Loma Linda University Medical Center - Psychiatry Residency Program - Class of 2013

Class of 2013

Claudia Carmona, MD
Why Psychiatry?  Why Loma Linda? 
What better way is there to practice the University's motto "To Make Man Whole" than by being a psychiatrist - where a patient's psychological and spiritual health is just as important as his/her physical health?

What do you like about the program here? 
The residents and attendings -- not only are they genuine and kind people but they are also great examples of the type of doctor I would like to become once I finish my training.

Edwin De Leon, MD
Why Psychiatry? 
I chose Psychiatry because it is the field of medicine that allows for different levels of understanding and helps to explain the sources of human suffering.  It is unique because it allows the physician to assess the patient in their totality by looking at both the organic and non-organic causes of their ailment.  The beauty of the specialty is that it is a constantly evolving field as we continue to learn and understand the complexities not only of the human brain but also of the human mind as these operate in the context of the human experience. It is a complex and challenging specialty; however, for me it provides the greatest fulfillment as a future clinician because when we have reached out and created an alliance with our patients, it touches them in the deepest recesses of their person, far better than any medication or physical intervention can.

Why Loma Linda? 
I chose Loma Linda because of the following:
First, the faculty is fully committed in guiding us through our education. All are approachable and they help us understand and learn from challenging cases we may have seen in the wards, clinics, and on call. All attendings are very supportive of teaching; residents have set periods within the week that are fully dedicated to lectures.
Second, the camaraderie among the resident family is strong and this crosses over the different PGY years – we have a “Big Sib” (like an older brother or sister) that you can always call or page should you have any questions or concerns. Seniors always check on the junior residents and offer assistance. The chief residents are responsive to our needs and have been good at helping the residents find balance by providing activities that help relieve the stress and challenges inherent in residency.
Third, there are several venues that we are exposed to during the entire residency program and this provides a vast spectrum of cases to learn from.  It helps insure that upon completion of our training we will have the confidence and breadth of training to practice as efficient and dedicated psychiatrists.
Finally, the program is located in Southern California - need I say more?

Ijeaku Ijeoma, MD
Why did you choose psychiatry?
I believe that the state of the mind determines how we perceive ourselves and our environment, and so determines how we choose to deal with different situations.  I am in Psychiatry to acquire the skills necessary to help my patients/clients learn to cope with different life issues, and to understand what medications are necessary to get them through crises and relieve their symptoms.
Why did you come to Loma Linda?
I first came out to Loma Linda for a Master of Public Health degree because it runs a good quarter system. However, I grew to love the intertwining between spirituality and health.  In choosing to train at Loma Linda, I embracing the treatment of the person as a whole.
What do you like about the program here?
I love the fact that the focus of this program is the patient. As a first year resident, I find that other residents and faculty are always willing to show me "the threads", so to speak.  People are ready to teach and explain things so that it makes the transition from student to intern seem effortless.
What do you like about Loma Linda as a place to live?
I lived in Loma Linda as a graduate student, and I love the peace and quiet.
How is Loma Linda as a place for residents raising a family?
The Psych program is very considerate in terms of granting requests for time off to attend to family affairs. Our calls are five in a month, thus allowing us adequate time for family.  Families are invited and welcome to attend social activities. There are good schools in the area and homes are going at rates lower than the California median value.  There are beaches, mountains and a lot of amusement parks around. 

Kristina Jahng, MD

Fujun Liu, MD

Cesar Rafano, MD
Why Psychiatry?
For me, psychiatry has endlessly unique appeal in many aspects. It allows me to impact patients with any pathology in a way no medicine or scalpel can touch. It challenges my mind to think (and metathink!) and my senses to perceive beyond surface assumptions and "obvious" answers to complex issues. Finally, it interfaces with other medical specialties seamlessly, allowing me to not only treat diverse patients, but also teach and liason with diverse colleagues in many capacities.

Why Loma Linda?
Since Loma Linda was my med school alma mater, it seemed a natural choice to investigate the program. However, I am also in the unique position of having a spouse in a medical school out-of-state, making the decision all the more difficult. After evaluating several positions, I concluded that Loma Linda was more than a program; it was truly a family. In comparison to other programs, my fellow residents seemed much happier and fulfilled with their professional and personal lives. Staying at Loma Linda has also made me a more effective resident, as my familiarity with the system as well as "connections" with former classmates have helped me adjust and perform duties well. Finally, I know Loma Linda has a reputation for having one of the more challenging call schedules and curricula; however, I know this will also prepare me to take on any psych career of my choosing in the future. I am confident the rigorous training will give me the broadest experience and make me the best psychiatrist I can be.

Diana Walayat, MD
What do you like about the program here?
The program in Loma Linda is set up in such a way that when you come out from the program you are ready to face any psychiatric cases.  It familiarizes you different patient populations including children, adolescents, adults, and veterans.  Through lectures, case studies, grand rounds, and other learning opportunities we increase our knowledge and ability to approach patients.  Last but not least, the attending physicians are very kind and helpful in teaching us and guiding us to become better psychiatrists.  Upon completing my training here, I expect to be a good psychiatrist that will be able to face different challenges with understanding and confidence.

How is Loma Linda as a place for residents raising a family?
Loma Linda is an excellent place to raise a family. This place is filled with people who uphold good values.  There are private and public schools that provide education based on Christian principles and morals, not to mention extracurricular activites and sports that provide the breadth of experience needed to prepare for college.  The are lots of activities for children year-round like basketball, baseball, golf, music, and camping, not ot mention locales for family outings ranging from mountains to beaches.  Loma Linda has lots of organizations that welcome anyone regardless of ethnicity, organizations that are willing to help in times of need.  I'd like to share with you an experience that I will not forget for the rest of my life - we had just moved into Loma Linda; I woke up one morning, ready to start my daily work routine.  I opened my front door to find a big box full of canned food and other goodies.  I wish you could have seen my children's faces when they opened the box.  Tears were falling from my eyes...I have lived in many different places, but never a place where I was welcomed with a big box of blessings at my door.  I highly recommend Loma Linda as a place to raise your family and do your residency training!