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Graduates’ Perspectives

  • WHY DID YOU APPLY TO LLU?
    I applied based on a remarkable experience I had as a visiting medical student. I was given personalized attention and treated as a valuable member.
  • WHAT FACTORS DID YOU CONSIDER IN RANKING LLUH?
    Breadth of experience at a level 1 trauma center that is a tertiary referral center for several specialties. The residents graduate ready to operate.
  • WHAT FACTORS DID YOU CONSIDER IN RANKING LLUH?
    Its record of matching residents into competitive fellowships.
  • WHAT MADE YOU HAPPY YOU TRAINED HERE?
    My co-residents were just the most amazing, caring, funny individuals. It made my time so special because I had a very close work family.
  • WHAT ARE THE PROGRAM STRENGTHS?
    Diversity in faculty and their specialties as well as faculty at different phases of their professional development. Mentorship.
  • WHAT MAKES OUR PROGRAM UNIQUE?
    I think the ability to participate in global medicine is unique and eye-opening.
  • WHAT PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS WILL HELP A RESIDENT TO BE SUCCESSFUL HERE?
    Humble confidence, a learning attitude, personability, willingness to strive to always become better, wanting to learn "whole-person care"!
  • WHAT ARE THE PROGRAM STRENGTHS?
    Faculty interested in education and progression of the residents, young attendings with new skills, long history of compliance with ACGME rules.

WHY DID YOU APPLY TO LLU?

I was impressed by their passion for medicine, integrity, and true dedication to the field.  It seemed like people from LLU went into medicine "for the right reasons."  There was never mention of prestige or money when I spoke to those physicians about their choice to enter medicine.

Rachel Allen, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
General Surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Riverside


I went to medical school at Loma Linda University, and I understood the institutional commitment to Christ centered care.  I also enjoyed working with the dedicated faculty members, who went above and beyond to educate me in surgical knowledge as a medical student.  I knew that the clinical breadth at Loma Linda, and technical ability of our surgeons would well prepare me for surgical practice.

Daniel Srikureja, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2014-2015
Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University


LLU is one of the few programs that offer IMGs, without US clinical experience, the opportunity to apply for a position after a year of research with them.

Robert Cubas, MD
Medical School: Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina
Chief Resident: 2017-2018
Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, University of California, San Diego


I applied based on a remarkable experience I had as a visiting medical student.  I was given personalized attention and treated as a valuable member of the team. 

Matt Selleck, DO
Medical School: Touro University of Osteopathic Medicine
Chief Resident: 2015-2016
Surgical Oncology Fellowship, Loma Linda University 

WHAT FACTORS DID YOU CONSIDER IN RANKING LLUH?

I ranked LLU #1 because of location, but also in large part because of my visit.  I spent a day or two shadowing one of the senior residents after my interview and found the "experience" to be very respectful, congenial, controlled, and pleasant as opposed to many of the surgical experiences that I had had at other institutions.  It was the complete opposite of the "county hospital" feel.  I had the feeling that there would be adequate time for reading and for asking questions in a "non-malignant" format.

Wes Fung, MD
Medical School: New York Medical College
Chief Resident: 2008-2009
Vascular Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University


 One of the things that really struck me interviewing around SoCal was that every other program I interviewed at had at least 2-3 surgeons who had trained at LLU, and several of those surgeons were in positions of leadership.  It seemed to me that if this was the program that was producing all of the other training programs in the area I should just attend this program if I could!

Rachel Allen, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
General Surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Riverside


Breadth of experience at a level 1 trauma center that is a tertiary referral center for several specialties. The residents were coming out ready to operate.

Scott Hadley, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2018-2019
General Surgeon, Spokane, WA


Its record of matching residents into competitive fellowships.

Ivan Gutierrez, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2014-2015
Pediatric Surgery Fellowship: Children’s National, Washington, DC


I was impressed with the amount of attending faculty who were designated to assist in education, and the focus on wellness and resident wholeness. It made it evident that the faculty was committed to resident training and education.

Lourdes Swentek, MD
Medical School: Loyola University College, Stritch School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2017-2018
Trauma and Critical Care Surgery Fellowship, University of California, Irvine

WHAT MADE YOU HAPPY YOU TRAINED HERE?

LLU did truly become a family for me.  Everyone truly cares not just about your academic/career success but also your personal wellbeing.  I always felt supported and I felt I could reach out to anyone for anything at any time without fear of judgment or retribution.

Rachel Allen, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
General Surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Riverside


I am happy with the relationships that I formed there, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed my time in Loma Linda (even with the 5 am rounds, call and M&M which are all expected in surgical residency).

Wes Fung, MD
Medical School: New York Medical College
Chief Resident: 2008-2009
Vascular Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University


Now that I have been in practice for two years, I would say that perhaps the most important aspect of surgeon development that was cultivated at LLUH that I don’t always see in colleagues that trained elsewhere is that the patient comes first.  I have heard this from other LLUH alumni as well in discussing our training and subsequent practice.  Every one of us remembers how patient centered our attendings and the institution as a whole were.

Matt Surrusco, MD
Medical School: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chief Resident: 2016-2017
Trauma and Critical Care Fellowship, University of Florida


That I went straight in to a general surgery practice with the skills need to refer only very few cases out.

Scott Hadley, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2018-2019
General Surgeon, Spokane, WA


Loma Linda General surgery residency is an excellent balance of a rigorous academic program, with a small family community type feel.  Patient care was always first, and the general approach to evaluating outcomes focused on improvement of systems, not casting blame.  I also very much appreciated the full spectrum of perspective.  In other words, there were a number of very experienced surgeons from different generations, who would look at problems differently, so we were able to be exposed to all techniques and evaluate for ourselves which technique is appropriate.  An example of this is a very strong minimally invasive program, compliment other surgeons who have strong open skills.  It produced an extremely well-rounded general surgeon.

Daniel Srikureja, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2014-2015
Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University


 My co-residents were just the most amazing, caring, funny individuals. It made my time so special because I had a very close work family.

Lourdes Swentek, MD
Medical School: Loyola University College, Stritch School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2017-2018
Trauma and Critical Care Surgery Fellowship, University of California, Irvine


The same attributes that made me rank the program, the competence and confidence I gained to practice as a surgeon upon completion of training.

Matt Selleck, DO
Medical School: Touro University of Osteopathic Medicine
Chief Resident: 2015-2016
Surgical Oncology Fellowship, Loma Linda University


 Program really cared about residents, annual trips, well-being focus on residents, great surgical training, attendings were patient and focused on teaching.

Sean Maroney, MD
Medical School: State University of New York, Syracuse
Chief Resident: 2018-2019
Colorectal Surgery Fellowship, The Ohio State University

One thing I loved probably most about LLU is that it is a great place to live with a family. We lived very close to the hospital, but still had a great place for my wife and kids to live and play. I could get back and forth to the hospital very quickly when I was on call. That let me spend as much time with my family as I could. I really liked that aspect of LLU.

Jacob Olson, MD
Medical School: Ohio State University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
Pediatric Surgery Fellowship, Vanderbilt University


The staff are invested in teaching residents. I remember the staff pushed us to be the best we could be in a professional manner. The relationships I developed during training is one of the highlights during that time.

Abid Mogannam, MD
Medical School: University of California, Irvine
Chief Resident:
Vascular Surgery Fellowship, University of California, San Diego

 

WHAT ARE THE PROGRAM STRENGTHS?

Again, the strength of the program lies within the people… some of the most quality and caring attending physicians that I met were exactly the mentors that I needed. They stood out to me as surgeons with skill both inside and outside the operating room.

Wes Fung, MD
Medical School: New York Medical College
Chief Resident: 2008-2009
Vascular Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University


LLUH has a training curriculum and paradigm that allowed for the appropriate growth and development of residents.  For example, most residents want to start operating day one and don’t realize how much there is to learn about patient care before and after the OR which is critical to being a successful surgeon.  I feel like this was seamlessly integrated into our experience unlike the experience of many of the residents I interacted with at other sites.

Matt Surrusco, MD
Medical School: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chief Resident: 2016-2017
Trauma and Critical Care Fellowship, University of Florida


In addition to the people (see my answer to the above question), I think we get a wide breadth of pathology and complex cases as well as the bread and butter of general surgery.  There is also a good relationship and collaboration between the surgery department and the other medical subspecialties.  Through the program we got to know and develop close relationships with other residents from anesthesia, radiology/IR, ED, ortho, plastics, and even GI just by the rotations we have built in.  We also get a good experience working in multidisciplinary teams (NPs, social workers, case managers, etc) that were not emphasized in med school but that are essential for practicing medicine today. I also think our program director and the program in general are amazing at soliciting and incorporating resident feedback.  It really felt like we were listened to and could affect change and improvements in the program.

Rachel Allen, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
General Surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Riverside


Attending physicians and their patience and ability in teaching, wide range of cases and exposure to all the various disciplines in general surgery, high case volume such that I felt comfortable to practice without fellowship in the community.

Harry Ou, MD
Medical School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2010-2011
General Surgeon, Rancho Cucamonga, CA


High volume of surgical cases, high index of complexity in surgical cases, PDs that care, mentorship, strong teaching and educational atmosphere.

Esther Yung, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University
Chief Resident: 2013-2014
Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University


Multiple hospitals in a very small radius, numerous distinguished faculty who are very interested in teaching.

Scott Hadley, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2018-2019
General Surgeon, Spokane, WA


Great program directors!  Faculty investment on the residency program.  Program coordinator and staff always looking out for us. The vascular surgeons’ approach to academic surgery.

Ivan Gutierrez, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2014-2015
Pediatric Surgery Fellowship: Children’s National, Washington, DC


Diversity in faculty and their specialties as well as faculty at different phases of their professional development.  Mentorship.

Nephtali Gomez, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University
Chief Resident: 2008-2009
Endocrine Surgery Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University


 High volume, minimal scut work, support for research, helped getting into colorectal fellowship and publishing research papers.

Sean Maroney, MD
Medical School: State University of New York, Syracuse
Chief Resident: 2018-2019
Colorectal Surgery Fellowship, The Ohio State University


Some of the strengths of the program are the high volume of oncology and complex cases. Many programs don't get that type of experience. I also think our Malawi rotation is a great perk of the program. It was another reason I wanted to train at LLU.

Jacob Olson, MD
Medical School: Ohio State University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
Pediatric Surgery Fellowship, Vanderbilt University


Faculty interested in education and progression of the residents, young attendings with new skills, long history of compliance with ACGME rules, quite stable program in terms of faculty.

Allison Davila, MD
Medical School: Northwestern University
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
Thoracic Surgery Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh

WHAT MAKES OUR PROGRAM UNIQUE?

I think the ability to participate in global medicine is unique and eye-opening. 

Rachel Allen, MD
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
General Surgeon, Kaiser Permanente Riverside


It is the premier surgical institution in the geographical area and thus high range of complex teaching cases without the concern of competition from any other tertiary hospitals such as in west LA.

Harry Ou, MD
Medical School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2010-2011
General Surgeon, Rancho Cucamonga, CA


Vegetarian cafeteria, no coffee for sale in the cafeteria, the amount of dancing in the call room. Also, the faith-based approach of the hospital and the ability to both be a competent surgeon at the end of five years but also be in a position to match to the most highly-regarded of fellowships.

Scott Hadley, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2018-2019
General Surgeon, Spokane, WA


The commitment to global health was such a unique opportunity. I spent three months in Malawi operating on a breadth of never before seen cases. I learned to operate on complex gynecology, urology, oncology, and infectious disease surgical case. It was such a genuine experience and Loma Linda embodies a commitment to global health and wellness. The fellowship in global surgery is one more example of how Loma Linda promises to make the world a better place.

Lourdes Swentek, MD
Medical School: Loyola University College, Stritch School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2017-2018
Trauma and Critical Care Surgery Fellowship, University of California, Irvine

WHAT PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS WILL HELP A RESIDENT TO BE SUCCESSFUL HERE?

Humble confidence, a learning attitude, personability, willingness to strive to always become better, wanting to learn "whole-person care", surgical hands!

Wes Fung, MD
Medical School: New York Medical College
Chief Resident: 2008-2009
Vascular Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University


The amount of effort you put in to your training will directly correlate to how good of a surgeon you become.

Scott Hadley, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2018-2019
General Surgeon, Spokane, WA


Efficient, resilient, organized, team player (on a personal level likes outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, surfing, snow sports).

Allison Davila, MD
Medical School: Northwestern University
Chief Resident: 2019-2020
Thoracic Surgery Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh


A resident who is a self-starter, who has a deep commitment to humanitarianism, and who can appreciate varying levels of graduated responsibility and take on responsibility to maximize their educational opportunities will thrive here.  Strong character, which I would define as integrity, tenacity, confidence, ability for self-analysis and retrospection, flexibility, reliability, and ownership (responsibility), is a prerequisite.

Daniel Srikureja, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Chief Resident: 2014-2015
Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, Loma Linda University