Open Accessibility Menu
Hide

GME Family Residents

Lakai Banks-Dean

Lakai Banks-Dean, MD PGY3 - Resident Physician/Co-Chief Resident

Medical School

Howard University College of Medicine

Hometown

Bakersfield, CA

Why did you choose FM?

I chose Family Medicine because it will equip me with the skills to provide comprehensive and patient-centered care. This specialty will allow me to grow with my patients, provide patient education, and help patients manage their health within the context of their lives.

Why Kaweah Health?

My interview experience was characterized by warmth from the faculty and staff, and transparency about different aspects of the program. I ultimately chose Kaweah Health because of its clear dedication to the surrounding community, close proximity to my hometown, and how much the residents’ love the program.

Hobbies

Cooking & baking, watching Netflix, playing & watching basketball, traveling.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

You deserve to be healthy in every aspect of your life; mind, body, & soul.

Ann-Gelle Carter

Ann-Gelle Carter, MD PGY3 - Resident Physician/Co-Chief Resident

Medical School

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Hometown

While I was born in Illinois, I have lived in many cities and states across the country.

Why did you choose FM?

I love the variety! This field provides me with limitless opportunities to encounter underserved, minority patients of all ages and walks of life. Additionally the ability to balance both clinical medicine along with academic medicine, will allow me to pass this acquired knowledge and these acquired skills to the next generation of physicians.

Why Kaweah Health?

During my interview at Kaweah Health, I felt drawn to the unique opportunity to train at this full spectrum Family Medicine Residency Program (encompassing Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Hospital Medicine, Rural Medicine and so much more) within this unique medically underserved region of California.

Hobbies

Yoga, Traveling Abroad, Road Trips, Watching Documentaries/Biographies/Movies

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Ask questions OFTEN. Be PROACTIVE about your health! Why diet? A healthy lifestyle is easier to achieve If you take ownership...simply take it one meal, one plate, one bite at a time!

Faiza Nawaz, MD

Faiza Nawaz, MD PGY3 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Fatima Jinnah Medical University

Hometown

Visalia, CA

Why did you choose FM?

FM offers a long-term, meaningful connection with people. A typical day can range from the birth of a child to the satisfaction of a patient quitting smoking. As a family physician, you are able to bring a sense of connection and comfort to families during difficult times.

Why Kaweah Health?

KD FM residency program is one of the few residency programs in the country that’s mission-driven to serve the underserved community. I really love how they are involved in the community and serving this area gives me a great feeling of satisfaction.

Hobbies

Cooking and gardening.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Prevention is the best medicine.

Daniel Proctor, MD

Daniel Proctor, MD PGY3 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University

Hometown

Waterford, Michigan.

Why did you choose FM?

I like family medicine because it includes a bit of everything, FM docs must use a broad knowledge base when caring for patients.

Why Kaweah Health?

Adult medicine focus and location near family in Fresno

Hobbies

Hiking, camping, working on house projects, reading the news

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Make your personal health a priority in life :)

Mara SantaMaria

Mara SantaMaria, MD PGY3 - Resident Physician

Medical School

University of Arizona, Tucson AZ

Hometown

Tucson, AZ

Why did you choose FM?

Early in my education I was fortunate to be mentored by physicians with the skills and willingness to serve everyone in the community. Their dedication to service aligned well with my background in Public Health and passion for promoting social justice. When looking to further my training, I found these values exemplified in Family Medicine, and feel most fulfilled when serving families in this capacity.

Why Kaweah Health?

I was drawn to the Kaweah Health Residency Program by the enthusiasm and passion of the faculty and residents to serve the community and provide excellent care. The residents are pursuing their training, education, and interests, and I felt welcomed from the start.

Hobbies

I enjoy street fairs, traveling, art, food, and exploring new places with friends and family. I enjoy spending time with my husband and being involved with my daughter’s Girl Scout and Folklorico dance troupes as she carries on this tradition. This last year we were blessed with twin boys! They make our family complete and make sure I never oversleep, never run out of reasons to smile, and can multitask like a pro.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Share your goals with me and be honest. I strive to partner with you in achieving your best health and support you in reaching those goals.

Linh Tran

Linh Tran, MD PGY3 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Florida State University College of Medicine

Hometown

Pensacola, Florida

Why did you choose FM?

Versatility. I like the idea of being able to work with patients of all age groups and having a wide variety of skills at my disposal.

Why Kaweah Health?

The residents, faculty, and staff seemed very friendly and happy to be here. Along with all the educational opportunities, what more could I ask for?

Hobbies

My hobbies include martial arts, bike riding, and watching television shows.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Invest sufficient time and attention towards your health so that you can continue to do what you love to do, and spend time with those important to you.

Jason Wong

Jason Wong, DO PGY3 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hometown

Alhambra, CA

Why did you choose FM?

Broad spectrum of medicine involved, flexibility of future career, focus on preventive and holistic medicine

Why Kaweah Health?

Opportunity to serve the underserved population, job opportunities, focus on community health, and full scope family medicine

Hobbies

Traveling, trying out new foods, exercise, hanging out with friends and family

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Actively participate in your own health and find time to exercise

Michelle Blain

Michelle Blain, DO PGY2 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hometown

Shelby Township, MI

Why did you choose FM?

I love the variety of family medicine! I also enjoy establishing a rapport with each patient, as well as the continuity of care that comes with family medicine. I like working with patients to focus on health and wellness, and to provide comprehensive medical care for patients both young and old (and in between).

Why Kaweah Health?

The residents and faculty at Kaweah Health are kind and welcoming - it just felt like the perfect fit for me! I wanted to train in a community hospital with a patient-centered focus, and Kaweah Health is exactly that! Similarly, training at Kaweah Health is excellent preparation to work in any type of medical setting, in particular underserved regions, both domestically and internationally.

Hobbies

Running, yoga, scuba diving, hiking, traveling, basketball, reading

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Do not hesitate to ask questions or for clarification. Take ownership and pride in your health. Exercise, eat well, and we can work together for wellness of body, mind, and spirit.

Tawanda Charumuka

Tawanda Charumuka, MD PGY2 - Resident Physician

Medical School

East Tennessee University - Quillen College of Medicine

Hometown

I am originally from Zimbabwe. I come to Visalia from Memphis, TN

Why did you choose FM?

I chose Family Medicine because I will be able to provide comprehensive care to my patients. I would like to be on the frontlines providing care and promoting preventive medicine. Family Medicine is the specialty that gives me that ability. I also enjoy the continuity of care.

Why Kaweah Health?

The dedication of the Family Medicine program to the underserved communities in Tulare County was a huge attraction for me. The diversity in the residency program, from faculty to residents, brings diverse experiences which enchance learning. My interview experience was very welcoming and I felt at home.

Hobbies

Spending time with family, playing soccer with my two boys, biking, and attending local concerts.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Your doctor is your best cheerleader for your best health outcome. Never shy away from discussing any health-related issues with your doctor.

Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee, MD PGY2 - Resident Physician

Medical School

The University of Toledo College of Medicine

Hometown

Camarillo, CA

Why did you choose FM?

I chose family medicine because I like connecting with patients of all ages and having the ability to address diverse clinical problems. I am interested in whole person health and understanding the whole human experience by addressing both physical and mental health.

Why Kaweah Health?

I wanted to join Kaweah Health because of the program’s commitment to the local community, and I appreciated the faculty’s enthusiasm and vision for the direction of the program. Everyone seemed to be genuinely dedicated to finding people who shared their mission of compassionate care. Finally, it was really important to me to stay in California at a community-based program.

Hobbies

Meditation, art projects, making recipes healthier (while attempting to keep them palatable!)

Daniela Rangel Orozco

Daniela Rangel Orozco, MD PGY2 - Resident Physician

Medical School

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Hometown

Lindsay, CA

Why did you choose FM?

Family medicine is well-suited for me because it will allow me to exercise whole-person care while focusing on cultural sensitivities and the socio-economic needs of my patients. Moreover, Family Medicine will provide me the opportunity to establish long term relationships, take care of families and positively impact the well-being of entire communities.

Why Kaweah Health?

I selected Kaweah Health because I grew up in near by Lindsay and longed for the opportunity to serve my community. My family picked oranges, olives and grapes when I was growing up and my first experience working in the fields motivated me to seek a medical education in order to help ameliorated health care disparities in farm working communities such as the communities served by Kaweah Health. Additionally, after completing a Sub-internship rotation as a 4th year medical student I knew it was the place I wanted to continue the next phase of my training as a resident physician because of the dedicated Family Medicine Faculty.

Hobbies

My favorite hobby is spending time with my 4-year-old daughter cooking and working on arts and crafts projects. I also enjoy gardening, running and organizing.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Some of the most important advice I have for my patients is to prioritize themselves and their health. I encourage them to be proactive about seeking and utilizing community resources. My hope is that, by doing so, this will have a more sustainable and positive impact on their health and overall well-being.

Antonieta Rueda, MD

Antonieta Rueda, MD PGY2 - Resident Physician

Medical School

University of Texas at Southwestern

Hometown

Round Rock, TX

Why did you choose FM?

Family Medicine encompasses the career that I wanted when I chose to go into medicine. Whether they are seeking treatment of a simple cold or management of multiple, complex health conditions, I want to be able to care for my patients through all stages of their life. My goal is for my patients to eventually optimally manage their own health. The long-term relationships and ongoing shared decision-making of primary care provide the best setting for providing patients with the necessary tools for doing this.

Why Kaweah Health?

Our program director’s personal motto is “Work Hard and Care More.” After meeting the faculty, residents and staff of Kaweah Health, I felt inspired by their ideals and felt that I could entrust my scientific and ethical education to this program. I also liked the size of Visalia, the strong agricultural roots, and that I would have the opportunity to maintain Spanish-speakers as part of my patient panel.

Hobbies

Cooking, woodworking, etymology, food politics, themed movie night

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Decide on your health goals and be open to challenging yourself to attain them. Be honest with your physician about what you think you are and are not ready to do right now in your treatment plan. I want you to succeed and am willing to take the time to agree on a treatment plan that works for you!

Chang Shin

Chang Shin, DO PGY2 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA

Hometown

Seoul, Korea

Why did you choose FM?

I felt called by the Holy Spirit.

Why Kaweah Health?

It is a place where Family Medicine shines through the underserved communities! I love the staff, people, co-residents, and Central Valley!

Hobbies

Surfing, motorcycle, drumming, hanging out with family and friends

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Stay healthy so that you can stay away from doctors as much as possible!

Lilly Varner

Lilly Varner, MD PGY2 - Resident Physician

Medical School

University of Kansas School of Medicine

Hometown

Overbrook, KS

Why did you choose FM?

I enjoy the variety of primary care and am passionate about preventive care. I like talking to people and serving as their first connection to the world of medicine.

Hobbies

Reading, traveling, movies

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Ask questions and be your own advocate. Actively partner with your provider to take the best possible care of you.

Anu Adediji, MD

Anu Adediji, MD PGY1 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Obafemi Awolowo University

Hometown

Lagos Nigeria

Why did you choose FM?

A choice to go into Family Medicine was greatly influenced by my family physician. I love the opportunity for continued care that Family Medicine provides.

Why Kaweah Health?

I like the community feel of the program. The location guarantees an opportunity to cater to a diverse group of patients and medical conditions.

Hobbies

Spending time with friends and family. Traveling.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Similar symptoms occur for different diseases. Searching your diagnosis on the internet before seeing your physician only gets you worried. If something does not feel right, talk to your physician.

Armando Cervantes

Armando Cervantes, MD PGY1 - Resident Physician

Medical School

University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Hometown

San Jose, CA

Why did you choose FM?

As the medical field further fragments through specialization, Family Medicine continues to promote continuity of care. The bond we are able to foster between patient and provider extends beyond the office visit - we get the opportunity to be a friend, an advisor, and advocate.

Why Kaweah Health?

Kaweah Health felt most like home - everyone I met during interview day made me feel welcomed and wanted.

Hobbies

Playing cards with my parents.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

See your primary care doctor regularly.

Ivana Choudhury, DO

Ivana Choudhury, DO PGY1 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (Middletown Campus)

Hometown

New Hyde Park, New York

Why did you choose FM?

I wanted to be as involved in my patients’ care as I can be, and Family Medicine allows me to do that.

Why Kaweah Health?

What I loved the most about Kaweah Health is its dedication to the surrounding community. As a physician, I believe that there are several components that play into one’s health, including physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. To see a program have such strong ties to its community spoke to me since that’s how involved I want to be as someone’s physician.

Hobbies

Singing, painting and swimming.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

My goal is to make sure you’re comfortable with me being your physician, so please ask anything you need to ensure you’re getting the best advice regarding your health care.

Mark Said, MD

Mark Said, MD PGY1 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Ross University School of Medicine

Hometown

Visalia, CA

Why did you choose FM?

During medical school and clerkships, I have seen the importance of family medicine and all its aspects: from providing preventative screening, to diagnosing patients and developing appropriate treatment plans for them, to building lasting relationships with my patients.

Why Kaweah Health?

The Kaweah Health Family Medicine Program stands out considerably and possesses all the qualities that are important for me in a residency. I found that many of the strengths of the program - a familial environment, diverse patient pathology, and balance between autonomy and resident support align with the training I hope to attain throughout residency. Furthermore, growing up in Visalia and having done multiple away rotations at Kaweah Health, I easily saw myself as a happy resident here by seeing firsthand how genuinely caring and invested the staff are in each individual resident.

Hobbies

Cycling, playing soccer, hiking, watching shows and reading news.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Healthy life-style and self-care are key elements for disease prevention.

Reshma Shiwdin

Reshma Shiwdin, DO PGY1 - Resident Physician

Medical School

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hometown

Edison, New Jersey

Why did you choose FM?

I chose Family Medicine as my specialty because I really enjoy the broad spectrum of knowledge and practice that comes with the specialty- to be able to treat and help patients from infants to the elderly. Also, I really like the continuity of care and the connection formed with patients as you treat them throughout their lives and hopefully the lives of their children.

Why Kaweah Health?

I chose this residency program because of their mission statement to help the underserved and migrant population of central California. I also really enjoyed interview day and everyone I met during the time there. It felt like home and I felt like I could be myself and thrive in this environment.

Hobbies

I enjoy cooking, surfing, yoga, hiking/almost any outdoorsy activity and always curious to try something new and learn a new skill.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Be honest and ask questions! Both are so important in the physician-patient relationship. We are here for you, to help educate, give advice and to help you be the healthiest you can be!

Roxanne Talamayan-Pascua

Roxanne Talamayan-Pascua, MD PGY1 - Resident Physician

Medical School

University of California, Irvine

Hometown

Los Angeles, CA

Why did you choose FM?

Our biggest impact occurs when we listen to the person in the setting of their context. Family Medicine focuses on the entire person and treats them with their social situation in mind, and this means we can help to make long-lasting changes with an eye towards preventive care.

Why Kaweah Health?

The patient population they serve is the one I’ve wanted to serve, and it’s in the setting of a new FQHC. I also I felt like I really connected with the residents and faculty in the program. They are such a friendly and welcoming group.

Hobbies

I love being outdoors with my husband and two daughters, and we’ve already been to the three national parks that are close by multiple times! I’ve picked up Lettering and Bullet Journaling as ways to reflect and meditate.

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

Long-term change happens in small increments. If you want/need to change something, keep track of the small changes you make using a log or journal because it is motivating to see your progress. We can forget what we’ve done towards our goal, and that can lead to feeling uninspired, so put in the time to track it and see how far you’ve gone. Be kind to yourself because it does take time to make lasting changes.

Cate Whitlach, MD

Cate Whitlach, MD PGY1 - Resident Physician

Medical School

American University of Antigua

Hometown

Tehachapi, CA

Why did you choose FM?

I love the kind of medicine that allows you to make connections and establish rapport with patients - and not just when they’re sick but also when they’re healthy and doing well. For me, Family Medicine sets that tone and environment. And it’s a bonus to be able to do that with individuals regardless of their age.

Why Kaweah Health?

I spent a few months in Visalia doing core rotations for my school w/ Kaweah Health and really loved the area. Then when I got the chance to learn more about the Family Medicine program, I was further drawn in by the people and the program’s commitment to the community.

Hobbies

Buying books to read, starting those books, trying to remember to finish said books; confidently answering questions wrong while watching Jeopardy

What is the most important advice you have for patients?

If you don’t understand something, anything - ask a question. Whether it’s what a certain medication does, what test results mean, what your medical condition means or what it does to your body, and so on...ask. If the answer you get doesn’t make sense to you - say that and ask more questions.

Graduates

Sara Bansal, MD

Class of 2020

Sara Bansal, MD

Gursharn Kaur, MD

Class of 2020

Gursharn Kaur, MD

Matthew Kim, MD

Class of 2020

Matthew Kim, MD

Lea Macias, MD

Class of 2020

Lea Macias, MD

Jasneet Mann, MD

Class of 2020

Jasneet Mann, MD

Marina Nemetalla, MD

Class of 2020

Marina Nemetalla, MD

Aashini Shah, MD

Class of 2020

Aashini Shah, MD

Vanesa Avila, MD

Class of 2019

Vanesa Avila, MD

Mary Heady, DO

Class of 2019

Mary Heady, DO

Ahmer Khalid, MD

Class of 2019

Ahmer Khalid, MD

Geoff Lange, DO

Class of 2019

Geoff Lange, DO

Naila Mubashar, MD

Class of 2019

Naila Mubashar, MD

Suleiman, Saroia, DO

Class of 2019

Suleiman, Saroia, DO

Chris Christiansen, MD

Class of 2018

Chris Christiansen, MD

Eduard Drannikov, MD

Class of 2018

Eduard Drannikov, MD

Mazin Elhadary, MD

Class of 2018

Mazin Elhadary, MD

Faranak Ghazi, MD

Class of 2018

Faranak Ghazi, MD

Sandeep Pabla, MD

Class of 2018

Sandeep Pabla, MD

Jonathan Shalom, MD

Class of 2018

Jonathan Shalom, MD

Desta Ellis, MD

Class of 2017

Desta Ellis, MD

Aisha Hanif, MD

Class of 2017

Aisha Hanif, MD

Uzma Qureshi, MD

Class of 2017

Uzma Qureshi, MD

Pouria Sadeghi, MD

Class of 2017

Pouria Sadeghi, MD

Adesina Sanni, MD

Class of 2017

Adesina Sanni, MD

Tehniyat Shorish, MD

Class of 2017

Tehniyat Shorish, MD

Fahad Hashmat, MD

Class of 2016

Fahad Hashmat, MD

Kamel Kamel, MD

Class of 2016

Kamel Kamel, MD

Ehab Swehli, MD

Class of 2016

Ehab Swehli, MD

Asma Tariq, MD

Class of 2016

Asma Tariq, MD

Aisha Umbreen, MD

Class of 2016

Aisha Umbreen, MD

Marwan Zoghbi, MD

Class of 2016

Marwan Zoghbi, MD