Maria Patanwala, MD

Internal Medicine
(VA Scholar)

MD – UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
Residency – Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Biography: Dr. Maria Patanwala is a primary care physician interested in improving social and health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness (PEH) through compassionate clinical care, effective program development and evaluation, and building partnerships between local institutions and agencies to collaboratively serve vulnerable populations.  

Dr. Patanwala graduated with a BA in Molecular Cell Biology and Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley where she began working on issues related to homelessness at the Suitcase Clinic, a student-run multi-service center in Berkeley, CA. After college, she served with AmeriCorps in Northern California with the Redwood Empire Food Bank on an initiative to address food insecurity as a component of diabetes prevention. Dr. Patanwala then received her medical degree with honors from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine receiving both the Alpha Omega Alpha distinction as well as the Gold Headed Cane award for humanism. At UCSF she was part of the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US) and PROF-PATH Research Fellowship Program where she completed both quantitative and qualitative studies on symptom experience among older adults experiencing homelessness in Oakland, CA. During medical school she also helped lead a student-run homeless clinic and facilitated support groups at an adult shelter in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Patanwala completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine Primary Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts where she helped lead a community health education program at a local sports center and participated in mentoring local underserved high school students interested in health careers.  

As a scholar in our program, Dr. Patanwala has completed her MS in Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and is participating in a PCORI-funded project led by Dr. Lillian Gelberg (VA/UCLA) and Dr. Benjamin Henwood (University of Southern California). Her primary project is titled “Is supportive housing supportive enough? Qualitative results from the Patient Centered Housing Options, Outcomes, Services, and Environment Study,” which she presented at the Society of General Internal Medicine and will be submitting for publication. Dr. Patanwala has been practicing clinically in primary care at the Greater Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration Hospital as well as with the UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative. Following NCSP fellowship completion, Dr. Patanwala will be joining the San Francisco Department of Public Health to practice primary care as well as serve on a new mobile medical team caring for patients living in Permanent Supportive Housing.