Julie Ann Sosa, MD MA FACS is the Leon Goldman MD Distinguished Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where she is also a Professor in the Department of Medicine and affiliated faculty for the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. Dr Sosa came to UCSF in 2018 from Duke. Her clinical interest is in endocrine surgery, with a focus in thyroid cancer. She is an NIH- and FDA-funded investigator and author of more than 400 peer-reviewed publications and 80 book chapters and reviews, all largely focused on outcomes research, health care delivery, hyperparathyroidism, and thyroid cancer, with a focus on clinical trials. She has authored or edited 7 books. Dr Sosa is the immediate Past-President of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) and serves on the Board of Directors/Executive Council of the ATA and International Thyroid Oncology Group; for the ATA, she is chairing the committee responsible for writing the next iteration of differentiated thyroid cancer guidelines. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the World Journal of Surgery and an editor of Greenfield’s Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice. She has mentored more than 90 students, residents, and fellows, for which she was recognized with induction as a full member to the American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Educators in 2020, and by the ATA with the Lewis E. Braverman Distinguished Lectureship Award in 2017 and its Distinguished Service Award in 2022. She received the Chancellor’s Diversity Award in 2022 for the Advancement of Women at UCSF. Dr Sosa was born in Montreal and raised in upstate New York. She received her AB at Princeton, MA at Oxford, and MD at Johns Hopkins, where she completed the Halsted residency and a fellowship.
1. How did you get interested in endocrine surgery? I spent 6 months during residency on the breast and endocrine surgery service at the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals in Oxford as a specialist registrar and loved it. My Halsted residency training program made me into a pancreatic surgeon but I retooled myself into an endocrine surgeon – and I haven’t looked back!
2. How were you inspired to become a Chair of Surgery and who was your primary mentor to achieve that position? I had the strong sponsorship and encouragement of other women leaders who I’d met through ELAM and (literally) on a bus at a surgical meeting who counseled and supported me along the way. Becoming Chair of Surgery at UCSF is my dream job, and I’m so thankful.
3. You have had a rich and successful research history, what are your current research interests and clinical trials and what area should budding endocrine surgeons be investigating? I love science. My research interests have evolved over time. I continue to do health services research, now focusing more on things like the impact of paid sick leave on health care utilization, and multi-institutional registry work to better understand the natural history of a rare disease (medullary thyroid cancer). Our newest R01 is focused around trying to develop ways to effectively diversify the surgical work force.