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. She completed her internship, residency and chief residency at UCSF/Mount Zion where she stayed on as an Assistant Program Director before relocating to Southern California with her husband, an oncologist at UCLA. After joining the faculty in the Iris Cantor UCLA Women's Health Center, she found a natural transition back into medical education. As a clinician educator, she is passionate about promoting the development of the next generation of primary care clinicians and health care leaders. When she is not caring for her patients, she enjoys being with her family in the outdoors, lakeside camping or sierra skiing, and her new found love of scootering.
Primary clinical site: Santa Monica 16th Street Clinic.
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. Lisa then attended the Yale School of Medicine, where she earned her MD in 1999. She and her husband, Michael, couples matched at UCLA, and Michael has become a devoted Angeleno after having spent his childhood and early adulthood in the Northeast. In 2003, after a year as Chief Resident. Lisa became a hospitalist and Associate Program Director. She has spent the bulk of her clinical career practicing primary care at the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center at UCLA and helped build the ambulatory continuity experience for the medicine residency. She teaches about women’s health, preventive medicine, clinical teaching, and the role of effective feedback for developing physicians. When she is not in the hospital, Dr. Skinner enjoys cooking, traveling, and exploring Los Angeles’ neighborhoods and restaurants with her family.
Assistant Program Director
Dr. Gifty-Maria Ntim is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (MedPeds) and considers herself a ‘boots-on-the-ground’ primary care physician. She joined the Department of Internal Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the MedPeds Division in 2016. Prior to coming to UCLA, she worked in Federally Qualified Health Centers in the Antelope Valley as well as in south central Los Angeles and was medical director of APLA Health (the medical branch of the AIDS Project Los Angeles). Originally from Ghana, Dr. Ntim is a graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada. She completed her residency training at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, where she also served as the MedPeds Chief Resident. She is passionate about empowering patients and communities to achieve high levels of health and wellness. Her professional interests include HIV prevention, delivering culturally competent primary care to LGBT populations and finding innovative ways to improve patient management of chronic diseases.
Primary clinical site: Santa Clarita Tourney Road Clinic.
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. As a general internist and clinician-educator, Dr. Nafisi provides direct patient care and precepts residents in the outpatient setting at Olive View and also attends on the inpatient wards. He has taken a leading role in shaping the Olive View Internal Medicine outpatient curriculum. His interests include medical education, patient-centered communication, screening and prevention, psychosocial medicine, and addressing human rights and social determinants of health. Dr. Nafisi is a certified faculty member at the Institute for Healthcare Communication and a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and American Academy on Communication in Healthcare.
Primary clinical site: Olive View Clinic A.
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. Before returning to UCLA as faculty, she fulfilled a primary care National Health Service Corps obligation working for the Indian Health Service (IHS) on the Navajo Reservation. Her current clinical practice is at the West Los Angeles VA. She attends on inpatient medicine wards and cares for ambulatory patients in the homeless primary care clinic, where she is site Assistant Program Director for the UCLA Internal Medicine Residency- Primary Care Track. She also supervises med-peds residents at the Venice Family Clinic, Simm Mann Health and Wellness Center. Her clinical and educational interests focus on improving primary care capacity to care for vulnerable patient populations.
Primary clinical site: West Los Angeles VA HPACT Clinic.
Marielle Bolano, MD
Chief Resident, Primary Care
Marielle grew up with her extended family in the San Francisco Bay Area - her father's side immigrated to San Francisco and her mother's side to Oakland. After spending her childhood reconciling affinities to sports teams on both sides of the Bay, she attended undergrad at UC Berkeley - a team both sides of the family can root for (Go Bears!!). After studying Microbial Biology and Public Policy in college, she developed an interest in medicine, public policy, and improving care for vulnerable older adults. She joined a research team at UCSF investigating health needs and care delivery for incarcerated and homeless older adults. She then attended medical school at UC Davis where she had the pleasure of serving as Co-Director for the Bayanihan Student Run Clinic. Given her interests, joining UCLA for residency was an easy choice - the primary care tracks offer a unique opportunity to have two continuity clinics in diverse and challenging patient settings as well as strong academic development. She was even lucky enough to couples match into Internal Medicine with her husband! Serving and learning from her homeless veteran patients at HPACT has reinforced her academic interests and she is excited to pursue a career in Geriatrics and Palliative Care after chief year. Outside of work, you can find her spending as much time as possible out in the sun/by the ocean with her husband and shiba inu mix, Cas.
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. In 1998, she accepted a faculty position and completed a two-year medical education fellowship at UCLA. Dr. Wali served as Associate Program Director for the Olive View-UCLA Program from 2000 to 2003, after which she was asked to be program director in 2003. After assuming this role full-time, Dr. Wali continually strives to improve medical teaching through the introduction of innovative new curricular and clinical experiences. Dr. Wali has served as the Director of Clinical Operations and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Medicine for a number of years, but in 2013, she was selected as the new Chair for the Department of Medicine at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. She remains closely involved in education of both residents and medical students at OVMC, and provides even more support to teaching in her new role as the Chair of the Department. Dr. Wali works very closely with University of California, Los Angeles Department of Medicine and was recently asked to serve as the new Executive Vice-Chair of Medicine for all UCLA Affiliated Hospitals.
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. He has long been involved in residency education serving initially as Program Director for the VA Greater Los Angeles Internal Medicine Training Program and then as the Associate Program Director for the Cedars-Sinai/VA Greater Los Angeles Internal Medicine Training Program. He currently serves as Vice Chair for Education at the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center and as an Associate Program Director for the UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program.
Key Faculty - UCLA Santa Monica/ West LA VA
Key Faculty - UCLA Santa Clarita/ Olive View Medical Center