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Peter Loeffler, MD

Peter LoefflerHometown: Medical Lake, WA
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine

Hello! My name is Peter and I’ve called Washington home since age ten when we moved to Medical Lake from Boston. I did both undergrad and medical school at the University of Washington. Having lived all around Washington, I’ve picked up hobbies that span the state. Here on the Eastside, I enjoy spending time on our many lakes and rivers, kayaking, bird hunting, and cycling. I also make regular trips to the coast to indulge in my seaside hobbies which include scuba diving, spear fishing, surfing, and catching squid, crab, and clams.

Prior to medical school I worked as a CNA in memory care, volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association, and worked in Parkinson’s Disease research. My primary interest was in geriatrics and dementia, however, in medical school several experiences drew my attention towards psychiatry. It began in Spokane at our student run free clinics. Later I had the opportunity to work for LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) in Seattle where we provided case-management and housing to justice-involved individuals. In Olympia, I volunteered at a low barrier suboxone clinic. Finally, at a rural county jail, I had the privilege of helping start a grant-funded medication assisted treatment / re-entry program for people diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder.

Through these experiences, I met people dealing with severe mental illness whose suffering was only compounded as they went on to struggle with addiction, homelessness, and incarceration. My passion for psychiatry grew every step along the way. It was these experiences that brought Psychiatry Residency Spokane (PRS) to the top of my rank list.

During my interview, I encountered a dedication to the underserved that was apparent as I met the staff and residents, and as I learned about the mission of PRS’s clinics, hospital, and culture. I saw a program that was enthusiastically receptive to its residents. Finally, I recognized a respect for work-life balance which I believe is crucial for good patient care, preventing burnout, and allowing for the types of community projects that I had found to be so meaningful in medical school.

Jocelyn McCornack, MD

Jocelyn McCornackHometown: Moses Lake, WA
Medical School: University of Washington

I have spent my life moving back and forth between Eastern Washington and Western Washington. I love living in a state close to mountains, islands, beaches, lakes, rainforests, and deserts. Washington has been home to my family for four generations and as a result, I have enjoyed many deep and lasting relationships.

Throughout high school, undergrad, and medical school, I have had diverse experiences that have shaped me and allow me to connect with people from all walks of life. I’ve worked in restaurants, coffee shops, local pools, home decor boutiques, kitchen shops, cheese markets, organic farms, rheumatology clinics, emergency departments, and big corporations. I’ve lived abroad and studied theology in England, Austria and Spain. I attended Central Washington University where I studied biology and conducted independent research in an infectious disease lab. I then attended Medical school at the University of Washington in Spokane and was a part of the Targeted Rural Underserved Track and was involved in service projects that aimed to support the underserved both locally and abroad.

I was drawn to psychiatry because I am fascinated by people and their stories and I embrace the messiness of life. I’m interested in aligning with patients and families as they attempt to cope and find meaning in the midst of difficult circumstances and diagnoses. Along my journey I have met so many inspiring teachers, attendings, and fellow students. I’m so grateful to continue my training in Spokane with such caring, intelligent, and welcoming people in a city where I feel a strong sense of belonging.

Amanda Sekijima, MD

Amanda SekijimaHometown: Woodinville, WA
Medical School: University of Washington

Amanda (she/her) was born and raised in Woodinville, WA. She grew up playing club soccer, originally accepting a college soccer scholarship, but then decided to shift her focus to pursuing her neurobiology degree. During college she developed a passion for languages and culture, having opportunities to work in a medical clinic in Lima, Peru and studying German abroad in Vienna, Austria. Since her first Yoga class in Vienna she was hooked, eventually earning her Yoga Teacher Certification after college and taught multiple styles of Yoga and meditation. As an avid Crossfitter, she is proud of her deadlift personal record of 106.5 kg (235 lbs) and enjoyed sharing her enthusiasm for the sport as a coach for first time Crossfitters (including her mom) before medical school. Prior to attending medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine - Seattle, she also conducted neuroscience research, worked as an emergency department/gastroenterology medical scribe, and Certified Nursing Assistant in an assisted living facility and busy med-surg unit. On her rotations, Amanda quickly realized how awesome Psychiatry is because it not only allows one to practice to the fullest extent of their medical degree (by ruling in or out medical diseases that could be contributing to or manifesting as psychiatric illness, and conducting the most fascinating physical exams on catatonic patients), but the specialty uniquely emphasizes the individuality and culture each patient brings to the psychiatric encounter. Each patient is unique and thus cannot be treated algorithmically – Psychiatry is always exciting!

Amanda was impressed with the enthusiastic faculty, staff, and residents on her interview day and excited about the ample opportunities PRS offers to support clinically diverse and vulnerable populations, and treat a variety of psychopathologies. She is excited to train at a program that aligns with her personal values of reducing the stigma against mental illness, increasing access to psychiatric services, and advocacy. Her psychiatry interests include Asian mental health, psychosis, inpatient, consultation-liaison, forensic, and cultural psychiatry. Outside the hospital, she looks forward to exploring all the outdoor activities Spokane has to offer, enjoying the light traffic, and searching for the best places in town to get donuts and boba.

Pong Xiong, MD

Pong XiongHometown: Merced, CA
Medical School: University of California, Davis

I was born and raised in Merced, California with 8 sisters to Hmong immigrant parents, who found refuge in the United States after escaping persecution during the Vietnam War. My interest in medicine began shortly after the passing of my brother, my family’s negative experience with the healthcare system, and the lack of cultural humility at that time. I attended the University of California, Davis where I received my bachelor of science in cell biology with a minor in comparative literature. During my undergraduate studies, I co-created a student-run clinic with medical students from UC Davis School of Medicine to provide free and culturally appropriate medical care for the Hmong community of Sacramento, CA. After graduating, I completed a post-baccalaureate program at the University of California, San Francisco and worked as a researcher at the UCSF Reproductive Center during my gap year. I returned to my alma mater to pursue medical school and volunteered as a medical student at Clinica Tepati to provide free medical services to the Latinx community. My initial interests in medicine were centered primarily around surgery, however, I naturally became attached to psychiatry after learning more about adverse childhood experiences and its impact on the psychosocial issues of the pediatric population. Outside of medicine, I love to lay on my bed and binge on horror movies, watch figure skating, listen to indie pop, and overwater my house plants.