Vanessa Grubbs, MD

Associate Professor

College: Duke University, BA
Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine, MD
Internal Medicine Residency: Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, CA
Nephrology Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco
Other graduate training: University of California, Berkeley, MPH

Dr. Vanessa Grubbs is an Associate Professor in the Division of Nephrology at UCSF and has maintained a clinical practice and research program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital since 2009. Her research focuses on palliative care for patients with end-stage kidney disease. She is among the 2017 cohort for the Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program, an initiative designed to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders; and the 2018 California Health Care Foundation’s Health Care Leadership Program.

Her clinical and research work fuel her passion for creative writing. Her first book, HUNDREDS OF INTERLACED FINGERS: A Kidney Doctor’s Search for the Perfect Match, was released June 2017 from Harper Collins Publishers, Amistad division and is now in paperback. Dr. Abraham Verghese, best-selling author and physician, described the book as a "gripping, heartfelt memoir ... a deeply insightful look at health care in America as experienced by doctor and patient.” Dr. Grubbs is currently working on a novel.
Clinical Fellowship, - Nephrology, University of California, San Francisco
Honors and Awards
  • K23 Career Development Award, NIH-NIDDK, 2012-2017
  • Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012-2016
  1. Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy in CKD: Findings of the Kidney and Periodontal Disease (KAPD) Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.
  2. Another Example of Race Disparities in the US Healthcare System.
  3. Dialysis or Death: A Qualitative Study of Older Patients’ and Their Families’ Understanding of Kidney Failure Treatment Options in a US Public Hospital Setting.
  4. Medicare Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Bills-Can We Afford Them?
  5. Family Involvement in Decisions to Forego or Withdraw Dialysis: A Qualitative Study of Nephrologists in the United States and England.
  6. A Conceptual Framework of Palliative Care across the Continuum of Advanced Kidney Disease.
  7. Meeting the Palliative Care Needs of Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients: Beyond the Math.
  8. 105 Medicare Immunosuppressant Coverage and Access to Kidney Transplantation.
  9. 106 Missed Opportunity? —Dental Visits by Chronic Kidney Disease Status in Underserved Patients.
  10. 248 Prevalence of Diagnosed Risk Factors in Underserved Patients Without Creatinine Measurements is High.
  11. 329 Limited English Proficiency and Acute Health Care Utilization Among Patients With CKD.