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Alyssa Harper, MD

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

Hello! My name is Alyssa and I am a Washingtonian born and raised. I grew up in a suburban/rural community about an hour outside of Seattle with my parents and little sisters. Some of my favorite past times included swimming in the Puget Sound, sailing with my grandparents, and going to school (yes, I was and still am a major nerd!). For my bachelor’s degree, I studied neuroscience and biochemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas before returning to the Pacific Northwest to work as a medical scribe for a year. During that time, I had the opportunity to work in a variety of outpatient clinic settings including podiatry, gastroenterology, and rheumatology. These may seem like very different specialties, but my favorite part of all of them was interacting with people and the way a good provider could connect with patients to enhance their experience with the healthcare system.

It took a long time for me to pick a specialty during medical school. The first 2.5-3 years I bounced between every single type of specialty, able to see myself loving parts of each of them and always finding ways to connect with patients (which remained my favorite part of medicine). When I finally took my first psychiatry rotation, a lot of things clicked into place for me; finding a specialty that focused on the patient communication I loved and treating the whole human without always worrying about their precise diagnosis left room for individualization of care that I found lacking in other specialties. After I took more psychiatry rotations, it became clear to me that I had found my place in medicine. My goal is to someday return to my hometown to provide general outpatient psychiatric care, with a focus on collaborative care and helping patients with substance use disorders.

During my interview with Psychiatry Residency Spokane, it became incredibly clear that they place a high value on everything I am hoping to do in my future career. Their focus on work-life balance is also something I feel is very important when training physicians. Some of my favorite things outside of medicine include loving on my 3 dogs, gardening/doing house projects with my husband, and cross-stitching Christmas stockings (a tradition passed down to me from my grandma). The fact that we also get to explore Eastern Washington after living on the west side for so long is also a huge bonus that we can’t wait to take advantage of (there has been mention of snow….our two huskies have no idea how much fun they’re going to have this winter!!).

Brooke Parker, MD

Jocelyn McCornackHometown: Anaconda, MT
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine

I was born and raised in the rural town of Anaconda, Montana with my two younger sisters and parents. My interest in mental health started when I was in high school after taking a psychology course. Because of this interest, I worked in a group home for adults with mental disabilities as a rehabilitation technician during the summer months when I was in high school. I would assist my clients with ADLS, iADLs, and transportation to their appointments. It was after attending the appointments with the psychiatrists that I knew I was interested in pursing a career in medicine. I attended college at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon where I played collegiate softball as I obtained my BS in psychology with the goal of attending medical school. For my gap year, I worked as a scribe in the emergency department and at a family medicine clinic in Vancouver, Washington. I was then accepted and attended the University of Washington – Montana site. Throughout my medical school rotations, I found that any specialty I worked in had psychiatric concerns and I was continually drawn to those patient encounters. There are so many reasons that I wanted to go into psychiatry but the main one has been witnessing the improvements that occur after a patient starts taking medications and working on coping skills.

I have a particular interest in working with the child and adolescent population. I have always enjoyed being around children. After completing an elective rotation in child and adolescent psychiatry in medical school, I felt that pursuing this as a career could be an option for me in the future. I believe that by working with this age group psychiatrists have the unique opportunity to help change or shape a child’s future. I also found that I liked working with the kids and their parents or caregivers.

Outside of medicine, I really enjoy being outside in the mountains: hiking and fly fishing. When at home, I try to find the time to read for fun and getting in a workout.

Spencer Steadman, MD

Amanda SekijimaHometown: Bluffdale, Utah
Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine

I was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in a nearby suburb, Bluffdale. Growing up my major hobbies included playing video games, Magic: the Gathering, and watching horror movies. After living mostly in Bluffdale through high school, I did my undergraduate studies in Logan, UT, and spent two years in Singapore and Malaysia. I was lucky to study medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of the most unique cities in America.

Prior to starting my medical education, I had many opportunities to become familiar with the field of psychiatry. Psychology classes in high school caught my attention and I pursued psychology as my major at Utah State University. My time spent living abroad in Singapore/Malaysia further impressed upon me the importance of robust mental healthcare systems and skilled clinicians within those systems. In the three years preceding my time at Tulane, I worked at several mental healthcare settings including a group home, a telemedicine start-up, and multiple units in a psychiatric hospital.

Some of my professional passions include working with military and young adult populations. I had the opportunity to work with a number of active military members on an inpatient unit and cherish the lessons and skills gained from those patients and my coworkers. At Tulane, I worked with Dr. Ashley Weiss at the Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic-New Orleans to better understand first-episode psychosis. We sought to better understand how patients navigate the healthcare system to know how to help future patients get appropriate care on a quicker timeline.

Providence Sacred Heart offers an exciting combination of robust medical and therapeutic training, all while being located in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. I am excited to learn from, and serve, the members of this community.

Zoe Larson, DO

Pong XiongHometown: Denver, CO
Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hello, my name is Zoe! I have lived in Colorado my entire life and I am excited to explore a new home in Spokane, WA during residency. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado Boulder where I majored in Integrative Physiology and graduated with my medical degree from Rocky Vista University COM in Parker, CO. I am the oldest of four kids and loved growing up in a busy home. I’ve always been active; I grew up running track, playing volleyball competitively, and enjoying all of the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer. I like to ski, mountain bike, and white water raft which is a big reason why I fell in love with the PNW and the close access to the outdoors. I made the move to the Spokane with my Fiancé, Zane, and our golden retriever, Norman. We are excited to explore Spokane over the next four years and make it our new home! I also love traveling; prior to starting residency I spent a month exploring Thailand and Bali. My two other absolute favorite places I have traveled to are Uganda and New Zealand!

Alongside my passion for travel, I’ve found a deep passion for creating better access to medical care abroad. I traveled multiple times to Ecuador and Uganda, working in smaller communities to help create sustainable business projects and provide access to quality healthcare. This led me to my first job after undergrad, working for a non-profit that offers resources and support to low-income, first-time mothers. Through these experiences, I fell in love with serving vulnerable populations and knew that whatever specialty I entered, I wanted a strong emphasis on service. Throughout medical school, I was most drawn to the field of psychiatry, especially after family members struggle with mental health issues. My third year behavioral health clerkship then solidified my career path in psychiatry. I love listening to people’s stories, connecting over shared experiences, and learning from our differences. I continue to be fascinated by the pathology, especially in the acute setting, as well as the large improvement that medications and therapy can make. I can’t wait to continue exploring the different avenues psychiatry has to offer, especially consult liaison and addiction psychiatry.

Not only am I excited to start psychiatry residency, but I am excited to return to Sacred Heart Medical Center after doing a sub-internship during my fourth year. (Fun fact: I spent the month during my Sub-I living in my parent’s sprinter van and loved exploring the surrounding parks, lakes, and mountains.) During my Sub-I, I quickly saw how welcoming and kind the community within the psychiatry residency program is. I really appreciated the approachability of the attendings, the excellent training and academic like feel within a smaller community program, and fell in love with the diverse patient population that SHMC serves. I’m happy to be completing my residency training at such a great program and grow personally and professionally over the next four years!

Mohammad Ali Alkheder, MD

Pong Xiong​Hometown: Damascus, Syria
Medical School: Damascus University

Mohammad Ali was born and raised in the ancient city of Damascus, Syria, where he roamed its streets on his bike whenever he had the chance. After graduating from medical school he journeyed to the US where he completed his internal medicine residency. It was during this time he discovered his passion for psychiatry. He is thrilled to begin his next journey learning and practicing psychiatry in the Pacific North West. He looks forward to participating in community outreach and making a positive impact on the lives of others. During his free time, he enjoys sightseeing, cycling, hiking, discovering new cuisine, and local coffee shops. He also loves reading, listening to piano and electronic music, and making new friends.