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Dr. Carol Stewart, Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA, began her education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earning her BS in Biology, Summa Cum Laude in 1986. She completed her combined BS-MD degree program at Albany Medical College, receiving her Doctorate in Medicine, Cum Laude in 1988. She returned to her hometown for residency, completing her three years in Family Medicine at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica, NY in 1991. She stayed on as faculty there for the next nine years, ultimately serving as Program Director from January 1996 through her departure in early 2000.

After two years as Medical Director of the South Central Family Health Center and an Assistant Professor at USC, she migrated across town to UCLA where she served as core faculty for UCLA’s Family Medicine Residency. She continues to practice full scope Family Medicine, including obstetrics, and enjoys teaching these skills to residents and students both at the bedside and through formal courses as a certified ALSO instructor (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics). Dr. Stewart also holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Current Professional Activities/Committees

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dept. of Family Medicine

  • Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor 2009 - Present

  • Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor, 2002 – 2009

Skirball Hospice Medicine

  • Associate Medical Director 2010 – 2014

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine

  • Medical Director of South Central Family Health Center 2000 - 2002

Carol Stewart, MD, FAAFP

Program Director


Dr. Hector Arreaza was born and raised in Venezuela. He graduated cum laude from the Romulo Gallegos University Medical School in San Juan de los Morros. After graduating from medical school, he accepted a one-year position as a medical director in a rural clinic in Parapara, Guarico State, where he provided urgent, primary and emergency care. He left Venezuela for a two year mission in Salt Lake City, Utah. After completing his assignments, he decided to become a U.S. licensed family physician and moved to Salt Lake City where he volunteered as a medical interpreter in various primary care and urgent care settings serving uninsured and refugee populations. He worked as a Spanish translator and helped with the translation of several health-related manuals and websites. Further, he was featured on BYU TV as a medical consultant.


In 2013, Dr Arreaza graduated from the UCLA International Medical Graduate Program. He successfully completed a residency training at our own Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program, where he was selected as the first Chief Resident in our institution. He is eager to utilize his medical knowledge and language skills in underserved areas of California.

Hector Arreaza, MD

Associate Program Director

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Dr. Verna Marquez is the first graduate of Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program (June 2018) to  become one of their own  Faculty Physicians.  A local resident of Bakersfield, she served as a Chief Resident during her training, and was mainly in charge of their didactics and wellness activities.  Her ultimate goal is to practice the full scope of Family Medicine including Obstetrics.

She earned her MD degree at Far Eastern University-NRMF Institute of Medicine in the Philippines. In 2006 she became a Diplomate in the Philippine Board of Radiology and a Fellow in the Ultrasound Society of the Philippines before migrating to the United States. Dr. Marquez worked as a Registered Nurse for 8 years while waiting for her opportunity to be accepted in a residency program. At Adventist Health Bakersfield (formerly known as San Joaquin Community Hospital), she became a Charge nurse in Medical/Surgical/Pediatrics department and shift leader in the Burn Unit.

Verna Marquez, MD


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Dr. Harnek Singh was born in Punjab and moved to Southern California at the age of 8; he has since called Orange County his home. He graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology & Physiology. He went on to attend Ross University School of Medicine for his medical degree.

Dr. Singh completed his residency training at Emanate Health. In fact, he was one of the chief residents. During his residency, he was very involved in making the experience for his colleagues a memorable one. He planned social and wellness activities. He even started “basketball Wednesdays,” where residents would get together with attendings and play a friendly game of basketball after didactics. Academically, he has presented abstracts at both AMSSM and ACSM.

Dr. Singh is board-certified in Family Medicine. He practices full spectrum care both in an inpatient and outpatient setting. His patients include newborns, adolescents, adults and the elderly. He has a special interest in musculoskeletal health, Sports medicine and Street Medicine. He is the clerkship director for third-year medical students rotating through Family Medicine service. He enjoys teaching medical students and residents and has a special interest in resident and physician wellness.

In his personal time, Dr. Singh loves to spend time with his wife, son and his parents. He enjoys watching superhero movies and his favorite superhero is Batman. He has seen The Dark Knight more than twenty times! His favorite sport is basketball; he loves watching it, playing it, and discussing it. A fun fact is that Dr. Singh loves trivia and can play trivia games all day if he could. One day he hopes to be on Jeopardy.

Harnek Singh, MD


Dr. Jacqueline Uy graduated from the Loma Linda University of Medical Center as a chief resident in June 2016 after receiving her Doctor of Medicine degree from the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila. In 2003, Dr. Uy received a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.


Dr. Uy current holds a Master’s degree in Population Medicine from the School of Public Health, Loma Linda University Medical Center.


Dr. Uy is fluent in English, Tagalog and Visayan.

Jacqueline Uy, MPH, MD


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Dr. Schlaerth is a native of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Manhattan College and received her medical degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo. Dr. Schlaerth completed her pediatrics residency at LA Children's Hospital and an Infectious disease fellowship at LAC-USC Medical Center. She is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric infectious diseases, family medicine and has a Certificate Added Qualifications in Geriatrics. Dr. Schlaerth was an associate professor at Loma Linda and is an associate professor emeritus at USC. She has a special interest in research and has published in addiction medicine, child development and other areas.

Katherine Schlaerth, MD

Director of Pediatrics Curriculum

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Dr. Steven Saito graduated medical school from the Univ. of Illinois College of Medicine.  He then served in the US Navy. His first duty station was Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, and his subsequent tour was as a General Medical Officer at Marine Corp Air Station Yuma. He served those who serve, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  He completed his residency training in 2020 and joined the Rio Bravo Faculty Team. 

Steven Saito, MD



Yunior Martinez Duenas, MD


Alejandro Gonzalez Perez, MD


Namdeep Grewal, MD


Dr. Sudha Ranganathan became a core faculty physician at the Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program in December 2023. Prior to that, she worked for three years in both the obstetrics and gynecology and family medicine departments at Kern Medical Center.

Dr. Sudha Ranganathan went to medical school and graduated with an MBBS degree in 2000 from Chengalpattu Medical College, India. She earned her postgraduate medical degree from JIPMER, India, after completing residency training in obstetrics and gynecology and practicing for five years in various academic institutions. She has a Diplomate of National Board degree in obstetrics and gynecology from India. Dr. Ranganathan moved to the United States with her spouse, who is also a pediatrician, and switched to Family medicine to continue her medical practice. She completed her residency at Louisiana State University Shreveport / Monroe Family Medicine program and became board-certified in family medicine. After serving as a core faculty member for one year in the same program, she relocated to Bakersfield.

Dr. Sudha Ranganathan practices full-scope Family medicine with a special interest in obstetrics and gynecology, adolescent medicine, and pediatrics and enjoys teaching. She believes in health education to empower her patients to improve health outcomes, especially in underprivileged populations. Dr. Ranganathan likes to travel and visit new places, loves to cook, and keeps herself active by playing badminton, pickleball, and tennis with her kids.

Sudha Ranganathan, MD


Roberto Velazquez Amador, MD





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