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Our Residents

Pediatric Chief Residents

Margaret Hart

Margaret Hart

Sarah Hodges

Sarah Hodges

Catherine Krafft

Catherine Krafft

Andrea Milne

Andrea Milne

PL-1 Residents 

Sakina Attaar, MD

Sakina Attaar

Undergraduate: The College of New Jersey

Medical School: Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Food, traveling, hiking, biking, reading, astronomy

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: Currently interested in PICU and NICU

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?  People are genuinely nice and happy, good location, strong program and beautiful hospital!

One word to describe yourself: Adventurous

Nicole Cifra, MD

Nicole Cifra

Undergrad: Syracuse University

Medical School: SUNY Upstate

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Horseback riding, violin and viola, visual arts, being outside and being with friends (preferably both!)

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: I’m interested in adolescent medicine and more specifically the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. I’m currently wrapping up a qualitative study exploring parental experiences of their child’s eating disorder treatment. 

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: I knew I would get great training in general pediatrics and also have the opportunity to learn from the phenomenal Division of Adolescent Medicine here. Also, it’s close to family and friends both in Rochester and Syracuse. 

One word to describe yourself: Tender-hearted

Michelle Cook, MD

Michelle Cook

Undergrad: University of California, San Diego

Medical School: Case Western

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Cooking, eating, hiking, music

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: Interested in community related projects and patient advocacy

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: Good fit, enjoyed the residents at the program

One word to describe yourself: Quirky

Maha Kaissi

Kaissi MahaUndergrad: Texas A&M University
Medical School: U Texas – Houston

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Watching movies, reading, seeing musicals and plays, going to museums, spending time with family and friends, Disney.

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: Global health, increasing the rate of breastfeeding.

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: The people are great! I felt like I could see myself working with all of the people I met, and I had a good “gut-feeling” while I was here. Also it offers all of the specialty and fellowship choices I wanted in a residency program.

One word to describe yourself: Disney-obsessed

Michael Kantor, MD

Michael KantorUndergrad:Stony Brook University
Medical School: University of Buffalo

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Video Games, Comic Books, Photography, Model Making, Baseball, and Soccer

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: Professional Interests: Improving healthcare delivery and appropriate utilization of medical resources, medical/resident education

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: I had always heard good things about Rochester's hospitals but I was especially struck on my interview by the people, the quality of training and patient care, and the commitment to education that the program provided

One word to describe yourself: Grounded

Caroline Kirby, MD

Caroline KirbyUndergrad: Duquesne University
Medical School: SUNY Upstate<

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Music, traveling and the outdoors! I play the bass and grew up in a family of musicians, so music is a huge part of my life. I also love to travel and have new experiences. I try to spend as much time as possible outside hiking or doing yoga while I’m not in the hospital.

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: I’m interested in Refugee Health, global health as well as Pediatric Gastroenterology.

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: The community! The people at this program are welcoming, close-knit, and on the same page. The community of Rochester also reflects these values with many festivals and cultural events. I also have the huge added bonus of being close to my family.

One word to describe yourself: Warm-hearted

Veronica Kwiatkowski, MD

Veronica KwiatkowskiUndergrad: University of Florida
Medical School: Jagiellonian University (University of Rochester Sister School Scholar)

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Traveling, reading, scrapbooking, hiking, tennis

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: No current projects. Current professional passions: preventing and treating childhood obesity, nutrition, and advocacy. I’m looking forward to exploring subspecialties though.

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: People were unbelievably kind towards me when I rotated here, and the teaching was amazing. I appreciate the emphasis on education at this program.

One word to describe yourself: Enthusiastic!

Emily Krainer, MD

Emily KrainerUndergrad: Brandeis University
Medical School: Vanderbilt University

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Flute, guitar, soccer, volleyball, hiking, traveling

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: Anything related to child neurology!

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: I was so impressed by how warm and welcoming the residents and faculty were during my interview day. I’m also excited about all the opportunities in child neurology!

One word to describe yourself: Thoughtful

Monika Mical, MD

Monika MicalUndergrad: Boston University
Medical School: Jagiellonian University (University of Rochester Sister School Scholar)

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Tennis

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: Primary care

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: A great program in a great location

One word to describe yourself: Happy

Kelsey Miller, MD

MillerUndergrad: University of California, Davis
Medical School: Oregon Health & Science University

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Cooking, hiking, reading, board games, eating delicious food and visiting farmers markets

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: I’m very interested in preventative health, particularly physical activity and adolescent health. I’m also excited to be working in an academic center with learners at all stages of training.

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: I really enjoyed the people and the sense of community when I visited the program. Everyone seemed very motivated and friendly, which I think inspires collaboration and provides a great environment for learning. Also being a native of the East Coast, I was ready the move back to be closer to my family!

One word to describe yourself: Enthusiastic

Sylvia Nowak, MD

Sylvia Nowak

Undergrad: University of Chicago
Medical School: Jagiellonian University (University of Rochester Sister School Scholar)

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Traveling, photography

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: The warmth and friendliness of everyone I met!

One word to describe yourself: Patient

Justin Rosati, MD

Justin RosatiUndergrad: University of Rochester
Medical School: Hofstra North Shore

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Listening to and Playing Music, Video Games, Hockey, Movies, Cooking

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: Developmental Disabilities, Neurodevelopment and Neurology.  I’m also interested in music and it’s application in medicine.

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: It was the combination of all of my interests. A strong focus on neurosciences, friendly and welcoming people, and a city with so much to offer. Not to mention the amazing music and art.

One word to describe yourself: Patient

Kristy Semenza, MD

Kristy Semenza

Undergrad: SUNY Geneseo
Medical School: SUNY Upstate

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Water skiing, wakeboarding, soccer, reading, cooking, traveling

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: I had a strong connection with the Refugee Center in Syracuse for 5 years at Upstate and hope to continue that work in Rochester

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: It felt so comfortable on interview day. I really enjoyed the people I met that day and at my 2nd look

One word to describe yourself: Dedicated

Olga Varechtchouk, MD

Olga VarechtchoukUndergrad: SUNY Geneseo
Medical School: University of Buffalo

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Snowboarding, reading, watching movies, and crafts

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: in academic setting

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: Great program, loved the people and hospital, close to home

One word to describe yourself: Conscientious

 

Adriana Verwey, MD

Adriana VerweyUndergrad: Le Moyne College
Medical School: SUNY Upstate

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: My greatest passion outside of medicine is dance. I’m trained in a variety of styles but most enjoy modern and tap. I also really enjoy painting and attending local theater and Broadway productions. I love cuddling with my cat and taking him for walks!

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: I am really interested in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics.

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: I have grown up in Upstate New York and love the area. I was impressed by the level of teaching and the compassion everyone showed towards one another. I was also impressed by the Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics department and the level of community outreach the residents are involved in. I knew my passions would be supported here and it felt like a family I wanted to be a part of!

One word to describe yourself: Passionate

Hilary Whelan, MD

Hilary WhelanUndergrad: College of William and Mary
Medical School: Penn State

What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?: Running, hiking, cooking, travel

What are your current medical-related projects and/or professional passion(s)?: I am interested in heme/onc and neonatology

Why did you choose Rochester for residency?: Everyone was incredibly supportive and excited about the program. Plus the many opportunities for research and community outreach in the setting of a strong academic program.

One word to describe yourself: Cheerful

PL-2 Residents

Daniel Anderson, M.D.

Dan Anderson

Medical School: Penn State

Hobbies/Other Training: Sports, cooking

Why I Chose Rochester: Everyone seems very nice and extremely helpful, great place to live and start a family

One Word to Describe Me: Unexpected

Amanda Black, M.D.

Amanda Black

Medical School: Penn State

Hobbies/Other Training: Cooking, baking , running, and spending time with my fiance and family

Why I Chose Rochester: On my interview day, I was struck by the warm and inviting environment at Rochester, thanks to the incredibly friendly people I met throughout the day

One Word to Describe Me: Thoughtful

Special Projects/Interests: I am interested in the effect the changes to the new DSM-5 criteria have on the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, as well as the association of autism with childhood apraxia speech.

Amy Burris, M.D.

Amy Burris

Medical School: SUNY Upstate

Hobbies/Other Training: I enjoy getting outdoors whenever I can to swim or kayak. During winter, I have a great time downhill and cross-country skiing, as well as ice skating. I also enjoy baking and decorating cakes.

Why I Chose Rochester: Rochester is a great city with plenty to do in every season. I enjoy the close proximity to family and friends as well.

One Word to Describe me: Curious

Special Projects/Interests: I am highly interested in allergy and immunology

Jon-Ryan Burris, M.D.

Jonathan Burris

Medical School: Penn State

Hobbies/Other Training: Fly fishing, soccer, exercising, skiing, cooking, viticulture

Why I Chose Rochester: I want to contribute to the surrounding community of children and their families in a region so close to my home and upbringing (Sackets Harbor). I feel privileged to live in such a wonderful city as Rochester and to train in a pediatrics program that embraces a unified environment and collaboration among all members of the medical team.

One Word to Describe me: Tenacious

Special Projects/Interests: I am highly interested in Pediatric Critical Care

Flo Choo, M.D.

Flo ChooMedical School: University of Oklahoma

Hobbies/Other Training: Traveling, hiking

Why I Chose Rochester: The people! Great and friendly interactions with residency staff, residents, attendings, and program directors! Also was attracted to the research opportunities and the program's close-knit feel.

One Word to Describe me: Traveler

Special Projects/Interests: I am interested in working with local Latino communities, developing medical Spanish skills, and participating in clinical research and grant writing.

Michael Collins

Michael CollinsMedical School: University of Illinois

Hobbies/Other Training: Hockey, basketball, swimming, rock climbing, reading, stand-up comedy (watching, not performing)

Why I Chose Rochester: The people are incredibly nice and welcoming, great academic center with opportunities for research and advocacy

One Word to Describe me: Friendly

Special Projects/Interests: Interested in NICU or Cardiology, childhood obesity and exercise/nutrition.

Jacquie Fable, M.D.

Jacquie FableMedical School: University of Connecticut

Hobbies/Other Training: Cooking, hiking, being outdoors, volunteering

Why I Chose Rochester: The friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the residents and faculty, the tradition of academic excellence, and prospect of being much closer to my sister!

One Word to Describe me: Smiley

Special Projects/Interests: I am finishing up a research project on children with eosinophilic esophagitis treated with oral topical corticosteroids.

Elizabeth Haworth-Hoeppner, M.D.

Elizabeth Haworth-HoeppnerMedical School: University of Michigan

Hobbies/Other Training: Reading, spending time with my dog, refinishing furniture

Why I Chose Rochester: Dedication of the program to advocacy, opportunities for global health research, overall strength of program

One Word to Describe me: Compassionate

Special Projects/Interests: Child and teen advocacy

Melissa Hensley, M.D.

Melissa HensleyMedical School: University of Rochester

Hobbies/Other Training: Spending time with family and friends, especially my daughter and husband, and traveling

Why I Chose Rochester: The program provides great opportunities in inpatient and outpatient medicine, as well as community outreach. I am very excited about the GCH medical building! Also, I am a Rochester native and my family is close

One Word to Describe me: Compassionate

Special Projects/Interests: I am passionate about child safety and injury prevention

Jenny Mosier, M.D.

Jenny MosierMedical School: Temple University

Hobbies/Other Training: Running, gardening, biking, baking, hiking, camping, rock climbing, reading, finding great bakeries

Why I Chose Rochester: I knew it was the right program for me after I did a visiting rotation in Rochester. The learning environment is very collaborative. Everyone is kind and considerate, yet the program is still rigorous and the learning opportunities are endless. I wanted to be in a medium-sized residency program that would allow me to really get to know my attendings.

One Word to Describe me: Thoughtful

Special Projects/Interests: I am very interested in lactation, nutrition, neonatology, and gastroenterology

Jennifer Pier, M.D.

Jennifer PierMedical School: University of Buffalo

Hobbies/Other Training: Reading, cooking, trying new restaurants, spending time with family and friends

Why I Chose Rochester: I love how supportive and friendly the members of the pediatric department are. I was also impressed by the vast opportunities for research and community outreach. I am looking to giving back to my home community!

One Word to Describe me: Kind-hearted

Special Projects/Interests: I am interested in childhood obesity and smoking cessation

Ariel Reinish, M.D.

Ariel ReinishMedical School: University of Rochester

Hobbies/Other Training: Musical theater, Broadway, travel, shopping, fashion, crossword puzzles, movies, ballet, karaoke, and spending time at the beach

Why I Chose Rochester: I went here for medical school, met my husband and fell in love with him, the people, and the city!

One Word to Describe me: Passionate

Special Projects/Interests: Von Hippel-Lindau disease awareness and advocacy, genetic illness, transition of care from adolescence to adulthood

Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin SmithMedical School: Michigan State

Hobbies/Other Training: Sports (especially baseball, football, and golf)

Why I Chose Rochester: I really liked the people that I met when I rotated here and on the interview day. I thought that the atmosphere of the program was exciting because of the the buzz about the new hospital building. Also, Rochester is where I grew up.

One Word to Describe me: Adventurous

Special Projects/Interests: I am interested in Cardiology and Heme/Onc for a specialty. I am interested in medical education and students/residents as teachers in training programs

Katrina Stewart, M.D.

Katrina StewartMedical School: Loma Linda University

Hobbies/Other Training: Cooking, crafting, outdoor individual sports

Why I chose Rochester: The people here are welcoming, the program is excellent, and the area is beautiful!

One Word to Describe me: Persistent

Special Projects/Interests: I am passionate about whole person care and advocacy

Nate Townsand, M.D.

Nate TownsandMedical School: Penn State

Hobbies/Other Training: Fly fishing, running, hiking, camping, beer making, and reading

Why I Chose Rochester: I was first drawn to Rochester for the amazing outdoor activities and it's cultural diversity. What ultimately made me choose Rochester, as cliche as this sounds, was the people. You can't imagine how genuinely nice people are here and how committed they are to your success

One Word to Describe me: Nice

Special Projects/Interests: Childhood obesity and early childhood education

Sarah Ventre, M.D.

Sarah VentreMedical School: SUNY Upstate

Hobbies/Other Training: Hiking, running, snowboarding, rock climbing, painting, anything outside

Why I Chose Rochester: I loved the program (friendly, cohesive environment), my partner also loved the OB/GYN program, and the location is close to my family in Buffalo

One Word to Describe me: Inquisitive

Special Projects/Interests: Refugee and migrant health, global health, public health

 

PL-3 Residents

Rashi Bamzai, M.D.

Rashi Bamzai

Medical School: University of Illinois

Hobbies/Other Training: Dance, boxing, reading, traveling

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Food trucks, outdoor activities

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: PLC, Collaboration with RIT

One Word to Describe me: Outgoing

Special Projects I Am Working On: Medical device start-ups and unpacking!

Renee Boulware, M.D.

Renee BoulwareMedical School: NY Medical

Hobbies/Other Training: Shopping, traveling, swimming, brunching, spending time with family and friends, going to Broadway shows and museums

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Exploring the city and all it has to offer! Festivals, parks, wineries, beaches, and restaurants.

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: The people and the friendly and supportive environment

One Word to Describe me: Enthusiastic

Special Projects I Am Working On: Learning the ropes of residency, decorating my new apartment, and searching for my favorite brunch spot

Kate Cicozi, M.D.

Kate Cicozi

Medical School: Northeast Ohio

Hobbies/Other Training: Yoga, reading, running, and biking

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: I am looking forward to exploring all the great festivals, restaurants, and outdoor activities Rochester has to offer!

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: I look forward to working with all the awesome faculty and staff I have met, and learning all I can from them

One Word to Describe me: Cheerful

Special Projects I Am Working On: I was recently involved in creating a childhood obesity program with my medical school

Garrett Coles, M.D.

Garrett ColesMedical School: University of Texas Southwestern

Hobbies/Other Training: Hanging out with my 2 kids (Hudson and Hazel) - practicing t-ball, playing soccer, coloring, swinging at the park, walking around at the zoo, etc. I also enjoy participating in a variety of sports - basketball, running, volleyball, frisbee golf, soccer, softball, ultimate. Love the arts!

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: The Rochester community has been exceptionally welcoming to me and my family. Our neighbors all came over within the first few days to introduce themselves and offer a helping hand. One set of neighbors, a grandparent couple, offered any of their tools and supplies for yard work and told us they'd be glad to share stories of the families that had previously owned our home in the last 50 years! And coming from Texas, all I can say is that I'm reminded of the beauty of the earth and landscape much more frequently here than in Dallas

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: The strength and identity of any program centers around the people involved, and its that collective personality that attracted me to the University of Rochester. I look forward each day to the workplace atmosphere of congeniality and scholarship

One Word to Describe me: Persistent

Special Projects I Am Working On: Autonomy and Participation in Exercise in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis - a research study I'm finishing with Dr. Samuel Bierner at UT Southwestern. Painting my house and generally fixing it up, one small project at a time

Katrina Cork, M.D.

Katrina Cork

Medical School: George Washington University

Hobbies/Other Training: Reading, writing, drawing, singing, dancing

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: I need to do more exploring, but everything seems easy to reach and minimal traffic! The people are friendly, too!

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: Everyone is very friendly and helpful and the faculty seems very nice.

One Word to Describe me: Even-keel

Special Projects I Am Working On: Moving in and unpacking!

Aziz Farhat, M.D.

Aziz FarhatMedical School: Weill Cornell Medical

Hobbies/Other Training: Driving

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: I love the nature around the city and I look forward to exploring the trails

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: Everyone is so friendly; I also like the diverse population in and around Rochester. I look forward to working with refugee populations

One Word to Describe me: Awesome!

Special Projects I Am Working On: Moving in! Its a long process...

Danielle Fleissig, M.D.

Danielle Fleissig

Medical School: Wright State U

Hobbies/Other Training: Concerts, travel, yoga

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: The people and the food!

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: Everyone seems very open and supportive!

One Word to Describe me: Outgoing

Special Projects I Am Working On: Unpacking

Matthew Guerinot, D.O.

Matthew Guerinot

Medical School: University of New England

Hobbies/Other Training: Golf, lacrosse, comic books, legos

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Exploring the city and going to Bills games!

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: Great reputation and very friendly faculty

One Word to Describe me: Outgoing

Special Projects I Am Working On: Adding to my comic book collection

Megan Kazi, M.D.

Megan Kazi

Medical School: Michigan State U

Hobbies/Other Training: Running, ultimate frisbee, trying new restaurants

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Exploring the city with my husband

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: The URMC community. PLC and integration with the city of Rochester. The new hospital!

One Word to Describe me: Foodie

Special Projects I Am Working On: Training our new dog

Rafi Kazi, M.D.

Rafi Kazi

Medical School: University of Arkansas

Hobbies/Other Training: Gardening, cooking!!

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: The beautiful outdoors

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: The people rock! I look forward to working with and growing with the residents, faculty and staff.

One Word to Describe me: Loud (but nice)

Special Projects I Am Working On: Training our new dog

Sucharita Mukherjee, M.D

Sucharita Mukherjee

Medical School: Penn State U

Hobbies/Other Training: Dancing, cooking, and reading young adult books

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Trying all of the food trucks, and eating good food

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: My fellow interns and all the other residents, faculty and staff.

One Word to Describe me: Fun

Special Projects I Am Working On: Getting to know the city better

Oliver Salmon, D.O.

Oliver Salmon

Medical School: University of New England

Hobbies/Other Training: Hiking, skiing, kayaking, having fun with my wife and dog

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Getting to know a new place surrounded by lots of water and fun destinations

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: A fantastic, big teaching facility, and working with some great kids

One Word to Describe me: Agile

Special Projects I Am Working On: Making a new home in Rochester

Carolyn Stwertka, M.D.

Carolyn Stwertka

Medical School: SUNY Upstate

Hobbies/Other Training: Hiking, biking, running, cross country skiing, dog sports

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: All of the outdoor activities and parks, being close to family

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: The friendly people, the new Children's Hospital, opportunities for community advocacy and research

One Word to Describe me: Patient

Special Projects I Am Working On: Painting our house

Mary Wood, M.D.

Mary Wood

Medical School: St. George's U

Hobbies/Other Training: Soccer, running, learning new recipes, handing out with my dog, Sally

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Living close to family

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: CARE, research opportunities, and the people

One Word to Describe me: Smiley

Special Projects I Am Working On: Furnishing our home

Christina Wu, M.D.

Christina Wu

Medical School: Ohio State

Hobbies/Other Training: Public health, advocacy, running

Favorite Thing To Do in Rochester: Running and biking by the river and Erie Canal with my husband, Josh

Favorite Thing About My Residency Program: CARE, working with the residents and faculty

One Word to Describe me: Friendly

Special Projects I Am Working On: CARE projects on autism and refugee health.