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Our Residents

We pride ourselves on the diversity of our residents. Please check out the biographies of our current residents and recent graduates.

Chief Residents

Rachel Bian, MDRachel Bian, MD

University of Michigan Medical School

Hi everyone! I was born in China and my family moved to the US when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Connecticut. I have two younger sisters, and both of my parents are involved in biomedical research. I went to Yale for college. Summer after freshman year, I did a summer of volunteer work in Ghana, working with eye clinics, where I found my passion for medicine and the joys of serving others through health care. I subsequently went to the University of Michigan for medical school, where I cemented my interests in primary care. I am interested in Maternal-Child Health and Manual Medicine, and I am pursuing an AOC in Maternal-Child Health and OMT. In my free time, I enjoy rock climbing, cooking and yoga.

Timothy SmilnakTimothy Smilnak, MD

SUNY Upstate Medical School

I grew up in Binghamton, NY and attend college at The University of Scranton. After college, I completed two years of volunteer service. The first year, I worked at Catholic Charities's refugee resettlement program in Syracuse, NY. The following year, I cared for young foster children at Casa de Esperanza, a foster care community in Houston, TX. After this, I returned to Syracuse for medical school and SUNY Upstate, where I completed the MD/MPH program.

I chose to become a family physician because I value the long-term relationships of primary care and I felt like it was in family medicine that physicians were most committed to caring for the under served.

I have loved being here, which is why I have stayed on for an extra year as chief. The sense of community within the residency program, the enthusiasm for learning, and our department's mission to care for the under served are why I'm so grateful to be here.


Class of 2021

"We the class of 2021 promise to provide compassionate, collaborative, patient-centered care without bias. We will be advocates for our patients and our communities. In the spirit of Meliora, we will humbly strive for excellence with integrity as physicians, learners, and educators in all that we do."

Dominick DeFelice, MDDominick DeFelice, MD

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

I was born in a strange place called Long Island, New York and spent most of my childhood there rooting on the Mets (with no success). When I was eleven years old, my family and I moved to eastern North Carolina where I remained through med school (still rooting for the Mets, still no success). I spent my last semester of high school shadowing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, dietitians, and other health care professionals in a community hospital. On a whim I applied to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro for college and ended up being awarded a full ride scholarship. In four years I completed my degree in Human Biology, minored in Chemistry and Spanish, traveled abroad, published two papers on honey bees (ask me about bees anytime), worked two summers as a Nurse’s Aide, and had absolutely no social life to speak of.

I went straight from undergrad to medical school, and was lucky to go to a great institution: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. I always had an interest in primary care and wanted to reach the patients with the lowest access to health care. Those interests led me to take a four year medical Spanish class in which I helped treat and education Spanish speaking patients in central NC and do three weeks of medical volunteer work in rural India, seeing patients of all ages with all sorts of medical complaints. The seed of my passion for family medicine was planted during that last semester in high school, but it grew during my experiences in medical school. I am thrilled to join the one profession that sees, diagnoses, and treats e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!!

Rachel Ellenbogen, MDRachel Ellenbogen, MD

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Hello! I grew up initially in Silver Spring, Maryland and then spent the rest of my formative years Seattle, WA. While in Seattle, I took advantage of the easy access to the water and learned to row, a sport that I pursued through college. I attended Brown University where I studied Psychology and was a member of the Women’s Crew team. 

After college, I moved back to the D.C. area where I did neuroscience research at the NIH. While in D.C., I volunteered with a community health clinic running a childhood obesity prevention program. There, I fell in love with primary care when I saw the power of family and community level interventions for promoting health, prevention, and treating illness. After a quick year in Seattle, I headed back to Providence, RI to start medical school. That is where I met my significant other, Patrick Kelley, also a family medicine resident! While in medical school, I taught Sex Ed at a local school, volunteered in a free clinic, and helped run a preclinical elective aimed at teaching medical students about pregnancy and patient advocacy. I found a home in Family Medicine where my interest in mental health, women’s health, education, and primary care came together.

When I am not working, I enjoy cooking, traveling, and hiking with Patrick. I am hoping to start rowing again and I look forward to testing out the Genesee River! I am excited for the opportunity to train at the University of Rochester Family Medicine and explore Upstate NY!

Derrick German, MDDerrick German, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

My family is from the Dominican Republic, but I was born in the Bronx, NY where I spent most of my life. I attended Union College where I majored in Biology and subsequently worked in health care administration for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer in NYC. I attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and graduated in 2018. I explored many of my professional interests and ultimately found my passion was primary care and family medicine and was fortunate enough to continue my career here.

My clinical interests include maternity and child care, management of chronic disease, and the care of Latino and under served populations. My professional interests include medical education and practice management. In residency I participated in the medical education committee and I am working towards completing the medical education and maternity and child health areas of concentration.

Outside of medicine, I can be found exploring the local cuisine, hitting the gym, or diligently working in my garden. I am lucky enough to train alongside my wife who is also a family medicine resident. We enjoy living in Rochester and take pride in its medical community and everything the city has to offer.

 Kenia GerKenia German, MDman, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Hi everyone! My name is Kenia German. I was born in Brownsville Texas but was raised in the Bronx. My family is from Nicaragua and I am the oldest of 4 girls. I have a sister who is disabled and caring for her is what initially sparked my interest in medicine. I attended Union College in Schenectady NY, where I majored in Biology and minored in Classics. During college, I participated in many activities such as working in the migrant camps and free health clinics which exposed me to working with under served populations. After college I worked for two years at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in an administrative role. I then attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine where I fell in love with the city of Rochester and its exceptional health care. I am very happy to be staying here to complete my training.

Within family medicine my interest are women's health and mental health. I have witnessed the great need that exist for access to behavioral health services and I plan to provide as much of those services as I can. I also loved my OB-GYN rotation and am planning to incorporate OB as part of my practice. I enjoy mentoring young students and enjoy educating my patients.

Outside of medicine my hobbies include learning to play the piano, embroidery, candle carving, spending time with family, tutoring my sister, playing with my dogs, watching movies, swimming, and exploring new places to eat.

Michael Ialeggio, MDMichael Ialeggio, MD

Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

I’m originally from Long Island, but moved to Vermont when I was 13. For college, I went on to Oberlin, OH, where I studied economics and politics and played a good deal of jazz saxophone. Out of school, I worked for several years with UNITE HERE, a service workers union, in Chicago. I spent the next several years doing seasonal outdoorsy work—as a back country ranger in New Mexico, on the Long Trail in Vermont with the Green Mountain Club, as an intern on a vegetable farm, selling Christmas trees in Harlem. I moved to Burlington, Vermont, for a Post Bacc program, worked at psychiatric crisis center, drove taxi, and finally landed in medical school at the University of Vermont. I’m interested in rural full spectrum practice, but for the time being, am very excited to be coming to a small city with its attendant diversities- of people, languages, food, and things to do- and a great big lake to sail on.

Patrick Kelley, MDPatrick Kelley, MD

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Hello! I was born and raised in beautiful Lancaster County, PA eating plenty of saffron and shoo-fly pie. Headed for the mountains, I made my way across the state for college at Penn State (Go Nittany Lions)! While studying psychology, I did research on the effects of concussion on college athletes. I gained a strong interest in the study of the brain and behavior—especially the way in which mental health influences physical health.

After graduating, I headed to the Ocean State for a job researching new tests and therapies for older adults with Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders. Rhode Island became a wonderful new home. I loved having the ocean close by as I found new hiking trails and learned to ski for the first time—and became hooked. I ended up being lucky enough to stay in Rhode Island for medical school where I met my fiancée, Rachel, who has joined me on the journey through family medicine residency!

In my free time, I like to explore hiking trails with Rachel, ski, cook, bake Pennsylvania Dutch treats that remind me of home, and play around on the piano. I am thrilled to be training in a place that values my strong interests in behavioral health and the care of diverse populations at home and internationally. With some family roots in upstate NY, I am excited to get to know the Rochester community and explore the gorgeous countryside! I’ve traveled to Honduras as part of the family medicine residency and am planning on pursuing the global health area of concentration.

Lauren Perlis, MDLauren Perlis, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

I was born in Boston and grew up in Cleveland. In high school, my interest in science grew through a partnership between my school and Case Western Reserve University that allowed me to conduct circadian rhythm research. I enjoyed the research but knew that I wanted to work more closely with people and communities. This realization led me to start considering a career in medicine. I attended Williams College in northwestern Massachusetts where I completed my pre-med requirements and majored in Biology and Environmental Chemistry. I also competed in cross country, swimming, and track for college and triathlon for the United States Under 23 National Team.

Throughout my life, I have had an interest in teaching and have worked with students of many ages ranging from middle school to young adult. After college, I spent two years working with high school students. My most meaningful experiences were teaching units on nutrition and reproduction/contraception. I enjoyed having the opportunity to help students learn how to live a safer and more healthy lifestyle. My interests in science, teaching, and community health ultimately led me to medical school at the University of Rochester. In medical school, I was drawn to Family Medicine because of the opportunity to work with patients of all ages and the emphasis on preventive medicine. I am looking forward to staying in Rochester for residency and am especially looking forward to learning more about practice management through the P2 Program. Outside of medicine I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, playing sports, running, and exploring local museums.

Mary Powers MDMary Powers, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

I grew up in Marcellus, NY, just outside of Syracuse, NY. My parents run an experiential learning center that uses a ropes course and equine therapy to promote team building and leadership development, particularly for under served youth. I went to Cornell University where I majored in Human Biology, Health and Society, minored in Inequality Studies, and coordinated a mentoring program for local at-risk youth. After graduating, I moved to a reservation in South Dakota to teach high school math through Teach for America. I returned to Central New York to attend medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

I am very happy to be in Rochester for my training in Family Medicine! I have many interests within Family Medicine that are heavily influenced by what I've learned from working alongside my parents and students. I am especially interested in working alongside  under served populations, rural health, adolescent medicine and the role of school-based clinics, and women's health. Outside of medicine, I love spending time with my husband and son, as well as our two dogs and cat. I really enjoy being outside, whether it's running, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, horseback riding, or something else!

Matthew Rivera-Bloodworth, MDMatthew Rivera, MD

Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

I grew up in Echols County (population 4057), a poor rural county in South Georgia with the nearest hospital and physicians 20 miles away. I graduated valedictorian of a class of 55 students from the only school in our county. Our school housed pre-K through 12th grade on one campus with 750 students, 60% of whom lived in poverty. My career in education and working with under served persons began at my high school where I tutored students from migrant farm worker families which included over one quarter of our student body. The students’ failure rate fell from 20% to 5% in one year. As the great-grandson of undocumented Mexican immigrants who came to find work on the railroads outside Houston, I feel a connection with and call to serve Latinos and other minorities. I prepared for medical school at Valdosta State University, a medium-sized liberal arts school in South Georgia where I earned a Bachelor of Science in biology summa cum laude with a minor in religious studies. There I led campus-wide spiritual formation groups and worked in medical outreach with migrant farm workers and medical missions in Ecuador and Haiti.

I earned my Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia where I worked extensively as a coordinator and mentor for other students at the free, student-run Clínica Latina for low-income and uninsured Latinos and other persons. I served for three years as a member of the board of directors and eventually vice president of the Asociación Latina de Servicios del CSRA (ALAS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit improving the health of Latinos and other under served minorities in Georgia and South Carolina. I also devoted significant time developing instructional skills as a peer mentor in basic and clinical sciences and teaching assistant for first- and second-year physical diagnosis. I developed and taught a 4-week health disparities curriculum to matriculating medical students and undergraduates and delivered lectures on complementary health approaches to three cohorts of first-year students. I wrote and coordinated the delivery of a 4-week problem-based learning case with an emphasis on the biopsychosocial approach. Along with faculty and colleagues, I created a longitudinal first-year professionalism curriculum which has been presented and offered as a workshop at two international conferences and is being prepared for publication.

During medical school, I furthered my religious education with the Church Divinity School of the Pacific to be better prepared to compassionately and holistically address my patients’ health, including spiritual and cultural needs. I hope to transfer to the Master of Divinity program at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School to journey along the path of ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. I feel called to work with interfaith groups to promote justice and engage in community outreach, including poverty reduction. Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) is attributed to have said, “Science is twofold—theology and medicine.” Spiritual leaders have contributed to the formation of the medical profession throughout history, and I am committed to continuing this tradition for the wellbeing of my patients from all faiths and those of no faith. I look forward to growing my passions for service, education, and holistic care at the University of Rochester Family Medicine program.

Alison Schuppert, MDAlison Schuppert, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

I was born and raised in the small town of Corning, NY where I spent my childhood roaming the Museum of Glass, playing tennis, and snuggling with our two family rescue dogs. After high school, I attended the University of Richmond where I studied biology and the medical humanities. Following college, I returned to upstate NY for medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Rochester became my home and I am delighted to be here as a family medicine resident!

During medical school, I worked as a clinic coordinator for UR Well at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, a program committed to providing health care services to the under served. I hope to expand on this work in residency and advocate for improved health care access in our community. My other passions include women’s health and preventive medicine. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the Finger Lakes, cheering on the Penn State football team, improving my cooking skills, and spending time with friends and family.

Alison Schuppert, MDKristina Stoyanov, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

I was born in Belarus in a city called Pinsk on the banks of the Pina River. With my father and my mother, I immigrated to the United States and settled in Utica, NY when I was almost four years old. Soon after my sister was born, we moved to Schuyler, NY, where I enjoyed incredible winters and relaxing summers. Aside from exploring the outdoors, I spent time playing the piano and violin through high school, and continued Russian Folk Dancing in college. While studying biology at Utica College, I volunteered at the Emergency Department of St. Luke’s Hospital, where I learned the importance of caring about others and solidified my desire to become a physician.

I was excited to start medical school at the University of Rochester, as this was the home of the biopsychosocial model, where delivery of care focused on the patient as a whole and not solely on diagnoses. Involvement with the Family Medicine Interest Group and my Primary Care Clerkship during second year of medical school solidified my aspiration to become a physician of Family Medicine as I explored the field with greater depth. During medical school, I enjoyed volunteering, particularly tutoring students from area schools. Education is a gift that others give to us, and if we can pass it on, we are not only helping others, but impacting the future. I am excited and honored to continue my medical training here in Rochester as a resident physician. Outside of medicine, I enjoy traveling with my husband, trying new recipes, spending time with family and friends, reading, embroidery, and exploring nature.

ColleenColleen Kilbourne, MD Tracy, MD

Albany Medical College

Hello! I was born in the small town of Dansville, NY, about an hour south of Rochester, and grew up a few miles further down the road in the even smaller town of Wayland, NY! I am the daughter of a small business owner and a school librarian and I have two older brothers. I adore my supportive, strong, and loyal community but traveled to the Capital District to pursue my dream of becoming a Family Medicine Physician. I attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY for high school and was later accepted into the Leadership in Medicine program at Union College in Schenectady, NY. In this combined undergraduate and graduate program, I received my BS in Biology and English and my MS in Healthcare Administration. I then attended Albany Medical College where my passion for Family Medicine continued to grow.

I am so excited to be back home training with the University of Rochester, an organization that I have aspired to be a part of for as long as I can remember. My passions within Family Medicine include rural and underserved populations, mental health, addiction medicine, and women’s health.  Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Matt, our Vizsla puppy, Copper, and our families and friends. I love to run (Rochester’s Flower City Half-Marathon is my favorite race) and I am always looking for a running buddy! I also try to take advantage of every season we experience in Western NY and love to downhill ski, water ski, and relax on the Finger Lakes.


Class of 2022

"We strive to empower and encourage self-advocacy among our patients, forming a compassionate partnership, being with them in their best and worst moments. Individually and together, we will always foster an environment of diversity and inclusion, where all feel safe being their true selves. We are committed to the principles of Meliora, always aiming to improve ourselves and each other as we grow as physicians."

Jasdeep Bajwa, DOJasdeep Bajwa, DO

Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hi everyone! I was born and raised in North York, Ontario and grew up in the Greater Toronto Area. I am an only child and a first-generation graduate student in my family. I completed my Honors BSc in Kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In addition to my 7 years of volunteer service at a local hospital, it is at McMaster where my passion for human medicine grew. I then pursued medical school at Lincoln Memorial University located in Harrogate Tennessee. While in medical school, through my experiences as a tutor and teaching fellow classmates, my passion for education within medicine came to the forefront.

I was lucky enough to complete a few visiting electives during my 4th year and even though I had fun meeting different people and experiencing different programs, the strength of UR and most importantly the people here in Rochester and at Highland Family Medicine is what drew me to one of the strongest Family Medicine programs in the nation! I am super lucky and excited to continue my training here! :)

My current career interests are broad spectrum family medicine and academic medicine.

Outside of medicine: I grew up playing ice hockey (prerequisite for being Canadian) and to this day I am a huge hockey nerd! A lot of people will think my favorite team is the Maple Leafs, but it is actually the Buffalo Sabres ever since the Dominik Hasek days! In addition to sports, I like to stay active by going to the gym, hiking, canoeing and skiing. I am a huge foodie and love trying different restaurants, but I also like to cook and prepare my own meals. I love traveling, however, being preoccupied by the journey of becoming a doctor, I have a lot of the world yet to see.

Megan Carey, MDMegan Carey, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

 I grew up outside of Ithaca, New York hiking and exploring the gorges that the area is famous for. I studied geology at SUNY Geneseo where I loved being able to spend time outside but couldn’t see myself in a career in geology. My junior year I took an EMT class and started working with a local EMS department. Before long, I was spending more time on an ambulance than I was spending in a classroom. I enjoyed connecting with people and helping them through a time of crisis. I changed career paths and started medical school at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, NY. I was able to meet patients from a wide variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, which helped me develop a passion for providing care to underserved groups of patients. I worked closely with the Rahma Free Clinic in South Syracuse and The Reach Project in Ithaca providing primary care to a wide variety of vulnerable populations including immigrant and homeless patients. My interests in medicine include women’s health, addiction medicine, and behavioral health. My interests outside of medicine include backpacking, kayaking, and music.

Lauren Cowen, MDLauren Cowen, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

I grew up in Rochester, NY, then moved to Philadelphia where I double majored in Biologic Basis of Behavior and Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. I graduated with an interest in environmental health and global development so I joined the Peace Corps as a Community Based Environmental Management Volunteer in Peru. My site was in a rural Andes Mountain village and after conquering altitude sickness, I had an amazing time working with the community, making friends, participating in their traditions, improving my knitting skills and exploring Peru’s diverse environments (mountain, coast and rainforest!).  While abroad, I realized my career interests included clinical medicine so I worked as a clinical research coordinator while finishing prerequisites and applying to medical school.

I returned to Rochester for medical school where I had opportunities to pursue global health projects in Nicaragua and Peru as well as continued working with the local Latino population by volunteering with the Finger Lakes Community Health’s Mobile Medical outreach team to provide health care access and screening to the migrant farm worker population in Western NY. I knew family medicine was a good fit for me due to my wide range of clinical interests, desire to work with the entire family unit in preventative care and community development. I further explored my interest in child maternal health during a year out research at Highland Family Medicine and enjoyed my opportunity to facilitate Centering Pregnancy groups and to work on Interconception Care for the promotion of healthier infant outcomes.

I am thrilled to be staying in Rochester with such a wonderful group of people! Apart from medicine, I love traveling, all things outdoors and active, spending time with friends, family and my partner Mike.

Alisa Liu, MDAlisa Liu, MD

State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

I was born in Canada, but spent most of my childhood on Long Island, NY. For college, I went to NYU, where i majored in Neural Science and enjoyed the vibrant culture of New York City. I then attended SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn. Witnessing the devastating complications of preventable diseases in an underserved community fueled my desire to go into primary care. During medical school, I served on the leadership boards of Project TEACH, which provides educational arts and crafts activities for pediatric patients, as well as the Chinese American Medical Society, Global Health Club, and Downstate Students for Choice. My main interest within family medicine is improving reproductive healthcare access for all patients regardless of race and socioeconomic status. I am excited to start my family medicine residency at the University of Rochester! I know I will be well-equipped for a career that combines preventative medicine and reproductive rights for a diverse patient population. In my spare time, I enjoy drawing, painting, watching way too much Netflix, trying new foods and traveling with my fiancee.

Stephanie Mazzawi, MDStephanie Mazzawi, MD

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo

Hello! I was born in Miami, Florida, where I lived with my parents and younger brother until I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Florida International University. Soon after, I moved to Buffalo, NY to attend medical school at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. It was there that I began to discover and further develop my interests within medicine, which include women’s health, obstetrics, pediatrics, and caring for the underserved population. I enjoy serving the community, and therefore was involved in many community outreach programs as a volunteer during medical school.

My interests outside of medicine involve anything having to do with food, drink, gathering with friends, and the outdoors. I enjoy kickboxing, yoga, hiking, reading books, cooking, trying new restaurants, and traveling. 

I am so excited to be able to continue my medical training here in Rochester and to be serving the community in the years to come!

Allison McKeown, DOAllison McKeown, DO

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hi everyone! I was born right here at Strong Memorial Hospital, and was raised 30 minutes south of Rochester in the small village of Avon, NY. My mom is a hospice nurse and my dad works for Wegmans (world’s best grocery store!). I spent an amazing four years at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where I completed my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Gender & Women’s studies. I was fortunate to spend a semester in Copenhagen, Denmark, studying medical practice and policy. After college, I moved to Boston, where I spent two years working at Boston Children’s Hospital as a clinical research assistant in the Celiac Disease Program. During my time in Boston, I met my fiancé, Matt, who is an avid Boston sports fan.

I decided to take a hiatus from the snow, and spent my first two years of medical school at LECOM’s campus in sunny Bradenton, Florida. At the start of my third year, I returned home to New York to complete my core rotations in Batavia. It was during third year that I discovered my love for primary care and rural/underserved medicine.

I am so excited and honored to start my residency at the University of Rochester! When not at the hospital, I enjoy spending time on trails at the local parks with my two dogs or playing board games with friends. I love trying new restaurants, wineries, and breweries. During the summer, you can find me hanging out on Conesus Lake with my family.

Ryan Nightingale, MDRyan Nightingale, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

Hello! I grew up in Chatham, NY, a small town south of Albany. It was there that I developed a love of nature and an appreciation for close-knit communities, which continues to drive my interest in rural medicine to this day. I attended Dartmouth College where I majored in Neuroscience with a minor in Global Health Anthropology. During college I trained and as an EMT, and was also able to volunteer in free health clinics and schools in Peru and in a mobile health clinic in Nicaragua. After college I spent two years working as a patient care technician and unit secretary in Albany Memorial Hospital Emergency Department in Albany, NY, before starting medical school at SUNY Upstate.

During medical school, I continued to develop my interest in global health through dengue fever research in Ecuador. I also enjoyed doing 5 months of clinical rotations in my hometown through Upstate’s rural medicine program. During my third year of medical school, I found that Family Medicine was the specialty that best encompassed my interests in the social determinants of health and global health, while also being an incredibly versatile specialty. I believe that Rochester’s family medicine program, in addition to having very strong all-around training, will allow me to expand on my interests through the global health and political advocacy tracks. I am very excited to be part of the Rochester team!

Apart from medicine, I enjoy hiking, skiing, playing board games, reading, and playing with my two cats. I am also very excited to explore Rochester’s great parks and running/biking trails, as well as the many great restaurants and breweries the city has to offer!

Kailyn Rigby, MDKailyn Rigby, MD

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the University at Buffalo

I am a Canadian girl who never imagined I would stay in the US for all of my medical training but at each step I have felt this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I am excited and encouraged to be completing my residency training with likeminded people who want to compassionately serve our patients, especially those who face barriers to care.

My experiences before and during medical school have resulted in a passion for working with underserved populations. I attended Houghton College for undergrad and was fortunate to complete an internship at Jericho Road Community Health Center and then to continue working there as a medical assistant. I fell in love with the population, working in a FQHC environment and caring for patients holistically, body, mind and spirit. Additionally, I have a particular interest in addictions and understanding the psychosocial impact of this complex disease.

Additionally, as a Canadian I am happy to be a little closer to my family in Kingston, Ontario. I grew up there on a farm and enjoy visiting as often as possible. I really love going home to spend time with my two adorable nephews who are obsessed with farm equipment and love to go for rides on Papa’s tractor. Other things I enjoy are eating good food, and to balance that out, trying out new fitness classes. I also enjoy going to church and finding ways to grow in my faith and better serve others.

Eric Sager, MDEric Sager, MD

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

 I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and, yes, I regret to admit that I am a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan. I studied Chemical engineering and with a minor in Mandarin at Calvin College in beautiful Grand Rapids, Michigan. During my junior year, I had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in China. It was a life-changing experience for me and really instilled in me a passion both for travel and for medical missions. From Michigan I headed west to the desert—specifically, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. While in California, I learned how to rock-climb, surf, and spent much of my free time enjoying the many outdoor activities that California has to offer such as; camping, going to the beach, and hiking. I enjoyed my time in California, however, I am thrilled to be heading back towards family and snow to settle down in Rochester. I am excited to serve Rochester’s diverse patient population. Loma Linda emphasizes the importance of caring for the whole patient and I can’t wait to head back home and apply that wholeness of care towards my fellow upstate New Yorkers.

Alexandria Snow, MDAlexandria Snow, MD

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Hello! I was accidentally born in Saudi Arabia (I arrived 3 months early), and that has pretty much set the tone for the rest of my life! I grew up all over the world but spent much of my early school years in the western United States. At 14 I left my family in southern Nevada to go to boarding school in England and spent the next few years honing my love and appreciation for travel and other cultures. I spent time all over Great Britain, Europe, and Africa. After my A-levels I did not know what I wanted to do, so I returned to my family in Pahrump, Nevada, and did a little bit of everything! I waited tables, cashiered in Walmart, and cooked on a line. What really changed my future, however, was when I became an EMT, firefighter, and medical assistant. That is where I really fell in love with medicine. I always wanted to be more knowledgeable, to do more, to learn more, to help more. I finally realized that becoming a doctor was the best path for me, so here I am! I attended University of Nevada Reno for both my undergraduate and medical school, which was fantastic. My inability to constrain my interest to one area led to my involvement in family medicine, and my love of great education in unique and interesting areas I have never been to before led me to Rochester! I can’t wait to get started!

When I’m not doing medicine, I enjoy a variety of things (shocking, I know). At home I love reading, cooking, playing video games, and doing DIY’s. I’ll always love traveling and exploring new places, and I also enjoy playing rugby, and going movies and so much more!

Sandy Wang, MD, MPHSandy Wang, MD, MPH

University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Hello everyone! I am Sandy, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, attending Emory University for undergrad where my interests in anthropology, global health, and ethnomedicine began. I continued my medical education with the MD MPH dual degree track at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida where I completed my capstone project on combating youth violence in underserved areas through after school programs. During my time in Florida, I had a rich exposure to the Caribbean, South American, and south Floridan patient population. I believe primary care holds the tools to truly taking care of everyone, and I love prevention medicine, diet and fitness, and understanding the complexities of mental health on chronic illnesses. I cannot wait to start my journey in the North with my husband who is a general surgery resident in at the U of R as well! We are thrilled to be reunited after 5 years of long distance and cannot wait to work with and be a part of the U of R/Highland Medicine team.

When I am not championing primary care, I am a professional artist specializing in watercolor, color pencil, and sketch and I also custom design crochet plushies. I also love to travel the world and cook!

Emily White, MDEmily White, MD

University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

I spent the first two years of my life in upstate New York and my third year in Pennsylvania but have lived in Iowa since the age of four. I grew up in Cedar Rapids. After graduating high school, I moved a lengthy 30 minutes away to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa for my undergraduate and medical education, so it will be a new adventure to be 12 hours from home! 

My undergraduate degree was in Health and Human Physiology with a minor in Global Health Studies. From there, I went straight into medical school in 2015. It was during my undergraduate studies that I first found my passions for palliative care, hospice, and narrative medicine. These passions converged during my research on Dignity Therapy, a narrative intervention at end of life.

Within family medicine, the integration of physical and mental health is of special interest to me. I am so looking forward to continuing my education at the birthplace of the biopsychosocial model of care! I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with and learn from patients who require particular attention to the social determinants of health. My hope is to pursue additional psychiatric training following my residency in family medicine and eventually complete a fellowship in palliative medicine.

Outside of healthcare, I enjoy being a dog mom and spending quality time with friends and family.


Class of 2023

"The Class of 2023 will provide equitable, compassionate and empowering care to all. We commit ourselves to fighting for social justice and anti-racism. We strive to embody our full, authentic selves, and encourage each other to flourish as people and physicians, while remaining accountable and humble. We recognize our role within our community and will use our platform to advocate for each other, our patients, and the betterment of the medical field."

Christian ArcherChristian Archer, MD

University of Florida College of Medicine

Hello everyone! I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and attended The University of Florida for both undergrad and medical school. In medical school I had amazing mentorship from faculty who exemplify humanism in medicine and impressed on me the idea that there is a big difference between treating a patient and caring for a person. These mentors came from diverse training backgrounds including integrative medicine, palliative care, and psychology, all of which have become interests of mine. I decided family medicine was the best way for me to combine my interests into a practice that enables me to build meaningful relationships with my patients and use these relationships as the foundation for healing. I was immediately drawn to Rochester by their commitment to the biopsychosocial model which they helped put on the map decades ago. Volunteering at my medical school’s free clinic and on several global medical brigades to Haiti and India impressed on me the importance of caring for populations with the greatest need, and I am excited to begin serving at Brown Square Community Health Center.

                When I am not in the hospital, I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I dabble in guitar, indoor rock climbing, cooking, and a variety of outdoor activities from soccer to hiking. I enjoy listening to podcasts, with On Being and Codeswitch as two staples. Two of my great loves are travel and food, and luckily for me they often find a way of intersecting. I am very excited to explore a new part of the country and finally experience seasons besides hot and hotter.

Madeline BellMadeline Bell, MD

University of Illinois College of Medicine-Rockford

I’m from Ventura, California, which is an amazing little beach town about an hour and a half north of LA. It’s a bit sacrilegious that I can’t surf, but I love swimming in the ocean and kayaking! I’ve had type 1 diabetes since I was 9 years old. This was one of my major motivations to go into medicine. I went to college in Moraga, CA, another tiny town in the San Francisco Bay Area. There, I studied Health Science, which is essentially a mixture of Biology, Kinesiology, and Psychology. I also minored in Spanish and studied abroad in Belize, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.

After college, I took a year “off” to work as a study coordinator for several clinical trials for diabetes medications. During that year, I also volunteered at a local hospital and earned my EMT license. In medical school, I focused on women’s health issues and LGBTQ+ health. At this point, I knew I had WAY too many interests to settle into a single sub-specialty right out of medical school. Family Medicine is the perfect blend of primary care, patient advocacy, integrative health approaches, psycho-social issues, and care across the lifespan. I am so excited to continue my training at Rochester to be the best Family Medicine Physician I can be!

Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé playing video games and board games, working out, painting, singing, hanging out with my awesome cat Hattie, anything and everything Disney, ocean sports except for surfing, and reading (especially horror).

Finally, a fun fact about me: when I was 18, I won an international contest and was picked to sing the theme music for the video game Assassin’s Creed Revelations. It’s on iTunes if you want to check it out!

Ellerie ChenEllerie Chen, MD

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

My dad named me after an old detective character from the 1930s, Ellery Queen. We share a love for mysteries and puzzles, which is part of what makes medicine so interesting for me! I’m a Pacific Northwest girl: I was born in Portland, Oregon; majored in biochemistry at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington; and attended medical school at Loma Linda University in sunny Southern California.

I’m passionate about a healthy lifestyle and love to talk about good food and exercise. I’ve experienced first-hand how important a healthy lifestyle can be to managing chronic conditions. After my residency, I’d like to do a fellowship in functional medicine with a possible emphasis on acupuncture. My family is from Singapore and I grew up with both Western and traditional Chinese medicine, and I think they compliment each other in helping patients achieve wellness.

Outside of work, I like to rock climb, roller skate, try new recipes, and paint fat, crooked jungle animals.

Alexis DavisAlexis Davis, MD

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Hi All! I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and I attended Cornell University for undergrad where I majored in Human Development with a minor in Global Health. During college, I worked extensively with the Ithaca Free Clinic where my passions for health equity and social justice were solidified. After college I took a gap year and worked as a Patient Health Navigator in my hometown, coordinating care for community members with chronic illnesses. I then attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH where I furthered my interest in community medicine as the Health Outreach Coordinator for the Renee Jones Empowerment Center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing wellness services for victims and survivors of human trafficking.

I hope to expand this work in residency as an advocate for improved health access among medically vulnerable populations like my own. As a first generation college student and the first physician in my family, I am determined to serve and create opportunities for those with similar backgrounds. I ultimately hope to have a career that combines health policy, preventive medicine, community health and trauma informed care. As you can see, I have a LOT of interests and that is precisely why I chose Family Medicine, the specialty where you can truly make your career whatever you want it to be! The U of R Family Medicine program is a prime example of that as it offers its residents so many incredible and diverse training experiences. I feel incredibly lucky to be training here, and as a Buffalo native, I am happy to be close to home. Outside of medicine, I love spending time with my mom, sister and younger brother, brunching with friends, going to concerts, dancing to Soca music and traveling!

Joel FandelJoel Fandel, MD

New York Medical College

I grew up in a rural part of Washington State near the beautiful fishing town of Gig Harbor where I spent most of my time in the woods or on the water. I lived there my whole young life and worked in construction with my dad, as a farm hand at a local farm/orchard, and as a server in a few restaurants. My first passion was caring for animals, and my interest in the sciences began with the idea of pursuing zoology. As I matured and began recognizing the health disparities in my own community, my goals shifted towards a career where I could personally help and advocate for those people. I decided one of the best platforms to accomplish this would be to become a family medicine physician.

I studied neurobiology at the University of Washington as I’ve always been fascinated by the duality of the brain and the mind. I further developed my medical interests while living in Seattle and also saw first-hand how much value there was in preventative medicine, continuity of care, education, and attention to mental health. I also met my now wife at UW! We were fortunate enough to go to medical school at New York Medical College together, and now she is an Orthopedic Surgery resident at URMC. It is a dream come true for me to be joining such a highly regarded program like URMC/Highland Hospital where I will have the best preparation towards furthering my interests in addiction medicine and sports medicine.

Outside of medicine I enjoy watching and playing all kinds of sports, all things outdoors like hiking and rock climbing, woodworking, collecting and selling baseball cards, renovating our condo in Penfield, and relaxing with my wife and two cats.

Catherine HarmerCatherine Harmer, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

I grew up in Rochester (Irondequoit!) and went away to Yale for college where I studied physics. I lived and studied in France for two summers in college. During one of them, I worked at CERN where I realized that I am more interested in people than particles. I spent one year in New Haven after college working in a lab and learning how to get groceries with only a bike and a backpack. I then returned home to attend medical school at the University of Rochester. I am thrilled to be staying here to serve my home community throughout residency and beyond. Within family medicine, I am passionate about reproductive justice, gender health, and eating disorders.

I enjoy swimming in Lake Ontario and eating Abbott's ice cream with my large extended family here in Rochester. I am an avid backpacker, having thru-hiked the Long Trail and parts of the Appalachian Trail. I also love to sing anything from Bruckner to Janelle Monae. Practicing yoga with Rochester's vibrant yoga community is one of my favorite things to do.

Courtney KodweisCourtney Kodweis, DO

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas Campus

I was born in Rochester, NY and was raised not far from here in the North Greece/Hilton area. I have had the good fortune to have the support of an incredible family and of a close-knit community from a young age. I spent my childhood camping in the Adirondacks, boating on Lake Ontario, making friendship bracelets and watching Disney movies with my parents, grandparents and two younger brothers.  

After graduating from Our Lady of Mercy High School, I attended the University at Buffalo where I majored in Biomedical Engineering. There, I explored my passions for leadership and education as a teaching assistant and peer tutor. I spent my college summers doing research in the cutting-edge world of 3-D printing, which took me to places like Milwaukee, WI and Hyderabad, India. After college, I decided to continue my education in Biomedical Engineering with a MS at the University of Rochester Center for Medical Technology Innovation. There, my time was spent developing a novel approach to retrieve Inferior Vena Cava filters and learning more about medical device design. Upon graduation, I decided it was time for a “big-girl job.” I moved to a suburb just outside of Detroit, MI to continue work in the 3-D printing space for a company that creates patient-specific, 3-D printed surgical guides for orthopedic surgeries. Though the work was interesting, it didn’t take long for me to realize that my passions lie beyond engineering industry. I decided to return to school (again!), this time to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. The next year, I started medical school at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) – Carolinas Campus, in Spartanburg, SC. While enjoying the perks of sunny, blue skies almost year-round (and studying, of course), I continued to hone my interests in leadership, medical education and global health. When the time came to decide on a specialty, there was no question in my mind that Family Medicine was the best fit. I have had incredible mentors in Family Medicine and felt that this was an area where I could make the greatest difference.

After five years away from this incredible city, I am very excited to have the opportunity to return home to Rochester to continue my training as a Family Medicine Resident. When I am not busy with medicine, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, making delicious treats in the kitchen, enjoying the great outdoors and, of course, shopping at Wegmans! I cannot wait to call this city home again and look forward to serving this wonderful community.

Sarah MinneySarah Minney, MD

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Hello everyone! I grew up on a farm in Western Massachusetts with my parents, two younger brothers, and many turkeys, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, cats, was a great adventure. After studying neuroscience at Skidmore College (Creative Thought Matters) in upstate New York, I moved to Pittsburgh to be closer to my now husband and worked in mental health and childcare and finished my pre-reqs at a post-bac program. I was granted the privilege of attending medical school at the University of Pittsburgh (first generation!), where I discovered the field of family medicine and continued my community advocacy and service work. I'm so excited to begin training at the University of Rochester/Highland Hospital Program where I know I will have the best mentors and teachers. My clinical passions include maternal-child health, substance use disorder treatment, and patient advocacy. And when I'm home, I love to spend time with my husband, my rescue beagle-Clarence, and my family and friends.

Scott NearyScott Neary, MD

Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

Hello! I was born and raised right outside of Burlington, VT. Loving the green mountains and the lake I stayed in Vermont for college, attending the University of Vermont. While focusing my studies on psychology and human development, my free time was spent volunteering on the UVM ambulance service. After college I worked for four years in a local emergency department as an EMT before attending the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.

I am excited to continue my training in Family Medicine at the University of Rochester. My interests within family medicine include underserved populations, addiction medicine, and LGBTQ+ health. Outside of medicine I enjoy spending time with my partner, Drew, our black lab, Echo, and our cat, Duncan. When not at the hospital I love trying new restaurants, exploring new places, and staying active by spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Hannah RootHannah Root, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

Hello everyone! I am from Lowville, NY, a small farming town on the edge of the Adirondacks. I spent my childhood swimming in lakes, catching toads, visiting family, and shredding papers at my parents' busy Family Medicine practice. I attended Vassar College, where I majored in Science, Technology, and Society, and I spent all of my extra time with the circus performing arts club. After college, I moved to Philadelphia for two years to work with a multidisciplinary team focused on adolescents living with HIV. I moved back to New York to attend SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. There, I participated in Upstate's Rural Medicine program, and completed many of my clinical rotations in Batavia, NY, where I solidified my decision to pursue Family Medicine.

I grew up surrounded by my parents’ stories of working as Family physicians, and I was not surprised when I fell in love with the specialty as well. I am excited to work with people of all ages, and to have the tools to engage with my community and broader healthcare system. My additional interests include adolescent, reproductive, and LGBTQ+ healthcare, as well as healthcare policy and advocacy.

Outside of the clinic, I enjoy hiking and cooking with my husband, crosswords, and board games. I am delighted to be in Rochester for my residency training!

Julia SangerJulia Sanger, MD

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a doctor… for animals! But during high school in Rochester, NY, I pivoted toward wanting to take care of humans. I went to college at SUNY Geneseo with the intention of exploring medicine as a career, and a few meaningful shadowing and volunteer experiences solidified this interest. During college I found that I loved studying Biology, but that beyond the science, I also enjoyed the study of people and minored in Human Development. Outside of studying, I spent most of my time as a goal keeper for the Geneseo Women’s soccer team.

After college I moved to Boston where I worked in a lab at Harvard Medical School for 2 years. I learned a lot during my time there, not least of which was my passion for cooking. Ultimately my gap years paid-off when I was accepted at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Next to Rochester, Philly is the best city! Especially if you like good food and Eagles fans.

Family Medicine found me late in my third year of medical school when I thought my career was heading in a different direction. On my rotation, I became excited by the challenge of being presented with the full spectrum of medicine and I felt a profound sense of purpose in taking care of and speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. I’m smiling just thinking about it! I feel thankful to join the ranks of those invested in the wellness of the Rochester community.

Miguel SoteloMiguel Sotelo, MD

University of Washington School of Medicine

My family is originally from Mexico, though I was born and raised in Tieton, WA, a small agricultural town in central Washington State. My family still lives in that area. I went to college at Washington State University where I majored in Biology. While I was there, I was able to go on two medical missions to Guatemala as well as study abroad in Costa Rica for a semester. More importantly I was lucky to meet my life partner, Tracy, in college. She and I married at the start of my fourth year of medical school. Being in the rural underserved program at the University of Washington School of Medicine, my clinical rotations were heavily distributed throughout rural Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska. Those experiences solidified my career goal to practice full spectrum care in a rural underserved area.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my wife, playing board games, rock climbing, and taking our dog on hiking adventures.