Resident Spotlight

The Graduate Medical Education (GME) program at Valley Hospital is proud of its many residents and fellows. Below, we spotlight a resident in our Family Medicine Residency Program who is pursuing a unique specialty to help patients who are suffering from the same condition that afflicts him.

Monica Makar, DO

Meet Valley Hospital Graduate Medical Education (GME) Resident, Monica Makar!

From Chicago to Boston to Missouri — and now Las Vegas

In the bustling streets of Chicago, amidst the vibrant tapestry of urban life, Monica Makar embarked on a journey that would sculpt her into an emblem of resilience, compassion, and unwavering determination. Born and raised in the heart of Illinois with two older brothers, Monica's upbringing laid the foundation for the remarkable odyssey that was to unfold.

From the outset, Monica exhibited an exceptional zeal for learning and a profound empathy for those around her. Her insatiable thirst for knowledge led her to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she distinguished herself by graduating with a bachelor's degree in Psychology in just three years. It was here that her passion for understanding the intricacies of the human mind and spirit began to blossom.

Following her undergraduate studies, Monica's journey took her eastward to Boston, Massachusetts, where she dedicated a year of her life to serving as a tutor with AmeriCorps at Match Community Day School. This experience not only fortified her commitment to education but also ignited within her a deep-seated desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.

But Monica's path was not without its trials. A move to Kirksville, Missouri, marked the next chapter in her story as she embarked on the rigorous journey of medical school at A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Alongside her oldest brother, Peter, Monica delved into the demanding world of medical education, poised to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a physician.

However, fate had its own plans. In a twist of irony, Monica found herself grappling with appendicitis during the very first week of medical school, requiring an emergent appendectomy. Undeterred by this setback, she persevered, albeit facing the challenge of repeating her first year. Monica pressed forward with unwavering resolve and would successfully complete the year, only this time with her other older brother, Andrew alongside her.

Amidst the rigors of medical education, Monica found her soulmate, who was a dental student at the time, and their bond blossomed into a union of marriage at the onset of her third year of medical school. Together, they weathered the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, navigating its tumultuous waves as Monica pursued her passion for general surgery.

Yet, despite her valiant efforts, Monica's path took an unexpected turn when she did not match into general surgery, a setback that could have shattered lesser spirits. Undeterred, she seized the opportunity to soak into Internal Medicine at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas, a testament to her resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

Monica's journey through residency illuminated her path toward Internal Medicine, where she discovered a profound passion for patient care and the intricate dynamics of medical relationships. Through the continuity of care, Monica found herself deeply invested in the holistic well-being of her patients, forging meaningful connections that transcended the confines of the hospital walls. Her interactions with the nursing staff became a cornerstone of her practice, as she recognized the invaluable collaboration and mutual respect that underpinned effective patient care.

It was amidst the challenges posed by complex patients that Monica thrived, drawing upon her innate resilience and unwavering dedication to navigate each case with precision and compassion. Guided by studious mentors who epitomized the art of medicine, Monica's journey in Internal Medicine became a testament to the transformative power of empathy, collaboration and lifelong learning.

As Monica embarked on her residency journey, life bestowed upon her its most precious gift—a new life, as she discovered she was pregnant midway through her intern year. Undaunted by the challenges of balancing motherhood with the demands of residency, Monica embraced this new chapter with grace and fortitude.

Throughout her residency, Monica's unwavering dedication and exemplary leadership earned her the esteemed Certificate of Appreciation, a testament to her commitment to physician leadership, respect for diversity, promotion of safety, initiative and dependability. Rising to the pinnacle of her residency as Chief Resident in her third year, Monica's journey stands as a testament to the power of resilience, compassion and unwavering determination.

Taking a step toward a brighter future for medicine 

As Monica Makar concludes her residency in internal medicine, she stands on the brink of an exciting new chapter in her medical journey. With unwavering enthusiasm, she eagerly anticipates the commencement of her rheumatology fellowship at UNLV. Armed with dedication, knowledge and a passion for providing exceptional patient care, Monica is poised to make significant contributions to the field of rheumatology. As she embarks on this next phase of her career, her commitment to excellence shines brightly, promising a future filled with remarkable achievements and meaningful impact in the realm of healthcare.

Monica Makar's story is not just one of triumph over adversity but a testament to the indomitable spirit that resides within each of us—a reminder that with unwavering determination and a heart filled with compassion, no obstacle is insurmountable. As she continues to inspire those around her with her unwavering resolve and boundless compassion, Monica Makar stands as a beacon of hope and resilience, illuminating the path for others to follow in her footsteps.

Eli Schneck, MD

Eli Schneck, MDWhen Eli Schneck, MD, PGY-3 Family Medicine Resident, was in medical school at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine, he fell in love with family medicine while volunteering at the New Life Volunteering Society’s free clinic in the Rodger’s Park neighborhood of Chicago. His superhero growing up was his grandfather, Joseph Viglione, MD, who was a small-town family medicine doctor who cared for the community of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. His grandfather would accept anything from a warm handshake to a bushel of peaches as payment for his services when his patients could not afford to pay their bills.

Dr. Schneck started his family medicine training with the plan to practice full-spectrum family medicine and provide pediatric, adult and obstetrical services to patients as his grandfather did half a century ago. However, during his time at Valley Hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Program, he developed a passion for treating patients with complex headache disorders and, in his last year, decided to pursue a fellowship in headache medicine.

A career in headache medicine

When he tells others that he is planning on pursuing a headache fellowship, one of the first things Dr. Schneck often hears is, “I did not know that was a specialty of medicine.” Dr. Schneck first discovered headache medicine as a specialty of medicine the way most people learn about doctors as patients. He has migraine headaches himself and uses the insight he has as a person who receives medical care to help his patients who have complex medical conditions that require both lifestyle modification and medications. During his time at Valley Hospital, he has seen firsthand that there is a need for doctors who understand complex headache disorders, and he looks forward to being able to further his education so he can better serve this unique population of patients.

This past fall, Dr. Schneck received a scholarship to attend the American Headache Society’s Resident Education Program, which provides residents the opportunity to develop a foundation in headache medicine with the goal of inspiring them to pursue a career in headache medicine. It was there that he solidified his plan to pursue a headache fellowship after meeting many inspiring faculty mentors. Following this experience, Dr. Schneck attended the American Headache Society’s Scottsdale Headache Symposium. He started research in headache medicine that he will be presenting at the upcoming Nevada Academy of Family Physicians Winter Meeting in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

In his free time

Outside of his residency training, Dr. Schneck runs the non-profit foundation Eli MD Advising, where he provides free advice, tutoring and mentoring to pre-medical and medical students. When he is not working, he enjoys taking advantage of the abundant outdoor activities available near Las Vegas. Dr. Schneck is an avid landscape photographer and, last winter, had the unique opportunity to photograph Red Rock Canyon after it snowed.

Future plans

Dr. Schneck is grateful for the mentorship he has received from Dr. Matthew Martin (Family Medicine Residency Program Director) and Dr. Bradley Havins (Family Medicine Residency Associate Program Director), who have been incredible and instrumental in mentoring his passion for caring for patients with complex headache disorders. In the future, Dr. Schneck hopes to combine his love for family medicine with his passion for headache medicine by caring for pediatric, pregnant and adult patients with complex headache disorders.