Paniz Vafaei, MD and Deepa Deot, MD
I spent much of my childhood moving back and forth between Iran and the United States until 8th grade where my family finally settled in Southern California. I moved up to Northern California to complete my undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley where I met my husband. Go Bears!! Life then took me to the Midwest in pursuit of my medical education where I attended Creighton University. Having the privilege to return to Northern California to practice medicine was a dream come true for me.
I was drawn to Oakland Kaiser for its mission to provide high quality affordable health care to its patients and surrounding communities by pioneering preventive medicine, driving innovative clinical care and conducting comprehensive research. I chose Kaiser Oakland for my residency training due to the culturally and socio-economically diverse patient population it served, the brilliant and supportive faculty it offered, the well-rounded and remarkable residents it developed, and the warm and welcoming environment it provided.
Kaiser Oakland has fostered my growth as a person and clinician over the past three years by allowing me to witness unique pathology, learn from patients’ interesting life stories, enjoy the tremendous support and mentorship of my program directors and faculty, and experience the irreplaceable love and camaraderie of my co-residents.
After nine years in Northern California, I am slowly starting to settle into identifying as a “Norcal” girl. In my spare time, I find great joy in cooking, running, skiing in Tahoe, going on a Netflix binge, and traveling to experience new cultures and foods. Outside the hospital, my husband and I love exploring the Bay Area, looking for new restaurants and ice scream spots and taking strolls on Berkeley’s campus where we first met.
In the upcoming year, I hope to give back to the program and residents who made me who I am today. I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to spend another year with my Kaiser Oakland family serving as Chief Resident to the Internal Medicine program.
Paniz Vafaei MD
I was born and raised in the Bay Area and went to UCLA for college where I studied Electrical Engineering. While I enjoyed the cognitive challenges of engineering, I found myself searching for something more when considering career options. After working for three years in technology consulting (which was great for accumulating hotel and airline points), I finally decided to pursue a career in medicine. I was always intrigued by the field of medicine but it wasn’t until after reading The China Study and learning about powerful the connection between food and health that I realized I wanted my life’s work to be in helping people live their healthiest life through prevention.
After doing a sub-internship at Kaiser Permanente Oakland during my 4th year of medical school, I knew that this was where I wanted to spend my three years of residency. I will never forget the excitement of Match Day when I learned that I matched into KP Oakland’s IM-MPH program. It’s hard to believe how quickly residency went by. I am truly honored and excited to stay a part of this residency program where we have a close knit group of residents and who are very well supported by our faculty and program directors. I am thrilled to work with my co-chief (Paniz), have one more year with the rising 2nd and 3rd year residents, and welcome our new intern class!
Outside of residency, I am likely to be found watching my daughter (who was born during residency!) explore the world, or consuming media in one form or the other (while she is sleeping). If it wasn’t apparent earlier, I also love all things to do with food: cooking, eating, shopping for it, and watching others make it!
Deepa Deot MD
Sometimes you feel like you know a place when you navigate to its website. The margins are comfortable. The menus are intuitive. Most of the words are spelled correctly and there aren’t too many banner advertisements for shady pharmaceuticals. Sometimes initial website impressions are enough to give you confidence that this is a residency program where you could learn to practice medicine, where you could spend your formative years as a trainee.
As a current second year and enthusiastic member of the Kaiser Oakland Internal Medicine residency program, I can say, with a full appreciation for how great this website is, that it only skims the surface of everything the residency has to offer.
Let me guess: You’re either from the Bay Area, want to move to the Bay Area, or both. What you may not realize is that, when you’re thinking about the “Bay Area,” it’s actually Oakland that you desire. The sun is close to literally always shining. There’s natural diversity of thought, people, arts, activities, food and environment. Folks here like to have fun and like when other people are also having fun. It’s a walkable city, a talk-able city, a bike-able city, a likable city. A city full of people who enjoy working a rhyme or two into their daily routine.
The medical center where we spend most of our time reflects the community in which it stands: Abundant windows welcome natural light into a space filled with friendly staff, loyal patients, and soothing sounds from the construction site down the block. There’s a dive bar across the street, fine-dining options a few steps farther, and public transportation not far in the other direction. There are also homeless encampments if you set out through the neighboring park; we are unmistakably in the center of it all, which includes regular reminders of growing inequity and its impact on health.
Now I get to type something that many residents in other programs will never have the good fortune to honestly type: Our program takes care of us. Yes, we still work too much. Yes, we still have to pre-round and write progress notes. And, yes, unfortunately, there is no avoiding the illness and grief the meet us at work on many days. But what makes this program special is that our leadership listens when we ask for help, and they actually care about our health as much as our patients’.
No matter where you end up training you are going to learn the medicine. There’s no avoiding it. The patients are going to bring it to you, they are going to ask you to know it, and they are going to make sure you don’t miss anything important. What’s essential, though, is that you find a place, like Kaiser Oakland, where you’ll be supported during your time learning from those patients, where you’ll find happiness as often as not, and— this is critical — where you’ll find a good website.
I am very glad I chose Kaiser Oakland. Education was always a priority, both in formal teaching sessions, rounding, and actively taking care of patients. The program and staff were supportive to allow us to learn and grown as we each needed. There was room to make mistakes, but we had the back-up to ensure patient safety and learning. The patients we cared for were diverse, both medically and ethnically. My classmates were the best part – we had so much fun together. I know I will miss the program in the future, but I am well set up to “thrive” at fellowship now.
What is Kaiser Oakland to me? It is a place where there is truly no such thing as a “dumb” question, where you are never alone, where you are allowed to be yourself and learn at your own pace, and a place where you are a valued member of the treatment team. It is a place where you serve a blue-collar population that is immensely diverse from a socioeconomic, educational, ethnic, and religious standpoint. All of these qualities in one program, located in the most wonderful part of the country make coming to Kaiser Oakland a decision I have never once regretted and never will.
|PGY1||David Bakal||UC Los Angeles|
|PGY1||Apoorva Ananth||University of Southern California|
|PGY1||Andrew Campion||UC Los Angeles|
|PGY1||Andrew Gabriel||Touro University|
|PGY1||Isaac Ghansah||Case Western Reserve|
|PGY1||Chelsea Go||UC Davis|
|PGY1||Kristine Gu||Tulane University|
|PGY1||Nicole Heinl||Brown University|
|PGY1||Olivia Kizzee||University of Texas|
|PGY1||Christina Li||Pennsylvania State University|
|PGY1||Jerry Liu||Tulane University|
|PGY1||Uchenna Nwosu||Meharry Medical College|
|PGY1||Caroline Opene||UC San Francisco|
|PGY1||Matthew Pimentel||UC San Francisco|
|PGY1||Zena Salim||Michigan State University|
|PGY1||Horatio Thomas||Harvard University|
|PGY1||Claire White||Virginia Commonwealth|
|PGY1||Stephanie Wu||Stony Brook University|
|PGY1||Betsy Yang||University of North Carolina|
|PGY2||Brett Adams||Albany Medical College|
|PGY2||Sarra Borhanian||UC San Francisco|
|PGY2||Andrea Chai||University of Pittsburgh|
|PGY2||Karina Chavez||UC Davis|
|PGY2||Daniel Ha||Eastern Virginia Medical School|
|PGY2||Jessica Himmelstein||University of South Carolina|
|PGY2||Nathan Juergens||University of Minnesota|
|PGY2||Tess Knudson-Fitzpatrick||University of Colorado|
|PGY2||Neha Luthar||University of Wisconsin|
|PGY2||Sarah Michael||Medical College of Wisconsin|
|PGY2||Jonathan Nguyen||Drexel University|
|PGY2||Kelly Nishikawa||Loma Linda University|
|PGY2||Eric Sumner||Touro University|
|PGY2||Paul Wada||University of Southern California|
|PGY3||Alexander Altman||Pennsylvania State University|
|PGY3||Esme Cullen||UC San Francisco|
|PGY3||Monique Delisser||Ohio State University|
|PGY3||Rami Hosein||UC Davis|
|PGY3||David Lee||UC Irvine|
|PGY3||Jocelyn Lee||Touro University|
|PGY3||Christian Lee-Rodrigues||Howard University|
|PGY3||Adam Luxenberg||UC San Francisco|
|PGY3||Shankar Mundluru||Boston University|
|PGY3||Eilann Santo||University of Pennsylvania|
|PGY3||Trisha Sengupta||Florida State|
|PGY4/MPH||Carter English||UC Irvine|
|Chief||Deepa Deot||Chicago Medical School|
|Chief||Paniz Vafael||Creighton University|
Kaiser Permanente Oakland is affiliated with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). We have eight 3rd year UCSF students complete their entire third year at the Oakland Kaiser Campus. Our program directors, hospitalist attendings, and many of our clinic physicians hold clinical faculty appointments at UCSF. There are also other residency programs at our campus.
Residents from the following programs rotate to Oakland Medical Center:
University of California at San Francisco
University of California at Davis
Alameda County Medical Center
Children’s Hospital Oakland
St. Mary’s Hospital