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Haig Aintablian, M.D.

Professional Title
Space Medicine

Professional Education

Medical School

Medical School

University of Arizona, College of Medicine – Phoenix, 2018

Undergraduate School

Undergraduate School

University of Southern California, 2014
Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry

University of Southern California, 2013
Biological Sciences



Glendale, CA



Curling, Hiking, Astronomy & Meteorite Collection, Off-roading, Metal Detecting & Artifact Collection, Vinyl Music Collection, Jazz Music, Live Theater, Cooking


What is your favorite place to visit, thing(s) to do in, or memory from living in LA?

My favorite places to visit in LA are definitely the infinite number of museums; from the beautiful Getty just a stone’s throw away from UCLA, to the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. I also love visiting the different restaurants across this amazingly vast city. One of my favorite memories from LA is the time they towed the Space Shuttle Endeavor through the LA streets from LAX to its final home at the California Science Center.


If you have never lived in LA before, what are you most excited about?

What I’m most excited about coming back are the double-double animal styles from In-n-Out that I’ll be having post-shift.


What are your areas of interest within EM or future career plans?

I feel as though my future plans are going to evolve into one of two paths. I’m either going to enter the realm of aerospace medicine, through extra training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, or I’m going to enter the world of Healthcare Administration or Policy (potentially with a fellowship). Over the last two years, I’ve found myself more and more involved and interested in how healthcare economics and policy has evolved, and would love to contribute to making medicine a less bureaucratic and ultimately more physician and patient-oriented field.


Why did you choose UCLA-Olive View for residency?

UCLA-Olive View offered every single facet of an ideal Emergency Medicine training program. This includes academic resources (which are immense at a place like UCLA), plenty of research, outstanding and well-known faculty, and incredible residency program leadership. Ultimately, the biggest factor though was comfort. Having done a rotation at UCLA-Olive View and having had the opportunity to interact with the residents and attending here, I knew that training here would be good for my soul. The people here are really special. Even though many of the physicians here have done incredible work for the field, they are some of the most kind, humble, and funny people you’ll ever meet. And the residents of the program also speak volumes to the types of characters UCLA attracts – smart, motivated, passionate, but most importantly, friendly and easy-going.


What else do you do in your free time? What hobbies do you have?

My favorite hobby right now has become astrophotography – a form of photography where you shoot pictures of stars, galaxies, and other planets through a telescope. It’s got a huge learning curve, one I’m still trying to overcome, but it’s so satisfying to be able to get a clear shot of a deep-space object like another galaxy.


Is there any other info you'd like to share with applicants or share on your website profile?

If you really want to check out UCLA EM, come do a rotation! It’s seriously the best way to get a full sense of the amazingness that is UCLA.


Are you involved in any research or national EM committees etc? If so, what?

I’m involved in a few national committees, but the one that I’m most involved in is as a board member for AAEM RSA’s Board of Directors and as the chief coordinator for AAEM’s Health Policy in Emergency Medicine (HPEM) in Washington DC. Most of what I focus on are policy issues at the national level that we can advocate for in Emergency Medicine. I’ve loved doing this type of work as a medical student, and am really excited to do the same as a resident.

My research is all over the place. I love studying viruses in the wet lab, but also love rare genetic pathologies. Some of my latest work has been on SpaceFlight Associated Neuroocular Syndrome (SANS), an ocular disease only found in astronauts. I had the chance to work on this pathology at NASA’s Johnson Space Center with many of the incredible flight surgeons that helped discover it.


Favorite TV shows:

The Office. “Through concentration, I can raise and lower my cholesterol at will.”- Dwight Schrute

Stranger Things. There’s just something about retro alien shows that gets to me.

Dark (German Series). A really complex show about time travel that occurs in a small German town (is my nerd showing yet? haha).

Game of Thrones. (Mandatory inclusion)

Honorable Mentions: Mind Hunter, The Punisher, The Leftovers.

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