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Dena E. Rifkin

Dena Rifkin


  • M.D.

  • M.S.

Current Position(s): 

  • Staff Physician and Director of Dialysis Services, VA San Diego Healthcare System

  • Associate Professor, UC San Diego

Personal Statement: 

Dr. Rifkin is a board-certified and practicing nephrologist at the University of California, San Diego and the Veterans' Affairs Hospital in San Diego.  Dr. Rifkin has extensive recruiting experience, having successfully led a pilot clinical trial of home blood pressure monitoring at the Veterans' Affairs Hospital (Rifkin Blood Pressure Monitoring 2013), conducted a VA investigation of coronary calcium in dialysis patients (Rifkin senior author, AJKD 2012), served as a site co-investigator in the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), and recruited a cohort of over 350 participants to an ambulatory blood pressure study (Rifkin senior author, AJH 2015).

Professional History:

  •  2001-2002       Intern in Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT

  •  2002-2004       Resident in Medicine, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT

  •  2004-2005       Chief Resident, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT

  •  2004-2005       Instructor in Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine

  •  2005-2008       Clinical Fellow in Nephrology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

  •  2005-2008       Clinical Instructor, Tufts University School of Medicine

  •  2008-2009       Attending Physician, Tufts Medical Center, Boston MA

  •  2008-2009       Instructor in Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

  •  2009-2016       Asst. Professor, Department of Medicine and Family and Preventative Medicine,
                               University of California, San Diego


  • 1996 – AB – Computer Science – Harvard University

  • 1998 – Stanford University, School of Medicine

  • 2001 – MD – Medicine – Yale University School of Medicine

  • 2008 – MS – Clinical Research – Tufts University

Awards and Honors: 

  • 1994                   Derek Bok Teaching Prize – Harvard College

  • 1996                   Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude – Harvard College

  • 1998                   Centers for Disease Control Foundation Fellow (Beijing, China)

  • 1999                   JAMA/John Conley Ethics Essay Award

  • 2000                   Lecturer, Literature and Medicine, Yale College Seminar program

  • 2001                   Alpha Omega Alpha – Yale University School of Medicine

  • 2000-02             msJAMA and JAMA/OnCall Associate Editor

  • 2003                   Kushlan Award (outstanding resident at Yale New Haven Hospital)

  • 2003                   Physician Scholar, Yale/Johnson & Johnson International Health Program (Anchorage, Alaska)

  • 2006-                  Member, American Society of Nephrology

  • 2006-                  Workgroup on Renal Disease – Cardiovascular Health Study

  • 2008                   Women in Nephrology/ASN Travel Grant award

  • 2008-                  Editorial Board, Transplant Chronicles (National Kidney Foundation)

  • 2009                   Teacher of the Year, Tufts Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program

  • 2009-                  Feature Editor, In A Few Words (American Journal of Kidney Disease)

  • 2010 and 2013  Internal Medicine Chief Residents’ Teaching Award, University of California San Diego

  • 2012                   Kaiser Excellence in Teaching Award nominee, UCSD

  • 2013                   Humanism in Medicine Award nominee, UCSD

  • 2017                   Kaiser Excellence in Teach Award winner, UCSD

National/Global Website: National Center for Biotechnology Information

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