Please direct any inquiries to our Program.

Nina Talverdian (Program Coordinator): [email protected]

Bear Waters (Recruitment Coordinator): [email protected]

Primary Care Program Leadership

Mina W. Ma, MD

Mina W. Ma, MD

Director, UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Primary Care Program

Dr. Mina Ma is the Director of the UCLA Primary Care Program as well as an Associate Program Director in the Department of Medicine Training Program.  She grew up in the Bay Area and obtained her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, and then her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine.

Lisa J. Skinner, MD

Lisa J. Skinner, MD

Program Director, UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program 

Lisa Skinner is the Program Director of the internal medicine program and an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Originally from Missouri, Lisa lived in Chicago, New Jersey, and Alabama before finally settling in California. She obtained her undergraduate degree at UCLA and a Master’s in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley.

Arash Nafisi, MD

Arash Nafisi, MD

Assistant Program Director

Dr. Arash Nafisi received his Bachelors of Science degree from UCLA and his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency training at Einstein / Montefiore’s Primary Care / Social Internal Medicine program in 2013 and completed his Medical Education Fellowship at UCLA. 

Brianna Cowan MD

Brianna Cowan, MD

Assistant Program Director

Dr. Brianna Cowan is a clinician-educator and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She is originally from Wisconsin and completed her undergraduate and medical education at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Her residency training was at UCLA in combined internal medicine-pediatrics.

Arineh S. Melkonian, MD

Arineh S. Melkonian, MD

Santa Clarita Clinical Site Director

Dr. Arineh Melkonian is the Site Director of Santa Clarita Primary Care track.  She joined UCLA Santa Clarita Primary Care Clinic after finishing her residency in New York Presbyterian Hospital, in Queens. 

Stephanie Young

Stephanie Young, PsyD, MPH

Dr. Stephanie Young is a clinical neuropsychologist and Director of Mental Health for the Primary Care Program. She has a degree in psychobiology and MPH in community health sciences from UCLA and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. After completing fellowship in geriatric neuropsychology at the West LA VA Medical Center, she joined the UCLA Department of Medicine, where she created the integrated mental health training program for the SC-OV track. 


Sarah Takimoto, MD

Chief Resident, Primary Care

Dr. Sarah Takimoto received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Stanford University and her medical degree from UCSF School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency training at the UCLA Internal Medicine Primary Care program in 2023. She is thrilled to serve as the primary care chief resident for 2023-2024.     


Neil Paige, MD, MSHS

Vice Chair for Education, VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center

Dr. Neil Paige received his medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine.  He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the Stanford University Medical Center.  He completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at UCLA and received a Master’s of Science degree in Health Services Research from the UCLA School of Public Health. 


Soma Wali, MD

Chair, Department of Medicine, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center 

Dr. Soma Wali received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MD from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Chicago in 1994. She completed residency training from 1994-1997 in Internal Medicine at the Olive View-UCLA Program; followed by one additional year as Chief Resident.

Primary Care Key Faculty 

Spotlight: Dr. Hijab Zubairi

Dr. Zubairi is one of the key teaching faculty at UCLA Santa Clarita and a faculty lead for the Health Equity & Advocacy Pathway (HEAP). In Dr.Zubairi’s own words, “The HEAP pathway...has been such an honor to help establish and continue to grow. One take away I'd like applicants to know is that Health Equity and Advocacy Pathway is for everyone: including residents, faculty, and patients. This pathway provides residents the 2.0 experience where they can take a deeper dive into a population, health issue, or community and really focus on individualized clinical, research, and advocacy skills.” Dr.Zubairi is deeply committed to community engagement and advocacy. She often recruits residents to join her volunteer efforts at various food pantries, homeless clinics, or asylum evaluations. 


Key Faculty - UCLA - VA/Santa Monica

  • Alan Chu, MD
  • Allison Diamant, MD MSHS
  • Mina Ma, MD 
  • Brianna Cowan, MD 
  • Jessica Liao, MD
  • George Yen, MD
  • Joshua Khalili, MD
  • Jonathan Barthelet, MD
  • Ariana Wilkinson, MD
  • Gregory Lam, MD
  • Maile Borthwick, MD
  • Rachel Dajani, MD
  • Shahryar Manavi, MD
  • Evelyn Chang, MD
  • Gavin Ho, MD

Key Faculty - UCLA - Olive View/Santa Clarita

  • Laxmi Suthar, MD
  • Gifty-Maria Ntim, MD, MPH
  • Arash Nafisi, MD
  • Nathaniel Pedley, MD, MBA
  • Michael Rotblatt, MD
  • Hijab Zubairi, MD, MPH
  • Arleen Brown, MD, PHD
  • Sahar Soleymani, MD
  • Arineh Melkonian, MD
  • Kenny Pettersen, MD, MPH
  • Gezman Abdullahi, MD
  • Danny Georgie, MD
  • Ana Rivera, MD
  • Devesh Upadhya, MD
  • Stephanie Young, PsyD, MPH