Robert M. Wachter, MD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he is the Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine and the Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine. In 2017, UCSF’s department of medicine was ranked first in the nation by US News & World Report, and the department leads the U.S. in NIH grants.
Wachter is author of 250 articles and 6 books. He coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and is often considered the “father” of the hospitalist field, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. He is past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine and past chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
In the safety and quality arenas, he edits the U.S. government’s leading website on patient safety and has written two books on the subject, including Internal Bleeding and Understanding Patient Safety, the world’s best selling safety primer. In 2004, he received the John M. Eisenberg Award, the nation’s top honor in patient safety. In 2016, Modern Healthcare magazine ranked him as the fourth most influential physician-executive in the U.S., his ninth consecutive year in the top 50 (he was #1 on the list in 2015).
He has served on the healthcare advisory boards of several companies, including Google. His 2015 book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age, was a New York Times science bestseller. He recently chaired a blue ribbon commission advising England’s National Health Service on its digital strategy.