Ashwin Kotwal, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Kotwal is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. He completed undergraduate training in Anthropology at Northwestern University, and his medical and biostatistics training at University of Chicago. He went on to complete his Internal Medicine residency at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an integrated clinical fellowship in Geriatrics and Palliative Care at UCSF.

Dr. Kotwal devotes most of his time to research focusing on understanding and enhancing social connections of older adults to improve their quality of life and health care access. Recent work has investigated experiences of loneliness and social isolation among older adults with cognitive impairment, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social well-being. His research interests involve evaluation of community-based interventions to address loneliness and isolation, particularly among older adults with cognitive impairment or approaching the end of life.

Dr. Kotwal is funded by the National Institute on Aging K23 Career Development Award. He is currently a research scholar in the UCSF Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and has received funding from the National Palliative Care Research Center, Hellman Family Fund, and Metta Foundation. He is co-Associate Director of the UCSF Division of Geriatrics NIH-funded T32 Aging Research Fellowship and has a strong interest in mentorship.

Dr. Kotwal's clinical work focuses on advancing telehealth palliative care at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) where he has been Director of the Outpatient Palliative Care Telehealth Program since 2019.
Fellowship, 2019 - Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Residency, 2017 - Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
MD, 2014 - Medicine, University of Chicago
MS, 2013 - Biostatistics, University of Chicago
BA, 2009 - Anthropology, Northwestern University
Honors and Awards
  • Best Abstract, Epidemiology Section, American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting, 2020
  • New Investigator Award, American Geriatrics Society Health in Aging Foundation, 2020
  • 2020 Editor's Choice Award, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2020
  • Annals of Internal Medicine Top Reviewer, 2019
  • Catherine Dobson Prize for Best Oral Presentation in Clinical or Social Science, University of Chicago, 2014
  • Department of Medicine Award, University of Chicago, 2014
  • Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Award, American Federation for Aging Research, 2010
  • Oswald Werner Prize for Distinguished Honors Thesis in Anthropology, Northwestern University, 2009
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Northwestern University, 2009
  1. Ankuda CK, Kotwal A, Reckrey J, Harrison KL, Ornstein KA. The Experience of Homebound Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic. 2022. PMID: 35167063

  2. Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Waite LJ, Smith AK, Perissinotto CM, Hawkley LC. A single question assessment of loneliness in older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: A nationally-representative study. 2022. PMID: 35141875

  3. Waite LJ, Hawkley L, Kotwal AA, O'Muircheartaigh C, Schumm LP, Wroblewski K. Analyzing Birth Cohorts With the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. 2021. PMID: 34918157

  4. Waite LJ, Duvoisin R, Kotwal AA. Social Health in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. 2021. PMID: 34918156

  5. Kotwal AA, Fuller SM, Myers JJ, Hill D, Tha SH, Smith AK, Perissinotto C. A Peer Intervention Reduces Loneliness and Improves Social Well-Being in Low-Income Older Adults: A Mixed-Methods Study. 2021. PMID: 34449870

  6. Hawkley LC, Finch LE, Kotwal AA, Waite LJ. Can remote social contact replace in-person contact to protect mental health among older adults? 2021. PMID: 34337740

  7. Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Waite LJ, Covinsky KE, Perissinotto CM, Boscardin WJ, Hawkley LC, Dale W, Smith AK. The epidemiology of social isolation and loneliness among older adults during the last years of life. 2021. PMID: 34247388

  8. Yang EZ, Kotwal AA, Lisha NE, Wong JS, Huang AJ. Formal and informal social participation and elder mistreatment in a national sample of older adults. 2021. PMID: 34105769

  9. Aliberti MJR, Kotwal AA, Smith AK, Lee SJ, Banda S, Boscardin WJ. Pre-estimating subsets: A new approach for unavailable predictors in prognostic modeling. 2021. PMID: 34002370

  10. Harrison KL, Kotwal AA, Smith AK. Palliative Care for Patients With Noncancer Illnesses. 2020. PMID: 33048142

  11. Kotwal AA, Holt-Lunstad J, Newmark RL, Cenzer I, Smith AK, Covinsky KE, Escueta DP, Lee JM, Perissinotto CM. Social Isolation and Loneliness Among San Francisco Bay Area Older Adults During the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Orders. 2020. PMID: 32965024

  12. Nouri SS, Ritchie C, Volow A, Li B, McSpadden S, Dearman K, Kotwal A, Sudore RL. A Toolkit for Community-Based, Medicaid-Funded Case Managers to Introduce Advance Care Planning to Frail, Older Adults: A Pilot Study. 2020. PMID: 32865472

  13. Kotwal AA, Lee SJ, Dale W, Boscardin WJ, Waite LJ, Smith AK. Integration of an Objective Cognitive Assessment Into a Prognostic Index for 5-Year Mortality Prediction. 2020. PMID: 32356919

  14. Kotwal AA, Abdoler E, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Kelley AS, Ornstein KA, Boscardin WJ, Smith AK. 'Til Death Do Us Part: End-of-Life Experiences of Married Couples in a Nationally Representative Survey. 2018. PMID: 30251423

  15. Dale W, Kotwal AA, Shega JW, Schumm LP, Kern DW, Pinto JM, Pudelek KM, Waite LJ, McClintock MK. Cognitive Function and its Risk Factors Among Older US Adults Living at Home. Volume 32 of Issue 3. 2018. PMID: 29334499

  16. Kotwal AA, Schonberg MA. Cancer Screening in the Elderly: A Review of Breast, Colorectal, Lung, and Prostate Cancer Screening. Volume 23 of Issue 4. 2017. PMID: 28731949

  17. Kotwal AA, Kim J, Waite L, Dale W. Social Function and Cognitive Status: Results from a US Nationally Representative Survey of Older Adults. Volume 31 of Issue 8. 2016. PMID: 27130624

  18. Kotwal AA, Lauderdale DS, Waite LJ, Dale W. Differences between husbands and wives in colonoscopy use: Results from a national sample of married couples. Volume 88. 2016. PMID: 27009632

  19. Sajid S, Dale W, Mustian K, Kotwal A, Heckler C, Porto M, Fung C, Mohile SG. Novel physical activity interventions for older patients with prostate cancer on hormone therapy: A pilot randomized study. 2016. PMID: 26916611

  20. Kotwal AA, Schumm P, Kern DW, McClintock MK, Waite LJ, Shega JW, Huisingh-Scheetz MJ, Dale W. Evaluation of a Brief Survey Instrument for Assessing Subtle Differences in Cognitive Function Among Older Adults. Volume 29 of Issue 4. 2015. PMID: 25390883

  21. Vasilopoulos T, Kotwal A, Huisingh-Scheetz MJ, Waite LJ, McClintock MK, Dale W. Comorbidity and chronic conditions in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), Wave 2. 2014. PMID: 25360017

  22. Shega JW, Sunkara PD, Kotwal A, Kern DW, Henning SL, McClintock MK, Schumm P, Waite LJ, Dale W. Measuring cognition: the Chicago Cognitive Function Measure in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, Wave 2. 2014. PMID: 25360018

  23. Shega JW, Andrew M, Kotwal A, Lau DT, Herr K, Ersek M, Weiner DK, Chin MH, Dale W. Relationship between persistent pain and 5-year mortality: a population-based prospective cohort study. 2013. PMID: 24320761

  24. Kotwal AA, Schumm P, Mohile SG, Dale W. The influence of stress, depression, and anxiety on PSA screening rates in a nationally representative sample. Volume 50 of Issue 12. 2012. PMID: 22955835

  25. Kotwal AA, Mohile SG, Dale W. Remaining Life Expectancy Measurement and PSA Screening of Older Men. Volume 3 of Issue 3. 2012. PMID: 22773938