Our Residents

Dr. Adeel Amer
Post-graduate year: Third Year

Adeel Amer

Dr. Amer is very familiar with the Hanford residency program. He started his internship in Hanford in 2014, then completed the remainder in Brooklyn, New York. He remembers growing up in Pakistan and helping care for patients at Mission Hospital, where his father was a business administrator. At 6 years old, he helped nurses give patients baths and get them out of bed to walk around. This experience later grew into a passion for the medical field. Amer earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from California State University, Fullerton, and a medical degree from American University of Antigua. He’s fluent in English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, collecting vinyl albums and golfing.


Dr. Kofi Asirifi
Post-graduate year: Third Year

Kofi AsirifiDr. Asirifi was raised by a grandmother who was an herbalist in a small village in Ghana. He wanted to study conventional medicine so he could reach people in ways his grandmother couldn’t. He decided to pursue family medicine after his father suffered a stroke. He has a Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences and a degree from University of Ghana Medical School. Asirifi completed pediatrics and surgery internships from 37 Military Hospital in Accra, Ghana, and medicine and OB-GYN internships at Holy Family Hospital in Berekum, Ghana. He migrated to Merced in 2014, where he began work as a clinical manager. Asirifi has family in Coalinga. He’s fluent in Twi and Fante, and enjoys cooking and playing soccer and football.

Dr. F.J. Castillo
Post-graduate year: Third Year

FJ CastilloDr. F.J. Castillo was influenced by his family physician while growing up in Granada, Nicaragua. Although just a toddler, he was impressed by the doctor’s charisma. When he was 13, he moved to Los Angeles with his father and learned about American culture. Due to family matters, he returned to Nicaragua, where he studied medicine. He has a medical degree from National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) and internship training in Orthopedics, Pediatrics, OB-GYN, Internal Medicine and General Surgery from Granada Regional Hospital. He moved back to the United States and graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles International Medical Program, which nourishes bilingual physicians. In his free time, he enjoys playing baseball, chess and family time.

Dr. Vijay Krishna
Post-graduate year: Third Year

Vijay KrishnaDr. Vijay Krishna remembers being fascinated with science and puzzles since childhood. He wanted to do work that exemplified the ideals of humanism and involved aspects of problem solving. Also inspired by other family physicians, he realized becoming a doctor would involve doing work that incorporated many of his interests, such as architecture and engineering. Dr. Krishna first attended the University of Texas, Austin. He then pursued a Masters of Biological Sciences at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Ultimately, he received his Medical Degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies. He is currently enjoying the friendly community of the Central Valley. He speaks English and is partially fluent in Telugu, but would love to learn medical Spanish. His interests include spending time with his dog, playing basketball, scuba diving, traveling, architecture, airplanes and keeping on top of advances in technology.


Dr. Sherief Zamzam
Post-graduate year: Third Year

Sherief Zamzam

Dr. Sherief Zamzam was exposed to health care in the Philippines at the age of 10. His grandmother was ill, and he witnessed poor hospital conditions, such as overcrowding, under-staffing and the lack of resources. This experience was eye-opening for him. Wanting to make a difference, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior (NPB); a medical degree from Ross University in the Caribbean and completed an internship at California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles. Zamzam’s future ambition is to go on medical mission trips yearly to give back to those in need. He enjoys playing basketball, deep-sea fishing and participating in fitness activities.


Dr. Karen W. Fong
Post-graduate year: Second Year

Karen Fong

Dr. Karen W. Fong’s childhood dream was to open a homeless shelter. She says God showed her He wanted her to serve those in need. She was further inspired to become a physician after she saw the great care that physicians gave her father when he was ill. Dr. Fong attended University of California, Berkeley and received her Medical Degree from Saba University School of Medicine, Caribbean Netherlands. She is married to a Veteran and they are both passionate about serving our country through mission and medicine. Dr. Fong speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Her interests include singing in choir, mentoring high school students through basketball and running marathons.


Dr. Phyu Wai Lwin
Post-graduate year: Second Year

Phyu Wai Lwin

Dr. Phyu Wai Lwin grew up in Myanmar and was inspired to pursue medicine by a local family medicine doctor who she says took care of her community with tireless dedication. She set heart on becoming a doctor and is the first physician in her family. She received her Medical Degree from University of Medicine, Mandalay and served as a general practitioner in Myanmar. She has also studied health administration and health information management. Dr. Lwin speaks English, Burmese and Chinese. She says she is enjoying Hanford and its “small town feel,” as well as all the fresh produce available. Her interests include cooking, shopping and outdoor activities like traveling, hiking and cycling.


Dr. Manhar Patel
Post-graduate year: Second Year

Manhar Patel

Dr. Manhar Patel initially wanted to be a pilot. When his father was undergoing heart surgery he saw how caring doctors and nurses helped him recover. From that moment in childhood, he knew he wanted to become a doctor. He received his Medical Degree from Smolensk State Medical Academy in Russia and completed a Health Information Post Baccalaureate at Weber University, Utah. Dr. Patel says he is enjoying the “small town feel” of the Central Valley because the peaceful environment reminds him of life at home. He speaks English, Russian, Hindi and Gujarati. His interests include cooking, spending time with family and friends and exercising.


Dr. Alvin E. Vanegas
Post-graduate year: Second Year

Alvin Vanegas

Dr. Alvin E. Vanegas knew he wanted to become a doctor from an early age. He remembers how physicians helped his mom recover her vision after she suffered a complete occlusion of the ophthalmic artery. He chose to become a doctor so that he too could bring that type of happiness to others. He received his Medical Degree from ELAM (Latin American School of Medicine) in Cuba. Of his time in Cuba, he says he learned about the positive perspective people can keep despite their circumstances. He speaks English and Spanish. Dr. Vanegas and his wife, are enjoying the homey feel of Hanford. His interests include hiking, dancing and good movies.


Dr. Peter Bong
Post-graduate year: First Year

Alvin Vanegas

Peter Bong, MD completed his medical degree at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine with a strong focus on psychiatry. He soon learned that his true calling was family medicine and looks forward to serving the Hanford community with a focus on whole-person health. Dr. Bong speaks English and Spanish and in his spare time enjoys volunteering with his church, indoor surfing, lacrosse and pickleball.


Dr. Juan Deras
Post-graduate year: First Year

Alvin Vanegas

Juan Deras, MD completed his medical degree at Universidad Juárez del Estado del Durango in Durango, Mexico. Concerned for his safety as a physician in Mexico, Dr. Deras and his wife moved their family to the U.S., where he was accepted to the UCLA’s International Medical Graduate Program. He speaks English and Spanish and is thrilled to pursue his passion for family medicine caring for local families in the Hanford community. Dr. Deras is married and has three children. In his spare time he and his family enjoy watching movies, hiking, cooking and traveling.


Dr. Jennifer Garcia
Post-graduate year: First Year

Alvin Vanegas

Jennifer Garcia, MD completed her medical degree at the University of the East, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center College of Medicine in Quezon City, Philippines. The daughter of a long-time California family physician and a mother to two young children, Dr. Garcia is excited to pursue family medicine because it will allow her to build long-term relationships with her patients. She speaks English and Spanish. Married to a fellow physician, Dr. Garcia enjoys karaoke, running and exploring new cultures.


Dr. Lyza Vanegas
Post-graduate year: First Year

Alvin Vanegas

Lyza Vanegas, MD, completed her medical degree at the Kharkiv National Medical University in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Following medical school graduation, Dr. Vanegas decided to pursue her love of family medicine in a safer location away from the armed conflict in Ukraine. She looks forward to training and serving in Hanford and speaks English, Russian and Ukrainian. Dr. Vanegas is married to a physician who is also a resident at Hanford Family Medicine Residency. She enjoys ballroom dancing, ice skating and painting in her spare time.