Year 2. March 13. Avenue of the Stars.

I have a star-studded line up this week, reflecting some of the best of our trainees and faculty, and their exposure on the national stage. So, let’s start at the White House.

Fola May, MD, MPhil, PhD Presents at White House Cancer Moonshot Colorectal Cancer Forum

Since the 1990’s, we have seen an increase in the rate of colorectal cancer among adults younger than 50 years old, but we do not fully understand why. Colorectal cancer also disproportionately affects minoritized populations such as African Americans and Latinos. We must continue to invest in research to understand why this disease is increasing in young adults and to ensure access to preventive health screenings among all Americans. This Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Fola May, MD, MPhil, PhD, associate professor in the division of digestive diseases and associate director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity joined other national health experts at the White House for the Cancer Moonshot Colorectal Cancer Forum to discuss equitable access to high-quality cancer care and the need to invest in research to enable us to determine how to deliver the best care and perform effective outreach to underserved communities. Dr. May shared with the audience that we cannot find solutions if we do not have the metrics that allow us to ensure that all communities are being accounted for when performing research. She advised that we must continue outreach efforts that promote early screening through patient navigation, and partnerships with community leaders and stakeholders who will help raise awareness. The goal of the forum is to inform national policy on cancer prevention and cancer screening as part of the Biden Cancer Moonshot. 

“We cannot deliver effective care unless we understand how to best deliver that care. We need to go to the people and lead with methods that work for that setting, and that will be different in each community,”

states May.

You may watch the entire forum by clicking below.

Still at the White House….

Shirin Poustchi, MD Awarded White House Scholarship for Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine Fellowship Program

Please join me in congratulating Shirin Poustchi, MD who was awarded a full scholarship from the White House Scholarship Program, which will support fellowship training through the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM). Dr. Poustchi is in her final year of completing our Internal Medicine - Preventive Medicine Residency Program and was one of the UCLA Primary Care Track residents. She developed a passion for integrative medicine after witnessing the transformative nature of its application and practice while rotating at the UCLA Center for East West Medicine. She shares that integrative medicine crucially adds to the armamentarium of a primary care physician in addressing the fundamentals of health and wellness for our patients. Through the fellowship program, Dr. Poustchi will be working to develop an interdisciplinary patient education series focused on herbs and supplements use with clinical pharmacists.

“I am honored to be able to do this fellowship. I loved my experiences at East-West and this fellowship is an opportunity to expand my skillset by providing me another toolbox that I can use to better help my patients,”

states Poustchi.

And now to New Orleans, but not for Mardi Gras….

UCLA Stars at the American College of Cardiology (ACC)

Our cardiology division descended on New Orleans, Louisiana over the weekend of March 4th for ACC.23 Annual Scientific Session and Expo, which is the American College of Cardiology’s annual conference. Over the course of the weekend, cardiology experts from around the world connected face-to-face to advance the ACC’s and World Heart Federation’s goals to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease worldwide. Our division of cardiology had a strong delegation of trainee representatives at the conference which included four medical students, eight internal medicine residents, and 23 fellows leading 34 trainee presentations. Our outstanding trainees presented posters on a wide variety of topics ranging from cardiomyopathy/heart failure to electrophysiology. I am proud to see our trainees shine at national conferences as they demonstrate excellence in research and patient care that is continuing to advance the field of medicine. You may view a comprehensive list of our trainee’s presentations at ACC.23 by referencing this Twitter threadcompiled by Eric Yang, MD, director of cardio-oncology at UCLA Health, and associate program director for our cardiology fellowship training program.

A special shout out goes to the mentors who worked closely with our trainees over the years to guide them in their clinical and research trajectories. It was a pleasure to see one said mentor, Karol Watson, MD, PhD being presented with the 2023 Bernadine Healy Leadership in Women’s CV Disease Award. Named after the first female director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Bernadine Healy, this award honors Dr. Watson’s accomplishments in research, teaching, service, and leadership in the field of cardiovascular disease in women.

Tamer Sallam, MD, PhD Appointed as Vice Chair for Research Training and Co-Executive Director of STAR Program

The  Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program represents an important  pillar in our mission to strengthen the pipeline of physician scientists. I was pleased to announce that Tamer Sallam, MD, PhD was appointed as vice chair for research training and the executive co-director of the STAR Program.

Dr. Sallam currently serves as co-director of the UCLA Lipid Center and associate director of the STAR Program. He is a member of the Atherosclerosis Research Unit, Molecular Biology Institute and Cardiovascular Theme Initiative at UCLA. Dr. Sallam has been a fierce advocate for our physician scientist trainees and has contributed to shaping the training environment for physician-scientists at UCLA. In his new role, alongside Linda Demer, MD, PhD, professor & vice chair for research training and executive co-director of STAR, Dr. Sallam will oversee the growth and promotion of physician-scientist training programs and career development activities within the DoM.

Watch out for our new stars this Friday….

Match Day 2023

The countdown is on to Match Day 2023 taking place this Friday, March 17th! We are eagerly awaiting to learn who will be joining us in the department of medicine for their residency training in July. I anticipate that we will have a highly favorable match again this year. We will be sharing the results with you as we receive them via Twitter and department announcements.

While we prepare to welcome the future leaders of internal medicine, I would like to give a special shout out to Lisa Skinner, MD, residency program director, and the education team who go beyond the call of duty to recruit the best and the brightest to the department of medicine. Their leadership is key in the success of our education program and the success of our trainees. So make sure to tune-in on Twitter and check your email for the big reveal.



My mom also had a star-studded weekend. Here are some pictures with her and some new acquaintances.

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