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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

Dominick DeFelDominick DeFelice, MDice, MD

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

I was born on Long Island and, when I was eleven years old, my family moved to eastern North Carolina where I remained through med school. 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), and worked two summers as a Nurse’s Aide.  This was without a doubt where I peaked!

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.  It also led me to 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. 

​As of my tail end of residency and heading into chief year, I am applying for fellowship in primary care sports medicine and trying to decide where I want to settle down!  I am extremely excited to have the privilege of being one of our two 4th year chiefs alongside my wonderful co-chief Mary Powers.  

Mary PoweMary Powers MDrs, 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!

Back

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."

BajwaJasdeep 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.

CareyMegan 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.

CowenLauren 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.

LiuAlisa 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.

MazzawiStephanie 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!

McKeownAllison 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.

NightingaleRyan 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!

RigbyKailyn 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.

SagerEric 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.

SnowAlexandria 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!

WangSandy 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!

WhiteEmily 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.

Back

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."

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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, dogs...it 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.

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.

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!

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.

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.


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Class of 2024

"We, the class of 2024, aspire to empower our patients through equitable and compassionate care. We are committed to justice, humility, and excellence in medical knowledge. We strive to learn from our community, patients, and colleagues. We hope to foster each other's growth and joy through support, respect, humor and adventure."

AbresJonathan Abres, MD

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Faculty of Health Sciences

I am originally from Jerusalem, though spent the later part of my childhood in Montreal, Canada. I did my undergraduate degree at McGill in psychology and management. I went to live and travel in Southern Africa after my undergraduate degree, where I worked at an addiction clinic. This experience had a great impact on me in terms of defining my future career aspirations in global health and addiction medicine as well as understanding health and treatment through the lens of the biopsychosocial model. I went to medical school in the desert of Israel, at Ben-Gurion University, which focuses on global health. During my clerkship, family medicine piqued my interests because of the relationships I developed alongside the diversity of patient demographics and disease presentations.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy camping trips, traveling, water sports, basketball, and most importantly spending time with my family and friends. I am excited to pursue my training at University of Rochester.

AntosNicholas Antos, MD

University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences The Pritzker School of Medicine

I was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in the neighboring suburb of Hilliard. After high school, I followed my older brother to the University of Chicago, where I studied biology. During college, I enjoyed the opportunity to work in FQHCs with Health Leads to address the various needs that patients had. I learned early on that many factors affect a family’s ability to stay healthy, and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to work with people to address these needs. I also spent a summer working on Rikers Island through a human rights internship where I distributed naloxone kits to family members of individuals who were incarcerated. Working with passionate doctors and talking with families about harm reduction confirmed my desire to become a doctor. I stayed at UChicago for medical school and discovered that family medicine was the perfect specialty for me. I am so excited to continue my training at the University of Rochester! I am looking forward to exploring my interests in addiction medicine, LGBTQ-affirming care, and community health.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing pickleball and board games, watching my hometown Columbus Crew soccer team, and hiking with my partner.

ChuTianrae Chu, MD

Gisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Hey there! I’m Tianrae or T-Rae for short. I was born in Boston, MA but moved before I can remember to San Francisco, CA where I grew up. I got my BA in Biology-Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis, where I did neuropsychology research and ABA therapy with teenagers with autism spectrum disorders. During that time, I also spent a semester studying abroad in China where I could connect with my roots a bit more (my family is from China and Taiwan). In medical school at Dartmouth, I found meaning in community engagement work with a local teen center, the student free clinic, and various student groups involved in social and racial justice. Wanting to pursue a career in primary care while maintaining a broad skill set, I found my way to Family Medicine. I hope to practice in both rural and urban medically underserved areas in the future. Outside of work, you’ll probably find me playing basketball or cooking up a storm. I’m looking forward to exploring Rochester with my partner who is a General Surgery resident!

Diletti-SwensonSara Diletti-Swenson, MD

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

Hi everyone! I was born and raised in the Buffalo area working in my family’s restaurant. I attended the University at Buffalo majoring in physics and mathematics. While I loved my classwork, I decided to pursue medicine and haven’t looked back since! After graduating, I spent a year in Binghamton working with a neurology practice as an intraoperative neuromonitoring technician and afterwards made my way back to my hometown for medical school at University at Buffalo.

 

I fell in love with Family Medicine early in my third year because it allowed me to see, learn, and practice full spectrum medicine. In medical school, I volunteered as the manager of a free student run clinic providing care to un- and underinsured patients in the city of Buffalo. This sparked my passion for underserved medicine, which further fueled my interest in family medicine as a rotator in a safety net clinic. My interests in addition to underserved medicine include addiction medicine, behavioral health, and medical education. I’m excited to explore these and everything Rochester has to offer during residency!

Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my husband and cat, Franklin, taking care of my many houseplants, playing board games, scoping out new restaurants, and exploring outside!

LauJanice Lau, MD

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Hello!  I grew up in Toronto, Canada, and I attended Cornell University, where I majored in physics and fell in love with Upstate New York.  Outside of the classroom, I enjoyed apple picking, hiking through the gorges, admiring the picturesque sunsets and fall foliage, and of course, going on endless trips to Wegmans.  After college, I completed a master’s degree in medical physics at the University of Pennsylvania.  My interests in applying science to healthcare and serving the community led me to pursue medicine.  I went to medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  During my time in medical school, I was drawn to family medicine because of the emphasis and value on long-term relationships in patient care.  I am thrilled to continue my medical training at the University of Rochester and to be back in Upstate New York! 

In my free time, I enjoy photography, travelling and adding souvenir magnets to my collection, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.  I am looking forward to exploring Rochester and being a part of the vibrant community!

LichensteinSarah Lichenstein, MD

Wake Forest School of Medicine of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Hello everyone! I was born in Baltimore, MD and was raised in Ellicott City, MD with my parents and younger brother. I attended Northeastern University in Boston for college and studied nursing. I loved exploring Boston, eating lots of seafood, and going to a few Red Sox games; however, I will always be an Orioles fan (Go O's)! After college, I was fortunate to be close with my family again and worked as a PICU nurse at University Maryland Medical Center. I loved working in downtown Baltimore and taking care of my patients; however, I realized I wanted to become a physician a few years after working. I then moved to Philadelphia to complete my pre-medical post baccalaureate program.

During my gap year, I continued to live in Philly and worked as a research nurse at UPenn in phase 1 trials focused on pancreatic, breast and colon cancer. I then was accepted to Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, NC for medical school, where I met my husband Brett (married in June!), who matched at URMC's internal medicine program. During medical school I also discovered my love of primary care and family medicine. I have interests in OB, addiction medicine, and women's health.

Outside of medicine, I love to spend time being with my husband and our orange tabby (Rory), hanging out with friends, being outside, exploring, traveling, watching new shows, cooking and eating good food. Brett and I are extremely proud that we were able to train Rory to sit, go down, and high five!

I am super excited to be begin my family medicine training at URMC!

MincerShifra Mincer, MD

State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

I was born in California and grew up in New York City. From a young age I regularly witnessed homelessness and poverty, and volunteered at a local soup kitchen, which helped me realize I wanted to pursue a life of service.

In college I became fascinated with philosophy and studied both Western and Eastern writings. My study of Chinese philosophy led me to pursue meditation. Sitting quietly allowed me to gain deep insights into my own mind, reflect on my life and find a place of inner peace. I realized that without taking care of myself, I could never truly help anyone else.

After college I participated in several silent mindfulness meditation retreats and trained to become a yoga instructor. The yoga teacher training involved a course on human anatomy and another on nutrition. I became completely fascinated by the human body and realized I wanted to become a physician to help people stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.

In medical school I was active in our student-run free clinic and held several positions on the executive board. I saw firsthand how important primary care is, especially for low-income and uninsured patients. I also learned about the devastating effects of health inequities, which disproportionately affect American communities of color. I spent a year after medical school as a research fellow for the SUNY Downstate Division of Health Equity. I am particularly passionate about women’s health and am excited to train in both obstetrical and family planning care.

In my free time I love to explore nature with my husband and son. We love to garden and cook food using our home-grown veggies and herbs. I also enjoy being physically active, running and hiking outdoors, cycling, and practicing yoga. Other hobbies of mine are knitting, crocheting, and sewing. I’m planning to knit some extra warm hats and scarves for our first winter in Rochester.

ShabahangSheema Shabahang, MD

Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago in a town called Gurnee. I come from an Iranian household and many of my summers were spent visiting family abroad. These experiences were the origin of my passion for traveling and exposing myself to different cultures and ways of life. I attended DePaul University in downtown Chicago, where I majored in biological sciences and minored in Spanish. During my undergraduate career, I volunteered as a peer health educator in Chicago Public Schools where I taught high school students about various health topics such as nutrition, sexual health, and mental health. I also participated in a medical mission trip to Nicaragua where I helped provide medical services to a community that did not have regular access to healthcare. Following my undergraduate career, I attended the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. During medical school, I founded the organization, PARS (Persian American RFUMS Students), the purpose of which was to connect Iranian students throughout the university and to educate members about Iranian culture and our contribution to the Sciences. I acted as Vice-president of WISDOM (Women in Scientific Discovery of Medicine) and was a member of Medical Students for Choice. One of my most memorable experiences was the six weeks I spent in the village of Ndejje, Uganda, where a group of fellow medical students and I assisted other doctors and medical personnel in providing medical services at a level IV health clinic. While I will miss my hometown of Chicago, I am thrilled to be pursuing my residency career here in Rochester and developing a relationship with this wonderful community as a medical provider.

I was drawn to field of Family Medicine because of its focus on the patient-provider relationship and the opportunity to be a significant resource for the well-being of the community. My interests within the Family Medicine include global health, maternity and childcare, and political advocacy. Outside of my life in medicine, I enjoy painting, crocheting, trying new food spots, and spending time with my friends and family!

ShellardMichelle Shellard, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Hello! I am a California native who has found her home on the East Coast. During my undergraduate years at Wesleyan University, I studied Neuroscience and Behavior and spent my free time volunteering in the community, working at a café, and briefly dabbling in intramural rugby. After college, I joined a humanitarian organization and wound up sailing the high seas as a galley cook on a medical ship in the South Pacific. I was then fortunate to attend medical school at the University of Rochester where I enjoyed serving with the homeless street medicine program, volunteer cooking program, and medical school a cappella group. I was also part of the school’s global health track; through that program I returned to the South Pacific for a summer and later for a research year, both times focusing on maternal and child health projects. I found my home in Family Medicine because of the specialty’s commitment to social justice, compassionate care, and holistic medicine. When it came to deciding where to go for residency, I couldn’t imagine leaving Rochester, which had become a wonderful place to live and train (marrying a Rochester native might have something to do with it, too!). I am thrilled to continue my journey with URMC’s stellar Family Medicine department! My clinical interests include women’s health, primary care, community medicine, and global health.

My husband and I have a dog and cat, as well as a host of house plants I try desperately (but not always successfully) to keep alive. In our free time, we can be found exploring the many hiking and running trails in the area, enjoying a meal with friends and family, conquering our never-ending list of home improvement projects, and buying mountains of fresh produce from the Public Market.

TaggartMegan Taggart, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

I’m from the small town of Whitney Point, NY just outside of Binghamton. For my undergraduate degree, I went to SUNY Geneseo where I majored in Biochemistry and minored in Mathematics. While in college I played rugby and was captain of my team for 2 years. When home over the summer and on breaks I worked as a nursing assistant in the emergency department. I attended medical school at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, NY. I fell in love with Family Medicine during my first year after exploring the specialty with some of the inspirational Family Physicians at Upstate. As a member of Upstate’s Rural Medical Scholars Program I completed many of my clinical rotations in Cortland, NY which confirmed that Family Medicine would allow me to treat the variety of people present in a rural community. I look forward to treating people in every stage of life and hope to one day deliver full spectrum care to a rural area. Outside of medicine I enjoy hiking, playing board games, reading, watching The Office, and spending time with my family.

TimmireddyKavya Timmireddy, MD

Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center

Hi, everyone! I would start this off by telling you about my wonderfully folksy hometown…except, I don’t have one. Having been born to parents with terminally wandering feet, I grew up all over the U.S. We lived in itty bitty villages, big city jungles, and everything in between! Each new year meant a new move, and every one of them was an adventure. My parents settled down in Queens, New York when I was a teenager, but my personal travels had just begun. After all, there were still so many places to see and so many people to meet! I went off to the University of Pennsylvania for college where I majored in Anthropology, further cementing my interest in human diversity. I came back to New York City for a couple of years, where I took that interest and belief in human capability and applied it to public health, which is where I really grew my interest in community and family medicine. Finally, I went off to Chicago to complete my medical school at Rush University.

I am so excited to be back in New York and at the University of Rochester. It’s an honor to be trained as a Family Medicine physician and to be able to serve and work with such a wide swathe of people. I have a particular interest in health equity work, care for the underserved (with specific focus on care for individuals with disabilities or are LGBTQIA etc. identified), family planning, and behavioral health. When I am not in the hospital, I enjoy hiking, reading, traveling, baking (my pecan pie is award winning), opera, and fiber crafts.

TriplettEmily Triplett, MD

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

 

 

 

 

 

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