VENTURA COUNTY FAMILY MEDICINE
CLASS OF 2025

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VANESSA DANIELLE ABARCA, D.O.

Hi! My name is Danielle Abarca

Medical School: Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Undergraduate: UCSB, CSU Stanislaus

Masters: Rowan, biomedical sciences

Hobbies: Weight lifting, roller skating, people watching, indoor cycling, shopping, scuba diving, traveling

Interests: surfing, food, crypto, gym clothes

Spirit animal: Dolphin

Languages: Spanish, English

Hometown: Modesto, CA

Why VCMC:

 Full spectrum family medicine

 Heavy OB training

 Demographics: At Ventura I get the opportunity to provide healthcare to the agricultural and Latin community

 Location, location, location: Ventura is by the beach and has a small-town feel

Dream job: Practicing full spectrum family medicine, OB, inpatient, and global medicine.

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ALEX AN, M.D.

Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Undergraduate: University of California, Berkeley, B.A. Molecular and Cellular Biology

Hobbies & Interests: soccer, basketball (Go Warriors), skateboarding, live concerts, Architectural Digest, listening to Colin Cowherd and Skip/Shannon, perennially disappointed fan of the Cal Bears and Chargers

Languages: English, Mandarin, Spanish

Bio: I'm a San Diego native who is now at VCMC by way of Berkeley and Chicago. Some of my professional interests include sports medicine, POCUS, and academic medicine. I'm at VCMC for the stellar faculty, lovely residents, free food, nationally renowned full-spectrum FM training, and SoCal lifestyle. Not a hard sell.

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ROBERT LEO ANDERS, M.D.

Hi, I'm Leo. Only my doctor calls me Robert.  

My pronouns are: He/Him

Place(s) I call home: The state of Alaska, and the open road.

Education background: Undergrad- University of Alaska Anchorage; Medical School- University of Washington School of Medicine

I've previously worked as a... lifeguard, a chemistry tutor, a zipline tour guide, an ER scribe, a carpenter for a remote Alaskan property, and once I worked as a dog handler for a team of sleddogs in northwestern Alaska!

Why I'm at VCMC: I want to be ready for anything as I move forward in my medical career. After VCMC I’m excited to work in remote settings internationally and throughout Alaska. Crazy things are always falling in your lap so having sharp skills from a rigorous program like VCMC is a must. It is also great to be able to surf and decompress after a long shift in the hospital!

Things that matter to me: Excellence in acute care, trauma, and OB. I am also passionate about providing whole patient care to my patients in the clinic and the hospital. When I meet a new patient I want them to feel that I’ll be with them through their illness no matter what happens.

I enjoy... Being outdoors and going on adventures. Long road trips, international travel, surfing, paragliding, slacklining, etc. I also enjoy connecting through music.

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KARALEEN ANDERSON, M.D.

Places I call Home: Fairview Utah

Educational Background: Snow College (AS)-->Utah Valley University (BA)--> University of Utah School of Medicine (MD)

I've previously worked as a...  My first job was a paper route and a lifeguard. I spent a few years as an English teacher in Russia, China and Japan and then found my way into research, focusing mainly on low frequency ultrasound and extracorporeal shockwave treatment of chronic wounds.

Why I'm at VCMC: The rigorous learning environment coupled the opportunity to work with incredibly motivated and motivating people. I was drawn here by the high-risk OB, trauma and the high level of involvement of the residents in all aspects of patient care. 

Things that matter to me: High risk OB, women’s health, rural healthcare, my family and friends and my puppy Daisy.

I enjoy... Running, mountain biking, yoga, paddle boarding, surfing and playing with my puppy.

The best piece of advice I've ever gotten is... If someone's constructive criticism of you is not helpful, you are not obligated to follow.

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CONNIE FRIEDMAN, M.D.

Hi I’m Connie Friedman. I was born in Taiwan, grew up in Torrance and played college soccer in Philly. I spent a year teaching English in Vietnam through Princeton in Asia and eventually found my way back to California for medical school. 

Medical School: USC Keck School of Medicine 

Undergraduate: Haverford College
Hobbies & Interests: Soccer, backpacking, climbing, karaoke, traveling, scuba 

Spirit Animal: Gecko 

Why VCMC:  I wanted to serve a county population at an unopposed hospital with a supportive community of doctors, faculty, and staff. My dream is to be able to medically support local and global communities.

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DANIELLE GUYER, M.D.

Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine

Undergraduate: Seattle University, B.S. General Biology and B.A. International Relations

Hobbies & Interests: Climbing, skiing, reading, travel

Languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Turkish

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ALEXANDER HOWARD, D.O.

Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine- Southern Utah
Undergraduate School: Metropolitan State University of Denver, BS Psychology and Biology

Hobbies and Interests: soccer, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, binge watching all the shows


Bio: Hey Everyone- If you're reading this and considering Ventura FM congrats on making it to this point, only a few more hurdles! I was born and raised in downtown Denver. I actually ended up scribing at the same hospital I was born at. Eventually found my way to medicine and moved one state West to complete my medical school in the beautiful and sunny St. George, UT. My partner and I are very excited to join the residency family here at VCMC.


Why VCMC: I wanted my residency training to prepare me for anything and everything a family physician can do. It was a great fit for me because of the full scope training coupled with a mission to provide care to underserved populations within a county system. My career interests are hospital medicine, palliative and hospice care, and addiction medicine.

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HELEN JOYCE, M.D.

My pronouns are: she/her/hers 

Where I call home: Monteverde, Costa Rica 

Undergraduate: Oberlin College

Medical School: UC Irvine School of Medicine, PRIME-LC (Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community)

Master's in Public Health: UC Berkeley


I previously worked as: a Spanish teacher, a yoga teacher, a Spanish medical interpreter


I enjoy: surfing, baking bread, tending to plants, birding with my family, adventuring with my partner.


Why I came to VCMC: I felt so welcomed and at home when I rotated here as a medical student. Everyone I worked with was kind, warm, and deeply committed to going above and beyond for their patients. I am excited for full-spectrum training at an institution committed to serving medically under-resourced patients in every aspect of care.

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BRANDI LEDBETTER, M.D.

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Undergraduate: Hope College, B.A., Biology

Hobbies & Interests:  Ice skating, Kayaking, Surfing, Camping, Hiking

Languages: English, Spanish

Why I’m at VCMC: The nationally renowned full-spectrum training stood out to me. VCMC offers the opportunity to train rigorously in the full scope of family medicine amidst a supportive community of health professionals.


In the future, I want to: Utilize full-spectrum family medicine to assist in addressing global health disparities and improve underserved populations​' access to healthcare.

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KRISTINA LIM, M.D.

Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine

Undergraduate: East Tennessee State Univ, B.S. Biology and Chemistry

Hobbies & Interests: Yoga, meditation, handstands, cooking, hiking, piano

Languages: English, Vietnamese

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SARAH OGDEN, M.D.

Hi, I’m…Sarah

Places I call home: Irvine, CA and Redlands, CA

Medical School: California University of Science and Medicine

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles with a B.S. in Human Biology and Society

Previous jobs: barista/customer service rep in college, clinical data curator at a genetics company, retina practice technician/scribe

Hobbies & Interests: hiking/walking, biking, singing, reading, playing soccer, puzzles, exploring coffee/boba shops, petting dogs, listening to podcasts, watching TV, going to church

Languages: English, Basic Spanish

Why I’m at VCMC: I came to VCMC for the robust full-spectrum training, awesome learning environment, and ability to work with a diverse and underserved population. After residency, I want to be able to work in any environment, and I believe VCMC will equip me with the skills/attitude I will need to succeed in any setting. Finally, with most of my immediate family in SoCal, the location couldn’t be beat! Ventura is such a beautiful place to live and I’m so excited to explore the area!

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OLUWATUMININU OLUDEMI, D.O.

Hi, I’m Tumi.

Places I call home: Lagos, Nigeria; Laurel, MD; sometimes Los Angeles, CA.

Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences.

Undergraduate: University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Hobbies & Interests: Soccer, road biking, hiking, weightlifting, ping-pong, pool, boxing, ‘handymanning,’ traveling, following tech news.

Languages: English, Yoruba, Basic Spanish.

Why I chose VCMC: I grew up Nigeria, at a time when medical care was expensive, neglected, and scarce. I got sick multiple times with malaria, had a seizure, and got hurt multiple times just being a kid. During these times, my dad was pretty much the one who treated me, as he was a board certified…accountant. Discussions with my parents, as well as my experiences exposed the fact that members of the community passed the knowledge of caring for each other across generations. Additionally, we sought medical advice from friends, obtained treatment recommendations and medications from pharmacists, and relied on known contacts to obtain our childhood immunizations (also, shout out to the Red Cross for showing up to my street and giving out polio vaccines). All these taught me about the importance of having a doctor who is well versed in general medicine. Fast-forward 10 plus years, during my MS3 year, I learned about this program. Suddenly, there was a culmination of all my experiences with healthcare professionals, members of my community and the type of doctor I want to be. Since then, I had been gunning for a spot in the 2025 class and here I am.

What I would like to do after VCMC: Still ironing out the details of my future practice, but I want to donate ultrasound machines to hospitals and medical schools in Nigeria and teach more effective ways of using it.

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BRETT PLATIS, D.O.

Howdy, I’m Brett Platis

My pronouns are: he/him/his

Place I call home: Austin, Texas

Education background: The University of Texas at Austin, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

I’ve previously worked as: a landscaper, cook, waiter, consultant

Why I’m at VCMC: I wanted comprehensive, full spectrum family medicine experience from one of the most rigorous and well-respected FM programs to ensure I received high quality training that would prepare me for any healthcare setting. Also, the weather…

Things that matter to me: Patient education, preventive care, lifestyle medicine, medical/political activism, reproductive health care, palliative care

Hobbies and interests: Running, hiking, biking, lifting weights- I’m currently learning to surf! I also love to cook and connecting with people over food/drinks. I have a lot of plants, and am always on the lookout for more.

Languages: English, basic spanish

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ALAN SHTEYMAN, M.D.

Medical School: University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

Undergraduate: University of South Florida, B.S. Microbiology and Cell Science

Interests: Cooking Italian food, basketball, skateboarding, snowboarding

Languages: English, Russian, Spanish

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BRUKE YEHAYES, M.D.

Medical School: Howard University College of Medicine

Undergraduate: Saint Mary's University, Canada. B.S. Biology and Psychology

Hobbies & Interests: Soccer, playing piano, weights, runnign, cycling, reading, basketball

Languages: English, Amharic