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History of UCLA Emergency Medicine

In 1974, Dean Sherman Mellinkoff appointed a committee, chaired by Dr. William Longmire, that created the UCLA Emergency Medicine Center (EMC) in 1975. After a national search, Dr. Charles McElroy was selected as the first Director of the new EMC. The original seven full-time EM faculty included Charles R McElroy (Chief), Harvey Meislin (First Residency Director), Larry J Baraff, James T LeMay, Marie Kuhn, Ronald Busuttil, and F. Kristian Storm.

The UCLA Emergency Medicine Residency program accepted its first two classes in 1978 in a PGY 2-3 format. The residency program transitioned to a PGY 2-4 program in 1989 and PGY 1-4 in 2008. Over a nearly 40-year program history, our EM Residency Directors include: Harvey Meislin, David Orban, Jerome Hoffman, Sidney Starkman, Robert Galli, Pamela Dyne, Scott Votey, and Rebecca Bavolek.

Important Milestones:

  • 1974 Designation as a Paramedic Base Station
  • 1975 Dean Mellinkoff establishes the Emergency Medicine Center
  • 1978 UCLA Emergency Medicine Residency begins
  • 1980 Founding of the UCLA Emergency Medicine Research Fellowship
  • 1981 Marshall Morgan, MD became Chief of the Division of EM (Medicine)
  • 1982 Designation as a Pediatric Emergency Department (EDAP)
  • 1984 Designation as a Level 1 Trauma Center
  • 1985 Added Olive View-UCLA to the EM Residency Program
  • 1988 Founding of the Center for Prehospital Care
  •  2005 Designation as a Primary Stroke Center
  •  2007 Designation as a STEMI Receiving Center
  •  2008 Move to the new Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center
  • 2016 UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM) established July 1, 2016
  • 2016 Gregory W. Hendey, MD because the Inaugural Chair of the DEM
  • 2020 Added Santa Monica to the UCLA DEM

The DEM today includes over 200 emergency medicine faculty at seven sites: Ronald Reagan-UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, and Antelope Valley Medical Center in Lancaster.

The UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine has three separate, affiliated ACGME-approved emergency medicine residency training programs: UCLA (Ronald Reagan/Olive View), Harbor-UCLA, and Kern Medical Center. All are PGY 1-4 programs with nearly 150 emergency medicine residents. The three programs have trained approximately 1,000 emergency physicians. A large number of graduates of have chosen careers in academic medicine at the country’s most prestigious medical schools.

The faculty includes experts in a variety of fields including Toxicology, Sports Medicine, Ultrasound, Critical Care, EMS, and Research.  There are numerous fellowships, encouraging collaboration across the affiliated sites.

Center for Prehospital Care

The Center for Prehospital Care (CPC) is one of the world’s leading institutions for EMS education and research. With 20 full-time faculty and staff and more than 100 part-time instructors, the CPC educates nearly 20,000 students annually in over 600 courses including Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Paramedic and EMT continuing medical education. These programs are provided to some of the largest and most innovative fire departments, hospitals, EMS and law enforcement agencies in the country.

National Leadership

A number of UCLA faculty in Westwood and Olive View have served on the editorial board of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the major emergency medicine peer-reviewed journal in the US and worldwide. Larry Baraff was the Pediatrics section editor for many years, David Schriger and Richelle Cooper are Deputy Editors, Bill Mower, Greg Hendey, Greg Moran, and David Talan are Associate Editors. David Talan and Greg Moran have served on Infectious Diseases Society of America consensus panels, and founded EMERGency ID NET.  Bill Mower and Jerome Hoffman founded the NEXUS (National Emergency Xray Utilization Study) network.  Pam Dyne was President of the Emergency Medicine Council of Residency Directors. Larry Baraff served 2 terms on the Board of Directors of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and is a past President of the California Chapter. The UCLA EM faculty are responsible for several important lines of research including innovative approaches to acute cerebrovascular disease, medical education, clinical decision rules, behavioral health issues, acute infectious disease surveillance, pediatric fever guidelines, and global health.  UCLA faculty are important investigators in the PETAL and SIREN research networks.  

UCLA EM Residency Photo 1979, faculty (F) and residents (R)
Back row L to R: Charles McElroy (F), Steven Pohl (R), Richard Schwab (R), Jerome Hoffman (R), Marie Kuhn (F), Larry Baraff (F), David Kalmanson (F). Front row L to R: Gar LaSalle (R), Mark Jergans (F), Jay Kahn (R), Larry Jellinek (R), Jill Ferguson (R), Steven Dresnick (R), Charlotte Yeh (R), Harvey Meislin (F)