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:)



Jessica Chew, MD

Medical School:

Georgetown University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Graduating from medical school and being able to come to the Bay Area for residency to be close to my family.


Interesting Place Visited:

Fiji, Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast in Italy, and Nicaragua are some of my favorite places that I have traveled to!



Fanny Du, MD

Medical School:

University of Michigan


Greatest Accomplishment:

Peru! In the Amazon rainforest, I got to hold a baby sloth, swim in the Amazon River, and every night look for what new critters would turn up in our room. In Trujillo, I was stuck in the city during their worst El Nino flooding and walked knee-deep through some strong currents in the streets. Finally, I got to hike on the Incan Trail and experience the beautiful ruins along the way to Machu Picchu.



Chika Egbe, MD

Greatest Accomplishment:

Finishing medical school without becoming jaded. It is only by the grace of God that I can say that. 


Interesting Place Visited:

I have visited many interesting places and hope to add more to my list as my years add up. At the moment though, I would like to focus on my current home state of Texas. During my third year of medical school while I was on rotation in Dallas, I drove 6 hours to Lubbock, Texas to visit my brothers at Texas Tech University (I would never have made that drive from Galveston – 9 hours one way) for the weekend. Once there, I coerced my brother into driving the next hour and a half to get to Canyon, Texas, where the Palo Duro Canyon is located. It was so beautiful! I had never been to a canyon before. The views were incredible and we were able to drive to the bottom of the canyon, though we soon drove back to the top because we had no intention of camping. My brothers and I took pictures and just enjoyed the view. The weather was perfect and it was right before dusk so the lighting was pretty awesome! Besides the obvious natural beauty that we were blessed to see, it was great to spend some time with my brothers and they really appreciated my visit, so that made my day great! It was worth the 12 hour round trip – and the soreness that followed. 



Yidi Ge, MD

Medical School:

University of Rochester


Greatest Accomplishment:

When I started high school, I decided to join the Cross Country and also the Track and Field team. During my first race in freshman year I placed second to last in a 5K race and I was very discouraged. At the time, I almost felt like giving up on running Cross Country and Track and Field. However, my teammates encouraged me to keep working hard and during my junior year in high school in Track and Field I had a best mile time of 5:40. Being able to run a 5:40 mile was one of my greatest accomplishments because it demonstrated to me that a person can improve at any task with hard work and resilience. I practiced hard to improve my running abilities, and through daily practice and not giving up, I was able to drastically improve my mile-time. As a freshman in high school, I could never imagine that I could improve my mile-time by such a large amount. As a result when I encountered challenges in other areas of my life, I am always encouraged to keep persevering because of my experience on my high school running teams. This experience showed me that an individual must have the courage to persevere despite how difficult a challenge might seem at first. Furthermore, my experience on the teams demonstrated to me the importance of a strong friend support network; without the encouragement from my teammates and friends, I might not have mustered the courage to keep working hard at improving my running skills. I really valued the lessons I learned from my high school running teams because those lessons helped me better cope with other challenges that I would encounter later in my personal and professional life.


Interesting Place Visited:

One place that will always have a special meaning for me is Niagara Falls and its associated state park. Having lived in the cities of both Rochester NY, and Buffalo NY in my early childhood and also attending medical school in Rochester NY, I had the amazing opportunity to frequently visit the natural wonder of Niagara Falls.  The height of Niagara Falls, specifically the Horseshoe Falls, is about 188 feet or 57 meters at the highest point and is about 2,600 feet or 320 wide. This place is special to me because I visited it in different periods throughout my life and seen it both as a child and adult. I have very fond memories of hiking along the trails of this state park with my family when I was a child. I was enchanted by the natural beauty of the falls and had a great time taking the ferry known as the iconic Maid of the Mist to get even closer to the falls. Moreover, I also have great memories of visiting the falls as an adult and seeing the Niagara Falls light show at night that illuminates the falls. If you happen to visit the Northeast please go visit Niagara Falls because it’s amazing!



Chantal Gomes, DO

Medical School:

Touro College


Greatest Accomplishment:

Creating a platform for diversity in my high school by establishing a step team which not only unified the student population but also enhanced the future diversity of the school. 


Interesting Place Visited:

The Cape Verde Islands where my family emigrated from.



Paula Gutierrez, MD

Medical School:

University of California, Irvine


Interesting Place Visited:

Laos



Marwa Hakimi, MD

Medical School:

University of California, Davis



Lauren Hassoun, MD

Medical School:

Univeristy of California, Davis


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is being the first person in my family to graduate from college and then medical school tied with matching at my top choice for residency- Highland Hospital! I am extremely grateful and excited to begin my training at Highland and look forward to serving the diverse bay area.


Interesting Place Visited:

I had the pleasure of visiting Cancun and greater Yucatan peninsula last summer and it was by far one of my most memorable trips. The beaches have the most beautiful blue-turquoise water I’ve ever seen and I loved exploring the history and beauty of Tulum and other archeological sites. The seafood was amazing and the people were warm and friendly. I can’t wait to go back in the near future! 



Shenche Hshieh, MD

Medical School:

Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Getting into med school.


Interesting Place Visited:

Lanyu, it’s a small island off of Taiwan you can scooter-ride the perimeter of in a few hours, known for the schools of flying fish off its shores.



Henry Hsiao, MD

Medical School:

St. George's University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Completing Medical School and coming back home to do my residency.


Interesting Place Visited:

Diving the Shakem shipwreck off the coast of Grenada. The ship sunk during a hurricane and now rest about 120 feet underwater. We were able to swim through the wheel house and some of the ship’s structure. 



Sanah Ladhani, MD

Medical School:

Vanderbilt University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Becoming a doctor!


Interesting Place Visited:

Rural villages throughout Zanzibar, Tanzania. The best part of the journey was getting to know the people and experiencing the different landscapes of the villages.  



Andrew Langfield, MD

Medical School:

Oregon Health & Science University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Making it through medical school without losing track of the things that are most important to me, especially my family, friends, faith and hobbies.


Interesting Place Visited:

The Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier in the beautiful Pacific Northwest!



Giulia Leggett, MD

Medical School:

Oregon Health & Science University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Learning to overcome stage fright by participating in storytelling events in front of audiences (like the Moth story slams). I now find myself crafting and shaping new stories to share in the future. 


Interesting Place Visited:

Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina for the deep blue colors and sounds of moving ice.  



Cristina Nguyen, MD

Medical School:

Chicago Medical School


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is graduating medical school while concurrently completing two Master’s degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Health Administration. I am also very excited and grateful to come home to California for residency at a wonderful program! This was only possible because of the unconditional love and support from my wonderful family and friends. 


Interesting Place Visited:

Cuba, Alaska, Toronto, and touring 8 countries and 22 cities in Europe 



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).  



Sasha Patadia, MD

Medical School:

St. George's University


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is coming back home to the Bay Area for residency!


Interesting Place Visited:

After travelling to over twenty-five countries, some of my most memorable experiences include exploring India and seeing the Taj Mahal, visiting Machu Picchu and climbing to the top of Huayna Picchu in Peru, and adventuring in Costa Rica.



Veronica Peschansky, MD

Medical School:

University of Miami


Greatest Accomplishment:

I would say that surviving 8 years of graduate/med school is the biggest accomplishment! But I guess that’s boring … so how about: finding a way to teach ballroom dancing to any student, from age 3 to 103!


Interesting Place Visited:

Cave diving in northern Florida



Anthony Ronco, MD

Medical School:

University of Southern California


Greatest Accomplishment:

Definitely marrying my high school sweetheart.  We finally got hitched after being together for almost nine years, and she’s been an incredible source of support through it all!


Interesting Place Visited:

Denali National Park 



Maria Alexandra Sandoval, MD

Medical School:

University of Southern California


Greatest Accomplishment:

Being the 1st Doctor in my family and 2012 American Medical Association Minority Scholar.


Interesting Place Visited:

Iceland is mother nature at its greatest! 



Asma Saud, MD

Medical School:

Case Western Reserve University


Greatest Accomplishment:

I am grateful to have had many opportunities to be taught by great teachers and apply what I’ve learned. This includes playing varsity basketball in high school, writing an undergraduate thesis on maternal health in the West Bank and volunteering at free health clinics as a medical student. Most recently, I have been learning to care for my newborn daughter, Sofia. Up until then, I wasn’t prepared for motherhood and the complete dependence of another human being on me. It’s been challenging but rewarding. It’s also made me appreciate my role and responsibility as a caregiver and physician.


Interesting Place Visited:

Pangkor Laut, Malaysia; Granda, Spain; Mombasa, Kenya; Jerusalem; Petra, Jordan; Lima, Peru; Dublin, Ireland; Dubai, UAE

These trips were taken for a number of reasons, including visiting family and friends, medical volunteering, academic conferences and a honeymoon.



Kiran Sembhi, MD

Medical School:

University of California, San Francisco


Greatest Accomplishment:

Finishing med school…no seriously! But outside of that, I guess climbing Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Kili was definitely a flog.


Interesting Place Visited:

Kenya! Not exactly a visit, since I grew up there. But of all the places I’ve been to, it’s certainly been the most formative. Especially in high school…when we did some crazy extra-curricular activities: some involving running relay runs through national parks-at night!



Raafay Syed, MD

Medical School:

Stanford University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Teaching myself how to play the ukulele and guitar during medical school. 


Interesting Place Visited:

Within the US, my favorite place is Yosemite National Park. The hikes, waterfalls, and views are incredible! I also had the chance to go to Italy several years ago and I really enjoyed exploring places in Venice, Rome, and Florence.



Walter Villalobos, MD

Medical School:

Ponce Health Sciences University


Greatest Accomplishment:

Having a wonderful wife and one-year-old son. In addition to being part of the first generation in my family to graduate from high school, college, and medical school.


Interesting Place Visited:

Niagara Falls, El Morro Fort in Old San Juan, Teotihuacan Pyramids in Mexico, Cenotes in Cancun



Lawrence Wang, DO

Medical School:

Westering University of Health Sciences


Greatest Accomplishment:

Winning an NCAA championship in tennis


Interesting Place Visited:

Monteverde in Costa Rica – driving to get there involved driving on dirt mountain roads after a recent thunderstorm, at night, with bowling ball sized rocks all around. It was like a real life Indiana Jones ride.



Xuan Yao, MD

Medical School:

University of Texas


Greatest Accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment is having a great relationship with my baby sister. We are ten years apart, but we get along so incredibly well that it sometimes feels like we are inseparable. We both love large fluffy animals, think Serena Williams is bae, and will work for pizza (hint hint residency coordinators…:)) 


Interesting Place Visited:

Moab, Utah; Culebra, Puerto Rico; La Fortuna, Costa Rica; Singapore; Zhouzhuang, China



Sara Yusufaly, MD

Medical School:

University of Missouri


Greatest Accomplishment:

Completing the UMKC 6-year accelerated BA/MD dual degree program! 


Interesting Place Visited:

The Cape of Good Hope – It was absolutely magical.