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Meet the Residents

Patricia Avelar, M.D. - Recruitment Chief

Patricia Avelar, M.D.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley

Medical School: University of Utah School of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and am now happy to be in Southern California. After studying Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, I had the opportunity to work with community agencies conducting violence prevention work before deciding to pursue a degree in medicine. I chose Family Medicine specifically because it gives me the opportunity to make a direct impact on the well-being of my local community. I chose Pomona Valley because of this program’s commitment in defending the health and integrity of underserved. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exercising, and exploring new restaurants and food.


Jesse Cheung, M.D.

Jesse Cheung, M.D.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: University of California, Los Angeles

Medical School: Albany Medical College

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in Lancaster, CA. Growing up, I was really into math, so I participated in local and state math competitions. I went to Antelope Valley College and transferred to UCLA, graduating with a degree in biochemistry with a minor in biomedical research. At Albany Medical College, I knew that I was going into primary care in some form, so I was active in the family medicine interest group and organizing and participating in local health fairs, focusing on nutrition and diabetes education. My hobbies include tennis, badminton, table tennis, board games, and occasionally poker (the monopoly money or penny kind).


Gustavo Javier Gutierrez, M.D. - Chief Resident

Gustavo Javier Gutierrez, M.D.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: Universidad de la Salle Bajio

Medical School: Universidad de Guanajuato Departamento de Medicina y Nutricion

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in Mexico City. I attended medical school at University of Guanajuato. As part of the medical school curriculum, I spent one year serving in a small rural community where I provided primary care for the less fortunate. I was accepted to the UCLA IMG Program where I had the opportunity to work with the underserved population in California. I chose Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center because of it is committed to serving and providing high quality care for its diverse community. It also provides a great learning environment. I feel fortunate to be part of this amazing team! My hobbies are playing guitar, ukulele, calligraphy and cooking.


Sarah Hernandez, M.D.

Sarah Hernandez, M.D.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: University of California, Davis

Medical School: Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina

Describe Yourself:

I was raised in Sacramento, California. From an early age, I learned by strong example from my mother, mentors, and community leaders to share the values of love, humanity, and integrity and most of all, give back to the community that has given me so much. Being the first in my family to graduate from college, I obtained my A.S. degree in Mathematics and Physical Science at American River College in Sacramento, CA. With perseverance in hand, I transferred to U.C. Davis wherein I graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry and a Minor in American Studies. While studying abroad in Havana, I came to know Cuba’s international medical school, the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina. I thrived studying medicine in a healthcare system that provides equal access to its entire population. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s family medicine residency program will allow me to fulfill my commitment to providing access to sustainable, comprehensive healthcare. Some of my hobbies are practicing yoga, Netflix binging, and chasing after my vivacious toddler son.


Hien Nguyen, D.O.

Hien Nguyen, D.O.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego

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

Describe Yourself:

I was born in Vietnam and immigrated to United States when I was 17 years old. I grew up in a small community where health care access was limited. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, San Diego and majored in biochemistry and cell biology. While in college, I developed an interest in medicine through volunteering at a local clinic and learning about patient-centered primary care with a family doctor. I attended Western University of Health Science for medical school. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency Program provides a diverse patient population, supportive faculty, staff, and a family-like environment. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family and exploring local authentic restaurants.


Gavva Reddy, M.D.

Gavva Reddy, M.D.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Ohio

Medical School: Howard University College of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

Howard University College of Medicine, my alma mater, taught me to love working with the underserved. After graduation, I hoped to begin training with similarly diverse patients and equally supportive doctors. Moving to Southern California to learn from the Family Medicine physicians of PVHMC has been all I hoped for. Their style of practicing is a great example of what all medicine should be - patient-centered, practical, and passionate. I look forward to learning from them long after residency.


Jiao Xue, M.D.

Jiao Xue, M.D.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley

Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in China, and I immigrated with my family to San Francisco Bay Area at the age of 17. I attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with departmental citation award. My passion for family medicine grew when working as a front desk receptionist in a private family medicine clinic. I decided to pursue medicine and went on to attend University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. I chose Pomona Valley Hospital FMRP because it is a perfect fit for me. I couldn't have asked for better residents, faculty and staff to work with. They have helped me excel and grow into a compassionate and competent Family Medicine physician. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, traveling, bird watching, snorkeling, crafting and spending time with family and friends.


Duke Yeh, D.O.

Duke Yeh, D.O.

Resident Year: 2020

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego

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

Describe Yourself:

I was born in Torrance, California, but grew up in Taiwan. I returned to the United States during the 7th grade and had to relearn English. It was a blessing to study Biochemistry at the University of California San Diego, and later, medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. I chose Family Medicine because it will provide me with the knowledge and training needed to work with a wide range of patients. Stemming from my Sports Medicine and Christian-based backgrounds, I see the importance of treating an individual as a whole person, encompassing physical, mental and spiritual health. I strive to always eat healthier, and love working out and playing sports, especially basketball and tennis.


Mary Canders, M.D.

Mary Canders, M.D.

Resident Year: 2021

Undergraduate School: University of California, Santa Barbara

Medical School: Albany Medical College for Medical School

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in the East Bay and attended undergrad at UCSB. After spending some time working, I ventured to Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago for a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, and my first experience with winter. Apparently, one winter just wasn't enough, and after completing my masters I went to upstate New York to attend Albany Medical College. Throughout medical school, I developed a desire to treat patients of all ages and from all walks of life, and had early experience with the underserved community in Albany. I chose the Pomona FMRP for its full spectrum training, its dedication to a variety of patients from different backgrounds, and the sense of community and support amongst the faculty, staff, and residents. In my free time I enjoy running, yoga, rock climbing, going to pet stores to look at all the animals I wish to one day own, and eating a lot.


Abdul Kublan, M.D.

Abdul Kublan, M.D.

Resident Year: 2021

Medical School: Tishreen University School of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in a small, beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast in Syria called Tartous. I attended Tishreen University School of Medicine, then completed a five-year residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the National Obstetrics Hospital in Damascus. During my residency, my country was torn apart by a horrendous civil war, and I used my medical training to help those hurt in the conflict. It was a harrowing experience, but it reinforced my desire to practice medicine and help those in greatest need. I arrived in the United States three years ago, settling in the Los Angeles area to be near a Syrian friend who lived here. I chose Pomona Valley Hospital because of its kind and supportive faculty, and that chance to serve a diverse patient population. In my free time, I enjoy photography and driving, which is the perfect way to discover Southern California!


Thu Nguyen, M.D.

Thu Nguyen, M.D.

Resident Year: 2021

Undergraduate School: University of California, Berkeley

Medical School: Western Michigan University School of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was born in Phan Thiet, Vietnam. When I was eighteen years, I moved to Orange County, California by myself. I was the first person in my family to attend and graduate from college with an Honors degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley. After college, my employment as an Affordable Care Act Health Educator exposed me to grassroots community advocacy groups that helped prepare me to be a valuable advocate for my patients. With my background, I had opportunities to work with underprivileged and immigrant populations. My love for family medicine has grown immensely during medical school at Western Michigan University School of Medicine. The memorable patient relationships I have experienced compel me to continue my work towards becoming a compassionate family physician. I chose PVHMC Family Medicine Residency Program because I wanted the valuable experiences and knowledge of a comprehensive, patient-centered and evidenced-based residency program with diverse clinical opportunities. To fully be the compassionate and well-rounded physician, I look forward to my training with the team of medical leaders at PVHMC. In my free time, I enjoy practicing yoga, jogging and reading good books.


Justin Pegueros, M.D.

Justin Pegueros, M.D.

Resident Year: 2021

Undergraduate School: USC

Medical School: Albany Medical College

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in the Bay Area before moving to Southern California, where I attended USC. From there, I ventured to Albany Medical College in New York to study medicine and pursue my MPH at SUNY Albany. I chose Family Medicine because I want to build lasting relationships with my patients, to treat people in all stages of their lives, and because I believe in treating the whole patient—mind, body, and spirit. Pomona Valley offers incredible training in full-spectrum Family Medicine, and is an institution that shares my passions for patient advocacy and community engagement. The residents, faculty, and staff are generous, cheerful, and deeply caring. I could not have imagined a more perfect place to complete my training. In my spare time, I enjoy playing soccer, watching movies, and dancing with my wonderful wife.


Elaine Roh, M.D.

Elaine Roh, M.D.

Resident Year: 2021

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California

Medical School: UCR School of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in Southern California. While studying gerontology and working with the older adult population at the University of Southern California, I gained a strong passion to work in the geriatric field and my interest continued while attending the UCR School of Medicine. I am ecstatic to be a part of the Family Medicine residency program at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and gain more experience serving the elderly patient population through the geriatrics track. In addition to the track, I chose PVHMC because of the amazing and nurturing faculty, staff, and residents who left a great impression on my interview day. With the long history of the family medicine residency and the support the residents receive as the only residency program at the hospital, I am excited to start training at PVMHC, where I am confident I will be able to become a well-rounded family medicine physician. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and exercise, especially cardio kickboxing!


Christine Russell, MD

Christine

Resident Year: 2019

Undergraduate School: UC Davis

Medical School: UCLA Prime-Drew

Describe Yourself:

I was raised in South Central Los Angeles, a historically underserved environment where I recognized my passion for improving continuity health care while experiencing family financial stress and witnessing my mother’s battle with chronic fatigue, diabetes and severe menorrhagia. Her health was an essential foundation for our family and her story inspired me to explore opportunities for a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to managing personal hardships compounded by clinical illness. I was the first in my family to complete college, graduating with a B.S. degree in Psychology and I pursued a medical degree at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine (PRIME) in conjunction with Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to focus on training in underserved environments. In the midst of my medical school journey, I received an M.B.A degree at UCLA Anderson School of Management to optimize the coordination of healthcare at all levels. I find PVHMC Family Medicine Program is an environment where residents thrive as we become well-trained Attending Physicians, providing all-encompassing care: womb to tomb. In my free time I like to organize community-based events through my organization, “Heath, Education, Activism, and Leadership (HEAL),” which focuses on developing programs to build a strong foundation upon which people can initiate and cope with change. I also love painting my daughter’s nails and spending quality time with friends.


Abraham Vela, M.D.

Abraham Vela, M.D.

Resident Year: 2021

Undergraduate School: San Francisco State University

Medical School: Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina

Describe Yourself:

Being a child of Guatemalan immigrant parents, I was exposed very early on to the language, social and economic barriers that our communities face when trying to access health care and other social services. This motivated my desire to pursue medicine and use it as a means for social change. During my undergrad at San Francisco State University I had the privilege to take part in the creation of a free student run clinic, Clínica Martín-Baró (CMB), which continues to provide free, comprehensive and culturally competent health services to the underserved population of the bay area. This experience continues to motivate me to create community spaces like CMB. I had the honor to attend the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba, where I learned that preventive community medicine that is accessible to everyone is key to creating a healthy society. I saw the importance of having access to this model of care and treating each patient as a bio-psychosocial human being. PVHMC’s full spectrum family medicine training will allow me to better serve my community by providing comprehensive and accessible health care. When not studying I enjoy playing soccer, exploring new foods and going to the beach.


Celia Sanchez Casarez, M.D.

Sanchez

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Campus Tijuana

Medical School: Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Campus Tijuana

Describe Yourself:

Tijuana, Mexico was my birthplace. I had the privilege of growing up in both Tijuana and San Diego, moving back and forth between both countries for many years. This gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in both cultures and languages. Becoming a doctor had always been a dream of mine since I was a small child. My mother taught me from example to be compassionate, dedicated, loving and to help others in need. I was fortunate to study medicine in the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Campus Tijuana. I joined the UCLA IMG program where I had the opportunity to learn the American medical health system. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center has an amazing faculty and such a diverse population where I can grow professionally and personally by helping the underserved. In my spare time I like to spend time with my family, bake, go to the gym or the movies, travel and learn from different cultures.


Duc Doan, D.O.

Doan

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California (USC)

Medical School: University of New England College of Medicine (UNECOM)

Describe Yourself:

I was born in Vietnam, but immigrated to the US when I was seven years old. Being the nerd in my family, I was the first member in my family to graduate medical school. It wasn't a quick decision because I spent a few years after college working, but it was an easy one because I knew I always wanted to help people. I'm interested in learning more about integrative & preventative care and treating patients with mental disorders and addiction. Outside of work, I enjoy geeky activities like playing board games and watching anime. But I also like to be active so I play ultimate frisbee, hike, and practice jiu jitsu.


Victoria Ho, M.D.

Ho

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: University of California, Irvine

Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in Garden Grove, Orange County. During medical school I was drawn to family medicine (FM), because I appreciate the relationships that the FM physicians build with their patients and the continuity of care they provide. I particularly like the emphasis on preventive medicine as well. I joined Pomona Valley Hospital’s FMRP because of the empathy the doctors at PVHMC display as well as the opportunity to work with a diverse population. I am excited to address different economic, social, and language barriers that affect my patients’ quality of life and their access to healthcare. Special Interests - behavioral health, outpatient procedures, outpatient clinic Hobbies - arts and crafts, spending time with family and friends, eating, my cat, animals


Chidimma Kalu, M.D.

Chidimma

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: Harvard University

Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was born in Texas, and grew up in Colorado. I completed my undergraduate studies at Harvard University with a Bachelor’s in Human Evolutionary Biology, and earned my medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. I participated in sports from elementary school through medical school, and have always had an interest in Sports Medicine. I chose Pomona Valley not only because of the opportunity to complete the Sports Medicine Track, but also because of the obvious commitment that all members of the program (faculty, staff, and residents) have to fostering the development of competent, compassionate doctors. I have a myriad of interests, including orchid growing, learning piano, and taking care of my dog.


Tiffany Kilbas, D.O.

Kilbas

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: California State University Los Angeles

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences

Describe Yourself:

I was born and raised in Southern California where I received my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. During college, I participated in bioinformatics research and volunteered with the local underserved population in East Los Angeles. In the years following, working in quality assurance for an organ procurement organization solidified my desire to further pursue medicine as a career. My interest in family medicine grew while obtaining my medical education at Western University of Health Sciences. Throughout my clinical clerkships the far reaching impacts of primary care providers and the importance of compassionate care as well as relationship building in family medicine became apparent. I am excited to receive my training at PVHMC, a supportive program that places gravity on community engagement while providing comprehensive training in broad spectrum family medicine. I look forward to serving this diverse patient population in a location that has always been home to me. In my free time, I enjoy reading, painting and spending time outdoors.


Romina Sifuentes Palomino, M.D.

Palomino

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: UCLA

Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was raised in the San Fernando Valley, California. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Biology. After graduation, I tutored chemistry to international university and college students. I then moved to the midwest and had the privilege to attend Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. During medical school I created a preventative healthcare curriculum and held health coaching classes in the underserved community of Maywood, IL. My attraction to the field of Family Medicine has been about offering adequate health care and creating access for those that need it the most.Within medicine, I'm particularly interested in sexual and reproductive health, obstetrics, office procedures, offering patient education, and academic medicine. Outside of the hospital, I love to mentor pre-med students, eat delicious food, and spend time with my precious nephews.


Ashley Thomas, D.O.

Thomas

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: University of Maryland Baltimore County

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Describe Yourself:

I was born in New York and raised in Towson, Maryland. I attended UMBC and received a BS in Biology and a BA in psychology. I have always wanted a career centered around helping others but found my passion for medicine through volunteering in various hospitals. Through my medical school experiences, I developed a passion for creating lasting relationships with my patients and practicing the full scope of medicine. I also have a passion for women’s health and I am excited to explore it more at this program. I am happy to be a part of such a caring and compassionate team. In my free time I enjoy yoga, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.


Carolyn Vu, D.O.

Vu

Resident Year: 2022

Undergraduate School: University of California, San Diego

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences

Describe Yourself:

I was born in San Jose, California and spent the latter part of my youth living in Saratoga. My interest in medicine began when I stumbled upon an opportunity to work at an adult day care center as an activity therapist. Over time, I developed a sincere appreciation for the elderly, and since, have grown in my desire to do more for that population. I selected Family Medicine for my area of specialty because I wanted the training and exposure that would challenge me most to listen empathically and to address the widest array of medical and psychosocial issues possible. I feel blessed to embark on my career here at Pomona Valley, where faculty and staff are incredibly supportive, and where I feel valued both as an individual and as part of a team. Outside of work, I enjoy journaling, listening to music, being outdoors, and dining with family and friends.