HumAnes of UCLA: Andrew "Ace: Young, MD

Introducing Andrew "Ace" Young, MD

June 6, 2023

First off, thank you so much for participating in this series. Where did you grow up? Where did you complete your education and training? 

ace young

I was actually born at what is now SM-UCLA, as was my older son. My family lived in Mar Vista and then Torrance before moving to Thousand Oaks, which is where I grew up. I did my mandatory “live elsewhere time” in the Chicago area (undergrad at Northwestern University) and then New York City (medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons). For residency I came back here to UCLA, stayed for fellowship, and joined the faculty in 2017… which feels like yesterday and a long time ago. 

What was your childhood dream? 
When I was 9 or 10, I wanted to develop nuclear fusion. I’d forgotten about that. 

What is your favorite book, movie, song, or TV show, and why? 
It’s hard to pick just one, but I’ll try. These are at least my stock answers. Book: Catch-22. Movie: The Shawshank Redemption. Song: something I can sing. TV Show: Cowboy Bebop. The last one is, in my opinion, such an amazing mix of sci-fi noir, music, and characters. I can’t recommend it enough, though it takes 5 episodes to introduce the more overarching plot, and the cast isn’t completed until the 9th. For me, listening to the soundtrack is like watching the show. 

What do you like to do for fun outside of work? 
The rote answer is to spend time with my family, but to elaborate a little, I enjoy cycling (avid fan), board games (the nerdier the better), and doing them… with my family. 

Do you have any special talents?  
“Special talent” is hard to define. I can wiggle my ears, especially my left, which is unusual but not really a talent. At various points in my life, I’ve played trombone and bass, acted in plays and musicals, and done improv comedy, but it’d be a stretch to call those talents special. I’m pretty fast at crossword puzzles.  

Ace Young, MD with family

Tell us a little about your family (and any pets). 
My wife Tracey and I were high school classmates, but we weren’t friends (though she was besties with Dr. Brandon Chinn, my residency classmate and now staff anesthesiologist at the West LA VA). We started dating between college and medical school, dated long-distance (NYC to Washington, DC) for four years, and got married right before internship. She does family practice and works at the Kaiser-WLA urgent care. We have a nearly 7-year-old named Eddie, who loves Pokemon and speaks Mandarin, and a nearly 3-year-old named Sam, who loves horses and is generally adorable. Both kids look just like their mother. We have 2 cats, Rocuronium (Rocky) and Moxifloxacin (Moxi). 

What has been your favorite vacation destination so far? 
Also a difficult one. We spent 6 weeks in Europe after my fellowship. On that trip, my son took his first steps in Iceland, started really walking in Amsterdam, and celebrated his first birthday with French pastries atop the Eiffel Tower. That was cool. But we also did a week-long Galapagos cruise, which was really amazing, as was mainland Ecuador. This spring, my dad and I cycled ~320 miles through Belgium, which was epic. We try to travel a lot, and almost always with the kids. 

What aspects of work do you enjoy the most? 
More hard questions! It’s the people—sometimes the patients, but mostly the colleagues within and outside of the department. I really enjoy the problem-solving and critical-thinking aspects, especially in the ICU, and coming up with “what-if” scenarios. 

What is on your bucket list?  
Nothing in particular, to be honest. I went skydiving once, because it was on my mother-in-law’s bucket list, and never need to do anything like it again.