Class of 2020
Why Harbor?: As a Los Angeles native, I am thrilled to be back home and serving patients in the best city in the world. My path to medicine is as diverse as the patient population here in Los Angeles. Originally a violin performance major turned philosophy major, I quickly realized the lack of practical application my major held, and after pondering my path in life, I learned about public health and immediately developed a strong interest in it. In graduate school, my interest very quickly turned into passion, as I loved how public health had the ability to change the lives of those most in need by utilizing many different fields, including medicine, public policy, sociology, economics and even environmental science. My interests in healthcare include health policy, health education, social justice, academic medicine and global health. I took part in numerous research projects on topics ranging from improving cervical cancer screenings to battling childhood obesity in inner cities and eventually spent a year in Seoul, Korea on a Fulbright grant where I studied the cultural and social effects on suicide among women. Despite loving the work I did, I realized I missed the patient interaction and clinical aspect of healthcare. I believe that to be the most effective and influential healthcare professional, one must start with a bottom up approach, working with individual patients face to face, and in turn using what I learn to formulate a top down solution that could affect and benefit the most number of patients who are most in need. Family medicine was the perfect fit for me as it allowed me to be out on the field with patients from the most diverse backgrounds and age groups, and it is an absolute honor for me to serve those most in need and to train at a place like Harbor-UCLA with amazing like-minded physicians.
Languages: English, Korean
Who/What Inspires you: my family, my friends, and my patients who teach me to become a better physician
Interests/Hobbies: food, eating food, cooking food, taking pictures of food, posting pictures of food, music, traveling, bouldering, board games, video games, muay thai, binging Netflix and anime, going on new adventures
Celebrity Crush: Benedict Cumberbatch, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Paul Newman
Why Harbor?: I am originally from Bogotá, Colombia and moved to Miami, FL at the age of twelve with my Mom and sister, where I grew up among Cuban coffee, Spanglish and lots of dancing. Soon after immigrating, I was struck by the profound economic and social inequalities for communities of color, especially as it pertained to the American health care system. This heightened my interest in social justice and motivated me to work with vulnerable communities like mine. My focus has been on community-based research and advocacy, working to increase the educational attainment of farmworker children and ending gender-based exploitation of domestic workers. I also have an interest in policy and had the incredible opportunity to work at the Massachusetts State House developing a strategic plan to meet the legal needs of immigrant youth. Family medicine is especially meaningful to me because it addresses context; I strongly seek to care for individuals and populations whether they are homeless or suffer social inequality. I seek to care for people in any context of their lived lives. I am so excited to train at Harbor, and then use this medical training to advocate for marginalized communities as a community physician. In 2015, I became a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.
Languages: English, Spanish
Who/What Inspires Me: My family and friends, the incredible patients I have met, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Cesar Chavez and other past and current leaders in this social justice movement!
Interests/Hobbies: Dancing, spending time with my husband, watching movies, food
Celebrity Crush: Gael Garcia
Why Harbor?: I am beyond grateful and excited to begin my training at Harbor-UCLA medical center. I was raised on the beautiful island of Grand Bahama, Bahamas by two Haitian parents. As a first generation college graduate, I witnessed the stagnant effects of poverty and limited medical resources on our health care. This sparked my interest in Family Medicine and a passion for
empowering underserved communities. During my undergraduate career, I served as president of the Haitian Inter-Cultural Association (HICA) and organized several food drives, fundraisers, and health fairs for the Haitian community in South Florida. During my Masters program at Drexel University I worked as a Peer Academic Counselor to serve students who wanted to improve academically. As a medical student, I was president of the Family Medicine Interest Group and the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), which promotes spiritual balance in medical school. I continued to pursue my love of primary care by serving refugee communities and working within the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Primary Care Leadership Program (PCLP) and National Medical Fellows (NMF) scholar respectively. It’s a privilege to serve others and I am looking forward to obtaining the skills necessary to better advocate for my patients during my training at Harbor-UCLA.
Languages: French Creole
Who/What Inspires you: Jesus, my mom and dad
Interests/Hobbies: Dancing, swimming (I can’t wait to learn how to surf), relationship building, cooking
Celebrity Crush: Idris Elba
Why Harbor?: I grew up in the small town of Pismo Beach, CA, located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. I left home with my sights set on living in a large, urban center and fortunately was accepted to Keck Medical School of USC in Los Angeles, CA. I fell in love with family medicine early on, realizing that this was the specialty that would best allow me to serve a diverse patient population and address a multitude of medical needs. What most excites me about training at Harbor-UCLA is the emphasis on treating not only a patient’s medical conditions, but the socio-cultural-environmental determinants of their health. After rotating at LA County + USC hospital for two years as a medical student, I gained a significant appreciation for the work that is done at a safety net hospital. The patients challenged and inspired me to work hard to provide excellent care in an imperfect system. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with underserved patient populations at Harbor-UCLA and train alongside likeminded residents and faculty. I am so excited to part of the Family Medicine class of 2020!
Languages: English, Spanish
Who/What Inspires you: My patients and my husband inspire me
Interests/Hobbies: Baking, cooking, running, swimming, NYT crosswords!
Celebrity Crush: Angelina Jolie and Edgar Ramirez
Why Harbor?: Hello! I’m Danny. My parents immigrated from Korea and raised my sister and me just outside of Chicago where we learned to appreciate shoveling on the first snowfall (and second and third…), catching fireflies on humid summer nights, and riding the L. I attended Harvard for undergrad, which afforded me incredible opportunities to learn from many special people in the shelters of Boston/Cambridge, a rural community in Nicaragua, and the schools and churches on Chicago’s South Side. The stories of struggle and oppression, of resistance and resilience, of faith and community inspired me to learn more about what faith-based community could look like through a ministry/seminary program that linked spiritual development and cooperative living with advocacy and activism. I ended up living in Oakland for seven years, trying to share life with folks in my neighborhood, coaching and tutoring recently arrived refugee youth, and helping lead a neighborhood/church youth group, which directed my passions toward the healing and empowerment of boys and men of color, particularly related to toxic masculinity, structural/inter/intrapersonal racism, mental health, and spirituality. I went to UCSF, commuting across the Bay on BART and learned/leaned much from/on my PRIME community. I also completed an MPH at UC Berkeley focusing on policies related to financing community health workers in re-entry along with overturning the affirmative action ban in California. I chose to do Family Medicine because of the opportunities to be in long-term partnerships with patients, families, and communities and to be immersed in the spirit of justice and advocacy at the heart of the field.
My interests in medicine are in trauma-informed care, adolescent health, addiction medicine, integrative medicine, and the integration of mental health into primary care. My longer-term hopes are in consciousness-raising in APIA communities, liberation in our lifetime, and dancing like no one is watching. Shout-out’s to Bernard and Jose (may ya’ll rest in peace and power), all the fam (then and now) on 27th and east 16th, and of course, mi hermana and dongsaeng who is daily dismantling and transforming oppressive power structures, personal and systemic.
Languages: Spanish and Korean
Who/What inspires me: folks, young and old, seeking knowledge over ignorance, getting goals accomplished, when the world encourages otherwise, and can do so with seemingly boundless compassion, humor, and grace
Interests/hobbies: Trying to be balanced, especially in residency. Movement (bachata/salsa, all sports with spherical balls) and stillness (books, documentaries, writing, and sleep!). Family/community and solitude. Deconstruction and creativity. Presence and dreaming.
Celebrity crush: Michelle Alexander and Franny Choi
Why Harbor?: I was born and raised in New York and have been plotting my escape to nicer weather since the blizzard of ’96. I feel incredibly fortunate to have matched at the Family Medicine program at Harbor-UCLA. which allows me to combine my interest in primary care and social justice. Everyone I met during my interview was passionate and dedicated to working with underserved populations. I feel inspired every day at Harbor to become a better physician and advocate for my patients.
Languages: English; working on Korean and Spanish
Who/What inspires me: kindness
Interests/hobbies: community medicine, global health, teaching, music, running, travel, hiking, food
Celebrity crush: Dave Chapelle, Jon Stewart, Steven Yeun
Jeffrey Lin MD, MPH
MD: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
MPH: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
BFA: Graphic Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, NY
BA: Sociology and Psychology, State University of New York at Binghamton, NY
Why Harbor?: I was born and raised in Queens, NY, and grew up in one the most diverse counties in the country. I had the good fortune to attend quality public schools and universities growing up and in general, enjoyed life. After flirting with law school, I instead applied to art school and eventually worked for many years as a designer and art director for ad agencies focused on sustainability and non-profit initiatives. However, the rise of #socialmedia took the fun out of working in advertising and besides, medicine is much cooler! I went back to school and eventually chose the University of Miami’s integrated MD/MPH program to gain a broad view of healthcare and its many issues. In South Florida I was exposed to many of the challenges faced by marginalized populations and decided early on to become a public health family physician in order to take on the issues of health inequity so prevalent in our country. I selected Harbor-UCLA’s family medicine residency for its incredibly strong social advocacy mission and commitment to longitudinal programs that directly improve the community, and I look forward to new challenges on the West Coast. The future is bright in LA!
Languages: American English, Mandarin Chinese, Broken Spanish
Who/What Inspires me: My parents’ successful journey from Taiwan to the U.S.
Interests/Hobbies: Arts and crafts, fruits and vegetables, biking and hiking
Celebrity Crush: My wife (she’s going to be famous one day!)
Why Harbor?: Growing up in a city surrounded by diverse and underserved communities, and in a family largely devoted to making a difference in those communities has been a huge privilege and also a large driving force in my journey. From a young age, my experiences in various service activities have taught me that if I am not working towards helping others, then I am not happy. Both of my parents are in healthcare, and so being in a hospital has always felt like home for me. Those motives, along with a discovery for my love of science all led me to pursue the dream of becoming a physician. In college, I was able to learn firsthand from residents of impoverished parts of the Inland Empire just how difficult and expensive it was for them to access fresh produce, and how there was an overall lack of awareness of how important nutrition and lifestyle was for their health and well-being. I spent a year in Queens exploring my passion for education by tutoring and mentoring high school freshman, and was incredibly inspired by the adolescents I was able to develop relationships with. These were just a few experiences where I was able to witness the parallels between health and education, and start to develop an idea of what I wanted to do with my career in medicine. I realized that a person’s health is dependent on all aspects of their lives, and many people don’t have control over a lot of the most important ones such as access to nutritious food and knowledge of how to prevent certain common illnesses. It became clear to me that the only way to work with all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds, truly advocate for my patients, and make a positive change in their lives was to pursue Family Medicine. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here at Harbor-UCLA, surrounded by such inspirational (‘woke’) like-minded individuals who all have the same goal in mind.
Languages: English, and working diligently to one day include fluent Spanish and Hindi on here as well
Who/What Inspires you: My parents, my sister, my patients, meditation, positive change, and the perfect bowl of mint chip ice cream
Interests/Hobbies: Interior architecture, the vast world of fashion, videography, being anywhere in or near the ocean, laughter and quality time with loved ones
Celebrity Crush: Justin Baldoni
Why Harbor?: My passion for practicing medicine stems from my upbringing in Mumbai, India. After witnessing the vast amount of poverty around me and the lack of any medical resources for the underserved, I became committed to work in a system that helps bridge gaps between health disparities. Through my experience at Shifa Community clinic at UC Davis and Montclair Clinic at Western, both of which provide healthcare for the local low-income population, I realized that Family Medicine was the right specialty for me. Within family medicine I hope to pursue my interests in global health, academic medicine, social justice and sports medicine. I am excited to be a part of the Harbor-UCLA family and work with inspirational faculty members and co-residents.
Languages: Hindi, English
Who/What Inspires me: My family and friends, people with strong work ethic, physician committed to working with the underserved
Interests/hobbies: Hiking, camping, dance
Celebrity Crush: Angel Pagan, Beyoncé
Why Harbor? Hello! Born and raised in Long Beach, and have spent the past 15+ years moving from the west to east coasts and back (and forth, and back and forth)! Made my way north to UC Berkeley for undergraduate degree in Art History, after which I changed course and began working in public health, specifically reproductive health and family planning. After time spent working in a family planning clinic in Brooklyn and for UCLA’s Title X Program, I returned to school at Emory in Atlanta for my MPH and worked in HIV research. After graduate school, I moved back to San Francisco to work for the National Office of the Ryan Program and Fellowship in Family Planning at the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. In 2013, I returned to school one last time at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and have finally made my way back home to California (for good) for training at Harbor UCLA!
I’ve been motivated to pursue medicine by the idea of health as a critical part of individual autonomy, and believe access to health care for all people to be a fundamental human right. Throughout my journey so far, I’ve been inspired by community activists, organizers, and collective efforts aiming to break down disparities in health and wealth and open up access to resources for all. I’m honored to be part of the team here at Harbor UCLA and join in their commitment to providing quality care for all people regardless of ability to pay. I look forward to working in my home community as an access point for care and support, and to growing my interest in stigma as a public health issue, and how stigma drives health disparities and poverty. Post residency, am hoping to pursue fellowship in addiction medicine or family planning!
Languages: English, Spanish
Who/What Inspires you: John Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Jody Steinauer, Dr. Paul Farmer, my incredible and colorful family. Also, my partner, Stuart — hardest working and most positive person I’ve ever known!
Interests/Hobbies: Big trees, fresh air, bike rides, mountain time, traveling whenever possible, hanging with friends and family, new adventures!
Celebrity Crush(es): Steph Curry, Jon Stewart, Anthony Kiedis (still & always), Barack and Michelle Obama
Why Harbor?: I grew up outside of Philadephia and studied economics at English at Notre Dame. My four years between my undergraduate degree and entering medical school was a mix of tax consulting, teaching yoga, and realizing that family medicine was my calling. Throughout medical school, I was involved with the mobile health clinic, free clinic, and mindfulness and meditation group. Although my path to medicine was not straightforward, my focus has always been on community service. I believe we have a duty to take care of each other, and this begins with standing with those at the margins of society. I am here at Harbor because I have found a like-minded community who is passionate about social justice and empowering our patients.
Languages: English and hopefully soon Spanish!
Who/What inspires me: Sister Adele O’Sullivan, Father Greg Boyle
Interests/Hobbies: reading, cooking, baking, and eating delicious food; drinking tea; hiking with my dogs; exploring new places; and of course spending as much time as possible with my family and friends
Celebrity crush: Josh Hartnett
Elbert Pineda MD, MPA
MD: PRIME – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, University of California, Los Angeles
MPA: Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles
BS: University of California, Los Angeles
Why Harbor?: Elberth “Bert” Pineda grew up in South Los Angeles and in Gardena. He attended UCLA for undergraduate school after transferring from community college. After graduating, Bert worked in the laboratory at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The experience working at the hospital gave him insight on challenges affecting underserved communities within the healthcare system. This awareness developed into an interest in community medicine and primary care. He went to Drew/UCLA for medical school and was part of the PRIME program. During medical school he became a leader in the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) where much focus and efforts were made in community service, youth mentoring and advocacy. He also completed a Masters in Public Policy in order to learn new skills and obtain a new perspective on how to advance health care through policy. He chose Family Medicine at Harbor because he wanted serve the community he grew up in and worked for. The program will also provide Bert with many opportunities to continue his passion in community engagement and advocacy.
Languages: English and Spanish
Who Inspires Me: Family, friends and mentors
Interest/Hobbies: Traveling, camping, beach volleyball and trying new foods.
Celebrity Crush: Roselyn Sanchez and Rachel McAdams