General information

Oakland, CA

Amin Azzam, MD, MA

Director of Open Learning Initiatives & Lead Faculty Advisor

Dr. Amin Azzam (MD, MA) is a professor at three San Francisco bay area universities -- UCSF, UC Berkeley, and Samuel Merritt University. He has dedicated his career to providing innovations in health professional schools, including Problem Based Learning (PBL), Simulation Based Learning (SBL), and Open Educational Pedagogy (OEP). He remains clinically active, running long-term psychotherapy groups for patients with chronic illnesses. Beginning in 2013, Dr. Azzam created the world’s first elective course for medical students to receive academic credit for improving health-related information on Wikipedia which has since spawned many other health professional schools to adopt this practice. As Osmosis’s Director of Open Learning Initiatives, Dr. Azzam continues to promote Wikipedia-editing as a teaching and learning strategy across Osmosis-affiliated health professional schools. With the goal of maximizing the educational value of Osmosis resources, Dr. Azzam also serves as the Osmosis Faculty Engagement Coordinator. This involves training faculty at Osmosis-affiliated partner health professional schools to optimize student engagement with the Osmosis platform alongside—and within—the formal curriculum. Dr. Azzam lives in Oakland with his wife (June) and children (Remy and Margo). They enjoy camping, board games, and international travel.



  • Kouba, L., Amin, B., & Azzam, A. (2019). Online education opportunity for Syria’s future doctors [Letter to the editor]. The Lancet, 394, 1805-1806. doi: 10.1016/ S0140­6736(19)31899­9
  • Joshi, M., Verduzco, R., Yogi, S., Garcia, M., Saxena, S., Tackett, S., ... Azzam, A. (2019). Wikipedia editing courses at three US medical schools in the 2017-2018 academic year. MedEdPublish. doi:10.15694/mep.2019.000146.1
  • Apollonio, D. E., Broyde, K., Azzam, A., De Guia, M., Heilman, J., & Brock, T. (2018). Pharmacy students can improve access to quality medicines information by editing Wikipedia articles. BMC Medical Education, 18(1), 265. doi:10.1186/s12909-018-1375-z
  • Tackett, S., Gaglani, S., Heilman, J., & Azzam, A. (2018). The reCAPTCHA of medical education. Medical Teacher, 41(5), 598-600. doi:10.1080/0142159X.2018.1460463
  • Wei, N., Bourgeois, J. A., Hategan, A., & Azzam, A. (2017). Academics anonymous: A medical student's 12-step guide to scholarly productivity. Education for Health, 30(3), 244-247. doi:10.4103/efh.EfH35414
  • Azzam, A., Bresler, D., Leon, A., Maggio, L., Whitaker, E., Heilman, J., ... McCue, J. D. (2017). Why medical schools should embrace Wikipedia: Final-year medical student contributions to Wikipedia articles for academic credit at one school. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 92(2), 194-200. doi:10.20421/ighpe2017.01
  • Blitzstein, S. M., Seritan, A. L., Sockalingam, S., Randall, M., Kablinger, A., Lieff, S., & Azzam, A. (2016). From industry to generativity: The first 12 years of the association for academic psychiatry master educator program. Academic Psychiatry, 40(4), 576-583. doi:10.1007/s40596-016-0561-8
  • Chen, H. C., Wamsley, M. A., Azzam, A., Julian, K., Irby, D. M., & O'Sullivan, P. S. (2016). The health professions education pathway: Preparing students, residents, and fellows to become future educators. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 29(2), 216-227. doi:10.1080/10401334.2016.1230500
  • Bourgeois, J. A., Hategan, A., & Azzam, A. (2015). Competency-based medical education and scholarship: Creating an active academic culture during residency. Perspectives on Medical Education, 4(5), 254-258. doi:10.1007/s40037-015-0218-4
  • Sokal-Gutierrez, K., Ivey, S. L., Garcia, R. M., & Azzam, A. (2015). Evaluation of the program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US) at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP): The first 4 years. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 27(2), 189-196. doi:10.1080/10401334.2015.1011650
  • Jamal, U., Hoover, C., Wong, C., & Azzam, A. (2014). Preventing obesity in patients through community health prevention programs. MedEdPORTAL. doi:10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9687
  • Ho, B., Ishizaki, A., Ko, A., Homan, A., Hyland, K., Muller, J., ... Azzam, A. (2013). Kim Lee: Problem-Based Learning (PBL) case for delivering uncertain news. MedEdPORTAL. doi:10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9525
  • Azzam, A. (2013). As technology and generations in medical education change, what remains is the intersection between educator, learners, assessment and context. International Review of Psychiatry, 25(3), 347-356. doi:10.3109/09540261.2013.787048
  • Matthews, C. A., Badner, J. A., Andresen, J. M., Sheppard, B., Himle, J. A., Grant, J. E., ... Hanna, G. L. (2012). Genome-wide linkage analysis of obsessive-compulsive disorder implicates chromosome 1p36. Biological Psychiatry, 72(8), 629-636. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.03.037
  • Hoover, C. R., Wong, C. C., & Azzam, A. (2012). From primary care to public health: Using Problem-based Learning and the ecological model to teach public health to first year medical students. Journal of Community Health, 37(3), 647-652. doi:10.1007/s10900-011-9495-y
  • O'Brien, B. C., Cai, V. L., & Azzam, A. (2011). Understanding the educational value of first-year medical students' patient encounter data. Medical Teacher, 33(4), e218-e226. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2011.557411
  • Sheppard, B., Chavira, D., Azzam, A., Grados, M. A., Umaña, P., Garrido, H., & Mathews, C. A. (2010). ADHD prevalence and association with hoarding behaviors in childhood-onset OCD. Depression and Anxiety, 27(7), 667-674. doi:10.1002/da.20691
  • Azzam, A. (2010). Supervision in Emergency Psychiatry. In M. B. Riba & D. Ravindranath (Eds.), Clinical Manual of Emergency Psychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
  • Azzam, A., Yanofski, J., Kaftarian, E., & Le, T. (Eds.). (2010). First Aid for the Psychiatry Boards. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Azzam, A., & Le, T. (Eds.). (2010). First Aid for the Neurology Boards. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Saba, G., Satterfield, J., Salazar, R., Adler, S., Hauer, K., Chen, H., ... Shore, W. (2010). The SBS toolbox: Clinical pearls from the social and behavioral sciences. MedEdPORTAL. doi:10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7980
  • Breckler, J., & Azzam, A. (2009). The basic science learning station: An innovative kinesthetic learning approach in one medical school. Medical Science Educator, 19(3), 72-79.
  • Martinez, W., Azzam, A., & Mack, K. (2009). Student near-peer co-tutors in PBL groups. Medical Education, 43(5), 475-476. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2009.03315.x
  • Azzam, A. (Ed.). (2009). First Aid for the Emergency Medicine Boards. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Azzam, A. (Ed.). (2008). First Aid for the Internal Medicine Boards (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Chavira, D. A., Garrido, H., Bagnarello, M., Azzam, A., Reus, V. I., & Mathews, C. A. (2008). A comparative study of obsessive-compulsive disorder in Costa Rica and the United States. Depression and Anxiety, 25(7), 609-619. doi:10.1002/da.20357
  • Mathews, C. A., Greenwood, T., Wessel, J., Azzam, A., Garrido, H., Chavira, D. A., ... Schork, N. J. (2008). Evidence for a heritable unidimensional symptom factor underlying obsessionality. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 147B(6), 676-685. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.30660
  • Chandavarkar, U., Azzam, A., & Mathews, C. A. (2007). Anxiety symptoms and perceived performance in medical students. Depression and Anxiety, 24(2), 103-111. doi:10.1002/da.20185
  • Mathews, C. A., Nievergelt, C. M., Azzam, A., Garrido, H., Chavira, D. A., Wessel, J., ... Schork, N. J. (2007). Heritability and clinical features of multigenerational families with obsessive-compulsive disorder and hoarding. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 144B(2), 174-182. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.30370
  • Azzam, A. (2005). Psychiatry. In T. Le, P. Chin-Hong, T. E. Baudendistel, & L. Rubinson, First Aid for the Internal Medicine Boards. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Azzam, A., Lerner, D. M., Peters, K. F., Wiggs, E., Rosenstein, D. L., & Biesecker, L. G. (2005). Psychiatric and neuropsychological characterization of Pallister-Hall syndrome. Clinical Genetics, 67(1), 87-92. doi:10.1111/j.1399-0004.2005.00370.x
  • Azzam, A., & Mathews, C. A. (2003). Meta-analysis of the association between the catecholamine-O-methyl-transferase gene and obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 123B(1), 64-69. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.20013
  • Clore, J. N., Harris, P. A., Li, J., Azzam, A., Gill, R., Zuelzer, W., ... Blackard, W. G. (2000). Changes in phosphatidylcholine fatty acid composition are associated with altered skeletal muscle insulin responsiveness in normal man. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, 49(2), 232-238. doi:10.1016/s0026-0495(00)91455-0
  • Clore, J. N., Li, J., Gill, R., Gupta, S., Spencer, R., Azzam, A., ... Blackard, W. G. (1998). Skeletal muscle phosphatidylcholine fatty acids and insulin sensitivity in normal humans. American Journal of Physiology, 275(4), E665-E670. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.1998.275.4.E665