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Inaugural YRMC Resident Class Graduates

Maya Springhawk Robnett
Arizona Science Desk; KAWC
From left to right: YRMC Residents Dr. Renee Monteiro, Dr. Simi Dhillon, Dr. Nina Greene, and Dr. Natalia Galarza

Yuma Regional Medical Center in Yuma graduated its first class of residents recently. Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk spoke with two of the four graduates…

Doctors Renee Monteiro and Natalia Galarza are both international residents. Monteiro received her education at a medical institution in Nepal and Galarza received hers at the Mexicali School of Medicine in Mexico.  Dr. Monteiro says she is proud to think the inaugural class helped shape the new program, “You know, a starting of new history, basically, and building up a whole new program, which I thought was very exciting. And to finally have graduated and being the first batch to graduate is just a great feeling.”

The program lasts three years and YRMC takes in a new set of residents each year. Dr. Galarza takes pride in the fact that the first class consisted of four women.  “For the four of us also being females," she says, "the first batch is such an exciting time. We’re trailblazers, pathfinders."

The Program Director for the Family and Community Medicine Residency Program is also a woman, Dr. Kristina Diaz, who spoke of the program's unique offerings: “The great part about living here in Yuma and training physicians here in Yuma is the pathology being so close to the border and also with the unique people that kinda pass through Yuma…it makes for a great training ground.”

Monteiro will be relocating to Michigan to a family health clinic for the underserved and Galarza has been hired as a family physician with YRMC. The hospital will be accepting their fourth class of residents now that the inaugural class has graduated.