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Match 2012

Sandy Cadena

Sandy Cadena

Catholic University of Santiago of Guayaquil

Glendale Adventist Family Medicine Residency Program

Sandy was born in the U.S. But moved back to Guayaquil, Ecuador with her parents as a young child . While she completed her secondary education in the U.S., Sandy received her medical degree in 2008 from Ecuador's top medical school: Catholic University of Santiago of Guayaquil. After graduation, Sandy yearned additional specialized training in Family Medicine and to surround herself with inspirational mentors that could expand her medical knowledge and skills. Thus, Sandy returned to the U.S. to pursue a Family Medicine residency position and U.S. medical licensure. She is excited about the opportunity to care for vulnerable populations using her bilingual and bicultural skills.

Dr. Cadena was accepted to the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program in 2009. She advance and completed successfully all three program modules in August, 2011. Moreover, she was selected and enjoyed serving as an associate instructor for the Medical Spanish Selective Course at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Cadena is currently studying for the USMLE Step 3 examination. Dr. Cadena will be joining former UCLA IMG program graduate, Dr. Calvin Lambert (2011) at Glendale Adventist Family Medicine Residency Program.

Jose Alex Chavez

Jose Alex Chavez

National University of El Salvador

Clinica Sierra Vista-Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program-Bakersfield

Jose Chavez was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador. He obtained his medical degree from Universidad de El Salvador. During his last year of medical school also known as the "social service" year, Dr. Chavez provided care to a rural community of 90,000 people in Quezaltepeque, La Libertad El Salvador. He enjoyed the opportunity to not only provide primary care to the community, but also to teach patients preventive medicine. After graduation he continued to practice in the same community as a general practitioner for two more years before moving to the U.S. to pursue specialized training in Family Medicine and obtain U.S. medical licensure.

Dr. Chavez was selected as a UCLA IMG Program scholar in August, 2010. He successfully completed all three program modules. Dr. Chavez will begin his three-year Family Medicine training at Riverside County Regional Medical Center (RCRMC), a UCLA-affiliated program, in June 2012. At RCRMC's Family Medicine Residency Program, he will be joining UCLA IMG program graduates Isabel Gonzalez, MD (2008), Wendy Rosensweig, MD (2009), Marcela Espinosa De Los Montero, MD (2009), Melissa Puig, MD (2010), and Dr. Juan Najarro (2012).

Oscar Cook

Oscar Cook

Autonomous University of Guadalajara

Hanford Family Practice Residency

Oscar Leonardo was born and raised in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He attended medical school in Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. During his last year of medical school, or "social service" year, he provided primary care in various rural areas and was responsible for the evaluation and delivery of federal aid to low income families of 13 different communities. After medical school, he started his own primary care practice in Cabo San Lucas that served both low income families and U.S. /Mexico tourists and border residents.

Dr. Cook moved to the U.S in September 2009 in order to pursue his dream of obtaining U.S. medical licensure and advanced training in Family Medicine. He prepared and successfully passed United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 1 on his own. In April, 2010, he applied and was accepted into the UCLA IMG Program with advanced standing in clinical science module, program B. Dr. Cook advanced and successfully completed the clinical observership module of the program in June, 2011. After completing the program, Dr. Cook continued working with the program to assist peers in preparing for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills examination and assist with orienting new scholars. In July 2011, he was selected to serve for three months as research associate under the supervision of faculty at UCLA's Department of Family Medicine for several studies related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and doctor-patient communication, dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications. As he begins internship year in June, 2012, Dr. Cook will join former program graduates Patricia Cabrera, MD (2010), and Carolina Abrew, MD (2011) and Dr. Evelyn Jimenez ( 2012) at Hanford Family Practice Residency in serving the rural communities in the central valley.

Evelyn Hernandez

Evelyn Hernandez

Evangelical University

Riverside County Regional Medical Center's Family Medicine Residency Program

A native of San Salvador, El Salvador, Dr Hernandez received her medical school degree in 2003 from Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador. After graduation, Dr. Hernandez worked at a community clinic of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare where she provided medical care and preventive services to the local population; she also engaged in community improvement and outreach activities while working at the clinic. In addition, she worked at the Department of Public Health of Universidad Evangélica, where she supervised and mentored students during their Public Health and Community Medicine rotations.

Since moving to California she has worked at Children's Hospital Los Angeles assisting healthcare providers and monolingual Spanish speaking families facilitate communication as an interpreter and translator. As a professional interpreter/translator, Evelyn remained committed to helping ensure that care was delivered in a respectful manner , compatible with the patients' and families' cultural and health beliefs. Prior to being admitted into the UCLA IMG Program in 2010, Dr. Hernandez successfully passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 while working full-time. Subsequently, she successfully completed Program C-Clinical Observership module of the program. Dr Hernandez is an active volunteer for the non-for profit- organization Padres Contra El Cancer. Dr. Hernandez will be joining UCLA IMG Program graduates Isabel Gonzalez, MD (2008), Wendy Rosensweig, MD (2009), Marcela Espinosa De Los Montero, MD (2009), Melissa Rosa Puig, MD (2010) and Drs. Jose Alex Chavez (2012) and Juan Najarro (2012) at Riverside County Regional Medical Center's Family Medicine Residency Program, a UCLA affiliated program, in June 2012.

Evelyn Jimenez

Evelyn Jimenez

University of El Salvador

Hanford Family Practice Residency

Evelyn was born and raised in El Salvador, where she attended the University of El Salvador. After graduating in 2004 she worked as a general practitioner in Chalatenango Hospital, located in her hometown. In 2005 she moved to the United States to pursue medical licensure.

From 2006 to 2010, she worked as a pharmacy technician at Monsignor Oscar Romero Medical Clinic (ORMC), a community health center in Los Angeles, where nearly 100% of the patients were monolingual Spanish speakers. At ORMC, Evelyn saw the value of being bi-cultural and bi-lingual in helping patients understand their medications. In February 2010 she entered the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program. She advanced from the basic science module, Progam A, to clinical science module, Program B, and subsequently successfully completed the clinical observership, Program C, module of the program in November, 2011. As she begins her internship year in June, 2011, Dr. Jimenez will join former program graduates Patricia Cabrera, MD (2010), and Carolina Abrew, MD (2011) at Hanford Family Practice Residency in serving the rural communities in the central valley.

Nathalia Mesa

Nathalia Mesa

CES University of Medellin

San Joaquin Family Medicine Residency

Nathalia was born in Envigado, Columbia and received her medical degree from the CES University in Medellin, Colombia. She completed her social service year in a military base located in a small rural community of 11,000 people in Covenias, Sucre Colombia. As a physician, she had the opportunity not only to provide primary and urgent care but also to teach patients preventive medicine. After medical school, Dr. Mesa continued her effort to care medically underserved communities and moved to Jerico, a district in the South West of Antioquia, Colombia. Nathalia worked there as an attending physician providing outpatient and inpatient care. From 2006 to 2007, she returned to her hometown and started to work for an integrated managed care consortium called COOMEVA EPS. As an attending, she was in charge of the Diabetes and Hypertension programs. Thereafter, she moved to the U.S. with the goal of obtaining specialized training in Family Medicine. Nathalia prepared and successfully passed the United Stated Medical Licensing Exam (ISMLE) Step 1 Exam.

In April, 2010, Dr. Mesa was selected as a UCLA IMG Program B-clinical sciences scholar with advanced standing. She successfully completed program B Clinical Sciences and Program C- clinical observership in June, 2011. Currently, she is studying for USMLE Step 3 and enjoys helping other UCLA IMG participants practice for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills examination. In June, 2012, Dr. Mesa will begin her three-year Family Medicine residency training at the San Joaquin Family Medicine Residency training program in Stockton.

Rafael Montalvo

Rafael Montalvo

Latin American School of Medicine

University of California in Los Angeles Family Medicine Residency Program

Although Rafael was born in Landstuhl, Germany he grew up in Aurora, Colorado were his parents raised him to value his Puerto Rican heritage. After graduatig from the Colorado School of Mines with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1999 , he worked for several years as an engineer. He then elected to try a new and challenging career as a teacher in Harlem. While teaching in this community, he noticed first-hand the glaring disparities that exist within underserved communities with regards to education and health care. Given his passion for science and desire to make a meaningful difference in underserved communities, Rafael was accepted to the Latin American School of Medicine , a six-year program in Havana, Cuba where he received his medical degree in 2010. Upon graduation, Dr. Montalvo solidified his promise to take a vested interest in ensuring that vulnerable urban and rural communities receive high quality medical care from someone who shares the same culture and language.

In 2011, Dr. Montalvo was admitted with advanced standing into the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program C-clinical observership. He successfully completed the program in October, 2011 and will be joining UCLA IMG program graduates, Francisco Campabadal, MD (2007), Blanca Campos, MD (2008), Selene Lozano, MD (2009), Ricardo Manuel, MD (2010), Drs. Raul Reyes, (2011), Betzy Padilla ( 2011), and Brenda Green (2012) at the University of California in Los Angeles Family Medicine Residency Program in June 2012

Juan Najarro

Juan Najarro

Evangelical University Faculty of Medicine

Riverside County Regional Medical Center's Family Medicine Residency Program

Juan was born in Los Angeles, California but moved back with his parents as a very young child and grew up in El Salvador. He received his medical school degree in 2003 from the Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador. After graduating medical school, he worked at a rural clinic serving the underserved community of Ilopango in El Salvador until he returned to the United States.

Dr. Najarro was selected as a UCLA IMG Scholar in 2009 and successfully completed all three program modules in October, 2011. In order to increase his knowledge of the U.S healthcare, he obtained certification as a medical assistant. He not only worked as a medical assistance but also as a medical assistant instructor. While in the UCLA IMG Program, Dr. Najarro also served as an associate instructor for the Medical Spanish Elective Course at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Najarro will be joining UCLA IMG Program graduates Isabel Gonzalez, MD (2008), Wendy Rosensweig, MD (2009), Marcela Espinosa De Los Montero, MD (2009), Melissa Rosa Puig, MD (2010) and Dr. Jose Alex Chavez (2012) at Riverside County Regional Medical Center's Family Medicine Residency Program, a UCLA affiliated program, in June 2012.

Ji Young Park

Ji Young Park

University of Sao Paulo

University of California San Francisco-Fresno Family Medicine Residency Program

Ji Young was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated with her family to Brazil when she was fourteen years old. Although she spoke neither Spanish or Portugese upon her arrival she was an excellent student and earned acceptance into the University Of Sao Paulo School Of Medicine. In medical school she realized that she enjoyed counseling and educating patients while treating chronic diseases in order to prevent more serious health problems. Being a skilled pianist, she quickly realized that the role of the primary care doctor was similar to that of a maestro , that is one who conducts an orchestra of many talented musicians to extract a harmonious and beautiful sound which in medicine is an enduring state of well-being for the patient. Upon graduation in 2006 from medical school, Dr. Park moved to the U.S. to join her family living in Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Park independently took and excelled on the United State Medical Licensing Exams Steps 1, 2, and 3. She was accepted with advanced standing into the UCLA IMG Program C-clinical observership module. Fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean, she wishes to use her language skills and tri-cultural background to relate to a large number of immigrant patients, ensuring that they receive optimal care. As she starts internship year in June, 2012, Dr. Park will be joining past UCLA IMG program graduates Nidia Payan, MD (2009), Cira Welvaert, MD (2009), Mileidys Gomez-Gonzalez, MD (2009), Carlos Yoo, MD (2010), and Dr. Oscar Hernandez (2011) at the University of California San Francisco-Fresno Family Medicine Residency Program.

Violeta Recalde

Violeta Recalde

Pontific Catholic University of Ecuador

Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program

Violeta was born and raised in Quito-Ecuador. She received her medical degree in 2008 from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. During medical school and after graduation, Dr. Recalde worked with underserved communities as a primary care physician. From this perspective she realized the importance of family care and made her decided to pursue advanced training in primary care. Shortly thereafter she moved to the U.S. to study for the United States Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE) with the goal to compete for a residency position in Family Medicine and fulfill her dream of being a U.S. licensed physician providing culturally sensitive and linguistically competent primary care to vulnerable populations.

She studied and successfully passed USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CS, Step 2 CK and Step 3 within a 12 month period. Soon thereafter, she applied to the UCLA IMG Program and was accepted with advanced standing into Program C-clinical observership module. She completed the clinical observership in June 2011 and since then has been helping her colleagues prepare for their USMLE Step CS examinations. In June, 2012 she will be joining former UCLA IMG program graduate Dr. Jorge Rodrigo Mercado (2009) at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, a UC Irvine affiliated progra.

Brenda Sanchez-Green

Brenda Sanchez-Green

Autonomous University of Baja California

University of California in Los Angeles Family Medicine Residency Program

Brenda was born in Monterrey, México but grew up in the California-Mexico border town of Tijuana, Mexico. She attended medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC), Tijuana in 2008. During her year of social service, she provided comprehensive medical care in a Tijuana medical clinic whose patients were primarily from the underserved border communities. Because these patients frequently move back-and-forth between the US and Mexico, continuity of care was a major challenge in providing medical services. Despite these challenges, she was gratified that her patients welcomed her interest in keeping them healthy and their number of "arrived" follow-up visits increased.

Upon graduation, Dr. Sanchez-Green moved to San Diego with the dream of obtaining specialized training in Family Medicine and U.S. medical licensure. In San Diego, she learned about the UCLA International Medical Graduate pre-residency training program. In February 2009, she was admitted into its Program A-basic sciences module. Later, she advanced and successfully completed program B-clinical sciences and the 12 week clinical Observership - Program C in August, 2011. Additionally, while in the UCLA IMG program, Dr. Sanchez-Green had the privilege of serving for two consecutive years as associate instructor for the Medical Spanish Elective Course at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Currently, she is studying for the United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 3. In June, 2012 she will be joining past UCLA IMG Program graduates, Francisco Campabadal, MD (2007), Blanca Campos, MD (2008), Selene Lozano, MD (2009), Ricardo Manuel, MD (2010), Drs. Raul Reyes, (2011), Betzy Padilla ( 2011), and Rafael Montalvo (2012) at UCLA's Family Medicine Residency Program in June, 2012.

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Updated March 2012