Jim Slotnick Fellowship in Medicineat Saban Community Clinic


Reflections from Slotnick Fellows

Since 1985, thirty-one UCLA medical students have been selected for the Jim Slotnick Fellowship in Medicine.  Most of these fellows are now physicians in specialties ranging from primary care, to emergency medicine, to obstetrics and gynecology, to trauma surgery.

While preparing A Short Life for publication, we connected with these former Fellows, and asked them to share their perspectives gained from their time as Slotnick Fellows. 

Though these Fellows never had the pleasure of meeting Jim, they experienced what was most important to him: health care for all, provided with dignity and compassion.

What follows are excerpts of their words and insights.

Monica Boggs

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2016
Fellow, 2012

I have now read Jim’s memoir, A Short Life, three times. The first time was the summer I was a Slotnick Fellow. I distinctly remember how Jim felt leaving numerous doctor visits. He felt unattended to, as if the doctors weren’t even listening to him. I was so struck, perhaps because I too have felt the same. As I began my summer…

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Seth Cardall, MD

Computed Tomography Section Head Utah Radiology Associates
Fellow, 2001

The Jim Slotnick Fellowship at the LA Free Clinic was a wonderful experience for me. Not only was it my first real exposure to clinical medicine and hands on experience, but, more importantly, it allowed me to interact with diverse people from many backgrounds and gain insight into socioeconomic issues affecting access to…

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Marie Crandall, MD, MPH, FACS

Associate Professor of Surgery, 
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Fellow, 1994

It was 1994 and I was in my second year of medical school when I first learned of the Jim Slotnick Fellowship. His story was devastating; an intelligent, hard-working, and compassionate young man cut down by cancer at age 28. Facing the challenges of cancer, he wrote an incredibly insightful and…

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Joshua Elder, MD

Emergency Physician
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, Yale University
Fellow, 2008

"After a week of school, the Free Clinic was a breath of fresh air. I would leave there with a feeling of, Yeah, this is what I want to do with my life! Give some medical attention to the folks who can’t afford private doctors or medical insurance.
A Short Life, by Jim Slotnick

Sitting here today…

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Rosibel Hernandez

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2017
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | MPH-Health Policy Candidate 2016
Fellow, 2013

My time as a Jim Slotnick Fellow was an invaluable experience, deepening my commitment to underserved communities. Working along side passionate and caring individuals at the Saban Community Clinic fueled my desire to serve as a physician in communities…

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Candace Jones, MD, MPH

Senior Physician, 
Kaiser Permanente Department of Pediatrics Sacramento, California
Fellow, 2003

My time as a Slotnick Fellow was one of the highlights of my medical school experience. It solidified my interest in becoming a primary care physician and for that I am very grateful. I especially enjoyed the individual attention that I received from the volunteers, staff and attending physicians. I…

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Luke Karaelias, MD

Clinical Instructor (Affiliated) of Surgery (Emergency Medicine),
Standford University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center;
Attending Physician
Department of Emergency Medicine, French Hospital Medical Center and Arroyo
Grande Community Hospital
Fellow, 2002

My first day at what was then known as the LA Free Clinic, Laurie Goodman handed…

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Daniel Karlin, MD

4th Year Resident
Combined Program in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, UCLA
Fellow, 2008

Every year, thousands of fledgling physicians fresh out of medical school take part in the Hippocratic Oath. So much of the Oath has filtered into our public consciousness: doctors are obliged to “first do no harm”, to hold sacred the confidence and trust that patients place in them, and to show compassion…

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Scott Lee, MD

Fifth Year Resident, Department of Orthopedic Surgery Harbor - UCLA Medical Center
Fellow, 2007

The Jim Slotnick Fellowship in Medicine is truly an amazing experience that exposes medical students to the difficulties of delivering quality healthcare to the underserved populations of Los Angeles. However, the educational experience delves much deeper than clinical medicine. In order to understand…

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Elizabeth (Whaley) McClure, MD

Chief, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Associate Medical Director of Specialty & Service Lines,

Sutter Medical Group, Sacramento, California
Fellow, 1987

Being a Jim Slotnick Fellow was truly life changing. It was a gift to work with clinicians who shared the same passion in caring for their patients and who were very free 
in sharing that passion with medical students. Working at the LA…

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Jennifer A. Miller, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician and Co-Owner, East Bay Pediatrics
Fellow, 1998

I grew up around medicine, so it wasn’t atypical for me to be in a hospital, surrounded by physicians. Because of my upbringing, medicine was a natural choice. The Jim Slotnick Fellowship was a natural choice as well. As a second year medical student, I hadn’t had much experience taking care of patients. This Fellowship allowed me to…

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Matthew R. Morrell, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Lung Transplant Fellowship and the Pulmonary Stepdown Unit, 
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Fellow, 2000

The summer of 2000 was an eventful one for me. I had just completed my first year of medical school, was getting married and was chosen as a Jim Slotnick Fellow. My first day at The Los Angeles Free Clinic was very…

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Maria A. Pielaet, MD

Medical Director
, Living Well Health Center, Redmond, Washington
Fellow, 1985

It was quite an honor when I was selected as the first Slotnick Fellow: I cannot believe it has been 30 years! Being awarded the Fellowship to work and train at The Los Angeles Free Clinic was so fantastic for me, because Free Clinics are so dear to my heart. Additionally, I learned so much while working at the clinic!…

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Raymond C. Quon, MD

Family Medicine Physician, 
UCLA, Entertainment Industry Medical Group
Fellow, 2005

The opportunity to work in the L.A. Free Clinic's vibrant clinical settings and to care for underserved populations was a life-defining experience during my medical education.   I have continued to apply the medical knowledge and strategies that I gained to practice medicine as a Family Medicine physician in an…

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Lisa Rood, MD

, John Muir Medical Group, Brentwood, California
Fellow, 1999

I feel extremely privileged to have participated in the Jim Slotnick Fellowship at The Los Angeles Free Clinic. At the time, it was the most extensive exposure to clinical medicine that I had ever experienced. It was exciting and educational and had a profound impact on me. I still vividly remember the wonderful…

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Gilberto Ruiz, MD

Diplomat of the American College of Emergency Medicine, Staff Physician, Doctors Medical Services, Las Vegas, Nevada
Fellow, 1990

Coming from a Spanish speaking household in San Fernando, California, I had 
to be very blessed and lucky to walk the halls of the UCLA School of Medicine. Through the hard work that I learned from my parents, I took full advantage of the opportunities that lay in…

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Angel (Hamptonie) Schaffer, MD

Family Medicine, 
Kaiser Permanente, Gardena, California
Fellow, 1995

I am honored and grateful to have been awarded the Jim Slotnick Fellowship in 1995. The experience was invaluable. It afforded me the opportunity to obtain hands on experience with patient care. It taught me the importance of compassionate care when working with a diverse population. To this day, I refer uninsured patients to…

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Bo Elizabeth Espinosa-Setchko, MD, MPP

First Year Resident, Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Fellow, 2011

The Slotnick Fellowship continues to represent a highlight of my medical education thus far. As someone dedicated to social justice and to serving vulnerable populations in medicine, I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting opportunity following my first year of medical school. I had no doubt that my experiences at The…

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Gregory B. Seymann, MD

Clinical Professor and Chief, 
Division of Hospital Medicine, UC San Diego, Department of Medicine
Fellow, 1992

In medicine, as in life, our growth is often influenced by a few powerful figures or experiences, which shape our perspective and impact our direction as we proceed down our path. Volunteering at the LA Free Clinic was that experience for me, and Dr. Eric Cohen was that figure.

As a…

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Amy Showen

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2018
Fellow, 2014

Just as medical school has introduced me to the science of medicine, the Slotnick Fellowship at Saban Community Clinic introduced me to the art. I was privileged to work with providers who are competent, compassionate, and committed to the Clinic’s mission. They are great teachers who patiently taught me not only about diseases…

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David H. Solberg, MD, FACOG

Obstetrics and Gynecology, 
Capital Women’s Care, Hagerstown, Maryland
Fellow, 1988

The Jim Slotnick Fellowship has been a formative milestone in my journey both in life and in the practice of medicine. My journey began at the age of five when, while watching my uncle, a plastic surgeon, perform a minor surgical procedure on a young child, I knew in my heart that the practice of medicine was my…

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Richard Sonner, MD

Attending Physician and Director of Pediatric Emergency Services, Torrance Memorial Medical Center,

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Fellow, 1986

Having children in middle school, high school and college makes me feel old, yet my memory of their early years is as fresh and vivid as if it were yesterday. And my children give me purpose and a…

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Carla Spades, MD, MPH

Second Year Resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology Cedars, Sinai Medical Center

Fellow, 2009

My experience as a Slotnick Fellow helped shape me into the physician I am 
today. The Fellowship allowed me to experience several areas of clinical medicine and introduced me to mentors and leaders in medicine in ways I could never have anticipated. I am currently a Resident Physician at Cedars-Sinai. As…

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Ricky J. Thomas

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Class of 2018

Fellow, 2015

This past summer working at Saban Community Clinic through the Jim Slotnick Fellowship in Medicine has been nothing short of enlightening. Having just finished my first year of medical school and anxious to deploy my newly acquired medical knowledge, I found Saban both refreshing and the perfect place to learn. I was able to…

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Samuel M. Tseng, MD

Chief of Primary Care, 
Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon, California
Fellow, 1996

The Jim Slotnick Fellowship gave me a special opportunity to work at The Los Angeles Free Clinic. My time there provided me with valuable experience in seeing how healthcare can be delivered to an underserved patient population. It was heartwarming to see the volunteers, staff, and health providers coming together to…

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Camille Wedlow, MD

Family Medicine, 
Health Care Partners, Henderson, Nevada
Fellow, 1997

I participated in the Jim Slotnick Fellowship more than 15 years ago while in medical school as a second year medical student. The experience allowed me to see individuals who were not the typical patients seen through rotations at UCLA. Most
 of the patients were teenagers, some were homeless and the majority of patients had…

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