Skip to main content
Explore URMC

SMD Logo

menu

Our Fellows

2016-2018

Olga Astapova, MD, PhD - PGY-4

Olga Astapova, MD, PhDMedical School

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Residency

University of Rochester School of Medicine  - Internal Medicine

Why Did You Choose Endocrinology

In college I did some undergraduate research. Initially I thought it would be something to help me get familiar with the field of medicine and improve my chances of getting into medical school and I didn’t actually know what endocrinology was but I landed in an endocrinology lab and I very quickly fell in love with the research and with the field. I thought it was an elegant system, it fascinated me and I never wanted to stop studying it.

What Is Unique About The Program

I became interested in this program initially when I went on the website and looked at what sort of research is going on here and I saw that Dr. Hammes was studying insulin and the ovary; those two words in the same sentence don’t appear very frequently and its something I’m interested in, so I really got interested in this program. The chair is an M.D./Ph.D., so am I. I thought it would be a good environment for me to stew in for a few years. And then when I visited, I had a really nice interview and felt like this could be my home.

How Would You Recommend The Program

I would say it’s a great clinical experience because we see a lot of everything; it’s a really busy hospital so there is no shortage of opportunity to learn clinical endocrinology. The program faculty are very friendly and approachable, that makes it easy to get along with everyone.

The Fellows tend to be a very tight knit group, it’s a small program and we kind of become each others family and I really like that. Obviously the research opportunities are important and this is a good research place.

What Have You Learned In Your Time Here

Obviously I’m working as hard as I can to learn as much as I can about endocrinology. There is a lot to learn. I can’t really pinpoint one particular thing.

What Do You Like About Living In Rochester

I like it here, I have good things to say, it is easy living, there isn’t a lot of traffic, and there isn’t a lot of stress. The cost of living is low, and I absolutely love my neighborhood. I live in Cornhill, a beautiful historic neighborhood with a tight knit community. People are very protective of it and excited about their neighborhood. I love brick houses and I’m surrounded by them and we have a fun festival every year.

There are some shows that come through that we try to catch, and it’s always easy to go out to a nice restaurant.

What Are Your Research Interests

My research interests are in reproductive endocrinology and I actually considered going into OBGYN for a moment, I’m interested in the ovarian development, particularly the role of insulin signaling in the ovary and the effect of androgens in the ovary.

What Are Your Career Goals

I want to stay in an academic environment and continue doing research. So I hope to settle down in a University type environment like this one where there are both clinical opportunities and a lab to run.

Luis F. Chavez, MDLuis F. Chavez, MD - PGY-5

Medical School

Universidad del Cauca Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud

Residency

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - Internal Medicine

Why Did You Choose Endocrinology

Since I was in medical school, I took endocrine as my vocation. I realized that this type of subspecialty deals with focusing on a variety of pathologies that really makes you investigate to see what specific issues your patient is facing. You have to think deeper, taking everything into consideration. It’s a very challenging field and every day you have to keep yourself up to date. This is a field that is evolving, with new drugs and new technology for diabetes, for odd medical conditions. So it is fascinating.

What Is Unique About The Program

Unique to this program is the teaching versus learning environment. The attending physicians are highly recognized both locally and internationally, and their primary concern is teaching, which is very good.  While you know that you have autonomy you also know that you’re not by yourself: you always have a backup.  The attendings are always there for you and make time for you when it’s needed as well as being very approachable. The commitment from the attending physicians was one of the things that stood out in my interview.

What Have You Learned In Your Time Here

I have learned that it is important to be up to date with the technology that I didn’t know before I came here, specifically insulin pumps and sensors.  Because my residency background was in a community hospital, experiencing all of this diabetes technology was very new.

I found it to be a great opportunity to learn because this is what I will be doing once I complete my fellowship. It is very important to know that your training has prepared you for what is going to happen after your fellowship and that you can be confident that you’ve been given the training and skills to go out on your own and do the right thing.  I feel this program prepares you for the future and that is why I chose it.

What Do You Like About Living In Rochester

I live in Victor, NY, a quiet, gated community where I am able to send my children to a great local school.  No matter where I go here, I find that the people are great, whether it’s in the hospital or the mall, people are very nice and always willing to help.  In addition to my children’s education, I also considered Rochester because of its great environment.

What Are Your Research Interests

For the first year of the fellowship, we focus on clinical and don’t do research. Research will take place in the 2nd and 3rd years. My project for 2nd year research is going to be focused on patients with diabetes who have LVAD (Left Ventricle Assistive Device). We have seen that these patients show improvement in their diabetes following LVAD. My third year focus will be in diabetes.

What Are Your Career Goals

When I finish my training I would like to stay in an academic environment. I would like to become a faculty member. That’s my plan that I hope to achieve.

2017-2019

Salman Azim MDSalman Azim, MD - PGY-4

Medical School

University of Debrecen Medical School and Health Science Centre

Residency

Capital Health Regional Medical Center - Internal Medicine

Kenilia Ventura, MDKenilia Ventura, MD - PGY-4

Medical School

Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) School of Medicine

Residency

Atlanticare Regional Medical Center - Internal Medicine