On July 1 the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at the University of California, Los Angeles announced that emergency medicine was given departmental status and that Gregory W. Hendey, MD was named its inaugural chair. The new department includes more than 80 emergency medicine faculty at five sites: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Kern Medical Center, and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center.
Emergency medicine had its formal beginning at UCLA in 1974 when Dean Sherman Mellinkoff appointed an ad hoc Emergency Medical Service Planning Committee, which recommended the creation of a “center for emergency medical care.” The goals of the center were excellence in teaching, research, patient care, participation in community EMS systems, and provision of a national model for excellence in emergency care. The UCLA Emergency Medicine Center was established in 1975, the Kern Department in 1976, and the Harbor-UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine in 1978. Over the next 40 years, emergency medicine at UCLA flourished.
The new UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine now has three Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved emergency medicine residency training programs: Ronald Reagan UCLA/Olive View-UCLA, Harbor-UCLA, and Kern Medical Center. All three are PGY 1-4 programs with a total of 136 emergency medicine residents. The three programs have trained almost 1,000 emergency physicians. A high proportion of graduates have chosen careers in academic medicine at some of the country’s most prestigious medical schools.
The UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine also has eight fellowships: three research fellowships at UCLA-Westwood, Harbor-UCLA, and Olive View-UCLA; two ultrasound fellowships at Olive View-UCLA and Harbor-UCLA; and fellowships in emergency medical services, pediatric emergency medicine, and medical education at Harbor-UCLA.
The UCLA Emergency Medicine Program also includes the Center for Prehospital Care, established in 1984. The center is one of the leading institutions for education and research in prehospital care and emergency medical services. With 20 full-time faculty and staff and more than 100 part-time instructors, the center educates more than 20,000 students annually, including paramedics, EMTs, and medical students, in over 600 courses including Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Paramedic and EMT continuing medical education.
Over the past 40 years, UCLA Emergency Medicine faculty members have provided leadership in many areas of emergency medicine. Many have served on the editorial boards of the Annals of Emergency Medicine and Academic Emergency Medicine. They have also held leadership positions in the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and the Emergency Medicine Council of Residency Directors.