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

Chief Residents

Chief Residents 2016-2017

Kweku Hayfron, MD

I grew up in Ghana but moved to the United states in 1998 for college. I attended the University of Arkansas where I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology. I also have a masters Degree in microbiology from Georgetown University.

I returned to Arkansas to attend medical school. I decided to come to Highland for residency after a doing a fourth year elective here. During my elective, I saw amazing examples of humanism in medicine from faculty and residents, coupled with excellent clinical teaching.

My three years at Highland afforded me the opportunity to learn to be the best doctor I could be, while serving one of the most unique and diverse patient populations in the country. Everyone in the program as a commitment to providing healthcare to underserved populations.

As Chief Resident, I am looking forward to becoming a good teacher and helping future residents not only make the transition from student to physician, but become excellent clinicians.

Chelsea Rhoades, MD

I was born and raised in a rural area of Northern California, in the small town of Mendocino (pop. 893)  I left to attend university at UCLA where an interracial dynamics course steered my interest toward helping the urban underserved, and my love of medicine began to blossom. After college, I worked in two different research labs: the first focused on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the second on Alzheimer disease. From there I went on to Philadelphia, PA to complete a post-bacc program at Drexel University before attending medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies.

I returned to the U.S. for the second two years of medical school where my rotations exposed me to many different medical specialties and practice settings.  I found myself enticed by the critical thinking and patient relationships fostered in internal medicine. The exceptional caliber of the Highland teaching faculty, the vast diversity in the patient population and pathologies, and the opportunity to work with the underserved drew me to Highland.

After spending 3 years as a resident here, I have grown to love this place. I decided to pursue a chief  year to expand my skills in clinical teaching, to enrich the medical knowledge of the residents here as well as myself, and to give back to the program that has given me so much before I go on to begin my career in primary care. My hope for this year is to support the residents as they pursue their interests, while providing meaningful learning experiences through our educational conferences and patient interactions. 

Jeff Scott, MD

I was born in the St Louis area where I spent most of my childhood and adolescence.  After high school, I studied psychology at a liberal arts college in northern Missouri.  Although not directly related to medicine, my psychology degree provided lessons in scientific rigor and statistical analysis that were invaluable for a lifetime career of evidence-based practices.  It was also the study of human sensation, perception, and neuro- and sensory organ anatomy that really engaged me in the biological sciences.  For a change of pace, I then moved to New York City and enrolled in a master’s program in Human Nutrition.  There I learned how health can be affected by nutrition and environment from intracellular to societal levels while living in one of the greatest cities in the U.S.  I left the Nutrition program when I was accepted into medical school at Saint Louis University.  Although I had grown up in the area, caring for an underserved population on a daily basis gave me a new perspective on the city and a greater awareness of the disparities faced by certain communities.  Upon completion of medical school, I moved to Washington, DC where I completed an internship in General Surgery.  I learned a lot during that time, but by the end, I knew that surgery was not my calling.  I applied to Internal Medicine programs and was fortunate to match here at Highland. 

Over the past several years, I have truly realized how unique Highland Hospital is compared to other training programs.  The patient population is amongst the most diverse in the country, and the pathology is atypical and severe.  We care for the underserved, yet Highland has many more services available than most county hospitals.  This results in a work environment able to support resident education while delivering ideal patient care to those who would not typically receive it.  As chief resident, I look forward to helping the housestaff grow into strong physicians and medical educators while continuing to develop my own skills in providing for our patients at this distinctive institution.


Chief Residents 2015-2016

Scott Lynch, MD

I was born in Colorado and moved to Fremont, California when I was 4 years old. I ventured across the country to Atlanta, Georgia where I completed my undergraduate degree majoring in Music and Neuroscience/Behavioral Biology at Emory University. I continued to venture further from my home in the Bay Area to complete medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. After two years of balancing book time with beach time I returned to the US to complete my clinical years in the U.S. including a subinternship at Highland Hospital.

After so many years away from the San Francisco Bay Area I was thrilled to return to my home to complete my residency here at Highland. Prior to starting my intern year I was fortunate enough to spend a few months travelling including backpacking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.  I also completed a medical immersion program in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where I lived with a Mexican family and volunteered with the Red Cross, mobile community clinics and the local emergency department. This provided me with the invaluable skill of speaking Spanish which has allowed me to make a special connection with many of our patients at Highland.

My third year of residency was filled with exciting life decisions including getting married and making the decision to complete a chief resident year at Highland. Over the last three years I have grown incredibly fond of this institution and residency program. Everyone involved in the Internal Medicine Residency Program has dedicated themselves to providing the highest level of care to the underserved population of Alameda County. Highland is an exciting place with a uniquely diverse community of patients and providers from around the world. As a chief resident I look forward to improving my skills as a teacher and to continue to foster the atmosphere of education here at Highland. After my chief year, I hope to continue a career of lifelong learning as an academic hospitalist with a goal of providing many generations of residents with the same quality of training which I have received. 

Alejandro Diaz, MD

I was born and raised in Miami to Cuban immigrants who by their example taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. After a long stint working in my family auto wrecking business (go junkyard dogs!), I decided to pursue my love of medicine and attend medical school at Universidad Xochicalco in Baja California, Mexico.

During my time in Mexico I had the opportunity to learn a new culture, refine my Spanish skills and, most importantly, have the privilege to care for wonderful people. My time there was an enriching life changing experience which served to mold me into the physician I am today. After graduation I staffed a primary care clinic in the suburbs of Tijuana, did research on quality of life in the elderly and taught basic science and community medicine courses at my alma mater.

I was then fortunate enough to become a part of the Primary Care Internal Medicine program here at Highland. At Highland I found my ideal place to train: challenging, rewarding and never a dull moment. I fell in love with my patients, and in my peers I found a new family and a home away from home. I continue to be moved and inspired by this institutions commitment to the underserved and could not have asked for a better place to train.

During my time at Highland I fully discovered my passion for working with residents and clinical education. My hope this year is to improve myself as a clinician and an educator, as well as continuing to work toward continuing to make Highland be a great place to work and train. Most importantly I look forward to continuing the Highland tradition of teaching patient centered care with a focus on the unique needs of our underserved population.

Sarvenaz Alibeigi, MD

I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County. For my undergraduate career I majored in Pscyhobiology at U.C.L.A (Go Bruins!) where my intrigue and passion for medicine grew stronger with my involvement in preventative health education and outreach.  I also enjoy travelling and art history, and was able to spend my last quarter during my undergraduate career in Greece studying Greek architecture and Byzantine art. After college, I went to medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, where I was able to learn medicine while immersed in an entirely new culture surrounded by beautiful landscape and a wonderfully strong community.

My medical education continued to be enriched as I experienced various hospital settings and rotations across the U.S. It was not until I ultimately reached Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA and began my medicine clerkship where I felt truly at home. The camaraderie among the residents, the support of the faculty, and the diverse patient population provided me with an exciting platform to learn and practice medicine, and is what drove me here for residency.

During my residency I had a unique opportunity to be a part of a Quality Improvement project using LEAN methodology to help improve inpatient work flow. Being a change agent for various platforms has encouraged me to pursue a future career in hospitalist medicine with a focus on Quality Improvement. I look forward to my chief year ahead with goals of helping improve our work environment with positive change while enhancing patient and resident satisfaction.