VENTURA COUNTY FAMILY MEDICINE
CLASS OF 2026
MACARENA "MACA" BASAÑES, D.O.
Hi, I’m Maca Basañes
My pronouns are: she/her
Place(s) I call Home: Bethesda, MD
Educational Background: Georgetown University, B.S. in Human Science, Georgetown University M.S. in Physiology, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, D.O.
I've previously worked as a: Some of my first jobs as a teenager were as a lifeguard and a swim instructor. In college, I worked at the medical simulation lab running simulations for nursing students and then I spent a year working as a medical assistant at a dermatology clinic before finding my way to graduate school and then medical school!
Why I'm at VCMC: The rigorous training and opportunity to learn how to practice full-spectrum family medicine at a residency program built specifically to train and support residents. I am really excited to train at a program focused on providing medical care to a multi-cultural community in addition to one that has incredible OB and addiction medicine training!
Things that matter to me: Underserved medicine, providing equitable healthcare, global healthcare, my family and friends!
I enjoy: Curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee, rock climbing, exploring new restaurants, traveling around the world.
In the future, I want to: practice full spectrum family medicine with an emphasis on obstetric and psychiatric care. I am incredibly passionate about providing equitable healthcare and hope to continue growing and learning about my future goals along this residency journey!
EMILY BRUNING, M.D.
Hi, I’m… Emily!
My pronouns are: She/Her/Hers
Place(s) I call Home: San Diego, CA
Medical School: Albany Medical College
Undergraduate: Wake Forest University – B.S. in Health and Exercise Science
I've previously worked as a… Medical Scribe, Babysitter, Retail Associate
Why I'm at VCMC: I chose VCMC due to the full spectrum training it will equip me with to best serve my future patients. The culture at VCMC is also unparalleled. I am surrounded by extremely compassionate, collaborative, and upbeat individuals who are committed to a shared mission to improve access to healthcare, especially for those who are underserved. Returning home to Southern California where I am closer to my family and can soak up the year-round beautiful weather is a great perk too!
Things that matter to me: Preventative, patient-centered care; Lifestyle medicine, Pediatric and Adolescent medicine; Maternal care, Mental health; Addiction Medicine
I enjoy... Spending time with family and friends, binge-watching tv shows, the beach, long walks, skiing, Mexican food and sushi.
In the future, I want to... work in a setting where I can offer a wide range of services to a diverse patient population.
NATALIE CLOSE, M.D.
Hi, I’m… Natalie
My pronouns are: she/her/hers
Place(s) I call Home: Austin, TX
Educational Background: Undergrad: University of Texas at Austin; Medical School: UTMB in Galveston, TX
Why I'm at VCMC: I chose VCMC because I sought a family medicine residency program that emphasized care for underserved communities, served a Hispanic patient population, offered robust obstetrical training, and provided broad-spectrum family medicine training. I knew that this program would help me grow into a physician and patient advocate who would be prepared to provide quality, full-scope medical care in limited-resource medical settings, and that I would be training alongside and learning from really great people.
In the future, I want to... While living in Costa Rica the year before medical school, I developed Spanish fluency and a fondness for the Costa Rican ways of life. My grandmother, a Costa Rican native, faced cultural and linguistic barriers when she first arrived to the United States. I hope to use my Spanish skills to advocate for patients of Hispanic communities and confront cultural and language-based health care disparities that my grandmother faced as a young adult, both locally and abroad.
I enjoy... spending time with my loved ones, a cold beer after a long day, surfing, hiking, puzzles, road trips, traveling, puns, plants, a hearty cheeseburger, binge-watching a good TV show, my cats Momo and Lou
The best piece of advice I've ever gotten is... Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about
JACOB COLBERT, M.D.
My pronouns are: He/Him
Place(s) I call home: Occidental, Ca and New Orleans, LA .
Education background: Undergraduate-Tulane University; Medical School- Tulane University School of Medicine
I've previously worked as an... Apple farmer, thinning apples to find the perfect unblemished apple to sell at the farmers’ markets. Owner and chef of a paella catering company, serving up to 2,000 plates of paella per day at weddings, music festivals and farmers’ markets in the Big Easy.
Why I'm at VCMC: After residency, I hope to work globally in underserved and remote communities. VCMC provides the comprehensive training necessary to treat patients in all settings, including challenging situations found in extremely remote areas. I also love being close to the ocean where you can surf, dive or sail within minutes from the hospital.
Things that matter to me: Developing long-term relationships with patients and the community that I work in. I’ll have their back no matter what. I love learning and getting to know my patients, whether it’s about their life story, recommendations on the best restaurants in town or their secret surf and fishing spots!
I enjoy... Going on adventures. I love all things outdoors including high altitude mountaineering, alpine expeditions, and route-finding in the desert. I love dealing with extreme situations in the toughest of environments and was lucky to spend time climbing peaks in Bolivia and Peru. In my free time in Ventura I’m passionate about surfing, spearfishing, sailing, fishing, mountain biking, yoga, oyster shucking, sushi making and catching the sunset on the beach.
RACHEL DAVID, M.D.
Hi, I’m… Rachel
My pronouns are: She/her
Place(s) I call Home: Portland, Oregon
Undergrad: University of Oregon
Medical School: Oregon Health & Science University
I've previously worked as a... dance teacher, bakery clerk, and family practice scribe
Why I'm at VCMC: I chose VCMC because of the challenging yet supportive environment in which I'd learn to provide culturally appropriate, full-spectrum care to a diverse population. Also, the chance to live in a sunny beach town was a plus.
Hobbies & interests: dance, traveling, cooking (mostly desserts), getting outdoors (and conversely, chilling indoors), and befriending animals - including my kitten.
CHARLOTTE HEALY, M.D.
Hi, I’m Charlotte
My pronouns are: she/her
Place(s) I call Home: Baltimore, MD
Educational Background: BS in Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, MS in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, MD at University of Maryland School of Medicine
I've previously worked as a... Engineering Lab TA, IT Consultant, Yoga Instructor, End-of-Life Care Research Coordinator, Cancer Center Meditation Instructor, and NCAA Cross Country & Track Assistant Coach... Go Owls!
Why I'm at VCMC: In addition to the rigorous full spectrum training, VCMC offers strong training in my areas of enduring interest - obstetrics, addiction medicine, and palliative care. I was also drawn to the spirit of the program. The faculty and residents I met during the interview process expressed great energy and enthusiasm. A spirit of playfulness seemed to pervade the workplace, encouraging a wonderful sense of community. Finally, the town of Ventura is the ideal setting in which to live and train; close to dear friends in LA and accessible to the many outdoors activities my partner and I adore.
Things that matter to me: reproductive rights, patient advocacy, harm-reduction, preventative medicine, patient stories
I enjoy... my daily bike commute, dancing to the 60s and 70s music I was raised on, rock climbing with my partner, Jackson, and campervan travel with my canine co-pilot, Ruby!
SINA KHAKSAR, M.D.
Hi, I’m… Sina Khaksar
My pronouns are: He/Him
Place(s) I call Home: Northridge CA
Educational Background: College -> USC, Med School -> Albany Medical College
I've previously worked as an... ER Scribe at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
Why I'm at VCMC: In 9th grade, a medical missionary spoke at our weekly high school chapel service with a presentation on the clinic she started for underserved populations in Honduras. In that moment I knew I wanted to dedicate myself towards pursuing long terms missions work overseas to help people without access to medical care. Thankfully, more than a decade later, I'm still on that journey!
I did an externship here and loved every second of it! It was my favorite month of medical school. The training at Ventura is tough but during my month-long stint on ICU/Peds, I never heard one resident complain. In fact, I witnessed them selflessly taking work off each others plates, even when inconvenient. I knew I found my home. So much so that during my interview I asked our amazing PD (Dr. Araujo) if they selected for that trait!
Now as an intern, I have the best 14 co-residents in the whole world! Each of them have such amazing mission/drive and I am lucky to get to know them! Whether its helping underserved patients internationally or domestically, we are all dedicated to becoming the best physicians possible inside the hospital and even better people outside of it :). Good luck on your medical journey, you got this!
Things that matter to me: Treating every single person with Christ-centered love.
I enjoy... Hot Tubs (Iceland is my next stop!)
In the future, I want to... Create sustainable healthcare for underserved populations internationally.
CHRISTOPHER KING, D.O.
My pronouns: he/him
Place(s) I call Home: I grew up in Dixon, CA (not too far from Sacramento)
Educational Background: I bounced around a lot in my younger years between work and school. I started at UC Davis after high school but dropped out after my first quarter. I later studied at Solano Community College, then transferred back to UC Davis to finish my bachelor’s degree in nutrition science. I attended medical School at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Pacific, and now I’m at VCMC!
I've previously worked as: There are too many to list here, but to name a few – retail store sales associate, bicycle mechanic, medical assistant, ambulatory surgery center data analyst, and teaching assistant.
Why I'm at VCMC: This program provides one of the most comprehensive family medicine training experiences out there and offers the ability to closely care for underserved and underrepresented populations. I knew that VCMC would prepare me to practice medicine in a broad capacity anywhere in the world, allowing me to meet the needs of any community I end up serving in the future.
Things that matter to me: My main priority amongst all the craziness that comes with this career path, is being a dedicated husband and father.
I enjoy: Spending time with family, rock climbing, hiking, woodworking, and beach time in Ventura!
Future plans: I will likely be working somewhere rural, possibly tropical, as a full-spectrum family medicine doctor, hopefully delivering babies and caring for vulnerable populations.
DOYLE MCCARTHY, M.D.
Hi, I'm Doyle!
My pronouns are: He/Him
Place(s) I call home: Seattle, WA and the Cascade Mountains
Education background: Undergraduate: Whitman College; Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
I've previously worked as a…dishwasher repairperson in Seattle’s bars and restaurants, clinic coordinator at a community clinic for folks experiencing homelessness
Why I'm at VCMC: I sought a residency program that would prepare me to provide excellent medical care for entire communities. I am so grateful to be joining the VCMC community and have the opportunity to complete my medical training in one of the most beautiful areas in our country.
I enjoy... cooking with my wife (Lauren) and daughter (Eleanor), playing basketball, working with my hands, backpacking through the Olympic and Cascade Mountains
ALDEN MOIR, M.D.
Hi, I’m Alden
My pronouns are: He/Him
Place(s) I call Home: Sanger & Santa Cruz
Educational Background: I went to undergrad at UC Santa Cruz and medical school in the Leadership in Rural Medicine program at MSU-College of Human Medicine
I've previously worked as a ski race coach, instructional aide, and ER scribe.
Why I'm at VCMC: I had long heard that VCMC was one of the nation’s top full spectrum programs and I knew that was the type of family medicine that I wanted to practice, but after interviewing I felt a culture of positivity and caring that was unmatched. There is a reason it has the reputation it does and I feel insanely lucky to be a part of it.
Things that matter to me: Supporting the physical and mental health of all patients, connecting with people from all backgrounds in all aspects of life, and getting out into nature and exploring with family and friends.
I enjoy just about everything this world has to offer. Some favorites include skiing, surfing, mountain biking, following my favorite professional sports teams (Denver Broncos & Nuggets), traveling, finding great restaurants, binging TV/Movies, and most of all hanging with my partner Alyssa and our dog Otter!
In the future, I want to provide top quality care to my patients and create an environment where all my patients feel supported and cared for deeply. I would also love the opportunity to work closely with the next generation of doctors and healthcare workers to help share the wisdom and compassion that I was so fortuante to have been modeled.
The best piece of advice I've ever gotten is... that patients won’t care about how much you know… until they know how much you care.
MARGARET "M.E." PURNELL, M.D.
Hi, I’m… M.E., pronounced “emmy” like the awards
My pronouns are: she / her / ella
Place(s) I call Home: Woody Creek, CO & Los Angeles, CA
Educational Background: Undergrad: University of Southern California (USC); Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of USC
I've previously worked as a... a babysitter, a chemistry tutor, a customer service provider in permanent supportive housing for women in Los Angeles, a TA, and a research assistant for a fetal surgeon
Why I'm at VCMC: So many reasons. I adore working in a county hospital and caring for the incredible population that county serves. My goal is to become a doctor that cares for all my patients’ ailments and joys. VCMC is the perfect place to become that doctor. The VCMC Family Medicine Residency Program is one of few true full spectrum residencies with vigorous training in Preventative Healthcare, OB/Gyn, Emergency Medicine, Trauma, Critical Care, Community Medicine, Backpack Medicine, and Addiction Medicine to name a few. Here, we have the opportunity to learn nearly anything while working with the most incredible patients and co-workers who care so deeply – what more could I ask for? Oh, and you can’t beat the 7 minute drive to the ocean.
Things that matter to me: My family, my incredible co-residents, cacti & succulents, health equity, and bowel regimens
I enjoy... Dancing in the kitchen, playing with my nieces and nephews, scuba diving, cross stitching, film photography
Languages: English, Spanish, German
VALENTINA SEDLACEK, M.D.
Hi, I’m Valentina Sedlacek!
My pronouns are: she/her/ella
Place(s) I call Home: New Hampshire, the Adirondack mountains
BA at Dartmouth College (and Universidad Cumpletense de Madrid and Harvard College)
MD at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Previous jobs: I've previously worked as an outpatient dialysis PCT, public health committee member, writer, babysitter, dogsitter, restaurant hostess, tour guide, research assistant
Why I'm at VCMC: It's the real deal- full spectrum family medicine for the underserved! As a NHSC scholar with plans to practice rural family medicine, I knew I needed to train at a place that would thoroughly challenge me and prepare me to serve my community best to do it all. When I interned at VCMC to see what "west coast Family Medicine" was like, I fell in love- VCMC is a big family with one common goal: to care for the community.
Things that matter to me: my family, friends and dogs, being outdoors and active in medicine, community work
I enjoy: Spending time with my husband and dog, being outdoors in the sunshine, swimming, (trail) running, biking, triathlons, hiking, exploring new places, working on community improvement projects, reading books
Ask me about: being an "East-coaster" at VCMC
In the future, I want to... practice rural medicine and be able to do anything my community needs me to do! Hopefully this includes some surgery, operative obstetrics and gynecologic care, sports medicine, inpatient and outpatient for all ages... the full scope !
The best piece of advice I've ever gotten is: When you smile, everything seems a little easier and a lot better!
NICHOLAS TOD, D.O.
Hi, I’m… Nick
My pronouns are: He/Him/His
Place(s) I call Home: Fresno, CA
Medical School: Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Bio: Hi I’m Nick. I grew up in the Central Valley of California and never considered medicine as a career until four knee surgeries in high school sparked my interest. After three years of volunteering at a syringe exchange as an undergraduate, I decided that I wanted to be the type of doctor who could serve as “home base” to underserved patients who felt left out of the medical system and offer them the most comprehensive care that I could. When I’m not in the hospital I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, cooking, and watching sports… literally any sport (Formula 1 is my new passion).
Why I'm at VCMC: I wanted to be a doctor who was extremely comfortable in uncomfortable situations. When I rotated at VCMC as a medical student I was amazed that the residents did EVERYTHING, and still managed to be really cool people who looked out for each other. No matter how much experience you have medicine will always throw new surprises at you and I felt that VCMC offered the type of full-spectrum training that would prepare me to handle nearly any situation I find myself in throughout my medical career. Also, it only takes one afternoon of sunny and 70 degrees at the beach to convince you that this is an amazing place to live.
JOSEPH VIELBIG, M.D.
Place(s) I call Home: Ventura, CA
My pronouns are: he/him/his
Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Undergraduate: Pepperdine University - B.A., Psychology
Previous Jobs: Lifeguard and swim instructor in college and at the Ventura Family YMCA, scribe for family medicine physician, coparenting two cats, a snake, and a recently adopted puppy!
Why I'm at VCMC: In theme with most other folks, for the broad-spectrum training, the opportunity to serve and work with a diverse and under-resourced community, and because of the wonderful people whom I will get to work alongside! I would be remiss to not also point out the aspect of getting to move home and train in the same community that raised me. To be able to learn and grow in the same program that my doctors, my parents’ doctors, and my grandparents’ doctors all trained and speak so highly of is immensely special and I think points to both its success at creating true family medicine doctors as well as the lasting impact that VCMC has on its community.
Languages: English, Basic Spanish
Hobbies & Interests: Hiking, camping, stargazing, photography, piano/keyboard, coffee, trying to keep basil and other houseplants alive, starting but never finishing shows with my spouse (much to her chagrin), making excel spreadsheets look pretty, evangelizing about Costco.
MOIRA WOOD, M.D.
Hi, I’m… Moira!
My pronouns are: she/ her/ ella
Where I call Home: Davis, CA
Educational Background: BA in Biomedical Anthropology and Latino Studies from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN; MPH in Global Health and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies from Emory University in Atlanta, GA; MD from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA
I've previously worked as a... Community Health Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Eswatini, and a Clinic Coordinator at network of FQHCs in Yolo County
Why I'm at VCMC: I am super passionate about working with underserved communities, so it was important for me to train at a hospital & with folks who share that mission. Full spectrum family medicine is a retort to the many barriers to care that our fractionated healthcare system propagates. VCMC will provide me with the robust, quality training I needed to respond to my patients' needs with "I can help with that!"
Things that matter to me: wild spaces, health equity, linguistic justice, cultural humility, and live music
I enjoy... being outside, exploring new places, learning about local customs and traditions, slow mornings, and dance parties
In the future, I want to... provide full spectrum care to marginalized communities, with particular focus on obstetrics & pediatrics