Dr. Victor Alvarez graduated with honors from University of Guadalajara in 2002. During his last year of medical school, he provided primary care and evidence-based preventive strategies to twelve rural communities and was awarded the excellent social service diploma. After graduating medical school, he competed for an orthopedic residency position at La Salle University. During his four years of intense residency training, he accepted the responsibility of chief resident of Orthopedics and later as chief resident of hospital training. After graduation, he worked as primary care physician and board-certified orthopedic surgeon in both a public hospital and private office. In 2010, Dr. Alvarez moved to California to pursue his dream of becoming a U.S. licensed physician. Dr. Alvarez is very excited about providing bilingual and multicultural health care to underserved populations in California. A long-term goal is to become a faculty member of a Family Medicine residency training program aimed at improving health care disparities. Dr. Alvarez was selected as a UCLA International Medical Graduate Program scholar in June 2011 and will join the faculty and residents of the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program.
Dr. Hector Arreaza was born and raised in Venezuela. He graduated cum laude from the Romulo Gallegos University Medical School in San Juan de los Morros. After graduating from medical school, he accepted a one-year position as a medical director in a rural clinic in Parapara, Guarico State, where he provided urgent, primary and emergency care. He left Venezuela for a two year mission in Salt Lake City, Utah and while there, he decided to become a U.S. licensed family physician. While in Salt Lake City, Dr. Arreaza volunteered as a medical interpreter in various primary care and urgent care settings serving uninsured and refugee populations. Further, he was featured on BYU TV as a medical consultant. In 2013, Hector graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program. Dr. Arreaza will begin residency training at Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program, a teaching health center of Clinica Sierra Vista located in Bakersfield. He is eager to utilize his medical knowledge and language skills in underserved areas of California.
Dr. Rafael Chiquillo graduated from the Universidad de El Salvador in 2005. During his last year of medical school he provided primary care and practiced preventive medicine in the community of Quezaltepeque, La Libertad, El Salvador. After graduation, he practiced for two years in his native town, San Salvador, as a general practitioner before moving to the U.S. to pursue specialized training in Family Medicine. Once in the U.S., Rafael worked as a mental health counselor. In 2013, he graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program, and continues to volunteer at the Department of Family Medicine's safety net clinic facilitating physician-patient communication. In July 2014, Dr. Chiquillo will begin his training at the Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program, a teaching health center of Clinica Sierra Vista, located in Bakersfield.
Dr. Nadra Farmer Crawford was born and raised in Los Angeles. During middle school she was mentored by a group of female physicians and participated in medical missions to Trinidad & Tobago. Through these experiences, she learned first-hand how physicians could have a positive impact on individuals and communities. She attended the King/Drew Medical Magnet High School where students were encouraged to pursue a professional health career. During her clinical exposure at the King/Drew Medical Center, she witnessed the significant communication barriers between doctors and native Spanish speaking patients, and this influenced her decision to major in Spanish at Colby College in Waterville, ME. After college, she earned a scholarship to attend the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, Cuba where she spent six-years studying community-based medicine and emerged fluent in Spanish. Nadra is a 2013 UCLA International Medical Graduate scholar and will begin her training at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program.
Dr. Desta Ellis was raised in southern California in the culturally diverse inner city of Long Beach, California. Growing up in a family deeply rooted in community service and outreach she witnessed first-hand the socioeconomic disadvantages inner city youth faced in her community. She wanted to make a difference through education and become an urban middle school science teacher. However, during her undergraduate studies at Hampton University, she became intrigued with the medical sciences and realized her greater calling to medicine. Being African American, Desta recognized early on the need for more culturally diverse doctors in medicine. After receiving her B.S. in Biology, she participated in the Medical Minority Education Program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and this solidified her decision to become a doctor. Desta accepted a full scholarship to the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba and during her studies, in addition to becoming fluent in Spanish; she gained a deeper appreciation and awareness of the need for cultural competency and sensitivity in the medical workforce. As a bilingual culturally conscious physician Desta is committed to use these skills to help combat many of the health disparities that plague medically underserved communities. As an alumna of the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program, she is excited to begin residency at Kaweah Delta Family Medicine Residency Program.
Dr. Josue Fong-Balart was born and raised Cuba where he received his medical degree from the Highest Institute of Medical Sciences of Santiago de Cuba. During medical school, he received a research merit award and graduated with the prestigious "Titulo de Oro," Cuba's highest academic excellence award. After completing a Family Medicine residency training program, he was selected for a joint health program between Cuba and Venezuela. While in Venezuela, he started his residency training in Ophthalmology. After four years of providing medical attention to poor populations, he sought political refugee status in the U.S. Dr. Balart graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program in 2013 and will join the Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program, a teaching health center of Clinica Sierra Vista located in Bakersfield. Dr. Fong-Balart plans to work in California's underserved communities because he strongly believes that they are the most affected by health inequalities.
Dr. Jesus Lehi Garcia attended the Universidad de Guadalajara's Faculty of Medicine. There, he developed his passion for teaching while assisting faculty to educate fourth-year medical students. He defined his future goals while working with underserved populations in the Hospital General de Occidente. When he finished his medical training, he moved to the U.S. to broaden his educational and medical residency opportunities. He is a graduate of the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program. He will begin his residency training at New York Medical College Family Residency Program at St. Joseph's where he will continue to learn medicine and serve populations in need.
Dr. Hamlet Garcia-Pena was born and raised in Cuba, where he graduated from the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences of Santiago de Cuba. After completing a combined Family Medicine and Ophthalmology residency, he was selected for a joint health program between Cuba and Bolivia. After providing medical attention to poor populations, he sought political asylum in the U.S. Once in the U.S., he worked in the mental health field as a Direct Support Professional. In 2013, Dr. Garcia-Pena graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program. Hamlet will begin his Family Medicine residency at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program. He plans to work for an underserved community in California, where he can help those most in need.
Dr. Karla Gomez was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and immigrated to Los Angeles when she was seven years old. She resided in Los Angeles until age eighteen when she returned to her native country. In 2008, she received her medical degree from the National University of El Salvador. After graduating medical school, she returned to Los Angeles to fulfill her dream of becoming a family physician. From 2008 to 2011 Karla worked at Clinica Monsenor Romero as a youth program coordinator, where she was responsible for conducting community outreach, family planning and providing presentations to high school students. In 2013, she graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program and will begin her Family Medicine training at Riverside County Regional Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico Dr. Claudia Lopez grew up in Los Angeles and returned to her native country at age fourteen. She graduated in 2002 from the University of Guadalajara and worked as a primary care physician in underserved communities. In 2008, she completed an Otolaryngology residency program in Mexico City. She practiced her specialty and primary care for two years in a public hospital and private office. In 2010, she returned to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a U.S. licensed family physician, and expanding her medical knowledge. She graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program in 2013. In June 2014, she joins the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program and is very excited about the opportunity to provide bicultural and multi-cultural health care to vulnerable families in underserved communities.
Dr. Marcus Medina is a native Angelino, born and raised in East Los Angeles. He earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California majoring in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. While serving as an executive officer on USC's Chicanos/Latinos for Health Education Committee, he organized U.S./Mexico border health fairs for vulnerable populations. He graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine, and later from UCLA's International Medical Graduate Program, he looks forward to providing quality health care in underserved communities to render healthier outcomes. In June, Marcus will begin his three-year Family Medicine residency training at Natividad Medical Center Family Residency Program.
Dr. Carmen Morales, a Mexican American with Native American ancestry, grew up on the Tijuana side of the U.S. / Mexican border. In 2009, she graduated with honors from the Centro de Estudios Universitarios Xoxchicalco. After completing medical school, she worked as an urgent care physician in Tijuana, Mexico. A 2013 graduate of the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program, Carmen joins UCLA alumna Dr. Abigail Soto at the Eisenhower Family Medicine Residency Program.
Dr. Hendry Perez graduated with honors from the Institute of Medical Sciences of Havana in 2005. Thereafter, he completed a combined Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine residency training program providing care to disadvantaged populations in Cuba and Venezuela. In 2009, he immigrated to the U.S in a quest for freedom and to advance his knowledge and skills and provide care to California's undeserved communities. After completing the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program, he looks forward to joining the UCLA Family Medicine Residency.
A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Gian Pinot earned a B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Puerto Rico. After graduation, he moved to New York and earned an English language teaching credential which provided him the opportunity to work with adult English students in Paris, Seoul, and Prague. While in Prague, he realized that his true passion was medicine and graduated from the First Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. Dr. Pinot is a 2013 UCLA International Medical Graduate and will begin his Family Medicine residency training at Sutter Health Sacramento Family Medicine Residency Program.
Dr. Adan Romero attended medical school at the National University of El Salvador. In 2009, he completed a Pediatric residency at El Salvador's National Children's Hospital. In 2011, he moved to the United States to pursue medical licensure and graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program in 2013. He begins his three-year Family Medicine residency training at Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program, a teaching health center of Clinica Sierra Vista, located in Bakersfield. Here, he will pursue his dream of becoming an outstanding family physician and serving those who are in need of healthcare.
Dr. Michelle Ventura was born in Los Angeles, California but grew up El Salvador. She graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Santa Ana in El Salvador. After graduation, she returned to the U.S. and taught basic sciences to allied health professionals. A 2013 UCLA International Medical Graduate Program scholar, Dr. Ventura is excited to begin her residency training at the Hanford Family Practice Residency Program. Here, she will join former UCLA alumna, Drs. Patricia Cabrera, Carolina Abrew, Evelyn Jimenez and Oscar Cook.