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Hannah Decker-Resident of the Month

Hannah is a fourth year general surgery resident and a current research fellow in the National Clinician Scholar program.

How did you get interested in your research topic? 

My research focus is on how we might improve access to high quality surgical care in vulnerable populations, specifically those that are unhoused. Homelessness is such a huge problem in San Francisco and throughout residency I have had the opportunity to care for unhoused individuals. These experiences – and feeling like our systems were failing these patients – were what led me to focus on this area. 

How did you select your research mentorship team? 

I am lucky to have a phenomenal, multi-disciplinary mentorship team. It includes Dr. Elizabeth Wick, from the Department of Surgery, Dr. Margot Kushel, who leads the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative (BHHI), and Dr. Hemal Kanzaria, an emergency medicine physician at San Francisco general and a faculty member at the BHHI. I actually read a fantastic opinion piece about housing first policy by Dr. Kushel in the New York Times as an intern and was thrilled to learn she worked at UCSF. Dr. Wick helped me make the connection and build this wonderful, supportive mentorship team. 

How will you incorporate your research into your future career goals? 

In my future career, I hope to work in a safety-net setting and serve underserved patients. I want my research to be practical and impact-oriented so that I can directly apply what I study to what I practice.