VENTURA COUNTY FAMILY MEDICINE
CLASS OF 2023

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MARIAM ASPER, D.O.

Medical School: Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: San Diego State University, Biology B.S.
Hobbies & Interests: traveling, playing volleyball, makeup artistry, hiking, watching soccer, cake decorating, and volunteering at church
Language: Arabic Native, Spanish Basic

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MANON BEGERT, D.O.

Hi, I'm Manon Begert

My pronouns are: she/her/hers

Place(s) I call home: Edmonds, WA

Education background: University of Washington, University of Wollongong (Australia), Pacific Northwest University

I've previously worked as a... Fitness instructor, medical scribe, SeriousFun camp counselor, mentor to students with autism

Why I'm at VCMC: I loved the people when I rotated here and was amazed by all the things the residents learn to do and do well here. I looked up to the residents before I even started working here, and have continued to be impressed by the people I get to work with everyday. VCMC also offers the full spectrum training I was looking for, training here truly prepares you for it all and more. Plus its a pretty sweet place to live!

Things that matter to me: Reproductive health and obstetrics, preventative medicine, community outreach, political activism

I enjoy... Surfing, running, hiking, travel, basketball, skiing, board games

One random fact about me... Both my parents trained at VCMC!

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ALLYSON BROME, D.O.

Hi, I'm... Ally

My pronouns are: she/her/hers

Place(s) I call home: Gig Harbor, WA, Stockton, CA, Salt Lake City, UT

Education background: University of Utah, B.A. in biology, chemistry, Spanish. Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, D.O.

I've previously worked as a... nanny, tutor, gymnastics coach, registered behavior technician (doing ABA therapy for kids with autism)

Why I'm at VCMC: The full spectrum experience and sink or swim learning mentality. I wanted to be challenged and excel in all fields while surrounded by supportive people and an awesome environment. The emergency, trauma and inpatient care here all stood out to me as strengths of this program. I also enjoy having palliative care, addiction medicine training and global health emphases in our program.

Things that matter to me: patient education/understanding, preventative care, lifestyle medicine, inpatient/trauma/emergency/critical care, global health, healthcare access, Spanish speaking populations, medical education, sports medicine, palliative care, integrative medicine.

I enjoy... spending time outside with my husband and our dog, napping, reading from different genres, hanging out at the beach, traveling (pre COVID), having new adventures and exploring local places.

One random fact about me... I can sing the alphabet backwards!

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KATIA CNOP, D.O.

Hey! My name is Katia Cnop and I am originally from Los Angeles, California. I attended UC Santa Cruz for undergrad where I studied Biology (Plant Science!) and Psychology.


Going into medicine was an unanticipated surprise for me - in my last year of undergrad various life events illuminated the deep disparities in our healthcare system and the power of compassionate care. I decided to to move to rural Guatemala, and over the course of two years I worked for two medical NGOs that focused on building capacity and providing world class health care to indigenous Maya communities in their preferred language (Kaqchikel, K'iche, or Spanish). While serving this population, I watched physicians of every specialty act essentially as family physicians - diving into the communities and adapting to the needs of their patients of all ages, while providing cultural competent care.


I returned to the USA to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to fundraise for one of the organizations, and then promptly started medical school at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in New Mexico. It quickly became obvious that the disparities I saw in Guatemala are not isolated to the third world. Poverty and lack of access to health care seemed ubiquitous across the southern borderlands. I decide to pursue rigorous full-scope family medicine training, that would prepare me to be the only physician for a hundred miles.

So far my experience at VCMC has been incredible - this supportive learning environment pushes me to grow my skillset and knowledge base, while supporting my desire to serve a diverse yet largely marginalized patient population. And on my moments off I get to trail run, hike, surf and swim in this rad California beach town! I feel so grateful to be training here, and am excited for what is to come.

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BENJAMIN FOWLER, M.D.

Medical School: University of Pittsburg School of Medicine
Undergraduate: Juniata College, Biochemistry, B.S.
Hobbies & Interests: Trail running with my dog
Backpacking - explored the Appalachians and Western U.S.,
Cooking- experimenting with vegetarian dishes

Languages: Spanish Basic

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KATYA MALYKHINA, M.D.

Hi, I'm... Katya

My pronouns are: She/Her/Hers

Place(s) I call home: Minsk, Belarus; Philadelphia, PA

Education background: Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania; Masters: Touro University California; Medical School: Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

I've previously worked as a... Research assistant, barista

Why I'm at VCMC: Patient population, full spectrum training (emphasis on inpatient medicine, procedures, OB, ICU, trauma), addiction medicine, global health

Things that matter to me: Working with an underserved population with emphasis on trauma informed care, correctional medicine, global health, street medicine

I enjoy... Aerial silks, pole fitness, surfing, hiking with my dog, yoga with my cats, comedy shows & concerts

One random fact about me... I spent a summer studying birds in Yunnan, China during undergrad

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RACHEL MUELLER, D.O.

Hi, I’m…Rachel

My pronouns are: She/her/hers

Place(s) I call Home: Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Bloomington, IN, Vallejo, CA, Marina, CA

Educational Background: University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, BS Sociology '13. Touro University California, D.O. '20

I've previously worked as a... Bartender, caterer, veterinary assistant, group home support worker, AmeriCorps volunteer

Why I'm at VCMC: Full spectrum FM + the challenge and quality of the training. The residents/faculty here are dedicated to this community and the individuals who live in it, and I wanted to become a part of that effort

Things that matter to me: Reproductive health and justice, wellness, community medicine, integrative medicine, health care access, environmental preservation

I enjoy... Spending time with friends and family, yoga, all the ocean has to offer, new outdoor and culinary adventures, fresh coffee, my cat Edmund, reading

One random fact about me: I've traveled to 43 U.S. states

My Spirit Animal is: a wolf

​In the future, I want to... practice rural full-spectrum FM with emphasis on OB and family planning

The best piece of advice I've ever gotten is... Find your people

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MICHAEL PAGLIA, D.O.

Hi, I'm... Mike

My pronouns are: He/him/his

Place(s) I call home: Hudson Valley

Education background: Hofstra University, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Why I'm at VCMC: Supportive, compassionate, mission-oriented residents and faculty in a county hospital setting.  Also the weather.

I enjoy... Bodies of water, reading nonfiction, NY sports teams, browsing Zillow, listening to music, FaceTime with friends and family

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SEUNG KEVIN SHIN, D.O.

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Undergraduate: Pacific Union College, Biochemistry/Religion, B.S.
Hobbies & Interests: Playing the guitar, preference for fingerstyle, Spearfishing, open water fishing
Languages: Japanese Good, Korean Native

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ELIZABETH SIMONEIT, M.D.

Hi, I'm... Elizabeth

My pronouns are: she/her/hers

Place(s) I call home: I grew up in Glen Ellyn, IL and Tampa, FL

Education background: Westmont College '15, University of South Florida '20

I've previously worked as a... an English teacher in Queretaro, Mexico and a preschool teacher's aide in a blended classroom

Why I'm at VCMC: When choosing a residency, I knew I wanted rigorous training within a ride-or-die community that valued humans, no matter who they are or where they came from. That's what I found at VCMC!

Things that matter to me: Languages, work towards eliminating health disparities, lifelong learning, food,

I enjoy... spending time with friends + family, surfing, yoga, cooking and embroidery

One random fact about me... I've road-tripped across the United States three times

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KIM HOANG TRAN, M.D.

Hi, I'm... Kim
My pronouns are: She/her/hers
Place(s) I call home: San Diego, Sacramento
Education background: UC San Diego for undergrad, UC Davis for med school
I've previously worked as a... Public Health Associate with the CDC
Why I'm at VCMC: I found out about the program super late (in December!) from an OBGYN who knew an awesome grad from the program and recommended me to check it out. Then I applied because I knew that the program will prepare me well to serve vulnerable populations in many capacities. I really like that we see 80% of patients on MediCal (California Medicaid program) and that is is a truly unopposed program.
Things that matter to me: Serving God by serving my community. I am very much guided by my faith and the belief that all people have rights to quality and just life-care (including but not limited to health care, housing, food security, fair wages). Even though it's been hard to do more advocacy work in residency, I hope to be more involved in the near future.
I enjoy... I love photography and all things creative, but I also spend most of my free time binge-watching Netflix, walking to the beach, and winding down with yoga.
One random fact about me... kimtranphotograhy.com ;)

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MONICA TULIMIERO, M.D.

Hi, I'm... Monica

My pronouns are: she/her

Place(s) I call home: My mom's side of the family lives in Valley Center, California (in San Diego County) and my dad's side lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. I grew up in both :)

Education background: Undergrad: Wheaton College (near Chicago, IL). Medical school: UC Riverside (in Riverside, CA)

I've previously worked as a... Middle school and high school science and math teacher, veterinary assistant

Why I'm at VCMC: When looking for a residency program, the three things that were most important to me were residents who were passionate about caring for underserved communities, opportunities to continue speaking Spanish, and full spectrum training. VCMC was a great fit for each of those. Some other bonuses that drew me to the program were Centering pregnancy visits, Addiction Medicine experience, global health opportunities, and community medicine/backpack medicine.

Things that matter to me: Social medicine, structural competency, community medicine, teaching/mentoring, OB

I enjoy... Rock climbing, learning to surf with co-residents, keeping my house plants alive, thrift shopping, trying new restaurants and breweries, camping/hiking/backpacking

One random fact about me... My husband and I got engaged at the summit of Mt. Whitney

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CHRISTOPHER ZEMAN, M.D.

Hi, I'm... Chris

My pronouns are: He/ Him

Place(s) I call home: Wisconsin

Education background: Undergrad: Ripon College B.A. Biology; Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin

I've previously worked as a... Army Special Forces Officer, US Senate Regional Director, Bartender, Appliance Salesman

Why I'm at VCMC: I rotated here as a med student and was blown away by the caliber of the residents. They had truly mastered the 'broad spectrum' of Family Medicine practice that every program claims to focus on, but many of which fall short of. Running frequent trauma codes, caring for heavy loads of complex hospitalized patients, and actively managing high risk pregnancies and deliveries are the expectation, and aren’t something you can get  ‘if you’re really motivated’ or spend extra elective time to do.

Things that matter to me: My family.

I enjoy... Camping, hiking, running, spending time with my wife and kids.

One random fact about me... I was once stalked by a creepy rodeo clown at a rest stop in Gary Indiana at 3am in the middle of a thunderstorm. If you like, I'll tell you all about it when we meet each other.

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KRISTEN ZOZULIN, M.D.

Hi, I'm... Kristen

My pronouns are: She/her/hers

Place(s) I call home: Connecticut

Education background: Case Western Reserve; Frank H. Netter MD SOM at Quinnipiac U.

I've previously worked as a... Peace Corps Volunteer / Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PC Liberia), lab assistant, Dunkin Donuts cashier

Why I'm at VCMC: Full spectrum training with solid OB experience

Things that matter to me: Global health/equity, anticolonialism, cats, crochet

I enjoy... Napping, exploring new places, crocheting, listening to podcasts/ audiobooks

One random fact about me... I have never lost a sock in the laundry

Growing up, I bounced around Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Connecticut (Air Force brat). I got my BS in Systems Biology with emphasis in Evolutionary Biology and minored in Technical Theatre and Classics. I joined the US Peace Corps after graduation and ended up in northern Liberia teaching biology. My service was interrupted by the Ebola epidemic in 2014. Inspired by Liberian and international healthcare workers, I decided to apply to medical school. I returned to Liberia the following year as the first group of Peace Corps Response Volunteers after Ebola.

During medical school, I was active in Doctors for America and Physicians for Human Rights. I became very interested in healthcare advocacy, especially in the realms of global health, racial equity, and anticolonialism within the US and abroad. I worked on my capstone project in Kenya – creating girls empowerment camps in collaboration with community-based organizations focusing on reproductive health, self-esteem and leadership skills, and opposing the practice of female genital mutilation among the Maasai in rural Laikipia County.

I chose to apply for a residency in Family Medicine because of the broad scope of practice, which naturally lends itself to advocacy and community work. I wanted a program that could give me the skills to meet the needs of whatever community I found myself in. For me, that meant women’s health including robust OB training, inpatient experience managing patients with complex social and medical needs, and a clinical practice that caters to essentially anyone who walks through the door. I aspire to a career in global health, and plan to practice abroad with emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. I was thrilled to match at the VCMC Family Medicine Residency because of its full-spectrum training and its track record in global health, with graduates practicing all over the world.