Patient Care Information

UCSF is a pioneering institution, advancing the understanding of medicine and the human body continually through research and collaboration.

We also pride ourselves in outstanding, compassionate patient care. Surgery is not an easy event for anyone. That's why we do our part to make it as easy on you as possible.

Thank you for visiting. 

Having Surgery at UCSF

We would like to thank you for choosing UCSF Medical Center for your medical care. We recognize that each patient has unique healthcare needs and we encourage patients and their designated representatives to participate in dissussions and decisions about their treatments, options, alternatives, risks, and benefits.

Follow these links (adult patients) (pediatric patients) for more on preparing for surgery at UCSF Medical Center.

Patient Rights

Every patient has rights and responsibilities. They apply to all of our patients, without regard to gender, sexual orientation, social, cultural, educational or religious background, language, age, ancestry, citizenship, color, national origin, race, presence of mental or physical disability, source of payment for your care, medical condition, marital status or status as a veteran.

Every patient at UCSF Medical Center has the right to:

  • Information that is complete and easy to understand
  • Care and treatment that is considerate and respectful and that optimizes your comfort and dignity
  • Participation in decisions about treatment options, benefits, risks and alternatives including appropriate pain management
  • Privacy and confidentiality in all matters
  • Consideration of personal beliefs and values
  • Responsiveness to requests, needs, concerns, complaints or grievances
  • Respect for advance health care directives, for your wishes regarding care and for all patient rights

We respect the rights of each patient. We are aware that each patient has unique and diverse health care needs. We encourage a partnership between you and your health care team. And we encourage you or your designated representative to participate in discussions and decisions about your care, options, alternatives, risks and benefits.

Please see our Notice of Privacy Practices for information about your rights and the obligations we have regarding the use and disclosure of your medical information.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 mandated significant changes in the regulations governing the provision of health benefits, delivery and payment of health care services, and security and confidentiality of patient health information.

You may ask for a copy of the complete list of patient rights and responsibilities from any clinic or nursing unit, or from Patient Relations by calling (415) 353-1936.

Medical Education of an Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists have at least 12 years of medical training including:
4 years of College
4 years of Medical School
1 (or more) year of Internship
3 years of Anesthesia Specialty training, known as Anesthesia Residency.

Before entering an Anesthesia Residency Training program, some anesthesiologists have completed additional training in surgery, internal medicine, or pediatrics.

Many anesthesiologists continue their Anesthesia Specialty training after finishing their Anesthesia Residency. This additional training can be one or more years devoted to Pediatric Anesthesia, Cardiac Anesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine, in Multidisciplinary Pain Management, or another area of clinical anesthesia or anesthesia research.


History: Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for more than 150 years. The CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) credential came into existence in 1956.

Education and Training:  CRNAs are advanced practice nurses who specialize in anesthesiology. They are required to have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a graduate degree in nursing, 1-2 years of Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Critical Care nursing experience (most have more) before returning to school for their anesthesia training. CRNA programs are either a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice and are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs.  CRNAs also must pass the National Certification Examination following graduation.

Prolific Providers: CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) 2016 Practice Profile Survey.

Practice of Nurse Anesthesia: CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. When a nurse anesthetist administers anesthesia, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; when administered by an anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. Regardless of whether their educational background is in nursing or medicine, all anesthesia professionals give anesthesia the same way.

UCSF Anesthesia Practice:  At UCSF anesthesia is given using an anesthesia care team model (ACT).  The ACT consists of an attending anesthesiologist who supervises either Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or Resident Anesthesiologist who are in training. Here at UCSF Attending anesthesiologists can supervise up to 4 cases with CRNAs and are present for critical portions of the case and immediately available for assistance for the duration of the case.

Maps and Directions

The main campus of UC San Francisco is located in a neighborhood rising south of Golden Gate Park known as Parnassus Heights. There are also large concentrations of employees and programs at more than a dozen different sites, including three other hospitals and research centers.

Click here for UCSF Campus Maps.


This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.