In Memoriam: Remembering Nephrologist Anitha Toke

Dear Colleagues,

 We write to share the sad news that Dr. Anitha Toke passed away on Friday, September 17th. Dr. Toke was an highly valued member of our DOM faculty, based in the Nephrology Division at ZSFG. She was an outstanding teacher, mentor, clinician, role model, and leader.  

 Dr. Toke received her medical degree from Gandhi Medical College, Osmania University, India and completed her residency in internal medicine at UC Davis. She went on to complete her nephrology fellowship at Stanford University, and, after a brief period on the faculty at UT Southwestern, joined UCSF as a faculty member in the Nephrology Division at ZSFG. 

 Anitha was widely viewed as a highly insightful diagnostician and skilled clinician. She had a unique ability to get to the heart of even the most complex clinical cases, and seemed to know exactly what do to in any clinical situation. Her skills and personal characteristics – including her candor and sense of humor – led her to become a key leader in nephrology at UCSF and throughout our region. 

 In addition to her clinical skills, Anitha was a superb administrator. She served as Director of Nephrology Outpatient Services at ZSFG. In this role, she oversaw two outpatient clinics, including the UCSF/SFGH Dialysis Center, which provides hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis services to more than 120 patients within the ZSFG/SFDPH system. She improved treatment systems and, through her expeditious and thoughtful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, avoided any serious outbreak within this population of highly vulnerable dialysis patients. 

While all of these represent tremendous contributions, her service as a teacher and role model for diverse groups of nephrology fellows, residents, and medical students will be her greatest professional legacy. She entered the field of nephrology when women were a small minority. She inspired all of the trainees she came in contact with, but particularly female doctors, who were inspired by her strength as a diagnostician, clinician, and leader.

While she was exceptional in her career, she never lost sight of the central importance of her family. She is survived by her husband Aditya Mukherjee and two children, Arav and Aarya. 

We thank Anitha Toke and send our heartfelt condolences to her family, as well as the many colleagues, trainees, and patients whose lives she touched. A memory board with comments/eulogies for Anitha can be found on the website of Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park, where her funeral service was held last week.


David Pearce MD
Chief, UCSF Division of Nephrology at ZSFG
Professor of Medicine

Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA
Chief of Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
Vice-Chair of Medicine, University of California San Francisco

Robert M. Wachter, MD
Chair, Department of Medicine