• 1982 – Family Planning, University of California, San Francisco.
  • 1991 – Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • 1987 – Surgeon, University of California, San Diego

Academic appointments:

  • Professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.
  • Associate Professor at the College of Bixby.
  • Visiting Associate Professor in Reproductive Health at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, she worked from 1998 to 2009.
  • Researcher affiliated with CISIDAT.

Research interests:

  • Maternal mortality and morbidity, abortion, family planning, and adolescent reproductive health focused on Mexico.

Featured projects:

  • Participated in the reproductive health evaluation of the “Oportunidades” program, focused on family planning, the quality of prenatal and obstetric care, obstacles to institutionalized obstetric care, and critical links in the process of seeking and achieving care obstetric.
  • She conducted a study comparing the quality of care provided by professional midwives, nurse midwives, and general practitioners in Mexico who contributed to the change in federal policy to reopen formal staff positions for professional midwives.
  • Walker and her team developed a novel approach to PRONTO and emergency studies – using highly realistic simulation and team training to improve obstetric and neonatal outcomes.


  • Respectful language in intrapartum and newborn care – Authors’ reply. Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Jan; 9(1):e18. Walker D, Otieno P, Waiswa P. PMID: 33338453.
  • Simulation and team training embedded nurse mentoring programme and improvement in intrapartum and newborn care in a low-resource setting in Bihar, India. J Glob Health. 2020 Dec; 10(2):021010. Ghosh R, Spindler H, Dyer J, Christmas A, Cohen SR, Das A, Sonthalia S, Mahapatra T, Gore A, Shah H, Walker DM. PMID: 33425334.
  • Effect of a quality improvement package for intrapartum and immediate newborn care on fresh stillbirth and neonatal mortality among preterm and low-birthweight babies in Kenya and Uganda: a cluster-randomised facility-based trial. Lancet Glob Health. 2020 08; 8(8):e1061-e1070. Walker D, Otieno P, Butrick E, Namazzi G, Achola K, Merai R, Otare C, Mubiri P, Ghosh R, Santos N, Miller L, Sloan NL, Waiswa P. PMID: 32710862.
  • Cohort study of neonatal resuscitation skill retention in frontline healthcare facilities in Bihar, India, after PRONTO simulation training. BMJ Paediatr Open. 2020; 4(1):e000628. Higgins BV, Medvedev MM, Spindler H, Ghosh R, Longkumer O, Cohen SR, Das A, Gore A, Mahapatra T, Walker DM. PMID: 32399505.
  • Diagnosis and management of postpartum hemorrhage and intrapartum asphyxia in a quality improvement initiative using nurse-mentoring and simulation in Bihar, India. PLoS One. 2019; 14(7):e0216654. Ghosh R, Spindler H, Morgan MC, Cohen SR, Begum N, Gore A, Mahapatra T, Walker DM. PMID: 31276503.