A day in the life of a Family Medicine resident: Dr. Monika Shenouda 

Headshot of Dr. Monika ShenoudaEstablished in 1984, the Family Medicine Residency Program at California Hospital Medical Center provides comprehensive training to family physicians who care for our diverse, urban, medically underserved population, preparing them to excel in academic and clinical careers by practicing the full continuum of health care—from prenatal to geriatrics—with an emphasis on humankindness. Meet Chief Family Medicine Resident Dr. Monika Shenouda as she shares why she chose this field of practice at California Hospital. 

Tell us about your background. 

Dr. Shenouda: I grew up in Egypt and moved to California when I was 14 and completed high school, and then I went to UCLA for undergrad. I completed medical school at Ross University School of Medicine on the Caribbean island of Dominica, and then completed my third and fourth year medical school rotations at California Hospital. I also worked as a junior faculty with medical students while I was awaiting a residency position, and I started residency here with the Family Medicine Program.

What made you choose family medicine? 

Dr. Shenouda: My mom passed away from a preventable disease—that's really where my passion sparked to go into family medicine and focus on preventative care—helping patients manage their chronic conditions and be able to avoid the more serious interventions later on in life. 
I wanted to focus on the importance of addressing healthcare disparities and improving health care access, and especially where I come from in Egypt. 

Why did you decide to pursue your residency at California Hospital Medical Center?

Dr. Shenouda:The hospital's mission aligned with my mission and my goals. We are in the heart of downtown LA. We have opportunities to work with underserved communities and are committed to work with those communities. This is a community that has limited access to resources and opportunities, and there are a lot of challenges and barriers. I chose to do my residency here because I can make a difference in people's lives and help them overcome these obstacles. Being able to build and maintain these strong relationships with the communities that I want to serve and make a positive impact on is so important to me.  

What makes California Hospital unique? 

Dr. Shenounda: California Hospital really focuses on family-centered care, and there is a strong emphasis on providing care for our underserved community. So it really creates a safe and welcoming environment for our patients, regardless of their background. And the culture here is amazing. We promote equity, fairness, and health care delivery—and this is really what's going to improve the health care outcomes in our patients.

I also love the people here! Everyone is so friendly and it’s a supportive, welcoming environment. California Hospital is a great place to learn and grow.  
 
What’s a memorable moment you’ve experienced during your residency? 

Dr. Shenouda: I was caring for a patient who was hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia during the worst peak of the pandemic. He was here for three months on a ventilator and we couldn’t find outpatient care. I saw him every day, spoke with his family and got to know them. Fortunately, he awoke from his coma and he started to improve. He was discharged from the hospital and to this day I get to see him in our outpatient clinic right across the street. That continuity of care, and being able to see him at his most vulnerable, to now walking and talking and seeing him in the clinic was an extremely, extremely rewarding experience and just gave me a very different perspective on life. 
 
What are you looking forward to the most with the new patient tower opening later this year? 

Dr. Shenouda: The new tower is patient centric. We have so much demand and we care for so many patients. The new tower will have more beds and more space that will allow us to take care of our patients—all leading to improved patient experience. 

What do you enjoy outside of work? 

I enjoy spending time with my husband and my family. I'm a big traveler. I love traveling and just going to new places, experiencing new cultures and new food.  The world is so beautiful, and I just love to explore and travel. I've been to 20 countries so far. 

Why should people consider donating to or supporting California Hospital?

Dr. Shenouda: We play a critical role for our community in the heart of downtown LA. When people donate, they help ensure that the hospital has the resources to continue to provide these necessary tools for our patients and to be able to continue to care for our underserved community. Donations can go towards buying new equipment, staffing, supporting patient care programs—really enhancing their experience and the overall health outcomes in our community.

Learn more about the ways you can support California Hospital Medical Center

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