Dr. William Goodson has 30 years of experience in The Diagnosis and Care of Breast Diseases.   He is a leader in breast care in San Francisco, California, and he was the only Northern California surgeon to participate in the original clinical trials that demonstrated that breast conservation, i.e. “lumpectomy,” is a safe and effective treatment for early breast cancer. His commitment to the best care possible means that he has conducted and published original peer-reviewed research on most aspects of breast diseases.

Dr. Goodson graduated from Harvard Medical School and went on to do his surgery training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He moved to California to do Research and join the faculty of the University of California San Francisco Medical School where he was Professor of Surgery from 1989 to 1997. While at UCSF he was Chief of the Breast Screening Center and Chairman of the Medical School Curriculum Committee.

In 1997, Dr. Goodson moved his affiliation to California Pacific Medical Center where he independently practices The Diagnosis and Care of Breast Diseases. At CPMC, Dr. Goodson is a Senior Clinical Research Scientist in the CPMC Research Institute, where he is actively involved in research on how environmental chemicals impact women’s and children’s health. He is also on the board of directors of the Institute for Medical Quality, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of care provided to patients.

Dr. Goodson has written It’s Your Body . . . Ask! “Questions to ask your doctor about your breast care.” The questions from the book are available on this website [click here]. In addition, Dr. Goodson has published over 100 articles on breast diseases, wound healing, and patient care ethics including women’s rights [click here for selected articles].

Dr. Goodson is a member of the Society for Surgical Oncology, the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the Pacific Coast Surgical Society, and the Society of University Surgeons. He has been listed in the Best Doctors in America since 1991.

In addition to his practice and his research, Dr. Goodson enjoys writing, photography, biking, animation and spending time with his family.



Bisphenol-A (BPA) and methylparaben cause normal breast cells to behave like breast cancer cells. “Activation of the nTOR pathway by low levels of  xenoestrogens in breast epithelial cells from high-risk women” by Goodson et al  in the journal Carcinogenesis in 2011. [click to see article]


As expected, focusing clinician attention leads to better clinical care as shown by better breast examinations. “Optimization of Clinical Breast Examination” by Goodson et al in the American Journal of Medicine in 2010. [click to see article]


Dr. Goodson has pioneered the use of oncoplastic techniques to optimize the appearance of a woman’s breast after surgery to remove cancer. “Closure of Partial Mastectomy” by Dr. Goodson in American Journal of Surgery in 2006. [click to see article]


It is possible to detect virtually all palpable breast cancers when the patient is lying down, as long as the clinician slows down.  “Streamlining Clinical Breast Examination” by Goodson et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2005. [click to see article]


Using a negative mammogram to rule out cancer is the most common reason the diagnosis of breast cancer is delayed. “Cause of Physician Delay in the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer” by Goodson et al in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2002. [click to see article]


A fast growing breast cancer is as worrisome as if cancer has spread to lymph nodes. “The prognositc value of proliferation indices: a study with in vitro bromodeoxyuridine and Ki-67” by Goodson et al published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in 2000. [click to see article]


Patients heal better if they take good care of their health before surgery. “The influence of a brief preoperative illness on postoperative healing” by Goodson et al published in the Annals of Surgery in 1987. [click to see article]


2011 – Komen for the Cure, Bay Area Affiliate, “Joanne Horning You Can Make a Difference Award”
2009 – Institute for Health and Healing of California Pacific Medical Center, “Compassionate Caring Award” 
2008 – First publication (with Dr. Shanaz Dairkee) on effects of the environmental chemical BPA (bisphenol-A) on normal human breast cells.
2005 – 520 Best Doctors, San Francisco Magazine
2004 – Board of Directors, Institute for Medical Quality
2001 – Top 500 Doctors, San Francisco Magazine
2000 – Presentation, Petrov Institute of Oncology, St. Petersburg, Russia.  “Quality control in the diagnosis of breast cancer.” First of many continuing education lectures in Russia.
1999 – President, San Francisco Medical Society
1999 – 425 Best Doctors, San Francisco Magazine
1997 – Senior Clinical Research Scientist, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
1995 – Who’s Who in America in Science and Engineering
1993 – Faculty Council, UCSF Medical School
1993 – Chairman, Committee Curriculum and Education Policy for UCSF Medical School
1992 – Chairman, Core Clerkships Operations Committee, UCSF Medical School
1992 – Student Faculty Liaison Committee, UCSF
1991 – Alumni Citation for Achievement, William Jewell College
1991 – Best Doctors in America (continuing through 2012)
1991 – Fogarty International Fellowship, National Institutes of Health
1990 – Ethics Committee, UCSF Medical Center
1990 – Chairman, Department of Surgery Quality Assurance Committee, UCSF
1990 – Director, required Core Clerkship in Surgery, UCSF Medical School
1989 – Professor of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA
1988 – Class of 1990 Teaching Award
1984 – “America’s top 184 doctors for Breast Cancer” Good Housekeeping Magazine
1984 – Chairman, Quality of Care Committee, UCSF Hospitals
1983 – Associate Professor of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA
1982 -  Chief, Breast Screening Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA
1979 – Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
1978 – Certified American Board of Surgery (currently re-certified through 2019).