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Message from Dean Deborah Prothrow-Stith

Dean StithCharles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) has accomplished the dream of opening a medical school in the Watts-Compton-Willowbrook area in South Los Angeles. CDU has received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which is big step closer to our mission of serving the 1.3 million residents of South Los Angeles by focusing on health for under-resourced communities, training physician leaders, increasing education and career opportunities, and providing sustained economic benefit.

Opening a medical school here on the CDU campus has been a longstanding dream of this community and now is a critical time to step up. The COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities highlighted the enduring health disparities by race in America. CDU, with its 56-year history of training diverse physicians, nurses, and physician assistants, is prepared for this next step of operating its accredited MD program. It is time for CDU to do more of what it does well – training diverse physician leaders who understand social justice and are experts at serving under-resourced communities.

The curriculum for the new medical degree program is based on the CDU Advantage, a set of institutional learning objectives that include:

  • Research Experience: Excellence in Specialized Knowledge and Research.
  • Social Justice: Advocacy based on broad cultural diversity awareness.
  • Global-International Experience:  A focus on comparative health disparities in the global setting.
  • Community Engagement: Experiential Education through engagement with underserved communities.
  • Health Policy: Education focused on the sociopolitical dynamics of health as a key part of leadership training and development.

In addition to outstanding Clinical and Basic Science Faculty, CDU’s Community Faculty are critical to the training in cultural competence, asset-based approaches to community engagement, and Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Community Faculty connect CDU to its surrounding communities in ways that enhance the research, teaching, and service.

As the University embarks on this new chapter in its history, important milestones have been achieved. CDU ranks at the top of the national rankings in faculty diversity, all-campus diversity, and status as a value-added institution. The addition of our MD program allows us to do more of what we do well, in service to South Los Angeles, the larger county, the state, and the nation. We thank you for your support and interest in Charles R. Drew University.

Warm Regards,
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD
Dean, College of Medicine

4-Year MD Program Timeline

4 Year MD Program Timeline



Meet the Team 

Key Team Members


Pre-Clerkship Phase Faculty 








  • LaShonda Spencer LaShonda Spencer, MD – FM 4 - Immunology/Microbiology 






  • Lisa Barkley Lisa Barkley, MD– Medicine and Society I and II & OS 3 - Musculoskeletal/Rheum/Skin










  • Lucilene Tolentino Lucilene Tolentino, MD – OS 2 - Renal/Urologic/GI



  • Gul Ebrahim, MD – Clinical Skills I and II & OS 5 - Nervous System/Behavior 
  • Sayaka Tokumitsu, MD, MPH – Clinical Skills I and II
  • Rosalyn (Scott) Ferguson, MD, MSHA – Co-Director of FM 1 - Anatomy/Medical Physiology & Director of OS 1 - Cardiovascular/Respiratory 
  • Basil Ibe, PhD - Director of FM 3 – Biochemistry/Metabolism 
  • Fawzia Bardag-Gorce, PhD – Director of FM 3 - Biochemistry/Metabolism 
  • Alexander Rodgers, MD, MPH – FM 5 - Pharmacology/Pathology & Co-Director of Medicine and Society I and II
  • Brian Yee, MD – FM 5 - Pharmacology/Pathology
  • Melanie Osby, MD – Director of Pharmacology/Pathology 
  • Faith Ough – FM 5 - Pharmacology/Pathology
  • Chandra Smart, MD – FM 2 - Medical Genetics/Embryology/Histology
  • Eva McGhee, Phd, MS – Director of FM 2 - Medical Genetics/Embryology/Histology
  • Darlene Parker Kelly, EdD, MSLS – Foundation of Research I and II
  • Jay Vadgama, PhD – Foundation of Research I and II
  • Junko Nishitani, PhD – Foundation of Research I and II
  • Magda Shaheen, MD, PhD – Foundation of Research I and II
  • Robert Jenders, MD, MS – Foundation of Research I and II
  • Stacey Teruya, EdD – Foundation of Research I and II
  • Bita Amani, PhD, MHS – Medicine and Society I and II 
  • Cynthia Davis, MPH – Medicine and Society I and II
  • Sheba George, PhD – Director of Medicine and Society I and II & Service Learning
  • Arthur W. Fleming, MD – OS 1 - Cardiovascular/Respiratory
  • George Marks, MD – OS 1 - Cardiovascular/Respiratory
  • Jimmy Hara, MD – OS1 - Cardiovascular/Respiratory, OS 3 - Musculoskeletal/Rheum/Skin, OS 7 - Blood & Lymphoreticular & Service Learning
  • Stanley Frencher, MD, MPH – Director of OS 2- Renal/Urologic/GI
  • Sural Shah, MD – OS 2 - Renal/Urologic/GI
  • Nickolas Fulginiti Fretes, MD –  Director of OS 3 - Musculoskeletal/Rheum/Skin
  • Carol Archie, MD – OS 4 - Endocrinology/Reproductive 
  • Jacqueline Allen, MD – OS 4 - Endocrinology/Reproductive
  • Stanley Hsia, MD – OS 4 - Director of Endocrinology/Reproductive
  • Daniel Cho, MD, MPH – OS 5 - Nervous System/Behavior
  • Sandra Gonzalez, PhD – OA 5 - Nervous System/Behavior
  • Barbara Yates, MD – OS 6 - Ophthalmic/Otolaryngolic 
  • Halline Overby, MD –  OS 6 - Ophthalmic/Otolaryngolic 
  • Lauren Daskivich, MD, MS – OS 6 - Ophthalmic/Otolaryngolic 
  • Hector Llenderrozos, MD – OS 7 - Blood and Lymphoreticular 
  • Kenechukwu Ojukwu, MD, MPP – OS 7 - Blood and Lymphoreticular 

Clerkship Directors 


Accreditation Status 

Received WSCUC Final Approval, Awarded Preliminary LCME Accreditation

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) has received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) for a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree program in October 2022. We are in the process of receiving full accreditation from the LCME. The LCME is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accreditation agency for medical education programs leading to the MD degree.

Effective October 15, 2021, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) awarded CDU final approval to implement the new degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Economic Impact Analysis

Key Findings

The Sharpest Scalpel 

The Sharpest Scalpel is the quarterly newsletter published by the College of Medicine. It was commissioned in 2019 by Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Dean of the College. As Editor/Writer. Dr. Lance Williams was given the responsibility of developing the newsletter into a full-fledged publication that depicts as many aspects of COM and CDU life as possible. 

Within the publication are a variety of regular features including the University’s Annual Match Day Celebration and Annual Student Research Colloquium, as well as timely interviews with a variety of on-campus decision-makers, notable CDU alums, as well as highly significant benefactors and donors.  

The Sharpest Scalpel has tracked the process of the planning and execution of the University’s 4-Year Medical School project and its impact on the larger community. During its time of publication, the newsletter has grown from a dozen-page news sheet to a well-received element of the CDU community. 

Read the Latest Article