First-year students gather for photos during a reception at Millberry gym on UCSF's Parnassus campus

10 Reasons Residents Thrive at the UCSF Department of Pediatrics

What do residents love most about attending UCSF? Current pediatric residents were asked to share their favorite part of the living in the Bay Area, surprises they’ve experienced and some of the fun activities they’ve done with their peers.

Dynamic area with great food

“There’s too much delicious food!”

From world-class restaurants to low-key local finds, San Francisco and the Bay Area are notable for their impressive food scenes. Each neighborhood of San Francisco houses amazing restaurants that will appeal to anyone’s palette.  

Urban activities

“San Francisco is such an energetic city with so much to do.”

In addition to the amazing food scene, San Francisco and Oakland are lively and active. Residents love relaxing in the sun at Dolores Park—a popular and vibrant park in the heart of the Mission District.

Otherwise, there are endless activities at Golden Gate Park, beach bonfires at Ocean Beach, sports games, concerts at amazing venues and Oakland's monthly celebration of art, food and culture, First Fridays.

Proximity to outdoors activities while in a big city

“There’s always something new to try.”

Hiking, surfing, rock climbing, mountain biking and camping are all easily accessed throughout the Bay Area. More adventurous people can go to world-renowned areas like Yosemite and Big Sur for a weekend while those looking for a more relaxing day can walk along the ocean or lazily float down the Yuba River with their friends.

Faculty culture

Being able to interact with faculty in a very relaxed way makes learning much more engaging and less stressful.”

With over 400 faculty, the UCSF Department of Pediatrics is one of the largest pediatric departments in the United States. While leading state-of the-art programs and innovative lab research, faculty are approachable and generous with their time.

Mental health support

“The amount of support I’ve received for my mental health has been a real difference-maker.”

In addition to a culture across UCSF that understands the importance monitoring and maintaining mental health, licensed psychologists and postdoctoral trainees are freely available for counseling services.

Health care experts can also help see which mental health services are covered through the health plans offered to residents.


One thing SF promises is temperate climate! It rarely gets above 90 in the summer and the winter only dips into the 50s. Most of the time, you'll be fine in a light jacket. Be sure to bring layers for Karl, the city's name for our often-present fog bank.  

UCSF Mission Bay housing

“It’s incredibly convenient. A great price and allows residents to easily spend time with each other.”

UCSF’s larging housing complex is in Mission Bay, one of the main campuses that hosts both clinical and research work. Cutting down on commute time can really improve quality of life, especially during those lively years as a resident.

LGBTQ+ culture

While San Francisco and Oakland both host thriving LGBTQ+ communities, the UCSF LGBT Resource Center provides a visible presence on campus and enhances a sense of connection among queer faculty, staff, students, trainees, and patients.

Through a mentor program, staff trainings and hosted events, the Center helps build a workplace that is inclusive of all identities and provides high quality, culturally sensitive care to our patients.

Diversity of patient populations

“How different the clinical experience can be at the different hospitals.”

Some residents work at up to four separate hospitals across the Bay Area, which provides a unique opportunity to see how clinical work can morph to best serve the local population.

Through this variety of clinical experiences, UCSF helps foster leaders in their field with a comprehensive understanding of patient care.

Subsidized cost of living

All residents are given a housing stipend over one thousand dollars per month, allowing the freedom to pick and choose a suitable neighborhood. Often, residents will spend the first year at UCSF housing and branch out their second year once they’re more familiar with the Bay Area.

For residents who decide to live outside of campus, there’s an abundance of transportation options to help with the commute and can be paid pre-tax through benefits.

The takeaway? The UCSF Pediatric Residency Program offers a unique experience both academically and socially. It’s an opportunity to live in the Bay Area while performing clinical work across diverse populations.

Learn more about the countless opportunities to grow and develop through the UCSF Pediatric Residency Program