Class of 2018

Class of 2018

Anthony Bustamante, MD
Boston University School of Medicine

My name is Anthony Bustamante and I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. I went to college at USC where I studied Biology and Health and Humanities. After college, I moved to Philadelphia for two years to complete a Masters of Medical Science at Drexel University, and then to Boston to study medicine at Boston University. UCSD was a great choice to complete my Family Medicine Residency, not only to escape the snowy winters, but because I knew I would have the complete Family Medicine experience and receive the well-rounded training I wanted to practice medicine in a wide variety of settings. I also love being in San Diego where I can spend time in the ocean surfing, as well as discovering the many great restaurants the city has to offer.


Nicholas Canelo, MD
Brown University Medical School

Hi! My name is Nick Canelo. I’m originally from Montclair, New Jersey, and completed both my undergrad and medical school at Brown University in Providence, RI. My main interest is Integrative Medicine, which I developed during my time in Rhode Island through various scholarly projects and clinical activities.

My passion for medicine lies in the healing connection. Being able to touch patients’ lives on a daily basis is truly an honor.

I chose UCSD because it’s a strong program in a beautiful city with plenty of Integrative Medicine opportunities. I wanted a strong conventional medicine curriculum alongside a culture embracing of Integrative Medicine.

Outside of medicine, I sing and play guitar, ukulele, and piano. My favorite part about San Diego is that now I can do so on the beach!


Sam Galloway, MD
University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, IA and grew up running around the wide-open spaces of Iowa with my five brothers. After graduating high school, I moved across the state to study biology at Northwestern College. After a short stint framing houses and doing volunteer work while applying for medical school, I headed back to the classroom to complete my medical training at the University of Missouri. While there, I was honored to go on medical mission trips to Guatemala, volunteer in our student-run free clinic, and serve as the wellness representative for my class during medical school. I chose family medicine because of the diversity of patients and medical problems, the opportunity to really get to know patients and care for them for a lifetime, and because family physicians are great people to work with. Within family medicine, my interests include sports medicine, preventative medicine, and caring for the underserved. I chose UCSD because it is an exceptional academic program, the residents are like family, and the educational opportunities are vast. Also, UCSD is one of the best programs in the country for sports medicine exposure and training, and I am looking forward to learning from the excellent faculty here. My hobbies outside of medicine include running, woodworking, watching documentary films, trying out new microbrews, learning to surf, and anything that allows me to spend time outside with my wife, son, and dog. As an outdoor enthusiast, I was happy to exchange my bulky winter coat for some board shorts when we arrived in San Diego. I am loving the beaches, the food, the breweries, and the vibe of the city. Come, join us! .

Jessica Ono, MD
New York School of Medicine

I was born and raised on the island of Oahu. I moved to the mainland to attend Boston University where I majored in Biological Anthropology. I had envisioned myself being the next Indiana Jones, digging for the fossils of our ancestors. After graduating, I returned to Hawaii where my passion for medicine was awakened. As I fulfilled the pre-requisites for medical school I was fortunate enough to work at a family medicine practice in the heart of Honolulu. The experience there and the relationships with our patients left a lasting impression on me and helped steer me into Family Medicine. I attended the University at Buffalo, SUNY for medical school and though I truly enjoyed the wintery weather I was eager to get back to a climate more similar to the islands.

When interviewing for residency in California I was drawn to UCSD for its integrative medicine tract and the welcoming feeling I received from the residents and faculty. The proximity to family in Hawaii, Las Vegas and Los Angeles was an added benefit. When I’m not working on my skills as a physician I enjoy cooking, photography, reading, hiking and brewing with my husband and our puppy Marvin Akbar.

Jorge Otanez, MD
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California

I was born in Tijuana, B.C. Mexico, raised in between Tijuana and San Diego. I actually use to work in San Diego at the famous Hotel Del Coronado while attending medical school at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Campus Tijuana. I graduated from medical school in 2010, and then decided to practice medicine as a general practitioneer for the next 2 years, where I worked for the Mexican Health Department providing care to many families in underserved communities in both Tijuana, and Rosarito. In November 2012 I was fortunate enough to be selected by the UCLA International Medical Graduate program, the only program in the country of it’s kind. This innovative program main purpose is to address California’s changing demographics, and existing shortage of Hispanic physicians, by providing all the necessary tools for foreign doctors to compete for a Family Medicine residency position in the US.

I decided to go into Family Medicine because of the great variety it has to offer, I would like to establish long term patient/doctor relationships, have continuity of care, and be able to make a difference in their lives. I always knew UCSD was the one place where I wanted to complete my residency training, being in such a strong academic program, and caring for a great variety of patient population it’s very rewarding. I had such a great time during my interview day, you could tell that is one big united family working together. Faculty and residents just confirmed that this was the place for me. Plus being close to my family and friends it’s just the best of both worlds.

My interests in medicine include underserved medicine, border health disparities, Pediatrics, and Sports Medicine. Outside of medicine I enjoyed watching, and playing baseball (Go Padres!), football (Go Packers!), playing the saxophone, traveling, playing texas hold’em, going to the movies, and spending time with my lovely wife and family.

I am very grateful to be giving the opportunity to receive my residency training in this amazing program, and be able to contribute with my bilingual and bicultural skills serving our very special patient population.


Amity Tung, MD
Loma Linda University

Hello! My name is Amity Tung and I grew up in Los Angeles/Orange County. I attended UCLA for undergrad, where I majored in Physiological Science but couldn't give up my true love (literature) so minored in English as well. I went to medical school at Loma Linda University, where I had the opportunity to work in both local and international communities. Not only did I get to tutor local children and organize a fitness camp to combat obesity in underserved teens, but I also traveled to Ecuador to learn about the healthcare system abroad. I have always enjoyed getting to know my patients and forming long-term relationships with them. I love the continuity and variety of family medicine; my diverse interests include global health, integrative medicine, sports medicine, and pediatrics. As a people person, I was drawn to UCSD because of the camaraderie I felt even on my first visit. Everyone is extremely knowledgeable but supportive - I could not have asked for a better place to train! Not to mention San Diego is pretty much the best city ever (at the risk of sounding like I'm disowning my hometown). In addition to frequenting local farmers' markets and eating yummy food, I love being outdoors - whether getting my run on at the beach or hiking in the mountains - all of which can be found in this glorious place. Next step: spearfishing!

Anna van Niekerk, DO
Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hello! My name is Anna van Niekerk. I grew up in the beautiful California desert; Palmdale, where I raised llamas and pigs in 4H and tore my ACL four times trying to play soccer. I switched to swimming and made my way down south to sunny San Diego where I found a love for travel, long hikes and camping, I majored in biology and psychology at San Diego State University. For medical school, I went up the coast to Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Ca where I gratefully received a lot of hands on experience with manipulation and even had the opportunity to help teach and organize additional lectures. In medical school I learned so much by working with the community as a leader for several free clinics, food kitchens and later by going to conferences for manipulation and integrative medicine. I am lucky that my husband is also in medicine and we had the opportunity to go to Uganda and Peru together for medical trips. All of these experiences helped me to find my new home at UCSD.

I chose to come to UCSD primarily because the attendings and residents are extremely supportive, kind, intelligent and I truly felt it was "a good fit". During my interview process I met UCSDs amazingly dedicated and caring faculty who love their jobs and love teaching. I wanted to go to a residency where I would be supported to do integrative medicine and get opportunities to use my manipulation skills. The aspects of medicine that I most enjoy are meeting new amazing people every day and learning from my patients. I love how good preventative medicine can help keep people healthy. My current hobbies are beach volleyball, swimming, biking, short distance running, learning about different people and places vicariously through audiobooks, and working on my mini herb garden. I would like to say hiking and camping but this is a rarity as an intern. My favorite part about San Diego itself is of course the beach! Sometimes (almost every week) we indulge in amazing burritos and burn off the calories by swimming in the ocean and biking around the bay.

Peter Zaki, MD
University of California, San Francisco

My name is Peter Zaki and I was born and raised in California. I grew up in the greater LA area and attended UCLA for undergraduate. I spent the better half of the year between undergraduate and medical school traveling in South America and Southern Africa. I had the chance to live with a local family in Patagonia, Argentina and backpacked the famous Torres del Paine National Park on the border of Chile and Argentina. I even made it out to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I attended medical school at UCSF and then completed an internship in general surgery also at UCSF.

It was pretty soon that I saw the light and returned to my passion for Family Medicine. I chose Family Medicine because I wanted to become a well-balanced and versatile physician, I wanted to form long lasting relationships with my patients, and provide a variety of care. I chose UCSD because I believed it would allow me to accomplish all of the above, not to mention the amazing weather and proximity to the ocean. When I interviewed at UCSD I really enjoyed hanging out with the residents, faculty, and staff; everyone was warm and welcoming.

Gina Zarella, MD
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester

I grew up on the East Coast, halfway between Boston and Cape Cod. Go Pats! As an undergraduate student at Boston University I studied political science and philosophy. After college I spent 2 years in West Africa with Peace Corps Niger, followed by a year in Sudan. I returned home to complete a post-baccalaureate program, and then spent a year in Kenya before starting medical school at the University of Massachusetts.

Health is about balance, and San Diego really lends itself to achieving both. It is a community that allows you to explore rigorous academics and beautiful beaches in the same afternoon! The majority of people I have met here are geographic transplants like myself; I wonder if that contributes to the wide diversity of interests that you will find. Thus far I have spent most of my free time enjoying yoga, becoming familiar with the local neighborhoods, and playing beach volleyball with my co-residents (this is a work in progress). I am excited to be a part of this rewarding program. I have greatly appreciated the warmth and support provided by the UCSD family, and look forward to extending it on to future classes!