Alumni Reflections​

Bosarge Patrick Bosarge, MD
Trauma/Burn Intensive Care Unit Medical Director; Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Director; and Associate Professor at UAB

“One of the most important aspects of my training was the relationships that I developed with faculty, staff, and residents alike. While my academic and professional needs were being cultivated, the community that makes up UC San Diego Surgery became family, both literally and figuratively. From obtaining career advice to being nominated for prestigious organizations to having social gatherings when possible, my friends, colleagues and mentors from UC San Diego play an immense role in my continued advancement as a surgeon, scientist, educator, and administrator. Every day, I fondly apply the lessons I learned while in San Diego. Although I was only in a single year fellowship, my time at UC San Diego helped position me to continue to advance my career in exactly the direction I wanted to go.”

Hodgkiss-Harlow Kelley Hodgkiss-Harlow
Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Kaiser Permanente San Diego

"Having participated in research with the trauma division during my time at UC San Diego medical school, I knew that if I stayed at UC San Diego for my general surgery training, I would train with some of the best attendings in the field. I was fortunate to matriculate with a group of strong co-residents and seniors who helped shepherd me to success. In fact, I still work with two chiefs of my graduating class and am happy to call them close friends. My interest in vascular surgery was discovered around my third year of residency and I never looked back! Vascular surgery is such a creative and innovative field—there is always something new to discover and learn to master. I truly believe that UC San Diego general surgery gave me the foundation to succeed in such a challenging and progressive field."

Hoyt Dave Hoyt
Executive Director, American College of Surgeons

“UCSD was a young place when I joined, and because of that, it wasn't resting on its laurels. It allowed young people to feel like we could make an impact. And this was supported by excellent basic science. This continues to be the backbone that has allowed UCSD to accelerate quickly and progressively: the tremendous commitment to cutting edge science, and supporting faculty to develop as academic physicians.

Alisa Coker Alisa Coker
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

“UCSD is a great program in an amazing location.  It wasn’t a hard decision to accept a position when I had the opportunity.  The faculty at UCSD truly care about the best interests of the residents and are very approachable – something that set UCSD apart from most programs.  With his leadership, Dr. Clary has continued to foster this culture. “

Tazo Inui Tazo Inui
Vascular Surgeon, The Permanente Medical Group, Greater Southern Alameda Area, Northern California

"UC San Diego gave me an excellent training program, and an academic home. I also found a community of people I'm pleased to count as friends, colleagues, and mentors. In looking back, those benefits are mutual, and mutually reinforcing. It was a special 8 years with excellent co-workers, and I'm grateful for all my experiences."

Ava Hosseini, MD Ava Hosseini, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Breast Surgery

“In addition to receiving a stellar education, arguably the most valuable part of my training was the amazing role models and mentors, who have proved hugely influential in my life.  In particular, my research year with Dr. Anne Wallace, Chief of the Division of Breast Surgery, cemented my desire to pursue a career in breast surgical oncology.  My dream was to return to UC San Diego to work alongside these mentors, as well as to provide the same type of mentorship I received to future students and residents.  After completing my fellowship at UC San Francisco, I joined the faculty in September 2017, and I could not be more grateful for this opportunity.”

Michael Jon Clar Michael Jon Clar
Chief of General Surgery, Kaiser Permanente San Diego

"It has been almost 30 years since I was an intern at UCSD. Probably most important part of my experience at UCSD—other than meeting my wife—was the many mentors I developed relationships with who influenced my career, including Drs. Stabile, Orloff, Moossa, Hye, Hoyt, Halasz and Davies, to mention just a few. Another was my surgical rotation at Kaiser Permanente, which I enthusiastically enjoyed. I was very fortunate that a position became available and I was hired at KP San Diego. It's hard to believe that I could have had a better experience at any other surgical residency."

Matthew Katz Matthew Katz
Associate Professor, Chief of the Pancreatic Surgery Service, and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

"UC San Diego was the first residency interview I went on while in med school, and I knew I would go there immediately—I would have signed right then and there. The most valuable part of my experience was the faculty, many of whom are largely responsible for any success I can claim to have had since graduation: Drs. Moossa, Bouvet, Easter, Hoyt, Coimbra, Orloff … the list goes on. It was a very special time in my career that I remember with both fondness and great pride."

Luis Cajas Luis Cajas
Lead Surgeon, El Centro Medical Center
Vascular Surgery Fellow, Mayo Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota (summer 2018)

"When I was looking into programs, I was looking at places that seemed innovative. I liked the mentality of UCSD in terms of: residents didn’t have to have a set path. Some of the East Coast programs have a set path—you have to do basic science, you have to do the things that you have to do. Here it seemed a little more open minded about what we could do. And the graduating residents were really happy and comfortable with their skills—and it’s a beautiful place to live as well."

Todd Costantini Todd Costantini
Assistant Professor, Trauma Medical Director

“When I was looking, my med school mentors—who were acute care surgeons and trauma surgeons—said: you’ve really got to look at UCSD because San Diego is a unique place for trauma care. Dr. Hoyt was in charge of trauma here at the time and a leader in the field. And part of what drew me to UCSD was the personality of the program and the faculty. There was a sense of collegiality. You could tell that the interactions among the residents and between residents and faculty was very familiar. It seemed like a place where people would take an interest in me, get to know me.”

Hannah Copeland Hannah Copeland
Assistant Professor, University of Mississippi

"UCSD is an excellent residency program with an amazing infrastructure to support the residents both academically and socially. The program director cares about the residents' wellbeing, and the faculty are exceptional mentors, who continue to be available as friends and mentors since I have graduated from the program five years ago."

Carrie Peterson Carrie Peterson
Assistant Professor, Division of Colorectal Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin

"During my time in training, my fellow residents became like family to me – my intern class is still very close and we visit each other regularly despite the miles that are now between us. The department faculty grew exponentially during my years there and I was exposed to so much cutting-edge surgery, some of which has influenced my current career choices. The faculty are exceptional mentors and I wouldn't be where I am today without their instructions, encouragement, and assistance."