Dr. Kim Kerr Named Attending Physician of the Year at UC San Diego Health

Dr. Kim KerrDr. Kim Kerr, Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and Medical Director of the Thornton Intensive Care Unit, has been selected as the Attending Physician of the Year for 2015-2016 at UC San Diego Health.

On National Doctors Day each year, UC San Diego Health honors its physicians for their commitment and service in health care. The Attending Physician of the Year award recognizes an attending faculty member for particular excellence in the many facets of patient care and clinical teaching.

Kim M. Kerr, MD, attends on the pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), ICU and pulmonary consult services. Her chief clinical and research interests are in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and critical care.

Dr. Kerr has been named on the San Diego’s Top Doctors list every year for the past seven years.

Cigarette Smoke Makes Superbugs More Aggressive

In lab and mouse experiments, cigarette smoke helps drug-resistant bacteria fight off the immune system —

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant superbug, can cause life-threatening skin, bloodstream and surgical site infections or pneumonia. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine now report that cigarette smoke may make matters worse. The study, published March 30 by Infection and Immunity, shows that MRSA bacteria exposed to cigarette smoke become even more resistant to killing by the immune system. …Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Laura E. Crotty Alexander, MDPulmonologist Laura E. Crotty Alexander, MD, is senior author of the study report. She is a Health Sciences assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego and a staff physician at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

Read the study abstract with link to PDF in Infection and Immunity (UCSD only)

Grant Gives New Breath to Patients Suffering from Severe Pulmonary Hypertension

Nearly $8 million grant helps launch a nationwide patient registry to improve CTEPH practices

Imagine trying to take a deep breath, but feeling like you’re sucking air through a straw. That’s how some patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) describe living with the condition, which is estimated to affect several thousand Americans yearly but is commonly misdiagnosed. UC San Diego Health System is a world leader in CTEPH, and now with a $7.6 million grant, has helped launch the first national CTEPH registry to improve best practices and patient care. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Kim KerrPrincipal Investigator of the project is Kim Kerr, MD, professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. She directs the Medical Intensive Care Unit at UC San Diego Health System’s Thornton Hospital in La Jolla.

Dr. Michael MadaniCardiac surgeon Michael Madani, MD, co-investigator, is chief of cardiothoracic surgery and director of UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center – Surgery.

UC San Diego Health System Retains #1 Ranking

US News & World Report Cites Region’s Only Academic Health System Among Nation’s Best 

UC San Diego Health System remains among the nation’s best, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 issue of “America’s Best Hospitals,” released this week. The magazine’s widely cited findings again placed UC San Diego Health System first in the San Diego metropolitan area and fifth in California, with national rankings in 11 specialties, up from 10 last year. This is comparable to the country’s most prestigious health care institutions.  Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Sulpizio Cardiovascular CenterUC San Diego Health System is nationally ranked in eleven medical specialties, including seven in the Department of Medicine:  Cancer, Cardiology, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Nephrology, Pulmonology and Rheumatology.

High Rankings for Internal Medicine Specialties in 2013-2014 “America’s Best Hospitals” Report

Internal medicine subspecialties received high rankings and played a large part in UC San Diego Health System’s excellent showing in the U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals 2013-2014” guide released July 16.

Clinical efforts of Department of Medicine divisions are either partly or completely responsible for 7 of the 10 UC San Diego Health System adult specialties that ranked in the nation’s top 50 this year and 1 of the 4 ranked as high performing:

In addition, Rheumatology is ranked as high performing once again (Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology).

Last year, three Department of Medicine specialties ranked in the nation’s top 50 and five were rated high performing.

Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD“We can be very proud of achieving such a significant rise in our specialty rankings in one year,” said Wolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

In an announcement to the Department of Medicine faculty, he said, “Thank you for your hard work and your dedication in your patient care activities.

“Your efforts play a major part in distinguishing UC San Diego Health System as one of the finest hospitals in the country, and the top hospital in the San Diego metropolitan area.”

Details of the rankings for UC San Diego Health System are published online here. |  More about the methodology

UC San Diego Health System Ranks #1

UC San Diego Health System is once again ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-14 “America’s Best Hospitals” issue. The magazine placed UC San Diego Health System #1 in the San Diego metropolitan area with national rankings in 10 specialties—placing it among the country’s most prestigious institutions. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Doctor and patient. Stock photo.

Rankings for UC San Diego Health System Internal Medicine Subspecialties

In the nation’s Top 50:

High Performing:

Details of the rankings for UC San Diego Health System are published online here.

High Rankings for Internal Medicine Subspecialties in “Best Hospitals 2011-2012”

UC San Diego Medical CenterFour internal medicine specialties received top-50 rankings for UC San Diego Health System in the new “Best Hospitals 2011-2012” from U.S.News & World Report:

* Pulmonology (#16)
* Diabetes and Endocrinology (#25)
* Nephrology (#34)
* Cancer (#47)

Four other internal medicine specialties were high performers, scoring in the top 25 percent of those surveyed: cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology, geriatrics and rheumatology.

“Year by year, the Department of Medicine increases in clinical strength and breadth, and I am happy to see this strong representation in the rankings,” said Dr. Wolfgang Dillmann, Professor and Interim Chair of the department.

Dr. Wolfgang Dillmann “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our clinicians, from the clinical service chiefs to the house staff, and the administrative structure that supports them.”

U.S. News evaluated the specialties on a number of points, including the availability of advanced patient care technologies and important patient services. All eight of the ranked and high-performing internal medicine specialties had high or perfect scores in those domains.

“This is one of the strengths of an academic medical center,” said Dillmann. “We offer our patients the latest developments, not only in new tools for diagnosis and therapy but also in approaches to care.”

U.S. News included 16 specialties in the rankings. Not included was HIV/AIDS care, which is ranked in a separate survey. In this year’s rankings, released in March, the HIV/AIDS program (Division of Infectious Diseases and Owen Clinic) is eighth in the nation.

U.S. News determines the “Best Hospitals 2011-2012” rankings from objective and subjective factors that vary by specialty. The factors include reputation among specialists, patient survival and safety, and care-related indicators such as nurse staffing and availability of advanced technologies.

More about the methodology >>

UC San Diego Health System also ranked in orthopedics and psychiatry and was high performing in otolaryngology, gynecology, neurology/ neurosurgery, and urology.

Read the UCSD press release >>

With a total of six top-50 specialties and eight high-performing specialties, UC San Diego Health System placed in the top 3 percent of over 4800 hospitals evaluated.

Two medical centers in the University of California system made the U.S. News “Honor Roll,” which lists the hospitals with high scores in at least 6 specialties. Among the 17 hospitals that qualified, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles is #5 and UC San Francisco Medical Center is #7.