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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

Zoe Kostarellis

Zoe Kostarellis, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

I was born and raised in Rochester, NY, where the majority of my family still resides. After graduating from Spencerport High school, I attended college at the Rochester Institute of Technology where I majored in Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology. After graduating from RIT, I attended SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. During my fourth year, I participated in the Rural Medical Scholars Program, where I was sent to Batavia, NY for 10 months to complete clinical experiences in a rural community. There, I solidified my decision to pursue family medicine, with a special interest in end-of-life care.  

During my time at the University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency program, I further developed my interest in health care advocacy and leadership; meeting with local legislators and speaking at town halls about how to improve health care for all Americans. I also have an interest in women’s health, including contraception and gynecologic care.

I am beyond thrilled to be able to stay in my home town as chief resident for an amazing residency program, and look forward to continuing to serve the Rochester community!email Zoe

AmandAmanda Morrisona Morrison, MD

University at Buffalo School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

I grew up in Bradford, PA, a small town in Northwestern Pennsylvania. It's the type of town where no matter where you go, you are sure to see at least a few people that you know well. I loved growing up in the small-town atmosphere, but decided to go to a "bigger city" for undergrad-Buffalo, NY. I went to the University at Buffalo, where I majored in Biomedical Sciences. As my experiences volunteering, working as a medical assistant, and tutoring had only further solidified my desire to go into medicine, I stayed at the University of Buffalo for medical school. It was during medical school that I came to the realization that Family Medicine was my calling. I love that I will be able to care for the whole person, the whole family, and work towards the better health of the community in which I live and work; I suppose that relates back to my upbringing in a tight-knit family and small-town community. I feel very lucky to have trained in Rochester, and I am looking forward to staying in the area to continue my practice as Chief Resident, with a continued focus on integrative approaches to care, and women's and adolescent health. email Amanda

Back

Class of 2020

The mission of the class of 2020 is to best serve our patients by bringing our passion, integrity, humility, empathy and openness to our work. We will strive to become the model physicians that we were inspired to be by advocating for our patients and keeping a holistic view of their beliefs, cultures, and community. We commit ourselves to continue learning to support each other and to maintain joy and balance in our lives.

Rachel Bian, MDRachel Bian, MD

University of Michigan Medical School

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

 

Caroline Brotzki Donohue, DOCaroline Donohue, MD

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

I was born in Syracuse, New York but moved to southern New Hampshire with my parents and sister when I was four years old. I grew up in New Hampshire skiing, hiking, and making occasional trips to Boston, the beach, and (more than occasionally) back to Syracuse to visit my extended family that still lives there today. I made my way back to upstate New York for college at Binghamton University where I majored in chemistry. I attended medical school at University at Buffalo where I realized my passion for full spectrum primary care, serving the underserved, and global health. My first year in medical school I was part of a group of students who were the first to go to a small village in Haiti and run a makeshift clinic out of a high school. I continued to return to this village each year of medical school and have enjoyed creating lasting friendships with the people of the community and watching the goals and successes of the clinic expand over the years. In residency I have been a part of the global health track and have traveled to Honduras on two trips with the residency program where I was able to see firsthand the kind of progress that can occur over time with quality, sustainable global health. Throughout residency I have also had interests in women’s health, serving inner city and refugee populations, and medical education.

In my free time I enjoy running, hiking, and reading. My form of “art” is cooking and I can’t think of anything more relaxing than creating a new dish with a glass of wine and some music playing. I also love spending time with my husband and friends and visiting my family in Syracuse and New England.

Jingnan Bu, MDJingnan Bu, MD

New York Medical College

I was born in a city of Northeast China called Jilin. Soon thereafter, my family and I immigrated to North America, where we moved around oh-so many times before settling in Richmond, Virginia. I grew up with my amazing parents and a cheeky younger sister. Eventually, I made my way down to Emory University in Atlanta, GA to study Biology and French Language and Literature. My interest in primary care grew from volunteering at a humble blood-pressure clinic after college, where I first learned to appreciate the social determinants of health. I attended medical school at New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY. There, my interest in women’s health took many forms. I am a member of the American Medical Women’s Association, and led a toiletry drive for a local emergency domestic violence shelter. Within family medicine, I am particularly interested in women’s health, palliative medicine, and advocacy.

I met my partner, Frank, in medical school. We start our journey in Rochester together, where he is an Internal Medicine resident at UR. Beyond medicine, I love any activity surrounded by greenery or on the water. I enjoy eating new foods, live music and comedy, dancing, and dreaming about owning a dog!

Jacob CastigliaJacob Castiglia, MD

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

I grew up in Horseheads, NY, a small town in the Southern Tier where I spent my childhood playing baseball and pretending to be a Jedi. After high school, I attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY majoring in biochemistry. I took this time to both learn the basic sciences and to see different parts of the world by going on various service trips. I spent time in El Salvador learning about its history and in Poland, volunteering at an orphanage. Before medical school, I also spent a year with AmeriCorps working at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center right here in Rochester, helping provide healthcare to those without insurance. I continued this commitment during my second year of medical school by co-managing the Lighthouse Free Clinic at the University at Buffalo.

I have always been drawn to family medicine so that I can provide care for people of all ages, as well as play an active role in my community. My additional interests in medicine include palliative care, addiction medicine, and healthcare policy. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Sandy, who is an elementary school teacher, and engaging in various nerdy activities, as alluded by my childhood hobbies. I enjoy anything science fiction related, table tennis, disc golf, fencing, and cooking. Also, my wife and I are big animal lovers. We have a cat named Gimli and hope to soon be adopting a puppy. Both of us are incredibly excited to be back in Rochester and begin a new chapter!

Alissa CorrellAlissa Correll, MD

University of Vermont Medical School

I spent my childhood in the small hill town of Conway in the pioneer valley of Massachusetts. There, I split my time between chasing cows and bothering the artists that populated father’s glassblowing studio while learning the craft myself. Though I haven’t been able to work with glass often during medical school, I still enjoy making marbles and (lumpy) mugs for my friends and family. It was also as a child in a rural arts town that I developed a deep appreciation of close community that is primary to the philosophy of family medicine, well as my interest in politics.

I completed my undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College studying both biological sciences and religious studies, then took a year off to work, travel and rest prior to medical school at the University of Vermont in Burlington. During my time in medical school I worked extensively on political advocacy projects with both state and national organizations involved in healthcare and health insurance reform as well as women’s health—pursuits that I hope to continue as much as possible during residency.

Outside of medicine I enjoy international travel, reading, group exercise, and music of any and all kinds. My newest goal for residency—outside of learning from my colleagues, attendings and patients—is to learn to cook! I’m thrilled for the new opportunities that Rochester will offer for me both personally and professionally, and am excited to make it my new home.

Jeffrey GeisendorferJeffrey Geisendorfer, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Binghamton

Hey everyone! I grew up around Albany, New York, and was fortunate enough to be encouraged to do many things. I grew up playing multiple sports, but I seemed to stick with hockey, volleyball, frisbee, and basketball. I have played clarinet since the third grade and enjoy going to see live music. I also was able to get out and hike in the Adirondacks, visit many museums, go to Civil War Battlefields, pick apples/berries, and garden with my family. I continued these interests throughout my life and still enjoy them all today.

I went to undergrad at SUNY Geneseo (Go Knights!) where I majored in biology and kept my nose in a book for four years. I was also an EMT-Basic there, and did fun research on past tree populations in the Northeast and how their population densities changed due to climatic variation. I volunteered consistently in a local assisted living facility and with local elementary schools. After four short years I took a year off to catch my breath and unwind with friends and family. I somehow got into SUNY Upstate where I met many amazing people who are very important in my life today. While there I spent time volunteering in the refugee clinic and shadowing geriatricians in the area. I also was able to be apart the Integrative Medicine, Dermatology, and PM&R clubs at Upstate. Even though my campus was based in Syracuse, one-third of our class spent our third year in Binghamton. During this time, I had a longitudinal family medicine clerkship, where I got to help manage patients throughout the entire year, one half-day a week. I had a fantastic mentor, who I aspire to be more like everyday. Being around family physicians in Binghamton made me realize that family medicine was the area for me.

Luckily I was accepted to the University of Rochester, and will be at the Brown Square clinic. I am so excited to return to a part of the state that I only got a taste of during undergrad, Geneseo being just south of Rochester. The city has so much to offer and the people here at this program are amazing. When not doing medicine I can be found playing video games, watching wonderful television, playing my clarinet, attending live music, playing sports, playing board games, reading (not medicine related), hiking, lounging in the sun, playing with my new puppy (Penny is a cockapoo), and spending time with friends and family. I also love to go out for some food and/or good beer.

Zoe GravitzZoe Gravitz, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

I grew up in Maryland near DC. After receiving a degree in History at Oberlin College, I worked at an HIV/AIDS Clinic in Brooklyn, NY, then a Neuropsychiatry Lab in Boston, before moving to Rochester for medical school. I loved the Family Medicine Residency, and I stayed to continue my training.

Within family medicine my passions are reproductive health, pain management, mindfulness, and mental health. Growing up close by the political center of our country, made me feel that I have an obligation to use my voice for change, which is why I've been active in the PALT Pathway. My commitment to reproductive health started in high school when I interned at Planned Parenthood Global and has continued ever since. I have missed working as a Birth Doula and I enjoy providing full spectrum women's health through the Maternal Health AOC. During college I lived in Santiago, Chile for a semester and enjoy speaking Spanish every opportunity I get and I have found the Global Health AOC extremely rewarding.

Outside of medicine I enjoy petting my dog, shopping at farmer's markets, preparing creative vegetarian meals, practicing yoga and meditation, hiking, listening to podcasts, seeing live music and spending time with family and friends.

Michael HudsonMichael Hudson, MD

University of Vermont College of Medicine

I’m from all over eastern Massachusetts originally, and have had the great fortune to have lived in many places, from Spain to New York City. Looking at my CV, I’ve apparently spent the last nearly twenty years working in computer security, but I can’t possibly be old enough for that to be true, so hmm. I’ve always been interested in medicine, but when I started volunteering at a free clinic for the homeless, I found my passion and I found my true love in family medicine. Actually, that’s doubly true, since my wife Sarah Hudson is also a family doc!

Throughout med school, I found that I love everything in medicine, and my interests are diverse, from working with addicted homeless to researching the use of artificial intelligence in managing population health.  I have also realized that one of the greatest impacts I can have on my patients’ lives is through policy and advocacy. To that end, Sarah and I founded Doctors for Social Justice, an organization that partners with and advocates for local groups to improve our patients’ social determinants of health.  All this makes me very excited for the political advocacy track at Rochester.

Outside of medicine, I’m a dad to three kids, ages almost 5, just about 2 and barely one month. When I’m not playing with them, I’m usually in the kitchen (my favorite room in the house) or in the woodshop working on some crazy project or another (current project: bunk beds for the oldest two!)

Sumaiya KabirSumaiya Kabir, DO

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hello everyone! I was born and raised right here in Rochester, and I am happy to be back here in my hometown! I grew up in Fairport with one older brother, but my family originally is from Bangladesh, a small country right next to India. We would travel back there often throughout my childhood, and this deepened my cultural roots, making it an integral part of my life. My connection to my own background has helped me better understand how culture affects health, and is something I carry with me and use every day.

After graduating from Fairport High School, I left to study biology at SUNY Geneseo with the dream of becoming a physician. After four memorable years, I decided that after graduation I wanted to spend a year doing research, and so I had the opportunity to work as a laboratory technician at the Center for Musculoskeletal Research at Strong Memorial.

After I was accepted to LECOM, I moved to Erie for my first two years of medical school, during which I married my wonderful husband Bobby. I moved to Long Island with him, and I completed my third year clinicals in Queens. Although I loved living in Long Island, and spent a lot of time exploring Manhattan, I found myself missing home more and more (life without Wegmans is rough). They say something about Rochester always draws you right back, and that certainly held true for me! By the end of my third year, my husband accepted a position with Thompson Health, and I was heading home again! I am thrilled to be staying right here for residency and I am ready to give back to this wonderful community that has given me so much.

Outside of work, I enjoy cooking and baking, especially trying new cultural foods and sharing them with people around me. I love traveling with family and friends, though I wish I could do more of it! I also enjoy watching movies with Bobby and am a huge Disney fan!

Rochester has always been near and dear to my heart, and is a place full of warm memories (despite the snow), and I hope to build a future here and create many more memories with Bobby.

Timothy SmilnakTimothy Smilnak, MD

SUNY Upstate Medical School

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

I chose to become a family physician because I felt like it was in family medicine, more than in any other specialty, that physicians were committed to caring for the underserved. I came to Rochester for residency because I felt like that commitment was part of the culture here, and I have found that to be true.

I have loved being here. Among the faculty and residents, we care about each other's personal well-being and professional growth. Highland Hospital is a great learning environment. I'm still sorting out exactly what I want to do in family medicine, but I know that I will do primary care and inpatient medicine. I'm still exploring my interests in obstetrics and addiction medicine. In the meantime, I have loved this program so much that I have decided to stay on an extra year as one of our Chief Residents.

Shivani SockanathanShivani Sockanathan, MD

Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science

I was born in New Jersey and grew up with two very supportive parents, an older sister as a role model, and a large pseudo-family in the Sri Lankan community. I had the opportunity to travel internationally quite a bit from a young age, as I have family in all corners of the world. This really opened up my eyes to the disparities in healthcare, developing my interest in community service and medicine. I attended college at Tufts University in Boston, where I majored in Child Development and Biopsychology. During medical school in Chicago, I was involved in “Cooking Matters” through which I taught cooking and nutrition classes to children at a local boys and girls club. I also led an organization that conducted health screening clinics in surrounding low income communities, and I had the opportunity to provide screenings/healthcare in Cusco, Peru as well. These experiences solidified my interest in preventative medicine and led me to choose Family Medicine as a career. I know the residency program at Rochester will allow me to explore my interests within Family Medicine, specifically women’s health, OB, and global health. I’m very excited to be a part of the Rochester team and glad to be back on the east coast!

Apart from medicine, I love traveling and take any chance I get to explore new places! I also enjoy running- I had the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon during my senior year in college and also went on the run the Chicago Marathon during medical school. Although I may be done with marathons for now, I’m looking forward to discovering some running trails in Rochester!

Natasha Vadera, MDNatasha Vadera, MD

New York Medical College

Hi everyone! I grew up in King of Prussia, PA (yes it is indeed a real place, and yes, it does in fact have the largest mall on the East Coast!). Since my parents are both from India, I traveled back often and lived with my aunt, a family physician there. Seeing her welcome patients to her home at any time of the day or night inspired my interests in the realm of primary care medicine.

For college, I attended Brandeis University and double majored in Biology and HSSP (Health, Science, Society & Policy). This interdisciplinary focus taught me how to address the underlying socioeconomic issues that contribute to a patient’s health status.  At Brandeis, I worked in a variety of free clinics and developed a global health internship at an HIV/AIDS NGO in a North Indian village. I also started an undergraduate South Asian Dance Team, and spent a summer traveling with a dance company to perform and tour internationally.

I took two years off after graduating to work as a clinical research associate, and then came to New York Medical College in Westchester, NY. The ability to work with a wide range of patient populations, to further explore global health, and to pursue a career filled with so much versatility and creativity drew me to Family Medicine. I was also recently certified to teach Bolly-X, essentially Bollywood Zumba, and I’m so excited to start classes here at Rochester! I’m also thrilled that I was able to come to Rochester with some of my closest friends from medical school, and to now be engaged to my best friend, Nayan Patel, who’s starting as an Internal Medicine intern!

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Class Of 2021

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

Dominick DeFelice, MDDominick DeFelice, MD

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

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

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

Rachel Ellenbogen, MDRachel Ellenbogen, MD

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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

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

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

Derrick German, MDDerrick German, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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

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

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

 Kenia GerKenia German, MDman, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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

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

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

Michael Ialeggio, MDMichael Ialeggio, MD

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

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

Patrick Kelley, MDPatrick Kelley, MD

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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

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

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

Colleen Kilbourne, MDColleen Kilbourne, MD

Albany Medical College

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

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

Lauren Perlis, MDLauren Perlis, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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

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

Mary Powers MDMary Powers, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

I grew up in Marcellus, NY, just outside of Syracuse, NY. My parents run an experiential learning center that uses a ropes course and equine therapy to promote team building and leadership development, particularly for underserved 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  underserved populations, rural health, adolescent medicine and the role of school-based clinics, and women's health. Outside of medicine, I love spending time with my husband and son, as well as our two dogs and cat. I really enjoy being outside, whether it's running, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, horseback riding, or something else!

Matthew Rivera-Bloodworth, MDMatthew Rivera, MD

Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

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

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

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

Alison Schuppert, MDAlison Schuppert, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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

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

Alison Schuppert, MDKristina Stoyanov, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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

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

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Class Of 2022

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

Jasdeep Bajwa, DOJasdeep Bajwa, DO

Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

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

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

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

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

Megan Carey, MDMegan Carey, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

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

Lauren Cowen, MDLauren Cowen, MD

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

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

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

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

Alisa Liu, MDAlisa Liu, MD

State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

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

Stephanie Mazzawi, MDStephanie Mazzawi, MD

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

Hello! I was born in Miami, Florida, where I lived with my parents and younger brother until I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Florida International University. Soon after, I moved to Buffalo, NY to attend medical school at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. It was there that I began to discover and develop my interests within medicine, which include women’s health, obstetrics, pediatrics, and caring for the underserved. 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, and the outdoors. I enjoy yoga, hiking, reading books, cooking, brewing beer, trying new restaurants, and traveling.  My partner, Ryan, is starting his Internal Medicine residency at Strong Memorial, and we look forward to exploring everything that Rochester has to offer!

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

Allison McKeown, DOAllison McKeown, DO

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

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

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

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

Ryan Nightingale, MDRyan Nightingale, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

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

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

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

Kailyn Rigby, MDKailyn Rigby, MD

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

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

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

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

Eric Sager, MDEric Sager, MD

Loma Linda University Schole of Medicine

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

Alexandria Snow, MDAlexandria Snow, MD

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

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

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

Sandy Wang, MD, MPHSandy Wang, MD, MPH

University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

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

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

Emily White, MDEmily White, MD

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

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

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

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

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

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