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Resident Profiles

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Resident Profiles

2013-2014 Housestaff Roster Poster (PDF)

Resident Spotlights

  Michelle Aguilar, PGY-3
  Where you are from: Geographically, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA (southeast LA area).  Ethnically, I am Ecuadorian-American.  Academically, I went to USC for undergrad and UCLA for medical school.
What your interests are in residency/career/future (ideal job, fellowship, research or other): Working with medically underserved communities both locally and internationally has always been a strong interest of mine.  I hope to practice general pediatrics in a community clinic (ideally in the LA area) while continuing partnerships with international non-profit organizations.
Why you chose UCLA: As a medical student at UCLA, I had the opportunity to work closely with the pediatric faculty and residents here.  It was such an amazing experience!
I knew I wanted to continue to work with inspiring faculty and residents who truly care about you and your education/training, and work with a diverse patient population in a variety of hospital settings.
What you love about Los Angeles or life in LA: It's home.  To those who are not familiar with Los Angeles, the weather here is amazing. We have lovely beaches, great hiking trails, Disneyland, the Hollywood bowl, Griffith Park Observatory and several other fun places to visit when you have a day off.
What you might want an interested resident to know or advice (or a fun fact about yourself):  When interviewing for residency programs take time to interact with the residents and faculty, attend the optional social events, plan a second look visit, and consider doing an elective at your program of interest as all these experiences will help you figure out if the program is a good fit for you. Good luck and enjoy your fourth year of medical school! 

  Jason Aragon, PGY-3
Where you are from: I'm from rural New Mexico, a mountain town with nothing more than a post-office, general store, and an elementary school.  However, what it lacks in population it makes up for in outdoor adventures with amazing views. I went to undergrad and medical school in NM, so residency is the first time I've ventured out of my home state.
What your interests are in residency/career/future (ideal job, fellowship, research or other): My interests are steering me towards Hematology/Oncology. I find the disease processes fascinating, and despite all the time I've spent in school it seems these patients are the ones teaching me something new.
Why you chose UCLA: My initial interest in UCLA was actually unrelated to medicine. UCLA was the home of legendary leader and coach John Wooden and I thought it would be great to be around a university with such leadership history. I found in my interview that the program offered a wide breadth of experiences perfect for someone who had not yet decided what field in pediatrics to pursue. Great experiences in all the subspecialties, combined with amazing co-residents, easily pushed UCLA up my rank list.
What you love about Los Angeles or life in LA: LA was a huge change for me, having lived in NM all my life. After adjusting to the culture shock I've only now begun to scratch the surface of the varied adventures LA has to offer. Lately, I've become a big fan of the live music scene and weekends at the beach.
What you might want an interested resident to know or advice (or a fun fact about yourself): Pick a program where you know you will be happy. No matter what residency you choose you will learn a lot, but things will be tough at times. Remember the advice of John Wooden; "Don't let making a living prevent you from making a life."
 

  Neil Gholkar, PGY-2
  Where you are from:  My roots were firmly planted in frigid Upstate New York until my family decided to move to Arizona during my first year of undergrad.   I got fed up hearing about the beautiful winters in Phoenix while I was dealing with my frost-bitten nose, and decided to follow them out West.  I was at the University of Arizona for medical school and have now fallen in love with Southern California. What you interests are in residency/career/future (ideal job, fellowship, research or other): One of the main reasons I chose UCLA for residency was because of their strong commitment to community health and advocacy.  I've always envisioned my future job as one that equally involved both clinical medicine and grassroots initiatives to improve public health.  I'm also very passionate about global health and a recently founded a small organization in Uganda geared at reducing malnutrition rates through infrastructure improvements at a village hospital.   Why you chose UCLA:  When I was on the interview trail, one of my mentors told me that at the end of each interview day, stop outside the hospital, close your eyes, and ask yourself, "would I be happy here."  I honestly felt that I would be happy here at UCLA, and can tell you now that I'm proud to be here for my training.  I was impressed with their dedication to teaching and resident work-life balance.  And above all, I wanted a program that would support my dreams of becoming a competent physician and strong community advocate.    What you love about Los Angeles or life in LA:  What's not to love?! Coming from suburbia in New York, living in Los Angeles is a dream come true!  The proximity to beaches, museums, and incredible restaurants- there's never a dull moment (or cloudy day) in LA.  I highly recommend driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, it's where you'll find me and my camera on a day off. What you might want an interested resident to know or advice (or a fun fact about yourself):  If you're looking for a program that will challenge you and help you develop into a confident and well-rounded pediatrician, then look no further than UCLA.  We train in an incredibly warm and supportive environment, and honestly, you can't find a better place to hang out on your days off. 
 

  Kelly Haas, PGY-3
Where are you from: I was born in New Mexico, and I grew up in Northern California.
What your interests are in residency/career/future (ideal job, fellowship, research or other): I will be starting a Pediatric Gastroenterology fellowship when I finish residency, and I hope to pursue my interest in inflammatory bowel disease.
Why you chose UCLA: I loved how supportive, friendly, and fun-loving the residents are.  I also thought UCLA offered a unique training experience at a variety of training sites from a large university hospital, to a county facility, to a private hospital that would provide the best possible training for my future career.
What you love about Los Angeles or life in LA: Los Angeles is an amazing city with countless things to do!  I love rollerblading on the beach with my husband, hiking in Griffith Park, or going out to eat.
What you might want an interested resident to know or advice (or a fun fact about yourself): I would say to just trust your gut!  UCLA Pediatrics is a wonderful program, and I have been so happy as a resident here.
 

 Andy Newcomer, PGY-2
  Where you are from: Bonne Terre, Missouri
What you interests are in residency/career/future (ideal job, fellowship, research or other): Heme-Onc, general pediatrics
Why you chose UCLA: I chose UCLA because I loved the residents I met on my interview day. You can get wonderful training in so many programs, but if you don't enjoy the people you're working with it's just not worth it.  I also liked the fact that we're trained in so many different settings; we get exposure to different types of patients with different levels of access to care which I think is really wonderful.
What you love about Los Angeles or life in LA: I've lived in L.A. on and off for over a decade and I'll admit I didn't love it at first.  I moved here from New York City and just felt like this city was so spread out that it was hard to find the place where I best fit in.  Even now I'm still discovering new parts of the city I never knew existed.  I came back here after medical school because I love the weather, the people, the restaurants, the night life.  There's a great gay community here.  When people say they don't like L.A. I always tell them they just haven't found the right area yet, because there is truly a place for everyone here. 

                                    

 Ashley Plant, PGY-3
Where are you from: I am from Orange County. I went to med school at Stanford.
What you interests are in residency/career/future (ideal job, fellowship, research or other): My future career starts with heme/onc fellowship at Boston Children's then hopefully a job in academic neuro-oncology.
Why you chose UCLA: I chose UCLA because there was a lot of exposure to heme/onc and other subspecialities and residents were involved in very high acuity care. Also, there were many research opportunities. Most importantly, I could live a few blocks from the beach and run along the water as a way to de-stress from residency or post call.
What you love about Los Angeles or life in LA: I love LA life because of the diversity. You can spend all day on the beach one day and then drive down the block to the Getty Center or hike in the Malibu hills or spend your whole residency trying out all of the awesome restaurants. There is something for everybody.
                                                               

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