The Academy for Excellence in Medical Education is a partnership between the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) and the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies (Ed&IS).

Our mission is to promote excellence in the field of medical education through research, professional development, school and community programs, and the cultivation of a community of medical education scholars and practitioners.

The partnership is premised on leveraging different but complementary expertise from each of the schools for the purposes of enhancements and innovations in medical education. DGSOM brings unparalleled expertise in medicine and Ed&IS brings renowned expertise in pedagogy and educational research. And in view of the two schools’ shared values of social justice and service to the community, this collaboration affords unparalleled opportunities to further equity, inclusion and diversity in all areas of medical education. Finally, the Academy is an opportunity for DGSOM and SE&IS communities to create a shared dialogue in the field of medical education, informed by personal experience, research, and professional practice.

The Academy formally unites several programs that are currently jointly being undertaken by the two schools, namely the year-long Medical Education Fellowship programs and the Optimal Wellness Curriculum program for the elementary grades.

Medical education is changing, with a renewed need to infuse the science of teaching and learning into all aspects of training future physicians.

Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, MPH, MACP, Executive Vice Dean and Vice Dean for Education, DGSOM, 2013 - 2023


Medical Education Fellowships

2023-2024 MEF 2 Cohort

2023-2024 MEF Cohort 2 in Geffen Hall with MEF leadership and faculty. (From left to right: Mary Ann Triest, EdD, Erin Powers, MEd, Meeryo Choe, MD, Eddie Zitnik, DO, Jonathan Warren, MD, Laura Glassman, MD, Catherine Nameth, PhD, and Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, MPH, MACP, Executive Vice Dean, 2013 - 2023)

The Medical Education Fellowship program prepares faculty members to take on leadership roles for medical, residency, and continuing education. Faculty Fellows become conversant with the current literature on medical education while developing research skills for the purpose of informing and evaluating educational practices. Faculty members are thereby able to lead the development of essential learning goals, design effective educational experiences, improve measures of performance and assess the quality and impact of existing educational programs.

The Fellowship consists of two year-long professional development programs, a Certificate Program in Innovations in Curriculum Design and Evaluation, and a Fellowship in Medical Education Scholarship program.

The first-year certificate program introduces participants to the art and science of teaching and to curriculum development with the goal of helping them become more intentional, effective, and informed educators. This exposure allows early-career medical school faculty to become skilled and scholarly teachers; teachers who base their approach not on hunches but on proven methods. The program is grounded in the firm belief that sound pedagogies that create caring and informed learning spaces will ultimately translate into better health outcomes for patients.

The second-year scholarship program introduces participants to research methodologies in medical education. During this year participants construct, implement and evaluate a curricular innovation. This provides a foundation of research skills to enable medical school faculty to become teaching scholars, contributing to the literature on the best evidence of effective and innovative pedagogies. For information and application forms click here.

Through its programs, MEF also fosters a community of practice where like-minded professionals can share promising techniques and seek support and guidance for their educational goals.

More information on the certificate program and application materials can be found here.

Optimal Wellness Curriculum for the Elementary Grades

Lab School Trio

Grade school student at the UCLA Lab School.

The Optimal Wellness Curriculum program is a health education curriculum development project for the elementary grades. The project is a collaboration between Ed&IS, DGSOM, and the UCLA Lab School. Its goal is to design and pilot a holistic health education curriculum for younger students (ages 4-5) in all areas of health including physical, emotional, social, and mental well-being with the recognition of children as active agents of positive change in their lives, their classrooms, and their communities.

Learning objectives of the curriculum include intelligent and thoughtful decision-making with respect to overall health and optimal wellness. Design principles of the curriculum include engaged inquiry, experiential content, and collaborative work. The curriculum provides flexibility for teachers to tailor learning experiences to school and family cultures while at the same time meeting and exceeding relevant elementary school health standards (e.g. Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools, etc.). The curriculum is undergirded by the premise that by introducing foundational topics of heath in the early years children will have the agency needed for a lifetime of optimal health.

For more information on this project and to participate please contact Erin Powers at



Future Plans: Institute of Medical Education

The Academy for Excellence in Medical Education and its current programs is a precursor to future collaboration between DGSOM and Ed&IS to create an Institute of Medical Education, with goals that include:

  • Conducting foundational research at the forefront of medical education.
  • Enhancing the teaching and mentoring of medical faculty in the classroom as well as in the clinic.
  • Recommending effective evaluation and assessment procedures for DGSOM’s educational goals.
  • Expanding and enhancing the effectiveness of health education in schools and communities.
  • Creating and fostering a community of scholars and practitioners in the field of medical education for the creation, dissemination, and sharing of research and exemplary practices.


Past Events

Virtual Event Launch of the Academy for Excellence in Medical Education

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) and the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies (SE&IS) announced the establishment of a new collaborative entity, the Academy for Excellence in Medical Education. To celebrate this exciting new joint endeavor, a formal virtual launch event was hosted on Thursday, August 19, 2021.