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.