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Center Programs

 

Medicine

  • Program Directors: Brian Kwan, MD & Meghan Sebasky, MD
  • Medicine Master Clinicians
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Dr. Sean Kenmore is an academic hospitalist at the VA and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UC San Diego. He received his M.D. from Creighton University and completed his Internal Medicine residency at UC San Diego, where he was also a Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Kenmore currently serves as Core Faculty for the UC San Diego Internal Medicine residency program. His interests include clinical education, curriculum development, and diversity, equity, and inclusivity, especially related to sexual and gender minority health and wellness. Outside of work, he enjoys cooking, coffee, and martial arts; he also runs an ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honors medical society.
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Dr. David Malinak is an academic hospitalist at the VA San Diego and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSD. He received his M.D. from the UCSD School of Medicine. He subsequently stayed at UCSD to complete his internal medicine residency, receiving the Humanism in Medicine award. Dr. Malinak currently does research in food insecurity and conservatorship for adults with dementia. He founded the Food Rx Project to alleviate food insecurity at the UCSD Free Clinic, where he enjoys volunteering. Dr. Malinak is an enthusiastic, encouraging teacher who is passionate about creating a welcoming learning environment. Outside of medicine, he enjoys singing, playing guitar, gardening, and writing fiction novels. He is also prone to showing students endless pictures of his goofy goldendoodle puppy.  
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Dr. Scott Mullaney is an academic nephrologist and professor at UC San Diego. He received his MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Alabama Birmingham and Nephrology fellowship training at UC San Diego. Dr. Mullaney currently serves as Associate Dean for CME and Faculty Teaching Development for UC San Diego School of Medicine and clinical service chief for the Division of Nephrology. Dr. Mullaney has centered his time at UC San Diego on education, serving as a leader in fellowship, residency, medical student and now faculty training. He believes in creating an environment where education is innovative, fun, rewarding, and provides growth for the educator as well as the learner. Outside of the hospital you will find Dr. Mullaney cycling around San Diego or (very slowly) learning to play guitar.  He is also a passionate supporter of the new local professional soccer teams in San Diego. Dr. Mullaney is a past recipient of the Internal Medicine Graduating House Staff Teaching Award in 2009, 2011, and 2012; the Internal Medicine Chief Residents’ Teaching award in 2004 and 2006; and the Department of Medicine Distinguished Service Award in 2018.

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Dr. Sherry Zhang is an academic hospitalist and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UC San Diego. She received her M.D. from UCSD School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She subsequently completed an Academic Hospital Medicine fellowship at UCSD. Dr. Zhang currently serves as the Internal Medicine Interest Group faculty advisor at the School of Medicine. Her academic interest is in medical education, and she is passionate about the growth and mentorship of internal medicine residents, medical students, and undergraduate students. Outside of work, Dr. Zhang enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, attempting home improvement projects, and eating (but not necessarily cooking) good cuisine. 

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Dr. Anna Quan is an academic internist in primary care at the San Diego VA and Clinical Professor at UCSD. She completed both her MD degree and Internal Medicine residency at UCSF. Dr. Quan is currently co-director of the San Diego VA Musculoskeletal Clinics as well as Primary Care Section Chief and Director of the UCSD IM resident clinics at the VA Sorrento Valley clinic. She is also the co-creator of the SDMSKPROJECT YouTube channel with video content focusing on the musculoskeletal exams and injection training. Teaching is one of her favorite job components, and she is frequently invited to teach as a musculoskeletal content expert at UCSD, as well as at national VA, SGIM, and ACP conferences. Outside of work, Dr. Quan is an avid reader, cyclist, baker, and loose leaf tea connoisseur. Dr. Quan is a past recipient of several teaching awards, including Outstanding Leadership in a Clinical Preceptorship from the UCSF School of Medicine, UCSD Medicine 401 Excellence in Teaching awards, and a SGIM Outstanding Clinician-Educator award.
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Dr. Barry Greenberg is a cardiologist and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UCSD. He received his MD degree from the State University of New York (SUNY), Upstate Medical Center, and did his residency training in Internal Medicine at the Yale-New Haven Medical Center. Dr. Greenberg was a research associate at the NIH in the Lipid Metabolism Branch of the NHLBI and did his Cardiology Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. He currently serves as the Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Program at UCSD where he cares for patients with heart failure at all stages. His research is focused on unraveling mechanisms and finding treatments for cardiac fibrosis and assessing novel heart failure therapies. His interest in serving in the Master Clinician program is a natural outgrowth of a lifelong commitment to mentorship, medical education, and bedside teaching. In addition to his career, Dr. Greenberg’s passions include biking and swimming, travel, and reading. He enjoys listening to virtually all kinds of music and is an aspiring pizzaiola.
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Dr. Bernice Ruo is an academic general internist and Professor at UCSD. She received her MD from Yale University School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She then completed a General Internal Medicine fellowship along with getting a Masters in Advanced Studies in Clinical Research at UCSF. She currently serves as the Primary Care Core Clerkship co-director. She enjoys teaching in the longitudinal setting and mentoring students, residents, and junior faculty. She is continually inspired by her students and residents to share her enthusiasm for primary care, evidence-based medicine, and scholarly activities. Outside of work, Dr. Ruo enjoys dancing (ballet), open-water swimming, hiking, baking, and eating ice cream. Dr. Ruo has been recognized for her teaching excellence at Harvard, Northwestern, and UCSD.
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Dr. Brian Kwan is an academic hospitalist at the VA San Diego and Professor at UCSD. He received his M.D. from Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency at UCSD. Dr. Kwan serves as the co-director of the Internal Medicine Clerkship at UCSD and was elected to the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) national council in 2021. He is passionate about enhancing medical education through the implementation of innovative curricula, and his research focuses on the transition between undergraduate to graduate medical education. Outside of work, Dr. Kwan enjoys outdoor hikes with his partner, coaching physicians on investing in real estate, and struggling to learn hip-hop choreography. Dr. Kwan has been recognized for his teaching excellence, receiving the Med 401 excellence in teaching award in 2012 and the IM Residency House Staff Teaching Awards in 2018 and 2019.
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Dr. Constance Chace is an academic hospitalist in Internal Medicine at UCSD Medical Center and an attending in the Medical Behavioral Unit at Rady Children's Hospital where she treats adolescents and young adults suffering from severe malnutrition due to disordered eating. She received her MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and her MPH in Epidemiology from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She completed her combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UCSD and stayed on as a Chief Resident in Pediatrics. She currently serves as a co-director of the Resident as Clinician Educator (RACE) Track for the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program.
She is passionate about mentoring young doctors, fostering a growth mindset in her learners, and promoting humility and honesty in medicine. When she is not in the hospital, Dr. Chace enjoys game nights with friends, a really good yoga class, experiencing new cultures and cuisines while traveling, and goofing around with her giggly son, Winston Bader (in honor of the notorious RBG). Dr. Chace has been recognized for her teaching, empathy and communication skills and is a past recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award.
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Dr. Deanna Hill is a primary care physician and Associate Clinical Professor at UCSD. She received her MD from University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency at UCLA where she also served a year as Chief Resident. Dr. Hill currently serves as Resident Clinic Site Director for the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program and as the Chair of the Division of General Internal Medicine’s Academic Executive Committee on Education. Her clinical interests include chronic pain management, with a growing interest in opioid use disorder. Dr Hill is a past recipient of the Internal Medicine Graduating Housestaff Outpatient Teaching Awards in 2017 and 2019. Outside of work, she enjoys trail running, outdoor adventures, and spending time with her growing family.
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Dr. EB Sladek is a Geriatrician and Associate Professor at UCSD. She received her MD from UCSF and completed medicine residency, a chief year, and Geriatrics fellowship at UCSD. Dr. Sladek currently serves as Section Chief of Geriatrics at the San Diego VA and is one of the Associate Program Directors for the Internal Medicine Residency. She has been the repeated recipient of the Chief Resident Teaching Award and is ever on the hunt for innovative ways to share the boundless wonders of medicine with trainees. Outside of healthcare, she is grateful to share a Lego-and-laughter laden life with her delightful spouse and children.
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Dr. Gary Buckholz is a Hospice and Palliative Care physician and Clinical Professor at UCSD. He received his MD from the University of Kansas and completed his Family Medicine residency at Brown University. He completed fellowship training in Hospice and Palliative Care at the Institute for Palliative Medicine in San Diego. Dr. Buckholz currently serves as Fellowship Director for UCSD’s Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship. He provides palliative care consultation utilizing a team approach emphasizing effective communication for hospitalized patients. He values showing compassion and communicating in ways that improves patients’ experiences. Teaching this will hopefully provide significant meaning and value to students’ professional work. He enjoys spending time with his family and mountain biking through Penasquitos canyon. Dr. Buckholz is a past recipient of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Gerald H. Holman Distinguished Service Award as well as CSU’s Doris Howell Award for Advancing Palliative Care.
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Dr. Ida Wong-Sefidan practices in the division of Hematology and Oncology. She is an Associate Professor and Associate Program Director of the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program at
UCSD. She received her MD from Weill Cornell Medical College and completed her Internal Medicine residency, chief residency and fellowship at UCSD. Dr. Wong-Sefidan is actively involved in the education and mentorship of UCSD hematology/oncology fellows, as well as the education and curricula for UCSD internal medicine residents and medical students. She is a past recipient of teaching awards including the Internal Medicine Chief Resident Teaching Award and the Graduating Housestaff Teaching Award.
She embraces any opportunity to be a strong, thoughtful female mentor for future physicians. She balances her love of medicine with her love for her family, including her two kids who make life exciting every day.
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Dr. Jia Shen is an academic cardiologist and Assistant Professor at UCSD. She received her MD from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency and Cardiovascular Diseases fellowship at Emory University. Dr. Shen received an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed a research fellowship in preventive cardiology. Dr. Shen currently serves as a Clinical Director for the International Health Collective, a non-profit student lead organization that provides medical care and services to patients in the Tijuana-Baja Sur, Mexico region. She is passionate about global health and helping marginalized populations access affordable quality care. Her research interests are in preventive cardiology and digital health innovation. Outside of work, Dr. Shen enjoys travelling with her partner and two goldendoodles.
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Dr. Joseph Abdelmalek is an academic hospitalist and nephrologist at the San Diego VA Medical
Center and an Associate Professor at UCSD. He received his MD from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency as well as fellowship training in Nephrology at UC San Diego. Dr. Abdelmalek currently serves as co-director for Med 467 Acting Internship in Internal Medicine and is passionate about mentoring students who are considering a future in internal medicine. Dr. Abdelmalek is a past recipient of the Med 401 excellence in teaching award.
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Dr. Laura Bamford is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at UCSD. She is the Medical Director of the UCSD Owen Clinic, a nationally recognized comprehensive HIV primary care clinic. Dr. Bamford received her medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University graduating Summa Cum Laude. She completed her internal medicine residency at Columbia University Medical Center and her infectious diseases fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her clinical and research interests include HIV and HCV treatment and prevention in individuals with a history of substance use and injection drug use. Dr. Bamford is the UCSD site Principal Investigator for CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS) and for the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD). Dr. Bamford has a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is bilingual in English and in Spanish. She is passionate about enhancing medical education by teaching a patient-centered and harm reduction approach. Dr. Bamford’s interests outside of work include spending time with her family learning to surf, biking, hiking, skiing, and traveling.
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Dr. Lawrence Ma is an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSD and practices as an academic outpatient pediatrician, internist, and geriatrician. He received his M.D. from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at UCSD. He completed fellowship training in geriatrics at Stanford University. Dr. Ma was fortunate to learn from great teachers throughout his training and is excited to be part of the Master Clinician program and pay it forward. Outside of work, Dr. Ma enjoys surfing, gardening, and cooking. As a resident, Dr. Ma was recognized for his professionalism and passion for teaching and received the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism and Excellent in Teaching award.
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Dr. Meghan Sebasky is an academic hospitalist and Associate Clinical Professor at UC San Diego. She received her medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine and completed internal medicine residency at the University of Minnesota where she was also a chief medical resident. Dr. Sebasky is currently the co-director of the Internal Medicine clerkship at UCSD School of Medicine as well as the chair of the UCSD Division of Hospital Medicine’s Medical Education and Mentorship Committee. Her areas of academic interest and expertise include feedback in the clinical setting, peer rounding, and empathy, particularly as it relates to students in the clinical years of medical school.
Outside of the hospital, Dr. Sebasky might be found running, perfecting the art of making an epic charcuterie board, or working on improving her Spanish skills. Dr. Sebasky has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards including the Medicine 401 Excellence in Teaching award, the Internal Medicine Chiefs’ Teaching award, and the Internal Medicine Graduating Housestaff Teaching award in 2019 and 2020.
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Dr. Farkhondehpour received his undergraduate degrees in both Human Biology and Psychology at UC San Diego and his medical degree from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. He completed his Internal Medicine residency training at UC San Diego, where he was the recipient of the Lee Rickman Humanism Award. Dr. Farkhondehpour served as Chief Medical Resident prior to joining the Division of Hospital Medicine as an academic hospitalist in 2017, where he is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor. Dr. Farkhondehpour is committed to medical education and the growth and development of both medical students and residents. He is currently an Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, and is both the founder and Director of the Hospital Medicine Pathway. Dr. Farkhondehpour is also the Clerkship Site Director at Hillcrest for the 3rd year medicine rotation (MED 401), and faculty for the MS1/MS2 ultrasound course (SOMT 203A/203B) at the School of Medicine. He is a Fellow in Hospital Medicine and a Fellow in the American College of Physicians.
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Dr. Rechell Rodriguez is an academic internist at the VA San Diego, Sorrento Valley Clinic and Clinical Professor at UCSD. She received her M.D. from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, TX. She completed faculty development training at Stanford University. Dr. Rodriguez currently serves as the VA representative on the UCSD AEC subcommittee for Faculty Development and Mentorship. She has extensive medical education experience as a prior Clerkship Director for 11 years, core faculty member of three different Internal Medicine residency programs over 16 years, and Associate Dean for the School of Medicine, USUHS for three years before retiring as a Colonel in the U. S. Air Force in 2019. Dr. Rodriguez has received numerous teaching awards and honors and is a Master of the American College of Physicians. She is passionate about the education & development of physicians and she has been involved in diversity efforts as well as the recruitment and retention of women physicians. Outside of work, she enjoys learning how to cook.
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Dr. Supraja Thota is an academic hospitalist in Internal Medicine and Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSD. She received her M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency at UCSD where she also served as a Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Thota is currently the Director of the Residents as Clinician Educators (RACE) Track for the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency program. She is also the Chair of Recruitment and Retention for the UCSD Division of Hospital Medicine. She is passionate about medical education with a focus on clinical reasoning, teaching at the bedside and mentoring. Outside of work, Dr. Thota can be found experimenting with new recipes, reading a good book or hanging out with her pup. Dr. Thota has been recognized for her dedication to teaching with the Internal Medicine Residency House Staff Teaching Award in 2018.
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Dr. Tony P. Lopez is an academic general internist at La Jolla Internal Medicine and Clinical Professor at UCSD. He received his M.D. from UCLA School of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency and General Internal Medicine fellowship training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Lopez currently serves as an LMSA faculty advisor, PBL facilitator, and has spent many years on medical school admissions. He is passionate about all aspects of medical education, mentoring, and teaching, including problem-based learning and clinical reasoning. Outside of work, Dr. Lopez enjoys hiking, camping, and biking with the family, and is an avid fan of local collegiate sports including football, basketball, and soccer. Dr. Lopez has been recognized for the San Diego Top Doctor’s Award over ten times. He also received Med 401 Excellence in Teaching awards, Department of Medicine’s Graduating House Staff Teaching and Distinguished Service awards, and the UCSD Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Program Distinguished Teaching and Mentorship award.

Neurology

Program Director: Jamie LaBuzetta, MD, MSc, MPhil

 

Program Overview

The UCSD Neurology Master Clinician Program (MCP) is comprised of dedicated clinical educators within clinical Neurosciences. Each inpatient neurology team will be assigned one Master Clinician for 1-2 weeks. These Master Clinicians will observe medical students and provide formative feedback on their data gathering, physical examination, presentation, interpersonal, and clinical reasoning skills.  

In addition to attending morning rounds and providing individualized feedback, Master Clinicians will conduct both general and focused weekly teaching sessions with the medical students.  The program is designed to provide medical students with one-on-one mentorship and an opportunity to learn about the “art of medicine” from an experienced clinical educator.  

 

Neurology Master Clinicians

 

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Elizabeth Murphy Bevins

Dr. Elizabeth Murphy Bevins completed a clinical fellowship in memory disorders as well as neurology residency at UC San Diego. She earned her Ph.D. in neurosciences and medical degree at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. She is passionate about medical education and has been since she was a medical student at UCSD herself!  She loves world travel (and has visited over 120 countries), writing, and spending time outside with her husband and daughter.

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Ron Ellis, MD, PhD

Dr. Ron Ellis is a recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. Devoted to his mentees, he strives to publish with each of his mentees.  

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Dominic Ferrey, MD

Dr. Dominic Ferrey is a neurophysiologist who specializes in neuromuscular conditions. While a resident at UC San Diego, he earned recognition as a Chief Resident, Outstanding Neurology Resident Teacher, and was the recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Resident Award in Neurology. As a junior faculty member, he has been recognized with the Junior Faculty Teaching Award and the Academy of Clinician Scholars Whitehill Prize for Excellence, Neurology. 

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Jamie LaBuzetta, MD, MSc, MPhil

Dr. Jamie LaBuzetta practices within the division of Neurocritical Care, and also holds administrative and education roles as a Neurocritical Care Fellowship Co-Director and Neurology Clerkship Associate Director. She has been the annual recipient of the peer selected “Most Compassionate Communicator” award within critical care for the past 3 years, and was the 2020 recipient of the Society for Critical Care Medicine’s Innovation in Education faculty award.

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Gabriel Léger, MD

Dr. Léger has been dedicated to medical education at all levels of training, including medical students, residents, fellows, and trainees or professionals in allied fields.  He was the director of the neurology residency program at l’université de Montréal and of the Behavioral Neurology, Neuropsychiatry fellowship program at the Cleveland Clinic.  He has given multiple CME lectures at local, state, and national conferences.

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Kevin McGehrin

As a neurologist and palliative care physician at UC San Diego, Dr. McGehrin is passionate about improving the quality of life for people with serious or life-limiting conditions. His palliative care background has taught him the importance of integrating compassion and communication skills training in medical education.

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Caitlin Mulligan

Dr. Caity Mulligan is a junior clinical faculty member specializing in movement disorders.  On a daily basis, she cares for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and compassionate care is integral to her clinical practice.  She has completed a medical education certificate program at UCLA and she is excited at the opportunity to work with medical students at UCSD to improve their clinical skills and to pass on the importance of compassionate care in medicine.

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Michael Zimbric

Dr. Zimbric completed his pediatrics and neurology training at UCSD and has been part of the UCSD Neurosciences faculty since 2010.   His clinical focus is in general pediatric neurology, and he spends countless hours teaching in pre-clinical years and clinical years and at all levels of medical education.  He is the clinical director for the Rady division of pediatric neurology and is also involved in international neurology, especially in Haiti.  

Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences

  • Program Director: Julia Cormano, MD
  • Program Overview:

The UCSD OBGYN Master Clinician Program (MCP) allows for protected teaching time for selected top educator attending physicians to work with students during this six week block. This is a new and innovative approach to improve medical education for trainees during their clinical years. The Master Clinician group is comprised of some of the most experienced clinical educators in the UCSD Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences.

Small groups of 2-3 students are assigned a Master Clinician who works with their group on the Labor and Delivery triage unit at JMC, and attends outpatient clinic at the Medical Office’s South building women’s health clinic. The Master Clinician observes medical students and provides formative feedback on their data gathering, physical examination, presentation, interpersonal, and clinical reasoning skills. Of note, there is no evaluation component to the MCP. The program was designed exclusively to help medical students further their development as a physician. Thus, students should feel comfortable asking questions so that they may improve their clinical skills in this completely safe learning environment.

 In addition to rounds and individualized feedback, Master Clinicians conduct weekly skills sessions with the medical students, focused on communication, compassion and empathy. The program is also designed to provide medical students with one-on-one mentorship and learn about the “art of medicine” from an experienced clinical educator.

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences Master Clinicians

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Alvarado

Jorge L. Alvarado, MD, is an obstetrician/gynecologist who provides minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, with an interest in dysplasia of the cervix, vagina, and vulva. He also provides family planning services, contraception counseling and abortion care. He is passionate about care for underserved populations and is an LGBTQ-friendly physician. Dr. Alvarado completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at UC San Francisco and earned his medical degree at UT Southwestern Medical School. He won the James R. Green MD Memorial Award at UC San Francisco for excellence in the care of underserved women. He speaks fluent Spanish.

 

Cormano

Julia Cormano, MD is the Clerkship Director for the UC San Diego OB/GYN 3rd year medical student clerkship, and an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UC San Diego Health. After graduating from residency at UCLA, Dr. Cormano served with the National Health Service Corps in Chicago, caring for an underserved population, while pursuing her passion for teaching as the Associate Clerkship Director at Rush University Medical Center. Her teaching awards include the CREOG Faculty Education Excellence in Resident Education Award at Mercy Hospital in Chicago (2015), the APGO Excellence in Teaching Award at Rush University Medical Center (2016), the UC San Diego Academy of Clinician Scholars, Whitehill Prize for Excellence at UC San Diego (2017), and the Society for Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology (SASGOG) Faculty Award (2020).

 

Deak

Pamela Deak, MD, is a Professor in the department of OB/GYN who places great emphasis on establishing strong physician-patient relationships and believes that they are based on communication. She aims for each of her patients to feel not only well cared for, but well understood. Dr. Deak also feels that caring for and educating women through their unique transformations from childhood through maturity brings many rewards. Dr. Deak served as the Clerkship Director for the UC San Diego OB/GYN 3rd year medical student clerkship for over 10 years, and has dedicated countless hours to medical student teaching and skills training over her career.

 

Eskander

Dr. Ramez N. Eskander is an Associate Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at UC San Diego Health.  After graduating from UCLA, he received his MD from the UCSD School of Medicine. Dr. Eskander completed his OB/GYN Residency at UCSD where, after serving as Administrative Chief Resident, he completed his Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at UC Irvine. He serves as the Associate Program Director for the UCSD Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency Program, and is the Gynecologic Oncology fellowship program director.  Dr. Eskander has received several teaching awards, including the Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Best Teaching Resident (2008), Kaiser Excellence in teaching award (2008), Edward Keagan, MD Faculty Teaching Award (2012), and the Homer G Chin Excellence in Teaching Award (2018).

 

Frugoni

Dr. Gina Frugoni is the Division Chief of the OBGYN Hospitalist Division, who is excited to be part of the Master Clinician program.  She is currently the course co-director for Endocrinology, Reproduction and Metabolism for the first year medical students and second year pharmacy students.  She has been nominated for the Kaiser excellence in teaching award for her preclinical teaching and has won the APGO Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013 and 2019 for the clinical teaching of third year medical students.  She is a graduate of UC San Diego School of Medicine as well as our own OBGYN residency and hopes to continue to give back to student education through her role as Director of the Yellow Academic Community and a Master Clinician Educator. 

 

Hebert

Dr. Stephen Hebert is an OB Hospitalist and Professor of Ob/Gyn at UCSD.  He currently works on L&D at Jacobs Medical Center. After undergraduate and medical training at the University of Colorado, he completed residency at UCSD. Following 2 years on faculty, he moved to private practice in San Diego for the next 23 years. In 2007 he returned to UCSD in his current capacity. He has since received teaching awards from the residents, students and midwives with his special interest being compassionate obstetrical care for our complex and diverse patient population.

 

Hull

Andrew D Hull is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at UCSD. He has been in clinical practice for 40 years. He trained in the UK and came to California 30 years ago and has been in the Division of Maternal Fetal medicine at UCSD since 1996. He served as Director of the MFM Fellowship for 15 years and enjoys teaching at all levels. His clinical practice covers the full range of MFM and includes providing obstetric care to most of the HIV infected women in San Diego .

 

Kingston

Dr. Jessica Kingston is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and Generalist OB/GYN at UCSD.  After graduating from UT-Austin, she received an MD from Yale University.  Dr. Kingston completed residency at UCSD, and joined the faculty in 2002.  In her role as a clinician educator she Co-directed the Endocrinology, Reproduction & Metabolism I & II preclinical courses for 9 years, has facilitated numerous resident surgery skills sessions, and created and directs the Family Planning and Women’s Reproductive Health sub-internship.  She serves as an oral board examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a member of the NBME Women’s Health Item Writing Committee.  Dr. Kingston has received several teaching and faculty awards including the James H. Price resident teaching award, SASGOG faculty award, and APGO Excellence in Teaching Award.  She is the lead faculty preceptor for the resident colposcopy and dysplasia clinic, and serves as Medical Director for Medical Offices South Women’s Health Services, the continuity clinic site for UCSD resident physicians.

 

Klein

David Klein (he/his/they/their) is a generalist OBGYN and an associate professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UC San Diego. Prior to medical training, Dr. Klein studied and published on the potential for harm done to patients by negatives attitudes on disability among healthcare providers discussing prenatal genetic screening and testing. He now uses this understanding to approach patient care with non-judgmental language, patient-centered sensitivity, and a trauma-informed practice.  He is active in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and recently completed a term as the past chair for junior fellows (trainees and non-boarded physicians) in California, and is a new member of the Wilderness Medical Society. Past teaching acknowledgments include three years of awards as a teaching assistant in biostatistics and epidemiology during medical school and regular commendations for outstanding medical student evaluations throughout residency. 

 

LaCoursiere

Yvette LaCoursiere, MD, is a Professor in the Department of OB/GYN and the Residency Program Director for UC San Diego OB/GYN residents. She is also the Vice-Chair of Education for the department and holds a master's of public health in epidemiology and biostatistics from San Diego State University. She began theMaternal Weight and Wellness Programat UC San Diego Health which specializes in providing complete, compassionate care for overweight women before, during, and after pregnancy. It serves women who have had bariatric (weight loss) surgery or who have a BMI of 35 or greater. Dr. LaCoursiere has won the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology & Council on Residency Education's National Faculty Teaching award three times at two institutions and has co-authored over 30 publications. She has also presented regionally and nationally on maternal obesity issues, and is a leader in education at UC San Diego.

 

Mody

Sheila Mody, MD, MPH is a family planning specialist with a focus in contraceptive counseling for women with complex medical conditions. Her interests include educating patients on the use of long-acting reversible contraception and early pregnancy management. Dr. Mody has several contraceptive clinical trials. Her primary research is on exploring if electronic medical records can improve contraceptive utilization among women prescribed teratogenic medications. She is also studying contraceptive utilization among women who undergo renal or liver transplants. Dr. Mody has published several contraceptive papers in peer reviewed journals and presented at many national meetings. She also has contributed to community education by writing articles for UC San Diego Health's blog and the San Diego Union Tribune. Prior to her arrival at UC San Diego, Dr. Mody completed her ob/gyn residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard teaching hospital and her fellowship in family planning at Northwestern University. She earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan and obtained a master's degree in public health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

 

 

Reis

Maureen Ries is a General Ob/gyn and the Director for Global Health Education for the department's section of Global Women's Health.  She completed medical school at UCSD and residency at the Ohio State University before serving in Tanzania though the Global Health Service Partnership in conjunction with the Peace Corps.  She is passionate about global health and is Seed Global Health's Director of Ob/gyn, and active in the American College of Ob/gyn (ACOG)'s Committee on Global Health and the Global Operations Advisory Group. She was awarded ACOG's International Service Award for Maternal Health, Empowerment, and Gender Equality in 2020. She loves connecting with patients and students and has been a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society since 2007.

 

Sutton

Alice Sutton is an OBGYN hospitalist and an assistant clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She attended the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed residency at George Washington University, where she was an administrative chief resident. She is the co-director of the Endocrinology, Reproduction and Metabolism II block in the second year medical school curriculum. Her scholarly interests include fostering empathy and compassion through innovative reproductive health curriculum, and care for underserved populations.  She has received the Excellent Consultant award from the Emergency Department for teaching Emergency Medicine residents.

 

Tarsa

Maryam Tarsa, MD, is a board-certified perinatologist who specializes in caring for women with high-risk pregnancies. Dr. Tarsa finds obstetrics to be an exciting and rewarding profession. She considers it an honor to provide care for women during their pregnancy and to be part of the miracle of childbirth. As a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Tarsa instructs medical students, residents and fellows. She has published numerous book chapters and co-authored many abstracts and journal articles. Her work has appeared in British Journal of Obstetrics and GynaecologyJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine and Journal of Clinical Anesthesia.

 

Varon

Shira Varon, MD, is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who provides a wide spectrum of care for women, including prenatal and childbirth care. She believes that physicians must engage in a continuous process of learning and practicing evidence-based medicine in order to deliver quality care, and that the physician-patient relationship and the time spent discussing treatment options is as important as the chosen treatment plan. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, she instructs medical students and residents. She has received the CREOG Faculty Education Excellence in Resident Education Award twice for her excellence in teaching.

 

Pediatrics

Program Director: Chris Cannavino, MD

Program Coordinator: Shannon O’Donnell, MPH

Program Overview

The UCSD Pediatric Master Clinician Program (MCP) at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego (RHCSD) is comprised of some of the most experienced clinical educators in the UCSD Department of Pediatrics.  Each RCHSD ward team is assigned a Master Clinician who attends Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Subspecialty Rounds with the medical students during their inpatient rotation.  The Master Clinician observes medical students and provides formative feedback on their data gathering, physical examination, presentation, interpersonal, and clinical reasoning skills.  In addition to rounds and individualized feedback, Master Clinicians conduct weekly teaching sessions with the medical students, focused on communication, compassion and empathy. 

 

Pediatric Master Clinicians 

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Julia Beauchamp, MD

Dr. Julia Beauchamp is a pediatric hospitalist at RCHSD and a professor of clinical pediatrics at UCSD. She is currently medical director for Homecare & Helen Bernardy Subacute Unit, and Medical Consultant for CHET. She completed her medical training at UCSD and then continued her pediatric residency and chief residency at UCSD. She is actively involved with the education and mentorship of UCSD pediatric hospital medicine fellows, pediatric residents, and medical students. She has a special interest in pediatric homecare and pediatric subacute care.

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Laurie Bernard Stover, MD

Dr. Laurie Bernard Stover practices within the division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, and also holds administrative roles as Clinical Director in PHM and Director of Inpatient Services for RCHSD, and has been recognized for her teaching by the Pediatric Residency program.  She has special interests in complex care as well as medical child abuse. She is passionate about working with medical students at UCSD to improve their clinical skills and to pass on the importance of compassionate care in medicine.

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Chris Cannavino, MD

Dr. Chris Cannavino is a Pediatric Infectious Disease physician at RCHSD and an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at UCSD. After graduating from UCLA, he received his MD from the UCSD School of Medicine. Dr. Cannavino completed his Pediatric Residency at UCSD where, after serving as Chief Resident, he completed dual Fellowships in Pediatric Infectious Disease and Pediatric Hospital Medicine. He is the Director of Pediatric Medical Student Education at the UCSD School of Medicine, Director of the UCSD Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, and the Associate Program Director for the UCSD Pediatric Residency Program.  Dr. Cannavino has received numerous teaching awards, including the UCSD Department of Pediatrics’ "Attending of the Year Award" in 2008 & 2011, RCHSD's "Excellence in Teaching Award" in 2017, the Kaiser “Excellence in Teaching Award” in 2021, and the "Distinguished Teaching Award” from the UCSD Academic Senate (Campus-wide) in 2021.

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Ami Doshi, MD

Dr. Ami Doshi is a pediatric hospitalist and palliative medicine physician at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and director of palliative care. She is also an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Vice Chair for Faculty Development and the Faculty Wellness Director for the Department of Pediatrics. After earning her undergraduate degree in psychobiology at the University of Southern California, Dr. Doshi completed her medical training at University of California, Irvine and continued her pediatric residency at UC San Diego, where she completed her pediatric hospital medicine fellowship.  Dr. Doshi is actively involved with the education and mentorship of medical students, residents and fellows. Her academic interests are in palliative medicine and clinician well-being. She has created and disseminated curricula for trainees and attending physicians to foster primary palliative care and communication skills.

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Erin Stucky Fisher, MD, MHM, FAAP

Dr. Erin Stucky Fisher is a Pediatric Hospitalist and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the UCSD Department of Pediatrics.  She is the UCSD Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship Director and Division Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine.  She created the Innovative Quality Improvement Research in Residency (INQUIRY) Program for residents and fellows at the University of California San Diego, and has created and teaches QI curriculum at the national level through the Quality and Safety. 

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Helen Harvey, MD

Dr. Helen Harvey is a pediatric critical care physician and anesthesiologist at Rady Children’s Hospital and UCSD. She did her pediatric residency, pediatric chief residency, and pediatric critical care fellowship at UCSD and then went on to complete an anesthesiology residency and chief residency at Johns Hopkins. She is the UCSD pediatric critical care fellowship program director. Dr. Harvey has received numerous teaching awards, including the UCSD department of Pediatrics “Fellow of the Year” in 2012, “Attending of the Year” in 2017, and the UCSD Academy of Clinician Scholars Whitehill Prize for Excellence in 2018. Dr. Harvey is completing her Masters of Education in Health Professions from Johns Hopkins University. Education interests include team building, simulation, and crisis resource management. Research interests include acute respiratory distress syndrome, resuscitation science, and traumatic brain injury.

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Cynthia Kuelbs, MD

Dr. Cynthia Kuelbs is the Chief Medical Information Officer at Rady Children’s Hospital.  She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, and works as a pediatrician at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.  She is board certified in Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics and Clinical Informatics. Dr. Kuelbs received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Minnesota.  She completed her residency at the University of California, San Diego, where she was also Chief Resident. 

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Natalie Laub, MD

Dr. Laub is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSD. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics. She completed residency at the Boston Combined Residency Program and then pursued her fellowship training in Child Abuse Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During this she also obtained a Masters in Science and Health Policy Research. Dr Laub’s research interests include improving health care delivery models for children who are victims of abuse, utilizing clinical decision support tools to detect victims of abuse, and evaluating telehealth opportunities to reach high risk populations. She has published multiple articles, book chapters and reviews on the subject of Child Abuse and Neglect. She also has an interest in medical education and serves as the Program Director for the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship at the University of California, San Diego. 

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Begem Lee, MD

Dr. Begem Lee is a Pediatric Hospitalist at RCHSD and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UCSD. She graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and completed her pediatric residency at UCSD, where she also was a Chief Resident. She then completed a fellowship in Pediatric Hospital Medicine. She has special interests in medical education and quality improvement. She has won several awards for her dedication to teaching, including the UCSD Department of Pediatrics "Fellow of the Year", "Attending of the Year", and the UCSD Academy of Clinician Scholars Whitehill Prize for Excellence. 

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Dan Lesser, MD

Dr. Dan Lesser is a Pediatric Pulmonologist at RCHSD and an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at UCSD. After graduating from Brown University, he received his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Lesser completed his Pediatric Residency and Pulmonary Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is the UCSD pediatric pulmonology fellowship program director and clerkship director of the pediatric pulmonary medical student elective. He was awarded the UCSD Pediatric Residency Teaching Award in 2017-2018 and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Fellow Teaching award, 2006-2007.

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Heather Pierce, MD

Dr. Heather Pierce is a pediatric hospitalist at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego a clinical professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego. She serves as the medical director for graduate medical education at Rady Children’s Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree and medical training in a combined degree program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her general pediatric residency and chief residency at the Floating Hospital for Children/Tufts University in Boston and completed a fellowship in pediatric hospital medicine at Rady Children's Hospital/UC San Diego. Dr. Pierce is currently the associate director of the Innovative Quality Improvement Research in Residency (INQUIRY) Program which provides structured quality improvement education to all pediatric trainees and mentors trainees in quality improvement projects throughout the hospital. Her academic interests include quality improvement and patient safety education, family-centered care and rounding, and clinical pathway development and review.

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Vanessa Scott, MD

Dr. Vanessa P. Scott is an Assistant Clinical Professor and pediatrician at UCSD's Academic General Pediatric practice.  After graduating from Harvard and completing a post-baccalaureate at Columbia University, she received her MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Scott did residency training at UCSD and Mount Sinai, followed by an academic fellowship in community health research and a master's degree in epidemiology from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.  She has a special interest in using technology to improve parent education and is passionate about teaching the art of medicine to medical students and residents. 

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Ashish Shah, MD

Ashish Shah is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician at RCHSD and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at UCSD. He roamed the Midwest for his medical training receiving his MD from Medical College of Wisconsin, completing his Pediatric Residency at the University of Minnesota, and fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. While in Cincinnati, he received a Master’s in Education from the University of Cincinnati.  He currently is the Pediatrics Emergency Medicine Residency Education Director and has a special interest in leveraging new technologies to enhance medical education and training.

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Richard Silva, MD

Dr. Richard Silva is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Academic General Pediatrics, Child Development and Community Health.  He cares for newborns in the hospital and children in clinic.  He also works with the Hispanic Center of Excellence.  After graduating from UC Irvine, he earned his MD from Stanford University.  Dr. Silva completed his pediatric residency at UC San Diego.  He received the Academy of Clinician Scholars Whitehill Prize for Excellence in 2019.  He enjoys working with and teaching the new generation of doctors.

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Mamata Sivagnanam, MD

Dr. Mamata Sivagnanam is a pediatric gastroenterologist at RCHSD/UCSD. She attended medical school at University of Miami, residency at Orlando Regional Healthcare and fellowship in gastroenterology, Hepatology and nutrition at UCSD. She is an Associate Professor and the UCSD pediatric gastroenterology fellowship program director. As an active physician-scientist and aims to understand intestinal homeostasis through investigation of mucosal diseases of childhood. Since serving as chief resident, she has been passionate about medical education and empowering trainees to reach their potential.

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Martin Stein, MD

Dr. Marty Stein is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and a clinician-educator at UCSD since 1975. His major academic interest has been the development of methods to incorporate concepts about child development and behavioral pediatrics into educational models and the practice of primary care pediatrics. 

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Kyung (Kay) Rhee, MD, MSc, MA

Dr. Kay Rhee is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the UCSD Department of Pediatrics and the Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She serves as the Medical Director of the Medical Behavioral/Eating Disorder Unit at Rady Children’s Hospital and the UCSD Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research. She also serves as the Research Director for Pediatric Hospital Medicine. After receiving a Bachelor’s in Human Biology and Masters in Sociology at Stanford University, she completed her M.D. at Temple University. She completed her residency and was chief resident at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia before moving to the Boston area to complete her Fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics and Masters in Epidemiology at Boston University/Boston University School of Public Health. She moved to San Diego in 2010 and is currently engaged in several research endeavors around the development of family-based behavioral interventions for childhood obesity treatment, parent-child interactions, food insecurity, and other social determinants of health.

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Helen Wang, MD

Dr. Helen Wang is a primary care pediatrician at UCSD Pediatrics Associates and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSD.  She received her M.D. from UCSD and completed her Pediatric residency at UCSD.  She is the outpatient pediatric sub-internship rotation co-director, the UCSD primary care rotation site director, and the residency primary care track consultant.  As the Education Committee Chair for the Division of Academic General Pediatrics, Newborn, Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, and Community Pediatrics, she works to innovate and improve upon current clinical education practices.   Her specific interest in medical education is on improving educators’ abilities to mentor and guide learners on their journey to becoming a physician.

Surgery

Surgery

Program Directors:  Charley Coffey, MD & Joel Baumgartner, MD

Master Clinicians:

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Benjamin Abbadessa MD, FACS

Benjamin Abbadessa is a colorectal surgeon in the Department of Surgery at UCSD Health an

Assistant Professor at UCSD School of Medicine. His practice encompasses the full spectrum of colorectal diseases and surgeries, with a focus on robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques.  Dr. Abbadessa completed his General Surgery residency at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel, NYC, and colorectal surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Outside of work, Dr. Abbadessa enjoys spending time with his family. His wife, Vanessa, is a pediatrician at UCSD and he has two young children. Dr. Abbadessa and his family enjoy spending time together hiking, biking, and walking on the beach.

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Joel M. Baumgartner, MD, MAS, FACS

Joel Baumgartner is an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at UCSD and has been the Clerkship Director for the surgery clerkship at UCSD since 2015. His practice focuses on the surgical management of peritoneal metastases and cutaneous malignancies. He conducts clinical research on the diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance of patients with peritoneal metastases and cutaneous malignancies. He also serves as a residency training course instructor for UCSD students applying to surgical residencies, a surgical shadowing preceptor for first-second year medical students, a surgical apprenticeship preceptor for third-year medical students, and instructs residents in the UCSD general surgery residency. He has been awarded the Whitehill teaching prize by the surgery residents in 2016 and 2017.

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Seth Bechis, MD MS

Dr. Seth Bechis is an Associate Clinical Professor of Urology and a member of the UCSD Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center. After completing his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Harvard University, Dr. Bechis completed his medical training at the University of California, San Francisco as well as a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences. He then continued his Urology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Laparoscopy, Robotics, and Endourology at UC San Diego. He specializes in kidney stone prevention and stone surgery as well as benign prostatic enlargement or BPH. Dr. Bechis is actively involved with resident education and has academic interests in clinical research in stone disease and BPH.

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Sharona Ben-Haim, MD

Sharona Ben-Haim is an Assistant Professor and functional neurosurgeon at UC San Diego. She received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and completed medical school at UCSD. She then went to complete a research fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University before starting her neurosurgical residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

She went on to complete a fellowship in Epilepsy Surgery at Yale University, followed by a visiting fellowship in functional neurosurgery at Oxford. She then came back to UC San Diego as a faculty member, where she has focused on bringing in new technology to enhance the safety and efficacy of a variety of stereotactic procedures.  She currently serves as the Director of Epilepsy Surgery and the Associate Residency Program Director in the Department of Neurosurgery.

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Jennifer Berumen, MD

Jennifer Berumen is a board-certified general surgeon specializing in abdominal transplantation and hepatobiliary (liver and bile duct) surgery. As an associate clinical professor of surgery at UC San Diego she performs adult kidney, liver, and pancreas transplantations. She also performs pediatric kidney and liver transplants at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. Dr. Berumen completed her two-year fellowship training in abdominal transplant surgery at Stanford University with a focus on pediatric liver and kidney transplantation and her general surgery residency training at UC San Diego. She earned her medical degree and her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Tulane University.

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Aleah L. Brubaker, MD PhD

Aleah L. Brubaker, MD, Ph.D., is a board-certified general surgeon who specializes in abdominal (liver and kidney) transplantation in adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Brubaker completed a fellowship in transplant surgery at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, CA, where she also did her residency in general surgery. She holds both a medical and doctorate degree from the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL. As an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, she trains medical students, residents, and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Brubaker's research interests include transplantation and the human microbiome.

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Charley Coffey, MD FACS

Charley Coffey is an Associate Professor and the Chief of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery at UCSD Health. He practices head & neck oncologic surgery at UCSD Moores Cancer Center and the San Diego VA. Dr. Coffey has a particular interest in salivary gland function including prevention and management of xerostomia in head & neck cancer patients and the use of minimally-invasive techniques to treat patients with obstructive salivary disorders.

 In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Coffey is dedicated to medical education. He is Co-Director of the UCSD Surgery Core Clerkship and the Surgery Master Clinician Program, serves on the faculty of numerous medical school courses and participates in curriculum design and review for the UCSD School of Medicine, UCSD Department of Otolaryngology, and the American Head & Neck Society. His efforts have been recognized with multiple teaching awards from students and residents. Dr. Coffey completed the ACS-ASE Surgical Education Research Fellowship in 2019.

 Prior to joining the faculty at UCSD, Dr. Coffey completed residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina and a fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is a North Carolina native and proud Tar Heel. He is also the grateful husband of an amazing emergency medicine physician, the father of two delightful children, and an avid but decidedly mediocre cyclist.

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Bard Cosman, MD

Bard Cosman has practiced and taught general and colorectal surgery at the VA and UC San Diego since 1995.  He has won the Kaiser Teaching Award and Whitehill Prize at UC San Diego, and the Karis Caregiver Award at the VA.  His clinical interests include anal dysplasia and hidradenitis suppurativa.  He has projects and publications at the intersection of medicine and the humanities, and he is on the editorial boards of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons) and Vexillum (North American Vexillological Association).  Outside of academics, he enjoys trail running.

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Romeo C. Ignacio, Jr. MD, MS, MPath, FACS, FAAP, MAMSE

Dr. Romeo Ignacio is currently a Clinical Professor of Surgery at UCSD and an attending pediatric surgeon at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.  He serves as the Trauma Medical Director and Surgical Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.  His research interests are in the areas of pediatric trauma, global surgery, and military medicine. 

Prior to joining UCSD, he served for 24 years in the U.S. Navy, gaining vast experiences in trauma training, disaster relief/combat preparedness, and surgical education.  Dr. Ignacio was the Program Director of the largest solo U.S. Navy general surgery training program and led various ATLS, trauma training, and humanitarian courses for hundreds of military personnel.  Concerning health care equities, he has given multiple lectures on the topics of health care disparities in the military, among the Asian population, and the less disadvantaged populations.  His current work in pediatric trauma research focuses on health care disparities, global surgery, and surgical education. 

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Nicole Lopez, MD

Nicole Lopez, MD, is board-certified in general surgery, complex general surgical oncology, colon and rectal surgery, and clinical informatics. She is particularly interested in caring for patients with hereditary, advanced, recurrent, and metastatic colorectal cancers. She is skilled in laparoscopy and robotic surgery.

Dr. Lopez believes the education and training of students and residents are imperative to sustaining a workforce of talented and compassionate physicians and surgeons. As such, she is the director of several medical student courses and serves as a mentor to many students. The American Medical Association recognized her nationally for her mentorship, presenting her with an Inspiration Award.

When she's not working, Dr. Lopez enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing catch with her labradoodle, making and decorating cookies, and listening to audiobooks.

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Erik L. Owens, MD

Erik Owens is a vascular surgeon and Clinical Professor at UCSD.  After an early career change from chemical engineering, he received his MD degree from MCV-VCU in Richmond, VA.  He completed his general surgery residency at Penn State University in Hershey, PA, and his vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.  Dr. Owens joined the UCSD faculty in 1998.  While clinically active at both UCSD and the VA, he served as Surgical Service Chief at the San Diego VA Medical Center from 1999 to 2019.  He currently serves as Vascular Surgery Section Chief at the San Diego VA Medical Center where he also has Site Director responsibilities for the general and vascular surgery residents/fellows.  Dr. Owens is a past recipient of Department of Surgery teaching awards and oversees the SOM Surgery 260 elective that offers first and second-year medical students the opportunity to shadow residents and attendings in the VA Vascular Surgery Clinic.  Dr. Owens enjoys being outdoors, especially with family … and especially on the Oregon Coast.  He enjoys a good round of golf and can while away a good number of hours on the guitar.

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Martin H. Pham, MD

Martin H. Pham, MD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon who focuses on the neurosurgical evaluation and treatment of spinal disorders. This includes adult scoliosis and spinal deformity, complex spinal reconstruction, robotic and minimally invasive spine surgery, motion preservation of the spine, spine tumors, and spine trauma.

Dr. Pham is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and serves as the neurosurgery clerkship course director. He is published extensively within the field of spinal conditions and has an active interest in the development of minimally invasive surgical techniques with robotics platforms to advance safer evidence-based spine care.

Dr. Pham completed a fellowship in robotic, spinal deformity, and motion preservation surgery at Columbia University's New York-Presbyterian Daniel and Jane Och Spine Hospital. He also enfolded a fellowship in minimally invasive and complex spinal surgery at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), where he completed his residency in neurological surgery.

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Christopher Reid, MD

Christopher Reid is a plastic surgeon with expertise in microsurgery, breast reconstruction, complex reconstruction, and cosmetic surgery of the breast and body. He performs breast reconstruction with free flap methods such as DIEP and PAP flaps, along with other techniques. As an expert in microsurgery, Dr. Reid can operate on a very small scale, which often involves reconnecting blood vessels that are millimeters in size.

Dr. Reid is a San Diego native who completed most of his training in San Diego and has always been dedicated to helping patients in this region. He enjoys helping patients by providing more surgical options than most medical centers can offer. As an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Reid trains medical students, residents, and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

He was a reconstructive microsurgery fellow and clinical instructor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UCLA Medical Center. He completed a residency at UC San Diego School of Medicine, where he also earned his medical degree.

Dr. Reid has received many honors and awards, most recently including the Housestaff Excellence in Teaching Award, Kaiser/UC San Diego Health; the Academic Excellence Award and the Research Excellence Award from the UC School of Medicine San Diego Division of Plastic Surgery; and the Outstanding Clinical Research Award, UC San Diego Department of Surgery Research Symposium.

Dr. Reid is a proud father and husband who enjoys spending time surfing or fishing at the beach.

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Alexandra K. Schwartz, MD

Alexandra Schwartz is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. She specializes in orthopedic trauma and surgery to treat fractured or broken bones, including clavicle, pelvic, foot, ankle, arm, elbow, knee, and shoulder injuries. Dr. Schwartz also cares for patients with complications from these injuries, such as infections and poor-healing or non-healing bones. As an orthopedic traumatologist, she has expertise working in emergency settings and with people whose injuries were caused by accidents or violence.

As a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Schwartz instructs medical students, residents, and fellows at UC San Diego School of Medicine, including directing the department's residency program and the Division of Orthopedic Trauma's fellowship program. Her research focuses on clavicle fractures, pelvic fractures, ankle fractures, compartment syndrome, and cartilage injury after knee fractures.

She has won several School of Medicine awards for her teaching ability and has repeatedly been named a "Top Doctor" in San Diego Magazine's "Physicians of Exceptional Excellence" annual survey performed in collaboration with the San Diego County Medical Society.

Cancer in Dr. Schwartz's family motivated her at an early age to become a physician. She believes that honest communication and empathetic understanding are vital to a physician/patient relationship. She sees the most rewarding part of being an orthopedic trauma surgeon as watching patients regain their strength, saying, "Our ultimate goal is to improve the patient's quality of life and restore their function. Orthopedic trauma is often taken for granted as 'just a fracture.' However, fractures that are not treated properly can lead to disabling and chronic conditions."

Dr. Schwartz completed a fellowship in orthopedic trauma at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle (University of Washington School of Medicine) and an orthopedic residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. She earned her medical degree at UCLA School of Medicine. She is board certified in orthopedic surgery. She speaks fluent German and medical Spanish.

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Jessica L. Weaver, MD, PhD, FACS

Dr. Jessica Weaver did her residency in general surgery at the University of Louisville and fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania. During residency, she also earned a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics. She is part of the Trauma Division’s basic science lab where she studies traumatic brain injury. She practices both trauma and acute care surgery, but her favorite part of medicine is teaching students and residents about critical care in the surgical ICU.