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FIRST YEAR RESIDENTS
Chella Bhagyam, DO
- Hometown: Houlton, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: Biology, Luther College
- Medical School Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
I choose Family Medicine because I enjoy taking care of people in all aspects of their life. I love working with people of all ages and doing this will give me a great variety in my future practice! I also enjoy focus on preventative medicine to keep my patients healthier in the long run. I choose Aurora. St. Luke's because of the opportunities in OMT to further develop my skills, and because the faculty I interviewed with seemed to really care about the future of the residents. I additionally wanted to move back to Wisconsin. After 4 years in Chicago, I was ready to get closer to family again. And I enjoy the nature!
A fun fact about me is I grew up on a hobby farm, and we had sheep, chickens, guinea hens, turkeys and more! After residency, I hope to practice outpatient medicine and possible fellowship in sports medicine.
Mary Dunkin, MD
- Hometown: Beloit, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: Beloit College, Biochemistry
- Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin
My passion for family medicine started early on in medical school, where I was heavily involved in community-engaged projects, particularly regarding obesity prevention and STEM mentoring programs for underserved children. While on family medicine rotations, I found it very satisfying to assist patients across the vast age demographic, and to serve the family unit as a whole. My interests in family medicine mirror the broad scope of our training, from community medicine and public health to preventive medicine and women's health. I am particularly drawn to adolescent medicine and women's health. After interviewing at Aurora, I immediately knew it was the program for me! I was impressed with how heavily invested the program was in the community and the diverse patient population it served. Even more so, I was excited for the opportunity to work with residents and faculty who appeared genuinely kind and supportive. As a Wisconsin native, I enjoy attending Milwaukee Brewer and Bucks games, and watching and cheering on the Packers. In my free time, I also enjoy spending quality time with my family, playing basketball, and watching movies. After residency, I hope to work in an underserved urban community practicing full-spectrum outpatient medicine.
Patrick Foss, MD
- Hometown: Coppell, TX
- Undergraduate Degree: BA University Scholars, Baylor University
- Medical School: McGovern Medical School
My first real exposure to the practice of medicine was in a family medicine clinic in college. The physicians there demonstrated great care and compassion for their patients, and they played a vital role in helping the most vulnerable patient populations stay well when times were tough. When it came time for me to choose a specialty, I knew that I wanted to emulate those physicians, and I found family medicine to be a great field to work toward that goal. What I loved about Aurora was the combination of flexible training, diverse patient population, and a vibrant (and less humid!) location. When I'm not working, I like to play board games, practice the piano, and go to the movies. My go-to fun fact about myself is that I once ate cereal out of the Stanley Cup. After residency, I plan to either go into outpatient practice or possibly pursue a subspecialty fellowship – only time will tell.
Anna Karst, DO
- Hometown: Greenfield, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: BS Neurobiology and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Medical School: Kansas City University
I was drawn to Family Medicine throughout my clerkships because there was not a population I was willing to give up caring for – from neonates, to new parents, to grandparents. One aspect I particularly value about primary care is the continuity of care. To me, watching the growth of a family and caring for all its members is what makes Family Medicine so rewarding. I will be honored to participate in the journey of my patients as they age and reach all of life's milestones. An important part of my role as a physician will be to become an advocate for my patients on a larger scale by becoming involved in health policy. Interning with the Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health, expanded my knowledge of the role of government in healthcare. It is my goal to become a physician with a good understanding of our health care system in order to guarantee that every individual receives the care they deserve and require, and to promote preventative medicine and accessible care within my community.
As a rotating student, I was impressed with Aurora's friendly atmosphere and pleasant interactions among residents, faculty and staff. Everyone appeared genuinely happy. This was exactly the environment I sought in a program. Since Milwaukee is my hometown, I was eager to return and serve my community as a resident at Aurora. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, running and cheering on the Packers.
Morgan Lively, DO
- Hometown: Waunakee, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: UW-Eau Claire, Microbiology
- Medical School: A.T. Still University KCOM
As a Family Medicine physician, I have the opportunity to help my patients learn and understand how their overall health can improve daily life. Family Medicine gives me the opportunity to treat all ages and conditions which makes for an exciting and challenging career. I rotated at St. Luke's as a medical student which confirmed its excellent reputation as a supportive and passionate residency program. I was welcomed as part of the team and experienced the benefits of the staff's guidance and mentorship which provided an excellent foundation to achieve my future professional goals. I am also excited to be coming home to Wisconsin after living out of state the last four years and Milwaukee is a vibrant city with so much to explore. Outside of medicine, I enjoy being active and outdoors; trail running, playing soccer, or trying something new. As a physician, I am interested in working in the outpatient setting with an emphasis on women's health, pediatrics, and community medicine.
Leart Neziri, MD
- Hometown: Kicevo, Macedonia
- Undergraduate Degree: Biology/Pre-Med, Augustana College
- Medical School: Rush Medical College
During my training at Rush Medical College, I enjoyed all my rotations. I chose family medicine because it allows the unique opportunity to experience a broad range of pathology across a diverse age range, manage chronic conditions while emphasizing preventative care, and work with patients in underserved communities. I love the challenge of knowing a little bit about every specialty to keep me on my toes. But what really drew me to family medicine is the life-long relationships I will form with my patients.
Aurora provides a good balance of inpatient and outpatient experiences that will prepare me well for the broad scope of practice that family medicine has to offer. I appreciated the emphasis on resident wellness and knew I would be provided mentorship and support. Milwaukee is a pretty cool city too, like a little Chicago, but with less traffic and just as many breweries. Outside of scrubs, I enjoy attending Cubs games, traveling abroad, talking about how bad my fantasy football team is this year, trying new restaurants or rooftop bars, and spending time with family. After residency, I plan to pursue my interests in global medicine and urgent care.
Kristin Randa, DO
- Hometown: Waterford, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: UW-Milwaukee
- Medical School: Des Moines University
My interest in family medicine came during third year after rotating through a clinic that was tailored to an underrepresented population in the Detroit area. The clinic provided me with both a fascinating and humbling learning experience and made me realize how diverse family medicine can truly be. I witnessed how important it is to get to know patients as individual people so that their healthcare may be holistic and include mind, body and spirit. I chose Aurora because the program quickly felt like a good fit in matching my personal values and career goals. Aurora offers a well-rounded training with integrative medicine, OMT, global health, a community clinic and ability to focus on women's health. During my interview day, I observed the staff and residents' commitment to providing culturally competent and compassionate care. As someone who was born and raised in Wisconsin, I enjoy spending my free time outdoors especially boating, kayaking, hiking, and camping. I am excited to return to the Milwaukee area for residency training. During my career, I hope to focus on integrative medicine with osteopathic manipulative treatment, global medicine and women's health.
Taylor Rutledge, DO
- Hometown: Sharon Center, Ohio
- Undergraduate Degree: Miami University, Philosophy
- Medical School: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Med
My motivation for choosing family medicine resides in the emphasis on preventative medicine and forming lasting patient relations over isolated interactions. Amidst a somewhat curative care system, I enjoy the ability to empower patients regarding their health and well-being, taking a holistic approach to the person and acknowledging physical, emotional, and social aspects of the patient.
While determining a residency program as a medical student, I immediately felt welcomed at Aurora. The residents and staff were extremely eager to incorporate me into the program and there was a strong sense of camaraderie throughout the residents, staff, and faculty. I was excited to be surrounded by passionate individuals whose ultimate goal was to provide quality care to the patients they serve.
Prior to medical education I enjoyed endeavors such as being a Peace Corps Volunteer, pedicab driver, and organic farmer. Currently I'm Interested in bikes, alternative energy, sustainability, making tasty food and maintaining health.
After residency I plan to stay around the Midwest focusing on preventative medicine, enjoying time with friends and family.
Keyonna Taylor-Coleman, MD
- Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
- Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine
Choosing family medicine was like finding the perfect key to a lock. For me, there is no greater purpose than serving people. Family medicine allows me to be on that front line as a resource to partner with, advise, educate, prevent, and assist in the well-being of my patients. Being able to share in their significant life events (good, bad, and uncomfortable) and building a long-lasting PCP-Patient relationship, gives me the privilege to see the patient as a person with a real life and not just a problem to treat.
As a Milwaukee native who has been away for quite some time, it seemed only right to come back home to sow the lessons I've learned to a community that has helped to shape me. Having rotated through Aurora St. Luke's Family Medicine Residency, I witnessed a staff full of people who created an enjoyable work environment, but most importantly centered themselves on providing high quality patient care with compassion and positivity. From that point, I knew this was a place I wanted to be and one where I knew I could thrive. The beauty of Family Medicine is that it embodies so many parts. Post-residency, I know I don't have to choose one area, however, academic medicine, prevention, community health, women's health, infectious disease, mental and behavioral health is of particular interest to me.
Although, medicine is life... so is food! I'm a foodie who loves to cook, eat, travel, dance, have game or movie nights, and spend some QT with my loved ones. As an ex-middle/high school teacher, I also enjoy mentoring the younger generation.
Steven Wipijewski, DO
- Hometown: Franklin, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: BS Biology, Wisconsin Lutheran College
- Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
What makes family medicine stand out to me is that it's one of the few specialties that gives physicians the opportunity to form close bonds and relationships with their patients, in the process, providing education to them to help them better understand their health. Another great aspect about family medicine is that in a sense, it's all specialties rolled into one, and that physicians can tailor their practices to their individual interests.
Considering Milwaukee is where I ultimately want to practice, I was drawn to the Aurora Family Medicine Residency Program because of the residents, faculty, staff, and patients. When I interviewed and rotated at Aurora, the residents were all down-to-earth and had a sense of camaraderie inside and outside of the clinic. The staff was friendly, and the faculty was supportive, insightful, and welcoming. Aurora's patients also come from a variety of backgrounds, which was an important determining factor for a residency for me. Since my goal is to be a primary care doctor for the Milwaukee HIV and LGBTQ+ communities, and maybe someday be a part of a future Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, I felt that Aurora would prepare me as a leader for a community full of diversity and culture.
Fun fact about me: I used to be a barista for Colectivo Coffee, and I can still whip up a mean latte. If you know of a great local coffee shop, let me know! In addition to anything coffee-related, my hobbies also include bowling, card and board game nights with friends, festivals, and trying new restaurants. I also support the Milwaukee LGBTQ+ community, and enjoy attending drag shows.
SECOND YEAR RESIDENTS
Carl Bellinger, DO
- Hometown: Hudson, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: BA in Psychology/Philosophy, University of Wisconsin – Madison
- Medical school: Andrew Taylor Still University in Kirksville MO
Family Medicine has always been a natural fit for me. It allows me the flexibility to work with a wide variety of medical issues and a wide variety of people. It was perfect for me as a guy that liked everything during my clinical years. It also appeals to me that it allows us to intervene in disease processes when they are at their most modifiable. We are able to change people's lives by focusing on health earlier in these disease processes. I was drawn to Aurora because of their excellent Osteopathic education and focus on integrative medicine. Additionally, it was also the only program where I spent much of my time talking with their faculty about resident health/mental health. It showed how much they cared about their student's well-being while still ensuring an excellent educational experience. For my free time, I am an avid in-doorsman and enjoy media in all forms: movies, video games and books. I love to travel and hope to spend significant time learning about global medicine with a goal of returning to India where I spent time during my undergrad learning about that medical system. My future goals are a broad spectrum outpatient practice and be active within the international community.
Vy Dinh, MD
- Hometown: Chicago, IL
- Undergraduate Degree: Biology/Psychology
- Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
My interest in Family Medicine stemmed from my experiences growing up in inner city Chicago as a Vietnamese boat refugee, where I learned of the importance of community and other social determinants of health. During medical school, I worked with many family physicians that often went beyond the scope of their practice to come up with creative solutions for their patients' problems. Their pragmatism reminded me of the can-do attitude that helped my family survive during our assimilation in America. I was specifically drawn to the Aurora program because of its commitment to serving a diverse, urban underserved population. Because I rotated here as a student, I knew that it provides strong clinical training within a progressive learning environment. Furthermore, Milwaukee is such a humble, smaller version of Chicago! Spare time or not, I always make time for yoga, my family, and stress cooking/baking (and photographing them for my Instagram account). My hobbies include volleyball, exploring the great outdoors, and doing lots of crafts (knitting, crocheting, and polymer clay sculpting miniature food for my daughter). I would love to make an impact in refugee health, integrative medicine, and lactation medicine throughout my career as a family physician.
Itamar Gnatt, MD
- Hometown: Jerusalem, Israel
- Undergraduate Degree: Biology B.A, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Medical School: Technion American Medical School
Family medicine is unique in the ability to treat any age group, anytime, anywhere. During my family medicine rotation in Israel, I enjoyed seeing patients of many different countries and cultures, with issues ranging from rare genetic diseases to the common cold. The supervising family physician had a very broad knowledge of many fields and excellent rapport with his patients, taking care of their each and every need. Consequently, I developed a thirst for variety and serving the entire community.
During the interview season I was impressed with Aurora's curriculum and people I met; it seemed a natural fit. My fiancé Tzipi and I are excited to open a new chapter of our lives together in the Midwest.
Yelena Goschin, MD
- Hometown: Mequon, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: BA in Biology and Russian Literature and Language, Univ of WI- Madison
- Medical School: American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
As a third year medical student, I was drawn to Family Medicine because it combined everything I loved about various medical practices into one discipline. Being able to care for patients at every stage of life allows me to be a well-rounded and holistic practitioner. Access to comprehensive primary care is vital to improving the health of our population. I choose Aurora because of the people and principles they stand by. This program is dedicated to training physicians who use integrative techniques to empower patients in an underserved community. I am thrilled to return home to Milwaukee and be able to serve the community in this way. Coming from a multicultural family, I am excited for my husband to discover all the diversity this city has to offer. We look forward to exploring the city and surrounding areas and making Milwaukee our home. I'm sure our new puppy will love the trails and parks that abound in southeastern Wisconsin.
Melissa Grube, MD
- Hometown: Woodville, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Microbiology
- Medical School: University of Wisconsin-School of Medicine and Public Health
I chose to be a family medicine physician because I believe in the power of relationships built over time to support, motivate, and empower patients toward improvement in health. We all need someone in our corner who is available and invested in our wellbeing, no matter what comes up or how complicated life (or the healthcare system) can get, and I believe this field allows me to truly be that for my patients. This program includes a focus on ambulatory care training and strong opportunities in mental health, geriatrics, and sports medicine which are big interests of mine, and it was the first interview where I really felt at home. It also allows my husband and I with our new baby girl to live nearer the in-laws and to Milwaukee with its plethora of exciting and amazing things to do (and eat!). Outside of work, I love hiking, yoga, cooking, traveling, and actively engaging with my church community. After residency I hope to work in a broad spectrum outpatient practice and with nursing homes and rural ER.
Thomas (TJ) Harrington, DO
- Hometown: Bourbonnais, IL
- Undergraduate Degree: BS Kinesiology, University of North Texas
- Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
Family medicine is a unique opportunity to provide holistic, long-term, and relationship-based care. I believe including a patient's family in the decision making and care plan reduces uncertainty and anxiety while improving the health care experience and outcome. As a family physician, I want to be considered part my patient's family and someone they can depend on in time of need. I strive to deliver integrative health care, which I define as the intelligent blending of lifestyle medicine (nutrition, exercise, stress management) with my osteopathic medical education while emphasizing the patient-provider relationship.
When considering residency, I sought a program that would nurture my interests in OMT, integrative health, behavioral health, and obstetrics while providing a supportive and inspiring environment to learn in. Aurora's commitment to these areas of medicine and resident's well-being made the program a perfect fit. Additionally, the passion, warmth, and fellowship I felt from the staff, faculty, and residents during my time here made me feel at home. My family and I are excited to become part of the Milwaukee community and experience all its diversity, arts, and outdoor life. Outside of medicine my enjoyment comes from spending time with my wife and 4 children, reading, exercising, gardening, automotive restoration, fishing, and coaching sports.
Dane Olsen, MD
- Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: BS Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Medical School: St. Georges University, Grenada
I was drawn to Family Medicine for the profound connections that you can form with patients. Family physicians have the unique perspective of treating patients from 'womb to tomb'. There is a different level of trust that is fostered between a patient and family practitioner. In that regard, I am honored to begin forming these bonds with my patients. And what a better place to do so than in Milwaukee! I am overjoyed to be returning to my roots to practice medicine. From the moment I set foot in St. Luke's I could tell that there was a dedicated group of physicians and staff. A feeling of community and family was present. That is why I knew that Aurora would be a great fit for me. Apart from medicine, I have a number of passions, however one I hold near and dear to my heart is spending time camping with my father. We have taken a number of trips into the wilderness with only a canoe and a backpack. A return to nature from time to time is necessary! In the future I would like to spend time working with underserved areas. I also have an interest in integrative medicine, and can't wait to incorporate it into my outpatient practice.
Leslie Rabaut, DO
- Hometown: Grosse Pointe, Michigan
- Undergraduate: Michigan State University
- Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi! My name is Leslie, and I am so excited to be starting my residency in Family Medicine at Aurora! My journey to family medicine and to Aurora has been an interesting one. Since I was in grade school, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. However, I was certain I was destined to be a surgeon. Once I started on my surgical subspecialty rotation in the third year of medical school, I quickly discovered I was mistaken. I found that I wanted a deeper connection with my patients, and I didn't feel that the surgical quick-fixes were truly addressing the chronic disease issues at hand. I also came to realize, throughout my rotations, that I was not satisfied with simply treating one aspect of my patient's health and neglecting those that didn't pertain to the specialty. Family medicine was perfect choice for me because it enabled me to build relationships with my patients, to care for all of their health needs, and to emphasize preventative medicine. Aurora's program stood out to me because of its emphasis on Integrative Medicine, which I personally believe is the future of outpatient medicine. I feel privileged to be part of a program that is embracing forward-thinking alternative therapies. I have no family or friends in Milwaukee (yet), but I am moving all the way to Wisconsin because I know that Aurora is a very special program. I can't wait to get started at Aurora and to explore Wisconsin and all of the nature and craft beer it has to offer!
Priti Rana, DO
- Hometown: Monroe, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Biology
- Medical School: Midwestern University - Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
I chose to pursue family medicine because of the relationship I get to form with my patients. I get to see and hear about their questions and concerns firsthand and am first in line to help solve their problems. In addition, I love the breadth of scope that family medicine allows me to practice, everything from pediatrics to obstetrics to geriatrics. I chose Aurora's Family Medicine Residency Program in Milwaukee because of the opportunity it allows to work with a diverse patient population. I feel that the program will give me the experiences, tools, and support needed to succeed in practice after residency. In my freetime, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and cheering on the Packers and Badgers. As of right now, I am hoping to practice full spectrum family medicine with obstetrics.
Alice Shallcross, DO
- Hometown: Warrenville, Illinois
- Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in Integrative Physiology, and B.A. in Spanish, Language and Literature, University of Colorado in Boulder, CO
- Medical School: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV
My path to family medicine is the culmination of academic, personal, and community service-oriented life experiences that inspired me to enter into a profession where I could advocate for the health of my patients, stand up for social justice within my community, and embrace long-lasting established relationships with my patients. A combination of global health experiences in Honduras, Mexico and Bolivia, as well as my experience as an AmeriCorps health educator focusing on prevention of chronic disease and breastfeeding education at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Chicago, inspired me to pursue a career in primary care where I could serve a diverse under-served population. Throughout my medical school experience in rural Appalachia, I tried to keep an open mind in regards to all the specialties, but my heart kept coming back to family medicine and the fulfilling experience of being able to care for patients throughout the entire life cycle, from birth to death. I specifically chose the Aurora Health Care Program and Milwaukee for my training, as a means to train in an under-served urban community and work with a diverse population. I felt really encouraged after my interview day and time rotating at Aurora St. Luke's that the faculty, staff, and residents are truly motivated to provide comprehensive, holistic care to a diverse under-served population while addressing many of the barriers our patients and communities face. I am grateful for the opportunity to train at a community-based, university affiliated program with multifaceted clinical experiences and dedicated, supportive faculty. A bonus is the opportunity to be part of a training program which supports continued training in osteopathic manipulative therapy as well as longitudinal opportunities in integrative medicine and community health. As a Midwest native, I am looking forward to re-kindling my love for camping, hiking, and kayaking the beautiful lakes. My future goals after residency include working in an under-served community, providing full-spectrum primary care with a focus on adolescent medicine, women's health and obstetrics. I also have a growing interest in geriatrics and palliative care. A unique fact about me is I was a competitive figure skater throughout much of my childhood!
Kyna Shnayderman, MD
- Hometown: Windsor, CT
- Undergraduate Degree: Biology, University of Chicago
- Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin
My path to Family Medicine was not direct, but I believe I am right where I am supposed to be. During medical school I cultivated a variety of interests in topics ranging from global health, public health, and advocacy. Choosing a residency was difficult because aspects of many specialties appealed to me; my dream specialty would include a variety of experiences and be widely applicable, so that I could use my knowledge on mission trips such as the trip to Honduras I took as part of medical brigades during medical school. Initially I trained in general surgery, excited about the opportunity to provide hands-on care. As time passed, I missed being able to pursue the other interests I nurtured in medical school. I also realized that the surgical lifestyle was not for me. I then worked as a wound physician in skilled nursing facilities while evaluating my priorities and career goals. The experience reinforced my interest in developing relationships with my patients and being the provider they could turn to for a variety of problems, not just their venous stasis ulcers. Family Medicine seemed the perfect specialty for me to shape into a fulfilling career containing small procedures, rewarding patient relationships, and advocacy work. While I was born a New Englander (go Patriots!), Milwaukee will always hold a special place in my heart as this is where I met my husband. I went to college in Chicago to try city life and try a new area of the country. I then became a Midwesterner, getting my first post-college job at Epic in Madison, then going to medical school in Milwaukee. A fun fact about myself, I was the president of Cream City Communicators Toastmasters Club for the 2017-2018 term. This educational community club helps develop better speakers and leaders. Toastmasters International is currently sunsetting the previous curriculum and my goal is to earn their highest honor, the designation of Distinguished Toastmaster, in the legacy curriculum within the next 2 years.
Levi Stodola, MD
- Hometown: Rice Lake, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: Applied Science
- Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
I was drawn to Family Medicine because I wanted a career where I would encounter a broad range of human illnesses on a daily basis, take care of patients of all ages, and develop lasting connections with my patients over their lifetimes. I believe that through this strong physician-patient relationship, that I will be able to support and empower my patients to make healthy lifestyle choices.
It is my desire to focus on disease prevention and health promotion. Not only will I strive to help heal the sick, I will help the healthy become healthier. My past training in general surgery has provided me with a unique insight into the tremendous benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and completing recommended health screening tests so as to help avoid the need for an operation down the road.
Although I grew up on a dairy farm in rural Northwestern Wisconsin, I am fully embracing the culture and culinary selections Milwaukee has to offer. I spend my free time outside as much as my schedule and the Wisconsin weather allows. After the completing my training with Aurora Healthcare, it is my desire to practice broad spectrum Family Medicine in the outpatient setting. I greatly look forward to the privilege of serving generations of families in the same manner that my childhood family physician took care of five generations of mine.
THIRD YEAR RESIDENTS
Matthew Gill, DO
- Hometown: Happy Valley, Oregon
- Undergraduate Degree: BS Public Health, Brigham Young University
- Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences-COMP
I chose Family Medicine because it is a communication based specialty that is best able to provide health care for those that have barriers to accessing healthcare. Additionally, primary care is the area of health care that has the largest opportunity to implement preventative medicine. Conditions can be minimized or sometimes completely avoided by using preventative measures. One of my main goals as a physician is to reduce the mortality and morbidity of diseases that my patients have. Preventative strategies such as prophylactic treatments and lifestyle modifications can drastically improve the quality of life for people receiving care from me.
I am specifically interested in HIV, preventative medicine, and geriatrics. I plan to have a practice providing primary care for the LGBTQ community, likely in an urban or metropolitan area.
I am excited to be relocating to Milwaukee to experience the mid-west in a metropolitan setting. My father is from Milwaukee, and I look forward to experiencing the area in a more meaningful way that short visits have allowed.
I enjoy restaurants, art museums, and live entertainment. It is very fulfilling for me to meet new people, try new experiences, and eat new things.
Alonzo Jalan, MD
- Hometown - Crookston, MN
- Undergraduate degree: Major - B.A. Biology
- Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Almost every specialty has something I really enjoy. Family medicine was unique in that it was broad and aligned with my future professional and personal life goals.
I was looking for a program that had training in underserved areas and people committed to working in those areas. I had the benefit of being with Aurora for my 3rd and 4th years of medical school and found great mentors. Milwaukee has become one of my favorite cities because of the interesting cultures and numerous parks and places to enjoy.
One unique thing about me is that I grew up with seven sisters and one brother. My future plans are to be part of a medical school or residency program working in education and clinical care. I want to focus on health disparities, social justice, and public health.
Kayla Parsons, DO
- Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
- Undergraduate Degree: Carthage College in Kenosha, WI major neuroscience, minor Biology
- Medical School: Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
I chose Family Medicine because of the variety it offers and the long term partnerships that are fostered between patient and clinician. It is a unique honor to provide care for an individual and their family for many years, often over several generations. My interests include preventative medicine, women's health, family planning, and integrative medicine. I knew after just a few days of my audition rotation with the Aurora Family Medicine Residency Program in my 4th year of medical school that it was where I belong. The other residents and faculty were warm, kind, and made me feel right at home. I believe in order to be a truly outstanding clinician it is vital to take into account the broad range of factors that may be influencing the patient's health, as well as the many modalities of treatment which may be beneficial. One of the things that most impressed me about this program was the integrative medicine curriculum, along with the holistic approach to patient care that is taken.
My passions and hobbies outside of medicine include international travel, long distance running and cycling, yoga, vegetarian cooking, reading, knitting, and playing the flute. I grew up in Milwaukee, and was born at Sinai Hospital in fact, and look forward to spending more time with my family and younger siblings that still live in Milwaukee.
Rinal Patel, MD
- Hometown: Chicago, IL
- Undergraduate Degree; Loyola University Chicago, Biology and Anthropology
- Medical School: St. George's University
I chose family medicine so I can play a lead role in my patient's healthcare. As a primary physician, I can work one on one with patients and educate them, thus empowering them to make responsible decisions about their own healthcare. Therefore, together we can not only treat, but also prevent disease for the individuals we care for.
I was immediately drawn to Aurora simply for one reason: they care. It is evident that everyone at this program is dedicated to patient care and to each other. The teamwork and comradery is exceptional, which was amazing to see. Therefore, I felt comfortable choosing to be a part of this family for the next three years.
I have gotten to travel and live in many different locations during my time in medical school. I lived in the Caribbean and enjoyed the beautiful beaches and hot island sun for two years. I also met and adopted my adorable little puppy on the island and now she's back with me living lavishly in the states. I have also lived all over New York and have met amazing people and made a lot of new friends during this time.
As for the future, I want to work in an underserved community and hopefully start or join a free health clinic for immigrants and refugees.
Christina Quale, MD
- Hometown: Stoughton, Wisconsin
- Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Zoology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin
Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, I had a family medicine provider for the majority of my life, and it was wonderful. I chose family medicine because I want to be able to really get to know my patients and be able to care for patients of all ages and through the different stages of their lives. I also love the versatility of family medicine and how many different paths are open for you to choose from in your future.
I knew that the Aurora Family Medicine Residency Program was a perfect fit for me on my interview days because I immediately felt welcomed and felt like I was right at home. I chose Aurora for its supportive faculty and residents, and its strong, challenging curriculum. I was also drawn to the opportunities to train in sports medicine as well as integrative medicine. I am most interested in outpatient medicine, and plan to stay in Wisconsin after I finish my residency.
In my free time, I love spending time with my husband, my pets, my family and friends. I grew up on Lake Kegonsa in Stoughton, Wisconsin and have always loved water sports, including waterskiing, boating, swimming, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. My husband and I enjoy watching a good movie and we love to travel.
Mary St. Clair, DO
- Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
- Undergraduate Degree:
- Medical School: Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
I found Aurora Family Medicine when searching for a family medicine program that offered training in integrative medicine. At the AAFP conference in Kansas City, I visited the program booth and left feeling it could be the right fit. The program's strengths in sports medicine, integrative medicine, and OMT complemented my interests in these areas of medicine, and it was important to me to learn to practice in a state like Wisconsin that highly values family medicine. On my interview day, I was sold by the people I met. The faculty and residents seemed to continually seek ways to improve health care delivery to the Milwaukee community. The residents were passionate about their quality improvement projects, confident in their training, down-to-earth, and happy to be at Aurora; I could picture myself working and being friends with them.
Throughout my third year clinical experience, I identified most with the soul of a family doctor. I carry that "in it for the long haul" spirit with my patients, and I am ready to help them overcome their barriers to optimum health. Through continuous, therapeutic relationships, coordination of care, and connection to the community, family medicine provides the best platform to promote preventive medicine over a lifetime. Strong family medicine has the opportunity to make significant change in the health of our nation, and I am excited to join a field with others who support the future of primary care.
On the morning of my interview, I walked along the shore of Lake Michigan to catch the sunrise. I have always loved Lake Michigan because my family vacations in northern Michigan during the summer. I feel lucky that I now have the opportunity to practice medicine in a city where I can enjoy the benefits of lake life year round. Milwaukee also offers a vibrant city life, strong cultural and arts scene, festivals galore, endless outdoor adventures, and a close proximity to Chicago. I am looking forward to vegetable and fruit hunting at the Milwaukee public market, hosting a Friday night fish fry, learning to make frozen custard that can rival Kopp's, taking advantage of all the cheese Wisconsin has to offer, finding my fellow UVA HOOS fans in the city, joining a sailing club, and maybe even trying to surf on Lake Michigan.
When I finish residency, I will consider further fellowship training in integrative medicine and sports medicine. My long term goal is to work in and potentially build a multidisciplinary, integrative medicine wellness practice. This practice will offer broad spectrum family medicine, evidence-based alternative medicine, a gym, yoga studio, psychological counseling, and health education, nutrition, and cooking classes. As a tea enthusiast, I would also love to add a tea room to the practice!
Abdulrehman Siddiqui, MD
- Hometown: Fruitland, Maryland
- Undergraduate Degree: MB BCh BAO
- Medical School: University College Dublin
Having completed medical school in Ireland, a country with a public healthcare system, I realized the important role that primary care and prevention plays in the overall outcome of a society. I experienced a wide scope of medical specialties throughout medical school and ultimately came to realize how crucial it is for patients to have continuity of care and long-term healthcare goals. I want to help patients participate in their own health in order to improve healthcare outcomes and ease the burden on our healthcare system. Primary Care doctors serve as the gatekeepers of medicine, and with a focus on prevention, I hope to make a positive change in the community I'm working with.
I chose Aurora Family Medicine Residency Program because of the diversity of interests among the residents. Everyone I met felt supported by the program to pursue their particular goals and had nothing but good things to say. On my interview day I felt right at home, and I could see that the staff were really wanted the residents to succeed in their careers. I'm excited to experience the Midwest as a resident, and am looking forward to being close to family and friends I have in the area.
In terms of my future goals, I hope to work with lawmakers to improve healthcare policy that can improve outcomes in our community and country. In my free time I like to exercise: namely weightlifting, hiking, playing soccer, and cycling. I also love to check out concerts when I have the opportunity. I'm very much looking forward to exploring what Milwaukee and the Midwest has to offer me in the coming years.
Joseph Vogelgesang, DO
- Hometown: Lima, OH
- Undergraduate Degree: BS in Allied Medical Professions
- Medical School: Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
I chose family medicine because I believe in the four tenets of osteopathic medicine namely that the body is a unit and innately able to heal itself. I see my role as a physician as helping my patients achieve health, not merely absence of disease.
I was initially attracted to the program because of the unique opportunities it offers such as an integrative medicine track and I admired the residents' varied interests within family medicine. I felt that the residents at Aurora embodied the kind of physician I want to be more than any other program that I pursued.
In my free time I like to play and watch sports. I'm an avid runner and enjoy spending time outdoors with my fiancée and our dog. My future plans are to have an integrative lifestyle-based practice with an emphasis in OMT that provides care for an underserved population somewhere in the Midwest.
Sarah Ward, MD
- Hometown: Medina, OH
- Undergraduate Degree: BS- Biology; Minor- Mathematics; Minor- Language, Literature, and Culture of Ancient Rome (Latin). University of Michigan.
- Medical School: Technion Israel Institute of Technology- Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine in Haifa, Israel
During my medical studies in Israel, I thrived with the variety of patients I saw across a broad range of ages, cultural backgrounds, and differential cases. Consequently, I developed a passion for the dynamic environment that Family Medicine offers. Family Medicine inspires a large breadth of knowledge and creates a stimulating workday, and I look forward to becoming proficient in the many ways a Family Medicine physician can serve patients. I am also eager to be a part of a field that strongly lends itself to preventative care and continuity of care.
I had previously rotated at Aurora, and this experience paired with my interview experience made the program stand out to me. The program offers thorough training to prepare its residents, and it does so in a supportive, encouraging, and inspiring learning environment. I am pleased to be a part of such a wonderful team, and I know that I will be well prepared to reach my goal of providing excellent service to the underserved as a general family physician.
I live for adventure, and while I know residency will be an exciting adventure in and of itself, I particularly enjoy traveling, hiking, running, and reading. Some of my favorite travel adventures have included scuba diving along the coral reef in the Red Sea, hiking through a desert canyon to the beautiful St. George's monastery in the West Bank, exploring the Dachstein ice cave in Austria, and walking through the ruins of Pompeii.