Meet Our Residents

PGY-5 Residents

Tania Benjamin, MD


Tania Benjamin, MD 

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA 

Undergrad: California State University Northridge 

Medical School: UCSF School of Medicine 

Outside Interests: Traveling, cooking, dancing, scrapbooking, 

Research Interests: Surgical innovation, biomedical devices, facial trauma, reconstructive surgery, hearing loss





Jacqueline Harris, MD


Jacqueline Harris, MD 

Hometown: Kennesaw, GA 

Undergrad: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 

Medical School: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 

Outside Interests: Social dancing (kizomba!, salsa, bachata), hiking, rock climbing, yoga, board games, travel 

Research Interests: global health, pediatric otolaryngology, health disparities




Neil Patel, MD


Neil N. Patel, MD, MSc 

Hometown: Niles, Ohio 

Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School & College of Arts and Sciences) 

Medical School: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania 

Outside Interests: International travel, ceramics (pottery wheel-throwing), hiking, photography 

Research Interests: Surgical outcomes of microvascular head and neck reconstruction, facial reanimation, gender-affirming facial surgery, sinonasal inflammation, medical devices  



Karolina Plonowska-Hirschfeld, MD


Karolina Plonowska-Hirschfeld, MD 

Hometown: Warsaw, Poland 

Undergrad: Cornell University 

Medical School: University of California, San Francisco 

Outside Interests: baking, travel, spinning, urban hiking with my Samoyed, listening to podcasts 

Research Interests: quality of life and oncologic outcomes in head and neck cancer, sialendoscopy, microvascular free tissue reconstruction functional and patient-reported outcomes, head and neck skeletal muscle regeneration





Sifon Ndon, MD

Sifon Ndon, MD 

Hometown: San Jose, CA 

Undergrad: Harvard University 

Medical School: Yale School of Medicine 

Outside Interests: Hiking, Volleyball, Baking (especially if it involves chocolate), Board Games 

Research Interests: Health policy, surgical outcomes



PGY-4 Residents


Jacquelyn Callander

Jacquelyn K Callander, MD 

Hometown: Toms River, New Jersey

Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania

Medical School: University of California San Francisco

Outside Interests: Running, skiing, hiking & backpacking, podcast-listening, exploring SF's dog-friendly restaurants and breweries

Research Interests: Markers of type 2 inflammation in chronic rhinosinusitis, surgical outcomes, sinonasal tumors, olfactory dysfunction, laryngeal sensation in obstructive sleep apnea





Shayan Fakurnejad

Shayan Fakurnejad, MD

Hometown: Moraga, CA

Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley

Medical School: Stanford University School of Medicine

Outside Interests: Music, cooking, soccer, Bay Area sports

Research Interests: Reconstructive surgery, surgical outcomes of microvascular reconstruction, gender-affirming facial surgery






Danielle Gillard

Danielle Gillard, MD, MAS

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Undergrad: Tufts University

Medical School: University of California San Diego

Outside Interests: Yoga, hiking, dogs, dancing, trivia
Research Interests: Cost-effectiveness research, genetics of hearing loss







Michael Lindeborg

Michael Lindeborg, MD

Hometown: San Clemente, CA

Undergrad: Harvard University

Medical School: Harvard Medical School

Outside Interests: Traveling, snowboarding, batch cooking, and following famous YouTube chefs.
Research interests: global health, health disparities, craniofacial, oncology






Spenser Souza

Spenser S. Souza, MD

Hometown: Castaic, CA

Undergrad: Cornell University

Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine

Outside Interests: Snowboarding, Hiking, Golfing, Mindfulness and Mindful Meditation, Surfing, Reading, Cooking, and all Gustatory Pursuits

Research Interests: Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Healthcare, Surgical Outcomes Research, Head and Neck Oncology, Role of the Oral Cavity Microbiome in Head and Neck Oncology


PGY-3 Residents


Alyssa Civantos

Alyssa Civantos, MD

Hometown: Miami, FL

Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania

Medical School: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Outside Interests: travel, yoga, movies/tv, baking and eating dessert, spending time with family and friends 



Edgar Ochoa

Edgar Ochoa, MD

Hometown: Michoacán, Mexico / Sacramento, CA

Undergrad: University of California, Davis

Medical School: University of California, San Francisco

Outside Interests: Live music, listening to podcasts, traveling, documentaries, spending time with friends and family 

Research Interests: Head and neck oncology and reconstruction, health services research, quality of life outcomes






Evan Patel

Evan Patel, MD

Hometown: Longmeadow, MA

Undergrad: Yale University

Medical School: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Outside Interests: Snowboarding, basketball, watching stand-up comedy, exploring the outdoors

Research Interests: Tumor immunology, cochlear implants, facial reconstruction, medical devices



Ana Marija Sola

Ana Marija Sola, MD

Hometown:  Saratoga, CA

Undergrad: University of California, Davis

Medical School: University of California, San Francisco

Outside Interests: All things soccer, reading, gardening, watching Food Network

Research Interests: Pediatric hearing loss, automated speech processing, head and neck cancer outcomes, quality of life 






Taylor Standiford

Taylor Standiford, MD

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Undergrad: Cornell University

Medical School: University of Michigan Medical School

Outside Interests: Running, biking, skiing, Peloton, international travel, podcast-listening

Research Interests: Health services research, surgical outcomes, improving the continuum between undergraduate and graduate medical education





PGY-2 Residents

Arora Nikhil

Nikhil Arora, MD

Hometown: Arlington, Texas

Undergrad: Dartmouth College

Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of USC

Outside Interests: singing, violin, skiing, soccer, cooking, eating new foods, anything fitness related to counteract the previous interest

Research Interests: social determinants of health, surgical management and outcomes, professional voice



Azar Shaghauyegh

Shaghauyegh Azar, MD

Hometown: Irvine, CA

Undergrad: UCLA

Medical School: UCLA

Outside Interests: tennis, traveling, hiking, live music, skiing, boba, Trader Joe’s

Research Interests: head and neck cancer prevention, health disparities, quality of life outcomes, voice physiology and quality



Alex Bourdillon

Alexandra Bourdillon, MD

Hometown: Cupertino, CA

Undergrad: Stanford University

Medical School: Yale University

Outside Interests: Soccer, hiking, listening to audiobooks, hackathons, soap carving

Research Interests: Bioinformatics, machine learning models, radiographic biomarkers






Djabali Emma

Emma Djabali, MD, MS

Hometown: Marseille, France

Undergrad: Fordham University

Master of Science: Georgetown University 

Medical School: University of Florida College of Medicine

Outside Interests: pasta making, skiing, traveling, yoga, exploring the San Francisco food scene 

Research Interests: patient-reported outcomes and patient-centered care in Head and Neck Oncology, aesthetic and patient-centered outcomes in Head and Neck reconstructive surgery, noise-induced hearing loss



Florentine Michelle

Michelle Florentine, MD

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Undergrad: Cornell University 

Medical School: Sackler School of Medicine

Outside Interests: Music, martial arts, bouldering, volleyball, camping 

Research Interests: Health inequities, pediatric hearing loss

PGY-1 Residents


Maimuna Ahmad

Maimuna Ahmad, MD

Hometown: Westford, Massachusetts

Undergrad: Tufts University

Medical School: University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School 

Outside Interests: Traveling, hiking, exploring, eating (also cooking), spending time with friends and family 

Research Interests: Medical education, patient-reported outcomes, quality of life outcomes





Patrick Barba

Patrick Barba, MD

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Undergrad: Princeton University

Medical School: UC San Diego

Outside Interests: Anything outdoors, hiking, skiing, travel, pickleball

Research Interests: global health, surgical education, pediatric otolaryngology 






Arushi Gulati

Arushi Gulati, MD

Hometown: Pasadena, California

Undergrad: University of Southern California

Medical School: University of California, San Francisco

Outside Interests: cooking, embroidery, collecting houseplants, finding new cafes, reading in the park

Research Interests: surgical decision-making, patient-reported outcomes, surgical innovation, sleep surgery, reconstructive outcomes







Eric Kim

Eric Kidong Kim, MD

Hometown: Daegu, South Korea / Monterey, CA

Undergrad: Northwestern University

Medical School: University of California, San Francisco

Outside Interests: Singing and playing music, traveling, playing with dogs, California beaches

Research Interests: Otology and neurotology, global health, medical education






Rex Lee

Rex Lee, MD

Hometown: Long Beach, California

Undergrad: University of California, Los Angeles 

Medical School: University of California, San Francisco

Outside Interests: jogging, singing, scuba diving, cooking, spending time with friends and family

Research Interests: preclinical models of head and neck cancer, precision medicine, targeted therapy, serious illness communication, functional outcomes, and quality of life after ablative/reconstructive surgery


2024-2025 Residents


Emily Honzel, MD. 

Hometown: Bloomington-Normal, IL

Undergrad: Northwestern University

Medical School: Columbia University 

Outside Interests: music (performing, listening, singing, dancing - you name it), traveling, hiking

Research Interests: laryngeal innervation, vocal health, head and neck microbiology, surgical outcomes




Isaac Solomon, MD 

Hometown: Corona, CA

Undergrad: Pomona College

Medical School: UC San Diego

Outside Interests: Bowling, pickle ball, snorkeling/scuba diving, eclipse chaser, playing card games

Research Interests: Patient safety and quality improvement, alternative payment models, surgical outcomes, and medical education



Ashley Stone, MD

Hometown- Kyoto, Japan 

Undergrad- Princeton University 

Medical School- Albert Einstein College of Medicine 

Outside Interests- running, cooking, exploring new restaurants with friends 

Research Interests- social determinants of health, quality improvement 



Woodi Woodland, MD

Hometown: Fairfax, Va  / Brentwood, Tn

Undergrad: University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center 

Outside Interests: Bookbinding, reading, lifting, nutrition, roller skating, music, and baking

Research Interests: DEI within medicine, health disparities, antibiotic stewardship, medical devices



Agnes Zhu, MD

Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana 

Undergrad: University of California - Berkeley 

Medical School: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

Outside Interests: Running, tennis, hiking, skiing, trying new restaurants, cooking, reading 

Research Interests: Head and Neck cancer, Facial Aesthetic Surgery, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine