Nitesh Ainani, MD
B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad
I was born and raised in India. I completed all my education including my medical school from India. Before I entered high school, there was a worldwide revolution in the field of Computers and Information Technology. As a young boy I was also attracted towards this rapidly growing industry and wanted to build my carrier in this field. However, it was during high school when I realized that my true interest was in Health Sciences. Biology and Human physiology attracted me the most and I decided to join Medical School. I joined BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad and soon discovered my interest in Internal Medicine. As I have many family members in the US including my brother, I decided to do my residency from this great country. Finding a residency spot 7000 miles from home was equally challenging and rewarding. The entire experience from doing elective rotations to residency interviews has taught me a great deal. I had heard about Baystate from my friends & seniors who have been here in the past. I received excellent reviews about the program, particularly about the innovative approach in resident training. Massachusetts is a very rich state academically and so is Baystate. On the interview day, I was impressed with the hospital infrastructure and resources available for the overall development of a resident. The friendly and welcoming nature of the support staff and the residents made me feel comfortable. Baystate has everything I was looking for, in a training program and I am confident of achieving my career goals by being a part of the Baystate family.
Fahd Almohid, MD
King Saud University, Riyadh College of Medicine
Being the only healthy child in my family, much of my childhood was spent watching my brother and sister , as my parents moved us often from hospital to hospital hoping for a cure. I will never forget the day my father looked at me and said: “Son, god gave you a good brain and a healthy body for a sacred reason, and it's up to you to know how to use them both to benefit mankind.” My father’s words represented the weight on my shoulders growing up, but I now realize how it actually helped motivate me to always do better and never give up. Witnessing the suffering of others were my strongest motivations to thrive and do my best to be a great physician. So I entered the medical college at King Saudi University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Baystate Medical Center has a really unique and great learning system that facilitate and satisfies your educational needs as you progress further in your Residency training. I also like how happy and satisfied all the residents seem about the program. The environment is very friendly and professional which makes me feel just like in my home town back in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Siloe Alvarado Chittenden, MD
University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine
I come from a beautiful island in the Caribbean Puerto Rico. I was born and raised in this tropical island filled with miles of white sandy beaches, mountains, valleys and many other natural wonders, and to make things better I found myself growing up surrounded by warm and friendly people. When I came for my Internal Medicine interview at Baystate everyone was so friendly and happy that this was one of the main reasons why I chose Baystate. It felt like a home away from home and right away I knew I would love being here. At Baystate the residents support and watch out for each other. I’m very excited that I came here!
Ghassan Alzayer, MD
University of Dammam College of Medicine
More than 10,000 Kilometers (yes we use the metric system!) separates my hometown Qatif, Saudi Arabia from Springfield, MA. I was born and raised in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and that’s where I went to medical school at University of Dammam. Growing up, I have been on multiple trips around the world which made me curious to explore other cultures and see new places. That made me decide to pursue my postgraduate training abroad to get different experiences and perspectives. After graduation, I moved to the US and lived there for some time where I was exposed to a different culture and a different healthcare system. That intrigued me enough to move these 10,000 km to get my medical training. Baystate Medical Center was definitely a great option for me. The structure of the program and the demographics of the area the hospital covers met the goals I was searching for. I’m thrilled to have joined Baystate. It’s not only a great facility but also has a big welcoming family in Internal Medicine. On my free time, I like to play sports specially soccer. And if time permits, it’s always fun to go somewhere new.
Lissa Berroa Garcia, MD
Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences
I was born and raised in the tropical Caribbean island, the Dominican Republic. However, like Queen Elsa from the movie Frozen: “The cold never bothered me anyway. So, I moved to Maryland where I met the love of my life, Jose Saavedra and we “Let it Go, Let it Go…” on July 7 2012. I later moved to Puerto Rico (notice a pattern?) to pursue a medical degree. Being in warm weather, while managing long hair, can be a real issue. So, I decided to donate my hair to help pediatric cancer patients get the look they like. It is my third time donating and I look forward to recruiting others at Baystate to Smile and Donate!
I chose Baystate because, from the very first day, I felt welcome. The hospitality during the interview made me feel like this was my new home. What impressed me most was how attentive staff was with me, going out of their way to connect me with a resident that could answer my questions directly. I look forward to incorporating myself with hospital staff and the Springfield community. I feel very honored to have been selected to be part of a residency program that works toward academic and administrative excellence.
Nicolas Cal, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
I am Nicolas and I am originally from Uruguay, South America. After finishing high school I came to the United States to go to college in Tennessee. I then exchanged the warmth of Memphis for the cold of Maine for medical school, and I have been living in Connecticut for the past 2 years doing my 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations. I started my 4th year of medical school thinking I was going to specialize in neurosurgery or a vascular surgery, so I did a few rotations in those specialties while interviewing at different programs. With time, I realized I was directing my future career and lifestyle to a place that would not fulfill my professional or personal goals, so I decided to switch to IM! I chose Baystate Medical Center because it has most of the things I look for in a residency program; it is a well-established and well-known residency program and resident teams are culturally and ethnically diverse, and graduates pursue very interesting fellowship positions. In my free time I like being active. Soccer and tennis are the sports that I try to play consistently! I look forward to my Internal Medicine residency experience as well as to learn with and from all of you!
Soumabha Das, MD
All-India Institute of Medical Sciences
I was born in Kolkata, a metropolitan city in eastern India. Raised in a joint family surrounded by surgeons and cardiologists, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. One of the most fascinating moments of my life happened when I got selected at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences after high school. It was the top medical school in the country and one of the most competitive in the world. Our class had students from almost every corner of India and even from neighboring SAARC nations. Medical school was an amazing experience just because of the sheer diversity of friends and patients that I came across. My decision to become a physician took shape because of the exceptional mentoring of the faculty at the department of medicine at AIIMS. I did several rotations in the United States in my final year of medical school which expanded my horizons of medical care delivery, patient satisfaction and biomedical-research. The overall experience was very satisfying both professionally and intellectually and motivated me to seek post graduate training in the United States. I chose Baystate Medical center for my internal medicine residency because it offers outstanding opportunities in terms of clinical education and research in a highly-collegial environment. The staff at Baystate were very friendly and forthcoming, there was excellent camaraderie among residents and I was very impressed with the academic activities on my interview day. The hospital infrastructure was very impressive and being a tertiary care referral center, Baystate provides a wide diversity of patient pathology, something that makes for a great learning experience as I found out at AIIMS. In addition, the internal medicine program at Baystate has the L-M-T education model, one of the most structured that I came across, offers great fellowship opportunities and has excellent fellowship match results. I knew on the day of my interview that Baystate would be the perfect fit for me and help me achieve my carrier goals.
Jonathan Davis, MD
Jagiellonian University Medical College
I was born in Toledo, Ohio but have lived in quite a few other places throughout my life. After graduating from SUNY Geneseo, I lived in Hawaii for 6 months, and opened two restaurants for a local company. I then completed a nursing degree at the University of Rochester, where I subsequently worked as a burn/trauma ICU nurse. During this period, I also traveled extensively throughout Europe, South East Asia, New Zealand, and Australia, where I worked in a national park. Going to medical school in Europe afforded me the opportunity to live in Europe for an extended period of time, while continuing to pursue a career in medicine, which has always been my greatest ambition. While there are many wonderful reasons to come to Baystate Medical Center for residency, it was the strong connection to the program leadership, administration, and several of the current residents that was the decisive factor for me. Combined with a strong academic curriculum, the high volume and variety of a tertiary-care center, and the extracurricular opportunities of the Pioneer Valley, I am confident that training at Baystate will be a truly wonderful experience
Gina Friedt, DO
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
I grew up in Southington, CT and attended the University of Connecticut to earn a bachelor's degree in physiology and neurobiology. I then went on for a year in Boston MA to complete my masters in biomedical sciences at the Tufts School of Medicine MBS program. After Boston, I left New England to start medical school at Nova in sunny south Florida. There were many reasons why I chose Baystate Medical Center for my internal medicine residency. Of course there were many happy and confident residents to meet and talk to throughout the interview day, but the biggest draw for me was the new innovative Learner- Manager- Teacher model of curriculum. This system of resident education is definitely well matched with my personal learning style and lines up with my views of the importance of teamwork while mastering your individual roles throughout different times during our training.
Reju George, MD
St. George's University School of Medicine
I was born in Chennai, India and grew up in Chennai and Kerala, India. By the spring of 2006, I had completed high school in Chennai. Later that year, my family and I immigrated to the US and have lived in NY since. In the fall of 2006, I began my undergraduate training at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY in Chemical and Biological engineering. As I began college, I was considering a future in medicine. Four years later, I was travelling to Newcastle, England to begin my first year of medical school with St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies through their Global scholars program. My second year was in Grenada and I finished my clinical years back in NY. One of the most important factors in my decision to come to Baystate was the enthusiasm and happiness in the people I met there. My interview experience at Baystate was the best; I got to meet a lot of the residents and their welcoming nature made a strong impression on me. I was impressed by the hospital and the facilities and the LMT model used in residency training. I am looking forward to this great learning experience, the new friends I will make and the chance to develop myself.
Santhi Gokaraju, MD
Mamata Medical College
I was born in India and we moved to the United States when I was twelve. I went to Middle school in Chicago, IL and High school in Marshall, Minnesota. Science has been my passion since then. Although I excelled in biology, physics and chemistry; human anatomy and physiology fascinated me the most and channeled my thoughts & desire to choose a career in Medicine. I went to medical school in India and eventually decided to pursue a career in internal medicine. My interest in human relations was also a key in choosing internal medicine. Although I was interviewed in many programs in the Northeast and the Midwest, Baystate was the best. Baystate has the merit and the diversity for which it has been my favorite and top priority. The program's strengths including balanced work and education, the sense of optimism among the current residents are consistent with what I have been looking for in my potential training program. Indeed, I felt home with the people I met here. I am excited given the enriching opportunity at Baystate; a great place to learn and stay motivated as I move on into a new phase of life.
Safieh Golestaneh, MD
University College Cork School of Medicine
Beverly Crusher, the fictional character in Star Trek, solved every medical mystery that presented itself while simultaneously travelling through space in a fashionable blue ensemble. Yes, it started with Star Trek. And while zipping through space was an unrealistic goal, travelling the world wasn't. I was born and raised in California and moved to Ireland to study medicine. Studying abroad afforded me the opportunity to visit multiple countries across Europe and invest in the most life changing, positive, experience I've yet to be proud of. When the time came to return home, Baystate's program caught my eye. After multiple years of their presentations in Ireland, it was clear the program valued its international graduates. Scrolling through its list of interns reflected their pursuit in selecting individuals from a diverse background. At the pre-interview dinner and on the interview day, their welcoming nature drew me in and solidified my desire to be a part of their program. I'm proud to say, Baystate and Springfield will be my next home.
Vikram Grewal, MD
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland School of Medicine
When I first meet people I usually start by telling them that I’m half Irish and half Indian. It helps explain why I have an Indian name and why I went to medical school in Ireland. That being said, I was born and raised on the east coast of the U.S. and I couldn’t be happier to call Massachusetts my new home! I am an avid soccer player and somewhat unfortunately, a huge fan of Arsenal FC, a team based in London, England. I enjoy watching and playing pretty much all sports, travelling abroad, and spending time with friends and family. I’ve lived in Ireland (my mother’s homeland) for the past 5 years and I couldn’t be happier for it. Besides getting in touch with my inner Irishness and trying to pick up an accent, I got to spend valuable time with my extended family and also made some of my best friends in the world. From very early in medical school to the day of my interview, Baystate and its faculty have always impressed me. I feel very lucky to be joining and training at one of the nation’s best healthcare systems.
Mini Hariharan, MD
Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences and Research
I was born and raised in Chennai, India a city of 20 million people. I finished my high school there and later went to Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science (PIMS) in Puducherry (the place from Life of Pi) which is a very scenic coastal French colony. I briefly practiced medicine in India, before moving to the US after marriage. For the past few years, I did clinical observership and worked as Research associate. I was able to get some publications in peer reviewed journals from my research experience. Choosing to specialize in Internal Medicine, was a natural decision to make as it suits my caring and intriguing nature. Apart from the time I am not working/reading, I love outdoor activities like running, biking, hanging around with friends and family and travelling. I have been to a few countries and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of meeting new people, trying different cuisines and enjoying the flavor of the place. I am looking forward to my internship here, and looking forward to all the fun in the forthcoming years.
Luke Mantle, MD
University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School
My name is Luke Mantle, and I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. I studied Biochemistry and Cell Biology in Trinity College Dublin. I attended medical school in Limerick, Ireland and it was here that I met my fiancée Danielle (who is an incoming Pediatric resident at Baystate). My passions in life are spending time with my family, all types of food and watching and playing pretty much any sport. I have played rugby since the age of 8 until now. Danielle has since opened my eyes to North American sports and I have become a big fan of the Notre Dame " Fighting Irish" football and the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was having to work with a face like this that I decided my rugby days might be over. For the past year I have been working at a hospital in Dublin and look forward to beginning my career in the US and getting to know all of you at Baystate!
Rehan Mujahid, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
I was born in Pakistan and raised in Saudi Arabia. After moving to United States at the age of 13, I completed High School in Queens, New York, and started undergraduate studies at York College, City University of New York. As an immigrant, I held several part time jobs throughout college to support my parents and to fund my education. After undergraduate, I took some time off working as a Biology and Chemistry tutor before starting Medical school at Touro. I chose Baystate Medical Center because of its unique environment and endless opportunities for graduating residents. My interview day was on a casual Friday which made me feel comfortable and relaxed. I participated in monthly Jeopardy and observed a group of highly competent residents who were culturally diverse and had a strong academic foundation. I think Baystate provides an ideal platform to learn and grow as a physician, all in a friendly environment that I can readily fit into. Although I am hesitant moving out of New York City, I am also looking forward to all the surprises Springfield has to offer
Alliam Regan, MD
University of Massachusetts Medical School
I have come home. I was born and raised in Springfield, MA where I graduated from Springfield Central High School. I completed my undergraduate education at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where I earned two BS’ in Biology and Psychology with an emphasis in Neuroscience. I learned through my rewarding work as a CNA in college that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine and focused my undergraduate studies to prepare me for medical school. After completing an additional year in research at UMass-Amherst, I matriculated into the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester in 2010. I am glad to have come full circle by returning to my hometown of Springfield, MA. What was once just my community hospital will now be my training grounds, and I could not have imagined that I would be stepping through these doors again as an internal medicine resident. Old memories come flooding back as I look forward to make new significant ones.
Shakil Shaikh, DO
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
I was born in Hackensack, New Jersey and grew up in Edison, NJ. During middle school, my family moved to South Brunswick, NJ, where I completed high school. After high school, I went on to complete my undergraduate education at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where I majored in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, and minored in Psychology. I knew from early on I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, and I focused my undergraduate training to prepare me for medical school. I went to medical school directly after graduation at Rowan University – School of Osteopathic Medicine (formerly known as UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine), located in Stratford, NJ. I decided to leave NJ and chose Baystate Medical Center for my residency because of the environment and culture of the Internal Medicine Program. Everyone was very nice, and I could tell by the camaraderie that the residents got along very well. The interview day was very relaxed, and the new infrastructure of the hospital, along with multiple fellowship opportunities was very attractive. In addition, being a level 1 trauma center that serves all of western MA, southern NH and VT, and northern CT, I knew my exposure to different types of pathology would be endless and I would have a great learning experience.
Monica Thim, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
One of my least favorite things to do is to write about myself. However, being a resourceful “millennial, ” I looked to my “helicopter parents” for advice. Of course, this turned into a session of how many funny Monica stories we can tell—like when my mother lost me in our own house for an hour when I was playing hide-and-seek or when I spent an entire day at the Boston aquarium with only one shoe. In summation, I can say that the story of my life is a bit like my favorite book as a child: The Very Hungry Caterpillar—I was just another rambunctious kid experimenting with the different flavors that life has to offer. Although I spent a majority of my life in New England, growing up as a second generation Cambodian-American in a small town in Massachusetts, learning how to bleed purple as a Holy Cross alumnus, and growing to appreciate the values of being an honoree “Main-ah” have made my life far from mundane! I chose Baystate Medical Center because I was highly impressed by its sense of community. I wanted to work with residents who care about their work as well as each other, and my short time at Baystate thus far has very much attested for this. The supportive environment and strong academics were what solidified my decision to make Baystate my home.
Ahmad Turk, MD
Jordan University of Science and Technology Faculty of Medicine
I am a Nutella-loving, cartoons-zealous, video games enthusiast who always wanted to be a detective. Well I guess the detective part worked perfectly when I detected that Baystate Medical Center will be the perfect place for me to have my residency years in. The most magnificent thing about the place is how social and friendly people here are. I had been in the town only for several days, and that was more than enough for me to choose it over other places for such reasons, and even more. So I got to say, I’m glad I will be sharing my Nutella sandwiches and cartoon sessions with such amazing people. It will be a one of a kind of an experience
Ritika Vankina, MD
J.J.M. Medical College, Davangere
From the shores of Indian ocean to beaches of Southern California, I traveled a lot throughout my life. Every time I moved, I had to make new friends, get adjusted to the culture, the weather, sometimes I even had to learn a new language. Initially, it was difficult but as time passed I started looking forward to the excitement of meeting new friends, trying new cuisines and experiencing new cultures. The further I traveled, the stronger I became. Exposure to different cultures not only made me a good observer but also strengthened my ability to adapt wherever I went. When I came down to Springfield, I had the opportunity to meet few of the residents for dinner on the eve before the interview. Within minutes, we were trading burgers and sharing desserts, I knew that I had already made my friends. On the day of the interview, I could clearly see that the program was not only resourced, coordinated and dynamic but also strongly resonated with my professional goals. I know that I would have the support to travel further into my goals. The fact that I have never been to Springfield or the nearby areas also excited me. There is so much to explore and it is close to Boston and New York city. The friendly residents and passionate faculty made this program stand out amongst other programs. I am left impressed by the program's commitment towards health care and academic excellence. In fact Bay state’s one of a kind "learner-manager-teacher model" speaks volumes for the commitment of program towards resident's education. This is just one of the many unique features of this program that made it so clearly my favorite.
Archana Vasudevan, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi everyone! Here’s a little bit about me. I was born in India and lived there for the first 6 years of my life, after which I moved to New York. I was in NY up until college when I relocated to the Boston area – Tufts University. After finishing up there, I moved back to NY and worked for a year in NYC to then start medical school in Long Island, NY. I decided it was again time for a change and am now heading back to Massachusetts to begin a new chapter of my life. I chose Baystate for several reasons. The vibe I felt on interview day was a great one that left quite a mark. All the residents seemed very happy and well adjusted. I appreciated the diversity among the residents and how cohesive the group seemed. The program’s unique model of learner-manager-teacher also struck me as one that would prepare residents in the best and most well rounded way possible. I had also heard great things from other students who had rotated through the hospital. Overall, it seemed like a positive and perfect place for a new beginning. In my free time, I like to be in the outdoors, anything from hiking to running to swimming. I also love to travel to warmer destinations any time I get the chance to. My newest passion is the Insanity workouts! Lastly, I love spending time with friends and family.