Desta Ellis

Desta Ellis

Desta Ellis, MD

PGY3 - Resident Physician

Medical School
Latin American School of Medicine, Havana, Cuba    

Long Beach, CA  

Why did you choose Family Medicine?
I chose Family Medicine because I am all about the whole person and patient centered care.  I love being an educator and promoter of health. I enjoy the continuity of care and building long lasting relationships with patients and their families.  

Why Kaweah Delta?
The Central Valley is one of the most medically underserved communities in California. I wanted to be part of a new and growing residency program  making a difference, and working in a community were physicians are needed the most.  

Favorite places to eat around town

Fugazzis, Azul Mexican Grill  

During my time in Cuba, I became fluent in Spanish and made lifelong friendships with other students from all over South America, Africa and the Caribbean!  I enjoy traveling abroad, watching sports, and spending time with my husband, family and friends.   

Tell us something interesting about yourself
I was raised in the culturally diverse city of Long Beach in southern California and grew up in a family deeply rooted in community service and outreach. I witnessed first-hand the socioeconomic disadvantages inner city youth faced in the community.  I wanted to make a difference through education and become an  urban middle school science teacher.  During my undergraduate studies at Hampton University, I became intrigued with the medical sciences and realized my greater calling to medicine. I recognized early on, the need for more culturally diverse doctors in medicine. After receiving my B.S. in Biology, I participated in the Medical Minority Education Program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and later accepted a full scholarship to the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba. During my studies in Cuba, in addition to becoming fluent in Spanish, I gained a deeper appreciation and awareness of the need for cultural competency and sensitivity in the medical workforce. After obtaining my medical degree, I returned to California and participated in the Pre Residency International Medical Graduate Program at UCLA. I am happy to continue my medical training here at Kaweah Delta Family Medicine Program.