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Program Leadership
  |  Chief Residents  |  Meet the Faculty
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Program Leadership


Afshan Baraghoush, MD

I am excited to welcome you to UC Irvine Internal Medicine Residency Program! I have the honor of serving as the Residency Program Director since July 2020, a few months into the COVID pandemic. It was amazing to guide our residency program as they served the needs of our patients and community throughout the pandemic. It is a pleasure to reshape our program through the evolving landscape of healthcare and medical education in the post-pandemic world. I love creating innovations in medical education with our leadership team, rounding on our incredibly diverse patient population, and restructuring our training program as we continue to expand at UCI Health. The best part of my job is our trainees – watching their personal and professional growth over their three years with us makes me proud and continuously humbles me. Outside of the hospital, you will find me exploring the great OC outdoors with my husband, 3-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter.

Karen Schugt Fremen, DO

In my pre-medicine life, I was a Junior High School teacher.  It was a job that I loved but it failed to challenge my intellectual side.  As a former UCI resident, chief resident, faculty of UCI, and now Associate Program Director I have been able to fulfill all my passions.  I love caring for patients daily, but even more I love teaching and mentoring the future of medicine.  I pride myself on leading by example and physician wellness is a special passion of mine.  I believe that you can't truly care for others wellbeing unless you first address your own.  Being an Internal Medicine Physician is an amazing job that many strive for, yet few bring to fruition.  I am honored to be part of the UCI Internal Medicine Residency Leadership and I look forward to changing the world of medicine for the better through you.

Samuel Lai, MD

As a resident, chief resident and now faculty member at UCI, it has been a wonderful pleasure learning from and teaching the residents in our program. The joy is in seeing each of them grow into independent, empathetic, and scholarly physicians. My hope for you is that you can sense our positive, encouraging, and collegial environment leading to this maturation. If you can sense that, then you have gotten the main drive of our program. Welcome to UCI and I can't wait to meet you!


Bavani Nadeswaran, MD

As an Associate Program Director I find joy in knowing that I am helping to shape the next generation of physicians. As I strive to perfect my relationship with our residents, I am mindful of the awesome responsibility I have undertaken. I believe it is imperative to not only impart knowledge or relay facts, but to instill a love of learning and to develop critical, analytical thinking skills in our residents . I'm proud to be a part of the UCI IM Residency Program's commitment to producing lifelong learners. 


Bao Joseph Vu, MD

As a graduate of the residency program here, it is my honor and dream come true to continue working alongside our amazing faculty to guide future generations of young physicians through their residency. I hope to continue to foster the culture of camaraderie and education for you all that made my own residency experience so amazing. Come join me to learn not only the nuances of medicine, but how to approach and succeed in this new chapter in your life that, for many of you, will be your first official real experience working. I look forward to meeting you!

Fady Youssef, MD

I joined the program leadership in 2019 and it has been a great opportunity. As a former UCI undergraduate student, medical student, resident, fellow and staff physician I have enjoyed my training at UCI. My goal is that you have as good of an experience as I did. You will interact with me on your Long Beach Memorial rotations, our teaching community-based, tertiary care center. Looking forward to meeting you!

Masha Barsky, MD

Before my medical career, I was in the clinical research world in Boston. I quickly learned that clinical research was insufficient to feed my passion as I was more interested in interacting with the research subjects than the data itself, and thus transitioned into medicine. When I entered medical school at UCI, I fell in love with internal medicine and focused on expanding my skills as a physician. It was not until my time in residency that I found something I am even more passionate about: teaching and mentoring medical students and residents. I was thus so excited to join the UCI Hospitalist family, where the residents are the heart of the hospital. I am even more thrilled to join the IM program leadership as an APD. I am dedicated to creating a positive learning climate that allows for both personal and professional growth. I am delighted to help create new programming opportunities for UC IM residents. On a personal note, my door is always open, and I love to hear from residents to just chat or help with any problem the best I can. I genuinely believe that we have the most dedicated and empathetic residents, and it is my honor to serve on the program leadership!


Susan Altmayer

I can't help but smile every June as I watch our residents begin their next journey. I reflect back on the time I have spent with these physicians and what they have accomplished to get where they are today. It is a joy and privilege for me to be part of a team whose passion and aspiration is to discover, teach and heal.

Anca Gociu

Being a part of the Internal Medicine Residency program has been one of the best experiences. I get to work with some of the kindest and most hard-working individuals. I began with the program in 2022 and have been able to witness the passion and drive our leadership has for teaching and mentoring our residents. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the team!

Marylin Rios

I have been with the program for almost a year now, but it has been a pleasure to work alongside wonderful individuals. The program leadership are genuine and strive to always provide their residents quality in all that they do.