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Cynthia Kuelbs, MD

Dr. Kuelbs is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UCSD and Chief Medical Information Officer at Rady Children's Hospital. A long time child abuse pediatrician, she served as Medical Director for the Chadwick Center for Children and Families for 10 years. She is interested in using health information technology and the electronic medical record to promote and improve care as well as to understand what factors influence health and healthcare. She is passionate about addressing the effects of mental health trauma and social determinants of health in the pediatric population. She believes that only by connecting health problems to the underlying social, personal and environmental factors can we truly begin to improve the health of our patients. She is committed to ensuring that health care providers screening for these events and working with patients who have experienced them, are able to do so in a trauma informed way. The electronic medical record is a tool that can guide practice and inform interventions.

Dr. Kuelbs enjoys mentoring faculty and trainees at all levels. She is a Master Clinician for the Department of Pediatrics, working with third year medical students on their clinical inpatient clerkship.




Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science – University of Minnesota
Medical Degree: University of Minnesota
Residency: Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego
Special Certifications:

  • Board Certified in General Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified in Child Abuse Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified in Clinical Informatics, American Board of Preventive Medicine

Scholarly Work

Areas of Interest

  • Informatics
  • Social determinants of health
  • Adverse childhood experiences and mental health trauma

5 Most Relevant Publications

  1. Chadwick DL, Castillo EM, Kuelbs C, Cox SA, Lindsay SP. Missed and missing cases of abusive injuries: the magnitude and the measurement of the problem.  Child Abuse Negl. 2010 Dec;34(12):943-50. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.08.001. Epub 2010 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 21047687
  2. Rafaat KT, Spear RM, Kuelbs C, Parsapour K, Peterson B. Cranial computed tomographic findings in a large group of children with drowning: diagnostic, prognostic, and forensic implications.  Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2008 Nov;9(6):567-72. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e31818c8955. PubMed PMID: 18838936
  3. Myhre AK, Adams JA, Kaufhold M, Davis JL, Suresh P, Kuelbs CLAnal findings in children with and without probable anal penetration: a retrospective study of 1115 children referred for suspected sexual abuse.  Child Abuse Negl. 2013 Jul;37(7):465-74. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.03.011. Epub 2013 Apr 22. PubMed PMID: 23618719.
  4. Kuelbs CL. Domestic Violence and Child Fatality Review in R Alexander, M Case, eds. Child Fatality Review.  Evaluation of Inflicted and Accidental Child Death, Missouri GW 2007.Book chapter
  5. Kuelbs CL.  The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Children. In: Mitchell, D. Anglin (eds.), Intimate Partner Violence:  A Bio-Psycho-Social Approach. Oxford University Press, 2009. Book Chapter

5 Most Relevant Peer-reviewed Presentations

  1. Practical Considerations in EHRs for patients Affected by Abuse. Kuelbs CL, San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, San Diego CA (2017)
  2. Using structured EMR data to further quality and research in child abuse medicine. Kuelbs CL, International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, San Diego CA (2016)
  3. Child abuse electronic medical records. Can standard forms be adopted and used?  Kuelbs CL, International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, San Diego CA (2016)
  4. EMRs in Violence and Abuse: Friends or Foes? Frasier L and Kuelbs CL.  International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, San Diego CA (2015)
  5. Ho A, Kuelbs CL. PEARLS: Sexual assault documentation.  Epic XGM Meeting. Verona WI (2018)

Professional Activities


  • Course Director, Resident Informatics Rotation UCSD Pediatrics/Rady Children’s Hospital
  • Independent Study Project Committee Chair/Member for multiple students from the UCSD School of Medicine
  • Master Clinician for 3rd year medical students
  • Mentor to multiple UCSD pediatric residents
  • Scholarly Oversight Committee Chair for Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellow
  • Member multiple Scholarly Oversight Committees for hospital medicine fellows
  • UCSD Pediatrics Resident Academic Project mentor


  • 2019- present Adverse Childhood Experiences screening task force chair, Rady Children’s Hospital
  • 2018-present Epic Systems Adolescent Medicine Brain Trust
  • 2019-present – Epic Systems All Pediatric Steering Board
  • 2019-present – Epic Systems Overall Approach to Pediatric Care Subcommittee
  • 2020- present - Epic Systems Patient Confidentiality Children’s Health Steering Board
  • 2020-present – Epic Systems Physician Advisory Council Advisory Board


  • 2020-2021 - UCSD School of Medicine medical student applicant interviewer
  • 2009- present - UCSD Pediatric Residency selection committee
  • 2016- present - UCSD School of Medicine Committee on Academic Personnel (currently Chair)
  • 2008 – present - The Child Abuse Quarterly reviewer
  • 2018 - present – American Medical Informatics Association Informatics Summit Abstract reviewer
  • 2018 - present - American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition, Abstract reviewer
  • 2018 – present - Epic User Group Meeting Peer session abstract reviewer
  • 2021 – Applied Clinical Informatics manuscript reviewer
  • 2021 AMIA2021 Clinical Informatics Conference abstract review
  • 2021 Pediatric Academic Societies 2021 abstract review