Member Spotlight: Shirley Wu, MD


AAIM Member Spotlight

Shirley Wu, MD

Shirley Wu, MD

Shirley Wu, MD
Associate Program Director
Department of Medicine
Los Angeles County-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

How long have you been a member of AAIM?

I’ve been a member for a year and a half since I became associate program director of the internal medicine residency program at Harbor UCLA, an academic county hospital focused on the underserved patient population in Los Angeles County.

Describe your typical day.

Similar to many other faculty members, we are in this because we like the variety. I’m trained in internal medicine primary care and did a fellowship in geriatrics. I divide my time with inpatient wards, geriatric consults, and outpatient. I have my own geriatric primary care clinic and am the medical director for the Internal Medicine Primary Care Clinic. As part of a hospital-based program, like many of our faculty I have administrative duties for our hospital. 

What is your favorite part of the job?

I enjoy trying to combine improving clinical care at the systems level with resident education. We have been trying to integrate quality improvement in our clinic for the last couple of years and began partnering with Toyota using their quality improvement process, LEAN. Toyota is located in our area and was looking to spread their improvement into other industries. They reached out to us and for the last year and a half our clinic built a team and looked at patient flow at the clinic. We had little resident involvement but I wanted to bring this to the resident curriculum. So residents who rotate in the clinic now participate.

How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?

I feel like I will benefit more as I progress in my career. It’s great to see what conversations are about on a larger scale and see that other program directors are having similar issues.

What's your favorite moment of your career so far?

My favorite moment was bringing together the integrated LEAN team in our primary care clinic, including nurses, residents, front desk staff, and faculty to discuss quality improvement. It was a real team effort discussing our approach to quality care.

What was your childhood dream job?

I wanted to be an archaeologist and go on digs.

How do you spend your free time?

I live in LA and like to take advantage of the city’s culture from the ethnic restaurants to the art exhibits. I recently went to an art exhibit in an abandoned hospital where the art on display explored the human condition.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I like to play the ukulele.