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First Class Of Yuma Regional Medical Center Residents Graduates

YRMC Residents
(Photo by Maya Springhawk Robnett - KAWC)
Graduates (left to right) Dr. Renee Monteiro, Dr. Simi Dhillon, Dr. Nina Greene, and Dr. Natalia Galarza.

Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Yuma graduated its first class of residents last week. All four graduates of the three-year program are women.

Doctors Renee Monteiro and Natalia Galarza are both international residents. Monteiro received her education at a medical institution in Nepal and Galarza received hers at the Mexicali School of Medicine in Mexico. 

Monteiro said she is proud to think the inaugural class helped shape the new program.

“You know, a starting of new history, basically, and building up a whole new program, which I thought was very exciting. And to finally have graduated and being the first batch to graduate is just a great feeling," Monteiro said.

Galarza takes pride in the fact that the first class consisted of four women. 

“For the four of us also being females, the first batch is such an exciting time," Galarza said. "We’re trailblazers, pathfinders."

Dr. Kristina Diaz, program director for the Family and Community Medicine Residency Program, who spoke of the program's unique offerings.

“The great part about living here in Yuma and training physicians here in Yuma is the pathology being so close to the border and also with the unique people that kinda pass through Yuma…it makes for a great training ground," Diaz said.

Monteiro will be relocating to Michigan to a family health clinic for the underserved and Galarza has been hired as a family physician with YRMC.

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Maya Springhawk Robnett joined the Arizona Science Desk in May 2016.Springhawk Robnett grew up in the Southwest and began attending Arizona Western College in Yuma at the age of 14. At 17, she graduated with her associate's degree in studio art.From May 2012 to September 2014, she worked part time at KAWC as a reporter while pursuing her degree in mass communication and media studies at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Springhawk Robnett’s coverage included a diverse range of topics, from mixed martial arts in Yuma to the Arizona foster care system. She also produced KAWC’s "Work Stories" series for more than a year, focusing on the daily lives and stories of those making a living in Yuma County.She is a violinist, poet and sculptor.