Your 2023-2024 Internal Medicine chief residents, the PEEPs, are dedicated to uplifting and guiding our residents through the positive pressures of training. Together we strive to advance medical education by fostering a comprehensive and innovative learning experience that equips residents with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their careers. Concurrently, we seek to forge meaningful connections between experienced mentors and residents, forming a support network where wisdom and feedback are shared, and the personal and professional growth of each individual is prioritized. Looking ahead, we are wholeheartedly committed to recruitment endeavors that bring together ever more diverse and skilled trainees. We aspire to become the exemplar program for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of scientific excellence, outstanding scholarship, and compassionate person-centered care. While pursuing excellence, we also aim to build a fun and vibrant atmosphere that promotes creativity, camaraderie, and a shared sense of purpose to sustain our residents during training and beyond. Through these interconnected goals, we hope to continue evolving our program into the place where education, mentorship, recruitment, and community optimally converge to shape a bright and rewarding future for our residents.
❤️ Your PEEPs
Primary Care Chief Resident
Sarah Takimoto, MD
Sarah was born on the east coast in Bethesda, MD and raised in Boerne, TX, and Dresher, PA; however, her love of the west coast started from childhood when visiting her family in California and Hawaii. She attended Stanford University where she majored in chemistry. After graduating, she attended UCSF School of Medicine and was thrilled to pursue her love of internal medicine and primary care at UCLA for residency. She is passionate about medical education, systems improvement, and improving primary care access for all. Outside of the hospital, you’ll find her going on long walks to coffee shops and playing board games.
Chief Resident in Quality and Safety
Priyanka Moolchandani, MD
Priyanka Moolchandani was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee before being swept away to California to attend the University of Southern California where she received her degree in chemistry and health care studies. She then ventured off to Houston, Texas where she completed her MD degree at Baylor College of Medicine. The California sunshine called her back to the west coast to complete her internal medicine residency at UCLA. Her clinical and research interests include medical education, point-of-care ultrasound, and quality improvement and patient safety. She is excited to explore her interest in quality improvement more as the QI chief this year. Her interests outside of work include exploring the LA food scene, weightlifting, cooking and reading.
Ronald Reagan Medical Center/Santa Monica Hospital Chief Residents
Alex Kokaly, MD, MHSA
A Michigan native, Alex is thriving in the California sunshine. He is a triple Wolverine with a BS in biochemistry & Spanish, master of health services administration, and MD all from the University of Michigan. During residency, he has pursued his interests in healthcare administration and quality improvement through various quality-related research projects and as a member of the Health Systems Management Pathway. He plans to practice as a hospitalist with the goal of becoming a physician-administrator. Through these roles, he plans to advocate for healthcare reform and improved access to care for patients with low socioeconomic status. In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing video games, brushing up on his poker skills, and daydreaming about his future pet pigs and dogs.
Shatara (Tara) Townes, MD
A true Angeleno, Tara attended UCLA for college where she double majored in Physiological Science and Biology. She then attended medical school at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and was thrilled to continue her journey at UCLA for residency. Raised by a single mother in an under-resourced and marginalized community, Tara experienced and witnessed first hand the inequities that exist within society and healthcare. She is a first generation college graduate and proud co-founder of the UCLA Health Equity Hub. During residency she enjoyed being involved in the Medical Education Pathway where her project focused on strategies for efficacious development of pipeline programs for URiM students. Tara’s career interests include medical education, academic leadership, and most importantly, forging ways to increase representation in medicine. She is proud to also serve as the EDI Chief this academic year. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, hiking, re-playing the GTA series on her PS5 (San Andreas, of course) and exploring new LA restaurants with her amazing fiancé (and college sweetheart). She is also an avid Laker and Dodger fan and loves to cheer on her home teams.
Madeline (Maddie) Treasure, MD
Madeline majored in human biology at Stanford University with a concentration in healthcare policy and reform. She received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina before returning to the West Coast to join UCLA’s wonderful IM community. During her residency, she was a part of the Health Systems and Management Pathway with particular interest in value-based care and QI driven systems improvement initiatives. She hopes to use clinical experience to improve the quality of healthcare delivery and continue her ongoing work in women’s health advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, boogie boarding, and playing basketball with the Hoop Diuretics.
Lindsey Ward, MD, PhD
A Santa Monica native, Lindsey was born in Santa Monica Hospital! She grew up volunteering in CHS handing out newspapers and manning the register in the gift shop at 100 Medical Plaza. Lindsey received her BA in art history at Columbia University and worked briefly in art conservation. Drawn back to medicine, Lindsey pursued her MD at University of California San Francisco. During medical school, she spent a year in Paris as a Fulbright Scholar studying how dyslexic adolescents view artwork and received her PhD from Université Paris-Cité. She hopes to pursue a career in pulmonology and critical care, and is excited to see how we can integrate the visual arts into the intensive care setting! Outside of the hospital, you can find Lindsey at the beach, skiing, traveling, or trying new restaurants with her husband, Michael, and her family.
Greater Los Angeles VA Chief Residents
Beda Cha, MD
Beda grew up in Baltimore then attended Amherst College, where he majored in art history while playing on the lacrosse team. After receiving his MD from UPenn, he traded in his winter coat for the warm weather and the amazing community at UCLA. Beda participated in the Medical Education Pathway during residency, and he hopes to continue teaching and working with learners as he pursues a fellowship in Cardiology. Outside of the hospital, you can find Beda surfing, running, hiking, and discovering all that Los Angeles has to offer with his partner and co-chief, Claire Drolen!
Claire Drolen, MD, MBE
Claire is a Southern California native from Pasadena. She spent 10 years living on the East Coast, first in Western Massachusetts at Amherst College, where she studied chemistry, and then in Philadelphia, where she attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. While in medical school, Claire also completed a master’s degree in bioethics. She was thrilled to return home for residency at UCLA and enjoyed being involved in the Medical Education Pathway and in clinical research projects in oncology and palliative care. Beyond practicing clinical medicine, her career interests also include health systems research, administration, and leadership in medicine. When she’s not at the hospital, Claire enjoys spending time with her partner, Beda (another chief resident!), swimming, sourdough baking, listening to audiobooks, and board game nights.
Christine Willinger, MD, MPH
Born and raised in New Jersey, Christine learned early on to appreciate coastal living and tolerate traffic. She studied biochemistry and biophysics at Yale University and did research in cardiovascular epidemiology at the Framingham Heart Study before attending medical school at the University of Pennsylvania with co-chiefs Claire and Beda! Christine is forever thankful that she took a cross-country leap to join the UCLA internal medicine family for residency. She has deepened her passion for outpatient medicine in the primary care track while building skills in medical education, quality improvement, and global health. She hopes to pursue a combined geriatrics-palliative fellowship to provide person-centered care for older adults with multimorbidity. Outside of the hospital, Christine can be found running on the beach, playing word games, or experimenting with vegetarian recipes.