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. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of NEJM Journal Watch or NEJM Group.
Meet Our Current Bloggers 2021-2022
Abdullah was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. His family relocated to Amman, Jordan, when he was in middle school. During his time in Jordan, Abdullah participated in multiple voluntary work initiatives including providing regular health check-ups to underprivileged senior homes and helping organize events for children in refugee camps. He attended medical school at the University of Jordan. After obtaining his medical degree, Abdullah immigrated to the U.S., completed his residency training at Michigan State University (Go Spartans!), and now is serving as Chief Medical Resident. Abdullah plans to pursue an academic career in cardiovascular medicine and is very excited to start his cardiology fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, in July 2022. Abdullah and his significant other, Ateka, share their love for food and are in continuous search of the best fried chicken. Abdullah enjoys watching Manchester United’s games (“stressfully watch” is more accurate given the recent years) and playing in a local soccer league as a part of the MSU Medicine team. TWITTER: @AbdullahAlabcha
Mikita is a Family Medicine Resident at McLaren Oakland in Michigan and currently is the National Resident to the Delegate of Congress for the American Academy of Family Physicians. She was born and raised in New Jersey and has a unique medical background. She completed her basic science in India and clinical rotations at various teaching hospitals across the U.S. with the American University of Antigua. After medical school, she took part in bench science and translational research projects at the University of Alabama Birmingham which led to multiple presentations and publications. Her projects focused on breast milk exosome and their role in necrotizing enterocolitis and how diet affects kidney stones. As a resident, she is passionate about physician wellness, preventive medicine, social determinants of health (such as overcoming food insecurities), and health equity. Being a resident leader at the AAFP has taught her the importance of advocacy. When she is not working, Mikita enjoys hiking with her husband, spending time with her family and friends, fashion, and trying out new recipes.
Madiha is a third year Internal Medicine Chief Resident at Houston Methodist. Though she considers Queens, New York, to be her hometown, she spent a decade in Algiers and France while growing up. Before attending medical school, Madiha had a brief stint in comedy and is fluent enough to land jokes in French, Urdu, and Arabic (though with a lesser success rate). During residency, Madiha created online medical education content as an Academy Fellow for CardioNerds. She will be starting a Cardiology fellowship at Houston Methodist this upcoming academic year and hopes to pursue an academic career in cardiovascular imaging and prevention. Madiha enjoys watching and playing soccer (outdoors or online!), exploring the Houston spicy food scene, and watching true crime documentaries. TWITTER: @MadihaKhanDO
Khalid is a Chief Medical Resident at the University of Connecticut. He grew up in Benha, Egypt, and attended medical school at Ain Shams University in Cairo, where he gained a passion for Hematology/Oncology. He completed a Cancer Biology & Therapeutics graduate program at Harvard Medical School while honing his skills as a research intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He found a new home in the internal medicine residency program at the University of Connecticut. Khalid has special interests in medical education, clinical reasoning, and blood donation, and is excited to start a Hematology/Oncology fellowship at UB/Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in July 2022. Outside of work, Khalid loves spending time with his wife, Noha, exploring Connecticut trails, cooking, and watching and playing soccer. He won’t pass on a conversation about Dostoevsky’s work, the Hamilton musical, Manchester United, Milwaukee Bucks, or the daily wordle. TWITTER: @ShalabyK
Brandon is the current Chief Medical Resident at Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland, OR. He grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Iowa for undergrad, followed by Des Moines University for medical school. He found his passion for Internal Medicine while in medical school and has always enjoyed connecting with patients. His interests include clinical education, and he was part of a group that created a “Residents as Teachers” program during residency. He will begin a Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at the University of Wisconsin in 2022. Brandon’s joy outside of medicine comes from the great outdoors and hanging around Mt. Hood. When he’s not at work, he can often be found hiking, camping, or snowboarding with his partner and their dog, Tilly.
Stephanie is an Internal Medicine Chief Resident at the Cleveland Clinic. Hailing from Connecticut, her road to Cleveland included a BA in French from Wellesley College, neuro-oncology clinical research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Variety is her spice of life. This attracted her to Internal Medicine as a specialty and later inspired her to pursue the diverse position that defines a Chief Resident. During residency, Stephanie earned recognition as one of Northeast Ohio’s 25 Under 35 Movers and Shakers for her leadership role within her institution and on the Society of General Internal Medicine Midwest Board, and for her volunteer work with an organization that distributes feminine hygiene supplies to girls and women in need. She hopes to continue her career with a focus on women’s health. When not bumbling through a first attempt at maintaining a community garden plot, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her loved ones, singing, skiing, traveling (when safe to do so), and her Bernese Mountain Dogs. TWITTER: @sgbraunthal
Holland grew up in the Dallas, Texas, area and went to college at Texas A&M University, where she studied philosophy and biology. Her initial career goal of becoming biologist-ethicist who specialized in the duck-billed platypus deteriorated when she discovered that there was no job market for this career. Her love of complex ethical dilemmas, physiology, and connecting with people drove her to pursue a career in medicine, and she completed medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She finished her training in Internal Medicine at Baylor and is now serving as a Chief Resident, while happily living in Houston with her wife, Jenn, and their dog, Padfoot. She hopes to pursue a Clinical Ethics fellowship next year and, ultimately, work in academic General Internal Medicine and Clinical Ethics. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, running, playing basketball, and visiting the Houston Zoo. TWITTER: @HollandKaplan
Vivek is completing his chief residency in General Surgery at New York University. Growing up in the Boston suburbs, he developed a love for the outdoors, from hiking in the White Mountains to exploring the shores of Cape Cod. From an early age, he enjoyed tinkering with gadgets and discovering how things work. He received his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Harvard University and completed medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. During his surgical residency at NYU, he developed a fitness app for the Apple Watch to track rowing workouts, which is used by more than 1000 users worldwide. After his third year of residency, he took a year off to participate in the Texas Medical Center’s Biodesign Innovation Fellowship, where he went on to cofound a medical device company that is developing a novel neurostimulator device. He is passionate about surgical innovation and endocrine surgery, and he plans to pursue fellowship training in this area. Outside of work, he enjoys sailing, playing guitar, and exploring NYC. TWITTER: @VivekSantMD
Sneha is a Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado. She grew up in India, but here in the U.S., considers herself a native of Chicago, Illinois — a city in which all her sports allegiances lie. A few years after immigrating to Chicago, she also spent time in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for college (Go Marquette!) and medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She has enjoyed her residency at the University of Colorado and is looking forward to being one of the inpatient Chief Residents, as well as the Chief Resident of Wellness. Her career in medicine will be as an academic hospitalist, with a focus on becoming a clinician-educator — a forever and unyielding pursuit. She thanks her parents for their sacrifice in forging her success. Sneha currently is in a relationship with Trevor, who is a classical cellist. She enjoys cooking Indian food and tending to her houseplants. You might also find her wielding a racket on a badminton or tennis court. She is the twice-reigning champion of her residency fantasy football league and hopes to continue winning! Finally, collecting fridge magnets from more than 25 U.S. National Parks shows that nature remains near and dear to Sneha’s heart — a true solace.
I’m Masood Pasha Syed, and I’m currently a Chief Medical Resident at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. I grew up in the middle east and in south India (Bangalore), which helped me imbibe many different cultures. I was gifted with a wonderful family support system, to whom I no doubt owe all my success. I went to medical school to M.S. Ramaiah Medical College and then moved to the U.S. to pursue my dream of academic excellence. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in breast medical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center and then transitioned into residency in Internal Medicine. I was fortunate to be offered a scholarship for the Harvard Medical School Cancer Biology and Therapeutics program, which allowed me to develop wonderful insights into the world of hematology/oncology. Throughout my journey, I have been blessed by meeting amazing and thoughtful people who have been instrumental in shaping my life: I believe firmly in mentoring my residents to help build their future. I met my better half, Bushra Abdul Aleem prior to residency, and she is currently a Chief Resident in Anesthesiology at the University of Massachusetts. I enjoy playing soccer, cooking, and traveling in my spare time. After my residency, I plan to pursue a career in academic hematology/oncology and hopefully to work in thrombosis to figure out why some people have pathological clotting. I also want to continue mentoring and advocating for my peers while serving as a member of the American College of Physicians Resident/Fellow Member Council. My life goal is to address the disparity in care between developed and developing nations. TWITTER: @MasoodPashaSyed
Prarthna currently is an Inpatient Chief Resident at UMMS-Baystate in Springfield, MA. She grew up in Bangalore, India — one of the best cities in the world, according to her! She attended medical school at JJM Medical College in South India, where she met her wonderfully quirky husband, who is currently a Pulmonary Critical Care fellow at Baystate. New England’s fall has charmed them enough for them to consider living here long term. Prarthna enjoys medical humanities, reading, and endlessly being on Twitter. She is also constantly hunting for the best vegetable biryani (always open to recommendations). After her chief resident year, she plans to pursue a career in academic hematology-oncology and continue advocating for her patients through her professional home, the American College of Physicians, where she serves as the Chair of the Resident/Fellow council for the Massachusetts chapter. She is humbled by the disparities across health systems and is committed to bridging this gap in the future. TWITTER: @prarthnavb.
Eric was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where he spent his youth preparing for an audition with his hometown Bulls (that never came to pass). He migrated east to the Big Apple for college at Columbia University, where he studied math and history, and then moved slightly further east to Mount Sinai Hospital for medical school and Internal Medicine residency. He is looking forward to a career as an academic hospitalist and a researcher, with a focus on health policy and healthcare delivery innovation. Eric is the proud father of two beautiful boys: one human, one border collie. When he’s not working on any of the aforementioned endeavors, you might find him plying his green thumb in his (small) urban garden, dabbling on the guitar (mostly nursery rhymes these days), or hiking one of our nation’s majestic national parks (23 and counting).
Allison is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, she is ashamed of all Atlanta sports teams (except Atlanta United). She is a proud graduate of Howard University and Meharry Medical College, two of the most prestigious historically black colleges/universities in the world. After spending 5 years in Nashville getting her master’s degree and MD, Allison returned to Washington, DC, for residency at Medstar Health/Georgetown-Washington Hospital Center Family Medicine Residency Program, where she is currently a chief resident. In her free time, you will catch her spending time with her fiancé, facetiming her twin sister and parents, shopping online, listening to her Spotify playlists, or trying out new natural hairstyles. After residency, Allison plans on pursuing a career in health policy and health media.
Daniel is an anesthesiology resident at Stanford University. During his training, he wondered, “What can we do practically to decrease resident burnout?” And after being voted Chief Resident of Wellness, receiving 2 years of funding, and presenting at national conferences, this question was answered. His goal is simple — to engage all residents with practical and evidenced-based solutions. These can be found in the book he authored, which is titled “Solving Resident Burnout: An Assessment & Plan” and the Solving Resident Burnout podcast that he hosts. He has published in Kevin MD, Medscape, Physician’s Weekly, Medical Economics, American Family Physician, Anesthesia & Analgesia, Manual of Clinical Anesthesiology, Pain Practice, Pain Medicine, and Journal of Graduate Medical Education. TWITTER: @SolvngResBrnout
Frances was born and raised in Canada, and she earned an Honors Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University in Ontario. A serendipitous decision to pursue a health and literacy internship near Varanasi, India, became the starting point for an incredibly meaningful 9 years, working in the field of international health as a community organizer, public health researcher, and now, as a medical professional. She received a Master’s of Public Health from Columbia University and has worked across sub-Saharan Africa and North America. Through her travels, she has found joy in learning with and from diverse, underserved communities and has sought opportunities to advance social justice. She attended Saint Louis University School of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in Massachusetts, where she is now Chief Resident. Currently, she is honing her skills as a clinician educator through the Harvard Macy Institute and evaluating missed opportunities for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) at CHA. Her favorite pastimes include trekking through the alps on the Tour du Mont Blanc and trail running in Cape Town. She will be running the NY marathon this November. She is fortunate to have a supportive and whimsical partner who also shares her love for the field of infectious diseases. TWITTER: @UeFrances or @CHA_IMResidency
Justin was born and raised in Geelong, a city in the southern (less-warm) part of Australia. (Also the home of less-dangerous animals.) After initially studying for a combined degree in chemical engineering and business administration, he switched to a bachelor of biomedical science track and entered Deakin University Medical School in the charter class. He has spent the next 5 years after medical school at Barwon Health University Hospital Geelong, where he is currently a chief medical resident and a first-year advanced trainee in nephrology. When he isn’t answering phone calls about various patients dwindling eGFRs or general dialysis issues at work, you will find Justin doing some sort of extracurricular research or various other hospital-based busywork while listening to classical music (Beethoven, obviously). In his precious little spare time, he plays video games and wishes he had more time to set up a videogame stream with his best friend on Twitch, spends time with his fiancée Tenay, fails to find time to watch his local football team, the Geelong Cats (Australian football, not exactly like the American kind), takes his King Charles Cavalier Spaniel Einstein for a run, and defends his house against the various hostile and poisonous animals that populate Australia and threaten its residents’ wellbeing on a daily basis (or perhaps, it just seems that way).
Cassandra was born and raised in a small town in central Illinois. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk)! She obtained her medical degree from University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and she completed residency at Washington University in Saint Louis. Cassandra and her husband recently welcomed their second son just before the start of her chief resident year. She and “her boys” enjoy traveling with friends and family and playing at the park. After her chief year, she plans to complete a fellowship in gastroenterology; she aspires to have an academic career focused on disparities, access, and prevention.
Scott is from a small town in western Washington called Snohomish. He has since been making his way “out east.” First to Spokane, Washington, for college at Gonzaga University and medical school at a satellite of the University of Washington. Then, the eastward march continued to the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise, where he is one of three chief residents this year. He is hooked on family medicine because of the captivating challenge of caring for individuals of all ages. He will discontinue his eastward migration and stay in the Pacific Northwest to practice broad-spectrum family medicine in a small town close to the mountains, rivers, and lakes that have been his home for 3 decades. Although he considers himself ever an amateur, he nonetheless enjoys a good run, bicycle trip, or climb in the outdoors. Before medical school, he vagabonded in many forms, including overseas travel and a bicycle tour across the continental U.S. He learned to play bass last year because the residency band — the “Post Void Residuals” — needed a bassist. His quirkiness is tolerated by his pharmacist-wife and adored by his dog, Chicha.
Ashley is originally from Houston, Texas, and attended college at Trinity University in San Antonio before venturing east to do HIV/AIDS vaccine research at the Ragon Institute of the Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard. After a few cold winters in Boston, she returned home to sunshine and humidity to earn her MD at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston. She went on to complete her Internal Medicine residency at University of California San Francisco and is a proud alumna of the San Francisco General Primary Care (SFPC) Track. She currently is the inaugural Ambulatory Chief Resident at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and plans to build a career in academic primary care for urban/underserved communities. In her spare time, you can find Ashley lamenting Houston sports teams while actively resisting the Golden State Warriors bandwagon, making Spotify playlists for all occasions, checking out vintage book stores, and biking the flat parts of San Francisco.
Ellen was born just outside Atlanta, Georgia, at the end of her father’s second year of medical school. She moved to Kansas City as a 2-year-old with a cute southern drawl, which has now faded into a Midwestern non-accent and intermittent use of “y’all.” After watching her mother go to medical school when she was a child, Ellen chose to go to the University of Kansas to pursue her own medical degree. There, she met her stellar husband, and the pair have since moved to Stony Brook, New York, to pursue residency training: Urology for him, and internal medicine for her. Ellen was thrilled to be asked to stay on as a Chief Resident after graduation while her husband finishes his residency. She enjoys cooking for others, periodically going to the gym, and watching the occasional primetime comedy TV show. While on Long Island, she sometimes goes to the beach, too, where she has been known to accidentally apply insufficient sunscreen. She plans to integrate palliative care into her career after this last year of soaking up knowledge from her wonderful colleagues and program directors at Stony Brook.
Cassie was born, raised, and educated in Kansas, including earning her Bachelor’s Degree at Pittsburg State University and her Medical Doctorate at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. While interviewing for residency, she knew abandoning those familiar golden plains would be a worthwhile venture when she visited Saint Louis University (SLU). After completing her Internal Medicine Residency in Saint Louis, she was selected to stay on as Chief Resident. Even while living in Missouri, she has stayed close to her Kansas roots. She is frequently caught her rocking KU apparel, sneaking a Jayhawk into every presentation, exploring the city with her Labradoodle, Izzy, on the end of a Crimson and Blue leash and talking about KU basketball to anyone who will listen. When not attempting to save Missouri fans from the dark side, you can find her grooving at a concert with Nick, her boyfriend and fellow lover of live music. Long, sleepless residency shifts never kept her away from a great band as she regulars approximately 15 shows per year. In fact, were she not in medicine, Cassie’s dream profession would be a keyboardist in an Indie Rock band. The only thing holding her back from this profession is her lack of any actual musical talent. Alas, rather than slamming tunes on the keys, she has decided to pursue a future as an Academic Hospitalist. She is looking forward to spending her chief year stealing 1 more year of mentorship from her faculty and honing her teaching skills.
Although David is originally from Westchester County, New York, he now resides in Los Angeles, specifically West Hollywood, and is one of three chief residents at the University of Southern California. After a short stint in public relations out East, he changed careers to medicine and has not looked back. David is obsessed with all things liver while in the hospital, and he has deeply enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to learn and train at USC. David has also settled well into life outside of work; after 7 years out West, he is starting to feel like a Californian, for better or worse. In his spare time, he enjoys movie nights with his neighbors, local drag shows, Thai street food, and power lifting. He is also a huge video game fanatic and competes in the online Overwatch community (with mixed results) and airs his daily frustrations to his fish, James van der Beek.
John was born in Seoul, Korea, and he has been slowly moving East ever since. He grew up in Southern and Northern California, where he received his undergraduate degree in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. GO BEARS! He then completed medical school at Chicago Medical School, where he quickly learned that yellow snow is bad. He completed his internship in Chicago and finally finished his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Miami–Holy Cross Hospital in Florida. John loves to hang out with his family and his friends, who are like family. He would like to use his new-found fame as a blogger to shamelessly humble brag about his sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Phillip Kim, as they spent countless hours and their Ivy League education editing his personal statements and essays: “Look guys, I made it!”
Karmen was born in Wheatridge, Colorado. Although she primarily grew up in Baraboo, Wisconsin, she frequently visited family back in her birth state. An early fascination with the Rocky Mountains and snow sports left a lasting impression. She spent her free time in high school working as a snowboard instructor in Wisconsin and then attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Italian. She later attended medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and eventually returned to Wisconsin where she completed Internal Medicine residency training at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Karmen currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband. Together, they dabble in novice furniture making and are the proud parents of two spirited felines. They enjoy boating and wake boarding in the summer and exploring new snowboarding destinations in the winter. Karmen currently serves as the Chief Resident in Patient safety and Quality Improvement at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. She plans to pursue a career in academic Hospital Medicine.
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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