People

Meet the Faculty

Soma Wali, MD, FACP

Chair of Medicine

Olive View-UCLA Medical Center

Executive Vice-Chair

UCLA Affiliated Hospitals

Professor of Clinical Medicine

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Since joining the faculty at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in 1998, Dr. Wali has been passionate and devoted to the continual improvement and quality of medical education for medical students, residents, fellows and faculty.

She received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MD from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Chicago in 1994. She completed residency training from 1994-1997 in Internal Medicine at the Olive View-UCLA Program; followed by one additional year as Chief Resident. In 1998, she accepted a faculty position and completed a two-year medical education fellowship at UCLA.

Dr. Wali served as Associate Program Director for the Olive View-UCLA Program from 2000 to 2003, after which she was asked to be program director in 2003. After assuming this role full-time, Dr. Wali continually strives to improve medical teaching through the introduction of innovative new curricular and clinical experiences.

Dr. Wali has served as the Inpatient and Outpatient Internal Medicine Clerkship Director for the UCLA 3rd year medical students at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center for over a decade and still is very active in the education and training of our UCLA medical students both at Olive View and at UCLA. Due to her dedication to teaching and commitment to providing medical students with the best educational experience, the Internal Medicine rotation is one of the highest rated UCLA 3rd year student clerkships for the last 11 years in a row.

Since joining Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and University of California, Los Angeles, she has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards from students and residents. In 1999, she received the UCLA School of Medicine Teaching Appreciation Award and the VA Sepulveda Medical Center Teaching Appreciation Award; in 2000 she received the best teacher award by residents. In 2004 she was the recipient of the Award of Excellence in Medical Education at UCLA, which is one of the highest honors given to a faculty member. In 2005, she was recognized by the Society of General Internal Medicine with the Clinician-Educator Award, an award given to one educator per year in the State of California. The UCLA medical student graduating class of 2007 awarded Dr. Wali the Golden Apple Award of Excellence in Teaching. In 2007, she also was recognized in Japan as an outstanding Educator. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Laureate Award from American College of Physicians. In 2009, she was recognized for her humanitarian work in South Africa. In 2011, she received the Golden Apple Award of Excellence in Teaching again from the UCLA class of 2011 and in the same year, she received the Physician of the Year Award at Olive View UCLA Medical Center. In 2012, she was honored at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with the Serge & Yvette Dadone Award of Excellence in Clinical Teaching.

Dr. Wali has been locally and nationally very involved with American College of Physicians and has served in many leadership roles. Due to her active involvement and contributions over the years, Dr. Wali was elected as the Governor for American College of Physicians in Southern California Region I in 2012, serving a four year term until 2016. In her role as an ACP Governor, she has started many new programs for medical students, residents, fellows and physicians in Los Angeles and she continues to make a difference in the lives of the internists in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. She is also very involved at the national level and attends the ACP Leadership day in Washington DC at the Capitol Hill, meeting every year with members of Congress on behalf of internists to promote health care and primary care interests. She received the Evergreen Award by National ACP in 2014 for starting an Exchange program for Japanese residents and faculty, and for her role in making a difference in education and training of residents and faculty internationally. Dr. Wali passion for global health has led her to contribute to educational programs around the world. She has visited countries such as India, Thailand, South Africa, Peru, Egypt, Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Vietnam and Cambodia. Her goal is to share her knowledge of medical education and medical care with educators around the world and help train outstanding physicians internationally.

Dr. Wali is highly sought after as a lecturer. She has been invited to give several presentations at regional, national and international conferences with the American College of Physicians (ACP) and Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), as well as the European Academy of Medical Education. She has been invited to speak in Switzerland, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In 2007, she was invited as a visiting professor to multiple hospitals in Japan.

Dr. Wali continues to improve her clinical teaching skills as well as her leadership skills. In 2004 she was nominated to complete a healthcare executive training program at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. In 2006, she was selected to complete a month long faculty development training program in clinical teaching at Stanford University.

Her current goals include clinical research as well as research in medical education and Global Health. She has been involved in different research projects including "Obesity in Diabetics", "Diabetic Group clinic" and most recently, she was the principle investigator on a clinical research project entitled: "Gene Therapy and Wound Healing in Patients with Diabetic Foot Ulcers." She is also involved in numerous medical education research studies, as she is striving to establish greater research opportunities for residents and medical students at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. More recently, she has started several new Health Services Research projects and has received grant funding to improve access to primary care.

Dr. Wali has served as the Director of Clinical Operations and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Medicine for a number of years, but in 2013, after a nationwide search, she was selected as the new Chair for the Department of Medicine at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. Due to her dedication to Medical Education and Training of Residents and Students, she continues to serve as the Residency Program Director and can provide even more support to teaching in her new role as the Chair of the Department. Dr. Wali works very closely with University of California, Los Angeles Department of Medicine and was recently asked to serve as the new Executive Vice-Chair of Medicine for all UCLA Affiliated Hospitals.