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Who's Who: Ni-Cheng Liang, MD, ATSF

Ni-Cheng Liang, MD, ATSF
Director of Pulmonary Integrative Medicine
Coastal Pulmonary Associates
Scripps Health Network Partner
UCSD Voluntary Assistant Professor of Medicine

Image of Ni-Cheng Liang, MD, ATSF

Three statements about you – two true, one false.

  • I am an international dragon boat paddler.
  • I was diagnosed with cancer at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver, Colo.
  • I have five pet rabbits.

Give us your ‘elevator pitch’ biography.

I am a mother, cancer survivor, mindfulness teacher, and award-winning integrative pulmonologist. I am also a leader and international speaker on physician wellness, mindfulness, anti-racism, integrative and pulmonary medicine, and have taught courses, led retreats, and designed wellness curricula for over a decade. My aim is to empower healers to be the change they want to see through the podcast I cohost (the Mindful Healers Podcast), which I cohost and has just surpassed 100,000 downloads!

I also founded the Mindful Healthcare Collective, which provides free online mindfulness and other wellness programming to help reduce suffering. In fact, I was named one of Mindful Magazine's 10 Powerful Women of the Mindfulness Movement in 2021 and was named “Top Doctor” five times in the annual San Diego Magazine “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” survey for pulmonary diseases. In 2019, I was recognized by the San Diego American Lung Association as the Lung Health Provider of the Year. I currently serve on the ATS Board of Directors as the Chair of the Council of Chapter Representatives, representing California.

What would you tell yourself as an Early Career Professional?

If you are curious about an aspect of a particular career path such as research, basic, or clinical, try it, and decide for yourself whether you like it or not. Do what you want to do as opposed to what you or others think that you should do. You can always choose to pivot!

If you weren’t in medicine, and were in a different industry altogether, what would you be?

A teacher.

Dr. Liang and family

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

Sleeping in, going to stand up paddle board, having a beachside solo mindful lunch, reading a good fiction book on the beach, dinner with the family, and then watching a comedy movie.

What areas of medicine are you most excited to see develop?

Prioritizing the well-being of healers of all levels of training and experience. The incorporation of integrative, holistic approaches in healing ourselves and our patients.

What is one advancement in your field you’d like to see in your career?

Systems-driven changes to help keep healers in medicine, thriving, healing themselves and others in alignment with their values.

Which statement did you make up?

The last one! I actually have four rabbits, not five.