Rina Edi, MDAssistant Clinical Professor I was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. My parents immigrated to the United States from Indonesia. My desire to care for vulnerable and underserved populations came from my personal experiences growing up as a first generation Indonesian American. In medical school I was a co-founder of Project HEARTS (Health, Education, Advocacy, Resources, Temple/St. Luke’s), helping to establish a free clinic for uninsured patients in Bethlehem, PA. In residency I worked with vulnerable populations in Philadelphia, treating patients in our Refugee Clinic at Jefferson and volunteered at Puentes de Salud, providing healthcare to the Latinx immigrant community in Philadelphia. Prior to joining the faculty at UCSD, I cared for marginalized populations, mostly immigrant and underinsured patients in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. While working at UCSD I have had the privilege of working at the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic in Downtown, providing high-quality and comprehensive care to uninsured and underserved patients throughout San Diego.
Richard Novotny, MDAssistant Clinical Professor
I was born and raised in the border town of El Paso, Texas, to a bicultural family,. My mom is from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and my is from Nebraska, with Czech descent. The Hispanic culture predominated my upbringing, spending much of my pre-school years in Ciudad Juarez, where my grandparents would care for me while my parents worked. I credit a lot of who I am to my Hispanic upbringing, including my desire to care for those of whom are most vulnerable and underserved. Throughout my career trajectory, this has continued to be my primary driver, working alongside Preventive Medicine colleagues in caring for Asylee/Detainees, within Tijuana with Healing Hearts Across Borders and Good Samaritans, and caring for vulnerable populations within a clinic setting within St. Vincent De Paul Village Health Center, San Ysidro Health Center, and my own clinic at UC San Diego Health.
Akbar Rahman, MD, MPH
Associate Clinical Professor
I was born & raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. My father immigrated to the US from Pakistan as a teenager (as a young child, he was a refugee from India to Pakistan). My mother grew up in Los Angeles in a family of Spanish descent. Before medicine, I spent over two years working in Tanzania. In medical school in Chicago, I was active with my SNMA chapter. Clinically, I have worked with vulnerable populations in Long Beach, Compton, Los Angeles, South Africa, and Haiti. In San Diego, I provide primary care to homeless patients at St. Vincent de Paul Village Health Center, and hospital care to patients at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest
Regina Wang, MD
Assistant Program Director for Family Medicine Residency
Associate Clinical Professor
My grandparents on both sides were refugees from China in the 1940s. I was born and raised in Southern California. Having multiple Deaf family members, I pursued a 2-year Deaf Medical Fellowship at UCSD to learn medical American Sign Language (ASL) and learn the barriers to healthcare and education faced by the Deaf. I have conducted research on Deaf cancer education, and spoken at national conferences about disparities in healthcare for Deaf and Asian American populations. Prior to joining the faculty at UC San Diego, I cared for marginalized populations at a federally qualified health center with clinics in Long Beach and Compton, California, and a district hospital in Durban, South Africa. While working at UCSD in Hillcrest and St. Vincent de Paul’s homeless clinic, I have had the privilege of being able to communicate directly and advocate for my patients who speak Mandarin, ASL, and Spanish.
Jessica Brown, MD, MPH
Family Medicine Resident
I am a native of Washington D.C, and a first-generation college graduate. Growing up in the nation’s capital has not only exposed me to the beautiful and vast diversity that this country has to offer, but also to the complex economic and social issues ingrained in its structure. It was during my formative years when I began to wonder how these economic and social factors affect health. These curiosities and my love for learning led me to a career in medicine and public health. I have a bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University, a master’s in Clinical Forensic Science from Drexel University College of Medicine, and a master’s in Public Health and medical doctorate from Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine. I was a recipient of the National Health Service Corp primary care scholarship and I am passionate about providing care in medically underserved communities both domestically and abroad, particularly in urban communities. During my time at Wright State, I was able to live this passion through my work with Congolese Refugees in Dayton, Ohio, and abroad in Togo and Costa Rica. I love experiencing new things, reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. I chose San Diego because my fiancée Charles matched EM at Kaiser SD a year before me, and I chose UC San Diego particularly because it offers diverse experiences in a diverse population with a diverse group of residents. I look forward to serving communities in and around San Diego, and getting to know the city further!
Michelle Doscas, MD
Family Medicine Resident
I decided to pursue a career in family medicine largely due to the natural partnership between the specialty and the community. Working within diverse communities has shaped my perspective and will be a priority for my future career in this field. Prior to attending medical school, I worked as a program coordinator for the New York City branch of a nonprofit organization called Health Leads. At Bellevue hospital, I worked to connect vulnerable families with resources such as stable housing, safe childcare and food. While in medical school, I volunteered as a coach for a Chicago-based organization called Girls in the Game. I worked alongside other women to bring team sports to the South Side of Chicago, where young Black and Latinx girls would be otherwise unexposed to the many values that come with playing on a team. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I hope to create a safe space for all patients and their families throughout my future career in medicine.
Leopoldine Matialeu, MD
Family Medicine & Psychiatry Resident
I was born and raised in Cameroon, West Africa. I immigrated to the U.S. in 2005 and was an "alien" for a few years before getting my citizenship. I've experienced many challenges since my arrival, including learning English, facing homelessness, and being the first person in my family to go into medicine. In undergrad, I worked at Imani clinic serving African American community in Sacramento. In medical school, I was in the Rural PRIME program, the co-president of SNMA, and the co-director of Knights Landing clinic serving migrant farm workers. I am currently in my 5th year of residency in the combined Family Medicine/Psychiatry program and I've done several border health volunteer work in addition to working at St Vincent De Paul clinic serving homeless patients. I also have an interest in refugee and global health work.
Julie Rivo, MD
Family Medicine Resident
I was raised in a diverse community in Miami and fell in love with family medicine in high school while volunteering in a busy ER, where I witnessed the injustices and disparities facing communities of people of color. I deepened that perspective and learned Spanish both living in a rural Nicaraguan community and working in a federally qualified community health center minutes from my home in Miami. Moving to a gentrified town for college, I ran an English as a Second Language (ESL) program to provide accessible language learning for our migrant communities and foster bidirectional cultural exchange between college student 'tutors' and the diverse community outside the college walls. I believe relationships such as these can change the world. After college, I worked as an HIV tester/educator at a community health center -La Clinica del Pueblo- serving LatinX LGBTQIAA people in DC. As a cis-gender, heterosexual identifying person, this was an unparalleled and humbling opportunity. During medical school, I lived for a year in Argentina conducting maternal and child health research. Unlike my ancestors for the last two thousand+ years, I have the privilege of being a person with Jewish blood who is free. I dedicate my work as a physician to fighting for the freedom of others, through the freedom that is health.