Year 2. September 11. Educational Excellence

As we begin the academic year, I share with you an overview of our education enterprise which trains hundreds of physician leaders each year. Our programs prepare them to become expert clinicians, educators and investigators committed to improving the health of diverse communities whom they will serve across the country and around the world. The 2023-2024 academic year will include 510 trainees across 41 programs made up of 26 ACGME- accredited training programs and 15 advanced specialty training programs. Of the 510 trainees, 252 are participating in one of four ACGME accredited residency programs (IM, med-peds, dermatology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation), 217 are participating in ACGME accredited fellowship programs, and 41 are participating in an advanced specialty training program.

This year, all 26 ACGME programs earned full accreditation without any warnings or citations! An accomplishment for which we should all be proud. Twenty-four of our programs received commendations for their exceptional program. I congratulate all of our program directors and staff who lead these programs and are always ready to spring into action when an accreditation visit takes place, which is typically unannounced.

In addition to our graduate medical education programs, the department of medicine (DoM) plays an essential role in the training of medical students in the DGSOM. Many of you are already aware of the longitudinal clinical experience, a key component of our new medical school curriculum, which provides students a generalist rotation during the MS3 year with the goal of enhancing our students’ ability to provide excellent patient care. I am grateful for the many faculty in our community clinics and hospital sites who have agreed to accept these students on their teams. There remain other opportunities for faculty to participate in the training of medical students. We still need facilitators for various small group activities taking place later this month.

Also, below is a summary of the many opportunities for DoM faculty to participate in the HEALS curriculum, the dynamic education program designed to train the next generation of physicians. Please reach out to Executive Vice Chair of Education Dr. Jodi L. Friedman to express your interest.

I will now share many examples of our faculty going above and beyond in our education mission. I hope their stories inspire you to become or continue to be involved in advancing our educational priorities in the DoM.

Katherine L. Chen, MD, PhD publishes “Near-Peer Supervision in Primary Care: Bringing Teaching Teams From the Wards to the Clinic” in Journal of Graduate Medical Education

I begin with Katherine Chen, MD, PhD who recently published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education about PC Teach, a new strategy developed in the UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program to prepare residents as educators not only in the hospital, but also in the community practice setting. Dr. Chen shares that near-peer teaching, where a more senior resident precepts a junior resident, is common in inpatient settings but infrequently reported in outpatient settings, representing a potential missed opportunity for growth in both sets of learners. In PC Teach, a longitudinal educational experience, senior residents precept interns in their continuity clinic under attending supervision. The pilot evaluation demonstrated that the program was feasible and acceptable to participants and may have increased senior residents’ confidence as outpatient teachers. Although PC Teach participation was not associated with increased interest in primary care careers, the program may be beneficial even for residents who wish to incorporate teaching into careers outside of primary care, since many subspecialists spend much of their time in ambulatory settings. 

Dr. Chen highlights that

“this project is a true home-grown DoM success story! I started the first iteration of PC Teach in 2017 when I was a second-year IM resident with support from master clinician-educators, Drs. Mina Ma and Antonio Pessegueiro. With the help of Dr. Gifty Ntim as a faculty champion, we were able to expand the program during my year as chief resident and then again subsequently while Dr. Elizabeth Asfaw was chief resident. Former UCLA IM resident Dr. Stanley Yuan helped develop the program evaluation as his capstone project in the Medical Education Pathway. Dr. Myung Shin Sim of DOMStat provided statistical guidance and I led the analyses using research skills developed as a fellow in the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. We are grateful for support from the IM residency staff in supporting this program, and we are excited to share our publication with other departments and institutions that may be interested in implementing a similar near-peer precepting experience.”

Nico T. Conti, MD Selected as Resident’s Inpatient Teaching Attending of the Year at MLK Jr. Hospital 

The DoM’s commitment to health equity is exemplified by our  partnership with community hospitals  that serve communities that historically have had less access to high-quality health services. We believe that sharing our faculty’s expertise with trainees in these sites contributes importantly to their development as exceptional medical leaders. Last year, we announced the start of our participation in training the inaugural class of residents in Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital’s (MLKCH) Internal Medicine Program.

Today, we celebrate Nico T. Conti, MD , from the hospitalist section, who has been selected as the residency program’s Inpatient Teaching Attending of the Year at MLKCH. Program Director of Internal Medicine, Dr. Binay Eapen shared the following remarks about Dr. Conti’s leadership in education as well as the impact that our hospitalist’s have in the community hospital setting.

“I have had the privilege of observing and speaking with Niko and seeing his teaching style, and it's no surprise that the residents voted for him. He has a true coaching and growth mindset, which he uses to inspire and guide the residents. Niko has been a valuable member of our Clinical Competency Committee, assisting with interviewing residency candidates and recruiting our current class from an administrative standpoint.

I would also like to take a moment to express my gratitude for the exceptional teaching provided by the UCLA hospitalist cohort and thank them for their dedication and commitment to helping our residents excel.

Specifically, I want to give a shoutout to VeronicaNikoDavidChristinaLinMandi, and Yaofor their hard work and dedication to being exemplary role models in teaching, patient care, and evidence-based medicine. Once again on behalf of the GME team, thank you to Niko and the entire UCLA hospitalist cohort for their excellent teaching and leadership here at MLKCH.”

Congratulations Nico! We are inspired by the great work of the entire DoM hospitalist team at MLKCH!

Tina Mosaferi, MD Selected as Core Educator for the Scientific Foundations of Medicine (SFM) Endocrine Theme in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

During year 1 of the medical school curriculum, our students are exposed to the scientific foundations of medicine with the goal of understanding the physiologic and pathophysiologic basis of disease. I am pleased to highlight that this year, the Scientific Foundations of Medicine (SFM) Endocrine Theme at DGSOM will include Clinical Instructor Tina Mosaferi, MD, from the division of endocrinology. Dr. Mosaferi is passionate about education having participated in numerous original conferences and small-group didactics to medical students, residents, and fellows. She earned the 2023 Outstanding Subspecialty Teaching Award from the UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program.

In this new role, Dr. Mosaferi will work alongside the director of the SFM to create and deliver the 1st year curriculum teaching the endocrine system to medical students.

She shares,

"I am honored to take on this new role as the SFM Endocrine Core Educator. I look forward to cultivating the endocrine curiosity of our future colleagues while focusing on fundamental educational principles and clinical application."

Congratulations Tina!

Megan Y. Kamath, MD Selected for the 2023-2024 Harvard Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions

Megan Y. Kamath, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine in the division of cardiology, will begin the 2023- 2024 Harvard Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions, a year-long program aimed at providing educators the knowledge and skills to enhance their leadership role in developing educational activities at their medical institutions. Over the next year, Dr. Kamath shares that she will be working on a project to create a formal crisis communications curriculum for our house staff in the cardiac intensive care unit. Advanced heart failure and transplant physicians have the unique privilege of guiding patients across the spectrum of therapies- sometimes toward transplant, other times towards end-of-life palliation.

Experiencing the challenge of maintaining clear communication in these situations in the setting of an often-difficult hospital stay with many teams and rapidly changing clinical scenarios was the inspiration behind this project.

“I am looking forward to implementing this curriculum for our CCU house staff and envision this an important resource in taking care of these critically ill patients. I would like to give special thanks to my cardiomyopathy colleagues, the division and the department and the Dean’s office for supporting this endeavor,”

Kamath said.

Rachel P. Brook, MD Appointed Associate Program Director of UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program 

The success of our education program can be directly attributed to the leadership of our colleagues throughout the DoM who are passionate about guiding our trainees towards becoming leaders in medicine. This summer, one of those colleagues, Rachel P. Brook, MD, from the hospitalist section, was celebrated for her contributions to the education mission with multiple teaching awards that included the DGSOM Golden Apple Award, the Kaiser Permanente Faculty Teaching Award, and the Schwartz Prize for Kindness, Compassion, and Humanity. Additionally, our residents recognized her with the Faculty Mentor Award at their graduation.

I am thrilled to congratulate Dr. Brook once again on her appointment as Associate Program Director of the UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program! Dr. Brook is already a valued member of the residency family. Over the past three years, she has served in multiple roles including as the director of clinical and career coaching, associate director of the Medical Education Pathway, and a leader in the Global Health Pathway. She precepts in the IMS clinic and attends on wards at Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health Care, UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

UCLA Internal Medicine Program Director Dr. Lisa Skinner shares,

“Rachel is a passionate physician and teacher who believes deeply in the mission and values of our amazing program and invests wholeheartedly in the success of our residents. We are grateful to have Rachel’s emotional intelligence, humor, and generosity on our team.”

Please join me in congratulating Rachel on this appointment!

"HaPDy Hour" With Our New Residents

Now, it is not all work and no play in the DoM. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet a few of our new residents during “hAPDy hour: countdown to fall retreat.” Now that our new interns are settled in, we are hosting a series of meet and greet happy hour events for our residents to get to know each other. For this first session, we hosted the firm C interns for some sunshine and conversation at Broxton Brewery in Westwood. I had a great time meeting the interns who shared with me how they are adjusting to life in Southern California, their career goals, and the best local farmers markets! I may have also begun recruiting future endocrinologists from this group!



When we moved to L.A. almost two years ago, some said that it was because of my subliminal desire to be in the movies. It’s here. Episode 1 of a 4-part documentary on diabetes, was released earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.  It’s about 7 minutes long. Enjoy! Autographs by appointment only!

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