When he was a young man, Dan Lowenstein used to proclaim that he would never be a doctor. Fast-forward to today and he is not only an accomplished physician-scientist in the area of epilepsy, an award-winning medical educator, and an innovative and forward-thinking leader but he is also UCSF’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. As provost he oversees the university’s academic programs and tackles issues ranging from the modernization of the Parnassus Heights campus to the future of big data in healthcare.
In prior roles, he helped launch UCSF’s Academy of Medical Educators, led UCSF’s Physician-Scientist training programs, and served as Dean for Education of Harvard Medical School. In this interview with Dr. Robert Wachter, Chair of UCSF Department of Medicine, Lowenstein describes his circuitous path to a career in medicine, his passion for social justice, and the importance of authenticity for leaders. Find out how we went from “never medicine” to where he is today and what keeps him going.