Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of General Internal Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPH

General Internal Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

Core Investigator, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System


Phone: 412-383-0811

Office: 3609 Forbes Avenue
2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: 412-383-0811
Administrative Assistant:
Genevieve Daniels
Address: 3609 Forbes Avenue
2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: 412-383-0627
Education and Training
BA in Psychology, New York University
MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 2013
MPH in Clinical Effectiveness, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2018
Internal Medicine Residency (Primary Care), Massachusetts General Hospital, 2016
General Internal Medicine Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, 2018
Research Interest
Dr. Essien is a health services researcher and practicing general internist who conducts research on racial/ethnic health disparities. His research focus is on the use of novel therapeutics and technologies in the management of chronic diseases and understanding mechanisms by which differences exist in their uptake and diffusion.

As an early career researcher, Dr. Essien has applied innovative methods to study whether racial/ethnic differences exist in the use of novel anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation, including after controlling for patient-level socioeconomic status factors. Additionally, he has applied a disparities research framework to the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming a national expert in the health disparities that are disproportionately affecting minority communities in the U.S. with COVID-19.

Currently, Dr. Essien is a Core Investigator in the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He is studying patient, provider, and system-level predictors of use of novel treatments in chronic disease management among Veterans. He is also interested in developing patient-centered interventions to increase knowledge of therapeutic options.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Essien is a board-certified general internist who cares for adult patients at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System as a teaching attending on the Inpatient Internal Medicine Service. He is experienced in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide array of medical problems that affect adults of all ages.
Educational Interest
Dr. Essien actively participates in the education and training of medical students and resident physicians, instructing them as an attending on the inpatient internal medicine service. Dr. Essien also lectures on research methodology, cardiovascular health disparities, and using social media to promote research.

Dr. Essien is the Director of the Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity Program for Medical Students (CEED II).
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Essien UR, Holmes DN, Jackson LR 2nd, Fonarow GC, Mahaffey KW, Steinberg BA, Allen LA, Chan PS, Freeman JV, Blanco RG, Pieper KS, Piccini JP, Peterson ED, Singer DE. Association of Race/Ethnicity With Oral Anticoagulant Use in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: Findings From the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation II. JAMA Cardiology. 2018.
Shulman E, Chudow JJ, Essien UR, Shanbhag A, Kargoli F, Romero J, Di Biase L, Fisher J, Krumerman A. Relative contribution of modifiable risk factors for incident atrial fibrillation in Hispanics, African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites. International Journal of Cardiology. 2018.
Berkowitz SA, Kalkhoran S, Edwards ST, Essien UR, Baggett TP. Unstable Housing and Diabetes-Related Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalization: A Nationally Representative Study of Safety-Net Clinic Patients. Diabetes Care. 2018; 41(5): 933-939.
Essien, UR, Molina, RK, Lasser, KE. Strengthening the postpartum transition of care to address racial disparities in maternal health. Journal of the National Medical Association. 2018.
Wasfy JH, Rao SK, Essien UR, Richardson CA,, Jeune T, Goldstein SA, Laikhter E, Chittle MD, Weil M, Ferris TG. Initial experience with endocrinology e-consults. Endocrine. 2017; 55(2): 640-642.
Essien UR, Shahid NN, Berkowitz SA. Food Insecurity and Diabetes in Developed Societies. Current Diabetes Reports. 2016; 16(9): 79.
Essien U, Goel N, Melamed ML. Role of vitamin D receptor activation in racial disparities in kidney disease outcomes. Seminars in Nephrology. 2013; 33(5): 416-24.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: UCSF Research in Implementation Sciences for Equity (RISE 2)
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: University of California - San Francisco / National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R25 HL126146
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2020
Notable Achievements
40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health, National Minority Quality Forum, 2019
Health Science Research Award, Annual Department of Medicine Research Day, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2020
American Heart Association Young Investigator Seed Grant, 2019
Mack S. Lipkin Award, Trainee Award for most outstanding research abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine National Meeting, 2018
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIH T32), 2016-2018