? AMA J Ethics. 2018 08 01; 20(8):E690-698. PMID: 30118418.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Dzeng E. Can Growing Popular Support for Physician-Assisted Death Motivate Organized Medicine to Improve End-of-Life Care? J Gen Intern Med. 2018 08; 33(8):1209-1211. PMID: 29777428.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Dzeng E, Booth J. Facts and Fetishes: When the Miracles of Medicine Fail Us. Am J Bioeth. 2018 05; 18(5):63-64. PMID: 29697349.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Dzeng E, Curtis JR. Understanding ethical climate, moral distress, and burnout: a novel tool and a conceptual framework. BMJ Qual Saf. 2018 10; 27(10):766-770. PMID: 29669857.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Dzeng E, Pantilat SZ. Social Causes of Rational Suicide in Older Adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 05; 66(5):853-855. PMID: 29500826.
      View in: PubMed
    15. DeCamp M, Pomerantz D, Cotts K, Dzeng E, Farber N, Lehmann L, Reynolds PP, Sulmasy LS, Tilburt J. Ethical Issues in the Design and Implementation of Population Health Programs. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 03; 33(3):370-375. PMID: 29256088.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Dzeng E, Dohan D, Curtis JR, Smith TJ, Colaianni A, Ritchie CS. Homing in on the Social: System-Level Influences on Overly Aggressive Treatments at the End of Life. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018 02; 55(2):282-289.e1. PMID: 28865869.
      View in: PubMed
    17. L. Forbes, L. Petrillo, E. Dzeng, K.L. Harrison, B. Scribner, B. Koenig. RESPONDING TO THE END-OF-LIFE OPTION ACT IN CALIFORNIA. Innovation in Aging. 2017 Jul 1; 1(suppl_1):505-506.
      View in: Publisher Site
    18. Dzeng E. When Teachable Moments Become Ethically Problematic. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2017 Jul; 26(3):491-494. PMID: 28541177.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Petrillo LA, Dzeng E, Harrison KL, Forbes L, Scribner B, Koenig BA. How California Prepared for Implementation of Physician-Assisted Death: A Primer. Am J Public Health. 2017 06; 107(6):883-888. PMID: 28426307.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Harrison KL, Dzeng E, Ritchie CS, Shanafelt TD, Kamal AH, Bull JH, Tilburt JC, Swetz KM. Addressing Palliative Care Clinician Burnout in Organizations: A Workforce Necessity, an Ethical Imperative. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2017 06; 53(6):1091-1096. PMID: 28196784.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Dzeng E. Navigating the Liminal State Between Life and Death: Clinician Moral Distress and Uncertainty Regarding New Life-Sustaining Technologies. Am J Bioeth. 2017 02; 17(2):22-25. PMID: 28112618.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Laura Petrillo, Eric Widera, Elizabeth Dzeng, Krista Harrison, Lindsay Forbes, Barbara Koenig, Ben Scribner. How Should Palliative Care Be Involved in the Response to Physician Assisted Dying in California? Intimately: Perspectives from a Statewide Conference (S795). Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2017 Feb 1; 53(2):463.
      View in: Publisher Site
    23. Singer AE, Goebel JR, Kim YS, Dy SM, Ahluwalia SC, Clifford M, Dzeng E, O'Hanlon CE, Motala A, Walling AM, Goldberg J, Meeker D, Ochotorena C, Shanman R, Cui M, Lorenz KA. Populations and Interventions for Palliative and End-of-Life Care: A Systematic Review. J Palliat Med. 2016 09; 19(9):995-1008. PMID: 27533892.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Dzeng E. Moral Distress Amongst Physician Trainees Regarding Futile Treatments. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 08; 31(8):830. PMID: 26951284.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Petrillo LA, Dzeng E, Smith AK. California's End of Life Option Act: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 08; 31(8):828-9. PMID: 27114358.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Dzeng E, Colaianni A, Roland M, Levine D, Kelly MP, Barclay S, Smith TJ. Moral Distress Amongst American Physician Trainees Regarding Futile Treatments at the End of Life: A Qualitative Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Jan; 31(1):93-9. PMID: 26391029.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Barnato AE, Dzeng E. Treatment escalation in the intensive care unit among patients with preexisting treatment limitations: best-laid plans gone awry? JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jun; 175(6):1026-7. PMID: 25821922.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Dzeng E, Colaianni A, Roland M, Chander G, Smith TJ, Kelly MP, Barclay S, Levine D. Influence of institutional culture and policies on do-not-resuscitate decision making at the end of life. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 May; 175(5):812-9. PMID: 25845020.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Ghosh A, Dzeng E, Cheng MJ. Interaction of palliative care and primary care. Clin Geriatr Med. 2015 May; 31(2):207-18. PMID: 25920056.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Elizabeth Dzeng, Sydney Dy, Thomas Smith. Physicians’ Understanding of Patient Autonomy and Choice in Discussions Surrounding the Do-Not-Resuscitate Order (FR415-B). Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2015 Feb 1; 49(2):358-359.
      View in: Publisher Site
    31. Xu T, Goldstein E, Dzeng E, Dy S, Nicholas LH.Public Attitudes on the Future Sustainability of Medicare. Journal of Health Care Financing. 2015; 1(42).
    32. Dzeng E, Smith TJ. Rationing healthcare: who's responsible? Oncology (Williston Park). 2013 Feb; 27(2):91, 96. PMID: 23530399.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Siegler A, Roberts L, Balch E, Bargues E, Bhalla A, Bills C, Dzeng E, Epelboym Y, Foster T, Fulton L, Gallagher M, Gastolomendo JD, Giorgi G, Habtehans S, Kim J, McGee B, McMahan A, Riese S, Santamaria-Schwartz R, Walsh F, Wahlstrom J, Wedeles J. Media coverage of violent deaths in iraQ: an opportunistic capture-recapture assessment. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2008 Jul-Aug; 23(4):369-71. PMID: 18935953.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Thompson A, Silverman B, Dzeng L, Treisman G. Psychotropic medications and HIV. Clin Infect Dis. 2006 May 01; 42(9):1305-10. PMID: 16586391.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Lin CT, Chang TC, Chao A, Dzeng E, Soong YK, Hung CF, Lai CH. Enhancement of DNA vaccine potency through linkage of antigen gene to ER chaperone molecules, ER-60, tapasin, and calnexin. J Biomed Sci. 2005; 12(2):279-87. PMID: 15918000.
      View in: PubMed