The most dependable people around us may not always be recognized for their hard work. Doctors have about 10 years of schooling to reach the level to dress up in white coats and help serve our community’s well-being. It’s important that we appreciate their competency and years of dedication for them in order to give us the best guidance.
Word of Health would like to take the time to highlight a few of these individuals. Below is a list of the top eight family doctors in the Irvine community.
1. Dr. Emilie K. Scott, MD
Dr. Emilie K. Scott is a family doctor and is originally from Orange County, CA. She completed her medical education at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Urban Family Medicine in New York. Since then, she has been an assistant professor at UC Irvine and opened up her own practice in Laguna Hills. Currently, she works at Halcyon Health with over 14 years of expertise in contraception, weight loss, family planning, and treatment of all ages. She’s won over four awards such as the patient’s choice award and top 10 doctors in the city! Patients have noted that Dr. Scott is spectacular in listening and communicating with her clients with an easy-going scheduling system. People highly recommend her for her service and states she goes above and beyond to care for her patients.
2. Dr. Albert B. Chang, MD
Pediatrics and Preventative Care
Dr. Albert Chang was born in South Korea and completed his undergraduate in UC Los Angeles. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. With over 15 years of family practice and experience, Dr. Chang has won several honors and awards such as Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition and the Champion for Children Award. Dr. Chang’s research has been published nationally and speaks at many scientific events globally. His clinical focus is on malignancies of gynecological systems and specializes in high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, with a stunning experience of over 1500 brachytherapy procedures.
3. Dr. Sean Breen
Family Practice, Weight Loss, Nutritionist
Dr. Sean Breen is the founder and medical director for Dr. Sean Breen, PC. His clinic is the premier medical clinic in preventative, functional and regenerative medicine in Southern California. He is a graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and was awarded a United States Navy Health Professions Scholarship. Dr. Breen completed his post-graduate training at the prestigious Naval Medical Center located in San Diego, California. He works with individual patients and creates health plans for them, with a focus on the body’s natural hormone levels, using the latest scientific technology rather than drugs to help patients get treated. Dr. Breen has also played in the Division-1A baseball pitcher for Iona college. His passion for athletics and healthcare has motivated him to succeed in the medical field and is now motivated to help serve his community, along with raising his two sons.
4. Dr. Shirley Wang, MD
Integrative and Anti-Aging Medicine
A graduate of the USC School of Medicine, Shirley Wang, MD is a highly skilled and compassionate Functional and Integrative Medicine Physician who provides holistic care for women and men at LevelUP Health Care in Irvine. Dr. Shirley combines integrative, naturopathic, and alternative principles with traditional approaches. She carefully evaluates each patient prior to treatment to customize care so as to provide the broadest array of options when it comes to proactively managing health and wellness. She focuses on addressing the root of problems while treating patients as the whole person, rather than as a disease.
Whether you need help with weight loss, anti-aging, peptide therapy, bioidentical hormone replacement, sexual issues or just want to improve overall health, Dr. Shirley can help you LevelUP. Her nutrient therapy is the perfect compliment to your self-care practice.
5. Dr. Howard Fishbein
Dr. Fishbein has over 30 years of experience and has been practicing family medicine in his private office in Irvine. He received his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University and attended Chicago Medical School. Dr. Fishbein completed his residency at Memorial Hospital in Long Beach and was the past chairman for the board of directors of Hoag Hospital and Irvine Medical Center. He is also the physician for the performers and staff of Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine. Many of his patients have commented on his superb timeliness and calm personality. He communicates well with his patients and staff and is very personable and professional.
6. Dr. Alan Nili, DO
Dr. Nili is located in Irvine and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice. He’s been practicing medicine since 1997 and graduated from Columbia Family Practice Program and completed 3 years of residency there. Dr. Nili was awarded “Best Resident of the Year” for three years in a row and is a strong believer of efficient care through utilization of electronic records and mailing services. He is affiliated with multiple hospitals such as Hoag Memorial Hospital and Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center. Many of his patients felt a strong connection with him and would highly recommend Dr. Nili to their friends.
7. Dr. William J. Tsai, MD
Dr. Tsai went to graduate school at Saint George’s University School of Medicine and completed his residency in the New York Hospital. He is affiliated with the Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and specializes in internal medicine. With almost 20 years in experience, patients have been greatly satisfied with his care and authentic personality. He has been found to be rated one of the top 20% of doctors in California and has been operating his private practice since 2003. On his free time, he enjoys playing table tennis, photography, reading, and hiking. Dr. Tsai strives to cater to each patient’s medical needs and was even a professor at UC Irvine.
8. Dr. Linh Nguyen England, MD
Dr. England completed her medical school at UC San Diego School of Medicine and residency at UC Irvine Medical Center. She recently graduated in 2012 and is a part of the MemorialCare Network. She loves children and wants to help the youth grow up into healthy adults. When she has some free time, Dr. England loves to stay active and go hiking, climbing, or yoga. She has received numerous positive patient feedback reviews, commending her down-to-earth nature and trustworthiness in great childcare. Dr. England has special interests in asthma and child obesity, aspiring to benefit a child’s well-being through preventative care.
*Disclaimer: This article is based on patient feedback through online resources and reviews. Word of Health has no personal affiliation with the names mentioned above. Please view our terms and conditions for more information.
Top Orthodontists in Irvine and Tustin
- Dr. Justin Hong, D.D.S., M.S.
Dr. Hong is a Southern California native. After graduating from Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, he went on to graduate with honors from the University of California – Los Angeles. Dr. Hong continued his study at the University of California – Los Angeles’ School of Dentistry to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery. Dr. Hong then graduated from Temple University with a Certificate in Orthodontics as well as a Master’s degree in Oral Biology. Dr. Hong is a member of several dental and orthodontic associations such as American Association of Orthodontists, California Dental Association, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, Orange County Dental Society and American Dental Association. Dr. Hong offers the latest in orthodontic care for both adults and children by combining a fun and caring atmosphere with state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to help create beautiful smiles that will last a lifetime.
2. Dr. Mario Tai, D.M.D., D.M.Sc.
Dr. Mario Tai is a Harvard trained specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. He is dedicated in providing an individualized and the highest quality of care in orthodontics for all ages. Dr. Tai earned dual doctoral degrees at Harvard University where he received Doctor of Medical Sciences (D.M.Sc.) and Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.). He also completed his orthodontic specialty training in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics at Harvard University. Prior to this, he completed his undergraduate studies at University of California in Irvineand graduated with Honors in Biological Sciences. He was the recipient of multiple honors including the Harvard Medical School Research Fellowship Award and the American Association Dental Research Excellence Award. Dr. Tai lectures at various study clubs and at international conferences on the fundamentals and the latest advancements in orthodontics. He was also the past president of the Greater Boston Chinese Dental Association. Dr. Tai is licensed in the states of California, New York, and Massachusetts. His professional affliations include Harvard Society for the Advancement of Orthodontics, American Association of Orthodontics, American Dental Association, California Association of Orthodontics, Orange County Dental Society, and Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontist.
3. Dr. James Passamano, D.D.S., M.S.D.
Dr. James Passamano is in the exclusive practice of orthodontics for over 25 years in Irvine, California. He received both his D.D.S. and M.S.D. degrees from the prestigious University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California. After Dr. Passamano received his D.D.S. degree, he practiced as a general dentist for one year before returning to get his M.S.D. in Orthodontics. Dr. James Passamano is a board certified orthodontist and is an active member of the American Board of Orthodontics, American Association of Orthodontists, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, California State Society of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, California Dental Association and Orange County Dental Society.
4. Dr. Sophia Updike, D.D.S.
Dr. Sophia Updike grew up in Cerritos California and attended Cerritos High School. She stayed close to home when she chose to attend Caltech where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Dr. Updike studied dentistry at UCLA where she graduated with honors and was elected into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon honor society. She completed an internship at the prestigious Mayo Clinic where she studied temporomandibular joint (TMJ) cases. She also completed an additional three years of orthodontic training at USC for her orthodontic certificate and she obtained a Master’s Degree in Craniofacial Biology at that time. Dr. Updike is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and is a member of orthodontic groups, organizations, and study clubs including the AAO, PCSO, CDA, Angle society, and AAOF Vanguard Society.
5. Dr. Ousama El-Hillal, D.D.M., M.B.A., M.S.
Dr. O El-Hillal brings a wealth of experience to iSmiles Orthodontics. He is a founding partner of E&S Orthodontics, a successful, full-service orthodontic practice that has been serving patients in Phoenix/Peoria, Tolleson and Chandler, AZ since 2004. His love of travel and the outdoors brought him to California, and developing new ties as an owner of iSmiles Orthodontics. He simply loves the Irvine area and all that it has to offer. What sets Dr. O apart from the crowd is his insistence on always reaching for the next level of perfection. He has been published in numerous professional journals and has held several leadership roles, including Chief Resident, while receiving his training. From day one he also developed a clear vision of creating an orthodontics practice that would be different, based on the latest research and technologies and a “face-driven, no-extraction” treatment philosophy. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, he moved on to the prestigious Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University – a center of excellence in dental education, patient care, research and community-based services in Philadelphia. There he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree, MBA, Master in Oral Biology, and Orthodontic Specialty degree. He remains a man in constant motion, using his energy to deliver orthodontic services that are far and above what you will find elsewhere. He’s adamant about staying up-to-date in terms of research and treatment technologies, to become a leading provider of the innovative “Damon” self-ligating bracket system, and a Premier Provider of Invisalign® and InvisalignTeen®.
6. Dr. Sandra Yen, D.D.S.
Dr. Sandra Yen is a board-certified Orthodontist who strives to provide quality care while shaping positive experiences for each and every patient. Dr. Yen graduated from Stanford University with honors and received her Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree from UCLA, where she graduated in the top of her class and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental honor society. She then received her certificate in Orthodontics from Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the university hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. As an Inland Empire native, she loves serving her local community and feels very blessed to be in this profession of creating smiles. In her free time, Dr. Yen enjoys jogging, hiking, trying new foods, working on arts and crafts projects, and spending time with her beloved chihuahua rescue.
7. Dr. Paula Needham, D.M.D.
Dr. Paula is originally from Chicago and attended Tufts University where she received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. At Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, she earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and was awarded Merit Scholarship for academic performance. Her pediatric specialty training was completed at USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Paula is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (board-certified pediatric dentist). She holds memberships in the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, and the Santa Barbara Dental Society.
8. Dr. Nader Dayani, D.D.S.
Dr. Nader Dayani, graduated with honors from dental school and continued his education at New York University-College of Dentistry Department of Orthodontics. He received his certificate in Orthodontics and became a specialist in the field of Orthodontics. Dr. Nader Dayani has taught at UCLA-School of Dentistry, section of Orthodontics for many years as well as being a staff member of Santa Monica Hospital and St. John’s Hospital. Dr. Nader Dayani has taught at UCLA-School of Dentistry, section of Orthodontics for many years as well as being a staff member of Santa Monica Hospital and St. John’s Hospital. He has been in private practice since 1987 and his knowledge and experience makes him exceptionally well trained with the old and new technology, assuring you that you are in the best hands. He has taught many continuing educational courses to his colleagues and as well attended many continuing educational courses thus keeping him up to date in the field of Orthodontics. He started using Invisalign in 1998 and takes continuing educational courses to keep current with the most modern orthodontic and TMJ treatment methods. He regularly sees many referrals (including family members) from various general dentists and dental specialist around Los Angeles and Orange Counties and as well as from other states. Dr. Nader Dayani specialized in Orthodontics because he loves the challenge of improving somebody’s smile and self-confidence. Every patient that he treated always thanked him for the joy and happiness that brought to their lives because of their better and brighter smiles. In addition to his private practice, he is an active member of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontics (PCSO), the California Association of Orthodontics (CAO).
9. Dean Azzeh, D.D.S., DMed Sc.
Dean Azzeh comes to Southern California from Harvard University. His excellence in orthodontic practice is a result of a four year rigorous training program, twice the time frame an average orthodontist is trained in. His training in orthodontics was concurrently paralleled by his scholarly endeavors which earned him a Doctor of Medical Sciences Degree/Phd in Growth and Development from Harvard Medical School. Upon graduation, he was awarded the most prestigious degree amongst his peers, the James Shaw award. Dr. Azzeh is a board certified orthodontist, an honor earned by less than 25% of all orthodontists in the United States. To become a member of the American board of Orthodontics, one must pass rigorous tests and take re-certification exams. One must also strictly adhere to the highest standards of care and abide by all the laws and regulations of the board. A dentist who graduates from a specialty program becomes an orthodontic specialist who is eligible to become board certified through the voluntary examination process of the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO).His philosophy accentuates the importance of remaining at the forefront of the advancements in the profession which he’s been contributing to by his publications since 2002. He is the editor of the two premier journals in the field. He is also an interviewer for Harvard College admissions. Dr. Azzeh’s professional affiliations include: The American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontics, the California Dental Association, the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists and the Harvard Society for the Advancement of Orthodontics.
Top Dermatologists in Orange County
Dermatology is more than skin deep and sometimes a store brand skin-care might not be enough. These doctors are specialized in prescribing the best treatment for your skin and acne, and even surgical procedures such as
Word of Health would like to recognize a few of these dermatologists in Orange County. They deal with the skin, nails, hair and its diseases, a specialty with both medical and surgical aspects!
1. Dr. M. David Cole, M.D.
Dr. M. David Cole is a board-certified dermatologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is an Orange County native and grew up in the beach cities of Newport and Huntington Beach. He graduated summa cum laude and with highest honors from UCLA and received his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He completed his post-graduate training in dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine and Loma Linda University Medical Center. Previously a clinical professor of dermatology at the UC Irvine School of Medicine, Dr. Cole has great expertise in skin cancer, skin cancer treatment, acne treatment, mole removals, and the evaluation and treatment of rashes. Dr. Cole has also trained hundreds of physicians in facial cosmetic procedures and aesthetic dermatology and is well known for his techniques in minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology procedures, particularly Botox and dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. He is one of the top injectors in Orange County, as well as laser skin treatments, chemical peels, sclerotherapy for leg spider veins,
2. Dr. Jeffrey S Lauber, M.D.
Dr. Lauber is a Board Certified Jewish Dermatologist with the American Board of Dermatology. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. His Pre-Medical studies were at UCLA where he majored in Chemistry and received his medical degree from USC School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery was in New Orleans at Tulane University Medical Center. Immediately after becoming Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Lauber established the Advanced Skin Treatment Center of Orange County where he has been the Medical Director for more than 28 years. Dr. Lauber is an American trained Board Certified Dermatologist with the American Board of Dermatology, with over 28 years of experience as a private practice Dermatologist.
3. Dr. Stefani Kappel, M.D.
Dr. Kappel earned her Medical Degree from UC Irvine and completed her residency in Dermatology at UCLA. Upon completing her residency, she joined the full-time faculty at UCLA as a Clinical Instructor and Professor in Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. She then went on to complete advanced fellowship training in Dermatologic Surgery at UC Davis and Cosmetic Dermatology at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Northern California with world-renowned expert, Dr. Suzanne Kilmer. After fellowship, she was appointed the Director of Dermatologic Surgery at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Northern California where she remained active in clinical trials and have been on the forefront of the latest advances in aesthetics and dermatology. As an Orange County native, she currently enjoys being a Dermatologist in Newport Beach, CA. In addition, she is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon in Newport Beach. Her areas of expertise include cosmetic dermatology with a focus on injectable neuromodulators, as well as dermal fillers. She is highly-trained in the use of lasers and energy-based devices to treat all aspects of photorejuvenation and body contouring including fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, brown spots, facial vessels, cellulite and fat reduction using non-invasive technology.
4. Dr. Anne Marie McNeill, M.D., Ph.D
Dr. Anne Marie McNeill is a board-certified dermatologist who practices medical dermatology, dermatologic surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. Born and raised in San Jose California, Dr. McNeill completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Chemistry. She completed both her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees under the Medical Scientist Training Program fellowship at the University of California, Irvine, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In medical school, she was awarded AOA status, the national medical honor society. Her Ph.D. is in Pharmacology. She then went on to complete an Internship in Internal Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, returning to Orange County to complete her residency in Dermatology at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. McNeill has published over 20 articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. During her residency, she was a recipient of the Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship program, and studied Vulvar Dermatology at St. John’s Institute of Dermatology in London, England. She is a member of the American Medical Association, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, an Affiliate of American Society for Mohs Surgery, a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and President of the Orange County Dermatologic Society.
5. Dr. Marco M. Zahedi, M.D., M.P.H.
A native of Southern California, Dr. Zahedi graduated Magna Cum Laude from the California State University, where he received his BS with honors in Biochemistry and Medical Psychology. He attended the Chicago Medical School where he completed his MD training with Alpha Omega Alpha honors designation and went on to complete his residency training at University of Southern California (USC) and Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA. Dr. Zahedi then went on to complete additional post-residency training in Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine as well as a Masters in Public Health from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Throughout his career, Dr. Zahedi has passionately pursued efforts to reduce the effects of pain and aging on his patients through early adoption of new technologies. He was one of the early pioneers of platelet-rich plasma therapy use for both anti-aging and anti-inflammatory treatment in the case of wrinkles, hair loss, scar reduction and enhanced post-traumatic recovery in knee, shoulder and tendinitis injuries, as well as cellular therapies to promote rapid tissue healing following laser therapies. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. He has published numerous case studies, research projects and residency education improvement projects in local and national peer reviews scientific journals.
6. Dr. Elham Jafari, M.D.
Dr. Elham Jafari, M.D. is among the most-experienced aesthetic and cosmetic specialists in the Orange County with unrivaled expertise in most advanced out-patient and non-surgical anti-aging, rejuvenating and aesthetic procedures. An artist and an advocate of whole-face and body rejuvenation with emphasis on achieving natural-looking results, Dr. Jafari is the ultimate expert when it comes to cosmetic medicine and liquid facelift procedures. Dr. Jafari is a double-board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Liquid Facelift specialist with unrivaled expertise in most advanced anti-aging, rejuvenating and aesthetic procedures. An artist and an advocate of whole-face and body rejuvenation with emphasis on natural-looking and balanced results, Dr. Jafari is the ultimate expert when it comes to cosmetic medicine and nonsurgical procedures such as Liquid Facelift, Nonsurgical Rhinoplasty (Liquid Nose Job), removal of bags and dark circles under eyes and more!
7. Dr. Brandie Metz, M.D.
As a mom and a fellowship-trained pediatric dermatologist, Dr. Brandie Metz is dedicated to thorough and compassionate care for her patients. Dr. Metz earned her bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University, where she graduated cum laude, and her medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School, where she graduated at the top of her class. Her postgraduate training included a dermatology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, where she served as chief resident. She completed her pediatric dermatology fellowship training at Rady Children’s Hospital and University of California San Diego. Dr. Metz has published over 30 journal articles, contributed to multiple dermatology textbooks, and spoken at dermatology conferences nationally and internationally. Dr. Metz has been practicing in Orange County since 2006. She lives in Irvine with her husband, Mark, and their two children. Dr. Metz has been named to the 2013 – 2016 Best Doctors lists published in OC Family magazine and the 2014 – 2016 Super Doctors Rising Stars lists published in Los Angeles magazine.
8. Dr. Kyle Song, M.D.
Kyle Song earned his medical degree from UC Davis Medical School and graduated at the top of his class. In fact, he scored in the 99th percentile nationally on his board exams. Consequently, his prestigious academic profile secured him a spot in the highly competitive General Surgery/Plastic Surgery program at UC Davis. While enrolled in the General Surgery/Plastic Surgery program, Dr. Song trained under the tutelage of some of the most well-renowned cosmetic and plastic surgeons in the country. After he completed the General Surgery/Plastic Surgery program at UC Davis, Dr. Song went on to complete a fellowship at the Plastic Surgery Center of Sacramento. There he spent an entire year focusing exclusively on cosmetic, surgical, and non-invasive treatments for the face, breast, and body. Plastic surgery is a tremendously personal experience, so it’s important to select a surgeon who can provide you with personalized attention and the best results. His approach is compassionate and supportive, but it doesn’t end there. His education, extensive experience, medical contributions, and local and national recognition make him an Orange County leader for both plastic and reconstructive surgeries.
9. Dr. Zena Gabriel, M.D.
Dr. Zena received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkley and obtained her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego. Her dermatology residency was completed at the University of Southern California where she was chosen as Chief Resident for the Department of Dermatology. Currently, she holds a fellowship position with the American Society for Mohs Surgery and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, and is dedicated to the prevention, treatment and surgical removal of skin cancer. Dr. Gabriel has been featured as a dermatology expert in syndicated commercials and seminars alongside major brands like Neutrogena, L’Oreal Paris, Johnson & Johnson, and Allergan. She has also been invited as a medical expert to appear on national television to showcase her unique niche and sharp industry perspective. She is actively sought out for honorary industry panel appearances and is the practitioner of choice for a wide variety of discerning celebrity clientele.
10. Dr. Neda Mehr, M.D., F.A.A.D.
Under the direction of our award-winning medical director, Dr. Neda Mehr, MD FAAD a Board-Certified Dermatologist who was awarded “Top Cosmetic Dermatologist – Newport Beach”, and “Leading Physician of the World”, and was voted with an independent online survey as “Most Compassionate Doctor”. Dr. Mehr graduated Cum Lade from UC Irvine’s prestigious Bachelor of Science program and graduated with Honors as she entered Medical School at UC Irvine. She was voted by her classmates as President of her medical school, and again during her final year as Student Body President of UC Irvine’s’ Medical School. As a Southern California native, Dr. Mehr completed her Dermatology Residency at Loma Linda University, where she led her peers as Chief Resident in Dermatology while specializing in cosmetic dermatology during her final year of residency training. She additionally has an extra fellowship year of training dedicated to the advanced treatment of Skin Cancers and Melanoma and is an active Committee Member of Hoag’s prestigious Melanoma Cancer Center Advisory Board. Dr. Mehr is a member of the American Society of Mohs Surgery and performs both Mohs surgery & Dermatologic surgeries within our in-office operating room suite.
11. Dr. Karen K. Leong, M.D.
Dr. Leong received her bachelor’s degree from the prestigious University of California at Berkeley. She then traveled to the East Coast to obtain her medical degree from Drexel University and completed her plastic surgery residency at Brown University. Her love of California brought her back to Orange County where she completed her fellowship in cosmetic plastic surgery under Dr. Daniel Mills. Dr. Leong is a successful plastic surgeon who is dedicated to feminine wellness. She cultivates a relationship with each patient that is built on trust, honesty, and compassion. She places a high value on truly listening to her patients and being available to them throughout their entire wellness journey. These qualities along with her expertise have earned her a reputation for being one of the top women’s wellness doctors in Orange County, CA. She is often asked why she chose to pursue a career in feminine wellness. Her response, “Women’s wellness is an under-served specialty and is so important to ensure optimal quality of life. I enjoy the responsibility of helping women be the best version of themselves. Knowing my hands play a part in a person’s physical and emotional transformation is priceless.”
12. Dr. Nissan Pilest, M.D.
Nissan Pilest, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist dedicated to the art of aesthetic dermatology. He has developed a national reputation with his dermatology practice, treating both medical and cosmetic patients, beginning in 1979. Dr. Pilest has practiced in Orange County, California for over 38 years. Dr. Pilest was one 100 selected from a field of 6000 nominees for the award. His win is a testimonial to the fact that referring doctors hold him in high esteem. Dr. Pilest has attained the coveted Circle of Excellence from the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons. Known for his extensive experience and superior aesthetic talent, he was named the Dermatologist of the Year by the Consumer Business Review and is the winner of the Doctor’s Choice Award for 2014 and 2015. Additionally, he is listed in the “Best Doctors Book” and is a winner of the Best Dermatologist of Irvine for 2012 and 2014. Dr. Pilest is also well known in his community for being a Training Physician for injectables and lasers. Dr. Pilest routinely donates his time and services to charities that benefit cancer patients, such as the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and The Breast Cancer Foundation. He is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren. He is an avid traveler.
Top Physical Therapists in Los Angeles
Whether it is a sports injury or pain in the lower back, it is crucial to obtain the right treatment plan just for you. Everyone’s healing process is different and so complex that it is important to consult a physical therapist rather than depending on the natural body to heal on its own.
Word of Health would like to recognize a few of these individuals who are passionate about medical healing treatments and pain management. Physical therapy seeks to restore the body’s function and promote proper recovery.
1. Dr. David Fabrizio, P.T., O.C.S.
David Fabrizio, one of the most sought-after orthopedic/sports manual physical therapists in the Los Angeles area, is celebrating his 31st year in physical therapy and his 22nd year as founder of Fabrizio PTSM. David started his physical therapy and sports medicine career in the United States Air Force. He graduated Cum Laude from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. His training included internships at the top medical facilities in the Cleveland area, including an inpatient orthopedics rotation at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation. After graduating from CSU, he took a staff physical therapist position at the Great Lakes Regional Rehab Center. Here, he developed his treatment philosophy of functional and comprehensive physical therapy. He treated acute, cardiac, and neurological patients during day-time hours while treating orthopedics and sports medicine patients in the evenings. David was selected as one of two physical therapists at Great Lakes qualified to teach Biomechanics, Ergonomics, and Back School. David has completed over 1,000 hours in athletic training rooms across the country treating both college and high school athletes. In 2000, he completed a year-long Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy course with Joe Godges, DPT, MS, and OCS and became board-certified in Orthopedics by the American Physical Therapy Association. His memberships
2. Dr. Courtney Mitchell, D.P.T., O.C.S.
Dr. Courtney Mitchell grew up in the Westchester/Playa Del Rey area where she attended St. Bernard High School. After high school, she attended Loyola Marymount University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science with an emphasis in pre-Physical Therapy. Courtney excels at manual therapy and correcting movement coordination impairments with exercise. She received a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. After Physical Therapy school, Courtney decided to complete an orthopedic residency at Kaiser Permanente, the number one orthopedic residency in the nation. During the residency, she completed research that was able to optimize treatment of whiplash injuries quickly and with fantastic results. In addition, she was able to volunteer her time at the Venice family clinic, giving back to patients that are unable to pay for treatment. After completing the residency she passed her specialty exam and is currently a Clinical Specialist in Orthopedics. Although her specialty is in Orthopedics, she has experience in pediatrics working at various pediatric neurological clinics in the Southern California Area and completed research during PT school, lowering body fat percentage and preventing injury with inner-city pediatric patients. She loves playing soccer, hiking and playing beach volleyball in the summer.
3. Dr. John Pennella, P.T., D.P.T., Owner
Dr. John Pennella was born and raised outside of New York City, in Westchester NY. He attended State University of New York Purchase, where he received his B.A. in Economics. He had a strong interest in exercise and movement science; thus becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John then sought further education and moved to southern California to pursue a higher degree in kinesiology and physical therapy. He attended the University of Southern California receiving his Doctorates in Kinesiology and Physical Therapy. John is a Board Certified licensed physical therapist in the state of California. He has worked with high school to professional athletes throughout his clinical rotations in graduate school, as well as children and elderly in home health care services. Through his clinical education, doctorate training, and experiences in orthopedics, sports medicine, acute care, neurology, pediatric care and manual therapy he has developed his own style of physical therapy. He is now the co-director of physical therapy at The LAB.
4. Dr. Greg S. Khounganian, M.D.
Dr. Greg Khounganian is board certified in spine surgery that emphasizes minimally invasive techniques. After earning his medical degree from the University of Southern California, he completed his orthopedic surgery residency in New York City. As he grew adept at treating a variety of orthopedic problems, ranging from sports injuries to broken bones to arthritic joint conditions, Dr. Khounganian developed an interest in spine and spine-related disorders. He returned to his home in the San Fernando Valley to expand on his spine surgery training with a fellowship at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. Here Dr. Khounganian learned some of the most innovative orthopedic techniques available to patients, including treating spine conditions with non-operative techniques and utilizing microscopic and other minimally invasive procedures. His use of these state-of-the-art practices means patients can return to their regular activities as quickly as possible. Customizing his approach to match each patient’s specific needs, Dr. Khounganian performs procedures involving the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. His extensive list of procedures
5. Dr. Brynilla Pacheco, P.T., D.P.T, M.C.M.T.
Dr. Bryn Pacheco earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Dominican College in Orangeburg, New York. She has been practicing physical therapy for over 20 years and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. She has a mastery certification in Manual Therapy and provides consistent quality service with her specialties in orthopedic, sports and geriatric rehabilitation. Dr. Bryn has extensive experience in inpatient, sub-acute, private and home health settings. She decided to focus on outpatient settings and became the Regional Physical Therapy Director for a Southern California Medical Corporation. During seven years of employment, she opened and managed five successful clinics. In 2011, Dr. Bryn opened BSP Physical Therapy in Burbank. The practice expanded with a second office in Culver City in January 2018. She is also certified in Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), which qualifies her to assess
6. Dr. Walker Ozar, D.C.
Walker Ozar, D.C. serves the Beverly Hills area and the surrounding communities. The seeds for Walker’s career were planted early on as teenage athlete growing up in Los Angeles. He has always been very interested in fitness, massage therapy, and nutrition. When Dr. Ozar turned to physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustment to assist in his recovery from a sports injury, he fell in love with all of the healing modalities. Dr. Ozar went on to study health and science at the University of Arizona, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts. His desire to combine physical therapy and chiropractic care led to a focus on chiropractic rehabilitation and he earned a professional degree from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. Upon starting his practice in 1996 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, he continued formulating his philosophy of healing for a few more years. Dr. Ozar soon realized that whenever he had been going through rehab (for various sports-related injuries), he always found himself driving from offices to gyms and other studios and back and forth again, and thought: “What if I could create a facility where everything could take place under one roof?” The rest is history. The original Beverly Hills Posture & Rehabilitation Institute was founded in 1999 (now known
7. Dr. Martina Fogt, M.P.T.
Co-Founder Martina Fogt is an experienced physical therapist specializing in women’s health at Bebé PT. Martina is a co-founder of Bebé PT, the first and only rehabilitation clinic in Los Angeles to cater exclusively to pre and post-natal mothers. Martina works with pregnant and post-natal women addressing musculoskeletal impairments, pelvic pain, postural dysfunctions, and pelvic floor disorders in addition to treating patients with common orthopedic conditions. She utilizes her strong dance, yoga and Pilates background in her clinical practice on a daily basis. Martina received a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in physical therapy cum Laude both from California State University, Long Beach. During studies in her native Germany, she gained extensive experience in teaching therapeutic group exercise classes. She was also a long time instructor at Golden West College in Fountain Valley, California. In her free time, she loves playing with her dog and cats, enjoys yoga, running and competing in triathlons. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and is active in the women’s health section.
8. Dr. Dana Clark, D.C.
Dr. Dana Clark grew up in a small town outside of St. Louis, Missouri, moving to California at the age of 18 to attend and graduate from Pepperdine University in Malibu with a degree in business administration. After working in the personally unfulfilling corporate environment for several years, he decided to return to school to obtain his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He graduated Cum Laude from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Los Angeles in 2001. Dr. Clark’s decision to become a Chiropractor was motivated by a life long appreciation for a profession that was integral in resolving severe pain he experienced as an adolescent. He finds great personal fulfillment in helping others achieve personal success in ridding their bodies of debilitating pain and in helping them down a path of life long health. Personally, he is a competitive triathlete and 6-time IRONMAN finisher who enjoys surfing, skiing, and scuba diving in his leisure time.
9. Dr. Debra Hagel-Wollman
Debra graduated (Magna Cum Laude) from California State University, Northridge and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science/Physical Therapy. She founded Lifestyle Physical Therapy in 2011 and has been a practicing physical therapist in a wide variety of clinical settings for more than 20 years. In addition to her vast knowledge of orthopedic and sports-related injuries, Debra received her Certification as a Pilates Instructor from Pilates and Beyond Institute in 2002. Her career highlights include that of former Director of Physical Therapy at Granada Hills Community Hospital, as well as, Facility Administrator and Spine Program Coordinator at HealthSouth Rehabilitation. Debra is an active member of both the California Private Practice Special Interest Group and the American Physical Therapy Association. When she is not helping patients get back to their lifestyle of activity, Debra enjoys hiking, cooking and traveling.
10. Dr. Rahim Kanji
Rahim’s journey in the field of rehabilitation started early in childhood. His grandmother suffered from chronic low back pain and would frequently ask him to step on her back or make herbal patches using ingredients such as turmeric and eggs. This piqued his curiosity of how the body functions and heals, driving his educational pursuits to find the most effective approach to heal and maintain the body at its best – free of dis-ease. In college, he began working with patients in cardiac rehabilitation and from there delved into the areas of chiropractic care and physical therapy. He received his Bachelor of Kinesiology at McMaster University and Doctor of Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and Oriental Medicine at Southern California University of Health Sciences. In addition, he was voted best instructor at the Department of Anatomy and Physiology at Southern California University of Health Sciences. He received his Master of Physical Therapy at California State University, Northridge. As a clinician, he specializes in conservative management of the neuromuscular system. He has worked in the field of rehabilitation for 14 years, integrating various approaches to providing the best treatment for his patients.
11. Larry Halem, M.D.
Dr. Larry Halem, M.D., grew up in sunny Thousand Oaks, California. He attended University of California, Riverside, and earned a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences. He then attended University of California, Los Angeles, and achieved his medical degree in 2003. Dr. Halem trained at Harbor-UCLA in Emergency Medicine. After graduating, Dr. Halem began working at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center in the Emergency Room and is currently the Assistant Medical Director of the Emergency Department. He has been a board certified Emergency Medicine physician since 2006. In 2014, Dr. Halem partnered with Dr. Farbenbloom to start the ProHealth Physical Medicine clinic. Personally, his interests include scuba diving, snowboarding, and beach volleyball.
12. Dr. Dawn McCrory
Dr. Dawn McCrory is an expert in the field of physical therapy, movement dysfunctions, and
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