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Our Residents

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As you consider taking your first step in residency training, we encourage you to apply to the University of Rochester. We look forward to introducing you to Western New York, sharing more about our program and are confident you will be pleased with what you find.

1st Year Residents 2nd Year Residents 3rd Year Residents 4th Year ResidentsFellows

Co-Chief Residents 

Benjamin Gertsen, MD

Benjamin Gertsen

Hometown: Ridgefield, Washington

Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Why did you select URMC for your residency? High volume, location, research opportunities and the people.

Family: I am the youngest of four siblings with family scattered throughout the Northwest, East Coast and Upstate. 

Hobbies and interests: Long-distance running, soccer, languages and exploring small towns.

Social Media Links- Instagram: @BenjaminGertsen ​

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? Gastrointestinal surgical pathology, microbiology, general surgery.
 

Bahadir Yildiz, MD

Suven Cooper

Hometown: Trabzon, Turkey

Medical School: University of Health Sciences, Gulhane School of Medicine, Turkey

Why did you select URMC for your residency? I chose URMC for my residency training because of its wide selection of fellowships, friendly environment and strong research opportunities.

What is the best feature of your residency program? I think the best feature of my program is its strong leadership and support for its residents.

Family: I’m married to Betul, who is not only my better half, but also my co-resident (she’s better at that too).

Hobbies and interests: I enjoy outdoor activities like jogging or cycling. I like playing and watching chess. I am also a Linux enthusiast. 

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? My favorite part about Rochester is its outdoor activities and beautiful views. I'm new to the city so I still have a lot to explore.

Social Media Links- Instagram: @bahadiryildiz_ 

Twitter: @_bahadiryildiz

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? Wherever I end up, I want to become the best pathologist I can be and help as many people as I can.

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? I wish I knew the importance of the time I've had before residency. 
 

PGY-4 

Irene Chen, MD

Irene chen

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Medical School: St. George’s University

Why did you select URMC for your residency? People are genuinely nice here. Also, I want to stay in NY but not in NYC.

What is the best feature of your residency program? People and the supportive environment we create.

Hobbies and interests: My parents and my younger brother are back in Taiwan. I’m here with my hubby and our lovely cat, Momo.

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? Festivals and farmers markets.

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? Wish to be a traveling pathologist or signing out cases at home (anywhere on the Earth…or Mars).

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? How well our program facilitates us transitioning into residency. :)
 

PGY-3s

Cansu Karakas, MD

Cansu Karakas

Hometown: Izmir, Turkey

Medical School: Ege University School of Medicine

Why did you select URMC for your residency? Me and my husband wanted to be in upstate NY area and I loved the atmosphere on my interview at URMC. Residents looked very happy to be here.

What is the best feature of your residency program? Priority of resident wellness, flexibility of the curriculum based on each resident’s interest areas, and supportive environment.

Family: Me, my husband and our cat Roscoe!
 

Harsimran Kaur, MBBS

Harsimran Kaur

Hometown: Punjab, India

Medical School: Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana (India)

Why did you select URMC for your residency? I like Rochester, it's a small city with all the amenities of a larger city.

What is the best feature of your residency program? Diversity!

Hobbies and interests: Playing badminton and spending time with family.

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? Wegmans!

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? As a senior administrator.

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? Value of home cooked food.
 

Wilrama Lima (Wila), MD, DDS

Wilrama LimaHometown: Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil

Medical School: University of Fortaleza

Why did you select URMC for your residency? Numerous reasons, including the warm and receptive welcoming by the faculty, residents and coordinators during interview season. Besides the program providing many opportunities to achieve my career goals, I am still near my family as I’ve been living in Rochester!

What is the best feature of your residency program? The friendly environment.

Hobbies and interests: Body pump classes, volleyball w/ my daughter, hanging out w/ friends!!

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? Rochester is a hidden jewel! We find everything here from a big city, but without the traffic/disadvantages of a large city.

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? That’s difficult one! I have many of them, but first to become a good pathologist and be helpful to my community!

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? How to find things better inside SMH. It's a huge hospital and many times I get easily lost. :)
 

Xiaoqin (Lucy) Liu, MB, PhD

Lucy Liu

Hometown: Taiyuan, China

Medical School: Shanxi Medical University

Why did you select URMC for your residency? URMC is a well-known medical center with an excellent reputation for teaching and fantastic faculty team who are experts in multiple subspecialties in the US. Teaching and supportive culture is phenomenal. I am sure that I will get the best residency training here.

What is the best feature of your residency program? The supportive environment and dedicated supervisors.

Family: My husband and I have a lovely son and an adorable kitten.

Hobbies and interests: Swimming, cooking and traveling.

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? Beautiful summer scenery and awesome grocery stores: Wegmans.

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? My career goal is practicing in an academic setting as an anatomic pathologist.

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? I wish I knew how to keep a good balance of working and studying.
 

Leah Militello, MD, MBA

Leah Militello

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Medical School: University of Buffalo Medical School

Why did you select URMC for your residency? I chose URMC for my residency because I could tell how central the well-being of the residency program is to the department and I could appreciate the comradery between the residents on my interview day. Additionally, the location is conveniently close to my hometown.

Hobbies and interests: I live with my boyfriend, Jerry, and enjoy reading, arts and crafts, stand up paddle boarding, and playing with my pet rats.

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? So far my favorite thing about Rochester is the beautiful house and neighborhood I found to live in at a reasonable price.

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? I have not yet identified a specific subspecialty to pursue, so my career options are still wide open. I do hope to be able to use some of my former training to assist in management and cost-making decisions for whichever type of organization I ultimately join.

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? I’m still pretty much at baseline in terms of things I’ve learned since I started residency.
 

Dingani Nkosi, MBBS, PhD

HometownDingani Nkosi: Lilongwe, Malawi

Medical School: University of Malawi, College of Medicine

Why did you select URMC for your residency? I believe that URMC provides excellent support, supervision and mentorship for its residents. The program has all the components of an outstanding residency training institution including diverse patient population and pathologies, research opportunities, state of art facilities and high caliber faculty devoted to training the residents.

What is the best feature of your residency program? The best feature is the closeness of the family here at URMC. Everyone is willing to help at every point, starting from the day I got an invitation to interview here to now where am I settling down as a resident. You never walk alone, there is always people to help. 

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? So far I have enjoyed the diversity of food and restaurants around the Rochester area.

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? Upon finishing residency, I would like to continue to strengthen my clinical and research skills with a Hematopathology and Molecular pathology fellowship. Ultimately I am interested in dividing my career between doing research and assuming clinical and teaching responsibilities.  I hope to combine my love of science with a commitment to teaching the next generation of physician scientists

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? I am still pretty new so ask me again next year, I am sure I will have an answer. LOL!
 

Treyc Terry, MD

Treyc Terry

Hometown: Alexandria, Louisiana

Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

Why did you select URMC for your residency? URMC has been a place that has allowed me to grow in so many areas of my life as a medical student, it was only natural to continue this process as a resident.

What is the best feature of your residency program? I love the people! Everyone is so nice and welcoming. This is truly my second family.

Family: I am the second oldest of 8 siblings. Let’s just say the holidays are an interesting time!

Hobbies and interests: I love sports, music, traveling, and mentoring.

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? My favorite thing about Rochester is the Jazz festival that takes place during the summer.

Can you identify a favorite or most impactful faculty member/mentor and why? I would have to say Dr. Bradley Turner, he has been a mentor of mine since the first year of medical school, and has always guided me in the right direction.

Social Media Links- Instagram: @trillphysician

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? I aspire to do a fellowship in blood bank/transfusion medicine.

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? It is okay to say you do not know, you are here to learn!
 

Hatice Betul Zengin, MD

Hatice Betul ZenginHometown: Burdur, Turkey

Medical School: Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Turkey

Why did you select URMC for your residency? I selected URMC for my training because of its prestige, broad array of fellowships and supportive leadership.

What is the best feature of your residency program? The best feature of my program is that it's not only a residency program. It's a family. Where every member supports each other and want their happiness.

Family: Bahadir is my husband and also my co-resident.

Hobbies and interests: Playing flute, swimming and traveling.

What is your favorite thing(s) about Rochester? What I love about Rochester is its summer, outdoor activity options and how everything is 10 minutes away.

Social Media Links- Instagram: @hbetulzengin_

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? I want to become a successful pathologist and have the opportunity to teach pathology to others.

One thing you wish you knew before you started your residency here? Skiing (I just started learning)
 

PGY-2s

Kyla Jorgenson, MD, MS

Kyla Jorgenson

Hometown: Burlington, ON, Canada

Medical School: American University of the Caribbean

Why did you select URMC for your residency? Being away from family meant I wanted a group of people that would become my family and I felt that from URMC at the virtual open houses and interview day. Everyone was welcoming, could joke around with one another, and seemed to genuinely love the program. URMC ticked off everything I was looking for in a program, great people to learn from and be supported by, fellowship opportunities, a beautiful area (as a cyclist I'm incredibly excited for cycling the Finger Lake region), and a well rounded program that would prepare me for the future.

Family: It's just me! Family is across the border so for company I plan on adopting two kittens, who, in true nerd fashion, will be named 'Heme' and 'Eo', or H&E as a pair ;)

Hobbies and interests: As a self-taught crochet addict, I love creating color and pattern combinations for blankets and stuffed animal amigurumi. My yarn stash is getting out of hand. In the colder months, crochet pairs well with binge-watching a TV series, especially British crime dramas. But as soon as it warms above freezing, my favorite place is outside on my bike. I also dabble in photography while exploring a new city or out hiking.

Social Media Links- Twitter: @FscPathKMJ Instagram: @k_jorgs 

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? My unwavering goal since high school has been forensic pathology, now the task is to decide if I want to compliment that with either pedipath or neuropath.
 

Tiffany Goetz Sheganoski, DO

Tiffany Goetz SheganoskiHometown: Delran, NJ

Medical School: Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Why did you select URMC for your residency? URMC engendered everything I was looking for in a residency. The first aspect of the program that struck me was the warm environment, which resonated even through our virtual interview process. This environment was cultivated by faculty and residents who shared a beautiful comradery. I love that the faculty are all obviously invested in both the professional and personal development of the residents. I was also drawn to the fact that this is a large program that offers diverse curriculum tracks, designed to support each residents’ unique career aspirations. URMC stated on interview day that they are not looking for “cookie cutter residents;” I think this is 100% accurate and very apparent by the way they have structured the program.

Family: I got married while in medical school and have a stepson.

Hobbies and interests: I am very active and enjoy working out daily, especially using the Peloton app for running, cycling and yoga. My husband and I travel often, and do many activities together – including hiking, horseback riding and discovering breweries. My favorite pastime is scuba diving, which I do every spare moment that I get. I’m looking forward to diving in the Great Lakes while in Rochester!

Social Media Links- Instagram: @tiffanyshegs Facebook: Tiffany Goetz Shegs

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? I was an autopsy tech for many years, and knew before I started my undergraduate degree that I wanted to pursue forensic pathology. I look forward to completing a forensics fellowship, and one day marrying my love of scuba and forensics by specializing in water-related deaths.
 

Kristin Rybski, MD

Kristin Rybski, MD

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Medical School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Why did you select URMC for your residency? URMC's fellowship opportunities, warm and friendly environment, faculty committed to teaching and mentoring students, and the affordable cost of living.

Family: I married my high school sweetheart, Brendan, and we are excited to adopt our first "fur child" this year.

Hobbies and interests: I love the outdoors, especially hiking, skiing and snowboarding. I also enjoy playing volleyball, board games and cooking with my husband. I like watching cheesy Hallmark movies and I'm a big fan of The Office.

Social Media Links- Twitter: @KristinRybski 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristin-rybski-4a2b7988/

Where would you like to end up/career goals/aspirations? As I begin residency, I have interests in dermatopathology and hematopathology. I am excited to explore new areas within the field and see where my passions lead me in my career.

 

PGY-1s

Alexander Besen, MD

Alexander Besen

Hometown: Chappaqua, NY

Medical school: New York Medical College

Family: My parents live in Westchester County and my younger sister lives in Manhattan. My parents and I adopted a golden doodle, Molly, in 2017, but she's staying downstate with them.

Hobbies: Big into video games, particularly Pokémon and platformers. I'm especially drawn to challenge runs and the speed running community over on Twitch. I also enjoy DnD campaigns with some online friends and reading and writing sci-fi and science fantasy stories.

Social media handle: @alexmbesen

What made you choose URMC?
I was already familiar with the Rochester area thanks to attending RIT and loved my time there. I also worked for URMC Specimen Management before medical school. When I knew I wanted to apply to a pathology program, URMC was immediately on my radar because of the sheer volume and diversity of samples and specimens I knew they received. And I really enjoyed the folks I got to (virtually) meet through open houses, interview day, and Grand Rounds. I just knew it would be a perfect fit!

What are your career goals?
My hope is to move onto fellowship in one or two subspecialties (possibly heme or molecular) and then use that training and my love of teaching to work as an attending pathologist and train the next generations of physicians.

Fun fact about you?
I attended the great Wayne Gretzky's final NHL game before retirement. Unfortunately, I lost the commemorative hockey stick.
 

Olivia Sagan, MD

Olivia Sagan, M.D.

Hometown: Arlington, MA and Strongsville, OH
Medical school: The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
Family: Myself and my husband
Hobbies/interests: Photography, board games, traveling, and watching movies/TV

Social media handle: Twitter - @OASPath

What made you choose URMC?
URMC has everything I was looking for in a residency program: Large volume, caring and dedicated faculty, a focus on residents as educators, and friendly and welcoming residents. Rochester is also a perfectly sized city in a beautiful area of the country.

What are your career goals?
I am currently interested in GI and molecular. I am excited to explore these and other fellowship options in the near future, and ultimately a career in academic medicine.

Fun fact about you?
I have logged over 700 hours playing Stardew Valley.
 

J. Gael Uy, DO

J. Gael Uy, D.O.Hometown: Amarillo, TX

Medical school: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest

Family: All of my family is in Texas. I’m the eldest of three siblings, and easily the worst at Mario Kart (I hold my own in Smash Bros, though).

Hobbies/interests: Music holds a special place in my heart. I play piano, harp, ukulele, and am working on picking up the guitar. Other hobbies I have include camping on the beach, cycling around new cities, finding the best places to watch meteor showers, building bonds through getting lost, enthusiastic car karaoke with the windows down, telling stories over video games, improving medical education regarding LGBTQ+ topics, and volunteering in my community.

What made you choose URMC?
How considerate, easy-going, and dedicated the people are. Those I met during my interview day treated me like I was already a part of the team (even as my fire alarm went off halfway through!). It’s difficult to be so far from home, but finding people you can laugh with while being part of a tight-knit community makes things a lot easier. 

What are your career goals?
Whether through research or education, I want to use my background in developmental biology to translate academic findings to clinical practice. My future goals center around making pathology more accessible to both clinicians and students while finding ways to add compassion in delivering difficult diagnoses.

Fun fact about you?
I helped organize a Zombie Prom-themed 5K and was a musician for the prom band!
 

Giby V. George, MBBS

Giby V. George

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Medical school: Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala, India

Family: I am married to my medical school sweetheart and we have a daughter.

Hobbies: I love learning in all forms, whether it be professionally or otherwise. I enjoy traveling, adventuring, visiting museums and parks, trying new foods, and reading and playing with my daughter.

What made you choose URMC?
I fell in love with the program during my pre-interview pathology exposures. I also feel greatly indebted to the faculty for having made my experiences so memorable.

What are your career goals?
I'm not entirely sure yet to be honest; I'm excited to see where residency will take me!

Fun fact about you?
I share a birthday with Kawhi Leonard, who happens to be my favorite basketball player.
 

Andrew Johnson, MD

Andrew Johnson, M.D.Hometown: Auburn, NH

Medical school: University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine

Family: I am the oldest of two siblings, and the majority of my family is scattered around the Northeast

Hobbies/interests: I regularly go rock climbing and hiking, and play sports including tennis, soccer, golf, jujitsu, cycling, volleyball, kayaking, skiing, and ping-pong! Lawn games like Spikeball and Kan Jam hold a special place in my heart as well. Other non-active interests I have are cooking, video games, movies and TV shows, and board game nights.

Social media handle(s): Instagram - @ajredhead

What made you choose URMC?
The two major things I was looking for were location in the Northeast and a great group of supportive people. From the first moment I saw and spoke to the faculty and residents at URMC, they could be described as nothing other than a family. The supportive and charismatic environment combined with ample opportunities to pursue career interests in a fantastic program made URMC the easy choice for me!

What are your career goals?
I decided I wanted to be a forensic pathologist when I was 18! While I love many aspects of pathology and medicine as a whole, becoming a medical examiner will forever be my dream career.

Fun fact about you?
I played quidditch (the sport from Harry Potter) all 4 years of undergrad for Hofstra University and the regional tournament was held every year in Rochester. To this day quidditch is the roughest sport I have ever played.
 

Alicia Schmidt, DO

Alicia Schmidt, D.O.

Hometown: Warner, NH

Medical school: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hobbies/interests: Arts and crafts, exploring the outdoors, drumming, my dog 

What made you choose URMC? 
I chose URMC for the people and the wide breadth of resources and opportunities.

What are your career goals?
I am still considering several different fellowships and career paths.
 

Fellows
 

Janira Navarro

Janira Navarro
Breast/GYN Fellow

Caroline Miller

Caroline Miller
Blood Bank/Transfusion Medicine Fellow

Mona Deerwester

Mona Deerwester
Dermatopathology Fellow

Nurmukambed Ermatov

Nurmukambed Ermatov
Forensics Fellow

Juwairiya Arshi

Juwairiya Arshi
Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary (GI) Fellow

Joel

Joel Maki
Microbiology Fellow

Julum Nwanze

Julum Nwanze
Genitourinary (GU) Fellow

katie king

Katie King
Laboratory Medical Directorship Fellow

Murad Elsadawi

Murad Elsadawi
Hematopathology Fellow

Chauncy syposs

Chauncey Syposs
Hematopathology Fellow

Mondraya Howard

Mondraya Howard
Microbiology Fellow

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