About Desiree Leithem, MS, RN, CNS, FNP-C
Desiree Leithem, MS, is a certified family nurse practitioner who currently cares for patients with infections in the outpatient clinical setting as well as evaluating COVID positive patients for antiviral and antibody therapies. She has over 20 years of experience in emergency medicine and primary care.
Desiree first joined UC San Diego Health in 2010 as a nurse practitioner with the blood and bone marrow transplant and then transitioned to be the first nurse practitioner in the emergency department. Her next role at UC San Diego Health was director of advanced practice providers for the emergency department, urgent care and express care. After five years, she missed being at the bedside and transitioned back to a clinical role with the infectious disease team to help them provide patient care during the COVID pandemic.
She started her medical career as an emergency room registered nurse at New York-Presbyterian Hospital during 9/11. She was among the trauma and critical care health care professionals who helped save lives of those impacted by the attacks.
Her education includes a bachelor's degree in psychology from UC Santa Barbara and a bachelor's degree in nursing from The College of New Rochelle. Desiree completed a master's degree in critical care/ trauma from UC San Francisco and a post-master's family nurse practitioner degree program from University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.
Outside of work, Desiree is a dedicated military wife who enjoys spending time with her two children and husband. She also enjoys surfing, rock climbing, boating and seeking worldwide adventures.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Infectious Disease.
- University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
- The College of New Rochelle, New York, NY
- UC San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Date Joined Staff
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board
Conditions and Treatments
- Infectious Diseases