Department of
Internal Medicine at Highland Hospital
A member of Alameda Health System

PGY1


Marwan Abdelrahim, MBBS

Medical School:

University of Khartoum, Sudan


Greatest Accomplishment:

Obviously matching at Highland 


Interesting Place Visited:

Malaysia, Prague, Germany.



Virginia Adewole, MD

Medical School:

University of California, Davis


Greatest Accomplishment:

Being. Loving. Trying.


Interesting Place Visited:

1. The mind’s eye

2. Potential spaces of relationship-building, evocative and humbling

3. Mirages of fear or self-doubt visited by every human being and attenuated by insight

4. All places green with beckoning bodies of water

Caveat emptor: Writer has no money to travel, so I chose metaphors:)



Shahad Al Chalaby, MB ChB

Medical School:

University of Baghdad College of Medicine


Greatest Accomplishment:

Trusting my wings and following my quests!


Interesting Place Visited:

Several historical sites in Mesopotamia : Shandukha, Spi and Seen mountains in Duhok, Hawler citadel, the mound ruins of Kouyunjik and prophet's Jonah shrine in Nineveh, the spiral minaret of ancient Samarra on the east bank of Tigris river, the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, and the ruins of Babylon.

Other interesting places visited were Princes' islands in Istanbul, Turkey's largest sycamore tree in Oyukcinar northern Bursa, the Black sea, the Jupiter temple ruins in Damascus, and ancient Amman.

Finally, among the many awe-provoking places in the United States, I was caught by the beauty of San-Francisco bay area with its magical golden-green hills and heavenly blue Pacific coast! Nonetheless, Lombard-street along the Russian hill was very interesting and among my favorites!



Ashakech Bayable, MD

Medical School:

Hawassa University College of Medicine and Health Science


Greatest Accomplishment:

Finishing medical school with honor and matching into my first choice of residency at Highland Hospital!


Interesting Place Visited:

The most interesting places I visited are the 12th century medieval monolithic churches known as Lalibela Rock-Hewn churches and Fasiledes castle, both of which are located in Ethiopia.



Mary Clare Bohnett, MD

Medical School:

Oregon Health & Science University


Greatest Accomplishment:

A successful couples match!


Interesting Place Visited:

Caye Caulker, Belize.



Stephen Chan, MD

Medical School:

University of Texas Health and Science Center - San Antonio


Greatest Accomplishment:

Deciding to pursue my interest in medicine after having first started a career in finance.


Interesting Place Visited:

Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru with my sisters.



Ya-Ting Chen, MD

Medical School:

Northwestern University of Feinberg


Greatest Accomplishment:

Learning to ice skate outdoors at the Millennium Park all through my four winters in Chicago.  I witnessed 7 successful proposals on the ice!


Interesting Place Visited:

Cape Town and the Garden Route in South Africa.  It was very beautiful, and seeing the wild animals living their natural way of life was truly mesmerizing.   



Bryce Chiang, MD

Medical School:

Emory University


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is finishing medical school! It’s been an exciting - sometimes scary - journey. And I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family.


Interesting Place Visited:

The most interesting place I have visited is Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida. It was amazing learning about the exploits of the NASA scientists and astronauts; how they sent a man into space and the moon; and continually strive for the betterment of humankind and exploring the unknown.



Eric Chow, DO

Medical School:

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine


Greatest Accomplishment:

Having had the opportunity to be involved with physician assistant student education as a didactic and clinical instructor – it continues to be a tremendous blessing to keep in touch with many of them, follow their professional advancement through the years, and take part in celebrating their respective successes!


Interesting Place Visited:

Niagara Falls illuminated at night.



Seth Fischer_MD

Medical School:

University of California, Davis


Greatest Accomplishment:

Building the foundation of incredible people I call family and friends who surround my life!


Interesting Place Visited:

I have traveled to over 30 countries all with their own amazing places and interesting people.  The most interesting place I have been is likely India due to the pure size and cultural diversity. 



Simrunn Girn, MD

Medical School:

Drexel Unviersity


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is being the first in my family to complete a doctorate, and the first to pursue medicine as a career in the US.


Interesting Place Visited:

The most interesting places I’ve visited are Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Although both of these locations are relatively in my backyard being a native Californian, I am still awe-struck whenever I travel to either location. Prior to visiting the Grand Canyon, I assumed I had a sense for how large it was from the pictures and videos I had seen of it. However, I learned even the most carefully taken gorgeous and expansive panorama photographs do not do the canyon justice. The remarkable beauty of the canyon led Teddy Roosevelt to form the National Park Service to help protect our country’s greatest natural monuments. Of the Grand Canyon, Roosevelt stated famously, “Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

Also, in the two months prior to beginning my internship, I visited Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.



Kimberly Gutowski, MD

Medical School:

Escuela Lationamerciana de Medicina


Greatest Accomplishment:

I think that my greatest accomplishment in life is that I have always worked in capacities that I truly enjoy, surrounded by supportive, loving individuals.


Interesting Place Visited:

I have traveled in Western Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean, and I have to say that the most interesting place where I have visited and resided was Cuba, where I studied medicine for six years.  The culture, economy, politics and people are truly unique, and my experiences have shaped me in a multitude of ways as a person and as a physician.



Ashley Hubbard, DO

Medical School:

Touro University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Achieving my goal of becoming a doctor!


Interesting Place Visited:

Malaysian Borneo



Duy-Hoa Huynh, DO

Medical School:

Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is returning to the Bay Area for residency. I have always wanted to return to Oakland and give back to the same community that taught me so much while growing up. The opportunity to train and learn at Highland will inspire me even more to dedicate my future career to underserved communities all over the world.


Interesting Place Visited:

SAPA, Vietnam. This area of Vietnam is a playground for all photographers. Sapa is filled with natural beauty from countless layered rice patty fields to the breathtaking culture. The hill tribes, such as Hmong, Tay, and Dao fill the streets of Sapa with handmade items. The opportunity to trek through the villages and interact with the natives was an amazing experience. As a photographer, I was able to capture the priceless photos of the villagers and their beautiful landscapes. 



Ogechi Ikediobi, MD

Medical School:

University of California, San Francisco


Greatest Accomplishment:

Building the foundation of incredible people I call family and friends who surround my life!


Interesting Place Visited:

I have traveled to over 30 countries all with their own amazing places and interesting people.  The most interesting place I have been is likely India due to the pure size and cultural diversity. 



Annie Joseph, MD

Medical School:

Virginia Tech Carlton


Greatest Accomplishment:

Getting through 4 years of medical school!


Interesting Place Visited:

Kerala (where I was born). Lots of natural beauty, great food, and wonderful people!



Dikshya Joshi, MD

Medical School:

St. George's Univesity


Greatest Accomplishment:

Graduating from Medical school and to do my residency at Highland.


Interesting Place Visited:

Graduating from Medical school and to do my residency at Highland.



Gregory (Glenn) Kautz, MD

Medical School:

Oregon Health & Science University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Matching to Highland!



Sarah Krasny, MD

Medical School:

Baylor College of Medicine


Greatest Accomplishment:

I was awarded a Davis scholarship to study for two years at United World College (UWC) among 300 students from 90 different countries as part of an International Baccalaureate Program. UWC brings together youth from all around the world to promote international understanding and build bridges among people from different countries, ethnicities, religions, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds.


Interesting Place Visited:

I spent a semester living in Havana, Cuba as part of my undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. I was a student at La Universidad de la Habana in the department of History, Sociology and Philosophy. It was an amazing and enlightening experience!



Lauren Larrabure, MD

Medical School:

University of California, San Francisco



Brian Mendoza, MD

Medical School:

Rush Medical College


Greatest Accomplishment:

Graduating from medical school and matching at Highland.


Interesting Place Visited:

Taxco, Mexico and Barcelona, Spain



Sara Obeid, MD

Medical School:

University of North Carolina


Greatest Accomplishment:

This is a tough one.  I would say teaching sex workers English in the red light district of Bangkok was one of the most emotionally challenging tasks I ever experienced (nothing compared to what my students were enduring of course). I selfishly continue to hope that I helped make a small, but lasting change in their lives. My second best answer would be losing 75lbs and becoming a much healthier individual. 


Interesting Place Visited:

Thailand was by far the most interesting place I have ever been.  I saw everything from eight story malls to dense forests. One of the most amazing things I had ever seen was the religious Buddhist practice of renewing the spiritual power of tattoos etched in certain Buddhist temples.  The festival revolves around praying and many of the participants become spiritually possessed by their tattoos (they are usually tattoos of various animals).  



Michael Ohabughiro, MD

Medical School:

University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is easily graduating medical school and getting into my first choice for residency. These past four years of medical school have allowed me to learn so much about myself.  Most importantly during this time I fell in love with the process of becoming a doctor and I am grateful for what that process has taught me thus far.


Interesting Place Visited:

As a Nigerian American myself, I was fortunate enough to visit many of the cities and villages in Nigeria a couple years ago. I was raised in the United States, so being able to go there allowed me to meet many of my relatives that I had only seen pictures of or spoke to on the phone. It was a truly inspiring experience for myself. 



Julia Peterson, DO

Medical School:

Des Moines University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Seeing the forest without getting lost in the trees of medical school.


Interesting Place Visited:

Trekking into the natural habitat of the Mountain Gorillas in the mountains at the border of DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda.



Anu Pokharel, MD

Medical School:

Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine


Greatest Accomplishment:

Graduating medical school and matching into residency at Highland!


Interesting Place Visited:

Nepal; Honduras; Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion.



Mustafa Safi, MD

Undergraduate School:

Having the opportunity to share my match results with my family and specifically my mother. It was a wondrous and humbling moment.



Simon So, MD

Medical School:

University of Central Florida


Greatest Accomplishment:

Having overcome various obstacles in life, education, family, and finally becoming a qualified physician to provide excellent care to patients in our community. In addition, I feel accomplished having visited more than 17 countries. Learning from different culture reminds me of modesty and appreciation of the world.


Interesting Place Visited:

Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto, Japan: Terrific ancient architecture that shows human wisdom since 1240 years ago.

City of Zurich, Switzerland: A perfect combination of nature and man-made structures. Exceptionally peaceful.

Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio, USA: An amazing limestone cavern that forms with time and slow drops of mineral water.

Hong Kong SAR: Of course. I grew up there.



Merrick Tan, MD

Medical School:

George Washington University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Living in Mexico for seven months prior to graduate school. New language, new culture, new job, newfound appreciation for how much I needed to learn about life!


Interesting Place Visited:

Singapore.

Most beautiful: El Nido, Philippines.



Jonathan Tran, DO

Medical School:

Touro University


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment outside of medicine was coaching on my college dragon boat team. I led my team in group strength training exercises and individually tailored workout regimes for others.  I took pride in watching my team get stronger throughout the year.


Interesting Place Visited:

Iceland for the northern lights and amazing landscapes.



Shannon Ugarte, MD

Medical School:

Texas A&M Health Science Center


Greatest Accomplishment:

Staying true to myself, my inner conscience, and passions in order to be truly happy.  I have grown with a deeper understanding, love, and commitment towards all of my goals in life because of the enlightening experiences that I have shared with people from all over the world.  I am able to shine my light and dreams with others all with deep gratitude to God and my family and their infinite support, strength, and guiding love.


Interesting Place Visited:

Cartagena, Colombia – In March, the city is full of cultural romanticism and blooming, vibrant, floral life.  As someone who loves love, the energetic, passionate, and musical aura that encompasses this place is colorfully inspiring.

Cambodia – Siem Reap and the surrounding wats portray an artfully vivacious history amongst its natural background which starkly contrasts the brutality its citizens were forced to undergo around 50 years ago.  The humble and kind Cambodian people illustrate the resiliency of humanity.

Iceland – After driving, camping, and hiking around the entire country with my significant other, we were truly in touch with Mother Earth and all of her natural untouched landscapes, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, hot springs, and including the most adorable and abundant animals!  A mystifying and otherworldy wonder and beauty that is unique to our planet.

Honestly, I have loved and appreciated many different aspects of all of the countries I've visited, including but not limited to Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Aruba, Curacao, Cayman Islands, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines…



Tia Vang, MD

Medical School:

University of Washington


Greatest Accomplishment:

Being the first in my family to graduate from college and now, medical school.


Interesting Place Visited:

Yellowstone National Park - the sulfur scent of the hot springs was so strong, and it does smell like rotten eggs.



Terrence Wong, MD

Medical School:

University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille a. Carver College of Medicine


Greatest Accomplishment:

Never giving up on my dreams despite the obstacles put forth by life, choosing optimism instead of its alternative, finding the lessons in tragedy and trusting that hardships will eventually pass. The world can be cold and unsympathetic to the plights of the individual if you choose to carry that perspective, but that opinion is a choice. I have always rejected the inimical perspective, instead acknowledging the reality of the situation and exalting in that moment some time in the distant future when you can reflect on the memories of right now, chuckling that it ever phased you at all. I want to say that I have always known this wisdom, to be endlessly self-ingratiating, but admittedly that is simply not true. There were stretches of time when all hope was lost, like Frodo on the slopes of Mount Doom, when I was unable to carry the burden a single step farther. It was my surrounding heroes that picked me up and carried this dream onward when my body was unable. My greatest accomplishment is the people standing next to me.


Interesting Place Visited:

The buzz of the city was exhilarating as countless professionals wearing business suits were hurrying to some seemingly urgent meeting, walking on the sidewalk along the backdrop of historic buildings that could lecture you with their centuries of observational experience. I was in Washington D.C. training with The Princeton Review, but found myself captivated by the energy in the city and history that is woven into the concrete tracing the streets. This is the political centre of the universe, the birthplace of a social experiment that stood against tyranny, an example of liberty that still inspires the citizens of the world today. Defiant in its conception, an idea to reconstruct a social framework followed by nearly every society in history, I was standing on ground zero of democracy and what a powerful experience that was. The partisan exchange of our nation may, at times seem inefficient and certainly frustrating, but even having the opportunity for disagreement is a testament to our capacity for self-governance. Since that weekend, I have not returned for a more extensive visit, but perhaps the transience is what makes this place magical to me. Some things are meant to be scarce, to exist for a moment in time wielding great power and influence, but ultimately vanishing into the ether. Nevertheless, the impression left in my mind is a memory that I will cherish today until the end of my days.



Russell Yee, DO

Medical School:

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment was moving across the country by myself to attend graduate school.


Interesting Place Visited:

There’s a park called Lands End, that’s not too far from where I went to High School. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t actually enter the park until I started working for the VA, about 7 years after I graduated. I would sometimes walk the trails with my co-workers and enjoy views of the Marin headlands, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Pacific Ocean during our lunch breaks.