Cindy Chang, MD

Primary care sports medicine specialist

Dr. Cindy Chang is a specialist in primary care sports medicine, with more than 25 years of experience in caring for athletes of all ages and levels. Her patients are active in a variety of sports, from archery and aquatics to wrestling and wheelchair basketball. She educates her patients about their injuries, shares findings from examinations and imaging studies, and helps them determine their best treatment options. She provides referrals to orthopedic surgeons or other specialists as needed and works with patients to help prevent future injury and illness. A lifelong competitive athlete, Chang has dealt with multiple injuries of her own, and that personal experience informs her empathic, individualized approach to patient care. She co-directs the concussion program of the Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

Chang's research focuses on improving health and safety for athletes ranging from schoolchildren to adults, including college athletes and competitors in the Olympics and Paralympics. Also passionate about medical education on these topics, she serves as program director for UCSF's fellowship program in primary care sports medicine.

Chang earned her medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. She completed a residency in family medicine at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in sports medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

For 13 years, Chang was head team physician at the University of California, Berkeley for all 27 intercollegiate sports, including football. She served as chief medical officer for Team USA during the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and 2012 London Olympics. She continues to provide sports medicine coverage at sporting events in the community, including by volunteering as a team physician for UC Berkeley, Berkeley High School and select USA national teams. She has also been a youth sports coach, and her children have played a variety of sports at all levels of competition, with one currently playing Level 1 professional soccer overseas.

Chang is a past president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, serves on the board of trustees for the American College of Sports Medicine and chairs the California Interscholastic Federation Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. She recently served on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for the National Federation of State High School Associations. She serves on the board of Racing Hearts, a nonprofit that places automated external defibrillators in schools. As an advocate for many health- and safety-related measures, she meets with legislators on various topics, including the importance of supporting California athletic trainers by licensing their profession.


Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes at Oakland
744 52nd Street
Oakland, CA 94609
Phone: (510) 428-3558

Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes at Walnut Creek
2401 Shadelands
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Phone: (925) 939-8687

More about Cindy Chang


Ohio State University College of Medicine 1989


UCLA Health, Family Medicine 1992


Ohio State University, Primary Care Sports Medicine 1993

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Toresdahl BG, Asif IM, Rodeo SA, Ling DI, Chang CJ. Cardiovascular screening of Olympic athletes reported by chief medical officers of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Br J Sports Med. 2018 May 24.
  2. Smith KR, Woodward A, Lemke B, Otto M, Chang CJ, Mance AA, Balmes J, Kjellstrom T. The last Summer Olympics? Climate change, health, and work outdoors. Lancet. 2016 Aug 13; 388(10045):642-4.
  3. Asplund C, Chang CJ. Care of the endurance athlete: promotion, perception, performance and professionalism. Br J Sports Med. 2011 Nov; 45(14):1083-4.
  4. Callahan W, Chang CJ. Sideline evaluation and management of acute hip trauma in a collegiate athlete. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2008 Sep-Oct; 7(5):281-3.
  5. Saxena A, Chang CJ, Wang S. Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in athletes. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2006 Sep; 5(5):254-7.
  6. Landry GL, Chang CJ. Herpes and tinea in wrestling: managing outbreaks, knowing when to disqualify. Phys Sportsmed. 2004 Oct; 32(10):34-41.
  7. Landry GL, Chang CJ, Mees PD. Treating and avoiding herpes and tinea infections in contact sports. Phys Sportsmed. 2004 Oct; 32(10):43-4.
  8. Yi S, Chang CJ. Subtalar dislocation in a female gymnast. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003 Oct; 2(5):265-6.
  9. Moazzaz P, Chang CJ. Two unusual cases of acetabular fractures sustained during sports. Clin J Sport Med. 2002 Mar; 12(2):127-9.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.