We pride ourselves on the diversity of our residents. Please check out the biographies of our current residents and recent graduates.
Sarah Minney, MD
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
(She/hers) 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 adolescent mental health and for a non-profit crisis nursery 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 very grateful for my residency training here at URMC Family Medicine where I completed the P.A.L.T. and Maternal-Child Health areas of concentration and made lifelong friends and mentors. I'm honored to be a program Chief and FM Instructor this year as it allows me to do what I love most---take care of families and take care of residents! My clinical passions include maternal-child health, substance use disorder treatment, and patient advocacy. When I'm home, I love to spend time with my husband and our kiddos (both human and fur babies!) as well as our family and friends.
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."
Jonathan 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.
Nicholas 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.
Tianrae 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!
Sara 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!
Janice 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!
Sarah 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!
Shifra 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.
Sheema 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!
Michelle 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.
Megan 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.
Kavya 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.
Emily Triplett, MD
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo
Hey there! I was born and raised right here in Rochester, NY and had a somewhat tortuous journey to medicine. I initially studied Theatre at New York University before transferring to Nazareth College to study Psychology and Biochemistry. After undergrad, I worked for a biotechnology start-up company that grew out of one of the labs at URMC. When I finally connected my passion for people and stories with my love of science and innovation, I was lucky enough to be accepted at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science in Buffalo, NY (Go Bills!) There, I learned to embrace my diverse interests and fell in love with Family Medicine. I was drawn to Rochester’s broad spectrum training and emphasis on psychosocial medicine. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work back home right next to one of my favorite places: Highland Park.
Outside of medicine, I love the outdoors: hiking through our beautiful parks, biking along the canal, enjoying the slopes as a ski patroller, exploring my neighborhood with my dog, and trying my hand at some gardening. I love cooking, eating, and enjoying local music with family and friends.
Class of 2025
"As active members in our community, we the class of 2025 will work together to reduce healthcare disparities and promote equity through addressing structural, social, and environmental determinants of health.
In our service to our patients we commit to anti-racism and confronting our own biases, meeting people where they are with curiosity and open-mindedness.
We will give ourselves and each other the same compassion and care that we provide for our patients to promote trust and joy."
Maaz Ghouri, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello! I was born and raised on Long Island, New York. I earned my Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine and my undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University. My parents are first generation immigrants who instilled in me the power of education and the importance of striving towards goals. I view family medicine as synonymous with humanity. It is built on a foundation of empathy, preventative focus, and continuity of care. As a primary care provider, I aim to build lifelong relationships with patients -- as a listener, advisor, advocate, and healer. I hope to motivate and inspire the younger generation of physicians, especially those who are underprivileged, and instill confidence that they can achieve their dreams.
I grew up with a basketball in my hand and a soccer ball at my feet. At an early age, my passion for sports coincided with my interest in medicine when I volunteered as a sideline medical assistant for my high school’s varsity sports teams. Eventually, I was fortunate to have sports medicine physicians as mentors providing me valuable opportunities throughout the years. As a child, I aspired not only to become a family medicine physician with a sports medicine specialization, but also to be an astronaut. As a child with a telescope looking at the stars - to now an active member of the aerospace medical association - I aim to be a part of the innovative field of space medicine.
Aside from medicine, I prioritize time with family and friends and staying active. I enjoy hot yoga, pilates, and flotation therapy (try it!). In my spare time, I am a DJ who finds music to be therapeutic. I am excited for my journey in Rochester and look forward to my continued growth as a physician and member of this great community!
Jaclyn Grode, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska as the middle of three children. My family spent a lot of quality time in the car as we drove to rural South Dakota to visit family and occasionally struck out on coast-to-coast national park tours - my favorite so far is Mesa Verde. I went to Boston University to study biomedical engineering and to acclimate myself to east coast winters! After graduation I spent another year in Boston working in an emergency department and a research lab before making my way to Philadelphia for medical school at Thomas Jefferson University. During medical school, I spent a year in a program that focused on forming longer relationships with patients as they navigated the healthcare system. I chose family medicine as my future career early on because of its breadth. I'm excited that as a family doc I can care for people of all ages and with health challenges of all kinds. Within family medicine my interests include maternal-child health, rural health care, palliative medicine and addiction medicine, among other things! I’m excited to continue my medical career at Rochester/Highland Hospital!
When not in medicine-mode, I enjoy baking, science fiction, board games, trivia nights, and planning my future travel.
Rhianna Hibbler, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
I grew up on a mountain half an hour outside of town, in the part of the Pennsylvania Wilds known for its dark night skies. My mother was a teacher who encouraged reading and close examination of the natural world, as well as an empathy for people and meeting them where they are. These foundational experiences influenced my later decision to enter Family Medicine - however, it was a bit of a winding road!
I went to Bard College at Simon’s Rock after my sophomore year of high school, then transferred to Brandeis University where I completed a BS in Health: Science, Society, and Policy, with a thesis on Reproductive Decision-Making in Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. After graduation, I stayed in Boston to work as a Clinical Research Assistant at BIDMC on projects relating to diabetes and vascular health. Additionally, I volunteered as a birth doula, as I was considering becoming a nurse-midwife. From these experiences I found that I loved talking to people, learning their stories, and understanding their individual health goals and how to support them. To rule out a future in my other love, evolutionary and developmental biology, I took a research position at MGH studying the intersection of bacterial evolution and human immune response in the context of Cystic Fibrosis. There I worked with amazing physician-scientists, but also saw that the lab bench was not for me.
During this time I read Caring for the Country by Dr. Howard Rabinowitz, which profiled rural family physicians who participated in Jefferson’s Physician Shortage Area Program (PSAP). In it I saw the type of physician I could become, interested not only in the pathophysiology of disease but also invested in serving people and their communities. I was fortunate to complete my medical school training at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, where I participated in the PSAP as well as the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, which allowed me to complete my third year rotations in primarily outpatient settings. During my time at Jefferson, I created a podcast 'Along a River in the Wilds', helped lead our Family Medicine and Palliative Care Interest Groups, organized knitting and crocheting volunteers, and took advantage of our rich Humanities and Health program. I continue to be interested in rural medicine, as well as reproductive health, behavioral health, and palliative care. I'm very excited to be joining U of R's program, and to explore more of the Rochester area with my partner, who is from here! In my free time I enjoy walking our two dogs while listening to podcasts, crocheting while watching TV, and cooking with lots of veggies.
Kevin Li, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, a child to immigrants from southern China. My family’s struggles learning to navigate the health care system and a new culture led to my interests in health care accessibility and the importance of social supports. After getting a degree in exercise science at the University of California, Davis, I spent three years in business and technology working for a start-up company in the field of medical education. Attending the University of Rochester for medical school, I had the privilege of working with the unhoused population, public school athletic programs and being involved with several projects involving behavioral health and interprofessional collaboration. Those roles sold me on family medicine as a specialty to learn from and care for people of all ages and backgrounds. I am fortunate to continue doing so in the diverse and wonderful community I have called home for the past 5 years. Outside of medicine, you will find me hiking, cycling, taste-testing my partner’s delightful cooking and working on my Cantonese with my niece, who already is leaps and bounds more fluent than I am.
Christine Ly, MD
State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Hey everyone! I was born and raised in Flushing, NY where I was surrounded by Asian cuisine and learned to speak three different dialects of Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, and Fujienese). Although I am not a big foodie, I am always down for bubble tea! My interest in medicine started at a young age when I realized the importance of sight in navigating everyday life and wanted to help people preserve their vision. With high school research experience in a corneal wound healing lab at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, I spent a year at New York University studying biological sciences before transferring to Cornell University, partly in pursuit of snowier weather. After majoring in biological sciences and minoring in business and biomedical engineering, I pursued the dual MD/PhD program at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Following defense of my dissertation on retinal development, I received my PhD in Neuroscience and returned to third year of medical school. With an open mind, I fell in love with Family Medicine. From playing with children to talking to adults, I enjoyed my interactions with people and found myself wanting to learn more about their stories. With my vast interests within Family Medicine, I am excited to begin my training at University of Rochester and become more than capable of treating anyone who comes through my doors.
In my free time throughout the years, I dabbled in music (violin, piano, and flute), Chinese traditional dancing, Lion dance, Wushu martial arts, and arts and crafts (drawing, painting, and origami). Small things in life make me happy, from having a Minion with me to watching squirrels frolic around. I also enjoy spending time with my friends and family, watching television, playing board games, and trying to practice Spanish through the Duolingo app.
Katherine Macarthur, MD
Tufts University School of Medicine
I was born and raised in Acton, Massachusetts, a suburb 20 miles west of Boston. Much of my childhood was spent in the ballet studio, studying classical ballet. In high school, I fell in love with science and medicine and decided to stay close to home for college and attended Tufts University in Medford, MA. In college I studied biochemistry, and during my summer breaks I traveled independently across Europe and volunteered in wildlife reserves in South Africa. In 2018, I graduated from the undergraduate program at Tufts and started medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine. During medical school, I found that I was most passionate about developing longitudinal relationships with my patients and creating a safe and affirming environment in clinic. I loved all of medicine, especially primary care, leading me to choose family medicine as my specialty. Within family medicine, my interests include reproductive health and LGBTQ+ medicine.
When I'm not working, I enjoy reading novels while cuddling with my cat, a 13-pound black cat named Jem. I also am a huge Broadway fan and currently have a stack of about 50 playbills from the many shows I've seen! I am so excited to move to upstate New York and serve the community of Rochester.
Jessica Meyer, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Hello! I grew up in Belmont, MA just outside of Boston. After high school I headed west to attend Colorado College. After college I was interested in Public Health and worked at a non-profit where I facilitated community-based, multi-stakeholder alliances across Colorado to increase health equity. The passionate community leaders I worked with taught me that communities hold the best solutions to the challenges they face.I then I worked as a clinic and research assistant at Planned Parenthood in Minnesota where I developed a love for cheese curds, and a deeper understanding of how clinical care and research can be tools to investigate the causes and identify solutions to unjust health outcomes.
During medical school at the University of Rochester I worked closely with the local Syringe Exchange Program, served as a community advocate for im/migrant, and was lucky to complete an International Research Fellowship with a team based in Santiago, Chile. I found Family Medicine as the perfect space where people were working on innovative and non-traditional models of primary care to increase health equity via clinical care, advocacy, and research. And the people were just the best.
I plan to focus on the clinical areas of reproductive health and addiction medicine and identifying solutions to better care for marginalized patients through advocacy and mixed-methods research. Outside of the clinic I enjoy outside activities including trying to grow new vegetables in my garden and exploring new trails on foot, skis, or by bike. If I am inside, I enjoy any activity in the kitchen and learning how to throw pottery on a wheel. And I love ice cream, regardless of if I am inside or outside.
Julia Norton, MD
State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Hi all! I grew up in Jamesville, NY right outside of Syracuse. I attended Colgate University where I majored in French and minored in biology. I spent a semester abroad in Dijon, France and eventually completed my honors thesis on women in medicine in post-independence period Algeria. My French studies helped me develop a love for life stories, relationships, and identities, which lends well to a career as a primary care physician. While in undergrad I also participated in rural EMS and enjoyed building connections with the local community. After college I went directly to medical school at SUNY Upstate in Syracuse where I was involved in leadership of the OB/GYN and Medical Students for Choice interest groups as well as research projects on fibromyalgia and public health. Throughout my time at Upstate my passion for Family Medicine grew as I realized it was the best environment to bring together all of my clinical interests!
I am especially passionate about reproductive justice work, adolescent medicine, gender-affirming care, and advocacy. Outside of medicine I love to spend time outdoors with my husband and our boxer mix, Juniper. I also love cooking and baking — especially layer cakes! I’m thrilled to complete my Family Medicine training at the University of Rochester!
William Zachary Prebel, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Hello everyone, my name is William Prebel, but I go by Zach (my middle name). I grew up in Lakewood, Ohio, an inner ring suburb of Cleveland where local programs like Help2Others (H2O) and Key Club helped show me the importance of giving back to the community through service. In high school I discovered my love of the biological sciences through participation in a Biotechnology class sponsored by the local career technical high school. I then went on to major in Molecular Genetics at the University of Rochester, where I also minored in Medical Anthropology. After graduation I worked as a medical scribe in the Emergency Department at Rochester General Hospital for a year before moving back to Cleveland to continue my scribe work in Primary Care through the MetroHealth system. It was through these experiences where I first began to realize that I wanted to continue community work by providing medical care to underserved populations. During my medical school training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine I discovered that the field of Family Medicine really encapsulated all of my prior interests: encompassing a wide breadth of medicine, while at the same time addressing the social determinants of health. Within Family Medicine, I have particular interest in Behavioral Health and HIV care.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy watching documentaries and Youtube videos on various topics, and have recently developed a specific interest in city planning/urban design. I love playing strategy-based computer games, particularly those based in history, such as Sid Meyer’s Civilization and Humankind. I also enjoy spending time outdoors, and love exploring the different greenspaces in my area. I’m really looking forward to spending time in my favorite park in Rochester- the arboretum in Highland Park.
Matthew Sears, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
I was born in Pittsburgh and was raised in Amish country in south central Pennsylvania. I grew up around a lot of people in family medicine, including my mom, a family doctor, and my dad, a physician assistant. I came to Rochester in my late teens to study physics at the University of Rochester. After graduating, I got a PhD and began a career teaching sciences at Texas A&M University. I went through several life experiences that convinced me that I would better serve others as a medical doctor, so I hung up my spurs as a college teacher. I completed the postbaccalaureate program at Johns Hopkins University, spent a year as a clinical researcher for patients with sickle cell disease at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and went to medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Seeing patients in Baltimore and Philadelphia invigorated my passion for meeting new people, learning what makes them tick, and helping them manage their health so that they can be doing the things they want with the people they love. I enjoy caring for people of all ages and from all walks of life. I'm interested in all aspects of family medicine and am particularly passionate about women's health, maternal and child care, behavioral health, and sexual health. I'm honored to work and advocate for these things in Rochester! I’m proud to be at URMC, both as a resident and as a patient.
When I'm not working in the clinic or hospital, you'll find me walking my boxer around Rochester, taking photos of people, architecture, and nature. If I'm at home, you might also find me tinkering under my car, working on new recipes in the kitchen, or playing board games with my partner.
Kalyani Sonarikar, MD
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
Hi! I grew up in many places but spent a good portion of my life in Round Lake, IL with my parents and younger sister. I got involved in service at an early age through Girl Scouts which taught me the importance of knowing your community. Attending a math and science-focused boarding school led me to try and round out my education by attending Knox College, a liberal arts college in central Illinois. During my undergraduate years, I majored in neuroscience and minored in education policy while staying involved in my local community through various service organizations such as Alpha Phi Omega and Best Buddies.
I stayed close to home for medical school at Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. During my third year, I fell in love with family medicine because it felt like the perfect combination of serving my community, public health education, and forming long term relationships. Within the field, I am passionate about behavioral health, family planning, lifestyle medicine, nutrition, LGBTQAI+ Health, and medical education.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé, family, and friends (both in person and over video calls!). I also enjoy cooking new foods, thrifting, and continuing to grow my deep appreciation for fall, warm sweaters, and coffee.
Yuki Takeuchi, MD
Asahikawa Medical University
Hi everyone! I was born and raised in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan, a beautiful snowy city located at the same latitude as Rochester. I completed my medical degree at Asahikawa Medical University in 2016. After finishing the Japanese 2-year postgraduate internship at Teine Keijinkai Hospital, I worked at Teine Family Medicine Clinic and U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka. Through my clinical experience, I have seen many patients with chronic illnesses related to complex factors. When I struggled as an intern in Japan, I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Ryohei Otsuka, Class 2011 of URMC Family Medicine Residency. His holistic approach was eye-opening for me. He listened carefully to patients' narratives and supported their biopsychosocial treatment needs with interdisciplinary teams, providing evidence-based care. Since then, I have been pursuing an opportunity to learn holistic care at URMC in order to become a reliable family physician for each and every patient, like Dr. Otsuka.
I am especially interested in behavioral health, academic medicine, geriatrics, and palliative care. One of my unique backgrounds is that I completed training as a motivational interviewing trainer in 2021 after six years of practicing. The experience helps me understand patients' own values and support them to fulfill their wishes. Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing sports, hiking, cycling and spending time with my family. Especially soccer is my favorite sport. I was a competitive high school soccer player and participated in Japan National High School Soccer Tournament (Inter-High) as a member of the delegate team representing Hokkaido. Playing soccer taught me team spirit and leadership. I am very excited to work as a member of the URMC Family Medicine Team!
Class of 2026
“As the class of 2026, we commit to engage in our community, reject the oppression of communities which have been marginalized, and draw on their voices and experiences to guide our advocacy on a local, national, and global scale.
We are honored to accept the responsibility of learning to offer compassionate, equitable, culturally humble, high-quality care in a way that is flexible and responsive to the needs of our patients.
As we learn together, we will create an environment of growth, support, respect, and mutual accountability without shame. We will celebrate and be present for each other.
We promise to prioritize the health of our bodies, minds, and souls while remaining true to our authentic selves and the reasons we chose to practice medicine.”
Basim Ahmad, MD
Suny Downstate Health Sciences University College of Rochester
Hello everyone! I was born and raised by my Pakistani immigrant parents in Buffalo, NY. I stayed there throughout college at the University at Buffalo and majored in biomedical sciences. For medical school I went to SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn. During medical school I collaborated on a research project regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the health of underserved populations. This really shaped my desire to continue to work to advocate for marginalized communities. I chose family medicine because I love building long-term relationships with patients and their families, and addressing their whole health - including their physical, mental and social needs. I hope to provide holistic and compassionate care to patients of all ages and backgrounds, and to particularly provide accessible care to those who may struggle to get it otherwise.
In my free time I enjoy watching Hockey (Go Sabres and Americans!) with my wife and my 3 cats (Furdinand, Cannoli, and Susie). I also enjoy painting landscapes, playing board games, and cooking food, especially for friends and family.
Prabjot Kaur Batth, MD
Saba University School of Medicine
Hello hello! My name is Prabjot K. Batth, PK for short. I grew up in a small Canadian town named Tecumseh, Ontario before I moved to Detroit, Michigan for college.
I received my BS in Biomedical Physics at Wayne State University. During undergrad, I spent time travelling to Belize working with medical outreach groups to raise awareness and provide supplies concerning diabetes and dental disease. Before medical school, I spent some time working as a TA for the physics department at Ryerson University.
For medical school, I headed to the Caribbean where I completed my basic science courses on the island of Saba, Netherland Antilles. I completed my clinical years in the United States travelling throughout the country, from Brooklyn, NY to Joplin, MO. Following medical school, I pursued a preliminary surgery position at a community hospital in Waterbury, CT. During that year, I found myself craving more patient interaction, preventative care, and a better work-life balance, which led me to pursue family medicine here at the University of Rochester. I’m excited to be a part of a very supportive and comprehensive program.
As for my personal life, you can typically find me tending to my many tropical house plants and playing with my cats all while listening to a podcast. I also enjoy the outdoors as well and love living in a region where I get to experience all four seasons. My future plans involve living in the northeast and working as an outpatient practitioner.
Gabrielle Capone, MD
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo
Hello! I was born in Syracuse, NY and grew up in the Village of Chittenango. I went to high school at Faith Heritage and spent my summers working on a produce farm in Kirkville, NY. For my undergraduate degree I moved to Wenham, MA where I majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry at Gordon College. I enjoyed spending time in Cape Cod during school breaks. During school, I was able to travel to do research in Belize, study in Northern Ireland, and do mission work in Guatemala.
After graduating from college, I spent a year in Syracuse working with Advocates Incorporated as a mentor for adults with developmental disabilities and volunteering in a local nursing home. I then headed to downtown Buffalo, NY to attend the Jacob’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences where I spent time volunteering with children at Oishei Children’s Hospital with Project Sunshine, and became an End-of-Life Doula at the Sloane Comfort Care Home. During my fourth year of medical school, I was able to do a rotation at Highland Hospital with the University of Rochester. I loved seeing how happy and supportive everyone was, and was impressed by the quality of the program. I knew this is where I wanted to continue my education, and I am so excited to be a part of the team! My passions include preventive medicine, geriatrics, and palliative care. When I am not working, I enjoy working on home renovations, cooking, and spending time outside.
Meghan Connor, DO
Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine - California
Hi everyone! I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, CA. There I grew up playing competitive volleyball and was fortunate to pursue volleyball collegiately at the University of Rochester while majoring in Neuroscience. During my time in Rochester I had the opportunity to work with the Women’s Initiative Supporting Health - Transitions Clinic to support women involved in the criminal legal system get access to healthcare and community services. This experience primarily was where my passion for women’s health and community involvement was sparked.
I then drove across country to the Bay Area to begin medical school at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Here I had the opportunity to apply for a position as an Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) teaching fellow where I spent an extra year of medical school teaching first and second years the foundations of OMM while continuing to hone my own skill as an osteopathic provider with the amazing OMM faculty at Touro. During this additional year I also was able to get my certification in sexual assault and domestic violence counseling with an organization called Napa NEWS where I volunteered as a crisis counselor to support those individuals in need of acute services in Napa County. This experience opened my eyes to the need for improved trauma informed care within the healthcare system, which I will strive to be a lifelong advocate for.
I am excited to drive back to Rochester to begin my Family Medicine training at the University of Rochester, while continuing to pursue my interests in women’s health and trauma informed care! Things you can find me doing outside of the hospital/clinic include beach volleyball, tennis, photography, reading fantasy novels, trying to water color and playing video games!
Katherine Hausrath, DO
University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi! I am originally from the small town of Plattsburgh, NY. I did my undergrad in Molecular Biology at Florida Institute of Technology and was a member of the men’s rowing team as a coxswain. While in undergrad I completed a summer research project at Brookhaven National Laboratory studying DNA barcoding. I then attended the University of Rochester for a master's in Medical Humanities. My capstone research project was the creation of a patient education comic book on smoking cessation. I then attended medical school at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am very excited to come back to Rochester and I hope to continue to create patient education comic books during my residency at URMC. I also hope to excited to enjoy the ski slopes in the Rochester winters! Outside of medicine I enjoy tatting which is a form of lace making as well as yoga, biking, and watching movies!
Shea Kelly-Buckley, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Hello! I was born in Albuquerque, NM and grew up near Reading, PA. After high school I studied sociology at Notre Dame, where I grew to appreciate all the discipline had to teach me about health, justice, and how we can live better in community with one another. I moved further west after college to spend a year with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest / AmeriCorps in Bend, OR. I served as a member of a street outreach team serving youth and young adults, and as a liaison between folks experiencing homelessness and a mobile medical clinic. This experience both challenged my understanding of our health care system and solidified my belief in the power of good primary care.
During medical school here at the University of Rochester, I’ve been grateful to work closely with the Department of Health Humanities and Bioethics on a longitudinal Ethical Storytelling project that explores how we care for patient stories, both in our clinical notes and more publicly. I’ve also found community to support a developing mindfulness practice, and have enjoyed getting to know Rochester via the public market, soccer and kickball leagues, and the Rochester Mutual Aid Network.
I’m grateful for the chance to continue to serve this community as a resident, and I especially hope to develop clinical skills in substance use disorder care and harm reduction, psychiatry in primary care, reproductive health, gender-affirming care and palliative care. Outside of clinic I like to be outside (especially in a hammock), listen to podcasts, thrift in new places, accumulate houseplants, and share meals with friends.
Catherine (Katie) Klapheke, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
I am so excited to be joining the family medicine residency at Rochester. I am originally from Syracuse, NY and I attended Cornell University for undergraduate studies. I majored in Industrial and Labor Relations (Labor Economics), with minors in Music and Inequality Studies. I also focused my studies on Disability Studies. After college, I briefly worked at a corporate HR job and taught ESL to refugees, before I had the opportunity to serve as a Fulbright Scholar to Nepal. While there, I taught English to grades 5-9 in a remote village, and I also ran programs for students with disabilities and a girls’ club. While there, I discovered my interest in medicine and the impact health plays on my students’ lives. In medical school, I worked very closely with asylum seekers through Rochester Human Rights Initiative, a free clinic that provides medical affidavits. I was also involved in Deaf Health and Global Health. I am excited to continue to serve all patients, including those who are Deaf or have a disability. I am very excited to be at Brown Square, as that was a very transformative clerkship experience for me in medical school. Overall, I cannot wait to continue my medical career journey by joining the Family Medicine Residency.
Gillian Perez, MD
CUNY School of Medicine
I was born and raised in the Hudson Valley, in Warwick, NY. I always had a love of medicine, but growing up there, I often volunteered at assisted living facilities and nursing homes which steered me toward geriatrics. It wasn’t until I went to medical school at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and completed my pediatrics rotation that I realized that I wanted to work with all ages. Knowing this, family medicine was the perfect option for me. My ultimate goal is to practice outpatient full scope family medicine.
Outside of medicine, my hobbies include reading, practicing Tae kwon do, tending to my collection of desert plants, and playing with my parents’ dog.
Ronald (Ron) Roseman, MD
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine - Grand Rapids
Hello everyone! I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Growing up I enjoyed science along with social interactions and knew I wanted to pursue a career that incorporated both. During high school, I discovered my interest in medicine after attending a medical summer program where I gained exposure to the field of medicine. Witnessing the ability of physicians to use their training and talents to care for patients in transformative ways intrigued me and instantaneously ignited my passion for medicine. After high school, I went on to attend Michigan State University where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology. After graduating from MSU, I continued to be a Spartan and matriculated into medical school at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.
While in medical school, I learned more about family medicine and the type of holistic patient care I could practice. I loved the different aspects of what being a family medicine physician offered and decided to pursue it as a career. Particularly, it is rewarding to me for me to see patients improve while also building genuine relationships with them. In time, I hope to further explore my clinical interests of primary care, sports medicine, and global health.
Outside of medicine, I love both playing and watching sports, football being my favorite. In addition, I am a fan of film production, traveling, and trying new foods. I am excited to be continuing my journey with URMC’s program and look forward to serving the Rochester community!
Monica Sharma, DO
Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi everyone! I was born in Montreal, Canada and at the age of 3, moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where I have been since. I completed my undergraduate degree in English with a minor in Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University. Following this, I made my way back home to complete my Masters of Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. While specializing in epidemiology and biostatistics, I created a project to assist high-risk pregnant women gain access to their OBGYN within the St. Louis Greater Area. This project furthered my interest in medicine and led me to my position as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Pediatric Cardiology at Washington University in St. Louis. While I coded and created 3D printed heart models of children with congenital heart defects, I was able to speak and directly communicate with families regarding surgical planning. Coupled with the simultaneous experiences that I have had in research, these experiences solidified my intention to practice medicine and lead me to Arkansas College of Osteopathic medicine.
Throughout medical school, I became involved with international community projects, service, and continued experiences in research. During my third year, I had the wonderful opportunity to encounter two family medicine rotations, where I was introduced to the value of continuity of care as it improves quality of care and develops meaningful relationships along the way. Primary care became a passion of mine, which I plan to expand during my training at University of Rochester. I was immediately drawn to the program’s diverse concentration tracks, emphasis on preventative medicine, and continuity of care within the lens of the biopsychosocial model. I am extremely excited and honored to begin my residency with Highland Family Medicine.
Outside of medicine, I can always be found near a coffeeshop or bookstore trying to find another fictional world to delve into. Otherwise, I enjoy family time, trying different cuisines, and skiing. If given the opportunity, I would love to travel anywhere and everywhere to experience the world.
Adriane Spiro, MD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Hi everyone! I grew up in Durham, North Carolina before attending Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where I majored in neuroscience and developed a fascination with trying to understand the finer intricacies of the human mind and body. Torn between pursuing a research career or practicing medicine, I spent 3 years after graduation working as a lab manager in a cognitive neuroscience lab at Brown University. It was through this experience that I realized that, though I love the fine details of research and study design, I missed the human connection that is inherent in the practice of clinical medicine. I therefore moved back to North Carolina to complete medical school at The University of North Carolina.
Throughout my time at UNC, I found myself drawn to Family Medicine because it provides the perfect blend of full spectrum patient care for all genders and ages, focus on social justice issues, advocating for patients, and community involvement. I appreciated that all my mentors in Family Medicine had a propensity for viewing medicine through a biopsychosocial lens. Within Family Medicine, I am particularly passionate about reproductive justice and family planning, LGBTQIA+ health, and care for underserved patient populations.
Outside of medicine, I love to spend time with my friends and family, playing board games, going to see musicals, or trying out a new local spot. I’m also an escape room enthusiast, having escaped from over 20 rooms with my family. In my free time, I decorate elaborate cakes semi-professionally and, when I have access to a workshop, I enjoy woodworking. I’m looking forward to checking out upstate New York and exploring all that Rochester has to offer!
Lauren Varvatos, MD
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Hello everyone! I'm from a small town called Marshall, Michigan. I grew up cooking and dreamed of becoming a chef. At Michigan State University, I worked in a professional kitchen and transitioned from hospitality to studying Nutritional Sciences. I worked on research projects and for nonprofit organizations focused on community/urban gardening and nutrition education programs for kids.
I moved to Ithaca, NY for my master's in Molecular Nutrition at Cornell University, where I fell in love with upstate New York. My work in the lab focused on skeletal muscle, but I was happiest while working with our human research participants, teaching students in anatomy lab, or volunteering. I decided on a career in medicine and attended the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI. I was fortunate to work with some incredible people as part of organizations like Street Medicine Detroit, LGBTQ+ People in Medicine, and the Social Justice in Medical Education Coalition.
I am thrilled to begin my career in Family Medicine at URMC, get to know my patients, and serve the community of Rochester. My interests center on LGBTQ+ health, gender-affirming care, reproductive justice, adolescent medicine, and advocacy for communities which have been marginalized.
Outside of medicine, I love spending time with my family, partner, friends, and all associated dogs. I'm especially happy while cooking, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, paddling, camping, gardening, swimming, or enjoying any form of live music, drag, or theater performance.