Department of
Internal Medicine at Highland Hospital
A member of Alameda Health System

Chief Residents


Chief Residents 2018-2019

Michelle LeBrun

I was born and raised in San Dimas, CA.  I attended University of California at Santa Barbara and double majored in Law&Society and Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations.  After undergrad I worked in a law firm and as a teacher.  I attended University of Massachusetts at Boston for my post-bacc program.  I was accepted to SGU and into the KBT program and did my first year of medical school in Newcastle, England and then to Grenada for my second year.  Over the next two years I did rotations across the US but was lucky enough to start my training at Highland during my third year.  I was able to return during my fourth year, and then lucky enough to come to Highland for residency.  I love the patients, the people, and the culture of Highland and I’m so excited to be here for a chief year and share my love for Highland with the rest of the program.


Martin Rofael

I grew up in Egypt and moved to  the Bay Area at a young age. I attended San Francisco State University where I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology. I traveled back to Cairo to work with the underserved population in a garbage village. It is there that I became passionate for the underserved and excited about medicine. I moved to Seattle to attend medical school at the University of Washington.

I was lucky enough to be able to return to the Bay Area and match in residency at Highland Hospital. I felt right at home since the interview day and absolutely loved this place. The patients are special, the medicine is amazing, and the co-residents and faculty make working here extremely rewarding. I’m excited for my year as one of the Chief Residents and to help guide the interns and residents into becoming great Doctors.


Daniel Georgie

I was born in Long Beach, CA, one of the most diverse cities—along with Oakland—in the country.  It was only natural for me to find my way up here eventually.  I went to college at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and majored in biochemistry.  I then completed a masters in human nutrition at Columbia before starting med school at George Washington in DC.  

At each stop, working with the underserved fueled me.  There is a sense of gratification that isn’t readily available in other fields or populations.  This notion only grew truer at Highland.  There have been a number of patients that have traveled internationally to seek care at Highland because of our reputation for treating all people with equity.

At Highland the level of disease complexity is high.  Patients are sick and some days are challenging.  But caring for critically ill patients in their greatest moments of vulnerability is an honor and a privilege.  Highland has trained me to be a culturally competent and clinically sound physician, who prioritizes patient-centered care above all else.

As a chief resident, it is my goal to instill the same fire I have for Highland into everyone with whom I interact.  I also hope to shape the next generation of doctors to be educated, curious, compassionate, and grounded human beings, whose mission in life is to influence positive change in the world.


Chief Residents 2017-2018

Alisa Takeda, DO

 I consider myself a native Bay-Area gal. I am multi-racial, multi-cultural and on  weekends I eat and hike, and explore the many delights this part of California has to  offer. I spent  my college years studying on the beaches of sunny San Diego but came  back to the Bay Area to go to Touro University in Vallejo for medical school where I  earned by DO and  MPH degrees. I was more than ecstatic to have matched in the  primary care track at Highland Hospital. Not only was I fulfilling my dreams of staying  in the Bay Area, I was able  to carry out my training taking care of the diverse and  vulnerable population of Oakland. Training at Highland hospital has exceeded all my  expectations. After three years of  hard work I feel confident to approach any problem head-on, to care for patients from any racial and cultural background, and to provide high-quality holistic healthcare.

 I didn’t need to think even for a minute when I was asked to be one of the chief residents for 2017-2018.  I jumped at the opportunity to contribute and give back to this program  that gave so much to me and my colleagues. I am excited to continue receiving mentorship in clinical teaching, administration, and clinical reasoning from the inspiring faculty. I  have a few goals for myself for this year: to improve my approach to teaching so that I can meet learners at different levels, to improve the palliative care and end-of-life curriculum, and to practice my osteopathic manipulative skills.  


Susan Nasr, MD

 I love Oakland! I love Highland!

 I am so proud to be a part of this residency program, which attracts diverse and  compassionate residents, and turns them into fearless physicians. We’re all complex  tapestries. I am no exception. I am an Egyptian-American, born in Maryland, who  earned a Master’s Degree in Science Writing from M.I.T. and worked as a science  writer before pursuing medicine. I followed my humanistic instincts to the University  of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where I steeped in the biopsychosocial  model, and followed that road to Highland. Check us out. We are warm, collegial,  dedicated to our community, and the training here is nothing short of excellent.  


Mike Ajuria, MD

 I was born here in Oakland and grew up across the bay on the peninsula in Belmont.  It was my dream to become a physician since childhood.  After high school I  ventured south to San Diego for undergrad at UCSD to study human biology.  While I  was there I worked at the Salk Institute at a lab researching transcription  factors for  HIV, where my love for pathophysiology started.  After my undergrad days, I moved  back home to the Bay Area.   I worked at a biotechnology company  that performed  genetic expression tests on post-heart transplant patients to monitor rejection.  I  also  completed a post-baccalaureate program at UC Berkeley  while applying to  medical  school, and was accepted to St. George’s University in Grenada.

At St. George’s University, I was exposed to the much underserved population of Grenada.  I realized the impact that medical care (or the lack thereof) can have  on a person’s life.  This impact is especially magnified in the underserved, which led me to a look for a place to serve this population.

I returned home to the Bay Area for residency here at Highland Hospital.  I have come to truly love Highland during my 3 years here.  The program, the people I work with, and our patients make my work both enjoyable and rewarding.  I am excited during my chief year to be working on clinical teaching, resident mentoring, and continuing to develop my clinical skills and knowledge.