Your 2024-2025 Internal Medicine chief residents, the X-Factors!

Marcus Munoz

Primary Care Chief Resident

Marcus Muñoz, MD
Pronouns: he/him/his

Marcus grew up in Monroe, Washington in the beautiful and slightly rainier Pacific Northwest. He fell in love with California while attending Stanford University and studying Human Biology with a concentration in Infectious Disease and Epidemiology. After undergraduate studies he moved to Iowa for medical school where he continued to foster his interest in neglected tropical diseases researching leishmaniasis. He was ecstatic to return to the West Coast and move to Los Angeles for internal medicine residency at UCLA where he continues to be involved in the global health track. He is interested infectious disease, critical care medicine, and medical education. In his free time you can find him outdoors with family and friends trying to catch waves in the Pacific Ocean or trout in the streams of the Sierra Nevada.

Chief Residents in Quality and Safety

Mona Deng

Xiaomeng "Mona" Deng, MD
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Born and raised in Beijing, Mona immigrated to the U.S. alone after graduating from high school. She started calling Los Angeles her home when she moved here to attend medical school at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She fell in love with the UCLA internal medicine community and chose to stay for residency training. During her residency, she was a part of the Medical Education Pathway and POCUS curriculum. She is excited about her QI chief role next year and plans to pursue fellowship training in pulmonology and critical care medicine afterward. Outside the hospital, Mona enjoys escape rooms, basketball, and spending quality time with her friends. 

Tina Kantaria

Tina Kantaria, MD
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Tina is originally from the Bay Area and stayed close to home for her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, where she received a degree in microbial biology. Despite her Bay Area pride, she could not resist the draw of coming to UCLA for medical school. Here, she found a newfound interest in quality improvement and medical education, and most importantly, an inspiring and compassionate community in the UCLA IM program residents. As a rising chief, she is excited to build further on her interest in QI and is grateful to have the opportunity to give back to her community of co-residents, mentors, and patients who have taught her so much. Outside of work, you can find Tina keeping up with the latest movies, enjoying picnics at LA’s many farmers markets, and searching for the best pasta in town.

Ronald Reagan Medical Center/Santa Monica Hospital Chief Residents

Lauren Caldemeyer

Lauren Caldemeyer, MD
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Lauren was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She first made her way to the West Coast to attend Stanford University, where she competed on the women’s gymnastics team for two years and received her BA in Human Biology. After graduation, Lauren worked in cancer research before moving south to attend Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She then ventured west again to join UCLA’s Internal Medicine Program and is thrilled to be remaining in the UCLA IM community as a chief resident. She hopes to pursue hospital medicine. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys traveling, attending Dodgers games, reading, cooking, and exploring the vast Los Angeles food scene.

Sergio de la Torre

Sergio De La Torre, MD
Pronouns: he/him/his

Sergio was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. He attended Brown University and received a Bachelor of Science with honors in biological sciences. After graduation, he spent a few years in Boston conducting research in precision medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital before moving to New York City to attend Weill Cornell Medical School. As a proud Mexican American, his continued passions include addressing health disparities and improving representation in medicine. While in residency at UCLA, Sergio has served on multiple executive board committees including David Geffen School of Medicine’s Faculty Executive Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and UCLA’s Minority Housestaff Organization. In the future, Sergio hopes to remain in academic medicine and to pursue a career in gastroenterology with an interest in hepatology. Sergio is excited to serve as one of UCLA’s internal medicine chiefs and hopes to build upon this program that he already calls home.

Kyle Udd Garnica

Kyle Udd-Garnica, MD
Pronouns: he/him/his

Kyle Udd-Garnica was born in California and spent his early years roasting in the Phoenix sun before returning home to LA where he attended USC and received his undergraduate degree in Economics.  Kyle didn’t have to stray too far for his medical training, and he received his MD from UCSD. After 4 years in the marginally cloudier weather, he was ecstatic to remain close to home and complete his residency at UCLA. He is passionate about medical education and point-of-care ultrasound and joined both the medical education pathway and evening ultrasound seminar series during residency to pursue his interests. Kyle is planning to pursue a cardiology fellowship with an interest in general cardiovascular health, primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease and a special interest in Sports Cardiology. When not in the hospital Kyle finds ways to stay active - either weightlifting, hiking, running, rowing, playing basketball or snowboarding. He loves spending time with his wife Natalie and chasing after their two small children, Daniel and Adrian.

Nate Vanderveen

Nathan VanderVeen, MD
Pronouns: he/him/his

Nate was born and raised in Southwest Michigan but feels right at home in sunny southern California! He grew up in rural Allegan, MI in a family of funeral directors before moving to Ann Arbor to study biochemistry and Spanish at the University of Michigan. A Fulbright brought him to Brazil for a year before medical school at Western Michigan University, and finally, home to UCLA for a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency. Nate is passionate about medical education, caring for medically complex young people and adults, and global health, and he hopes to become an academic Med-Peds hospitalist after serving as an RR/SM Chief. When he is not at the hospital, you can find Nate biking to/from a tennis court, fielding health-related questions about his friends’ kids, and eating street tacos around LA.

Greater Los Angeles VA Chief Residents

Kush Fansiwala

Kush Fansiwala, MD
Pronouns: he/him/his

Kush was born and raised in Albany, New York before venturing to the big city for undergrad, majoring in Economics with minors in Chemistry and Public Health from New York University. He stayed at NYU for medical school before traveling across the country to join the amazing UCLA internal medicine community. During residency, Kush has had a particular interest in evidenced-based medicine and research, parts of the internal medicine curriculum which he hopes to continue to bolster as a chief. After chief year, Kush plans to pursue a fellowship in gastroenterology. In his free time, he enjoys going on hikes with his dog, golfing, and playing pickleball with his co-residents.

Christopher Lees

Christopher Lees, MD
Pronouns: he/him/his

A native Southern Californian, Chris was born and raised in Thousand Oaks and later attended the University of Southern California where he studied human biology. After traveling up to the Bay Area to earn his medical degree from the UCSF School of Medicine, he returned to Los Angeles to join UCLA’s incredible Internal Medicine Residency Program. He has enjoyed working in the Medical Education Pathway and hopes to continue and grow his passion for teaching while serving as a chief resident. He plans to continue his training by pursuing a fellowship in cardiology. You can catch Chris playing tennis, exploring LA’s endless food scene, and rooting for his USC Trojans and Lakers.

Justin Song

Justin Song, MD
Pronouns: he/him/his

Justin was born in New Jersey and grew up in Orange County and San Diego. He majored in Molecular Biology at Princeton University and received his MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Justin was excited to return to the west coast for residency at UCLA and enjoyed participating in cardiology clinical research and in the Health Systems Management Pathway. He likes to spend his free time exploring restaurants, reading, hiking, and playing/watching basketball and soccer.