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Medical Education & Simulation

The Emergency Medicine Medical Education and Simulation Fellowship at Ronald Reagan UCLA | Olive View-UCLA Medical Center is a 2-year advanced training program designed to prepare Emergency Medicine residency-trained graduates for future careers as outstanding clinical educators and academic leaders in the field. This program provides a strong foundation for a successful career in academic Emergency Medicine, with a specific focus on preparing fellows to become Assistant and Associate Program Directors or Medical Student Clerkship Directors. A wealth of opportunities and strong mentorship, coupled with experiences in both graduate and undergraduate medical education, underlie the fellowship. In addition, simulation and faculty development are highly emphasized components of the curriculum. Notably, the fellow will have a faculty appointment at UCLA as a Clinical Instructor.



Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (RRMC) is located at the southern end of the beautiful UCLA campus in Westwood. It is a state-of-the-art, 520 bed academic medical center that offers a full range of medical and surgical services from primary to sub-specialty care. The one million-plus square foot, 10-story structure encompasses the operations of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA and the Mattel Children's Hospital. UCLA is consistently rated in the top 10 medical centers in the country by US News and World Report. The 41-bed Emergency Department treats 52,000 patients per year and serves as a Level 1 Trauma center, as well as Comprehensive Stroke, STEMI, and Pediatric Critical Care center.



Olive View-UCLA Medical Center

Olive View-UCLA Medical Center is a public safety net hospital serving the two million residents living in the San Fernando Valley, located at the northern section of Los Angeles County. OV-UCLA is a major teaching affiliate of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with medical students, residents, and fellows spending a significant portion of their training at OV-UCLA. Residents of the UCLA Emergency Medicine residency program spend 50% of their training at OV-UCLA. The hospital has 377 beds, while the 25,000 square foot Emergency Department, which was built in 2011, has 51 beds. The ED census is roughly 60,000 patients per year. The majority of patients are working poor, immigrants, and/or primarily Spanish-speaking.


Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center (SMMC) is a 265-bed full service community hospital. Located in beautiful Santa Monica, it serves as a center of excellence for orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, STEMI, and recently became a stroke center. The hospital became part of UCLA Health in 1995. The ED is a busy, efficient community practice, serving 50,000 patients per year in a modern 22-bed facility.




West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

West LA VA Medical Center (VAMC) is part of the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, and affiliated with UCLA.  The full service ED is staffed by full-time emergency physicians with UCLA faculty appointments, and provides supervision and medical education for UCLA residents of multiple specialties as well as medical students from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


Educational Objectives

Our Medical Education and Simulation Fellowship is designed to help develop innovative educators and leaders in the field of Medical Education. The fellowship prioritizes training and experiences that will help our fellows become:

  • Leaders in Graduate and Residency Medical Education: The fellow will learn the roles of an Assistant Program Director under the mentorship of the Program Director and Associate Program Directors. The fellow will also have leadership opportunities in medical student development and with the DGSOM Acute Care College, working closely with the Clerkship Director.
  • Facile and Experienced with Residency Program Administration: The fellow will participate in administrative aspects of the residency program (education committee meetings, residency candidate selection, program evaluation, Graduate Medical Education activities, ACGME guideline compliance, ABEM preparation), and the Medical Student Clerkship (AAMC, ERAS, SLOE writing).
  • Experts in Procedural Training and Simulation: The fellow will help craft and lead cutting edge medical simulation and procedural training sessions for both the residents and medical students.
  • Mastery of Curriculum Design and Implementation: The fellow will assist the PDs and CD with design and innovation in the residency and clerkship curricula with a particular emphasis on simulation, integration of social media, and novel methods to increase resident interaction and knowledge retention.
  • Proficient at Learner Assessment and Feedback: The fellow will work with the PDs and CD to improve ongoing assessment and feedback to all trainees


  • The fellow participates in abundant teaching of residents, medical students, nurse practitioners, paramedics, and faculty both on-shift and in didactics.
  • The fellow is also scheduled for regular teaching shifts during their training.
  • Fellows will also have the option of pursuing a 2-year fellowship with a Masters in Academic Medicine degree included.
  • Fellows receive a faculty appointment and are eligible for full time benefits as faculty.
  • Fellows work approximately 16-20 hrs/week clinically at our training sites (about 8-10 shifts per month).

Professional Development

  • ACEP Teaching Fellowship
  • CORD Navigating the Academic Waters (NAW) for Future APDs or Clerkship Director (CDEM)
  • CORD Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC)
  • David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Faculty Fellowship in Medical Education
  • Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Fellowship Incubator (ALiEM FIncubator)
  • Opportunity to attending CORD, ACEP, SAEM, and/or The Learning Course
  • Regular meetings with Fellowship Directors to review career goals and opportunities
  • 2-year fellowship option, including a Masters Degree in Education.


  • Fellows are expected to complete a project of publishable quality in one of the following areas: Programmatic Evaluation, Curricular Design and Innovation, or Educational Research


  • Fellows work 8-10 shifts per month.
  • Fellows will work in a teaching setting at Ronald Reagan and Olive View, and in a clinical setting at Santa Monica or the VA.

Program Faculty

  • Rebecca Bavolek, MD: Fellowship Co-Director (RRMC)
  • Steven Lai, MD: Fellowship Co-Director (OVMC)
  • Kellie Kitamura, MD: Medical Education and Simulation Faculty (OVMC)
  • Natasha Wheaton, MD: Medical Education Faculty (RRMC)
  • Jaime Jordan, MD: Medical Education Faculty (RRMC)
  • Amir Rouhani, MD: Medical Education and Simulation Faculty (OVMC)
  • Andy Grock, MD: Medical Education Faculty (VAMC)
  • Nathalia Rodriguez: Fellowship Coordinator

Stipends & Benefits

  • UCLA employee with health and retirement benefits
  • Approximate annual salary of $100,000
  • Tuition support for Master's program
  • $2,000 Computer allowance
  • $2,000 CME allowance
  • Four weeks of vacation


Interested applicants should send Curriculum Vitae to, a Statement of Interest, and 2-3 Letters of Recommendations to:

Rebecca Bavolek, MD
Fellowship Co-Director

Steven Lai, MD
Fellowship Co-Director

Nathalia Rodriguez
Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Emergency Medicine
924 Westwood Boulevard, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA, 90024

Applications will generally be reviewed in September with interviews occurring in October.

Applicant Requirements

  • Graduation from a 4-year ACGME accredited Emergency Medicine Residency training program or a 3-year program with at least one year of post-residency clinical experience or fellowship.
  • Eligible to obtain a California Medical License
  • 2-3 references, including current Program Director.

Current Fellows

Catherine Yu, MD 2022-2024
Michael Messina, DO 2023-2025

Fellowship Alumni

Ashley Vuong, MD 2022-2023
Caroline Humphreys, MD 2021-2022 
Max Berger, MD, MEHP 2020-2022 
Stephen Villa, MD 2019-2021
Kellie Kitamura, MD 2019-2020