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Resident Alumni

Class of 2021

Albert Aparicio

Albert Aparicio, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Rowland Heights, CA

Medical School

Howard University College of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

I absolutely fell in love with the culture of this program. Also, aside from the amazing family-oriented staff and faculty, I know Kaweah Health will help me become the best emergency medicine physician I can be.

Why did you choose your specialty?

I am convinced that emergency medicine is my niche in the medical field. It allows me to become a first responder and gives me the opportunity to treat patients of different backgrounds. It also gives me the opportunity to work with various other medical disciplines and tackle a huge breadth of pathology and physiology.

What are your hobbies?

Hip-hop dancing, weightlifting, traveling, music


Benjamin Camacho

Benjamin Camacho, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Sacramento, CA

Medical School

UC San Francisco School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

Outstanding core faculty with a strong residency program designed around constant exposure and hands-on, intense training in a busy emergency department. Kaweah Health allows residents to often work in a one-on-one dynamic with their attending physicians, providing personalized and attentive, detail-oriented teaching in a fast paced setting.

Why did you choose your specialty?

Emergency Medicine allows me to provide care with advanced imaging and laboratory studies while working alongside other dedicated medical professionals to populations who require assistance in diagnosis or management of their disease regardless of ability to pay, documentation or insurance status.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy traveling to distant foreign countries, learning languages and various culinary techniques


Patsy Chenpanas

Patsy Chenpanas, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Los Angeles, CA

Medical School

Howard University College of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

The program’s leadership and staff were all so inviting, engaging and welcoming on interview day! I was also very impressed with how the residents were very happy and energetic about their experiences here and about the community they serve. Also, the location is ideal - you are within 2-3 hours of anything the state of California has to offer, with less traffic and a cost of living that is hard to beat.

Why did you choose your specialty?

As an EM doctor, you are prepared to handle anything, anywhere, at any time. This is the type of doctor I have always wanted to be - equipped and ready for any problem or anyone that may come through the emergency room doors. I also enjoy the wide variety of situations you are exposed to in emergency medicine, which constantly challenges me to be a better doctor.

What are your hobbies?

Hiking, camping, exercising, traveling, art, food festivals, and live shows or music


Hector Guerrero

Hector Guerrero, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Hesperia, CA

Medical School

University of California San Diego

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

Visalia is an exciting city with a lively downtown and close proximity to the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains. The area’s diverse patient population, low cost of living, and community feel make it second to none. The hospital sees varied pathology with a lot of trauma while serving an underserved population; in combination with a supportive faculty, it makes Kaweah Health a great place to train.

Why did you choose your specialty?

Emergency medicine trains physicians to be able to handle some of the most complex and challenging illnesses seen in medicine. Emergency physicians must be able to quickly discern between someone who is sick and very sick, then quickly intervene to treat. I’ve always enjoyed the ED pace, the teamwork, and the diversity of patients seen.

What are your hobbies?

Backpacking the Sierra Nevadas, cooking carne asada tacos for friends, travel, and SCUBA diving


Nicole Guillen

Nicole Guillen, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Sparks, NV

Medical School

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Why did you choose your specialty?

Diversity, fast pace, fun people

What are your hobbies?

Hiking, camping, swimming, my dogs


Josue Guzman-Burgueno

Josue Guzman-Burgueno, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Murrieta, CA

Medical School

New York Medical College

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

Close to my hometown, affordable housing, 3-year program, receptive faculty, large class size

Why did you choose your specialty?

Treating everyone on the age spectrum was a big draw for me. Each day is different in the ER, and you never know who or what will walk or get carted through the doors.

What are your hobbies?

Going to rock concerts, attending sporting events, singing in the car, exploring local breweries, and playing with my pup


Travis Helm

Travis Helm, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Kingsburg, CA

Medical School

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

It is a program full of great people in the community I want to spend my career in.

Why did you choose your specialty?

It offers the broadest knowledge base and the ability to see anyone and treat anyone.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy any outdoor activity such as camping, hiking and golfing. I usually spend most of my free time renovating our home, and spending time with my wife, friends and family.


Priscilla Henson

Priscilla Henson, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Reno, NV

Medical School

University of Nevada, Reno

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

Everyone was so friendly - faculty, residents, support staff - they all made me feel welcome. I also prefer small towns like Visalia over big cities, so the idea of a residency program with a busy ED that wasn’t in a huge city was very appealing.

Why did you choose your specialty?

I love the variety and the pace of emergency medicine.

What are your hobbies?

Hiking, reading, and especially cooking


Theresa Kim

Theresa Kim, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Medical School

Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

I really enjoyed talking to the residents during the resident’s social the night before and participating in the interactive small groups on interview day. The faculty were so welcoming and the residents seem to really love being part of the Kaweah Health family. In addition, the underserved patient population that Kaweah Health serves makes it an ideal place to train. Visalia is so close to home (LA), as well.

Why did you choose your specialty?

I was an EMT before going to medical school. As I would hand off patients, I never knew what happened to them. I wanted to be involved in stabilizing patients at the hospital. As I was doing my clerkships during my third year looking for the right fit, I noticed I loved certain aspects of every rotation. My last rotation was emergency and that’s when I realized, it had all my favorite parts of all my 3rd year rotations (suturing, LPs, intubations, etc). It’s a perfect fit!

What are your hobbies?

Hapkido (black belt), indoor rock-climbing, watching UFC and horror/crime movies


Carli Nichta

Carli Nichta, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Westlake Village, CA

Medical School

Creighton University School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

Fit with residents, small town, location

Why did you choose your specialty?

Fit

What are your hobbies?

Hiking, running, working out, cooking, being outdoors, surfing, playing with my dog


Stephanie Songey

Stephanie Songey, DO - Resident Physician

Hometown

Danville, CA

Medical School

Midwestern University, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

I rotated at Kaweah Health as a fourth year medical student, and had one of the best experiences of medical school. The current residents, faculty and emergency department staff were so encouraging and I felt I fit into their team. The residents are some of the most confident and experienced residents I have learned from. I knew being a resident here would set me up for success.

Why did you choose your specialty?

I love what I am able to do in Emergency Medicine. I love the people I get to work with, the fast paced environment and the ability to make an immediate impact and know how to save someone’s life.

What are your hobbies?

Traveling, hiking, skiing, playing the violin


Jeff Wells

Jeff Wells, MD - Resident Physician

Hometown

Fresno, CA

Medical School

University of California, San Francisco

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

Close to home, love the community, great program with great residents

Why did you choose your specialty?

Fast-paced, good lifestyle, shift-work, ED family

What are your hobbies?

Pianist, gamer, outdoors, assembling metal earth products, being with friends/family


Dane Zappa

Dane Zappa, DO - Resident Physician

Hometown

Oakland, CA

Medical School

Western University of Health Sciences

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program?

Ever since I met my wife, I’ve loved visiting the Central Valley. I know, I know, I get a lot of raised eyebrows at enjoying my time with her parents in Hanford, but you get used to the cow smell. I love the rural aspect of this location and I love the unpredictability of what rolls in through the ED doors.

Why did you choose your specialty?

A combination of loving the variety of pathology and hating clinic and rounds. I like practicality, and I never understood making a patient wait 5 hours for you to round on them when there are things that can be done beforehand. The ED was the right choice for me.

What are your hobbies?

A combination of healthy and unhealthy things. I like to run, lift, bike, especially on the trails with my dog, cooking and gardening. I also enjoy television, movies and video games.


Class of 2020

Lillian Batizy, MD

Medical School

University of Toledo College of Medicine

Hometown

Akron, OH

Why Kaweah Health?

Kaweah delta has a high volume of ED so there is opportunity to see anything and everything. This combined with their well trained faculty who take great pride in teaching leads to a fantastic learning environment.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

EP's have the resources, knowledge, and skills to treat the sickest and neediest of patients. I also enjoy the fast-pace and the ability to see a wide variety of cases.

Hobbies/Family

Biking, hiking, camping, swimming.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Be an active participant in your health care and well-being.

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

It's never to late to do what you love.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I lived in Budapest till I was 7.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

I was a biostatistician for a number of years and worked closely with physicians and nurses on their research. That work and their stories, along with their encouragment, made me realize that I wanted to work directly with patients.


Kevin Carpenter, MD

Medical School

UC Davis School of Medicine

Hometown

Livermore, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

3-year program that serves a large underserved population with abundant Spanish speakers. Also very close to so many great outdoor destinations.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

Fast, exciting, shift work in a fun environment treating a most diverse patient population.

Hobbies/Family

Snowboarding, backpacking, yoga, rock climbing, ukelele, surfing, barbecuing.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Exercise your body if you are able. There are many patients who wish they could, but are physicially limited in ability to exercise or even perform ADLs. Enjoy the body you have and take good care of it so it will last you into your elder years.

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

There are many routes to becoming a healer. Find one that fits your interests and personality.

What is something about you most people do not know?

One of my favorite genres of music is pop songs covered by punk/screamo bands.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

I was injured often as a young athlete, requiring many doctor visits, mostly with orthopedic and emergency physicians. These experiences exposed me to doctors and encouraged me to pursue a career in medicine. My mother also played a large role and supported my passion for biology and physiology from a young age.


Braxton Duncan, DO

Medical School

A.T. Still University -Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hometown

Roosevelt, UT

Why Kaweah Health?

Kaweah is a high volume ED where residents get real hands-on experience early in their training that prepares them well to practice anywhere. Visalia seems like a great, affordable place to live.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

The diversity of patients and pathologies, wide array of practice environments, fast-paced work-day, and jack-of-all trades mentality made emergency medicine a perfect fit for me.

Hobbies/Family

Basketball, anything outdoors and off the beaten path, auto restoration, spending time with family.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat right, be happy.

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

Study hard and be responsible, but don't be in a hurry to get through your education. Develop a real satisfaction in helping and serving others.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I don't have a dancing bone in my body but met my wife country swing dancing.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

My dad is a veterinarian. He is great at what he does and is a great example in his service to others. Helping him with emergencies growing up inspired me to become a physician.


Matthew Henschel, DO

Medical School

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hometown

Fresno, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

After rotating here as a medical student, I knew I would receive the highest quality medical training. As a native to the central valley, it was the perfect fit for me and my family.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

Emergency Medicine is a fasted paced environment that always keeps me moving. An additional bonus is no call when I'm off.

Hobbies/Family

Angels baseball, ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf, saltwater aquariums, and summer cruisin.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Take control of your own health. Ask questions, know your medications, and stay informed.

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

It's a long road. Know what lies ahead and make a plan. Spend time in the healthcare field to ensure this is the right path. Find a practicing physician who will mentor you.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I speak Thai to my mother and Teo-chew to my father, but during large family gatherings, I can pretend to understand Cantonese and Vietnamese.


Brian Ho, MD

Medical School

UC San Diego School of Medicine

Hometown

Fremont, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

California weather, 3-year program, unopposed residency, large catchment area, friendly culture

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

See a little bit of everything, good mix of procedures, great work environment, fast paced.

Hobbies/Family

Music (piano, cello, learning guitar), video games, weightlifting, hiking, exploring slow cooker recipes

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Exercise and eat as healthy as you can.

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

fee! tree explore something else before medical school. That way you have no regrets.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I used to have long hair.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

All the patients that I have taken care of throughout my time as a hospital volunteer and medical student.


Mark Monterroso, MD

Medical School

Loma Linda University

Hometown

Bakersfield, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

Residents and faculty. Robust patient population. Family in the central valley.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I wanted to be the most well rounded doctor I could possibly be.

Hobbies/Family

Backpacking, fishing. surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, gardening.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Enjoy your life and don't be too serious.

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

Start developing discipline and time management skills now.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I love plants.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

My mom encouraged me throughout my entire journey. She continually told me I would make a great doctor someday.


Camille Enriquez, MD

Medical School

University of utah School af Medicine

Hometown

West Jordan, Utah

Why Kaweah Health?

Friendly residents and innovative residency program.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

EM is exciting and is the perfect blend of medicine and hands on procedures,

Hobbies/Family

Baking, Traveling, and Calligraphy

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

The most Important advice I have for my patients is fo not be afraid to ask questions regarding your care.

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

Any student wanting to pursue a career in medicine is inevitably going to face an obstacle to their path. My advice is to stay grounded, remember your motivations for medicine, and as cliche as it sounds, never give up. Part of the path to medicine is adaptability and persistence.


Niklas Eriksson, MD

Medical School

Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Hometown

Culver City, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

I thought the residents and faculty were all great and very welcoming! The community hospital setting of Kaweah Health was also a great motivator for me, I wanted the ER training of a community program that I believe will prepare me very well for my career as an ER attending. I also grew up in California, and my fiance is from the central valley, so we are excited to come to Visalia!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I really love treating emergency situations and being able to provide immediate interventions and relief for patients. The ER allows me to see a wide variety of patients, and perform many different procedures. I also enjoy being able to treat all patients who come to the ER, no matter what they present with. Every day brings something new.

Hobbies/Family

Gym, swimming, finding new Netflix shows, homebrewing.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Take ownership of your health, stay as informed as you can about which diagnoses you have and which medications you are taking.

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

Start getting involved with volunteering or shadowing in a medical setting today. The best way to see if medicine is right for you is to start getting as much exposure to the profession as you can, and try to see as many different settings and specialties as you can to get a more complete view of the different responsibilities of each specialty.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I speak fluent Swedish, and love Swedish food

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

During my undergraduate years, I volunteered at a community hospital in Oxnard, CA. The physicians and nurses I worked with there were all so helpful, caring, and enthusiastic about teaching me and taking care of their patients. They all really inspired me to go in to medicine.


Robert Granata, MD

Medical School

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

Hometown

Fresno, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

The Central Valley is my home. I love this community, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve it. Kaweah Health will offer me excellent training in Emergency Medicine, and great mentorship in my academic career.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

The practice of Emergency Medicine allows me to make robust interventions at critical times that can profoundly improve my patients' lifes. It's why I went to medical school.

Hobbies/Family

Snow & water skiing, wakeboarding, tennis, competitive shooting (IDPA), and computers &technology.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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

Shadow as many different kinds of providers as possible. Set your goals as high as you can, don't be afraid to lean on friends & family for support, and never sell yourself short.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I was a DJ in college.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

The ED staff caring for my grandfather during his numerous visits to the hospital, and who ultimately gave me an additional 10 years with him.


Eric Patten, MD

Medical School

UC San Diego

Hometown

San Diego, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

After doing a 4th year clerkship here, I was blown away by the amazing people here!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I was looking for a specialty that saw undifferentiated disease, but did not enjoy the rounding of IM.

Hobbies/Family

Rock climbing, boxing, MMA, video games, movies.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

You should always listen to your mother!

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

Undergrad and medical school are each for years of your life; be sure to get out there and enjoy it!

What is something about you most people do not know?

I spent 6 years working as an auto mechanic and two as an event planner.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

All the patients that I have taken care of throughout my time as a hospital volunteer and medical student.


Suzanne Shah, MD

Medical School

UC San Diego

Hometown

Northridae, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

The People

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I want lo know how to save a life in the most dire moments.

Hobbies/Family

Cooking,baking, writing (prose, poetry), interior decorating, weight lifting

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Sneak uo and fight for yourself

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

Don't quit and keep trying

What is something about you most people do not know?

I love scary movies

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

Mv father- he showed me the value of nood health in this world.


Joanna Sitzmann, DO

Medical School

AT Still University of Health Sciences

Hometown

San Rafael, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

I rotated through the department and was incredibly impressed with the quality of the program. Additionally, residents and attendings seemed happy.

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

I love the fast-paced nature of the specilty and helping people in their time of most need.

Hobbies/Family

Yoga, hiking, reading, and spending time with my dog

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Medicine and health is a two way street. It is up to you and your doctor to work together for health.

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

Work hard, but also make sure you are enjoying fife. A happy docotor provides the best quality care.

What is something about you most people do not know?

I went skydiving a year ago! It was the scariest thing I have done.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

My aunt is a nurse. I grew up watching her care for people both in her career and at home. She inspired me to pursue medicine.


Emily Trinh, MD

Medical School

Rush Medical College

Hometown

Pasadena, CA

Why Kaweah Health?

The friendly people and the phenomenal training! I felt very welcomed during my interview day and had a great impression of the program. The residents are happy about their training and the attendings are supportive and ready to teach. I also chose Kaweah Health because of its dedicated service to the medically underserved community of the Central Valley. With the diverse pathology encountered and abundance of procedures, I am confident that the education I receive here will help me to become a well-prepared EM physician in the community. I am very excited to be a part of the Kaweah Health family!

Why did you choose Emergency Medicine?

There is never a dull day at work as an Emergency Medicine physician. We see a large spectrum of illnesses and treat patients of all ages. I love the practicality of the specialty in which we are able to use our training to treat "anyone, anything, and anytime." I enjoy diagnosing undifferentiated cases and treating critically ill patients as well as the opportunities for hands-on procedures. I find that Emergency Medicine is challenging, but fun, and it fits my personality.

Hobbies/Family

Snowboarding, yoga, basketball, guitar, traveling

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Health should be your top priority. Health is wealth--save up and spend wisely.

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

It may be a long and tough process, but it is a very fulfilling one. When you are feeling discouraged, remember to remind yourself as to why you want to become a physician. Don't lose sight of the big picture!

What is something about you most people do not know?

I speak Thai to my mother and Teo-chew to my father, but during large family gatherings, I can pretend to understand Cantonese and Vietnamese.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why?

All the patients that I have taken care of throughout my time as a hospital volunteer and medical student.


Class of 2019

Dallas Beaird, MD

Hometown: Long Beach, CA

Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? I loved the friendly attitude of the residents and attendings. I couldn't wait to move back to California.

Why did you choose your specialty? I love the mix of variety and excitement the Emergency Dept provides. An EM doc is well rounded and can take on any challenge.

What are your hobbies? Disc golf, cycling, bird watching and camping.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My girlfriend


David Fujihara, DO

Hometown: Clovis, CA

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? Kaweah Health is a fantastic residency program with great autonomy, a large census, diverse pathology, and an underserved population that has excellent teaching and didactics. I was really impressed by the faculty and pathology and am very excited to be a part of the program.

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose emergency medicine because I enjoy the emergent management of disease processes, the mixture of procedures and critical care, giving patients reassurance, and helping patients and their families work through new diagnoses.

What are your hobbies? Basketball, golf, mountain biking, skiing, reading, working out.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife, Rachel, my 16-month-old daughter, Olivet, and another baby girl on the way!


Christopher Goodwill, MD

Hometown: Orange County, CA

Medical School: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? I wanted to train in a high acuity, high volume ED where I had the opportunity to get proficient with procedures, get great trauma experience, and work with awesome faculty and residents.

Why did you choose your specialty? I enjoy the fast-paced, intense, team-driven environment that the emergency room provides. I enjoy thinking on my feet to solve complex problems and providing at times lifesaving care to patients. I feel honored to have this responsibility.

What are your hobbies? Triathlons, hiking, mountain biking, camping, surfing, snowboarding, fishing and all sports-related activities

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife and two young kids.


Michael Johnson, DO

Hometown: Pleasanton, CA

Medical School: Touro University - California College of Osteopathic Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? I did an audition rotation during my 4th year and absolutely loved the experience. The staff and residents were all amazing and I knew that I would get top tier training here at Kaweah Health.

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose emergency medicine because I couldn't see myself doing anything else while enjoying every second of it.

What are your hobbies? Playing basketball, hiking, running, weight training, and traveling to new places to eat amazing food.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife, Marisa, and our corgi, Kina.


Norlan Maltez, MD

Hometown: Fontana, CA

Medical School: University of Nevada School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? I had heard great things about Kaweah Health and decided to complete a sub-internship here during medical school. During that time, I discovered Kaweah Health's commitment to providing compassionate care, serving the community, and pursuing excellence in medicine. Everyone I interacted with during that time - whether medical or support staff - demonstrated enthusiasm and pride in the organization and its mission. I knew then that the heart of this program was aligned with my own and that I would fit in well here.

Why did you choose your specialty? An Emergency Room visit represents at best a bad day, at worst a day of tragedy. I simply want to help make that day a little easier on my patients and their families if I can. As an Emergency Physician, I can help decrease suffering, place my patient on the path which maximizes the opportunity for recovery, and support the emotional well-being of my patients and their loved ones. I also feel that the abilities and skills I have developed over the years as a paramedic will be put to good use in my chosen specialty.

What are your hobbies? Aviation, technology and finance.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife and children.


Elizabeth Nguyen, MD

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? Patient population, location and faculty. I wanted to be able to provide for the medically underserved while being close to family. It was an additional bonus that Kaweah Health is a 3-year program in an area with a low cost of living. On the interview trail, I was won over by the enthusiasm and passion of the faculty - they shared similar beliefs on our roles as physicians and understood the things that I felt to be the most important in life.

Why did you choose your specialty? Every day brings something new and exciting. I enjoy seeing a variety of patients, diagnosing the undifferentiated patient, and being able to handle almost any situation.

What are your hobbies? Hanging out with friends, exploring new restaurants, geocaching


Christopher Schaefer, DO

Hometown: Palmdale, CA

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? California's Central Valley is a fantastic place to learn the practice of Emergency Medicine. Visalia is an urban island in the middle of acres and acres of agriculture. As the only hospital in town, Kaweah Health has a huge catchment area and is a great mix of community hospital resources with a county-sized census and array of pathology.

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose Emergency Medicine because I wanted to be a sort of jack-of-all trades. Emergency Physicians are often the first point of contact for patients, and the idea of being able to figure out what is going on with anyone who walks in through the door was very appealing to me. It's a great mix of the medical and surgical aspects to medicine, and I love getting my hands dirty!

What are your hobbies? To sort of break the mold of the outdoorsy, adventurist archetype of an ER doc, I am more of a homebody. I have an extensive collection of musical instruments from all over the world, and I attempt to play all of them, some better than others. Having just bought our first home together, my wife and I will soon be developing new hobbies of home renovation!

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife, Kristen.


Caroline Schrodt, MD

Hometown: Bakersfield, CA

Medical School: Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? I chose KD because it's a new program with lots of energy and excitement from the hospital, community, program director and faculty. Still largely unopposed. Also, LOCATION!

Why did you choose your specialty? Love the diversity of patient problems and patient ages. In the emergency department, I have the opportunity to practice a little in every specialty.

What are your hobbies? Yoga, running, cycling, swimming, hiking, gardening, wine, food

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My husband, Robert, and Australian Kelpie, Hazel.


Brian Tanner, MD

Hometown: Los Alamitos, CA

Medical School: University of California, Davis, School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? I was really impressed by the confidence the residents have in their training. All the residents and faculty seemed like very knowledgeable and fun people to be around. The surrounding area is full of great outdoor activities, and the cost of living is low!

Why did you choose your specialty? I love the variety and acuity that is Emergency Medicine. I believe that EM is the best way for a physician to maximize their utility to the community, and it's just really, really fun.

What are your hobbies? Hiking, backpacking, gardening, traveling, guitar


Dries Van Dyk, DO

Hometown: Visalia, CA

Medical School: Touro University - Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health's residency program? I was born and raised in Visalia. This is my home. I was thrilled to learn that Kaweah Health had opened an Emergency Medicine residency and dreamed that I would be able to return to continue my training as a physician. It is an amazing opportunity to give back to the community that helped shape me into the person that I am today. Not to mention the excellent faculty and the available learning opportunities provided at this growing location in the central valley.

Why did you choose your specialty? Emergency medicine is one of the most exciting fields of medicine. There is always something interesting to do. The variety of patients isn't seen in any other field of medicine. There are parts of critical care, orthopedics, pediatrics, OB/GYN and many more. We are also a safety net for the community. When you need us, we are there for you every day of the year.

What are your hobbies? Dodger baseball, USC football, ultimate frisbee, trying to cook the world's most perfect brisket

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My beautiful wife, soon to be son, and our two dogs.


Class of 2018

Juan Arhancet, DO - Resident Physician

2018 Graduation Class

Hometown: Montevideo, Uruguay

Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? I chose KD because it is a 3-year program in California, where I hope to work going forward. Another huge draw for me was that the EM residents are the only residents in the room for traumas. The residents also log a very high number of procedures and see a large volume of complex patients.

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose EM because it allows me to impact a large number of needy patients with often critical interventions. The specialty requires me to constantly learn and adapt to each new encounter. EM was by far the most fulfilling specialty for my personality.

What are your hobbies? Soccer, fly-fishing, surfing, backpacking, skiing and traveling.


Xi Damrell, MD, MS - Chief Resident Physician

2018 Graduation Class

Hometown: Shanghai, P.R.C.

Medical School: Ohio State University College of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? The quality of the program and the people.

Why did you choose your specialty? To help people when they need it the most.

What are your hobbies? Travel, popular culture, cuisine, hiking.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My husband.


Renee DeNolf, MD - Chief Resident Physician

2018 Graduation Class

Hometown: Yucaipa, CA

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? I had two very good rotation experiences at Kaweah Health. Almost every attending physician, resident, and staff member I worked with was not only happy to teach, but excited to teach. I think this is the best type of environment to learn and foster growth in medicine.

Why did you choose your specialty? Emergency medicine is one of the few fields that allows you to dabble in almost every specialty. Every day, you can perform eye exams, orthopedic reductions, run codes, etc. I have never enjoyed going to work more than in EM.

What are your hobbies? Skiing, cycling, running, baking, gardening, and archery.

Who influenced you to become a physician and why? I have always known I wanted to become a doctor. Each day I am able to help at least one person, that dream is fulfilled.

What do you like about living in Tulare County? Visailia has the small-town vibe with access to mountain country, beach cruising, and big city fun.

What's the most important advice you have for patients? Be patient. We realize that there are times in which you must wait for what seems like hours on end before seeing a doctor. We are doing everything we can to resolve this discrepancy. However, there is a lot of work going on behind the curtain (paperwork, orders, critically ill patients, acute traumas) that take time to complete. Please, give us the benefit of the doubt, and this will allow us to care for you to the best of our abilities.

What's something about you most people don't know? Although I absolutely hate the gym, I love staying active. I enjoy bicycling (and just started mountain biking), running, hiking, gardening, and DIV house projects.

What advice do you have for a student who would like to become a physician one day? It is a demanding job. Although it has been said, "don't let work become your life," in medicine, there is no distinction. However, if all you dream of is to walk through those hospital doors day in and day out, helping others in ways that others cannot even begin to comprehend, this is the job for you. It is fulfilling in ways other jobs cannot compare. Perhaps, it's because this more than just a job; it's a lifestyle.


Brian Koch, MD - Resident Physician

2018 Graduation Class

Hometown: Martinez, CA

Medical School: Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? I chose Kaweah Health because of the tremendous opportunity to train as an emergency physician. I look forward to learning from everyone at this new innovative program and I am eager to serve the surrounding community.

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose Emergency Medicine because of the unique opportunity it presents to treat people from all walks of life in their time of need.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy skiing, hiking, kayaking, collecting records, trying new foods, frisbee golf and traveling.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My lovely girlfriend, Victoria. She is an amazing woman from New York who is excited to come to California and explore its numerous wonders that I had the opportunity to experience in my youth.


David Kwon, MD - Resident Physician

2018 Graduation Class

Hometown: Wonju, South Korea

Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? Great case load and case mix, strong resident training opportunities and autonomy, open-minded leadership that values residents' input.

Why did you choose your specialty? Providing foremost medical treatment for critical patients. Many opportunities to use my dexterity on a variety of procedures. Adrenaline rush.

What are your hobbies? Futball, weight training, snowboarding.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife, Julie.


Stephen Wolfe, DO - Resident Physician

2018 Graduation Class

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Medical School: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? Kaweah Health has a rare combination of attributes. This starts with a superb training environment due to great patient volume, a wide variety of pathology, good acuity, and a relative lack of competition from competing residency programs. Although a newer program, Kaweah Health is rapidly gathering depth and acdemic strength in its well-regarded faculty and its association with UC Irvine. In addition, the cost of living, weather and nearby access to some lesser-advertised but remarkable wilderness/mountains, make the Visalia area stand out. We have an exceptional opportunity here to grow in EM knowledge and experience. I have also discovered a pleasant/affordable place to explore the outdoors and raise a family.

Why did you choose your specialty? I am most energized in medicine when I can use both my hands and technology to minimize pain, to treat an acutely ill patient, and see immediate outcomes. I enjoy the challenge of being the first to think through a differential, and to devise a diagnosis and management strategy. I like seeing and interpreting lab results immediately, then making treatment decisions in dynamic team environments. Emergency Medicine has a wide-ranging scope of practice and requires that its physicians are able to function knowledgeably with all aspects of medicine. I have found that EM consistently has the ability to, sometimes dramatically, affect outcomes. It is a privilege to treat patients in their hour of significant need.

What are your hobbies? Before medical school, I enjoyed many more outdoor opportunities than I have time for now, but I still dream of a great powder run on my tele-skis. I try to exercise reguarly with swimming, hiking and a crossfit-type regimen. Occasionally, I have been known to hunt and fish, but not necessarily bag or catch.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife and four aspiring princesses (ages 1-6 yrs) will accompany me, but we are molding the young ladies into rugged outdoors enthusiasts that will outdo and embarrass any future suitors.


Class of 2017

Sean Andrews, DO - Resident Physician

2017 Graduation Class

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, California

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? Kaweah Health’s residency program was my first choice for a number of reasons. It’s a 3-year program at a community hospital with very few residents and a large number of ED visits per year. This results in plenty of procedural experience and the attendings are motivated to teach. Kaweah is exceptionally professional and supportive of their residents. If you rotate or join our program you will definitely notice the difference. In addition, the town of Visalia is amazing with friendly people, small town feel, nice cafés, and beautiful mountains nearby. I’m from Los Angeles County so the lack of traffic was a huge plus!

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose emergency medicine because you are never bored! It’s a huge challenge where you get to meet lots of interesting people and I can save someone’s life with critical life-saving decisions and/or procedures.

What are your hobbies? I’ve been surfing most of my life. I like to keep up with world events, backpack and go hunting, as well.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? I will be the only one moving to Visalia.


David Denson, MD - Resident Physician

2017 Graduation Class

Hometown: Ogden, Utah

Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? I felt I would get optimal patient exposure, with plenty of opportunities for procedures. I also wanted to be a part of a new, growing program, both to see how a residency works from the grown-up and to help shape the program. Current residents seemed happy and well-trained. Living in beautiful Visalia, California.

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose the field of Emergency Medicine because of the fast pace and variety of patients. I enjoy the challenge of discovering and diagnosing new problems. There is never a dull moment in the emergency department.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy just about any activity outdoors. I am an avid snowboarder, wakeboarder, and camper. I also enjoy cycling and hiking. I like most movies and books, especially sci/fi and fantasy. I like cooking and baking when time permits.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? I will be moving to Visalia by myself.


Tam Le, MD - Resident Physician

2017 Graduation Class

Hometown: Cypress, California

Medical School: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? So many factors drew me to this program. Geography? Check. Receptive and encouraging faculty? Check. Being a part of building something special? Check. Training in what I love in the state I love? Check. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Why did you choose your specialty? I fell in love with the idea of emergency medicine before medical school, as an EMT. Aside from projectile vomiting and spurting blood, the idea of commanding the front lines of health care captivated me. As a third and fourth year medical student, actually experiencing the procedures, environment, and people of the ER, sealed my fate. This is the perfect profession for me. Plus, George Clooney was kind of awesome on ER.

What are your hobbies? Enjoying any activity in the fresh, crisp air of mother nature. Daydreaming about it while indoors. This includes, but is not limited to, camping, hiking, beach-ing, snowboarding, zip lining, cave spelunking, and rock climbing. Getting lost in a book/movie/TV show. Getting lost, in general. Eating. Anything and everything. I will try anything once. Breweries and wineries. Exercising vigorously to supplement the previous 3 hobbies. Concerts of any kind. Spending the following days recovering from hearing loss. Basically, living life to its fullest, without regret. Okay, maybe some regret.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? The love and kindred spirits of all my friends and family.


Erik Miguel, DO - Chief Resident Physician

2017 Graduation Class

Hometown: St. George, Utah

Medical School: A.T. Still University - School of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? Kaweah Health had everything I wanted in a residency program: a high volume/high acuity ER, lots of procedures, great trauma experience, happy residents, and a program director that is super excited about her program! Not to mention it's a 3-year program in sunny California!

Why did you choose your specialty? I love the excitement of being in the ER and the variety of patients you get to help! I like the fast pace and the procedures and, come on, everyone's seen the ER shows on TV... working in the ER is awesome!

What are your hobbies? Running, snowboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, and playing with my two kids!

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My beautiful wife and my kids.


Annie Slife, DO - Resident Physician

2017 Graduation Class

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Medical School: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? As the second class, we have an amazing opportunity to lay a strong foundation for what I know will become an incredible residency program in one of the most beautiful areas of the country!

Why did you choose your specialty? I have been drawn to Emergency Medicine since before medical school. It allows me to be in the front lines of America's health and gives me the skills I need to make a real and measurable difference when someone is in need.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy long-distance cycling, crossfit, cooking, camping, and hiking!

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My amazing husband, Derek, and our incredible 11-year-old daughter, Eislynn.


Kunal Sukhija, MD - Chief Resident Physician

2017 Graduation Class

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Medical School: UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Why did you select Kaweah Health’s residency program? The decision was an easy one. Kaweah Health's Emergency Department offers unopposed training, incredibly varied pathology, and the opportunity to help patients from all walks of life. During my interview, I was extremely impressed by the first intern class -- the knowledge and experience they accrued in less than a year's worth of training put them ahead of many senior level residents that I met elsewhere.

Why did you choose your specialty? Emergency Medicine, simply put, is the best specialty. We are on the front lines fighting all types of illness in a time, resource, and information-limited environment. It's fast, intense, and incredibly rewarding to be able to help patients at such a critical time in their lives. I also believe that EM is perfectly poised to usher in a new era of heatlhcare as the nation continues to evolve under the new Affordable Care Act.

What are your hobbies? Road tripping, watching Cohen brothers' movies, social justice, Lakers' basketball, dabbling in all forms of exercise, drinking large volumes of coffee, healthcare legislation, eating breakfast for every meal, minor and major home repair, developing healthcare-related technologies, traveling and learning about different cultures, and my newest hobby: exploring Visalia and its nearby natural wonders.

Who will be moving to Visalia with you? My wife and our extremely talented but ultimately lazy cat Popsicle.


Class of 2016

James Tse, DO

Where you will be going after residency at Kaweah Health? Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance, CA.

Matt Poliakoff, DO

Where you will be going after residency at Kaweah Health? Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.

Ty Philipson, MD

Where you will be going after residency at Kaweah Health? Mercy Hospital ADA in Ada, Oklahoma.

Sean Oldroyd, DO

Where you will be going after residency at Kaweah Health? Kaweah Health

Trung Le, MD

Where you will be going after residency at Kaweah Health? San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, CA.

Daniel Fong, MD

Where you will be going after residency at Kaweah Health? Employed at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, CO.