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Ross I. Donaldson

Adjunct Associate Professor


DepartmentsType of Faculty
EpidemiologyPart Time
Contact Information

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Division of Emergency Medicine
1000 West Carson Street, Box 21
Torrance, California 90509

Areas of Interest: 

Injury and Violence Epidemiology; International Health

Dr. Donaldson is the Director of the Emergency Medicine Global Health Program at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and holds appointments in the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health.  Featured on CNN, BBC, NPR, and other media outlets, Dr. Donaldson is the critically acclaimed author of The Lassa Ward, a memoir about international aid work, as well as other medical texts and software, such as the popular WikEM smart-phone application for emergency clinicians that was ranked as one of the best hand-held emergency medicine applications in 2011. 


Dr. Donaldson’s research focuses on the development of emergency and disaster care systems in low- and middle-income countries, and he has been the principal investigator on over $15 million dollars worth of related grants.  His funders have included the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (AusAID), Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, European Commission, United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and World Bank, among others.  His research focuses on the development and improvement of emergency care systems, conflict-related injury burden, community KAP studies, and disaster training.  Recent peer reviewed publications include papers in Annals of Emergency Medicine, Journal of Trauma, and Journal of Pediatrics, among others.


Dr. Donaldson has worked around the globe, in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.  He has been the lead architect of national emergency care plans in several countries and has spearheaded the training of thousands of EMTs, nurses, and doctors.  In Iraq alone, he has led the instruction of over ten thousand Iraqis and the development and quality improvement of pre-hospital and hospital-based emergency systems countrywide.  Among other honors, he received the Humanitarian Award from the California chapter of American College of Emergency Physicians in 2010.

Selected Publications: 

Donaldson RI, Hasson T, Aziz S, Ansari W, Evans G. “The Development of Civilian Emergency Medical Care During an Insurgency: Current Status and Future Outlook.” Annals of Emergency Medicine. August 2010. 56(2): 172-177.


 Donaldson RI, Hung Y, Shanovich P, Hasoon T, Evans G. “Injury Burden during an Insurgency:  The Untold Trauma of Infrastructure Breakdown in Baghdad, Iraq.” Journal of Trauma. December 2010. 69(6): 1379-1385.


 Donaldson RI, Mulligan DA, Nugent K, Cabral M, Saleeby ER, Ansari W, Tajer S, Gausche-Hill M.  “Using Tele-Education to Train Civilian Physicians in an Area of Active Conflict: Certifying Iraqi Physicians in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) from the United States.”  Journal of Pediatrics.  September 2011. 159(3): 507-509.e1


Shanovich PK, Donaldson RI, Hung YW, Hasoon T, Evans GE.  “Iraqi Community Members’ Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Emergency Medical Care: Assessing Civilian Emergency Medicine in an Area of Conflict.”  Medicine, Conflict & Survival.  2012. 27:3, 151-164


Donaldson RI, Aziz S, Clark E, Shetty P, Morton M, Evans G.  “A Survey of National Physicians Working in an Active Conflict Zone: The Challenges of Medical Care in Iraqi Emergency Departments.”  Prehospital Disaster Medicine. 2012;27(2):1-9


Baghdassarian A, Donaldson R, DePiero A, Chernett N, Sule H.  “Pediatric Emergency Medical Care in Yerevan, Armenia: A knowledge and attitudes survey of out-of-hospital Emergency Physicians.”  International Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2014, 7:11. DOI: 10.1186/1865-1380-7-11