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About Me

I was raised in a family with strong feminist values who showed me that however I spent my life, I should work toward making the world a more equitable place. Rooted in my upbringing and experiences working in Peru and Boston before medical school, I came to appreciate the role that reproductive autonomy plays in striving for gender equity – an understanding that laid the foundation for my professional ambitions.

Entering medicine from a research background, I recognized how, at the intersection of clinical science, public health, and public policy, OB/GYNs hold a tremendous responsibility in advancing the status of women broadly. Training at UCSF is a dream come true; I feel privileged to learn alongside the clinicians, investigators, and advocates who call this institution home, and cannot imagine a better environment in which to develop into the OB/GYN I aspire to be – a physician and investigator dedicated whole-heartedly to the reproductive justice mission.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy quality time with family and friends, my partner Jeff and our pup Quinn. Otherwise, I love channeling my creative energies into the pottery wheel, and running, hiking and swimming in the California sunshine I’ve missed so much for the last ten years!

Allison Merz, MD
Allison Merz, MD
Resident Physician - PGY 3

[email protected]

If you are a patient, please do not contact a physician by email without their prior expressed consent due to confidentiality concerns.

Main Address

UCSF OB/GYN&RS Residency Program
490 Illinois Street
10th Floor, Box 0132
San Francisco, CA 94158

Location Office Phone Fax
Mission Bay (415) 476 - 5192 (415) 476 - 1811
Mount Zion (415) 353 - 9240 (415) 353 - 9509
San Francisco General Hospital (628) 206 - 3061 (628) 206 - 3112

Research/Clinical Interests: Family planning, community health, health equity, ultrasound, medical education

Education/Training

Year

Institution Degree Field of Study
current University of California, San Francisco Residency Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
2020 Harvard Medical School MD Medicine
2014 Amherst College BA Biology; Culture, Health & Science

Research & Professional Experience

Year  
2019-2020 Principal Investigator, Large-scale trends in contraceptive attitudes over time as expressed on Twitter; Harvard Medical School Department of Biomedical Informatics, Boston, MA
2018-2020 Researcher, Multimodal curriculum for obstetrical trainees for difficult perinatal counseling: A randomized controlled trial; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston, MA
2018-2020 Researcher, Patient characteristics and attitudes in post-placental intrauterine device placement; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Family Planning, Boston, MA
2017-2020 Researcher, A qualitative exploration of medical students’ discussions of abortion as a reflection of their professionalism traits; Brigham and Women’s Hospital Marie Corrigan Center for Women’s Health, Boston, MA
2016-2020 Integrated Clinician and Researcher; Harvard Medical School Crimson Care Collaborative, Nashua Street Jail, Boston, MA
2014-2016 Clinical Research Assistant, Division of Cardiology and Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
2013 Amherst College Center for Community Engagement Summer Fellow, Centro Medico Parroquial San Jose, Lima, Peru
2012 Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
2011 Summer Internship Program, California Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Achievements & Recognition

Year Major Honors
2020 Graduation from Harvard Medical School with Honors in a Special Field, Magna cum laude
2019 Best Cross-Sectional Research Award, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
2014 Stephanie K. Duff Award for Leadership, Amherst College Varsity Swimming & Diving
2011, 2014 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving All-American
2014 NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Scholar All-American
2013-2014 Captain, Amherst College Varsity Swimming & Diving
2011-2013 Amherst College Varsity Swimming 50- and 100-yard Butterfly Record Holder
2011 ‘Rookie of the Year’, Amherst College Varsity Swimming & Diving

Oral Presentations

MERZ AA, Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Bartz D, WIlliams N, Ojo A, Schaefer K, Huang M, Li C, Sandoval RS, Ye S, Cathcart A, Starosta A, Avillach P. Population Attitudes Toward Contraceptive Methods Over Time on a Social Media Platform. Society for Family Planning.

Merz AA, Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Bartz D, Williams NE, Ojo A, Schaefer KM, Huang M, Li CY, Sandoval RS, Ye S, Cathcart AM, Starosta A, Avillach P. “The use of Twitter to explore large-scale trends in contraceptive attitudes.” Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Family Planning Didactic Conference, Boston, MA. February 2020.

Merz AA, Janiak E, Steinauer J, Berkowitz L, Bartz D. “A qualitative exploration of medical students’ attitudes toward abortion and their individual professionalism: Implications for medical education.” Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Family Planning Didactic Conference, Boston, MA. April 2019.

Merz AA., Cheng S. “Sex Differences in Cardiovascular Aging: Why do women develop cardiovascular disease later than men?” Harvard Medical School Aesculapian Student Symposium, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. February 27, 2017.

Merz AA, Dwyer K, Peck J, Rivero J, Cheng S, Platz E. “Echocardiography and Lung Ultrasound Correlates of Dyspnea in Ambulatory Heart Failure patients: Analysis from the EchoPlus Study.” EchoPlus Study Conference, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Echocardiography Laboratory, Boston, MA. May 29, 2015.

Merz AA, Rafiei M, Stern L, Hamilton M, and Kobashigawa J. (2012). Has the Virtual Crossmatch Truly Decreased Time on the Heart Transplant Waiting List for Sensitized Patients? American Federation for Medical Research Annual Meeting, January 2012; Journal of Investigative Medicine, 60(1), pp. 174.

Poster Presentations

Merz AA, Roth E, Erlinger AL, Modest A, Young B (2019). Multimodal curriculum for obstetrical trainees for difficult perinatal counseling: A randomized controlled trial. Poster presented at APGO & CREOG Annual Meeting, February 2020.

Merz AA, Janiak E, Steinauer J, Berkowitz L, Bartz D (2019). Medical student attitudes on abortion reflect professionalism: A qualitative exploration. Poster presented at the Society for Family Planning Annual Meeting, October 2019.

Platz E, Campbell RT, Claggett B, Lewis EF, Groarke JD, Docherty KF, Lee MMY, Merz AA, Silverman M, Swamy V, Lindner M, Rivero J, Solomon SD, McMurray JJV. (2019). Lung ultrasound in acute heart failure: prevalence of pulmonary congestion and associated short-and long-term outcomes. European Journal of Heart Failure, 21, 31 May 2019.

Brainin P, Claggett B, Dwyer K, Merz AA, et al (2018). Association between body mass index and b-lines by lung ultrasonography in patients with chronic and acute heart failure. European Journal of Heart Failure, 20, pp.545.

Merz AA, Dwyer K, Crousillat D, Lau E, Proplesch M, Peck J, Silverman M, Rivero J, Cheng S, Platz E. (2017). Sex-Specific prevalence and correlates of lung ultrasound findings in ambulatory heart failure patients: P1-09. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, 30(6), pp.B15. Poster presented at American Society of Echocardiography Annual Meeting, June 2017.

Bell V, McCabe E, Larson M, Rong J, Merz AA, et al. (2016). Relations between aortic stiffness and left ventricular mechanical function. Artery Research, 16, pp.92.

Merz AA, Dwyer K, Peck J, Rivero J, Cheng S, Platz E. “Left Ventricular Mechanics in Heart Failure with Reduced vs. Preserved Ejection Fraction.” Poster presented at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Program 3rd Annual Research Conference; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. June 6, 2016.

Merz AA, Dwyer K, Peck J, Rivero J, Cheng S, Platz E. (2015). Cardiac and Pulmonary Ultrasound Correlates of Exertional Dyspnea in Ambulatory Heart Failure Patients: P1-70. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, 28(6):B32. Issn Print: 0894-7317. Poster presented at American Society of Echocardiography Annual Meeting, June 2015.

Platz E, Lewis EF, Peck J, Pivetta E, Merz AA, Hempel D, Wilson C, Frasure S, Cheng S, Solomon S. (2015). Lung Ultrasound with Pocket Device may detect Subclinical Congestion in Ambulatory Heart Failure Patients. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 65 (10), pp. A779.

Publications

Merz AA, Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Bartz D, Williams NE, Ojo A, Schaefer KM, Huang M, Li CY, Sandoval RS, Ye S, Cathcart AM, Starosta A, Avillach P. Population attitudes toward contraceptive methods over time on a social media platform. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Jun;224(6):597.e1-597.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.11.042. Epub 2020 Dec 9. PMID: 33309562.

Merz AA, Janiak E, Mokashi M, Berkowitz L, Steinauer J, Bartz D. (2021). “We're called upon to be nonjudgmental”: A qualitative exploration of medical students’ discussions of abortion as a reflection of their professionalism traits. Contraception. 2021 Sep 14;S0010-7824(21)00380-2. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2021.09.004. PMID: 34529953.

Merz AA. Edited by Lecker SH, Chang B. "Obstetrics and Gynecology." The Ultimate Medical School Rotation Guide. Springer, 2021, p. 153-230.

Brainin P, Claggett B, Lewis E, Dwyer KH, Merz AA, Silverman MB, Swamy V, Biering-Sørensen T, Rivero J, Cheng S, McMurray JJV, Solomon SD, Platz E. Body mass index and B-lines on lung ultrasonography in chronic and acute heart failure. ESC Heart Fail. 2020 Feb 20. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.12640. PubMed PMID: 32077268.

Lindner M, Thomas R, Claggett BL, Lewis E, Groarke J, Merz AA, Silverman MB, Swamy V, Rivero J, Hohenstein C, Solomon SD, McMurray JJ, Steigner ML, Platz E. Quantification of pleural effusions on thoracic ultrasound in acute heart failure. Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care. 2020 Jan 24:2048872620901835. doi: 10.1177/2048872620901835. PubMed PMID: 31976745.

Platz E, Campbell RT, Claggett B, Lewis EF, Groarke JD, Docherty KF, Lee MMY, Merz AA, Silverman M, Swamy V, Lindner M, Rivero J, Solomon SD, McMurray JJV. Lung Ultrasound in Acute Heart Failure: Prevalence of Pulmonary Congestion and Short- and Long-Term Outcomes. JACC Heart Fail. 2019 Oct;7(10):849-858. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2019.07.008. PubMed PMID: 31582107.

Platz E, Merz AA, Silverman M, Lewis E, Groarke JD, Waxman A, Systrom D. Association between lung ultrasound findings and invasive exercise haemodynamics in patients with undifferentiated dyspnoea. ESC Heart Fail. 2019 Feb;6(1):202-207. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.12381. Epub 2018 Nov 26. PMID: 30474936.

Proplesch M, Merz AA, Claggett BL, Lewis EF, Dwyer KH, Crousillat DR, Lau ES, Silverman MB, Peck J, Rivero J, Cheng S, Platz E. Right atrial structure and function in patients with hypertension and with chronic heart failure. Echocardiography. 2018 Jul;35(7):905-914. doi: 10.1111/echo.13876. Epub 2018 Mar 30. PMID: 29600555.

Dwyer KH, Merz AA, Lewis EF, Claggett BL, Crousillat DR, Lau ES, Silverman MB, Peck J, Rivero J, Cheng S, Platz E. Pulmonary Congestion by Lung Ultrasound in Ambulatory Patients With Heart Failure With Reduced or Preserved Ejection Fraction and Hypertension. J Card Fail. 2018 Apr;24(4):219-226. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2018.02.004. Epub 2018 Mar 1. PMID: 29499322.

Platz E, Merz AA, Jhund PS, Vazir A, Campbell R, McMurray JJ. Dynamic changes and prognostic value of pulmonary congestion by lung ultrasound in acute and chronic heart failure: a systematic review. Eur J Heart Fail. 2017 Sep;19(9):1154-1163. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.839. Epub 2017 May 30. PMID:28557302

Bell V, McCabe E, Larson M, Rong J, Merz AA, Osypiuk E, Lehman BT, Stantchev P, Aragam J, Benjamin EJ, Hamburg NM, Vasan RS, Mitchell GF, Cheng S. Relations Between Aortic Stiffness and Left Ventricular Mechanical Function in the Community. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 Jan 9;6(1). pii: e004903. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.116.004903. PMID: 28069573.

Merz AA, Cheng S. Regarding sex differences in cardiovascular ageing: let us not forget iron. Heart. 2016 Sep 1;102(17):1418-9. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2016-309849. PMID: 27515820.

Merz AA, Cheng S. Sex differences in cardiovascular ageing. Heart. 2016 Jun 1;102(11):825-31. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2015-308769. Epub 2016 Feb 25. PMID: 26917537.

Platz E, Lewis EF, Uno H, Peck J, Pivetta E, Merz AA, Hempel D, Wilson C, Frasure SE, Jhund PS, Cheng S, Solomon SD. Detection and prognostic value of pulmonary congestion by lung ultrasound in ambulatory heart failure patients, Eur Heart J. 2016 Apr 14;37(15):1244-51. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv745. Epub 2016 Jan 26. PMID: 26819225

Platz E, Pivetta E, Merz AA, Peck J, Rivero J, Cheng S. Impact of device selection and clip duration on lung ultrasound assessment in patients with heart failure. Am J Emerg Med. 2015 Nov;33(11):1552-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2015.06.002. Epub 2015 Jun 6. PMID: 26123928.

Cheng S, McCabe EL, Larson MG, Merz AA, Osypiuk E, Lehman BT, Stantchev P, Aragam J, Solomon SD, Benjamin EJ, Vasan RS. Distinct Aspects of Left Ventricular Mechanical Function Are Differentially Associated With Cardiovascular Outcomes and All-Cause Mortality in the Community. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Oct 27;4(10):e002071. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.115.002071. PMID: 26508740.

Fredenburgh LE, Merz AA, Cheng S. Haeme oxygenase signalling pathway: implications for cardiovascular disease. Eur Heart J. 2015 Jun 21;36(24):1512-8. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv114. Epub 2015 Mar 31. PMID: 25827602.

Tobin LA, Xie Y, Tsokos M, Chung SI, Merz AA, Arnold MA, Li G, Malech HL, Kwong KF. (2012). Pegylated siRNA-loaded calcium phosphate nanoparticle-driven amplification of cancer cell internalization in vivo. Biomaterials. 2013 Apr;34(12):2980-90. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.01.046. Epub 2013 Jan 29. PMID: 23369215.