Alfredo Colon, Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine
Mina Iskandar, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - Medical University of Bahrain
Nicole Kasher, Technion Israel Institute of Technology
Jessica Malhotra, Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
Jorge Rivera, University of Illinois College of Medicine
Lillian Seo Geisel, School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Aladdin Sufyan, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
Amanda Whitehouse, University of Massachusetts Medical School - PURCH Track
Charlotte Beers, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine
My name is Charlotte, and I grew up in a town outside of Syracuse, NY. I attended Hamilton college, where I studied Neuroscience. After college, I attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry for Medical school. While at the University of Rochester, I developed a passion for working with the underserved community and saw first-hand the opportunities that a career in Med-Peds could offer.
I chose Baystate Med-Peds because of the friendly Med-Peds community and the unique teaching style they offered. I was also drawn to the combined Med-Peds continuity clinic at Mason Square, as my academic interests primarily focus around primary care.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy any outdoor activities including running, biking, hiking, and basketball. I also enjoy watching Syracuse basketball, and spending time with my family and friends!
Janette Farrell, MD
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Hi! I am Janette Farrell. I was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of 12. My family and I moved to the beautiful and sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, I completed all of my education, including my Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry in the University of New Mexico and then my medical degree at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
I enjoy being outdoors. I enjoy going hiking, camping, and exploring new sceneries and trying new things. I also enjoy dancing such as country and salsa dancing.
What attracted me to Baystate was their philosophy and the people. I became very interested in the program after learning about their “learner, teacher, manager model”. This made me feel like this program would support the concept of graduated autonomy and truly be invested in my learning. After meeting the leadership staff I was very pleased to see how genuine, approachable and transparent they were. I also felt like Springfield was a good town to live in and I was excited to explore the East Coast!
Jennifer Grom, MD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
My name is Jennifer Grom. I grew up in Pleasantville, New York but frequently visited my extended family in Ajijic, Mexico. I went to The State University of New York at Geneseo and then became an international documentary filmmaker for social justice. I then went to medical school in Manhattan at Mount Sinai. I spent a scholarly year obtaining my Masters in Public Health at Columbia University where I received formal training in grant writing, as well as, QI (Quality Improvement). During the height of the COVID crisis in New York City, I volunteered to graduate early from medical school to serve as a front-line physician in the heart of downtown Manhattan, before arriving at Baystate (post-quarantine, promise!).
Hobbies: My hobbies include hiking, kayaking, skiing, filmmaking, and playing soccer.
Why Baystate? Baystate was the residency program where both my head and my heart led me. I chose Baystate for both the internationally-recognized, phenomenal clinical training, as well as, the unparalleled institutional culture. All of my attendings here are genuinely kind-hearted, fiercely intelligent leaders in their fields, who are also committed to quality teaching and mentorship. There is something truly special about the community here at Baystate. I’m surrounded by other individuals who are both, genuinely committed to creating a better world, and also, committed to doing so while upholding humility and kindness. After my interview day, it became clear, Baystate was a place I'd be incredibly proud to represent for the rest of my life. This is why, on my interview day, (in a very cheesy way) I felt like I had come home. I must admit, every day that I come to Baystate, I continue to feel this way.
Stephanie Lawanto, MD
University of Utah School of Medicine
Hi, I’m Stephanie! I was born in Surabaya, Indonesia where it’s summer all year long. My family moved to the US when I was 12 and we lived in Urbana-Champaign, IL for 4 years before moving to Logan, UT. After high school, I studied Biological Engineering at Utah State University. After graduating, I took a year off to assist with a number of research projects, learn acupuncture (fascinating!) and volunteer at the free clinic.
In medical school, I continued to pursue my passion in serving the underserved and homeless population where I served as the manager for the homeless clinic in Salt Lake City, UT. During 3rd and 4th year of medical school, I had the opportunity to interact with awesome med peds mentors at the University of Utah and I was impressed with the versatility of med peds and comprehensive training to care for the newborns to geriatric patients. During my interview at Baystate, I was drawn to the family atmosphere between the residents and the faculties. All the residents were very friendly and they raved about the strong med peds training and great work life balance at Baystate. In speaking with Dr. Wretzel and Dr. Borden, I quickly felt welcomed and supported.
Outside of medicine, I love to draw and paint. I recently learned watercolor and it’s unpredictably relaxing. I also play the violin and piano. During the quarantine, I somehow became interested in amigurumi (crocheting stuffed animals from yarn) and I’m currently still a little bit obsessed with it.
Sarah McCullough, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi! My name is Sarah and I grew up in the suburbs outside of Houston, TX. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Biomedical Sciences and Entomology. I spent two years gaining clinical experience working for a Med-Peds physician and realized that this was the best specialty to go into! Shortly after, I packed up and moved to Georgia to attend medical school at PCOM-Georgia Campus.
During my fourth year of medical school, I had the opportunity to rotate at Mason Square. I immediately felt a connection with the residents and faculty and knew that this was exactly where I wanted to continue my training as a Med-Peds physician. I am so excited to return to Baystate and to finally experience four seasons!In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and pets, hiking, cross-stitching, and watching Netflix.
Rachel Robinson, MD
Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans
My name is Rachel and I am a born and raised Louisianan. I am originally from Lake Charles, LA. I went to college at Louisiana State University where I studied biochemistry. In college, I considered pursing either an MD or PhD. After spending a summer as a research intern at MD Anderson with good exposure to both disciplines I chose medicine! I went straight from college to medical school in New Orleans at LSU. I faced the same dilemma my third year in clinical rotations where I loved both internal medicine and pediatrics. Rather than having to abandon either worthwhile pursuit, I chose both! I have a passion for learning and teaching, so I plan to go into academic medicine.
Baystate was a perfect fit for what I was looking for in a program. For me, my most important criteria were a program with a strong Med-Peds identity, opportunities to hone my craft in becoming a medical educator, and an emphasis on wellness and community. The first was immediately checked off as Baystate is one of the strongest med/peds programs in the country with an amazing multidisciplinary clinic! The second criteria was met in a number of ways with one of my favorite being Baystate’s unique learner-manager-teacher model. The third was what really made me fall in love with Baystate. I immediately felt at home on my interview day. The faculty and residents were genuine, warm, and friendly. I was also drawn to the charm of Massachusetts and New England in general. I am honored and thrilled for the opportunity to train under a program as renowned as Baystate!
In my free time, I enjoy listening to podcasts (either medical or true crime), spending time with my animals, collecting record albums, LSU football (8 years a tiger!), traveling, skiing, and fishing. I especially cannot wait to explore all that New England has to offer!
Emily Ruseski, MD
University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Hi, my name is Emily Ruseski and I am happy to be back in the northeast for residency at Baystate! I am a New Hampshire native but completed my undergraduate studies in Biology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. During college, I developed an interest in global health and rural/underserved medicine after participating in two medical mission trips to Central America. After graduation, I took some time off from school to work as a patient advocate in Dallas, TX before attending University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In medical school, I encountered several Med-Peds residents who inspired me and proved that this was the specialty that would best prepare me to advocate for the patient populations I wanted to serve.
I was initially drawn to Baystate’s Med-Peds program because of its reputation for having some of the happiest residents in the country. On interview day I was blown away not only by the friendly, family-like atmosphere of the program, but also by the excellent exposure to community-oriented primary care at Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center. I realized it was the perfect place to pursue my interest in primary care while also training at a top-of-the-line teaching hospital.
In my free time, I enjoy doing outdoorsy things like finding new hiking spots and skiing, or staying inside and reading whatever I can get my hands on. The Springfield area is filled with history and beautiful parks, so on any given day you can also find me exploring all the cool places around town!
Rachel Schmidt, MD
University of Kansas School of Medicine
Hi, my name is Rachel Schmidt! I am from Kansas, born and raised, but I was very excited to relocate to New England. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto! I went to Fort Hays State University for undergrad, in the delightful, small town of Hays, KS, and received a degree in Physics. After graduation, I was fortunate to be able to travel to Kolkata, India for eight months to work in wound care and medical clinics, which founded my interest in global health and underserved medicine. I then went on to the University of Kansas in Kansas City for medical school. There, I had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for KU’s student-run free clinic, which reinforced my love of serving patients of all ages. This brought me to the wonderful world of Med-Peds.
I was drawn to Baystate for a number of reasons. First off, it is clear in everything the administration does that they truly care about you as a person. From the communications that I had with everyone even before my interview, to the incredibly warm and personalized interviews that I had, this was evident. Secondly, the website will tell you that Baystate has “the happiest residents in the country”, and I could certainly see why that is true. The emphasis on teaching in a challenging but constructive environment is a priority at this program, and it is closely balanced with care for your well-being. Finally, being able to train at a highly reputable institution for both inpatient and outpatient care made this a truly remarkable program.
I recently got a golden retriever puppy, Poe, and in my free time, I love to take him on walks in different parks or trails in the area. I’m also a huge Star Wars nerd and enjoy re-watching the movies to the point of memorization. I love reading, watching professional football and baseball (accompanied by sports-watching food) or trying new restaurants with friends. I am also a huge fan of musicals, and look forward to seeing some in NYC. This is a stellar place to live.
Sara Brenner, MD
University of California San Diego School of Medicine
Hi, I’m Sara! I grew up in a town outside of San Diego in California and went to college at UC Berkeley. I took a few years off to do biomedical research at UC San Diego, where I found my love for medicine and microbes. I subsequently enrolled there for medical school. As a medical student, I had the opportunity to embrace my love of diverse people and explore global health, both in the local community and through the global health training program there.
During my interview day, I was impressed by the rigor and meticulous planning of Baystate’s curriculum, the warm and friendly residents and faculty, and the unique community that Baystate Medical Center serves. More importantly, I observed residents thriving in a supportive environment where they felt like they could succeed in whatever they chose to do!
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, soccer, salsa dancing, tasting and trying to replicate cuisines from different cultures, baking, petting dogs, and exploring nature.
Mitch Milstein, MD
My name is Mitch and I am originally from South Florida. I spent my first 25 years in Florida, only leaving South Florida to attend college at FSU. I got my first taste of cold weather when I left Florida to Penn State College of Medicine.
I was drawn to Baystate because of the message and feel I got interviewing here. All the residents and program staff at Baystate seemed extremely genuine, welcoming, and really invested and interested in me.
I spend most of my spare time catering to my 3 year old Australian Shepherd, but in the rest of my free time I am a Miami sports enthusiast (lets go heat and fins up) and enjoy winding down with movies and cooking (or trying to cook)
Peter Morton, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
My name is Peter Morton, and I am Philadelphia-native who decided to pursue Medicine/Pediatrics after not being able to decide definitively between medicine or pediatrics I have been told that this is a very common trajectory. My interests include music theory, street art, and anything revolving around the animal kingdom, especially entomology. I graduated Muhlenberg College for my undergraduate education, a small liberal arts college in Allentown PA, with a dual degree in Biology and Music theory.
Although physician-ship was my endgame, I essentially had a dual degree in Zoology and Music theory, having not taken human physiology until medical school (instead taking ornithology, invertebrate zoology, comparative anatomy, etc.).
My wife and I share this quality – we have season passes to the Philadelphia Zoo, swam multiple times with turtles on our honeymoon, and visit the Camden waterfront aquarium with alarming frequency when considering our combined income. Music has also always been a passion for me as well, and I try to retain some relative proficiency in Organ, Guitar, and Piano, as well as overall composing when I have the chance. In contrast, following the street art community in Philadelphia is a relatively new hobby.
My wife is a graphic artist by trade, however she entered the street art/mural art scene of Philadelphia (which is the most congested and prolific in the USA) about three years ago. She became infatuated by it and me in turn. Ask me more in person about her presence on the scene – she likes to maintain a level of anonymity about her work.
The interview process is a bit of a decathlon, mentally, physically, and financially. Interestingly, Baystate was my last interview on the trail, a time colloquially considered to be at the zenith of interview fatigue. I write about this to impress on others just how flooring and inspiring Baystate's program, residents, and faculty are. As with many other programs, there is a huge socioeconomic diversity as well as a wide range of patient catchment – things vital to becoming a well-rounded Med/Ped. However, the spirit of Baystate truly captures the spirit of Medicine/Pediatrics, and it only takes a few minutes with the residents to realize that.
If you ever have any questions about the life cycle of wasps, how to put a mural up without getting to much wheat-paste on your jeans, why Debussy is the best combination of the older composers like Bach and the 20th century Avant Garde movement, or the other incredible virtues of Baystate's program and community, I will certainly be your guy.
Mojdeh Mostafavi, MD
Tufts University School of Medicine
My name is Mojdeh Mostafavi and I am originally from Western MA. I grew up in the neighboring town of Amherst, before making the big move (all of 12 miles) to Smith College, where I studied biochemistry. From there, I made my way to Boston, studying medicine at Tufts University. While at Tufts, I was fortunate to rotate in the Mason Square Med-Peds Clinic at Baystate and absolutely loved every moment of it! I am excited to continue my training in Med-Peds at Baystate with the ultimate goal of working with children and adults with developmental special needs.
My academic interests primarily focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the ways in which we can improve the experiences of people with ASD in health care.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my two mischievous small dogs, spending quality time watching Disney movies with my siblings, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors!
Jamie Schwarz, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
I was born and raised in South Florida, and although I have never lived outside of the sunshine state I am excited to be moving to Western Massachusetts for residency. I attended the University of Florida as an undergraduate student (Go Gators), which is where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Health Science, and, more importantly, where I met my husband! After graduating, I took a year off from school and worked for a Dermatologist back home as a histotech. During this time I assisted with multiple research projects, volunteered at a free clinic, and went on a medical mission trip. It was these experiences, in part, that sparked my desire to work with underserved populations.
I knew early on in third year that I had found the perfect fit with Med-Peds, and Baystate immediately stood out as a remarkable program. I was fortunate enough to learn this first-hand during an away rotation at the Mason Square Clinic. Dr. Wretzel, the faculty, and all the residents were so dedicated to teaching, made me feel at home, and were always so positive! The culture and reputation of the program drew me here, and I cannot wait to spend the next four years learning and continuing to grow.
After school, I love to cook, eat, and hang out with my husband and rescue puppy. We love the outdoors and are always finding new parks and kayaking spots and we can’t wait to experience real mountains and seasons!
Jessica Urso, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
I grew up in the suburbs of Rochester NY while most of my large extended family hails from Buffalo. This puts me far enough west to call a can of Pepsi “pop,” to live in western NY not upstate NY (trust me there’s a difference) and to have the dubious honor of rooting for Buffalo sports teams since birth. My parents and younger brother are all accountants, but my lack of math skills and an emergency appendectomy in middle school put me on the long road to becoming a physician.
I went to Le Moyne College a small Jesuit liberal arts school in Syracuse NY where I majored in Biology. During my 4 years on the Heights I was active in too many clubs, campus ministry, and attending as many Syracuse University basketball games as I could. I also made life-long friends, one of whom I convinced to move to Springfield with me! After college, I spent a year working as a residential counselor in a group home for young adults with mental illness. It was during this time I realized how much I enjoy working with adolescents and young adults.
I come from an “indoor” family but moving to Maine to attend the University of New England for medical school I became an amateur “outdoor” person. I may have spent more time hiking through Acadia National Park and riding my bike along the coast than in any clinic or classroom. I also developed a passion for L.L. Bean flannel which may count as professional attired in Maine, but probably not in Massachusetts.
My professional interests include primary care, reproductive justice, sexual and gender health, and infectious disease. Outside of work I am a voracious reader always looking for book suggestions, an amateur hiker who is excited to explore the Berkshires, and a terrible dancer who loves live music. My greatest weakness is ice cream and I’m excited to be coming to Massachusetts to hunt down the best cone in the state!
Lauren Wagener, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
My name is Lauren, and I am thrilled to be starting my journey into med-peds at Baystate! I grew up in a large family just outside of Pittsburgh and throughout grade school was a “jack of all trades”, diving headfirst into science, athletics, and art. I went on to study both neuroscience and studio arts at the University of Pittsburgh. There I made wonderful friends at a neuroimaging research lab, where I worked for several years studying traumatic brain injury.
At medical school I highly enjoyed multiple mentorship positions while continuing to learn “everything about everything and everyone!” This initially resulted in significant trouble focusing on a single specialty to pursue, but the discovery of med-peds was a huge moment of clarity: the perfect fit for a nerdy person who loves people! When it came to choosing a residency program, I sought a supportive culture that would mold me into the kind and confident physician-educator I wanted to become. Baystate’s unique learner-manager-teacher model of learning drew me in, but it was the atmosphere that truly sold the program.
My medical interests remain broad but lean toward primary care, medical education, and reproductive health. Outside of medicine I continue to enjoy athletics by running and swimming with my husband, and my alter-ego, “Snarko”, can sometimes be found out on the roller derby track! I also enjoy coaching new roller skaters, dabbling in art projects, and talking Harry Potter with anyone who will listen.
Diana Yusim, MD
Albany Medical College
Hello, my name is Diana Yusim and I am so excited to join the Baystate Med-Peds family!
I was born in Moscow, Russia and my family moved to Brooklyn, New York when I was just a baby. After graduating high school, I entered The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, a 7-year BS/MD program. After graduating from Sophie Davis, I matched to Albany Medical College (AMC) to complete 3rd and 4th year of medical school. Prior to starting at AMC, I earned a Master of Public Health degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center where I focused on childhood obesity and sickle cell disease.
During my fourth year of medical school, I did an away rotation at Baystate Medical Center. During my time there, I felt like Baystate was my second home. I enjoyed working with the doctors at Mason Square and was inspired by their patient advocacy, compassion and commitment toward helping underserved communities. I could feel the warmth and supportive nature of administrative faculty, residents, and attendings. The fact that Baystate is not too far from home was the cherry on top!
I am looking forward to my educational experience at Baystate. I hope to make a difference in the health of my patients and impact the way individuals care for themselves. I can’t wait to see where this new journey brings me. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, trying new food, playing sports, watching Law and Order, and learning how to cook.
Crystal Cobb, DO
Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Crystal is a native New Englander and is incredibly pleased to be returning to the region for her residency training! She grew up in the small town of Monmouth in central Maine and attended the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science. Crystal initially started her undergraduate studies in pre-law, however she found medicine to be a better fit for her as a field that involves the intersection of advocacy and policy on a fundamentally humanistic level. After undergrad she worked for four years in healthcare before attending Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine outside of Raleigh, NC.
During her interview at Baystate, Crystal felt like she clicked with the residents and faculty. She was drawn by the enthusiastic friendly energy of everyone she met and the supportive training environment. These are just some of the multiple reasons she's excited to spend the next four years training in med-peds at Baystate.
In her free time Crystal enjoys traveling, reading, jogging (slowly!) and spending time with her family and friends. One of her life goals is to travel to all seven continents. She’s made it to four so far!
Anisha Contractor, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
I was born in India and raised in southern New Hampshire. I completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins University in Neuroscience, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology respectively. I took a brief detour to pursue interests in public health and writing, working for a science-based consumer advocacy non-profit in New York City. Soon there after, I started medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Choosing both Med-Peds and Baystate were choices born out of equal parts research and intuition. I had the pleasure of rotating through both pediatric and medical wards at Baystate during my fourth year of medical school (and experienced a glimpse of Mason Square Clinic). Working alongside Med-Peds residents, I observed a combination of sharp clinical acumen and integrity in delivering patient care.
I look forward to embracing my own growing pains and developing my full potential as young physician because of the supportive academic culture at Baystate. I’m excited to call Western Massachusetts home for the next four years and to foster interests in running, yoga, hiking, and amateur cooking.
Anthony Esposito, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hey, I’m Anthony. I grew up in a small town on the south shore of Long Island. I went to college at Stony Brook University where I received my BS in biology and shortly after, I attended medical school at NYIT college of osteopathic medicine.
Growing up on Long Island, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the beach during the summer months, but during the winter months, I grew up skiing and snowboarding in Vermont. Although i have too many interests and hobbies to list, some of them include biking, hiking, boating, snowmobiling, basketball, football, dogs, other wildlife (but mostly dogs), and reading.
On my interview day at Baystate, I immediately felt at home. From the moment I walked in, I knew I found the right fit for me. I knew baystate would be at the top of my list of programs before my interview, but after experiencing it firsthand, all of my expectations were not only met, but were exceeded. I can’t wait to see what the next four years has in store for me and I am so excited to start this year!
Nicholas Karr, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine
Nick Karr has finally achieved one of his goals of moving out of Florida after living there all his life. Growing up in a beach town, he longed for snow, cold weather and mountainous terrain. His interest in helping others led him first to receiving a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in psychology. He then worked for several years at two inpatient psychiatric hospitals. He gained insights into one of the most disadvantaged populations, those with mental illness. After some personal growth and a little confidence, he attended his alma mater, Florida State University, for medical school.
Nick is ecstatic to be joining the family at Baystate and will hopefully also be one of the countries “happiest residents.” He is most looking forward to practicing what he has learned in medical school, helping the underserved, and continuing to focus on learning.
In the little free time he has after spending time with his wife, daughter, and two dogs, he enjoys board games, hiking, picking things up and putting them down, and lying about how much he enjoys running.
Lucinda Li, DO
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Virginia Campus
Hello! My name is Lucinda Li. I was born in Manhattan and grew up in Virginia Beach (Hey Virginia Lovers!). As a child, I was a tomboy where I preferred to play outside in nature or gardening with my mom. As a result, I had gained a love for home-grown vegetables! I obtained my degree in Biology from Old Dominion University and gained clinical experiences as an Emergency Medical Technician and Emergency Department Technician.
At a young age, I always have a passion for underserved medical care. I was attracted to Baystate Medical Center-UMMS for its mission to both urban and rural community health. With the Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center, I can focus on my passion and continuously improve myself for primary care. More importantly, I was impressed by the “family” atmosphere at Baystate! During my interview, I could envision my future at this program and being happy within its supportive environment.
On my free time, I am a big foodie. Depending on my craving of the week, I love to dine out with my friends. I’m eager to try all the wonderful cuisines within the area. And let’s be honest, it’s way more fun trying new restaurants with the people you love! After spending most of my life in Virginia, I am ready to move away and explore the Northeast. I am thrilled to live in New England and starting my residency at Baystate Medical Center! Looking forward to all these wonderful changes in my life!
Kathryn O'Brien, DO
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Virginia Campus
Hi! I’m Katie O'Brien. I grew up in the amazing Philadelphia suburb of West Chester, Pennsylvania. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology at Temple University in Philadelphia, and played club soccer (my favorite hobby!) all through college. Afterwards I moved to Virginia to complete my medical degree at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg.
It quickly became obvious while I was in medical school that Medicine/Pediatrics is the best specialty out there! I wanted a program with a strong Med/Peds presence, and Baystate truly exceeded my expectations. Not only does Baystate have a strong presence within the hospital, but are recognized for their strong national presence as well. Additionally, the residents and faculty I met during my interview were amazing. They were so down to earth, friendly, supportive, and most importantly, all seemed truly happy to be here!
In my free time I still enjoy playing and watching soccer, going on hikes and adventures, cooking meals with my husband, watching the occasional Netflix movie and cheering for my Philadelphia sports teams. I can’t wait to get started here at Baystate and see what adventures are in store for the next four years!
Thomas Presti, MD
University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Hi, I’m Tom. I grew up in Madison, CT where I spent my summers with my family on the beach (although most of the time I was on the water sailing). I always thought I would grow up to be an astronaut, but I’ve realized that being a Med-Peds doctor is close enough.
I did my undergraduate at UConn Storrs where I majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I competed in college on the sailing team. You may know that there are more cows than water in Storrs, so we often had to travel to other towns for practice. After college I took a year off to do biochemistry research and then attended UConn School of Medicine.
During the summer between first and second year of med school, I completed a cross country bike trip from Seattle back to Connecticut with four of my classmates. My interests include all things Star Wars, reading nonfiction books, cooking, sailing, biking, and hanging out with friends, family, and fiancée (she’ll be completing a Pediatric Dentistry Residency in Hartford, CT).
I read online that the residents at Baystate are some of the happiest in the nation! During my interview, I found that the residents displayed some of the most important values that I was looking for in my colleagues. There were welcoming and supportive of one another. Additionally, the program director Sharon expressed that this residency could be tailored to different academic interests. Most of all, I really felt at home and I’m excited to be a Baystate Med-Peds resident.
Julieta Rodriguez, MD
Albany Medical College
Hey! I’m Julieta Rodriguez but I go by Juli which is pronounced like Hulu but with an “i” at the end. I was born and raised in sunny San Diego. I attended the University of California Irvine for my B.S. in Biological Sciences and B.A. in Anthropology. After that I headed back home to SD for my MPH in Epidemiology from San Diego State University and did research with the University of California San Diego in tuberculosis, hepatitis C, HIV, drug users, and sex workers. During this time I worked at an Institutional Review Board and maintained my own clients doing research in a multitude of fields. Upon completion of my MPH I did a post-baccalaureate program at the University of Buffalo where I learned what snow actually was prior to enrolling at Albany Medical College.
During my interview trail I met a lot of different people but in all honesty the group of residents that stood out to me in the most positive light were the ones at Baystate. They tell you to choose the residency program that makes you feel at home and when interviewing at Baystate I not only felt comfortable with the residents but also with the other interviewees. I think the fact that the residents were not only able to make me feel comfortable with them but they evoked such a chill atmosphere that everybody got along made me realize that Baystate would be able to offer me the best environment to excel in during one of the hardest parts of our careers.
Aside from the medical world I love soccer whether it is playing indoor, playing outdoor, or watching a game (especially Mexico). I do enjoy watching other sports like hockey (go Kings!) and baseball (Blue Jays and Padres). I also love to cook, try new restaurants, travel, garden, and enjoy fishing…basically if it gets me outside and there will be food I’m down.
Gregory Campbell, MD
University College Cork, Ireland
Hi, I’m Gregory Campbell, and I am very excited to be moving back to Massachusetts. I grew up in Newton, then went to McGill University in Montreal for undergraduate degrees in physics and in music performance. I followed that with graduate degrees in music in Boston and then Toronto, after which I joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (just outside Toronto) as assistant principal viola. I played in the KWS for five years, while also teaching violin and viola at the Toronto Suzuki Studio, and performing in several groups in Toronto's thriving contemporary music scene.
I turned to medicine after meeting with an acquaintance who had worked for Doctors Without Borders. I was inspired to push myself further, to be able to help people more tangibly and directly. I had the opportunity to go abroad to study medicine at University College Cork, in Ireland, so moved with my amazing wife and our oldest (and at the time, only) son. We moved to Ireland as a family of three, and are moving back to the US as a family of five, after having two more little boys. Our house is always busy!
I really enjoyed working with kids and their families as a music teacher, so Med-Peds seemed like a good fit (also, I’m still not quite sure what I want to do when I ‘grow up’!). After getting in touch with Dr. Sharon Wretzel, I realized that the Med-Peds program at Baystate was welcoming, friendly, and supportive. On the interview trail, I found that the culture of the program was the most important thing to me, and Baystate stood out for its collegiality, respect, and support.
Faith Andrea Ikalina, MD
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Hi! I’m Faith! I was born in NYC but mostly grew up in a small in Northern New Jersey. I went to Seton Hall University where I majored in Biology (surprise!) and double minored in Vocal Music Performance and Asian Studies. I then took a year off to be an EM scribe and go on mission trips before I literally moved down the street from my college to Rutgers NJ Medical School in Newark.
So Baystate is my first venture living outside my home state, and it was more than the proximity of Herrell’s ice cream that enticed me to come here, all though it may have been a factor (try it and see what I mean)! Not only did Baystate check off all the objective boxes of what I wanted in a program, it also met all the subjective bits I was hoping to find – or as I explained it to my parents: a strong program with quirky people. I found all that and more since coming to Baystate and I couldn’t imagine a more welcoming and support bunch of people to spend the exciting years of residency with.
In my free and not-so-free time I love to sing and ballroom dance. I also like playing the piano, yoga, martial arts, learning new languages, and adding new k-pop songs to my music library.
Laura Kvenvold, MD
Tufts University School of Medicine
Hello, I’m Laura. I grew up in the beautiful rural community of Harvard, Massachusetts. I attended Tufts University, where I majored in biology and continued to develop a passion for health and disease through my research on silk-based nanoparticles and part-time work as a pharmacy technician.
Following graduation, I spent two years doing research at Boston Children’s Hospital in a lab studying rare genetic disorders that affect skeletal development. I developed a deep respect for basic science research and mouse colony management, but decided I needed to work with fewer four-legged patients.
I entered Tufts University School of Medicine with excitement at the opportunity to be working directly with people again. I volunteered at the student-run free clinic, Sharewood. By the end of first year, I decided it was finally time to travel outside the US. I dove straight in and spent two months in Vellore, India at the Christian Medical College as a medical observer. This was an eye-opening experience and sparked my interest in global health.
During my clinical years, I was fortunate to spend a good deal of time at Baystate Medical Center, where I fell in love with the culture of education and collegiality. I am delighted to be returning to Baystate for med-peds! I look forward to working with the friendly and compassionate physicians, nurses, and staff I found here during medical school.
In my free time I enjoy traveling, baking, doting on my cat, reading great books, having purposeful political conversations, sewing counted cross-stitch, and getting outdoors.
Maxwell Norris, MD
State University of New York, Upstate Medical University
My name is Max and I am ecstatic to be joining the Med-Peds family at Baystate. Originally, I am from the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York where I learned how to water ski, alpine ski, and sail all in the same place! I did my undergraduate studies at New York University where I earned a degree in international relations focusing on the structure of the European Union and the politics of immigration. It was through my desire to understand the root cause of an effect and my passion to do something truly global, that I began pursuing a career in medicine.
After graduating from NYU, I join a public health research team at the University of Colorado that focused on studying the immunologic causes of pre-term birth. In Colorado, my time shadowing physicians and applying research concepts cemented my passion for medicine. I attended medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University, not far from where I grew up. During medical school I became deeply involved in LGBT advocacy by volunteering at the local youth center and leading the student run LGBT organization. My yearning for advocacy, desire to broaden my knowledge and work with people of all ages, and my quirky personality lead me to choosing Med-Peds!
Baystate was one of the programs that surprised me the most on the interview trail. I could definitely see myself learning, working and having fun alongside the great group of residents and faculty at Baystate. After the interview trail was over, I kept ruminating on my interview at Baystate and the invaluable advice that Dr. Borden gave the applicants during the interview. I could not get over how much I felt like I fit in and there is so much Med-Peds here!
Outside of medicine, I spend most of my time with my partner, Dan, sailing (even in the Connecticut River!), enjoying live music, socializing with friends and family, playing strategy board games, discussing domestic and international issues, and trying to find the next new trendy TV series.
Alexander Roseman, MD
University of Minnesota Medical School
Alex is originally from Swampscott, Massachusetts. He majored in neuroscience and minored in chemistry at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. After undergrad, he worked in the laboratory of Joseph T. Coyle MD at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts studying transgenic mouse models of schizophrenia. He additionally worked at the Harvard Brain Bank dissecting human brains.
He then worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Minneapolis, Minnesota working at a combined social services/ community health center to create and run their volunteer program and create a curriculum for a general wellness group. After AmeriCorps, he worked on the 2012 Barack Obama Presidential Campaign as a Fall Organizing Fellow and completed a Certificate in Public Health Core Concepts from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. At the University of Minnesota Medical School, he founded the UMN Hotspotters, an interdisciplinary group dedicated to improving the care of patients with high utilization through research and advocacy. His research interests include health care utilization and clinical informatics. In his spare time, he plays jazz guitar and enjoys cooking.
While interviewing for residency and asking around, Baystate was the only program where people were consistently thrilled with their education and experience. Additionally, it is a program where “med-peds is a thing”. The environment is non-competitive but still conducive to learning and scholarship. I felt at home and comfortable with the residents and faculty during my interview and during residency. In terms of the area, the Pioneer Valley is beautiful and offers many opportunities for hiking, going to breweries and seeing live music.
Theresa Sepulveda, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Hi! I grew up in Raymond, Maine in the Lakes Region and started a music performance major on harp before switching to linguistics and premed at Swarthmore. After college I went to Houston to work in foster care, and was also a substitute high school teacher in the sciences. I went to medical school at the University of Rochester where I learned about medpeds and transitional medicine from the amazing residents and faculty there.
I knew I wanted a similar program with a strong medpeds culture and community, which is why I came to Baystate. Mason Square Clinic especially impressed me with their PCMH and commitment to such a diverse patient panel.
My interests in medicine include global health, infectious disease, and community medicine. In my spare time, I am looking forward to exploring Western Mass hikes and biking trails, as well as the wonderful restaurants in Northampton.
Adrienne Tran, MD
Keck School of Medicine, USC
Hi, I’m Adrienne! I was born and raised in San Diego and went to college at MIT. I enjoyed the snow for a few years and thought I was done with cold weather when I moved back to Los Angeles for medical school, but I couldn’t stay away from winter and the wonderful people at Baystate! I enjoy baking, cooking, hiking, and being outdoors, and I’m excited to try all the fun things in the area!
Along the interview trail, the strong med-peds presence and terrific residents and faculty at Baystate particularly stood out to me. They were one of the most down-to-earth, friendly, well-balanced, and supportive groups that I saw. Now I’m so glad to be a part of the family!
Ritika Walia, MD
University of Rochester School of Medicine
Hello, my name is Ritika Walia and I am thrilled to be joining the Baystate Med Peds family. Here's a little bit about me:
I grew up in Westborough, Massachusetts, which is beautiful small town about 45 minutes west of Boston, famous for its car dealerships and its rotary (just kidding) and for being the birthplace of Eli Whitney. I was actually born in Calcutta, India, and lived there for the first nine years of my life; (ask me about my undying love for the sport of cricket). I completed my undergraduate studies in biology and neuroscience at Brandeis University, just outside of Boston, before moving to Rochester, NY for medical school. It was at the University of Rochester that I was inspired to emulate the compassion, intelligence, humility, and drive for learning that I encountered in the Med Peds residents that I worked with.
For residency, I was looking for a well reputed program with a sizable Med Peds presence but at the same time a supportive environment in which to learn. Additionally, I was hoping to move closer to home. Baystate seemed to me the ideal choice, and my month long rotation at Mason Square only reinforced this. My professional interests include hospitalist medicine, clinical/translational research, medical writing, and medical student education.
Outside of work, I love to read - mostly classic novels but of late I have also been enjoying memoirs. I also like trying new recipes, most of which are provided by my mom on the phone. I am equally charmed by bustling cityscapes as I am by natural landscapes; while I am here I hope to explore the serene beauty of the Pioneer Valley and travel to some nearby cities. Finally, I look forward to spending some quality time with my family and friends.