Faculty & Staff

family medicine residency

The FHCSD Family Medicine Residency Program offers a distinguished, experienced and diverse faculty made up of 22 core faculty and administrative staff members.

Our faculty members support comprehensive family medicine education and more than half are board-certified in family medicine.

Zachary Thomas

Zachary Thomas, M.D. Program Director

Dr. Thomas serves as core faculty and program director for the Family Medicine Residency Program after joining in October 2020.

Raised in San Diego, he completed his bachelor’s degree in human biology at UC San Diego in 2009 and earned his medical degree from AUC School of Medicine in 2013 with distinction in the Alpha Omega Phi Honor and Service Society. He completed training in London, England as well as in rural and urban inner-city hospitals throughout the U.S. He returned home to complete his residency in family medicine at the Riverside University Health System / UCR program in Moreno Valley, CA caring for the underserved populations of the Inland Empire. He served as chief resident his third year of residency and was awarded the STFM Resident Teacher Award in 2017.

He joined FHCSD in September 2017 and served as the lead physician for our City Heights and Ibarra clinics from March 2018 to October 2020 working to improve clinical processes, patient care metric outcomes, clinic productivity and serve as a liaison for providers at the site and organization level.

Dr. Thomas is board-certified in family medicine with memberships in the STFM, American Academy of Family Physicians and California Academy of Family Physicians. He speaks medical Spanish. His interests in medicine include health care policy, underserved medicine, preventative medicine, ambulatory family practice, medical education, sports medicine and wilderness medicine. His interests outside of medicine include snowboarding, surfing, swimming, backpacking, music, travel and spending time with family and friends.

Dr. Constan

Stephanie Constantino, M.D., AAHIVSAssociate Program Director

Dr. Constantino is the associate program director of FHCSD’s Family Medicine Residency Program, a procedures faculty and class of 2018 program graduate. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she attended the University of Washington where she majored in neurobiology and won the ASUW Student Body Activities Award for her work as a major campus organizer for health equity. She went on to serve in Teach For America as a high school chemistry teacher in Richmond, California, where she developed a passion for working with teens. She graduated from University of Washington School of Medicine in 2015 and matched into the second graduating class of FHCSD’s residency program.

As a resident, she completed the HIV track to become an HIV specialist, started our partnership with the Crawford High School FACES pipeline program, as well as our addiction medicine elective and served as a chief resident in her final year. Dr. Constantino’s interests include LGBT health, women’s health, adolescent medicine, social justice, health equity, pipeline projects and trauma-informed care. In her spare time, she enjoys cuddling her babies, gardening and crafting.

Jean Shiraki

Jean Shiraki, D.O.Associate Program Director

Dr. Shiraki serves as associate program director and residency clinic director for the Family Medicine Residency Program. Originally from Kauai, Dr. Shiraki earned her bachelor’s degree in health and humanity with a minor in East languages and cultures from the University of Southern California. She completed her medical degree at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York, where she served as the chair to the medical student section of the Medical Society of the State of New York. Dr. Shiraki completed her residency at the National Family Medicine Program at the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in Washington, DC and served as chief resident during her final year. She joined Family Health Centers of San Diego in October 2019.

She currently has an osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) clinic within the residency clinic and is one of the proceduralists. Dr. Shiraki is board-certified in family medicine with memberships in the STFM, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the California Academy of Family Physicians. She is proficient in Spanish and Japanese and has medical interests in women’s health/family planning, social justice, advocacy and preventative health. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, and San Diego outings with her family including the zoo, Balboa park, and beach time.

Class of 2021

Adam Bortner, M.D.Core Faculty

Originally from Baltimore, Adam attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology with a minor in biology in 2012. In 2018, he earned his M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is a member of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Humanism Honor Society, and his professional interests include HIV medicine, LGBTQ health and care for Latino and other immigrant communities. In his spare time, Adam enjoys making and listening to music, discovering new cities and dishes and advocating for health care for all.

kristin brownell

Kristin Brownell, M.D., MPHCore Faculty

Dr. Kristin Brownell received her medical degree and master’s degree in public health from the University of California, San Diego/San Diego State University Joint Program in 2001. She completed her family practice residency at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa in 2004, where she served as chief resident in 2003. Dr. Brownell also completed a fellowship in underserved medicine from the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego in 2005.

Dr. Brownell runs the community medicine rotation. Her special interests include women’s, refugee and international health. She serves as a principal investigator for the Dunya Women’s Health Collaborative, a project which focuses on issues of refugee women’s health collaborating with five community organizations. She is passionate about social determinants of health and food insecurity. Additionally, she served as a volunteer Peace Corps member in Paraguay from 1994 to 1996.

Dr. Brownell is board-certified in family medicine. She is also a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, California Academy of Family Physicians, Society of Teachers in Family Medicine and California Medical Association. Since 2004, Dr. Brownell has been teaching medical students for the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project. She co-leads the San Diego region of the CAFP California Residency Network.

Dr. Brownell is fluent in Spanish and has been part of Family Health Centers of San Diego since 2007.

Laura E. Coulson, MD

Laura Coulson, M.D.Core Faculty

Dr. Laura Coulson joined the core faculty in 2016. She received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco in 2000, which also included a one year junior pathology fellowship. She completed her family medicine residency at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa in 2003, during which time she also attained a goal started in medical school of receiving her first-degree black belt at the UCSF Tae Kwon Do program.

Dr. Coulson’s interests include women’s health, breastfeeding support, outpatient clinic procedures including colposcopy training and preventive care. She is thrilled to be able to fulfill her passion for teaching and mentoring residents not only in the day-to-day acts of clinical medicine, but also in the nuances of practicing the art of medicine.

She is board-certified in family medicine and speaks proficient Spanish. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Society of Teachers in Family Medicine.

Cynthia Jauregui

Cynthia Jauregui, Psy.DCore Faculty

Dr. Cynthia Jauregui is the director of behavioral health for the Family Medicine Residency Program. She received her doctorate in psychology in 2012 and her license in marriage and family in 2008. Dr. Jauregui recently completed the STFM Behavioral Science Family Systems Educator Fellowship and runs the Wellness Program and Behavioral Health Clinic for the residency program. Dr. Jauregui has been with Family Health Centers of San Diego since 2004.

She has received specialized training in trauma-informed care with a special interest in how trauma manifests physically. Her internships focused on serving both survivors and perpetrators of various types of trauma. Dr. Jauregui’s previous research explored the correlation between trauma history chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. She is fluent in Spanish, and has a passion for mindfulness and wellness.

Suriti Kundu, M.D.

Linh Nguyen, M.D.Core Faculty

A native San Diegan, Dr. Linh Nguyen earned a bachelor’s degree in human biology at the University of California, San Diego. She received her medical degree at UC Irvine, where she also completed her residency in family medicine. She joined Family Health Centers of San Diego in 2018 and has been part of the core faculty since August 2021. As a faculty member, she precepts in the residency clinic and inpatient rotation, assists with didactic lecturing and coordination, and oversees resident scholarly activities. Fellowship trained in integrative medicine, Dr. Nguyen helps manage the integrative medicine track and teaches in the residency’s integrative medicine clinic.

Her medical interests include underserved medicine, women’s health, procedures, LGBTQ health and physician wellness. She is board-certified in family medicine and speaks medical Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys jogging, hiking, spending time with her family, playing the violin and singing karaoke.

chris gordon

Christopher Gordon, M.D., MBA, FAAFP, AAHIVSPresident, Family Health Centers of San Diego

Dr. Christopher Gordon is the president at Family Health Centers of San Diego where he previously served as the chief medical officer and the founding program director of the Family Medicine Residency Program. He received his medical degree from the College of Medicine at Texas A&M in 2001.

While attending medical school at Texas A&M, he served as vice president of the medical student class and was also a volunteer at the Outreach Clinic. After graduation, Dr. Gordon completed two years of training in psychiatry at UCI-Medical Center. He then completed a residency program in family medicine at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center. While at Riverside County Regional Medical Center, he was awarded the Intern of the Year Award and Resident Teacher of the Year Award in 2009. He also served as chief resident.

He is a member of the American Academy of Family Practitioners, the California Academy of Family Practitioners, the San Diego County Medical Association and the Society of Teachers for Family Medicine. Dr. Gordon enjoys playing soccer, running and speaking German. His interests include sports medicine, HIV medicine and palliative care. He is board-certified in family medicine and has been part of Family Health Centers of San Diego since 2009.

Christian B. Ramers, MD

Christian Ramers, M.D., MPH, FIDSA, AAHIVSDirector of Graduate Medical Education, Family Health Centers of San Diego

Dr. Christian Ramers serves as the assistant medical director for research & special populations and director of graduate medical education at Family Health Centers of San Diego. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego in 2003 and completed his internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center in internal medicine/pediatrics. He completed a fellowship in adult infectious diseases and received a graduate degree in public health at the University of Washington. Dr. Ramers leads several clinical and educational programs supporting HIV and hepatitis C treatment within our clinics, consults for the California Office of AIDS, the CDC and Project ECHO on HIV and HCV-related clinical care initiatives and is a co-investigator on several NIH-sponsored research projects in collaboration with University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University investigators. Dr. Ramers maintains a busy bilingual clinical practice providing specialty and primary care to underserved and homeless individuals of all ages.

thao tran

Thao Tran, M.D., FAAFPChief Medical Officer, Family Health Centers of San Diego

Dr. Thao Tran is the chief medical officer at Family Health Centers of San Diego. She has been with the residency program since its inception and was previously the associate program director and program director. She also led the Procedures Clinic and the practice management rotation for the program. She received her medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2000. She completed her family medicine training at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa in 2003, with a focus on care for the underserved populations of Sonoma County. She continued her work with immigrants and underserved populations after moving to San Diego.

Dr. Tran is fluent in Spanish and Vietnamese, and competent in French. She has interests in women’s health, hepatitis B, nutrition and sports medicine. As an immigrant herself, she understands first-hand the challenges her patients face. As the first in her family to go to college and medical school, she works to promote the advancement of women and minorities in medicine. She is board-certified in family medicine and has been a part of Family Health Centers of San Diego since 2003.

Ali Abdallah, D.O.

Ali Abdallah, D.O.Faculty

Originally from southeast Michigan, Dr. Abdallah earned his bachelor’s degree from Alfred University in upstate New York. He completed his medical degree at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City where he held leadership positions, including student government president. Dr. Abdallah completed his residency at the National Family Medicine Program at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in Washington, D.C. and served as chief resident. During his residency, he received the Practice Improvement Award and served as a delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians Resident Congress.

Dr. Abdallah has been part of Family Health Centers of San Diego since July of 2017 and, in 2018, he received the Provider of Compassion Award. His professional interests include community medicine, working with underserved populations and osteopathic manipulative medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Osteopathic Cranial Academy. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, hiking/spending time in nature, and discovering new music and art.

Lysistrati Alimonos

Lysistrati Alimonos, D.O., FACOGFaculty

Dr. Alimonos is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist on staff at Family Health Centers of San Diego. She oversees the OB-GYN clinical experience and education of the family medicine residents. She received her medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Nevada in 2011.

After completing her residency at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Cooper University Hospital in 2015, she began working at FHCSD. Dr. Alimonos has focused her career on working in underserved regions and advocating for women, and she has done research on antenatal and postpartum depression. She is interested in international medicine and has gone on medical missions in Bolivia and Jamaica. She enjoys teaching and being challenged by new physicians. She received the Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012 and strives to continue to provide compassionate care and education.

Dr. Corey Ca

Corey Carson, M.D., CAQSMFaculty

Dr. Corey Carson is the assistant medical director for sports medicine at Family Health Centers of San Diego. He completed his medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School and his family medicine residency training at Georgetown University before moving to California to complete his sports medicine fellowship training at University of California, San Diego.

He serves as the head team physician for the Grossmont College Griffins and as clinical faculty for the FHCSD Family Medicine Residency Program. His clinical interests include fracture care, diagnostic ultrasonography and ultrasound-guided procedures.

ken griffiths

Ken Griffiths, M.D., AAHIVSFaculty

Dr. Ken Griffiths completed his medical degree at the Ohio State University in 1995. After completing his residency in family medicine, he worked in private practice for eight years prior to moving to San Diego in 2006. He spent eight years as faculty at the University of California, San Diego Department of Family Medicine, then joined Family Health Centers of San Diego in 2015.

Dr. Griffiths is a preceptor at the City Heights residency continuity clinic. He has his continuity clinic in Hillcrest and focuses on HIV care and prevention and LGBTQ health care. He is board-certified in family medicine and certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine.

Suriti Kundu

Suriti Kundu, M.D.Faculty

Dr. Suriti Kundu received her medical degree from the University of California, Davis in 1993. After an internship at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego, she completed her residency in family medicine at UCSD in 1997. Over the years, Dr. Kundu has published several medical reviews and book chapters.

She loves to read, teach and has been a volunteer assistant clinical professor at UCSD since 2006. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Suraj, and three sons.

She has been a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine since 1997. Dr. Kundu speaks Spanish and has been part of Family Health Centers of San Diego since 2012.

Faculy and Staff

Wendy Pavlovich, M.D., MHSFaculty

Dr. Wendy Pavlovich is the director of pediatric outpatient training at Family Health Center San Diego. She received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and her master’s in health sciences from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, completing her training at the Boston Children’s Hospital/Boston Medical Center combined pediatric residency program. Since 2016, she has served as the pediatric outpatient training director, providing pediatric clinical education to FHCSD, Scripps and UCSD residents, as well as medical students. She currently chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 3 Committee on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and Trauma-Informed Care.

Charles Smoot

Charles Smoot, M.D.Faculty

Dr. Charles Smoot is the chief of clinical informatics at Family Health Centers of San Diego. He is responsible for directing the organization toward improving quality metrics across a wide variety of national standards using interdisciplinary methods. He works closely with the medical providers and the IT department to help develop a robust e-decision tool, as well as improve our proprietary electronic health records system.

Dr. Smoot received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego in 2005 and completed his family medicine residency at UCSD in 2008. He is a recipient of the UCSD Outstanding Contributions to Medical School Community Award, the Roderick K. Calverley Humanitarian Service Award and was a member of the Gold Humanitarian National Medical Honor Society.

He has traveled to both Haiti and the Honduras to provide medical care to patients, is board-certified in family medicine and speaks proficient Spanish. He has been part of FHCSD since 2008.

Class of 2017

Wesley Zahler, D.O. Faculty

Dr. Zahler serves as part of the inpatient medicine rotation faculty. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology and obtained his medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in 2008. While there, he also attended Rockhurst University, where he earned his MBA in health care leadership. From 2008 to 2013, he served as a flight surgeon in the United States Navy and remains in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

He graduated from FHCSD’s Family Medicine Residency Program in 2017, serving as chief resident his final year. Upon graduation, he began working for the Scripps Health Inpatient Providers group and precepting family medicine residents.

Dr. Zahler is board-certified in family medicine and has been affiliated with FHCSD since 2002, even prior to residency. He is a member of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California and the Society of U.S. Naval Flight Surgeons. His professional interests include inpatient care and minor procedures.

Outside of the hospital, Dr. Zahler owns a small farm in East County.

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Valentina McNealResidency Program Manager

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Kate WoodResidency Program Coordinator

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