Current Residents


Maya Modzelewski , M.D. (PGY4) Dr. Maya Modzelewski

  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: The gym, the pool, SPoT Coffee, my bed, Trata & Good Luck Resturants, Finger Lakes Wineries, Sinbad's, Tap & Mallot, & Tandoor.
  • Medical / Research Interests: Pain Medicine, Palliative Care, Geriatrics, concussions/ blast injuries, & MSK.
  • Personal Interests: Traveling, swimming, outrigger canoe paddling, kayaking, SUP, scuba diving/ snorkeling, photography, tennis, hiking, and cross-country sking.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? Researching PM&R programs preparing for application to residency.
  • Thoughts about the residency: It keeps you very busy; but it is filled with a great group of residents, attendings, and staff, all while still allowing you to enjoy what Rochester has to offer.
  • Why Rochester? Very friendly people, small community feel of a big teaching hospital.


Denise Norton, M.D. (PGY4)

  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: Sinbad's, SPoT CoffeeDr. Denise Norton
  • Medical / Research Interests: Still thinking this through, but I am interested in muscle memory and genetics of injuries.
  • Personal Interests: Health/fitness, any outdoor activity, soccer, cycling, music, family and food!
  • Why did you choose PM&R? I love the functional aspect of medicine.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? Through FRIEDA when I was doing research about programs.
  • Thoughts about the residency: Residency is an eye-opening, opportunity-filled, lifestyle I did not understand until I was here. It makes you realize that upon graduation that all things are possible.
  • Why Rochester? Clearly the weather!

Claudia Ramirez, M.D. (PGY4)Ramirez

  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: Java's, SPoT Coffee, Tapas, Salena's, India House and Biaggi
  • Medical / Research Interests: Trauma, fractures, spine injuries
  • Personal Interests: Medical missions, education, mentoring and volunteering
  • Why did you choose PM&R? Love the focus on function!
  • How did you hear about the residency program? ERAS
  • Thoughts about the residency: Building of general medical knowledge during intern year, followed by three years of PM&R
  • Why Rochester? Rochester has beautiful summers with great places to go bike riding, hiking, running, and great indoor places to discover the rest of the year.


Dan Amos, M.D. (PGY3)



  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: Rose's Cantina, World Gym, and Wegmans
  • Medical/ Research Interests: TBI's in Veterans.
  • Personal Interests: Bullfighting, Shark diving, Mountain climbing, traveling, Muay Thai, Tough Muddering, trying to get on Survivor, and bacon, of course.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? It was recommended from a former classmate already in the program.
  • Thoughts about the residency: I enjoy the teaching and 1:1 time with the attendings.
  • Why Rochester? There is an abundance of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities, and the affordable cost of living.

David Essaff, D.O. (PGY3) Essaff

  • Favorite Hangouts: Good Luck Restaurant and Tap & Mallet.
  • Medical/ Research Interests: Pain, MSK, & pediatrics.
  • Personal Interests: Cooking and entertaining.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? AOCPMR Medical Students Conference.
  • Thoughts about the residency: Internal medicine program at URMC is top notch - It provides a solid foundation for inpatient rehab services.
  • Why did you choose PM&R? Great mix of general medicine and MSK/ Neurology. Many subspecialty options. Good quality of life.


Kasia Iwan, M.D. (PGY3)



  • Favorite Hangouts: Java's, Good Luck Restaurant, RPO, BBQ's with friends on a sunny day, concerts and festivals.
  • Most Interesting Diagnosis seen to date: Late onset CVID in a patient with Mycoplasma synovitis.
  • Medical Research Interests: MSK & pain; mainly because I like the hands-on approach to patient care.
  • Personal Interests: Photography, basketball (I'm a crazy Lakers fan), attempting to cook food from around the world. surfing, swimming, & sunbathing.
  • Why did you choose PM&R? It focuses on improving the quality of life of patients and is truly needed in the aging population. Also, it allows one to correlate function with a specific injury.
  • Thoughts about the residency: I always feel supported by the rehab team. I never imagined learning so much in such a short amount of time by working with attendings to care for patients, performing procedures, and participating in lectures & conferences.
  • Why Rochester? Beautiful summers and friendly people who come from different backgrounds. As a resident, you experience a diverse patient population because of the high level of care at Strong Memorial Hospital.


Nicholas Love, M.D. (PGY2)



  • Favorite Hangouts: Greece Canal Park and Tap & Mallot.
  • Most Interesting Diagnosis seen to date: Ethanol ablation of the left ventricular septum to remove the outflow tract obstruction caused be Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
  • Medical/ Research Interests: Sports medicine, Exercising and Aging.
  • Personal Interests: Campling, hiking, biking, and kayaking.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? Online search about PM&R residency programs.
  • Thoughts about the residency: I feel like I am part of a group and not just an individual in a residency program. The attendings and director are very approachable and want to help with any problems.
  • Why PM&R? I was very interested in neurology and MSK, but I did not find neurology or ortho to be the right fit for me. I love the focus on restoring on restoring function and working with patients to improve quality of life. I feel we make a partnership with our patients to achieve goals. We don't just treat a condition; we look at a persons' whole life and help create a plan that is best suited for them.

Nicole Strong, D.O. (PGY2)



  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: I haven't been in the Rochester area too long, but I enjoyed camping at Hamlin Beach State Park. I am still exploring!
  • Most Interesting Diagnosis seen to date: ADEM - Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis.
  • Medical/ Research Interests: Stroke rehabilitation and MSK.
  • Personal Interests: Sking, photography, dancing, writing, reading, traveling, family time, and working on our home.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? Through the general application process.
  • Thoughts about the residency: I am an intern this year, but I find the balance between autonomy and supervision at URMC a healthy one. It is a very comfortable learning environment for new residents.
  • Why did you choose PM&R? I have a background in kinesiology and have been interested in rehab since undergrad. When I found the specialty of PM&R, it fit what I was looking for in a career. I like the focus on quality of life and long-term patient relationships.

Kristen Brusky, D.O. (PGY2)


  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: Rochester Public Market, Cure, Highland Park, Owl House, Park Ave Area, Old Toad
  • Medical / Research Interests:  I have significant exposure to MSK but I am intrigued by stroke, TBI, pediatrics, pain and palliative care. I would like to continue research with inter-professional education.
  • Personal Interests:  Live Music, Hiking, Dining, Playing and Watching Sports,
  • How did you hear about the residency program? I visited during one of my road trips from Maine to Wisconsin and shadowed PM&R residents as a medical student.
  • Thoughts about the residency: This is a very supportive environment to develop a solid medicine foundation within a large, welcoming academic institution with a great mission statement.
  • Why did you choose PM&R? My strong interest in anatomy, the concept of form & function, inter-professional approach to patient care, and the patient population led me to this diverse field with limitless opportunities after residency.
  • Why Rochester? There is an abundance of activities inside the city. The cost of living is affordable for purchasing a home.  It is really easy to get outside Rochester to enjoy nature and I have family friends located in Webster.

Mark Bauernfeind, M.D. (PGY1)


Mark Bauernfeind

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Franchesca Konig-Toro , M.D. (PGY1)

Franchesca Konig-Toro



  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: I've only been here for around a month, so I haven't had much time to venture out in Rochester, but I have a long list of places that people have recommended! The Park Ave./East Ave. area is a nice, bustling area of town filled with restaurants. Also, there are great trails for running/biking and a lot of outdoors activities to do in the summer!
  • Medical / Research Interests:  As a "retired" soccer player (no time and my knees are already giving out!), i've always been drawn to MSK, however, I want to pursue a fellowship in Cancer Rehabilitation.
  • Personal Interests:  SOCCER! (Go Deutschland!), running, traveling, all types of music, spending time with family/friends (and my dog Otto!), discovering new restaurants.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? Through the ERAS, just exploring the different residency programs.
  • Thoughts about the residency: So far, it has been a great experience! Everyone, including attendings, co-residents, faculty, nurses, are just so very supportive. I've only been on two rotations so far, but I feel like i'm developing a solid foundation in the different areas of medicine.
  • Why did you choose PM&R? PM&R encompasses all my passions in medicine: The anatomy and physiology part combined with a team-work approach to patient care and forming long-lasting relationships with patients.
  • Why Rochester? The first time I had ever been to Rochester was during my interview, and I fell in love with the city and the hospital! From the get-go I knew it was going to be one of my top choices. Rochester is a great city; affordable cost of living, tons of outdoor activities to enjoy and you're close enough to have weekend trips to great cities nearby!


Matthew Kruppenbacher , D.O. (PGY1)


Matthew Kruppenbacher

  • Favorite Rochester Hangouts: Magnolia’s, Marge’s, Park Ave., & Midtown
  • Medical / Research Interests:  MSK, Spine, Pain, & Stroke Rehabilitation.
  • Personal Interests:  Sports, Music, Movies, Outdoors.
  • How did you hear about the residency program? Online search and away rotation
  • Thoughts about the residency: It’s been great! The faculty and staff are very approachable and always available. Education is top notch and a center of focus in all departments. URMC has been an excellent environment to continue professional growth.
  • Why did you choose PM&R? I love the focus on function and improving quality of life. PM&R provides a broad specialty with many subspecialty options!  
  • Why Rochester? First and foremost I loved the program. It’s very well rounded with supportive residents, faculty, and staff. Rochester has great people, beautiful summers, and large city amenities!