At Stanford IM HEARs, health equity is at the forefront of what we’re working towards. Our program is designed to train and develop future physician leaders to champion initiatives and advocate for the health of underserved populations within the United States. Learn more about the positive impact we have and join us in bringing about positive change.

Resident Leadership

Christine Santiago

Co-Founder, Internal Medicine Resident, PGY-3

Gabriela Spencer-Bonilla

Co-Founder, Internal Medicine Chief Resident

Working Towards a More Equitable Future in Healthcare

Our mission is to develop internists who are committed to the care of disadvantaged and vulnerable populations within the United States and to train future physicians to have the tools to be leaders and experts in addressing health disparities. There are four main objectives of the program:

  1. Clinical exposure to domestic health inequities and providing tools that will allow the best clinical care for vulnerable patients.
  2. Mentorship by faculty that have careers focused on addressing healthcare disparities. 
  3. Scholarship and research focused on disadvantaged populations. 
  4. Development of leadership and advocacy skills for underserved populations.

Faculty Leadership

Dr. Wendy Caceres

Dr. Caceres is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in Primary Care and Population Health at Stanford University. She serves as one of the Associate Program Directors for the Stanford Internal Medicine Residency program and had been the Co-Medical Director of Pacific Free Clinic and Cardinal Free Clinics from 2015-2020. From 2020 she has been one of the Associate Chairs for Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Medicine.  Her main interests are in diversity in medical education and clinical care of vulnerable populations. Her clinical scholarly activity has been focused on reducing health disparities through quality improvement at the point of care.

Dr. Cybele Renault

Dr. Renault has devoted her career to caring for vulnerable patient populations, both domestically and overseas. She completed her medical school and residency training at the University of Chicago, caring for underserved patients on Chicago's South Side, followed by a Chief Resident year at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, the large public hospital serving the uninsured in Chicago. During her Infectious Diseases fellowship at Stanford, she began her career in global health, caring for patients and doing low-cost HIV diagnostics research in Burkina Faso, and providing clinical service and teaching in Thailand, India, and Zimbabwe as a fellow, and later in Uganda and Rwanda as one of our faculty. Her clinical work is currently focused on our Veteran population, working to empower Veterans to engage in their care, often in the setting of significant mental illness. She is most passionate about medical education and program development for the Internal Medicine residency program, as well as developing collaborations to create sustainable education programs with partners in low-income countries.

Dr. Poonam Hosamani

Program Participants

Dr. Mayuri Chandran

Mayuri was born and raised in the Midwest, and she completed medical school at the University of Michigan. During medical school Mayuri lived and worked in Detroit, where she became involved in community organizing around residential water insecurity. She plans to take a deep dive into social and economic inequity as it relates to health through a post-residency PhD in Sociology.

Dr. Nancy Fang Liu

Nancy grew up across the US from Texas, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and is now excited to pursue her training at Stanford in internal medicine. She started her interest in underserved populations and global health while as a college student studying rural medicine access in India and most recently was able to complete a rotation at the Indian Health Service during medical school. She is excited to tailor her medical training in a way that values cultural understanding and equity in the setting of healthcare.

Dr. Keon Pearson

Keon Pearson was born and raised in the Midwest to a family that faced discrimination from the medical establishment. None of his male ancestors lived to see the age of 65. This drives KP’s commitment to a career that improves racial and ethnic health disparities, and he is very excited to be part of the inaugural class of Stanford HEARS. KP earned his A.B. at Harvard, an MD and MBA at Stanford, and continued at Stanford for internal medicine residency. He is planning to specialize in cardiology.

Dr. Natasha Steele

Having grown up in a large immigrant family from Morocco, Natasha Steele  is passionate about domestic issues surrounding health literacy and access. She pursued a  masters in public health at the George Washington University before completing medical school at the University of Washington. Now in her first year of internal medicine residency at Stanford, she is excited about building relationships with community health stakeholders in the Bay Area, and helping to create a more just and equitable healthcare system.

Dr. Emily Woods

Emily Woods completed her MD and PhD training at Emory University and entered the Stanford Internal Medicine residency program in 2020. She is planning to specialize in infectious disease. She views advocacy as a critical component of medicine, with a particular interest in healthcare access and addressing the barriers to care that the current US health insurance system creates.


Clinical Exposure

Learning from Vulnerable Populations

At Stanford IM HEARs, Internal Medicine Residents will have dedicated clinical rotations devoted to care for underserved populations. They will gain first-hand knowledge of the barriers these patient populations face in obtaining adequate health and learn the resources and tools currently available to overcome them.


Mentorship and Leadership

Exposure to Leaders in the

Health Equity Field

All participating members will declare an area of interest in a specific underserved community. The resident leaders and faculty adviser(s) will then pair all participants with an appropriate faculty mentor for the duration of their time in the program.


Scholarly Work

Using Research and Scholarship to

Reduce Health Inequities

Program participants are required to attend the 3-4 annual lectures that will cover topics on advocacy, exposure to current physician leaders in the healthcare disparities field and career development. In addition, participants will need to work on a project that displays leadership and scholarly work in the field of healthcare disparities.

Get Involved

Have an Impact

We are actively looking for community partnerships as well as research opportunities to better help serve and understand the healthcare needs of our most vulnerable populations.