Carol Vandenakker_Albanese

Carol Vandenakker-Albanese, M.D.
Faculty Development Director PM&R and Associate Residency Program Director
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialty Advisor

PM&R is a unique specialty based on an approach to patient care/ management focused on restoring and maximizing function of an individual in their environment rather than a body system.  It is broad in application and scope of patients but can also be subspecialized in specific areas.  If you like the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems, a holistic and practical approach to patient care, please contact me to find our more!

David Li, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Anesthesiology Specialty Advisor

Dear UC Davis medical students: as your faulty advisor from the Anesthesiology and Pain medicine department here at UCDMC, my primary goal is to help you realize your interest in our field and inspire you to become one of my colleagues one day. It is my honor and privilege to be able to utilize what I have learned in my training to help students like you achieve your goal in becoming an anesthesiologist. I along with our entire faculty team in the Anesthesiology department are here to help you along the way in reaching your ultimate career goals.

Dillon Chen, M.D.
Professor of Radiology 
Radiology Specialty Advisor

Radiology will continue to be an amazing specialty in the decades to come. Artificial intelligence has brought us useful tools. This story will continue to evolve in exciting and wondrous ways.

Hai Le, M.D., M.P.H
Assistant Professor
Orthopaedic Surgery Specialty Advisor

The days are long, but the years are short. Do not leave any opportunity unturned. Be proactive in your medical education and training.

Ho Phan, M.D.
Professor, Department of Surgery
Surgery Specialty Advisor

Surgery is an incredibly exciting and fulfilling career with enormous opportunity for growth, both in technical and scientific advancement. There are a lot of opportunities for students to get involved early in medical school in various programs that our department offers. Reach out early for shadowing experience and potential research opportunities.

Jeff Ma

 Jeffrey Ma, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Ophthalmology Specialty Advisor

Ophthalmology is a wonderfully fulfilling career in which you can make a tremendous impact on your patients' quality of life by restoring or preserving vision through clinical medicine and surgery. The field is constantly advancing, and there is a broad array of career paths, including opportunities in global and public health. Exposure to ophthalmology in medical school can be limited, but I, along with the entire faculty, am here to help you develop an informed sense of what the field is all about and whether it may be the right path for you. 

Jennifer Rothschild

Jennifer Rothschild, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
Urology Specialty Advisor

I am pleased to be a resource for any student who may be interested in learning more about the fulfilling field of Urologic Surgery.  Urology is a unique surgical field to be a part of as it also provides longitudinal care for our patients.  Urologic surgery not only uses the latest technology for surgical procedures such as lasers and robots, but we also perform open surgical procedures and implantation of unique devices.  We help a wide variety of patients and can have a huge impact on their quality of life.  There are numerous subspecialties within the field of Urology including oncology, endourology (kidney stones), genitourinary reconstruction, female urology, male infertility, erectile dysfunction, pediatric urology, neuro-urology, and gender affirming surgery.  I welcome students to reach out to me to discuss further or to gather further information about the application process. 


Kris Srinivasan, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor
Family Medicine Specialty Advisor

Family medicine is wonderful but complex, challenging, and certainly not for everyone.  Given the vast diversity of options in training opportunities and potential career paths, career advice and mentoring is especially important.  I am happy to meet with any student at any stage of learning to talk more about our wonderful specialty, and work with you to make a plan that best ensures success towards your goals.

Laura Kenkel, M.D.
Associate Physician
Psychiatry Specialty Advisor  

I’m happy to meet with any student interested in learning more about careers in psychiatry, as well as students trying to decide between psychiatry and other medical specialties. Though psychiatry is not what a lot of students think of when they imagine becoming a doctor, it’s an evidence-based field with great career flexibility, work-life balance, and the potential to make meaningful impacts in patient lives.

Marianne Abouyared

Marianne Abouyared, M.D.
Assistant Professor / Associate Program Director
Otolaryngology Specialty Advisor

Otolaryngology is a unique surgical subspecialty that allows us to care for patients of all ages and for patients with a wide variety of illnesses, from hearing loss, tonsil infections, to complex cancer. The surgical technology available to us as ENT’s excitingly includes microscopic, endoscopic, and robotic surgery. Our surgeries range from 30 minutes to 12 hours long, and there is truly “something for everyone” in this field. I look forward to telling you more about Otolaryngology and encourage you to reach out early in your medical school career to explore clinical and research opportunities. 

Megan Daly

Megan Daly, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology
Radiation Oncology Specialty Advisor

I would be thrilled to talk to any student with an interest in radiation oncology, or with an interest in another field who wants to learn more about radiation oncology. Radiation oncology is a wonderful field that combines close care of cancer patients with cutting edge technology and advanced imaging techniques. Radiation oncologists have the opportunity to care for cancer patients across the lifespan, from young children to geriatric patients. It is a highly evidence based field that prioritizes systematic advances in cancer care through clinical trials and close collaboration with other specialties.

Melody Hou, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.O.G.
Associate Professor
Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialty Advisor 

I see myself as a guide for the next generation of women's health providers, who will fight for social and reproductive justice and for our patients.

Mitch Ratanasen, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatrics Specialty Advisor

Pediatrics is a field where one can be a physician as well as an educator and advocate for today’s youth and their families. It allows one to guide them throughout one’s childhood that can range from the challenges of newly found parenthood to helping teenagers navigate their adolescent years. It also allows one to have a reason to be silly and play with your patients! Pediatrics has many different career paths that one can choose from, whether it’s working in a clinic as a primary care provider or the ICU as a neonatologist or pediatric critical care physician, or specializing in behavior and development, pediatric emergency medicine, or adolescent medicine. I am forever grateful for the role models and mentors in my life, and I hope to have the same impact upon future generations. I would be more than happy to talk to anyone who is interested in pediatrics or has decided on a career in pediatrics.

Norika Malhado-Chang

Norika Malhado-Chang, M.D.
Professor of Neurology
Neurology Specialty Advisor 
There is no organ system more complex and fascinating then the brain and nervous system. But with all its intricacies, learners can feel easily feel overwhelmed (indeed, the term “neurophobia” has been coined!) My goal is to bring some clarity to challenging topics and dispel neurophobia. Moreover, with 1 in 6 people impacted by neurologic disease, the demand for neurologists is higher than ever. A career in neurology is one that is stimulating, rewarding, fulfilling, and never boring. There is a wide array of subspecialties that encompasses diverse pathologies throughout the lifespan (pediatrics through Alzheimer’s), including acute issues (vascular, trauma) to chronic disease (Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis), genetic conditions (Huntington’s, inherited neuropathies) to widely pervasive ailments (migraine, seizures). With tremendous advancements in our diagnostic tools and therapeutic options, neurologists are essential in improving the daily lives of patients. I welcome you to contact me to learn more about a career in neurology, to sign up for an Observership (MS1, MS2), and to get mentorship.

Paul Aronowitz, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Clinical Professor
Internal Medicine Specialty Advisor 
I welcome students to discuss their careers, particularly if they’re undecided about IM versus another specialty.  Our jobs as advisors are not to “talk you into” our fields—our jobs are to make sure that you are as well informed about our specialties so that you can make a wise choice for your future specialty and be content in your career going forward.  I also welcome students to contact me for meeting if they have already decided on Internal Medicine and want to get further information about the application process.

Peggy Wu

Peggy Wu, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Clinical Dermatology
Dermatology Specialty Advisor

I and my colleague Dr. Smita Awasthi, a pediatric dermatologist, are pleased to serve as liaisons to students considering a career in dermatology. Dermatology is an immensely rewarding field, with future practice options to be as general or subspecialized as one would like in medical or surgical dermatology.  Dermatology provides many opportunities to contribute to research and furthering the field.

Verena Schandera, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Emergency Medicine Specialty Advisor

I am excited to work with all of you and to support you in your endeavor to find you ideal specialty choice. Medicine as a whole is a great career choice and there are endless options. It inspires me to work with such a great and bright group of students.

Wesley Rubenstein

Wesley Rubenstein, M.D.
Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor 
Pathology Specialty Advisor

I look forward to working with medical students to help them discover and explore the vast field of pathology. I truly believe pathology has something to offer almost everybody. I am excited to talk with students interested in exploring careers in pathology. I can offer a unique perspective in the field, understanding the vast opportunities present.