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Resident Life

PGY-4

Chris Fragassi, MD [PGY-4]

Chris FragassiArea of Clinical Interest: Forensics
Research Interests: Corrections Psychiatry and the influence of correctional officers on healthcare in corrections
What I like about the Residency: Our program is a great size, you are able to get individual attention and guidance as well as have your education tailored to your interests. There’s also plenty of folks, so you can always find someone with similar interests and hobbies.
Hobbies: Golfing with the guys and checking out a local brewery afterwards.
What I like about Rochester: Rochester is the perfect combination of big city and small town. We get all the best concerts and have access to everything you could ask for. At the same time, neighborhoods and suburbs are very well defined and everyone is super friendly.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: McGinny’s on the River

Howard Lam, MD [PGY-4]

LamArea of Clinical Interest: Severe and persistent mental illness
What I like about the Residency: A genuine, collegial working atmosphere.
What I like about Rochester: I have a backyard for my dogs.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Highland Park, Memorial Art Gallery

Eric Lesch, MD
[PGY-4, Chief Resident]

Eric LeschArea of Clinical Interest: Forensics/Assertive Community Treatment
What I like about the Residency: Very strong medical community with nearly any fellowship/post-grad opportunity one could want
Hobbies: Cooking, watching Louisville Cardinals basketball
What I like about Rochester: Plenty of great day trips; Midwest feel with Northeast accessibility
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester:  Water tanks at Washington Grove; The Little Theatre

Jacqueline Quezada, MD [PGY-4]
 

Jacqueline QuezadaArea of Clinical Interest: Geriatrics
What I like about the Residency: Great people, supportive environment
Hobbies: Exploring new restaurants and bars
What I like about Rochester: Diverse population, lots of outdoor activities
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Home with my husband and cat

Josh Wortzel, MD
[PGY-4, Chief Resident]

Josh WortzelArea of Clinical Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, psychotherapy, group therapy, play therapy
Research Interests: Educational interventions (with patients and trainees), clinical research, catatonia, climate change and mental health
What I like about the Residency: People in our department want you to grow and become whatever you want to become. They are warm, want to teach if you come to them wanting to learn, and are constantly innovating to make the learning experience even better for the residents. People aren't pretentious, and people in the department as a whole strive to be balanced.
Community Involvement: I co-lead the St. Joe's Free Clinic
Hobbies: Playing guitar and doing improv
What I like about Rochester: It's a small city with a wealth of professional opportunities and support to pursue them if you are interested and reach out. I also love that it is very easy to get anywhere you want to go in the city, there are lots of great restaurants and parks, great theater and access to museums, and the people as a whole are very warm and welcoming. Access to the University of Rochester is also wonderful to get to enroll in interesting and well-taught classes.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Park Ave/East Ave

PGY-3

Adam Herbstsomer, MD [PGY-3]

HerbstsomerHometown: Westminster, MD
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
Area of Clinical Interest: Psychotherapy, Education, Inpatient and CL
What I like about the Residency: I enjoy working with the many kind and enthusiastic people in our department.
Hobbies: Handbells, baking
What I like about Rochester: There is very little traffic.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: My apartment

Shannon Lyerly, MD [PGY-3]

LyerlyMedical School: University of Texas - Houston
Area of Clinical Interest: Working with veterans, addiction
What I like about the Residency: My fellow residents
Hobbies: Traveling, reading
What I like about Rochester: Nice town with beautiful scenery
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Ontario Beach Park

Paige Thompson, MD [PGY-3]
 

Paige ThompsonHometown: Pittsford, NY
Medical School: University of Buffalo
Area of Clinical Interest: Young Adult, First Break Psychosis, Inpatient Psychiatry, Emergency Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: The residents are all truly close and good friends.  We have a lot of different social events from getting wings, to meeting up for escape rooms, to board games and interactive game nights, and sporting events.  We truly get along well and have a lot of fun together.  Another great benefit of our program is we have a decent amount of free time to explore the city and decompress from work.
Hobbies: Volleyball and Hiking
What I like about Rochester: I grew up in Rochester.  I love the area and the community.  Everyone is very nice in Rochester and there is so much to do.  I participate in volleyball leagues, outreach and sports camps in Jamaica that is organized here, and board game groups.  I also personally love the Finger Lakes for the wineries and to go boating.  I would also like to add that the food is great here and continues to get better.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Pittsford, Erie Canal, Finger Lakes Wineries, Living Roots

Emilie Transue, MD (they/them)
[PGY-3]

 Emilie TransueMedical School: University of Pittsburgh
Area of Clinical Interest: Underserved, Correctional, & Public Service Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: This program is the right size, big enough to find an area of interest, but small enough to feel connected to your co-residents. Work hours are closely monitored, we frequently work in conjunction with physician extenders, and maintaining quality educational experiences is respected. Even better, Rochester has strong community connections for mental health housing and peer/family social support so we can be creative in how we care for patients.
Community Involvement: Weekly volunteering at St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center Free Clinic
Hobbies: Thrifting, reading about historical activist movements, going outdoors to see the animals
What I like about Rochester: Rochester has a strong Rust Belt history, leaving behind legendary buildings from its manufacturing and industrial days. It can give you the city feel and you can drive an hour to gorgeous Finger Lakes or Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. The city is relatively flat and bike friendly. While cold in the winter, the summers are beautiful, full of flowers and groundhogs!
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Jay's Diner

Carla Velarde, MD [PGY-3]

Carla VelardeHometown: Rochester, NY
Medical School: University of Rochester
Area of Clinical Interest: Geriatric and cross cultural psychiatry
Research Interests: Racial disparities
What I like about the Residency: My co-residents feel like family.
Community Involvement: Learning about and engaging in advocacy for racial equity in various forms via our Resident Diversity & Advocacy Committee.
Hobbies: Hiking with my kids & husband, always planning my next National Park trip.
What I like about Rochester: Great cost of living, family friendly, everything is close by, plenty of nature to enjoy. We are very close to the Finger Lakes region which hosts many wineries where many enjoy doing wine tours with friends. Also Letchworth State Park is ~45min drive from a Rochester and known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Doesn’t actually hold a candle to the Grand Canyon but it’s still pretty spectacular for a park in NYS!
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Corbett’s Glen Park

Elizabeth Wielgus, MD [PGY-3]

WielgusHometown: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Medical School: Jagiellonian University
Area of Clinical Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 
Research Interests: Circadian rhythms, sleep
What I like about the Residency: It’s so cohesive and caring.
Hobbies: Reading and hiking.
What I like about Rochester: Not much traffic! Family friendly.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Turning Point Park

PGY-2

Dillon Jay Auvenshine, MD
[PGY-2]

Dillon Jay AuvenshineMedical School: University of Rochester
Area of Clinical Interest: Forensics, Integrated Medicine-Psychiatry, Women and LGBTQ+ Health
What I like about the Residency: U of R Psychiatry is the bees’ knees! There is an excellent faculty, a fantastic patient population, and so many great opportunities, especially to explore my interests in forensic psychiatry, integrated medicine, and much more.
Hobbies: Gardening (from my apartment window sill & balcony) and cooking excellent meals
What I like about Rochester: Rochester is a wonderful in-between size city (hometown population of 15K to Baltimore for college with population 600K), and it really is a great place to learn/train. There is diversity of people/culture, plenty of things to see and do, and it’s always nice to get all 4 seasons!
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Saint Paul Proper, a cozy little pub in downtown Rochester

Nora Douglas, MD [PGY-2]
 

Nora DouglasHometown: Rochester, NY
Medical School: Howard University
Area of Clinical Interest: Community & Forensic Psychiatry
Research Interests: Health disparities in mental health
What I like about the Residency: Everyone here at URMC is supportive and genuinely invested in my success, it’s a great place to train!
Hobbies: Art & Advocacy
What I like about Rochester: Summer festivals, garbage plates, Abbot’s frozen yogurt, local wineries, Erie Canal, and Lake Ontario
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: High Falls

Regina Fu, DO [PGY-2]

FuHometown: San Diego, CA
Medical School: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
Area of Clinical Interest: Inpatient Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: Amazing people who are looking out for each other
Hobbies: Movies
What I like about Rochester: Beautiful plants
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Genesee Valley Park

Johnston Moore, MD [PGY-2]

Johnston MooreMedical School: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Area of Clinical Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: Our program has an easy-going family feel that I was drawn to.  It's nice to be able to spend time with residents of all levels outside of work, and the attending physicians are caring and spend time to get to know the residents.
Hobbies: Golf, cooking, and outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, apple picking, vineyards, etc.)
What I like about Rochester: Rochester has a lot to offer.  It's nice to have the restaurants, breweries, museums, and other attractions of being in the city combined with easy access to hiking, skiing, golf, vineyards, orchards, the Finger Lakes, and Canada.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Living Roots Wine & Co

Teigan Ruster, MD [PGY-2]

Teigan RusterHometown: Irondequoit, NY
Medical School: Jacobs School of Medicine
Area of Clinical Interest: CPEP, Inpatient
What I like about the Residency: The people are SO amazingly kind. Everyone is supportive and always willing to help you out.
Hobbies: I love running, knitting, and drinking wine with my cats
What I like about Rochester: I love that there is something for everyone. The suburbs are chill and perfect for families. The downtown area can be exciting with lots of bars and restaurants. And of course the many parks for exploring!
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Mullers Cider House and Radio Social

Qiana Smith, DO [PGY-2]

Qiana SmithHometown: Brooklyn, NY
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Area of Clinical Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: Leadership in the program are approachable and the attendings are great teachers, that will challenge you.
Hobbies: I enjoy anything outdoors. While at home I enjoy cooking and making crafts.
What I like about Rochester: The people. Rochester reminds me of a mix of southern hospitality with a northern city flair.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Cobb’s Hill Park

Wei-Li Suen, MD [PGY-2]

Wei-Li SuenMedical School: Virginia Commonwealth University
Area of Clinical Interest: Psychotherapy, Interventional Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: The character of the residency is warm and supportive. The program is clearly invested in your experience and education,they will help you achieve whatever your career goals are.
Hobbies: Running,Chamber Music, Gardening
What I like about Rochester: The abundance of places to explore and the affordable cost of living
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: The Public Market, Genessee Riverway Trail, High Falls

Shaylyn Tuite, DO [PGY-2]

Shaylyn TuiteHometown: Rochester, NY
Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Area of Clinical Interest: Child Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: This program is diverse, family friendly and has a nice mix of local and out of state residents. Everyone has such unique interests which makes hanging outside of work a blast! Our attendings and staff are very inclusive and provide a variety of learning opportunities. If there is a place to explore your passion, you’ll be able to find it here!
Hobbies: Running, hiking and mountain biking
What I like about Rochester: I love all the trails Rochester has, both in the city and surrounding regions. It is also the perfect size with lots going on -all within a 20-minute drive! The finger lakes are beautiful and allow for fun weekend adventures.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Mendon Ponds Park

PGY-1

Shauheen Ladjevardi, MD [PGY-1]

Shauheen LadjevardiHometown: San Ramon, CA
Medical School: Stony Brook University School of Medicine
Area of Clinical Interest: Emergency Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: The people here are so kind, warm, and supportive!
Hobbies: Golf, Working Out, Video Games
What I like about Rochester: No traffic, low cost of living, tons of places to see and explore (especially if you love nature)
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Letchworth State Park, Highland Park, Strong Museum of Play

Sungsu Lee, MD, PhD [PGY-1]

Sungsu LeeHometown: Port Jefferson, NY Medical School: SUNY Upstate
Area of Clinical Interest: Adult Inpatient Psychiatry
Research Interests: Intersection between psychosis and vision
What I like about the Residency: The URMC culture is very supportive. I have found support and encouragements from faculty members not only within Psychiatry, but with other departments as well! There are so many clinical experiences at Rochester that cannot be found elsewhere.There is great work-life balance here as well. As someone who doesn't drink coffee, I really appreciate that we don't have to work nights!
Hobbies: Trying out new restaurants, going on my exercise bike, board game nights,video games.
What I like about Rochester: Wegmans. I am so excited to be living in Rochester, the home base of Wegmans. Also, no matter where it is you might want to go, the answer will always be 15 minutes.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Wegmans!

Liliana Luna-Nelson, MD [PGY-1]

Hometown: Cincinnati, OHLilana Luna Nelson
Medical School: Brown University
Area of Clinical Interest: Child Psychiatry, psychotherapy, Deaf advocacy and mental health care
Research interests: Healthcare disparities
What I like about the Residency: Kind, supportive, helpful people
Hobbies: Swing dancing, hiking, biking, baking, playing piano
What I like about Rochester: Easy access to lots of natural beauty, great parks, good food, short commutes, people are really nice here
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: So many parks (Genessee Valley, Highland, Mendon Ponds, and more), Erie Canal trail, Wegman's

Jerold Lundgren, MD [PGY-1]

Jerold LundgrenHometown: Although I spent my life, from about age 6 to 18, in Lawrenceville, GA, I still consider Savannah, GA, where I was born, my hometown. It resonates more with me than some anywhere USA suburban town like Lawrenceville.
Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Area of Clinical Interest: As I now imagine them, my clinical interests are the following. I am on the ‘child track’ which reveals my interest in working with the child and adolescent population. More specifically, I hope to work with that population who are within the juvenile justice system. In addition, I would like to work with LEOs, and other first responders, within the realm of PTSD.
What I like about the Residency: This does not need to be belabored because, as I see it, it is explained with one concept, camaraderie. It is strong at this program and gives rise to the many other facets of the program which are stellar. For example, the ease of finding support or mentorship in your area of interest. Getting help during very busy days on the units. Supervisors acknowledging the challenges of residency and actively working to improve those on a day-to-day, and system wide, basis. This list could go on...
Hobbies: Through the years, I’ve really enjoyed trail running. Although you wouldn’t know it now, by looking, I’ve run, and plan to run, ultramarathons. I am also an aviation enthusiast with plans to obtain my pilots certificate (“license”) in the not-too-distant future. Lastly, I enjoy collecting, and listening to, LPs and sharing music with family and friends.
What I like about Rochester: When answering this it is difficult not to repeat those cliché responses, we who live in Rochester are so used to hearing. For example, “it is so easy to get everywhere, and you can be anywhere in 10 minutes!” But it’s true and one thing I really like. Also, it is very rare to get bogged down by traffic. In addition, Rochester has, or is near, many parks, including Mendon Ponds Park which is my favorite. Lake Ontario of course! Want to live on a farm during the day, go to the symphony at night, then catch a meal at a trend-setting restaurant? Rochester makes that possible.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Mendon Ponds Park, Lake Ontario, The Strong Museum of Play, Antique Shops, Myliving room next to my record player, the Erie Canal Trail, any non-chain store restaurant, BopShop record store, and last, but not least, Hobby Lobby.

Tomotaro Monte, DO [PGY-1]

Tomotaro MonteHometown: Born in Japan but raised in Westchester County, NY
Medical School: TouroCOM in Middletown, NY
Area of Clinical Interest: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Research Interests: I'd love to explore the intersection between technology and medicine, maybe using VR and EEG neurofeedback as a therapeutic modality for something. I haven't had the time or energy to conceptualize this beyond that very superficial and non-specific level though, haha. Some day, perhaps.
What I like about the Residency: Everyone is so nice. I got super lost my first day in the hospital and one of the maintenance staff stopped what he was doing towalkme what felt like 10 minutes to where I was going. People go out of their way, sometimes literally, to help you. It's not all peaches and cream, but honestly, I've never worked in such a friendly and supportive environment. It makes a huge difference when you're having a crummy day to be surrounded by people who have your back.
Community Involvement: Between having a baby, renovating my house, and residency, I haven't had much time to get involved in the community, but one of these days I would love to volunteer at St Joe's, a psychiatry clinic for uninsured and under insured adults in Rochester.
Hobbies: Hanging out with my baby boy, incompetently playing my ukulele, walkin' in the woods.
What I like about Rochester: Salty. Bread. Salty bread. I can't explain it other than it's salty,bready, buttery, and crispy on the outside but airy on the inside. It's amazing and you'll just have to come to Rochester to try it. There's just a whole bunch of great food here in Rochester. I really think Rochester is the perfect-sized city —not too big, not too small. It's got restaurants, music, art, things to do inside, things to do outside, and it seems like it takes 10 minutes to get just about anywhere.
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Lowes, PizzaWizard. I actually don'treally like Lowes, it reminds me of my unfinished home reno. Pizza Wizard, on the other hand, is... magical.

Hollis O'Nell-Meyer, MD [PGY-1]

Hollis O'Nell-MeyerHometown: Minneapolis, MN
Medical School: Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
Area of Clinical Interest: Addiction Medicine, Pain Medicine
What I like about the Residency: Close knit, supportive, rich with history of the biopsychosocial framework.
Community Involvement: Started volunteering at St. Joe's
Hobbies: Listening to podcasts, spending time with my wife and son, sports
What I like about Rochester: Everything you need is within 20 minutes and without much traffic, lots of natural beauty, affordable cost of living
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Polska Chata, Lake Ontario, the various YMCAs

Grace Ro, MD [PGY-1]

Grace RoHometown: Plainsboro, NJ
Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Area of Clinical Interest: Integrative Medicine,Narrative Medicine, Medical Education
Research Interests: Music in Healing, Physician Wellness/Burnout
What I like about the Residency: Incredibly passionate educators who are also wonderful teachers; Collaborative design in patient care; Great work-life balance; Access to resources through University of Rochester and affiliated institutions
Hobbies: violin, singing, golf, rock climbing, ROC Yelp Elite squad, game nights
What I like about Rochester: exciting city with something going on all the time -live music, outdoor films, food/cultural festivals, farm/seasonal activities, hikes. Oh, and pretty much everything is like13 min away tops!
Favorite Place(s) in Rochester: Lake Ontario, The Little Cafe, Central Rock Gym

Conner Tumiel, MD [PGY-1]

Connor TumielHometown: Buffalo, New York
Medical School: Jacobs School of Medicine
Area of Clinical Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
What I like about the Residency: Everyone is so nice and genuinely cares about your well-being. There'salso a great work-life balance.
Hobbies: Anything outdoors, playing team sports, being completely obsessed with Buffalo Bills football, playing guitar.
What I like about Rochester: It seems like there's always something to do or a new place to explore. There are also a ton of co-ed sports leagues in Rochester as well. So far this year, I've been able to play kickball (which is weirdly a huge thing in Rochester -the league has 100s of teams), slow-pitch softball and indoor beach volleyball.
Favorite Places in Rochester: The Park Ave area, wherever I'm watching a Bills game on Sunday, Conesus Lake