University of California, Riverside

Graduate Medical Education

Meet Our Residents

Meet Our Residents

The UCR School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program in Palm Springs received accreditation in 2014 and welcomed our first class on July 1, 2015.


Cody Bielski, M.D.

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

cody bielskiOriginally from Orange County, California, Cody earned his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of California, San Diego, and his M.S. in physiology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He stayed in Cincinnati to complete his medical degree. In Cincinnati, he was the student coordinator for the free clinic, and worked with the emergency department to study Acute Mountain Sickness.

Cody enjoys anything and everything outdoors and stays in touch with friends and family through online video games. He is greatly looking forward to bringing his two dogs back to sunny California!


Cherrie Bravo, M.D.

UC Irvine School of Medicine

Cherrie Bravo

Cherrie is originally from Manila, Philippines, but was raised in Bellflower, California from the age of 2. She attended UC Irvine where she earned a B.S. in biological sciences and a B.A. in psychology and social behavior. Prior to medical school, Cherrie worked on asthma clinical research studies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which were later published and presented at academic conferences. She also completed post-baccalaureate courses at the University of Pennsylvania and UC Irvine before attending UC Irvine School of Medicine. During medical school, Cherrie received several scholarships and was involved in primary care interest groups and LMSA outreach efforts.

In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, snowboarding, running 10k and half marathon races, watching her boys play basketball and flag football, Disneyland trips with her daughter, and traveling with her husband and three kids.


Sarah Gómez, M.D.

UC Riverside School of Medicine

Sarah Gómez

Sarah is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and has spent the majority of her life in Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude from UC Riverside with a B.S. in Biology. She had the privilege of singing the National Anthem and alma mater for her graduation. Truly believing in its mission, Sarah attended the UC Riverside School of Medicine, where she was part of the inaugural class. During medical school, she participated as a medical student volunteer for the Riverside Free Clinic and other free clinic events in the Inland Empire. She was also a group leader for the Medical Spanish Selective for medical students and was one of the founding members to a new UCR chapter of Latino Medical Student Association.

She was thrilled to fulfill her other passion, singing in two fundraising banquets for the Riverside Free Clinic. During her spare time, Sarah enjoys listening to music, singing, spending time with family, and cooking.


Angie Li, M.D.

Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at The University of Vermont

Angie Li

A Southern California native, Angie earned her B.S. in bioengineering: premedical as well as a minor in health care-social issues from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). As an undergraduate student, Angie began working at Pfizer, La Jolla. She continued working there after graduation in the Cancer Platform Chemistry Department performing analytical chemistry research and producing chemical libraries to help support drug discovery. From there, Angie moved across country to Burlington, Vermont to attend medical school at the Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at The University of Vermont (formerly known as the University of Vermont College of Medicine). In her final year of medical school, Angie spent time in Boston, Massachusetts performing research at the prestigious, Harvard-affiliated Brigham & Women’s Hospital in the neuroradiology department.

Angie speaks Spanish. Her hobbies and interests include baking, photography, playing classical piano, watching classic films, traveling and exploring new places and cultures.


Anthony Ngo, M.D.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Anthony Ngo

Originally from Fremont, California, Anthony attended UC San Diego for his undergraduate degree in ethnic studies and biology. After a stint with Tivo in Silicon Valley, he moved to Richmond, Virginia to study medicine and public health at Virginia Commonwealth University. His current research involves addressing social determinants of health through the use of technology - currently he is working on an app that connects health care providers with community resources. During medical school, Anthony devoted his time serving uninsured patients at Crossover Free Clinic. He also has a strong interest in global health after rotating through the trauma bay at Chris Hani Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Anthony speaks fluent Vietnamese and his hobbies include cooking, cycling, photography, traveling, and reading self-help books.


Victoria Ryan, M.D.

Frank H. Netter, M.D., School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University

victoria Ryan

Victoria is a Southern California native who was born and raised in San Diego, California. She attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated in 2009 with a B.S. in molecular environmental biology with a specialization in the environment and human health. During her time there she participated as a volunteer, student instructor, and coordinator with the UC Berkeley Suitcase Clinic, which provides medical, legal, and social services to the homeless community of Berkeley, California. This experience inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. After spending a few years as a research associate and assistant with the UCSD Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine Behavioral Emergencies Research (DEMBER) Laboratory, she moved across the country to attend the Frank H. Netter, M.D., School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in North Haven, Connecticut.


Weiss Surkhabi, M.D.

Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at The University of Vermont

Weiss Surkhabi

A California native, Weiss earned his undergraduate degree from USC with a B.S. in public policy, management, and planning. He worked on several projects and land use policies to help redevelop Los Angeles, these included the River Revitalization Corporation that helped revitalize the L.A. River and policies to preserve manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles. After working in public policy, he decided to pursue a new endeavor—medicine. He attended a post-baccalaureate program at San Francisco State University before attending the University of Vermont for his medical education. During his time in Vermont, he and several of his classmates conducted a study to identify factors that lead adolescents to drug abuse. He was also an educator with Smile Docs, where a group of medical students attend a local elementary school to educate children about preventive medicine.


Wayland Tang, M.D.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Wayland Tang

Born in Anaheim and raised in Southern California most of his life, Wayland attended the University of California, Irvine (UCI) where he completed his B.S. in biology. He went on to attend medical school at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Michigan. While in medical school he volunteered at the HOPE homeless shelter in Pontiac, providing care and education to the homeless community. He also completed research in the emergency department on the impact of EMS driven pre-arrival activation on ejection fraction outcomes and six-month cardiovascular readmissions of STEMI patients. Wayland speaks Cantonese.

In his free time he enjoys tennis, water polo, hiking, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, watching musicals and paddle-boarding.


Peter Zhang, M.D., M.P.H.

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Peter Zhang

Originally from China, Peter grew up in Maryland, and completed his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He then spent the next few years, working in community clinics and doing research in complementary and integrative medicine, before attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine. While in medical school, he was a member of the leadership committee for Asian-Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) and the Complementary and Integrative Medicine student group. After medical school, he took a year off to complete his M.P.H. at Columbia University.

His professional areas of interest include healthcare disparities and reform, women’s health and obstetrics, and complementary and integrative medicine.

In his free time, Peter enjoys drawing and painting, hiking, rock climbing, going to comedy clubs, and watching sci-fi and fantasy-themed movies and TV shows.



Malori Callender, M.D.

Boston University School of Medicine

malori callenderOriginally from St. Thomas, Malori earned her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of the Virgin Islands. She moved to the U.S. to attend medical school at Boston University School of Medicine. While in Boston, she volunteered as a big sister for the Big Sister Association and worked with Boston University School of Medicine Outreach to provide medical services and food to the homeless and underserved populations.

Malori is the recipient of the Gladys C. Polk Scholarship, the Berhta Curtis MD Scholarship, a two-time recipient of the Charlotte Amalie High School Alumni Physician Scholarship, and the Army Health Professions Scholarship Program.

Malori is also working towards her M.P.H. from George Washington University and enjoys writing poetry, baking, playing and coaching basketball, traveling and playing billiards in her free time.


Ross Caulfield, M.D.

UC Davis School of Medicine

ross caulfieldRoss grew up in a small town outside of Albany, New York. After graduating from a local community college and surviving many years of the bitter Northeast winters, he decided it was time to pack his bags, and follow the advice of Henry David Thoreau; “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”. Over a decade later, he has been fortunate to have lived in New York City and San Francisco, explored the West Coast from Seattle to Tijuana on a bicycle, traverse the Sierras on a month long backpacking trip, and volunteer at medical camps in East Africa.

While completing his bachelor’s degree in biology at San Francisco State University, Ross found his calling in medicine. He went on to earn his medical degree at UC Davis School of Medicine, where he was drawn to a career in family medicine because of the ability to develop strong relationships with patients, and care for them across their lifespan.

Some of Ross’ professional interests include behavioral health, obstetrics and women’s health, and preventative medicine. In his free time, Ross enjoys running, cycling, and camping.


Gloria Garcia, M.D.

UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Gloria Garcia

A Los Angeles native, Gloria earned her B.A. from UC Davis in psychology and French, and is working towards her M.P.H. at the UCLA. She is a graduate of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and is part of the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program. Her research experience includes exploring the impact of the Affordable Care Act on preventative care access at Harbor UCLA Summer Fellowship. She volunteered at Homeboy Industries in providing free tattoo removal clinics to incarcerated individuals and former gang members in an effort to help reverse societal marginalization, increase employment opportunities, and begin anew as contributing members of the community. Gloria also volunteered with Medical Spanish (MedSpa), and with UC Riverside Latino Medical Student Association where she helped fund outreach and mentorship events for low-income students.

Gloria is fluent in French and Spanish


Stephanie Lopez, M.D.

UC Davis School of Medicine

Stephanie Lopez

A California native, Stephanie earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA with a B.S. in physiological science. Stephanie went on to attend UC Davis to obtain her medical degree. She is a recipient for the Discover a Star Scholarship and Sylmar Women’s Club Scholarship. Her volunteer experience includes working with Chicano/a Latino for Community Medicine where she educated the public on organ donation and participated in quarterly trips to Tecate, Mexico to provide medical screenings to the underserved.

She has also volunteered with the Sun Valley Asthma, where she interviewed and screening middle school aged children for asthma.

A Spanish speaker, she has volunteered at Clinica Tepati where she provided healthcare to the underserved/uninsured Latino community. She enjoys knitting, gardening and reading.


Matthew Louis, M.D.

University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine

matthew louis

Originally from Sacramento, California, Matthew completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry/cell biology from UC San Diego and received his medical degree from the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine. He is currently working on getting his M.P.H. from the University of Southern California. His research includes working at UH Neurology and MRI Research in Honolulu where he studied the neurocognitive effects of marijuana using MRIs and investigated HIV HAART drugs. His volunteer experience includes working at JABSOM Homess Outreach & Med Education where he provided health services to the homeless community throughout the island of Oahu.

Matthew is a Spanish speaker and enjoys competitive table tennis, scuba diving, snorkeling, Iaido (a traditional Japanese samurai sword martial art) and playing the clarinet and saxophone in his free time.


Nykia Peace M.D.

Howard University College of Medicine

Nykia Peace

Nykia is originally from Los Angeles and attended the University of San Francisco where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology. She graduated cum laude from the University of San Francisco, and was awarded scholar athlete from the University of San Francisco. She received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine, where she was a recipient of the Dr. Percy O. Batipps, Jr. Achievement Award, the Dr. Hidrus A. Poindexter Endowed Scholarship Award, and received an outstanding achievement award in the area of microbiology.

Her research experience includes working with the plastic surgery department at Howard University to evaluate the effectiveness of diagnosing cellulitis in darker skinned individuals and if there is an inherent difference in skin color that makes it difficult to diagnose. Nykia volunteered at St. Anthony’s Foundation where she provided support and meals for the homeless population of San Francisco, and also for the Jewish Community Center, where she taught exercise classes and conducted mental activities for older adults. In her free time she enjoys free-style writing, working out and fitness, and being in the company of friends and family.


Zana Shirwan, M.D.

UC San Diego School of Medicine

Zana Shirwan

Originally from Syria, Zana earned his undergraduate degree in human biology from UC San Diego and his M.P.H. from San Diego State University. He also received his medical degree from the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Zana is the recipient of the Mission Bay Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship, the Mackenzie Scholarship and the PRIME Heq Scholarship. His research consists of working with the UC San Diego and United Taxi Workers of San Diego to compose scripts for health promotion videos targeting better health and wellbeing for taxi drivers. He also volunteered with UCSD Student Run Free Clinic Project to provide medical care for the homeless. Additionally he worked with the Syrian Nur Association in Istanbul to provide Syrian refugees free medical care. Zana is fluent in Arabic and enjoys playing the tamboor, a Kurdish string instrument, watching historical movies and documentaries and playing volleyball.


Lauren Van Putten, M.D.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine


Lauren is originally from Loma Linda, California and attended Andrews University for her undergraduate degree in biology. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she returned to California to pursue her medical degree at Loma Linda University School of Medicine where she earned the Medical Alumni Student Scholarship.

Her extensive research includes a two-year investigation of the intravindividual variation in the calling songs of the cricket Grylus pennsyvanicus, where she measured the length variation within the song of male crickets based on environmental changes. Lauren speaks Spanish and her hobbies include acrobatic yoga, scuba diving, wakeboarding, and playing soccer. Having studied photography and art history in Florence, she has a passion for the arts and music including musicals such as the Phantom of the Opera.



Kenneth Acha, M.D.

Texas A&M Health Science Center

Kenneth_AchaOriginally from Cameroon, Africa, Dr. Kenneth Tembei Acha, M.D. moved to the U.S. to pursue a career in medicine. He attended Rice University in Houston, Texas where he studied biochemistry and cell biology. He then went on to attend medical school at Texas A&M Health Sciences Center in College Station, Texas.

Kenneth is the founder of an orphanage and poverty alleviation organization called Shaping Destiny in Cameroon where he helped supervise and provide medical care to over 600 children. He continues to work with orphans and underprivileged children; providing preventative medical services and working with local community organizations to advocate for orphaned children.

Teresa Khoo, M.D.

UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program

Teresa Khoo

Dr. Teresa Khoo, M.D., is originally from Arcadia, California and attended the University of California, Riverside for her undergraduate degree in biology.  She went on to attend the University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine and is part of the UCR/ UCLA Thomas Haider Program.  

She has volunteered with the UCR Student-Run Health Clinic where she was the diabetes management coordinator, and also with Women’s Health Selective at UCLA, where she was a senior advisor.

Teresa speaks Burmese, Chinese, Formosan and Spanish. She received the Alumni Association Award in 2011 and the prestigious Regents Scholarship from 2006- 2010. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, traveling, running, writing haikus and playing the piano.

Jin Seon Kim-Paglingayen, M.D.

University of Hawaii, John Burns School of Medicine

Jin Kim-PaglingayenOriginally from Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Jin Seon Kim-Paglingayen, M.D. moved to Guam with her family at the age of six. Then she moved to Hawaii to attend the University of Hawaii, Manoa where she earned her masters' in anatomy and physiology.

After completing her masters, she went on to the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine through the Imi’ Ho’ola Post-Bac program. Jin has worked with the Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (HOME) program, a student-run mobile clinic that provides free healthcare to the homeless community of Hawaii. During her time with HOME, she did a project to develop a nutritional program “How to Eat Healthy for Cheap”, expressing her passion for healthy lifestyle counseling.

Jin also enjoys exploring nature, bonding with friends, singing and playing the piano, volunteering at church, and is fluent in Korean.

Steven Nguyen, M.D.

Albany Medical College

Steven NguyenDr. Steven Nguyen, M.D. is a California native, born and raised in San Diego. He attended the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) where he completed a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master’s of Science in biochemistry/chemistry. While there, he was awarded provost’s honors and the Millennium Scholar.

He then went to Albany, New York to attend Albany Medical College for his medical degree, where he was awarded the Richard O. Shapiro Prize and the Albany Medical College Trustee Scholarship. He has volunteered his time to organizations providing medical care to the under-served in Mexicali, Mexico and Vietnam.

Steven speaks both Japanese and Vietnamese. His hobbies include photography, cooking, marital arts, classical piano and violin, tennis, surfing and assembling electric guitars.

Charles Penick, M.D.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Charles PenickOriginally from San Bernardino, California, Dr. Charles Penick, M.D. attended Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama where he received his Bachelor of Science in biology.

He then went on to attend medical school at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where he has worked with the Minority Introduction to Health Sciences Program and has mentored high school seniors to consider a career in the health sciences.

He was also the co-director of Community Kids Connection-Music, a program designed to provide music lessons to children in the San Bernardino region who would otherwise be unable to have access to small group musical training.

He enjoys engaging in a variety of activities, including: baking, woodwork, singing and camping.

Brian Petrie, M.D.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Brian PetrieDr. Brian Petrie, M.D. is a California native. He graduated from California State University Fullerton Magna Cum Laude with a degree in biochemistry.

He did medical research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the otolaryngology department.

His interest in medicine began when he volunteered at the Lestonnac Free Medical Clinic in Orange. He then became an emergency medical technician and worked as a scribe in the emergency department at Mission Regional Hospital. He attended Loma Linda University School of Medicine where he was awarded the Leona Edwards Scholarship, an academic achievement award for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

In his free time he enjoys working on his airplane pilot's license, snowboarding, skeet shooting, and mountain biking.

Jessica Youk, M.D.

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Jessica Youk

Dr. Jessica Youk, M.D. is from Redlands, California and attended Pacific Union College where she completed her Bachelor of Science in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry.

She went on to attend Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where she works with the Loma Linda Street Medicine program to provide free and high quality transitional care for the homeless population in San Bernardino and assists at a Clinical Neuroscience Research Laboratory as a research assistant.

Jessica speaks Korean and Spanish, and enjoys camping, snowboarding, running, and playing the ukulele.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Graduate Medical Education
2608 School of Medicine Education Building

Tel: (951) 827-7669