Meet Our Physicians
Faculty members at Northridge Hospital work as a team to ensure that residents receive the educational experiences necessary in preparing them for their futures. In addition to the faculty listed here, residents are mentored by an exceptional team of specialists who volunteer their time in the hospital and in their offices.
Pamela M. Davis, M.D., FAAFP, Program Director(Alumni)
Dr. Davis joined the Family Medicine Residency Program in 1982 following her graduation from UCLA School of Medicine. She was awarded the Outstanding Resident Award upon graduation from residency and continued her dedication to medical education as faculty and through her work with visiting medical students. She worked as faculty, and associate director, before taking on the role of Program Director in 2001. She was twice awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award by the residents.
Dr. Davis serves as a consultant to the Medical Board of California. Dr. Davis held leadership roles in the CAFP Resident and UCLA Medical Student Committees. She has a firm commitment to the underserved patients of the community. She sees her patients in the Family Practice Center alongside the residents. Dr. Davis’s husband, Dr. Carl Jonokuchi, is also a graduate of our program and has a private practice in Newbury Park. They have two sons, Jeffrey and Daniel.
Mark Amico, MD, MPH, FACP, Associate Program Director
Dr. Amico has been the Associate Director for the Residency program since 2001 and the medical director for the Residency’s inpatient Family Medicine service since 1991. After graduating from Georgetown University Medical School, he completed the Internal Medicine Residency at Cedars-Sinai. Following a year as chief medical resident, Dr. Amico entered a fellowship in Health Services research and earned a Master's in Public Health at Rand/UCLA. His research interests are in access to medical care and resident physician involvement in the provision of medical care. He has been honored with Excellence in Teaching awards by the residents three separate years.
Besides actively teaching residents and medical students inpatient care, Dr. Amico cares for his outpatients with the residents in the family medicine center. He often precepts medical students in the Family Medicine Center. He is active on many Northridge Hospital medical staff committees, previously serving as Chief of the Department of Medicine. His whole family enjoys playing tennis together and he is always trying to improve his golf game.
Joni Zapata, M.D., Assistant Program Director
Originally from the Midwest, Dr. Zapata trained at the University of Iowa. She has practiced in several different types of private practice models and coordinates the annual senior practice management workshop series every fall. Prior to becoming the assistant residency director at Northridge in 2001, she taught in a family medicine residency program in the Chicago area for ten years.
She loves teaching and practicing maternal-child health and office procedures. She spends every available leisure moment exploring the great outdoors, both in the nearby southern sierras and in other corners of the world.
Kathy Cairo, M.D. (Alumni)
Dr. Cairo graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in French and was a technical writer for several years before going to medical school at UCLA. She completed her residency at Northridge Family Medicine Residency then joined us as a member of our faculty. Dr. Cairo’s interests include geriatrics and community outreach. She does nursing home visits, home visits, and deliveries with the residents. She helps coordinate the Community Medicine rotation which includes Geriatrics.
She enjoys traveling and making Halloween costumes for her nephews and nieces.
Catherine Cho, M.D.
Dr. Cho is a board-certified pediatrician and serves as the Pediatric Coordinator for the residency program. She completed her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, then attended medical school on the east coast at New York Medical College where she received a combined degree of MD, MPH.
She was happy to come back to California for her residency program at USC and work with the underserved population of Los Angeles County.
Joel Crohn, Ph.D.
Dr. Crohn coordinates our behavioral curriculum. He is the author of two books on cross-cultural and religious issues in marriage. His early experiences as an inner city school teacher and community organizer have informed his involvement in helping develop our new community medicine rotation. His primary focus in the residency is teaching and consulting with our residents on issues of motivational interviewing, diagnosing psychiatric disorders, patient compliance and effective health education.
He also works with residents to assist them in developing research and quality improvement projects and also supervises our postdoctoral psychology fellow who treats our clinic patients. When he’s not at Northridge, he enjoys hiking, travel, and spending time with friends and family. He met his wife in 1980 when she was a 2nd year medical student at UCSF, so he has a long personal as well as professional history of practicing his communication and conflict resolution skills with physicians.
Michael Damavandi, D.O.
Dr. Damavandi completed his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at UC-Irvine. After working in the Engineering field for a few years, he decided to change his career and go into medicine. He graduated from Midwestern University, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He is board certified by American Board of Internal Medicine. Since residency he decided to stay in Southern California and continue as a hospitalist. He joined Northridge Family Medicine Residency in 2009 where he enjoys working with our resident doctors in the inpatient setting. When he is not in the hospital working he enjoys martial arts.
Luis Esparza, M.D.
Dr. Esparza is a recent faculty member and former chief resident of Northridge Family Medicine. As part of our Inpatient Medicine team he enjoys teaching and working with residents. He obtained his medical degree from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, and attended New York Medical College’s Fifth Pathway program.
He received his BS in Kinesiology from California State University of Northridge and is interested in Sports Medicine. He enjoys spending time with family and sports like soccer, golf and tennis.
Samuel Feizi, M.D
Dr. Feizi joined Family Medicine Residency Program in 2009. He graduated from Emory University Medical School, and then completed his residency in Internal Medicine and his fellowship in Nephrology at UCLA / West LA VA Medical Center. He is currently a hospitalist attending in our program.