Faculty Profiles

Louise Aronson, MD

3333 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
415-502-1000 ext. 14595

Louise Aronson MD, MFA is Professor of Geriatrics at UCSF where her interests include optimizing healthcare for older adults, medical education, reflective learning, integrative geriatrics, and public medical writing. A graduate of Brown University, Harvard Medical School and the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, Dr. Aronson has served as director of the Northern California Geriatrics Education Center, UCSF's Pathways to Discovery (scholarly concentration) program, and UCSF Medical Humanities. She has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism in Medicine, the California Homecare Physician of the Year award, the AOA Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award, and the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year award, as well as numerous awards for her teaching, educational research and writing. Her articles, essays and stories appear regularly in newspapers, literary and medical journals including the New York Times, Washington Post, New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, and Lancet. As an educator, she has developed innovative programs for geriatrics training for non-geriatricians, interprofessional education, reflection in medical education, and use of writing to harness the expertise and unique experiences of clinicians and medical scientists in service of health and health care.

Education and Training

Location Degree or Training Specialty Date
UCSF Fellowship Geriatrics 1998
UCSF Fellowship Primary Care/Medical Education 1996
Harvard University M.D. School of Medicine 1992
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Residency School of Medicine - Internal Medicine


aging, clinician/trainee attitudes towards the elderly, end of life care, ethnogeriatrics, geriatrics, home care, medical education, medical humanities, narrative medicine, preparing non-specialists for care of elderly patients, primary care, professionalism, public medical writing, reflective learning, scholarship, wound care

Awards and Honors
2017   Fellowship Award, MacDowell Colony, 2017
2016   Jordan J Cohen lecture, Association of American Medical Colleges, 2016
2014   National Honor Medical Society, Alpha Omega Alpha, 2014
2014   Outstanding Mid-Career Clinical Teacher, American Geriatrics Society, 2014
2013   Gold Professorship for Humanism in Medicine, Arnold P. Gold Foundation, 2013
2012   Lieberman Scholar Award, UCSF Division of Geriatrics, 2012-2014
2010   Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 2010-2011
2010   Writer's Award, Hedgebrook Foundation, 2010-2011
2010   Cooke Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, UCSF Academy of Medical Educators, 2010-2011
2009   Writer's Award, Ragdale Foundation, 2009-2010
2009   Membership, UCSF Academy of Medical Educators, 2009-2010
2009   Teaching Award, UCSF Academy of Medical Educators, 2009-2010
2009   Mentor Award, UCSF Pathways to Discovery, 2009-2010
2009   Poster Award, Western Group on Educational Affairs, 2009-2010
2008   Medical Education Research Fellowship, UCSF, 2008-2010
2007   Geriatric Academic Career Award, Bureau of Health Professions, 2007-2010
2007   Story Prize, Sonora Review, 2007-2008
2007   Teaching Scholar, UCSF, 2007-2008
2006   Short Fiction Award, New Millennium Writings, 2006-2007
2006   Writer's Award, UCross Foundation, 2006-2007
2005   Geriatrics Faculty Scholar, Northern California Geriatrics Education Center, 2005-2006
1997   Physician of the Year Award, California Association for Health Services at Home, 1997-1998

Related Web Sites

In the News

Recent Articles (43)

Aronson L. A Tale of Two Doctors - Structural Inequalities and the Culture of Medicine. N Engl J Med. 2017 06 15; 376(24):2390-2393.

Mao AY, Willard-Grace R, Dubbin L, Aronson L, Fernandez A, Burke NJ, Finch J, Davis E. Perspectives of low-income chronically ill patients on complex care management. Fam Syst Health. 2017 Dec; 35(4):399-408.

Aronson L. Case-Based Suffering. Acad Med. 2017 Apr; 92(4):482.

Aronson L. A PIECE OF MY MIND. Story as Evidence, Evidence as Story. JAMA. 2015 Jul 14; 314(2):125-6.

Bautista CA, Covinsky K, Aronson L. Chronic care management for Medicare patients--reply. JAMA. 2015 Jun 09; 313(22):2286-7.

Miller-Kuhlmann R, O'Sullivan PS, Aronson L. Essential steps in developing best practices to assess reflective skill: A comparison of two rubrics. Med Teach. 2016; 38(1):75-81.

Aronson L. Necessary steps: how health care fails older patients, and how it can be done better. Health Aff (Millwood). 2015 Mar; 34(3):528-32.

Aronson L, Bautista CA, Covinsky K. Medicare and care coordination: expanding the clinician's toolbox. JAMA. 2015 Feb 24; 313(8):797-8.

Rivera V, Yukawa M, Aronson L, Widera E. Teaching geriatric fellows how to teach: a needs assessment targeting geriatrics fellowship program directors. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Dec; 62(12):2377-82.

Aronson L. The Human Lifecycle's Neglected Stepchild. Lancet. 2014; (385):500-501.

Aronson L.. New Buildings for Older People. New York Times. 2014; Nov 1.

Aronson L. Asking the right questions. Acad Med. 2014 Oct; 89(10):1357.

Aronson L. The future of robot caregivers. New York Times. 2014; July 20.

Aronson L.. Lancet. Examining empathy. 2014; 385(9937):16-17.

Aronson L. How do we tell the stories of medicine? Lancet. 2014 Apr 26; 383(9927):1456-7.

Rivera J, Reeves S, Aronson L. Current Geriatric Diagnosis and Treatment. Interprofessional Teams in Geriatrics. 2014.

Smith AK, Lo B, Aronson L. Elder self-neglect--how can a physician help? N Engl J Med. 2013 Dec 26; 369(26):2476-9.

Aronson L. "Good" patients and "difficult" patients--rethinking our definitions. N Engl J Med. 2013 Aug 29; 369(9):796-7.

Aronson L. The value of medical education programmes: what are the right questions? Med Educ. 2013 Apr; 47(4):333-4.

Aronson, L. Weighing the end of life. New York Times. 2013.

Aronson, L. A History of the Present Illness. 2013.

Williams B, Ahalt C and Aronson L. . Bruinsma G and Weisburd D (Eds). Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Aging in Correctional Populations: Through the Geriatrician's Lens. 2013.

Aronson L, Niehaus B, Hill-Sakurai L, Lai C, O'Sullivan PS. A comparison of two methods of teaching reflective ability in Year 3 medical students. Med Educ. 2012 Aug; 46(8):807-14.

Rivera J, Mackin L, Aronson L. . J Am Geriatr Soc. The UCSF Interprofessional Aging and Palliative Care Elective. 2012; 4(60).

Aronson L, Kruidering M, O'Sullivan P. . The UCSF Faculty Development Workshop on Critical Reflection in Medical Education: Training Educators to Teach and Provide Feedback on Learners’ Reflections. MedEdPORTAL/9086. 2012.

Aronson L, Niehaus B, Kruidering M, O’Sullivan P. . The UCSF LEaP: A Guide for Reflective Learning in Medical Education. MedEdPORTAL/9073. 2012.

White-Chu EF, Flock P, Struck B, Aronson L. Pressure ulcers in long-term care. Clin Geriatr Med. 2011 May; 27(2):241-58.

Aronson L, Niehaus B, Lindow J, Robertson PA, O'Sullivan PS. Development and pilot testing of a reflective learning guide for medical education. Med Teach. 2011; 33(10):e515-21.

Aronson L, Niehaus B, DeVries CD, Siegel JR, O'Sullivan PS. Do writing and storytelling skill influence assessment of reflective ability in medical students' written reflections? Acad Med. 2010 Oct; 85(10 Suppl):S29-32.

Aronson L. Twelve tips for teaching reflection at all levels of medical education. Med Teach. 2011; 33(3):200-5.

OSullivan P; Aronson L; Chittenden E; Niehaus B; Learman L . MedEdPORTAL. Reflective Ability Rubric and User Guide. 2010; (8133).

Aronson L. Why geriatrics? Ann Intern Med. 2010 Jan 05; 152(1):61.

Aronson L, Chittenden E, O'Sullivan P. A faculty development workshop in teaching reflection. Med Educ. 2009 May; 43(5):499.

Aronson L. Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts. The Ethics of Everyday Life. 2009; 2(3):150.

Aronson L. Osler’s Bedside Library: Great Literature from a Great Physician. LaCombe M (Ed.). Osler, Plutarch and the Intimate Observation of Human Behavior. 2009.

Aronson L. Medical linguistics. J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Dec; 22(12):1781.

Aronson L. BARK. A New Breed of Magic: Canine Assistance in Alzheimer’s Care. 2000.

Aronson L. San Francisco Chronicle. A City Full of the Hidden Homebound. 1999.

Aronson L. San Francisco Chronicle. The Fear of Losing Who We Are. 1999.

Aronson L, Landefeld CS. Examining older people for carotid bruits: listen to your patient, not her neck. J Gen Intern Med. 1998 Feb; 13(2):140-1.

Aronson L. Refugee intermediaries and the delivery of health care to Cambodian refugees. Practicing Anthropology. 1987; (November).

Aronson L. Traditional Cambodian health beliefs and practices. Rhode Island Medical Journal. 1987; 70(2):73-8.

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