Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Graphic Design by: Priyesha Bijlani, MD

Welcome to our DEI resource page! The UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program is dedicated to our mission of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels within the healthcare field and community. Here you can find information regarding our various DEI initiatives, upcoming events, resources, and ways to get involved.

Mission Statement: At UCSD, we aim to recruit, train, advance, and promote a diverse group of physicians. Our mission is to train the next generation of physicians who will reflect the demographics of our diverse patient populations and achieving inclusive excellence.

DJ Gaines, MD

Associate Director of Diversity, UCSD IM Residency

Academic Hospitalist, VA San Diego Healthcare System

Luis Castellanos, MD

Director of Diversity, UCSD IM Residency

Associate Professor, Cardiology

Sean Kenmore, MD

Assistant Program Director, UCSD IM Residency

Associate Director of Diversity

Academic Hospitalist, VA San Diego Healthcare System


Advancing Health Equity, Advocacy, & Diversity (AHEAD)

Graphic Design by: Megan Haggerty

The goal of this initiative is to educate our residents in topics surrounding the DEI space as well as provide them avenues to become advocates in our community.

We give lectures on various DEI topics such as microaggressions and common terms in the DEI space. During our dedicated Friday School block, we aim to instill lectures dedicated to healthcare disparities related to the theme of the block.

RISE Near-Peer Mentorship Program
(Residents in Solidarity with Emerging Leaders)

Graphic Design by: Cathy Cichon, MD @DocsSribbles

A near-peer mentorship program that pairs MS3 with current residents across various specialities to help them succeed in their clerkships. This program continues to expand this year, and there will be opportunities to be a mentor for our wonderful MS3s!

UC San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic

Established 20 years ago and currently run by Dr. Ellen Beck, this clinic is primarily managed by UCSD primary care physicians and medical students. However, residents and faculty across various specialties, as well as pharmacists, nurses, translators, social workers, and many volunteers, join these weekly clinics to help care for those in our community. Our residents have the opportunity to participate during their 2-week underserved medicine rotation and can even precept here as part of the RACE Track pathway! Many residents also choose to volunteer at this clinic during their free time!


In the recent edition of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion newsletter, the Department of Medicine spotlighted our Black faculty, scholars, and staff. One of those they selected to spotlight was our very own senior resident, Ian Simpson-Shelton (PGY3). Thank you Ian for all you do!


Dr. John Carethers
November 1, 2022

UCSD AHEAD and UCSD SOM PRIME are proud to present Dr. John Carethers the new UCSD Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences. He is joining us from the University of Michigan but previously spent 15 years with UCSD as section chief for the Division of Gastroenterology. He has served as chair of the Minorities in Research Council for the AACR and contributed to the AACR Cancer Health Disparities Reports and its presentation to the US Congress. We are welcoming him for a presentation on power. Dinner will be provided.

Dr. Matthew Carazo
TBD January 2023

UCSD AHEAD is proud to present Dr. Matthew Carazo, one of our Adult Congenital Cardiology specialists. He completed his combined adult congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension senior fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He completed his fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Drexel University College of Medicine/Hahnemann. He will be presenting about cardiovascular health in LGBTQ+ patients.

UCSD URIM Applicant Open House: October 25, 2022

Find details in your invitation to UCSD!

UCSD LGBTQ+ Applicant Open House: November 8, 2022

Find details in your invitation to UCSD!

UCSD GME JEDI Open House: December 1, 2022 and January 17, 2023


LMSA Residency Fair 2022

We participated in the inaugural Latino Medical Student Residency Fair. We had a virtual booth with residents and faculty to talk about our wonderful program with medical students and prospective applicants. Special thanks to Dr. Luis Castellanos (Cardiology), Dr. Simerjot Jassal (PD Internal Medicine), Dr. Atim Ekpenyong (PD Pediatrics), Dr. Priyanka Patel (CMR Pediatrics), Dr. Sean Kenmore (APD Internal Medicine), Dr. Lainey Flatow-Trujillo (CMR Internal Medicine) and Amanda Lopez (PGY1 Internal Medicine) for their participation.

AHEAD Curriculum: Care for Transgender Patients

As part of our Endocrinology Friday school, we had a presentation from Dr. Gina Woods of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, about gender affirming care. This was followed by an incredible patient panel featuring patients who are transgender sharing their personal stories and experiences engaging with the healthcare system. We also had a presentation from Chief Resident, Lainey Flatow-Trujillo, regarding disparities in healthcare for patients who are transgender.

Pride July 16, 2022

UCSD Internal Medicine residents went to celebrate Pride in San Diego. This was a joyous occasion for Pride returning to normal after a missed year and a smaller celebration last year due to Covid.
We had an amazing night celebrating the history of Pride. Lead by Allison Ibarra, we played Pride Trivia and enjoyed a feast from Dirty Birds on UCSD’s own campus.

UCSD SOM Doc-4-A-Day
March 12, 2022

UCSD SOM will be hosting in-person Doc-4-A Day for the first time since the start of the COVID pandemic! During this event residents and attendings will support medical students who take local high-schoolers through workshops to expose them to the medical field.  Workshops this quarter include, Cardio, GI, Neuro and Pulm. 

Noon Conference: LMSA National Conference
March 4-6, 2022

UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program once again attended the annual LMSA National Conference to promote the program and answer any questions about UCSD and IM for high school, undergraduate, and medical students. We are excited for all the work LMSA has done to improve URIM representation and success.

Dia De Los Muertos Celebration

October 29, 2021

UCSD GME along with the UCSD SOM celebrated Dia De Los Muertos with an altar, remembrance ceremony, potluck, and movie screening.

Noon Conference: The Myth of Meritocracy
September 14, 2021

The wonderful Dr. Jennifer Spicer, from the division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University, joined us to share how the myth of meritocracy perpetuates inequity and prevents us from recruiting a diverse workforce in healthcare. She showed that diversity in the workplace has been proven to lead to better outcomes for our patients, healthcare innovation, and publications. She focused on the residency recruitment process and recommends programs create a holistic review process that prioritizes their values.

Dismantling Systemic Racism One Step at a Time Through Advocacy
August 24, 2021

Students, residents, and faculty participated in a meet and greet with Dr. Tracey Henry from Emory University. She gave an inspiring presentation on the importance of understanding structural racism and outlined examples of what we can do on the individual level through advocacy.

Celebrating Pride
June 30, 2021

Residents at Hillcrest and the VA took a moment to celebrate pride month and honor the LGBTQ+ Community. It is a privilege to care for LGBTQ+ individuals, and as physicians, it is our responsibility to advocate for health equity for members of this community.

How to Be an Antiracist: A Discussion with Dr. Abram X. Kendi
March 3, 2021

We had an inspiring and thought-provoking session with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist. This event was put on by UCSD Student Union.


The DEI Shift

In Spring of 2020, three UCSD residents led by Medicine/Pediatrics resident Dr. Pooja Jaeel, came together with members of Southern California’s ACP leadership in order to create a podcast focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the world of medicine.

Drs. Pooja Jaeel (Medicine/Pediatrics graduate 2021), Maggie Kozman (Medicine/Pediatrics graduate 2020), and DJ Gaines (Associate Director of Diversity for UCSD IM Residency and IM graduate 2020) continue to work as senior or executive producers of this podcast as its growth and the sharing of its stories, continues. You can learn more about the DEI shift at https://www.thedeishift.com/, or go straight to buzzsprout to download episodes for whatever application you use to listen to podcasts!


General Resources

Community Outreach Resources
DEI Resident Resource Repository
Meet Some of UCSD’s Diverse Faculty
Support Black-Owned Businesses in San Diego

Medical Spanish Resources

Spanish in the Medical Field (YouTube video)
Medical Spanish (podcast)
Practicing Spanish

Language Proficiency Assessment

Do you speak a language other than English? Request a proficiency test by emailing assessmentsteam@cyracom.com (CC: cralegre@health.ucsd.edu). In the email, you’ll need to include your name, the date/time you’d like to schedule your assessment, your phone number, and the language(s) to be assessed. You will receive an email confirmation. The assessment is a 30-minute phone evaluation that tests your ability to listen, understand, speak, and be understood in medical situations. Once the results are back, the UCSD Interpreter Services will reach out to you. If you pass the assessment, you will be allowed to communicate with your patients in the certified language.

Thanks for checking us out! If you have any specific questions, or as residents want to get involved in any particular initiatives, please reach out to the Chief Residents!