Elizabeth Dzeng, PhD, MD, MPH
Stanford University, , MS - 2003 Chemical Engineering
Stanford University, , BS - 2003 Biological Sciences and History
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, , MPH - 2007 Health and Human Rights/Humanitarian Aid
University of Cambridge, , MPhil - 2008 Development Studies
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, , MD - 2009
Columbia New York Presbyterian Hospital, , Residency - 2011 Internal Medicine
University of Cambridge, , PhD - 2015 Medical Sociology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, , Fellowship - 2015 General Internal Medicine
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. 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 is co-design a systems-level intervention using human-centered design to mitigate the culture of burdensome end-of-life care. Other areas of research include clinician moral distress and clinician experiences and ethical perspectives around the COVID-19 pandemic.
She has also recently been funded to use community-based participatory research methods to understand how structural racism effects older Black adults through the life course and how that influences goal concordant end-of-life care. Dr. Dzeng is dedicated to health equity, social justice, and anti-racism and is a member of the UCSF Office of Research Anti-racism in Research Task Force and the UCSF Division of Hospital Medicine Anti-racism Task Force. She is also a Steering Committee member on the REPAIR Project (repair.ucsf.edu) and Faculty Lead for the REPAIR Research Committee.
Among her national leadership roles, Dr. Dzeng recently served as the Chair of the Ethics Committee at the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), Chair of the Innovations in Health Care Delivery and SGIM Annual Meeting planning committee, and SGIM's special work group on the Social Determinants of Health which wrote SGIM's position statement on this issue. She is also on the Scientific Review Committee for the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) and an Associate Editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM).
Dr. Dzeng 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 where she wrote her doctoral thesis on the influence of institutional cultures and policies on physicians’ ethical beliefs and how that impacted the way they communicate in end of life decision-making conversations. She was also 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 used design thinking to 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.
Outside of academic medicine, Dr. Dzeng is an avid rower and has competed in races such as the Head of the Charles and the Henley Women's Regatta. She is happiest when traveling the world, especially hiking and exploring the world's natural wonders.