Monica Abbi, MD
Languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu
Hometown: New Delhi, India
Medical School: All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Residency: Wayne State University, Detroit
Clinical interests: Women’s Health
I was born and raised in India where I went to medical school in a university that focused on the urban underserved population along with the countless people coming in from the surrounding rural areas for medical care. With a strong desire to contribute to women’s health and wellbeing, I pursued an OB/GYN residency. I was working as OB/GYN faculty there when my life took an interesting turn and brought me to my new home, the United States of America!
Soon after I did my second OB/GYN residency in Detroit, I was drawn to the TFM residency and Rural Fellowship program. My work here enables me to pursue my passion for taking care of women, be a part of the teaching and training of future generations of physicians while continuing to grow both personally and professionally. I treasure the opportunity to share my clinical experiences from across the globe with the fellows and residents, for a diverse and broader perspective of both medicine and women’s healthcare and needs.
In my free time, I love hanging out with my family and my friends – both indoors and outdoors. I dabble in cooking and gardening. I enjoy traveling and music. And yes, I do enjoy Bollywood music and movies as well. Oh, and the game of cricket too!
AJ Enciso, MD
Medical School: University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO
Residency: University of Missouri Health Care, Columbia, MO
Christina Hitchcock, MD
Languages: English, some Spanish
Hometown: Gig Harbor, WA, but grew up in Van Nuys CA during the "Valley Girl " theme
Medical School: Chicago Medical School 1993
Residency: Transition Internship year then OB-GYN residency at Bakersfield CA as well as University of CA, Los Angeles
Associate Professor to University of WA
Military: US Navy, LT Commander. My son was born at Balboa Navy Medical Center in California;
Clinical Interests: I love being able to empower a patient with knowledge of her own health conditions. I love it when I see the little light bulb go off! While in Medical school, I found myself down a dark pathway and it got on the right path of teaching. This pathway of teaching initially morphed out of survival in Medical School. but it continued to blossom into teaching residents and fellows of growing practitioners. Pay it Forward! I am a firm believer that "things happen for a reason."
In life I grew up in a troubled family, as I see so many these days. Instead of falling into bad habits, I hid away from them at the libraries on campus and studied to get my Bachelors and Masters of Biochemistry. at the University of CA Riverside.I taught myself how to change out my starter In my college car and it really did ring home, women can do what men can do. I am a single parent to a gifted child, now an adult. I have even applied methods of teaching with my son at home as he worked on math and science above "his age range". I was always meant to be an educator.
I have been here at MOGA since 11/2001. Throughout residency training, I always wondered what was in the water out in Bakersfield. The strangest things, craziest statements or shifts predominantly landed on my call night. At graduation my black cloud was well known by my colleagues and "roasted me "for such. My response was " You are all just jealous I got the awesome teaching experiences" While clouds come and go, the tides of the water changes with the moon, more hemorrhages occur and perhaps my cloud is now a red one. Translation- there's a plethora of teaching opportunities. I am an Advanced Life Support Obstetrics Instructor as well
High Risk obstetrics is a passion of mine, as is gynecological surgery with the DaVinci robotic system for those patients needing surgery. I enjoy providing the highest level of care to any individual, regardless of who they are, what color they are, what beliefs they live by, or what insurance they have. All women have the right to great health care.
A person can continue working at their job if they are feeling "complete" MOGA has become my second family, with my son and mom my first.
Our group has a good balance of teachers from experience to recently graduated. We grow with knowledge together. We enjoy each others company and stories. The group's strength is the long term occupants, tight cohesion, friendly bonding, proactive thinkers and problem solvers. We all bring many traits to make us feel " more complete" Many times we have to think outside the box because each patient is not a textbook patient. We can all have busy nights on call and there is always someone to help pick you up if needed, because we all have been there.
When I am not working, I am enjoying the company of my son, a first year UW student in the College of Engineering and mother. We like to go camping, boating, hiking, bicycle riding, exploring nature- even if it is on an exoctic island surrounded by clear blue water or a Mountain filled with various wildflowers and wildlife or have it blanketed in fresh snow. My three Shih Tzus try to join us outside when possible.. Here in Washington I am blessed to be close to such stunning beauties of Mother Nature. Work hard, Play Harder!
James Lin, MD, MBA
Languages: English…(Does “Restaurant” count?)
Hometown: Cleveland, OH (Where I was born…)
Medical School: Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, GA
Residency: Medical Center of Central GA
Clinical Interests: Surgery, especially minimally invasive (both traditional and Robotic) surgeries
I was born in Cleveland, OH at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital (Case Western Reserve) where my father was repeating his residency. As an immigrant from Taiwan, he was required to repeat residency, most likely due to lack of good information about his/the foreign program. Although my mother was a Pediatrician, she never practiced as she raised her family and assisted in my father’s research. (My father was one of the folks who helped develop the oral contraceptive pill)
When I was 2 years old, we moved to Boston, MA where my father was attending Brigham & Women’s for Fellowship. This is where my younger sister was born.
After he finished this, we moved back to Cleveland where he rejoined the program there. When I was 15 years old, we moved to Augusta, GA where my father joined the Medical College of GA as a full professor. I completed my high school there.
My first college was Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. I vividly recall the day that I decided to leave…I had walked down to Evanston to buy some much needed long johns and heard the radio report the temperature (including wind chill) as -68!
My next stop was Atlanta, GA where I attended Georgia Tech, but as a biology major, this turned out to be a poor choice.
In the summer of 1978, I went out to LA to attend my older sister’s wedding. By the end of the summer, I decided to stay. I was too late to attend the UC system, but luckily was able to enroll in the CSU system, from which I Finally graduated from college.
I went directly into the MBA program at USC. Graduating from there, I went to work in (First Interstate Bank) the banking industry. Ultimately, I became dis-enamored with this career, and (perhaps prompted by my Dad’s heart attack), decided to return to my original intended career in medicine. This required me to return to fulfill the prerequisites.
I eventually attended Mercer University School of Medicine, primarily due to the Problem Based Learning method. At that time, there were only 2 (100% dedicated) schools using this method. As I was well familiar with small groups from my time in Banking, I felt that this was much better suited to my way of learning and interacting. (The other program was University of Hawaii, from which I would have NO hope of graduating…in Waikiki!)
When I was looking at residencies, I found out that the OB who had delivered me was the Chairperson at the Emory program. I had to meet her, so I interviewed there (solely for that purpose). When I told her who I was, she was delighted to meet me…then I might have mentioned how old I was…Oops! She was still very kind and (to my horror) was even the proctor of the written ObGyn Board exam. (Yes, she spotted me in the gigantic room).
My first practice out of residency was on the coast of South Carolina, where I found out the meaning of “below the gnat line”. I was quite miserable finding myself lower on the food chain than the innumerable bugs, spiders, snakes, alligators, etc that seemed to find me attractive…as food.
The Category 5 hurricane (Floyd) was the last straw. Even though Floyd turned North and missed us, that was enough for me. Thank you, Bye!
I eventually wound up in Laurens, SC where one of my former residents (I was his Chief), encouraged me to go so we could eventually practice together. The thing that I recall most often is the KKK museum in the town square. Being me…I was tempted to go visit once, but realized that they had never bothered me, so…I chose to be polite.
My father and I went to a medical convention (Really Big and Fancy PARTY) in Japan…where I met the girl of my dreams, who eventually became my wife. My Japanese still stinks, but her English has vastly improved.
There was one thing though…upon recognition of the vast size of the United States, she strongly suggested that we move to the other side. This was in order to make the near 24 hrs of travel to get back to Japan much less. After some deliberation, we moved to Vancouver, WA where I joined an OB/midwife group that was also part of the teaching faculty for their FP program.
Due to the financial misfortunes of that hospital system, they descended into insolvency ~ 2 years later. Consequently, I began to look once again. I found out about the Gig Harbor position and called in, but was not very interested in going back into a private practice structure. The MultiCare recruiter then mentioned…if I was at all interested, the MOGA/TFM position…but did “warn” me that I’d have to work with residents (LOL!) You know what I said.
MOGA has been and remains the most cohesive, well-functioning, high-functioning group I have ever worked with in any industry in which I have worked. We truly Support each other. This is more rare than you might think.
Martial arts are also a great part of my life and I also love teaching this as well. I have 2 black belts – one in Aikido, and the other in Wing Chun Kung Fu. I also have trained and am familiar with, to varying degrees (but do not hold teaching rank) with Muay Thai, Kali, and Combat Submission Wrestling. I teach privately in my house. Currently, I have 2 police officers as my private students, both police trainers themselves. I feel that this also in my own little way helps to serve my community.
I love to see the parallels of principles and bring many of these to our operative techniques as well. Body mechanics are body mechanics.
Aisha Nnoli, MD
Hometown: Kent, Washington
Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles
Residency: Thomas Jefferson University
Post-Residency Training: National Health Service Corps Scholar (Baltimore, MD), Aerospace Medicine (US Air Force School of Medicine, Wright-Patterson AFB), Masters in Public Health
Clinical Interests: Maternal Health, Adolescent Gynecology, Contraception, Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, Underserved Medicine, Health Equity, Obstetrical Simulation Training, Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Instructor
My passion is building relationships with my patients to provide individualized evidence- based care and educating future women’s health providers and leaders. I enjoy having a professional partnership with my Family Medicine colleagues, Family Medicine residents and Rural Family Medicine with Obstetrics fellows at TFM.
As a former National Health Service Corps scholar, a commitment to helping those who are underserved has been at the core of my practice. Many of our fellowship graduates join practices in rural communities. Compared to women in urban areas, women in rural areas experience poorer health outcomes and have less access to health care. Due to a shortage of maternal health providers in rural communities, training family physicians to be compassionate and inclusive evidenced-based providers is critical for improving maternal and infant health outcomes within rural communities. It is an honor to educate family medicine doctors who will bring their expertise to various rural communities across the US.
I expanded my knowledge of flight medicine and built lifelong friendships during eight years as a Flight Surgeon for the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve.
In my free time, I enjoy doing anything outdoors, yoga, exploring fiber arts and spending quality time with my family.
Esther Park-Hwang, MD
Medical School: Loma Linda Universty School of Medicine
Residency: University of Illinois
Mariam Savabi, MD, MPH
Languages: Spanish, English
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Medical School: University of Kansas-Wichita School of Medicine
Residency: University of New Mexico
Graduate school: Columbia University Mailman School of public Health
Clinical Interests: Reproductive justice, comprehensive obstetric care, social justice, anti-oppression, contraception management, LGBTQIA+ care
My personal experiences in life and my passion for social justice and anti-oppression have driven my career. Before medicine I was an anti-oppression educator working in public health at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri. I have continued this work during my journey in medicine. Anti-oppression guided me to the field of Ob/Gyn; the ability to provide socially-just, comprehensive, and compassionate care is possible in this specialty – and I am humbled every day interacting with the patients I serve. In my work I try to approach all patient care from the perspective of a public health lens. Understanding the institutionalized oppression many patients have to navigate to access care is what is critical to providing evidence-based and individualized care to patients, and the reason why I continue teaching anti-oppression on a local and national level. During my Master of Public Health I focused on global health and maternal mortality. I was able to intern at the United Nations during my Masters. I also have worked abroad providing Ob/Gyn care, including in the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. I am involved in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and serve on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence workgroup and have held offices as a Junior Fellow. I am a mentor in the National Hispanic Medical Association and a member of the American Medical Association.
I am especially honored to work as a partner in the Multicare Ob/Gyn Associates practice. I could not ask for better colleagues who are committed to excellent and evidence-based care for patients. In my work towards addressing maternal mortality, I believe that training Tacoma Family Medicine residents and Rural Family Medicine with Obstetrics Fellowship is a critical piece to decreasing maternal mortality in our country, especially in the rural setting, and preparing excellent womxn’s health providers. It is my honor to serve in the capacity of an educator, and I take the responsibility very seriously. I hope to guide the residents and fellows to be evidence-based, equitable, socially-just providers for their current and future patients.
My academic interest include exploring obstetrical management specifically around labor management, emergency obstetric services especially in the global setting, reproductive rights and access, and the most importantly the merging of anti-oppression in the field of Ob/Gyn and medicine in general.
Anisa Smith, CNM
Doctor of Nursing Practice: University of Minnesota
Vulihn Ta, MD
Medical School: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Residency: Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA
Linda Tarbell, ARNP
Nurse Practitioner: Case Western Reserve University
I went to a Family Nurse Practitioner / Nurse Midwifery program in Kentucky, finishing my Master’s degree at Case Western University. I have enjoyed doing volunteer missions work in Niger West Africa, the Philippines, China and South Africa.
I’m a huge fan of adoption. Currently I’m enjoying gardening (mostly weeding but growing some vegetables), reading and low key hikes. Parenting is nice, grand parenting is better. This is a lovely part of the country to live in.
I have enjoyed watching MOGA grow to 8 physicians. This group cares for each other, ethically they are exceptional and medically are excellent and up to date. What an awesome group to be a part of.
Omma Vaidya, MD
Medical School: Michigan State University
Residency: Lutheran General Hospital