UCSF's Voices Features Medical Resident

June 09, 2010

Nathaniel Gleason, MD, who is busy balancing a life as a father of two boys and a medical resident at UCSF Medical Center, is profiled in the latest segment of Voices.

Gleason, who sees the world in black and white, tells about his challenges growing up being visually impaired and how this important experience now shapes his role as a physician.

Gleason first pursued a career as a professional musician. He had a band, a bus and even a small record contract. But with time on the road he came to the realization that his talent didn’t meet his own high expectations and that led to a period of quiet introspection.

Gleason decided that he would make a meaningful mark in medicine – only to be turned away initially by a few medical schools admissions officers who thought his impaired vision would not make the grade.

He discovered that UCSF was different.

In fact, Gleason graduated from the UCSF School of Medicine in 2008 with the prestigious Gold-Headed Cane Award, recognition from his classmates that he embodies the qualities of a true physician. He is continuing his training as a resident at UCSF and plans to practice general medicine.

While Gleason says he is reserved by nature, he believes it is important to get the message out about what a person with a visual disability can achieve.

Created by Lisa Cisneros, assistant director of UCSF Public Affairs, the Voices video series is a central feature of the UCSF diversity website, which was launched in August 2008 to communicate the importance of diversity on UCSF’s culture, climate and identity.

Related Links:


Diversity website

UCSF Awards Gold-Headed Cane to Advocate for Disabled
UCSF Today, May 27, 2008