St. Mary Medical Center Celebrates Achievements of Future Physicians

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Graduating and continuing residents of St. Mary Medical Center, 2012-13.

(bottom left) Graduating and continuing residents of St. Mary Medical Center, 2012-13.

St. Mary Medical Center celebrated its House Staff graduation from the UCLA-Affiliated Internal Medicine Residency Program on Friday, June 14, 2103 at Hotel Maya in Long Beach. Eleven residents graduated from the 3-year program. Some will move on to fellowships in nephrology, rheumatology, endocrinology, hematology/oncology, while others will become hospitalists. Nineteen others will continue their Residency Program at St. Mary Medical Center joined by seventeen new incoming residents for the 2013-14 academic year.

The accredited, UCLA-Affiliated Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Mary began in 1969 and has produced over 400 Internal Medicine graduates, many of whom are in successful private practices at St. Mary and in the Long Beach community. These graduates help provide attention to the healthcare needs of the community. About 40%-50% of the graduates proceed to fellowship training and specialize in specific fields. “We are proud of this program, which has upheld a tradition of training residents to carry on the legacy of delivering compassionate, high quality, patient care,” said Chester Choi, MD, director of Medical Education at St. Mary.

The mission of the UCLA-Affiliated Internal Medicine Residency Program is to train superb primary care community physicians, hospitalists, and future leaders in Internal Medicine. Through this program, residents and interns gain invaluable experience that allows them to explore the wide range of specialties in health care. Currently, St. Mary offers training in Internal Medicine and partners with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to help train residents in Emergency Medicine. This partnership is firmly supported by the St. Mary Emergency Department Director Stephen Shea, MD and his team.

Under the direction of Andrew Burg, MD; Chester Choi, MD; Bahman Chavoshan, MD; and core faculty including Neill Ramos, MD; Sarah Strube, MD; Bettina Kehrle, MD; David Lalezari, MD; Hripsime Gharibjanyan, MD; and Chief Residents Brian Rayhanabad, Katrina Carli, and Serena Shi; residents are given the opportunity to serve a diverse population of patients. In addition, over 50 attending internal medicine physicians take part in mentoring residents.

Residents see their outpatients at the Family Clinic of Long Beach on the St. Mary campus. Each resident is also responsible for scholastic or quality improvement projects which help educate other physicians as well as future physicians, and other healthcare professionals about specific issues in healthcare. These projects are presented at regional and national meetings held by UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the Society for General Internal Medicine, or other renowned national organizations.

“As a teaching hospital, St. Mary strives to offer an invaluable education and training for those who have chosen to take on a rigorous challenge on the road to becoming a practicing physician,” said Tom Salerno, president & CEO of St. Mary Medical Center. In a message to faculty, chief residents, and support staff, Salerno said, “The quality of this year’s graduates is a reflection of your commitment to providing a day in and day out comprehensive and rigorous medical education and training experience. We are very proud of this year’s graduating class, and we are grateful for your support.”

About St. Mary Medical Center
Founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in 1923, St. Mary Medical Center, a member of Dignity Health, offers a full continuum of primary and secondary acute care services to the Greater Long Beach community. With more than 600 physicians, over 1,350 employees and 389 private rooms, St. Mary is committed to providing a unique balance of leading edge technology, while ensuring dignity and compassionate care of body, mind and spirit to the community it serves. For more information, please visit us at

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