UCLA's Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program is committed to providing high-quality care and comprehensive education in quality improvement and assurance principles and research for those interested in pursuing an academic career. The Melvin & Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program scholar is a one-year position for an individual interested in quality improvement and health care delivery. The scholar will participate in several QI efforts and initiatives in the UCLA Department of Medicine and UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, contribute to research and publications, and develop a personal capstone project for submission to nationally recognized conferences.

Project design and leadership
With the support of the QI program director and UCLA quality leaders, the scholar will implement and assess quality interventions throughout the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, reaching all UCLA gastroenterology Facilities including satellite clinics. Clinical areas may include colorectal cancer screening, inflammatory bowel diseases, hepatology, motility disorders, functional bowel disorders and inpatient/outpatient clinical practice.

The scholar is expected to attend gastroenterology clinical case conferences with special skill building classes as needed through CTSI, the Department of Medicine, Intermountain Health, Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health and UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Education will include the following topics but is not limited to:

  • Epidemiology and statistics
  • Data analysis and research design
  • Quality improvement principles, tools and techniques
  • Lean methodology
  • Patient safety
  • Health information technology and informatics
  • Leadership and change management
  • Presentation skills and public speaking

Mentorship/Career development
The fellowship will be directed by Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil (May Laboratory), a gastroenterologist, health services researcher, and director of the Gastroenterology Quality Initiative Program at UCLA (Health Services Research). Scholars will work directly with UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases leadership and Dr. May and will be paired with additional UCLA faculty members and quality leaders, based on clinical interests. Scholars are expected to meet with their mentors on a regular basis to discuss project details, career goals and aspirations. Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in meetings with hospital quality leadership, establish personalized roles on various quality improvement and assurance committees, and serve as liaison within the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, Department of Medicine Family Practice Group and various gastroenterology professional societies.

Applicants should have completed an ACGME accredited academic internal medicine residency OR a graduate-level degree in public health, statistics, epidemiology or health services. Those candidates with experience in clinical research and an interest in academic medicine are also highly encouraged to apply. Graduates from internal medicine training programs interested in pursuing specialty training in gastroenterology are also encouraged to apply.

Deadline to apply as a scholar for 2023-24
You may submit an application as early as September 1, 2022 and up until February 15, 2023.

How to apply
Please send the following documents by email to Dr. Fola May at [email protected], subject: Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program:

  1. Brief personal statement describing career interests (word limit: 300)
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. One or two letters of recommedation; (must be sent directly by the author)

Current Scholar

Sadie De Silva

Sadie De Silva, MD
Melvin & Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Scholar
Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. De Silva did her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California, her master’s in pharmacology at Tulane University School of Medicine and her medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at UHS Southern California Medical Education Consortium in Temecula, California.

Prior to earning her master’s degree, Dr. De Silva worked as a research associate in colorectal cancer at City of Hope Medical Center, investigating the expression of known biomarkers that are predictive of colorectal cancer recurrence and survival in a lab with surgical oncologist Dr. Lily Lai. Following her master’s in pharmacology, she worked in a variety of clinical positions, including as an EMT and teaching Burmese medics as part of a trauma workshop in Mae Sariang, Thailand. During her residency, she returned to City of Hope to pursue further clinical research under the guidance of Dr. Trilokesh Kidambi. In 2021, Dr. De Silva presented a cross-sectional review exploring the optimal endoscopic evaluation for patients with immunotherapy-mediated colitis at the ACG national conference, where her team was awarded an Outstanding Research Award in the colon category.

Her areas of interest include colorectal cancer prevention, the interplay between inpatient and outpatient practice and quality improvement.

Past Scholars

Camille Soroudi, MD
Camille Soroudi, MD
Anthony Myint, MD
Anthony Myint, MD
Dr. Edgar Corona
Edgar Corona, MD, MPH, MSIV
Dr. Courtney Reynolds
Courtney Reynolds, MD, PhD
Aria Zand, MD
Aria Zand, MD
Jitin Makker, MD
Jitin Makker, MD
Christine Yu, MD
Christine Yu, MD