Meet Our Internal Medicine Residents
Chief Residents 2014-2015
I grew up in San Diego, California with two younger brothers, and parents who both work in professions where they are able to pursue their interest in social justice. From an early age I fostered a love for travel visiting family members across the globe. I attended college at the University of California Santa Cruz where I played baseball and studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology. I then followed an interest in public safety and community policing as a 911 dispatcher in Monterey, California. The time I spent studying community policing heavily influenced my interest in the related field of public health, and ultimately medicine. I attended Medical School at Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine. My interests in medicine include primary care, healthcare policy, education, and development. In addition to travel I enjoy playing just about any sport, reading anything I can get my hands on, and above all spending time with family and friends. I feel privileged to be a part of the Cambridge Health Alliance. I chose to pursue training here for the commitment CHA has to community medicine, its thoughtful academic structure, and the wonderful people I met while visiting the program.
I grew up just up the road from Cambridge in Lexington, MA, and spent 6 years outside the state – 4 years at Swarthmore College near Philadelphia, and 2 years doing bench research at the NIH – before returning to go to Harvard Medical School. I didn’t think I was interested in primary care when I started medical school, but after countless emotionally moving, intellectually stimulating, and productive meetings with patients in the primary care setting, I was convinced there was no better path for me. Organizing walking groups in Franklin Park and teaching sex-ed to teenagers during medical school got me interested in the community-oriented roles that PCPs can play. I took a year off following med school to accompany my husband to London, during which I fawned over the UK’s National Health Service and worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, helping with a literature review of how public health interventions can be delivered in a general practice setting. That year confirmed my interest in the overlap of public health and primary care, and in the various ways that services can be delivered to best serve the community. I am very excited to start residency at CHA, as it perfectly matches my interests in community health and academic medicine. While not in the hospital I like checking out local farmers markets, cooking, biking, and playing with our 2 adorable fluffy cats.
Third Year Residents
Born in Toronto, Canada I spent much of my childhood on the beautiful islands of the Caribbean Sea. I later completed my undergraduate degree at Oakwood University in Huntsville AL with a double major in Biology and French and a minor in Chemistry. While participating in outreach to the underserved in Africa and South America I developed an interest in patient empowerment through lifestyle education and counseling. The experiences left a deep impression, and prompted me to take a year off after graduation to pursue training in this field. I attended Medical school at Loma Linda University in Southern California where I participated in a number of prevention based programs as well as minority initiatives in both community and health sciences. Outside of medicine, I have several interests and hobbies but find creating beautiful memories with friends and loved ones the most rewarding and enjoyable. I am very excited about training at CHA because of its strong commitment to excellence in service and I look forward to continue in the tradition where the noble reasons for pursuing medicine are kept alive and well.
I was born and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, and attended Brown University, where I majored in Art History and co-produced a documentary radio show, “Inside Out”, on Brown Student Radio. I took four years off between college and medical school, during which time I worked at the National Public Radio-affiliated nonprofit, StoryCorps; studied hand-drawn animation at RISD; and did a Masters of Public Affairs with a focus on health policy back at Brown. During my Masters program, I interned for the Lt. Governor of Rhode Island and designed/facilitated the first phases of a state-wide initiative to reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers in patients at health care facilities. In medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, I pursued interests in primary care, health policy, health disparities, and medical education. I co-founded the Human Rights Clinic Program with Dr. Ramin Asgary, through which medical students participated in evaluations of political asylum-seekers and learned to write medical affidavits. I did research in medical education and was active in efforts to support primary care education at Mount Sinai. I was drawn to CHA because I admired its commitment to the idea that good medicine engages with the social needs of the individual and the community. I am honored to have the opportunity to train here.
I grew up near Albany, NY and from a young age I developed interests in both science and art. From age 9, I took lessons in drawing, painting, sculpture, and stained glass. Meanwhile, I had a growing interest in infectious diseases and public health. As an undergraduate at Cornell University, I did research in vector-borne disease transmission, bioterrorism, and host evasion of HIV infection. As a part of the Peer Educator program at the campus health center, I found that I was passionate about promoting patient self-advocacy and advancing health literacy. Additionally, I realized my love of teaching as a teaching assistant for a medical parasitology course, and an MCAT instructor for Kaplan during these years. I started the Cornell Art Club through which I taught my classmates to draw portraits and make stained glass. As a medical student at Boston University School of Medicine, I realized my interest in primary care through clinical experiences at a community health center. I am thrilled to be training at CHA because it has the perfect balance of academic excellence, teaching opportunities, and community health work. Outside of medicine, I spend my free time running along the Charles, trying out new recipes, reading fiction, working on art projects, and hanging out with my amazing boyfriend, Cameron.
Born and raised in Rhode Island, I crossed state lines to attend Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts and graduated with a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior. The metropolis of NYC beckoned, where I researched circadian rhythms at The Rockefeller University. Yearning an international health experience, the Peace Corps offered me a perfect opportunity to serve as a Health Education Volunteer in rural Bolivia and nurture my interests in community health, capacity-building, cultural competency, and helping underserved populations. I met my husband- a fellow volunteer- while in the Peace Corps, and we set off for adventures stateside after service. We moved to Monterey, California, where my husband pursued graduate studies and I continued to be engaged with the Latino community as a health educator at Salud Para La Gente clinic. We then headed to San Francisco to begin my medical training at UCSF. I am thrilled to return to my New England roots and join a community of caring, compassionate, and inspiring individuals at CHA. The commitment to innovating primary care, serving vulnerable populations, and training in a supportive atmosphere at CHA left the strongest impression on me when visiting programs around the country. Outside the hospital, I enjoy themed cook-offs, roadtrips, camping, hiking, hammocks, hot springs, catching live music, and exploring the restaurant scene.
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and am a true carnivore who loves a good comedy show. Coming to the US the summer before starting high school gave me little time to learn English. Learning Spanish simultaneously later gave me the opportunity to teach English to native Spanish speakers during my college days at Loyola University Chicago, and enriched my connection and work with underserved Latino communities in Colorado and Utah. After Loyola, I completed my MPH at Tufts with a concentration in health services, management and policy while working full time on cancer and neurobiology research projects at MGH. While at the University of Utah School of Medicine, I served as the first Hispanic woman to be the President of her medical class – twice. I was also an active member of the Latino Medical Student Association. My interest in geriatrics flourished early. I soon became an AOA Fellow investigating the role of patient navigation in the American Indian geriatric population. My ultimate goal is to balance the clinical responsibilities of being a geriatrician with the public health and leadership roles that are fundamental in geriatrics. CHA could not have been more perfectly matched for me to achieve this and to work with like-minded individuals in an atmosphere that fosters the ultimate training and formation of the primary care leaders of tomorrow.
I grew up in nearby Brookline, and while leaving the Boston area has never been my strong suit, I’m happy to live in a place where my roots have grown deep. I went to Harvard College, where I focused on molecular and cellular biology, Spanish, and a student-run homeless shelter. I got interested in primary care during college through an internship at Boston Health Care for the Homeless, and my experiences since then have only reinforced this plan. After college, I spent a year in northern California with the homeless healthcare program of a safety net hospital, working on migrant farmworker health care and hepatitis C treatment, before returning to Harvard for medical school. I took a year off during med school to work on a community health worker-based intervention for Medicaid patients with multiple chronic diseases that was piloted at CHA. While the intervention ultimately hit some challenges, I had a great time training the community health workers on medical topics and writing curriculum for them to use with their patients. Should I encounter any free time in the coming years, I’m excited to continue cooking lots of lentils, reading Russian novels, trying to play guitar, biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing (snow permitting).
Born and raised in Hartford, CT I attended Yale University where I majored in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and played on the varsity basketball team. After college I received a Master’s of Arts in exercise science from the University of Connecticut, worked at Hartford Hospital doing clinical and laboratory research, and coached basketball and tennis at my former high school. I attended medical school at the University of Connecticut and I am excited about continuing my training at Cambridge Health Alliance. With interests in primary care, sports medicine, and quality improvement, I am looking forward to pursuing these areas as a resident. In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling, practicing Spanish, running, pick-up basketball games, tennis, golf, and spending time with family including my 5 nieces and nephews.
I am originally from Addis Ababa Ethiopia, but was raised a global nomad of sorts. I spent the earlier part of my childhood living in various countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and by the time I arrived to college, I had lived in 7 different countries. At Cornell University, I majored in Economics and Religious Studies. After college, I took some time off to work in HIV preventive health research while cultivating my interests in advocacy and community organizing. At Mount Sinai School of Medicine I was involved in various community health and outreach initiatives including a women’s health literacy project at a South Bronx methadone maintenance clinic and community vaccination drive in partnership with our local district Department of Health. My experiences reinforced my passion for social justice, community medicine and access to care amongst vulnerable populations. I'm thrilled to be a part of such an inspiring medical community with shared values. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, spending time with family and friends, and discovering new music.
Second Year Residents
I am a native New Englander having grown up on Cape Cod and just south of Burlington, VT. I attended Amherst College where I studied biology, culminating in my longest consecutive stint outside of New England—living in St. Lucia to study hummingbirds. After college, I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital coordinating research trials for the Gynecological Oncology group. This time was my first taste of living in Cambridge and definitely inspired me to come back to the area.
I traveled back north for medical school at Dartmouth where I devoted much of my extra-curricular efforts to curriculum improvement and re-design at the medical school. I enjoyed many aspects of clinical medicine, but had the most clinical interest in longitudinal care of patients. Increasing my personal involvement in advocacy is of my goals during my time at Cambridge Health Alliance. After residency, I plan to practice primary care and continue to be involved in medical education, but I have not yet decided on a locale. In my free time, I like to cook vegetarian meals, spend time outside, and catch up with my friends.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and have been living in the Boston area for the past decade. I am a "BU lifer" having gone to college, graduate school, and medical school at Boston University. I graduated from the BS/MPH program at BU, studying human physiology and social & behavioral sciences. Prior to medical school, I worked in basic science research, clinical research, and public health outreach. I was the outreach director for the Hepatitis B Initiative - Boston, a public health initiative to eliminate hepatitis B in the Asian American population. This experience combined with my studies in public health fueled my interests in primary care and the elimination of health disparities. I'm ecstatic to be part of the CHA community with its strong commitment to academic excellence and in training residents to be well-rounded primary care physicians. My clinical interests include community-based interventions, health care disparities, and geriatrics. I love to snowboard, practice yoga, run along the Charles River on a gorgeous day, and spend quality time with my husband.
I grew up in South Jersey and went to college at Penn in West Philly. While there, I developed an interest in math and statistics, but especially in economics. I was particularly interested in studying how individuals interact with each other be it in transactions, labor markets, education or cities.
After college, I worked for several years as a researcher in applied economics at Wharton, studying everything from the real estate crash to the economic effects of party affiliation in local politics. Initially intending to be an economist, I became fascinated with the complexity of both the provision and economics of health care.
I went to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of UMDNJ and enjoyed several research projects focusing on health care in Camden, NJ. I am very interested in medical cost-effectiveness, comparative-effectiveness, insurance and risk analysis. When not playing with numbers on my computer, I enjoy hiking, baseball, and exploring the world's cities.
I'm a Texas baby, but grew up in the Chicago area. Thanks to a wandering soul and supportive family, I was able to volunteer in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and South Africa, developing a love for languages and a passion for displaced people. I studied the History of Science at Harvard for undergrad and stayed for a year to research cultural competence at the Harvard teaching hospitals. Seeking warmer climes, I spent two years in Brazil studying the history of leprosariums. Inspired by ex-patients, I decided to go to medical school at Emory, in Atlanta, where I was able to work with immigrants and those with little access to care at Grady Memorial. Between third and fourth year, I got my masters in epidemiology, writing my thesis on using cell phones for public health campaigns. I have a passion for capoeira, ecotourism, and cooking. I hope to keep working with populations with little access to healthcare across the globe, and to continue to be challenged by patients, mentors and friends to see the world differently.
Originally from Atlanta and Los Angeles, my interests in medicine grew as an undergraduate at U Penn. While my classes were in Chemistry and American History, my education was shaped by my experience in an HIV immunology lab, leading organic chemistry workshops and volunteering as a sexual health educator. After undergrad, I received a Thouron Award to read History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University where I played water polo and developed a taste for warm, flat beer.
At Yale medical school, I became interested in understanding structural determinants of health using qualitative research. I volunteered for Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, lobbying universities to improve their intellectual property licensing practices to facilitate access to essential medicines in poor countries. I received Wenner-Gren and National Science Foundation grants to write my Sociology PhD dissertation on the various mechanisms the WHO uses to govern the cross-border spread of diseases. I am particularly interested in the political economy of how uncertain science is used to make concrete policy decisions. Prior to residency, I worked with HealthMap.org at Boston Children’s Hospital doing emerging epidemic surveillance using non-traditional sources. I focused on the BioMosaic project, designing content for an iPad application bringing demographic, migration and infectious disease data into a cartographic platform. This CDC project aims to accelerate qualitative risk analysis during epidemics.
The grandson of Italian immigrants who never finished middle school, I’m passionate about working clinically with underserved populations. I’ve studied health access barriers for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, interpreted for Iraqi refugees in New Haven, and spent two months serving Syrian refugees in Za’atari camp and a spinal cord injury center in Jordan. I love languages, and hope to continue improving my Spanish, French and Arabic.
I was born and raised in Durham, NC. My parents were real movers and shakers in organizing a nascent Indian community around classical Indian music and dance. So I grew up with living legends - the likes of Zakir Hussain - coming to our house for tea, and giving workshops in our basement. By the end of high school, I got to perform classical Indian dance at the Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. I was also pretty serious about western classical music, playing the flute and piano. For college, I went to Princeton, where I spent my time immersing myself in music, my major. During undergrad, I received a fellowship to study more dance forms in India, and the experience changed my life. I became committed to capacity building, and knew I wanted to work in health care. I was accepted to the Humanities and Medicine program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In medical school, I was active with Doctors for America and Physicians for a National Health Program, organizing medical students in NYC in support of health care reform. I helped establish a Health, Human Rights and Advocacy elective at my school that has since blossomed into a track, with students connected to mentorship and community-based projects in East Harlem. My clinical interests lie broadly in improving health services for vulnerable populations. I still love to dance and make music, and also enjoy cooking, eating, and being outside in the sun.
I am originally from Singapore, and life dramatically changed for me at the age of 10 when my family moved to south Texas. I believe that growing up with this unique blend of cultural influences has truly shaped who I am today. For college, I was curious to see what life outside Texas was like, so I ventured on to Ithaca, NY, where I majored in Biology & Society at Cornell while simultaneously battling the seemingly endless winters! In college, I was a very active volunteer at a local nursing home and started to develop my interests in Medicine and working with the geriatric population. I then had the great fortune of moving to my dream city of New York in order to start my medical training at NYU. Throughout all four years at NYU, I was heavily involved with my school's student-run free clinic, and it was this experience that led me to aspire to a career in primary care and serving the underserved. While it has certainly been hard to be so far away from my parents and two sisters all this time, I am extremely excited to be continuing the next step of my journey at CHA!
I was born and raised in Los Angeles to Mexican and Cuban immigrant parents. My passion for health disparities work was kindled during college at the University of Southern California, where I worked with Chicanos for Health Education to organize health fairs in Tijuana, Mexico and South-Central Los Angeles. In medical school at UC San Francisco, I worked in a free clinic for day laborers and designed a project through the Albert Schweitzer fellowship to connect undocumented immigrants to healthcare resources. Thinking about health systems issues for underserved patients led me to take a couple years off of medical school to pursue research in health policy and a Master in Public Health degree at Harvard. My current interests include improving health safety net systems, the intersection of primary care and public health, healthcare in underserved populations, primary care delivery, and medical education. Eventually, I hope to practice primary care in a community health center-type of setting and work to improve primary care delivery. For fun, I enjoy listening to all types of music, going to concerts, playing guitar, exploring, the beach, cooking, and dancing salsa.
First Year Residents
Born in Brooklyn to atheist Jews, I learned social justice from their political leanings and their contradictions. I came out at sixteen in response to the homophobic rumblings in the wake of “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell.” When my student group made posters for National Coming Out Day, I brought them to the vice principal for approval. He questioned our right to put them up, and I realized how unprepared and fearful I was. At Oberlin College and Western Michigan University, I received my Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing. I also began working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Their willingness to be themselves despite the flak they received impressed and moved me. When I returned to New York, I taught (and was schooled by) low-income young people of color many of whom spoke openly about the violence, individual and systemic, they experienced. With them, I found greater strength to articulate the violence I’d lived through and find ways to interrupt that which they perpetuated on themselves and each other. I left New York to attend the University of Vermont College of Medicine. I hope to become a clinician investigator and bring new skills to the communities that have schooled and cared for me.
Born in Ankara, Turkey, I moved thirteen times by the time I turned thirteen-- and this sparked my fascination with medicine and community/global health. My family eventually settled down in Virginia, where I attended the College of William and Mary. Here, I explored the cultural, political and socioeconomic dimensions of healthcare and medical knowledge through a double major in Medical Sociology and Neuroscience. My sophomore year, I applied to the joint BS/MD program at EVMS, effectively extending my time in Virginia. While at medical school, I held leadership positions in the Institute for Health Care Improvement, the Honor Council, and Medical Explorers. Also, I developed a burgeoning love for geriatrics through Beyond Clinic Walls, a program that helps marginalized seniors maintain their independence and quality of life via student coordinated home visits. I'm now excited to move one more time, since it means I'll be at CHA. In my free time, I practice Tae Kwon Do, take meandering strolls, and cook fusion cuisine. I can sometimes be found steering my fiancé away from Bernese mountain dogs.
Chin Ho Fung
My family and I moved from Hong Kong to New York City when I was eight. One of the most memorable experiences for me in NYC was the four years I spent in Stuyvesant High School. This is also where I met my fiancée (we are getting married directly before residency)! We then went to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, which was essentially the first time for both of us to adventure life outside the city. After college, I moved to another rural region known for its harsh winters and studied at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH. Not knowing for certain which specialty to choose, I was involved in multiple student interest groups in order to explore my interests. I ultimately became the co-leader of the Internal Medicine Interest Group, Community Service Committee, and the Art for Kids program in which volunteering students work one-on-one with children with chronic illnesses so that they can delve into their artistic sides. I recognized my passion in outpatient care and medical education during my third-year rotations, and I am excited at matching at CHA. For fun, I enjoy ice skating, snowboarding (extreme amateur), swimming, and watching The Food Channel.
Growing up just north of Seattle, Washington, I was embraced by a large family near the green foothills of the Cascade Mountains in a small town called Mill Creek. I attended the University of Washington and graduated with degrees in Biochemistry and Spanish. As a Mary Gates Scholar, I dedicated time to biochemistry research and to volunteering in a bilingual clinic. I also studied for a year in Cadiz, Spain, which solidified my love of culture and language. Volunteering and traveling in South America developed my passion for immigrant and underserved health. After graduating, I worked as a HealthCorps Patient Navigator at a Community Health Center. During this time I lost my beloved sister from complications from T1 diabetes, which deepened my passion for chronic disease management and inspired me to subsequently become a chronic care coordinator. Shortly after, I began medical school at the University of Washington with a focus on underserved and Hispanic health. I worked on several projects including creating a sustainable, culturally competent chronic care program for rural communities of Central America. In 2012, I was humbled to become a Magnuson Scholar. As a future primary care physician, I sought an academically strong residency program that is dedicated to underserved communities, health advocacy and collegiality. Cambridge Health Alliance combines all of these attributes harmoniously and I am thrilled in anticipation of the years ahead. Aside from my academic pursuits, I enjoy running, skiing, surfing, singing, painting and playing the piano.
I grew up near Dayton, Ohio. While studying Pre-Medicine at Penn State University, I served as a peer educator and counselor at the student health center. After graduation, I traveled a few hours down the road to Hershey, Pennsylvania for medical school at the Penn State College of Medicine. At Hershey, I became interested in how people learn about quality and patient safety and founded an interprofessional group for students in health policy, nursing, medicine, and industrial engineering. Between my second and third year of medical school, I earned a Masters in Education at Harvard University, focusing my studies on learning theory and curriculum design. During my fourth year of medical school, I had the opportunity to continue exploring my interests in medical education by serving a one-year appointment on the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the accrediting body of allopathic medical schools in the United States and Canada. I am very excited to continue my training at Cambridge Health Alliance with its commitment to community health and academic excellence! In my free time, I am an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to baseball and college football.
I grew up in an Italian American family in Newton, MA and came across the river for college at Harvard, where I studied sociology, history and economics with research focusing on the experiences of immigrant groups in the U.S. Outside of class, I was active in the dance community and also loved time with CityStep (teaching dance to public school kids), Kuumba (singing music from the African diaspora), and a summer spent teaching in a rural village in Namibia. For three years after graduation, I worked in New York City doing consulting and research for nonprofits and philanthropies before deciding I wanted to pursue medicine, inspired by interests in socioeconomic determinants of disease and global health. While at Yale for medical school, I developed additional interests in women’s health, medical ethics and nutrition, culminating in a study on the nutritional status of pediatric inpatients and their caregivers at a teaching hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. I also enjoyed working at a free clinic in San Francisco and at a rural clinic outside of Bogota, Colombia. I look forward to an academic career in clinical care, research and advocacy with an emphasis on healthcare disparities and delivery both at home and abroad. When I’m not in the hospital, I enjoy dancing, hiking, travel, and writing.
I grew up in Natick, Massachusetts and attended Dartmouth College, where I studied educational psychology and government. After college, I moved back to the Boston area, to Dorchester, to teach GED classes at a non-profit called Project Hope. I fell in love with teaching, but I also got to participate in some really exciting health and wellness initiatives, and I eventually realized that I wanted to be more directly involved in community health. After 5 years teaching, I had the opportunity to spend a year working at Codman Square Health Center. It was inspiring to see the sort of impact an innovative community health center could make in promoting the health of both individual patients and the community as a whole. At both Project Hope and Codman, I saw the importance of patient education, doctor-patient communication, community outreach, and disease prevention in addressing health disparities. I went back up to Dartmouth to attend medical school, where my belief in the importance of primary care and health systems continued to grow. I’m so excited to be returning to the Boston area and to be joining the CHA community! In my free time, I enjoy trail running, cooking (especially making and eating salsa and guacamole), and hanging out with friends.
Originally from the wonderful Twin Cities, (St.Paul/Minneapolis, MN), I moved to Mass for undergrad at Brandeis University, majoring in what is best summed up as ‘pre-public health’. I stayed in Boston for a job in clinical research while I applied to public health programs. While getting my MPH at Boston University I worked with the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center. This taught me about health disparities research and how fun and rewarding primary care can be. During this time I realized that being a provider – especially for underserved populations - was where my heart was. I continued at BU for medical school. In medical school I became very involved with our student nutrition group, SNAAC. I love food, and think it is a key determinant of health. To help share my interest, I designed a nutrition counseling module to teach all 4th years at BUSM, it is currently being beta tested. When I have free time, I enjoy spending it with my husband, friends, & family; cooking, traveling, gardening (when I can find a spot of dirt in Boston), and taking pictures.
Internal Medicine Residency
Richard Pels, MD
Applications are accepted through the ERAS system
(Our NRMP code is 1268140M0)