Diversity & Inclusion

The Department of Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is committed to:

1. Recruiting & training individuals who represent the diverse patient populations we serve and are interested in becoming leaders of and advocates for their communities.

2. Enhancing diversity within the specialty of Emergency Medicine.

3. Developing departmental & hospital-wide initiatives and research related to diversity, inclusion, social determinants of health, implicit bias, health equity, and social justice. We welcome applicants who come from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine such as underrepresented minorities, LGBTQI+ individuals, and first generation college graduates. We seek to recruit intellectual, compassionate, and highly motivated individuals from different backgrounds, skill sets, and life experiences.

Area and Population

The Harbor-UCLA Medical Center serves over 700,000 residents of the southwestern areas of Los Angeles County and has a three hundred square mile catchment area. Harbor-UCLA is owned and operated by the County of Los Angeles as a public teaching hospital and a general acute care facility for the county residents. It also serves as a major teaching hospital for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Our patient population is ethnically diverse with over 60% of patients self-identifying as Latino, 13% Black, 10% White, and 6% Asian. Over 50% of our patients have a primary language that is not English.

Challenges our Patients Face

Poverty is pervasive, with a median annual income for patients within LAC DHS between $5,000.00 and $10,000.00 Residents of South LA have the highest poverty rates in Los Angeles County with 48.9% living at or below 100% of the federal poverty level and 75% living at 200% or below. Over half of children in South LA live in poverty. Approximately 30% of non-elderly residents across South LA are uninsured, and 45% endorse difficulty accessing healthcare. There are 50 licensed hospital beds per 100,000 residents in this region compared to 220 per 100,000 for Los Angeles County as a whole.

Service Planning Areas (SPA) 6 and 8 are served by Harbor-UCLA. Homicide rate among adolescents and young adults ages 15-34 are 78.6/10000 in SPA 6 and 26.5/100,000 in SPA 8, both of which lead LA County.

Annual Diversity Social

Every year our department hosts a diversity social to celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of our program, our community, and our applicants. Our dinner is attended by faculty, residents, staff, and alumni. All applicants are welcome to attend. For additional information please email harborEMdiversity@gmail.com

Are you interested in mentorship from one of our committee members?

Do you have questions about diversity at Harbor?

Email harborEMDiversity@gmail.com or contact one of our committee members!

Apply for our Diversity Scholarship!

Resident and Faculty statements:

Denise Whitfield, MD

Attending Physician

Harbor-UCLA is a wonderful place to work. In addition to being the only Level I Trauma Center in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County, we are the safety-net hospital for our region. On every shift, I am able to serve all from our greater community with a team of equally dedicated residents, nurses, and emergency department staff.

Shamsher Samra, MD, MPhil

Attending Physician

At Harbor-UCLA we have the privilege of serving as the safety net hospital for some of the most under-resourced communities of Los Angeles County. Rather than providing charity care we aim to work in solidarity with our patients and communities towards the ends of health equity. I’m privileged to work alongside residents, faculty, staff, community-based organizations, and administrators who have embraced this vision. It makes every shift that much more rewarding.

Brittney Mull, MD, MPH

Class of 2021, Chief Resident

I chose Harbor-UCLA because I wanted to give back to my community. I grew up within walking distance of Harbor-UCLA, and I have many family members that have received exceptional care at Harbor-UCLA over the years. I am especially proud to work at Harbor-UCLA where health care providers are not only committed to providing high quality patient-centered clinical care, but they are also genuinely interested in our patients and the larger community.