Specialties & Topics
- Arthritis/Rheumatic Disease
- Breast Cancer
- GERD/Peptic Ulcers
About This Blog
“Insights on Residency Training,” launched in October 2010, examines a range of clinical issues from the resident’s point of view. The blog will frequently cite and comment on stories from NEJM Journal Watch, but will also draw on other sources, including the bloggers’ own observations and experience. We hope that it’ll offer you, our readers, a chance to weigh in as well.
Meet Our Current Bloggers
Amanda was born and raised on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa. She received her undergraduate degree in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development from the University of Minnesota and then completed Medical School at the University of Minnesota. After medical school, she and her husband (a future rheumatologist) matched together for their Internal Medicine residencies at the University of Utah. They both love spending time in the mountains, and Amanda enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, and traveling. After completion of her Chief Medical Residency at the University of Utah Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Hospital, she plans on becoming an academic hospitalist.
Joe was born in Danville, Pennsylvania, while his father was an Ophthalmology resident at Geisinger Medical Center. He grew up and spent most of his time in Marietta, Ohio. Joe returned to central Pennsylvania to complete his undergraduate degree with a bachelor of arts in biology and philosophy at Bucknell University. He completed medical school in the tropical paradise of Grenada, West Indies, at St. George’s University. He recently completed his Internal Medicine residency at his birthplace, Geisinger Medical Center, and will continue for another year as Internal Medicine Chief Resident. He married his beautiful wife Surya in 2013 — she is an Obstetrics and Gynecology 3rd-year resident at Geisinger. He plans to pursue an Infectious Diseases fellowship after his chief resident year, focusing on the clinician–educator track. His hobbies include traveling to exotic places with his wife, photography, and live music.
April is the combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Chief Resident at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Don’t be fooled though — she cheers exclusively for Duke in all sporting events, particularly basketball. Loudly. But she has found UNC to be a great place to work, learn, and grow for the past 8 years. April is outgoing (occasionally overly chatty, by her own admission) and tries to laugh to the point of tearing up at least once a day. She collects coozies (the little jackets you put on soda cans) and keeps one in her white coat and one in her purse, because she never knows when she’ll have a cold beverage emergency. Her idea of a good time is grilling veggies on her deck while playing cornhole with friends and watching her dog, Stephen T. Colbert (aka Colby) chase after bean bags. She turned 30 in 2016 — the only reason she didn’t have a meltdown is because her mom somehow conjured birthday tickets to Hamilton, the musical. (April’s review of Hamilton: It was even better than I’d hoped; I’m not great at singing or dancing, and especially not at the two together, so I probably wouldn’t make it in a musical career.) Instead, she plans to pursue Pediatric Critical Care after her chief year. She loves the complex physiology of critical care, but she loves her patients even more. Their resiliency reminds her, on a daily basis, that anything is possible.
Jamie was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After receiving a BA in Chemistry from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, Jamie worked as a research assistant at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she developed her passion for clinical research and a devotion to cancer care. Jamie attended medical school at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City and completed her internal medicine residency at the Icahn School of Medicine: Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West. Jamie’s academic interests include solid tumor oncology, palliative care, educational reform, and resilience. She resides in Brooklyn with her wife, an educator who focuses on students with special needs. In her free time, Jamie enjoys running, music and literature, bold coffee, travel, mountains, sailing, catching up on the New York Times and National Public Radio, and a good slice of pizza! You can follow her on Twitter @DrJamieRiches
Kashif’s inspiration in life comes from his family members who are educators, engineers, and physicians settled across England, the United States, Canada, and Pakistan. After attending the Aga Khan University Medical College in the coastal city of Karachi, he moved to Houston to become an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He decided to pursue hospital medicine at a health-underserved area in Central Florida and became a Chief Resident at the new Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. He is a Harry Potter fan who grew up reading Jane Austin and Emily Bronte. He played chess and badminton avidly as extra-curricular activities in school. He enjoys listening to Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Chopin, Beethoven, and Bach. He is a car enthusiast and loves road trips to nearby beaches in sunny Florida. Some of his interests include history, museums, art galleries, live theater, short films, historic cities, documentaries, charity events, and current affairs. His future plans include a rheumatology fellowship, a career in academic medicine, and charity and volunteer work.
Briana is a proud southern girl! She was raised in the suburbs of Atlanta before heading to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for both college and medical school. She is a hardcore Falcons football and Tar Heel basketball fan! After medical school, she decided to take a chance on the northeast and head to Philadelphia. Briana joined the University of Pennsylvania Internal Medicine program where she is now serving as chief resident. When not at work, Briana enjoys baking, reading a good book, and catching a yoga class. Her immediate family includes her loving parents in Atlanta and her younger brother in Amsterdam. Briana plans to pursue a career in primary care with a special interest in medical education and community health outreach programming.
Raktim was born and raised in Kolkata, the capital of erstwhile Colonial India. After finishing his medical school from University of Kolkata, he became a resident in Medical Pharmacology at Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi, India. Because of his keen interest in experimental therapeutics and early-phase clinical trials, Raktim was selected for a clinical research fellowship at Outcomes Research, Cleveland Clinic, one of the largest anesthesia and pain related research centers in the world, and he came to the U.S. to chase his “American dream.” Raktim is now a chief resident at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, in Cleveland, Ohio, and plans a career as a physician-researcher in cancer drug research. He serves as a reviewer and editorial board member of several pharmacology and internal medicine journals. Raktim is married to his high school girlfriend, who is a budding anesthesiologist. Their beloved only daughter, Rahi, was born in 2014.
“In west Philadelphia, born and raised …” — OK, not really, but very close! Andrew is a true thoroughbred Philadelphian and lived in the suburbs all through high school. His parents were chemists at Merck (his dad worked on enalapril), and his brother went to Penn for computer science, although he eventually went into stock trading. After thoroughly enjoying cheesesteaks and pretzels, Andrew moved to State College for undergrad at Penn State, only to return to Philly for medical school at Jefferson Medical College (now known as Sidney Kimmel Medical College). He has been in Atlanta for the past 3 years, enjoying his time at Emory’s Internal Medicine/Primary Care residency program, and got married to his beautiful wife in 2014. Andrew’s hobbies include all things basketball (go Sixers!), and he is an avid ultimate Frisbee player, having participated in many competitions during high school and early college. He also participates in service trips and has gone to east Asia, Thailand, and New Orleans to help in those communities, and he enjoys traveling in general.
Greg is a current third-year resident and co-chief at the University of Michigan Family Medicine Residency Program. He was born and raised in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Other places he has called home include Ann Arbor, where he lived for undergrad and residency training; rural Japan, where he served as an English teacher; and Washington, DC, where he attended medical school at Georgetown University. Some of his academic interests include medical education, experiential writing, and integrative medicine research. Outside of medicine, he enjoys playing and watching sports, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends.
Ahmad Yousaf was born and raised in New Jersey. He studied Biomedical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and then graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He stayed at Rutgers to complete a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and has elected to stay 1 more year to be the Ambulatory Chief of Internal Medicine. His major life accomplishments include marrying a beautiful orthodontist who provides him with free dental care and having a rambunctious 1-year-old daughter who occupies most of their free time. He plans on staying within academic primary care or hospitalist medicine. He enjoys spoken word poetry, sports, and teaching.
Nicole grew up in London, Ontario, Canada. After receiving her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, she returned to London to complete her MD at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. She remained at Western University for her training in Internal Medicine and is currently one of the Chief Medical Residents at University Hospital. Nicole is interested in medical education, particularly in curriculum development and transitions through medical training. She plans on applying for a fellowship in General Internal Medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching dance, taking cooking classes, and spending time with her friends and family.
Priya was born in the U.K. and grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and Bangalore, India. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Ohio State University with a major in molecular genetics. After a brief stint working with gene therapy at the Columbus Children’s Research Institute and dabbling in business consulting, she quickly realized that viral vectors and taking Corporate America by storm were not her primary calling. She departed to sunnier pastures and completed her medical training at Kasturba Medical College International Center in Manipal, India. Unable to resist the research bug for long, she went to Johns Hopkins to study the effects of O2 regulation on angiogenesis. Priya joined the Rutgers NJMS internal medicine residency program in 2011, and she currently serves as chief resident. On any given day, she is equally likely to be found in the lab evaluating the response of cardiac myocytes to oxidative stress or chatting with residents and patients about all things cardiology. She plans to pursue a career in academic cardiology. Her interests outside of medicine are running, European soccer, and culinary adventures.
Paul has spent all his life in the Upper Midwest. After being raised in the suburbs of Chicago, he ventured north to Wisconsin to attend Marquette University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. He subsequently earned his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He completed his training in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago where he now serves as a chief resident. Paul has an interest in medical education and particularly enjoys teaching bedside communication and examination skills. After his chief year, he intends to pursue a career as a clinician-educator in general Internal Medicine. For leisure, Paul spends his time with his wife and beloved daughter. In his free time, he enjoys writing music, bicycling, and reading newspapers and magazines.
Akhil was born in the Chicago suburbs. After attending high school at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, he majored in Biological Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Akhil then returned to Chicago to attend medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He pursued a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center between his third and fourth years of medical school. His interest in research, academic medicine, and strong clinical training led him to pursue Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Chicago where he currently serves as a chief resident. Akhil plans to pursue a career in academic Cardiology. Outside of medicine, Akhil is interested in Chicago sports (especially the Bears and Blackhawks), international affairs, social media, photography, and traveling.
Jonathan is a native Minnesotan, raised in Rochester, who grew up surrounded by the medical community. He studied Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. He recently completed residency training at the University of Colorado Denver, where he is currently serving as one of the Chief Medical Residents in Internal Medicine. His academic interests include interventional cardiology, structural heart disease, and biotechnology. He plans to enroll in a Cardiovascular Disease fellowship program immediately after his chief resident year. Jonathan enjoys travel, photography, hiking, and cycling in the summer and is a fervent skier in the winter.
Dr. Astik grew up in Warrensburg, Missouri, an hour east of Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Arts/MD in a 6-year combined program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Astik was an Internal Medicine resident at UMKC from June 2008 to July 2011 and currently is completing an extra year as a Chief Resident. She is planning to apply for a Gastroenterology fellowship in 2012. Dr. Astik is an avid tennis player and has been playing competitively since childhood; she loves to meet and talk with new people.
A Kansas Citian at heart, Dr. Zook completed medical school and her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she is currently completing an extra year as a Chief Resident in Internal Medicine. Dr. Zook plans on working as an Internist in the Kansas City area. When she’s not in the hospital, she enjoys spending time with her husband and family; Dr. Zook loves traveling, the outdoors, and animals.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Bratton received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology-Movement Science at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. While at TCU, Dr. Bratton was a 4-year letter winner on the TCU Horned Frog Division I baseball team. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Bratton completed his Family Medicine residency and served as Chief Resident at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. He currently is a Fellow in Sports Medicine at JPS.
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