Letter from Program Director

Welcome from Program Director

Ryan Pedigo, MD, MHPE

Dear applicant, 

Thank you for your interest in our emergency medicine residency program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. I ranked Harbor-UCLA Medical Center as my first choice for residency training and, after graduating in 2015, have had the privilege to be clerkship director (2015-2020), associate residency program director (2020-2023), and now residency program director (2023-) in this department. 

We are a safety net hospital in Los Angeles County that serves a diverse, underserved, and high-acuity patient population. We pride ourselves in our expert, compassionate care of our patients in addressing their acute concerns but also are active in building and maintaining programs that address our patients’ needs after their visit. Our residents and faculty have been instrumental in addressing social determinants of health of our patients including addressing food insecurity (Food Pharmacy), substance use disorder (MAT services, whole person care programs), housing insecurity, medical-legal partnerships for those facing unfair housing or immigration practices, and longitudinal services for victims of violent crime (Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program and Trauma Recovery Center). In addition, as over half of our patients self-identify as having limited English proficiency, we have in-person Spanish translation services and 24/7 immediate availability of telephonic/video interpreter services to address language justice issues that our patients face. 

With our first round of graduates in 1980 until now, we have a history of producing outstanding, compassionate emergency physicians who become leaders in their departments, health systems, regionally, and nationally. As the class of 2024 moves on to their careers, we will have graduated 572 residents from our program. Many of these graduates are now nationally and internationally recognized in emergency medicine: we have trained five presidents of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, presidents of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, presidents of the American College of Emergency Physicians, founders of major educational platforms, writers of seminal textbooks in our specialty, chairs of departments, and more. Wherever you go in emergency medicine, you are likely to run into a graduate of our program. This vast national alumni network has been invaluable to our graduates. 

Our residents are truly outstanding, and we are fortunate to train some of the best residents in the country. Their commitment to advancing the health of our patients is unparalleled and working with our residents and patients keeps me excited to come to work every day. Outside of the emergency department they engage in multiple important committees, projects, and academic pursuits.  

The faculty you will work with during your time in our program are nationally recognized experts in their field and have unparalleled dedication to patient care and your education. Over the past few years alone, here is a small sample of the regional and national recognition that those you work with on shift (and our residents and fellows!) have been honored with: 


  • EMRA Associate Residency Director of the Year: Dami Ogunniyi 
  • SAEM EMS Fellow of the Year: Jake Toy 
  • Kaiser-Permanente Award for Excellence in Teaching: Ryan Pedigo 


  • SAEM John Marx Leadership Award: Robert Hockberger 
  • SAEM Hal Jayne Education Award: Marianne Gausche-Hill 
  • SAEM Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow of the Year: Rammy Assaf 
  • SAEM FoamED Excellence in Education Award: Timothy Horeczko 
  • EMRA Jean Hollister Contribution to Pre-Hospital Care Award: Ryan Devivo 
  • Outstanding Peer Reviewer Award Academic Emergency Medicine: E&T: Ryan Pedigo 
  • SAEM AWAEM Catalyst Award: Sarah Lopez 


  • EMRA Jean Hollister Contribution to Pre-Hospital Care Award: Jake Toy 
  • EMRA Resident of the Year: Cindy Chang 
  • ACEP Teaching Fellowship Scholarship: Alexander Garrett 
  • SAEM 2021 Chair Development Program C. Christopher King, MD, Memorial Scholarship: Amy Kaji  
  • Chair, American Board of Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine Subboard: Tim Horeczko  
  • Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center (EIIC) National Scholars Program: Cindy Chang 
  • EMRA 25 under 45: Kabir Yadav 
  • Outstanding Peer Reviewer Award Academic Emergency Medicine: E&T: Ryan Pedigo 


  • EMBRS (Emergency Medicine Basic Research Skills) Scholarship: John Campo 
  • EMRA Clinical Excellence Award: James Williams 
  • EMRA 25 under 45: Ross Donaldson 
  • EMRA 25 under 45: Dennis Hsieh 
  • SuperDoctors Rising Star: Ryan Pedigo 
  • ACEP Section Grant $10,000: Denise Whitfield 
  • President-Elect Society for Academic Emergency Medicine: Amy Kaji 
  • HRSA EMS for Children Innovation & Improvement Award – Mohsen Saidinejad 
  • US Patent No. 15547297 2016-01-29, “Adjustably Controlling Rescue or Assisted Breaths”. Inventors: Drs Marianne Gauche-Hill and Timothy Horeczko 
  • Founding Member, Key Advances Panel, ABEM: Tim Horeczko 
  • Outstanding Peer Reviewer Award Academic Emergency Medicine: E&T: Ryan Pedigo 
  • Outstanding Peer Reviewer Award Academic Emergency Medicine: Ross Fleischman 

Our faculty group is relatively small but incredibly dedicated to our program and the mission we have. Our prior chair for 25 years and a pioneer in the field, Dr. Hockberger, retired in 2013 but still does two one-on-one shadow shifts with each of our first-year residents. Multiple other faculty who have since retired also continue to give back to our program. 

Our dedication to education and safe transitions of care is reflected in our unique rounds process. We have, in our adult emergency department, an hour of protected time at the beginning and end of every shift where we go through our patients, hand them off safely, and use the board as a platform for dedicated education. We also at the end of rounds have a multidisciplinary meeting to ensure our nurses and pharmacists are all on the same page for the plan of care. 

We look forward to meeting you and sharing all the things that makes our program wonderful. 


Ryan Pedigo, MD, MHPE 

Residency Program Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA