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2024

Class of 2024

Matthew Bordbari, DO

Medical School

Kansas City University

Hometown

Palo Alto, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

I chose Kaweah Delta because of the of the people and the training. I did a couple rotations within KDHCD’s system and I really enjoyed it. It is already such a great program and all the young faculty are bent on continual improvement which really impressed me!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I chose Emergency Medicine because of the variety, pace, and about a million other reasons! I also love the team atmosphere.

Hobbies/Family

Basketball, Tennis, Board Games, Skiing, Cycling, Running, and more.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Advocate for yourself.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Plan to work hard, enjoy the process, and do not get stressed about metrics.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I lived in a mobile home my first year of undergrad because my dad did not want me to party (which I did anyways).

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

I did not know many physicians growing up, but I was always interested in health - so as some of my family members struggled with their own health, I became motivated to take the journey of becoming a healthcare professional.


David Castro Palomino, DO

Medical School

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences - College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hometown

Bogota, Colombia and Fullerton, CA.

Why Kaweah Health?

I chose Kaweah Delta because of the community, wonderful faculty, residents, and the proximity to home. I have always been passionate about serving disadvantaged patients from various backgrounds and I believe that Kaweah will prepare me well for this and more!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

The high acuity and various pathologies keep the specialty challenging and dynamic. Most of all, the inclusivity and underserved patients seen in the ED make emergency medicine very rewarding

Hobbies/Family

Baking pizza, making salsa, running, hiking, weightlifting, and more!

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Take control of your health and advocate for yourself!

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Be prepared for a difficult but rewarding road ahead!

What is something about you most people do not know?

I was a in a pop rock band in high school and I had the haircut to go with it!

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

My grandmother and her passing inspired me to be ready for any emergent situation.


Amy Chuang, DO

Medical School

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Hometown

San Jose, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

I chose Kaweah Delta Emergency Medicine because of the amazing faculty and residents. The faculty are kind and enthusiastic about teaching, and the residents are very down-to-earth and fantastic. The Central Valley also has a huge underserved population that I am so excited to have the opportunity to help, and I am excited to be returning to my home state!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I chose Emergency Medicine because of the diversity of patients you are able to help, as well as the teamwork aspect of this specialty. Working with others in such a collaborative environment brings me joy.

Hobbies/Family

I enjoy hiking with my two dogs and partner, SCUBA diving, traveling (when I am able to), rollerblading, and playing Mario Party. Other past times include eating and cooking!

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Please get your COVID vaccinations when they become available to you! Protect yourselves and your family members.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Have faith in yourself! The journey to medicine is difficult and paved with self-doubt. Celebrate the little successes, and don’t dwell on the failures. Learn from them! Also, make sure to take care of yourself and set aside some time for you.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I swam with the pink dolphins in the Amazon River on a trip to Manaus.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

San Mateo Medical Center ED have many amazing and kind physicians, and watching them work when I was a scribe was inspiring.


Giulia Di Bella, DO

Medical School

Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest

Hometown

Chula Vista, California

Why Kaweah Health?

I rotated at Kaweah Delta as a fourth year medical student and instantly felt like a valued member of the team. The program leadership, faculty, current residents and ED staff were all so friendly and welcoming. Everyone was genuinely excited about teaching and working at Kaweah Delta! I also really fell in love with the diverse community in Visalia and I knew this was the patient population I wanted to care for. The large catchment area, combined with the unopposed training and variety of pathology, makes Kaweah Delta the perfect place for me to train to be an excellent Emergency Medicine physician.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I chose Emergency Medicine because I love the variety of pathology and acuity, the fast pace of the Emergency Department and the ability to perform life-saving procedures.

Hobbies/Family

Painting, hiking, cooking, Sunday brunch, wine tasting, live concerts

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

I came across a quote during my medical school education that said “Clinicians may be experts in medical science, but patients are the experts in what is important to them. The best medical decision involves a meeting of these experts.” My most important advice to patients is to be an active participant in your care. Communicate your health goals, ask questions, get clarification on aspects of your care may be difficult to understand, and express any concerns you may have. Medicine is a team sport, and that includes the patient-physician partnership.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Find a mentor! This can be current medical students, practicing physicians in various stages of their career, or faculty members at your school. The right mentor can provide long term advice, guidance and support as you progress in your journey. And then when you reach your goal of becoming a physician, don’t forget to lift others up as you climb!

What is something about you most people do not know?

I love competition TV shows! My personal favorite is “Chopped!” on the Food Network.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

When I was a junior in high school, my anatomy and physiology teacher, Mr. McBride, was the first to plant the seed of a career in medicine in my mind. The way he taught his class really sparked my interest in the human body, and I decided that I wanted to become a doctor. Additionally, watching my sister go through medical school and residency really showed me that the dream of becoming a physician was possible as long as I worked hard and persevered through any obstacles. It has been so amazing to have her support as I continue on my own journey in medicine.


Ethan Hartman, MD

Medical School

University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Hometown

Pembroke Pines, FL

Why Kaweah Health?

The people and the location! I always wanted to move out to California, and Visalia is so close to the mountains (a foreign concept coming from Florida). I meshed well with the residents and faculty on interview day/social events--I felt immediately accepted. Everyone here is so down to earth with such fun personalities. I wanted a strong mix of community, which Kaweah has. Plus, the opportunity to serve in such an underserved area was a large pull for me.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I came into medical school with the background of a medical scribe in the Emergency Department/Pain Management clinics. I was pulled in several directions during my training. Eventually I realized that I loved every specialty and could not settle on just one! I wanted a specialty in which I could grow in all directions, from pediatrics to geriatrics, from procedural care to end-of-life care. I also want to be an educator, and EM offers many paths toward that goal. The possibilities are truly limitless in EM!

Hobbies/Family

Music, tennis, martial arts, the great outdoors, the great indoors, listening to podcasts, fitness, trying to grow my own vegetables.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Have hope! We often suffer more in our minds than reality. Whatever you are experiencing now will pass and you can almost always do something to make it better. We are here to help!

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Write down your reasons for going into medicine. Refer to them often and reflect on them in a journal. There will be times when you question your path or wish to give up -- Don’t do it! Your dreams are right around the corner! Remember that you did not ask for an easy life—but a meaningful one!

What is something about you most people do not know?

During the pandemic I received my TESOL certification to fulfill a lifelong goal of teaching English to non-native speakers.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

So many people! The first person that comes to mind is my aunt, who inspired me in her medical mission work locally and abroad. She took me with her at a young age to treat the underserved in Mexico and I was hooked. Other people who inspired me include the humanitarian Don Sergio of Yok Chij, and all the physicians I worked for prior to medical school. What they all have in common was a strong work ethic, a genuine curiosity in people/medicine, and a sense of responsibility toward others.


Kevin Lieu, MD

Medical School

UC Davis School of Medicine

Hometown

San Francisco

Why Kaweah Health?

I wanted training that would prepare me for anything and everything. With the large patient volume and high ED autonomy, I know that KD will provide excellent EM training. Being able to stay in California and be close to family and friends was also a huge plus!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I like a bit of everything. I love working with adults but also could not give up working with kids. I like learning about every organ system in the body but also want to be able to work with my hands as well. I’m also a huge night owl, so shift work fits perfectly with my lifestyle!

Hobbies/Family

swimming, singing, going to the gym, running, creative writing, playing board games

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Thank you for the privilege of letting us get to know you as people. It truly is the most important aspect of patient care.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Let your passion to serve others guide your journey. We all took a different path to get here, but that’s what makes life exciting.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” ~Jimmy Dean

What is something about you most people do not know?

I can eat more ice cream than any person I know (but most of my close friends would know this about me already).

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

I made the decision by myself. I volunteered at a Kaiser hospital in high school and fell in love with what I saw while working there.


Oliver Marigold, MD

Medical School

UCSD

Hometown

Concord, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

Really tight-knit community with supportive faculty and great training!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

You never know what’s going to come in and who you’re going to help on a shift! I get to see a little bit of everything and interact with all parts of the hospital.

Hobbies/Family

Running, golf, cycling, camping, soccer, concerts, burritos

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Always ask questions! It’s important that your healthcare is explained to you in a way that you can understand and be an active participant in.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

There is more than one path in medicine. Don’t compare yourself to others, put your best foot forward, and find good role models.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I still use the same piggy bank I’ve had since I was 3 years old.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

All the doctors I used to scribe for in the ED. I always admired their knowledge and the impact they had on their patients.


Melissa Kemp, DO

Medical School

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Hometown

Fresno, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

I was born and raised in the Central Valley and it has always been my goal to return home to serve my community. I scribed at Kaweah Delta for a few years prior to medical school, so I know firsthand how awesome this program is! The teaching is unparalleled, the ER is busy, and the people are friendly—all things that make Kaweah Delta a great place to train.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

Emergency medicine provides everything I was looking for in a specialty—fast pace, high acuity, diverse presentations, lots of procedures, team-based practice…the list goes on and on!

Hobbies/Family

Weightlifting, running, reading, spending time with family.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Take a proactive role in protecting and maintaining your health.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

A pathway will present itself, regardless of the obstacle. Keep going.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I have a twin sister.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

The years I spent scribing as a pre-med at Kaweah were very significant. I met so many great attending’s and residents that influenced my decision to become a physician.


Aubtin Saedi, DO

Medical School

Kansas City University

Hometown

Irvine, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

Awesome residents, attendings, and training philosophy. Added bonus of being back home under the California sun with my family nearby.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

Emergency medicine is the best fit for my personality and life goals. I was always happiest and had the most fun on my EM rotations.

Hobbies/Family

Soccer, backpacking, table tennis, yoga, gardening, and guitar

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Balance is key. Exercise, eat well, and be happy

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Practice humility and enjoy the journey. It’s truly a privilege to care for patients.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I was in an infomercial when I was four years old.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

I had a sick family member as a child, so I developed great respect and admiration for physicians from a young age.


Christina Seto, MD

Medical School

University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Hometown

South Pasadena, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

Kaweah Delta is nestled right in the heart of my home state, California. I wanted to come home and train in a community program that not only created excellent compassionate physicians but also invested and served its patients beyond just the medicine.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I have always wanted to be the kind of doctor who can care for anyone, and in the Emergency Room, I can see patients from all walks of life and be there for anyone when they have nowhere else to turn. I also love doing procedures, working on a team, and getting to meet all sort of people every day!

Hobbies/Family

I write a blog called Brunch with Bear about my adventures living with severe food allergies. When I’m not writing, I enjoy playing music, baking, and reading my way through the giant stack of books on my shelf.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Ask questions. The medical team is there to help you, so if you get confused or want to know more about what’s going on, someone will be happy to clarify things for you.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Explore medicine by volunteering in a hospital or shadowing a doctor, but also explore the other healthcare careers and all your other passions outside of medicine. Being a doctor takes a long time and it can be challenging, so make sure it’s the right path for you!

What is something about you most people do not know?

I can solve a Rubik’s cube pretty quickly!

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

My job in the Barnard Writing Center inspired me to have a career in which I could help people every day that I come to work and after watching my parents care for their patients, the idea of being a doctor seemed to be the best way to do that. Many people advised me on the journey to medical school, but the students and patients who have asked me to help them are the ones who taught me the most on my way to becoming a doctor!


Maria Tobar, MD

Medical School

University of California Los Angeles

Hometown

Oakland, California via Popayan, Colombia.

Why Kaweah Health?

The faculty, residents, patient population and location

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

Emergency medicine allows me to provide care to all patients, from all walks of life in so many different practice settings.

Hobbies/Family

Training for marathons, rescuing strays (trying not to keep them all), learning new sports (currently learning to play tennis with my husband), planting trees

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Today is the day, let’s make it count.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I’ve landed a plane before.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

My folks, my siblings, my teachers, the world.


Alex Tsai, DO

Medical School

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Hometown

San Jose, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

I truly enjoyed my interview day at this program and knew that it would provide strong training in a supportive atmosphere. The exposure to a diverse patient population with unique pathologies makes Kaweah Delta stand out. It was also an opportunity to return back home to California the continue my training,

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I was drawn towards emergency medicine ever since my scribing days in the ED. The ability for the physicians to quickly assess patients while still attending to their emotional needs was admirable. I believe this specialty is the perfect balance of variety of patients with procedures in a fast-paced environment

Hobbies/Family

Basketball, hiking, traveling, weightlifting, rock climbing, snowboarding, watching TV, listening to podcasts, and cooking.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and always keep your health a priority.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Keep working hard while keeping your friends and family close. Always remember to have time for your hobbies and yourself

What is something about you most people do not know?

My love for coffee started when I worked as a barista back in college!

Who influenced you to become a physician and why

My family and close friends inspired me to pursue medicine while my attending physicians when I was working as a scribe in the ED influenced my decision to pursue emergency medicine.


Irene Velarde, DO

Medical School

Touro University California

Hometown

Vallejo, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

I was drawn to KD for its strong training, as well as involvement in Social EM projects, like their street medicine and human trafficking projects. Being located in the Central Valley, we have the opportunity to serve a large underserved population. I also like that my family and friends in the Bay and SoCal are only a few hours drive away.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I wanted to do EM for the opportunity to see every patient who needed it, and to be prepared to treat them on their worst days. As the first point of contact with the healthcare system for a lot of patients with little access, we have a unique opportunity to shape their experience for the better.

Hobbies/Family

Painting, playing the ukulele, hiking, concerts, travel

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day?

Find a good mentor and great friends. Take care of yourself on the journey. Make time to relax, and be kind to yourself when you make mistakes.