Salman Ali Jan, MD
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Hey! I’m Salman, and I was born and raised in the welcoming island of Bahrain, half a world away from Western Mass. I traveled all the way to Ireland to attend medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons. It was during my fourth year of medical school that I got to solidify my interest in OB/GYN, as I had the great opportunity to train at the oldest continuously operating maternity hospital in the world. After completing an intern year right after graduation, I wanted to learn more about the science behind reproductive medicine, so I moved to London for a postgraduate degree at Imperial College before finally calling Baystate my next home!
Baystate specifically stood out to me for its values rooted in education, diversity, and camaraderie at every level. During the interview season, I immediately noticed how supportive, welcoming, and creative the residents and faculty were, and instantly felt connected to the program and the unique sense of community at Baystate! As someone who has enjoyed teaching thus far in my career, both in the medical field and as a volunteer tutor, I enjoyed learning about the depth and quality of the educational experience here. It was also important to me to be at a program that offered exposure to diverse patient populations as global health is an interest of mine. Not only did I find that at Baystate but I also came to find that the program would provide exposure to the entire spectrum of sub-specialties within OB/GYN.
Some of my favorite things to do include traveling, hiking, island hopping, meditation, theater, musical theater, reading, writing, exploring restaurants, and most importantly, being with family and friends! The beautiful nature around, hiking trails, art galleries, and the easy trip to Broadway were some of the best bonuses about being in Western Mass, but when in doubt, you can find me traveling.
I feel incredibly grateful to be a part of a compassionate team and an excellent program. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!
Alice Berenson, MD
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
Hi! My name is Alice, and when I’m not delivering babies, I train in aerial circus arts (with a focus on “lyra,” or aerial hoop) and take my very small dog on very big walks.
I have spent my entire life in Massachusetts, gradually moving west. I studied in Cambridge, worked in life sciences consulting in Newton, and attended medical school at UMass in Worcester. Now, I am so excited to continue my “great western adventure” at Baystate and to be a part of this amazing community. After discovering Baystate on a Sub-I in medical school, I chose to come here for residency because of the wonderful, welcoming people, top-notch training including early exposure to all the OB/GYN subspecialties, beautiful facilities, and cooperative atmosphere. Whether advocating for reproductive rights, learning from our amazing midwives, or perfecting surgical techniques, you will always be growing here. I fall more in love with our program (and my co-residents) every day!
I live just east of Springfield with my husband and our dog Jackson, and I will show you a million photos of him if you let me (the dog, not the husband). We love hiking, skiing, and cycling (the husband, not the dog) and can often be found exploring the great trails around Springfield. In addition, I am obsessed with Fall, New England foliage, and anything apple or pumpkin. Ask me about why Massachusetts is the greatest place on earth, and please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!
Eli Bernstein, MD
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Hey everyone! My name is Eli and I’m so excited to be joining the Baystate Ob/Gyn Squad! I am originally from White Plains, New York and I got my undergraduate degree in psychology from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. I decided only after graduating that I wanted to pursue medicine so I completed a post-bacc at Columbia University in New York. I got my medical degree from Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva, Israel.
Baystate was my very first interview for residency and boy did it set the bar high! So many of the things that I was looking for in my training are here: the fact that it’s a Ryan program, the opportunity to learn extensively from midwives, the diverse and underserved patient population and of course, the amazing co-residents and faculty. I am hoping to ultimately pursue fellowship in either Maternal-Fetal Medicine or Family Planning.
Outside of medicine, I love to travel and go hiking. I’m an avid NBA fan (let’s go Knicks!!) and love playing basketball and working out. This goes great with my other hobby, which is stuffing my face at every new restaurant I can find. I’ve recently discovered the world of plant-based cooking, thanks to my wonderful partner Kamal, who I met in med school and is a future family physician! I should also mention that my phone’s memory is 95% pictures and videos of my cat, Scout, and my dog, Zeke. Please reach out if you’d like me to share those with you, or we can also talk about Baystate Ob/Gyn.
Stephanie Bista, MD
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Hi there, I'm Steph! I grew up in Delaware, went to undergrad in South Carolina, and then joined the Peace Corps. I lived in a rural village in Namibia for two years, teaching English and science at a primary school. The training I received there sparked my interest in public health, and when I returned, I pursued an MPH at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Next, I moved to Beer Sheva, Israel to join the Medical School for International Health - a global health track for international students at Ben Gurion University. This experience allowed me to learn medicine while being immersed in a new language, culture and healthcare system.
While the OB/GYN program at Baystate has so many things to recommend it, the primary thing that drew me in was the kindness and thoughtfulness of the residents, faculty and admin. It can be a scary thing to commit 4 years of training to a place you've never set foot, but I was confident after my interview day that I would feel at home at Baystate (and thankfully I was right!). Additionally, we have training in all the sub-specialties, ample support for research and fellowship applications, access to training in complex family planning, and a patient population that is diverse in terms of ethnicity and racial background, language spoken, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Outside the hospital I can often be found hiking with my partner and our dog, discovering new restaurants and breweries, or at home knitting and baking vegan treats. I'm happy to answer questions about the program, the area, or who has the cutest dog at Baystate (spoiler alert, it might be mine!)
Jessica Bujouves, MD
University of Limerick
Hi everyone, my name is Jessie! I am originally from London, Ontario Canada, however I spent much of the last 10 years living in the US and Europe. After playing soccer for Atletico de Madrid and finishing high school online, I moved to Bloomington, Indiana where I played Division 1 soccer (Go Hoosiers!) and studied Human Biology. After graduating I worked for two non-profit organizations, PINK Concussions and the Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada where I developed my passion for women’s health and advocacy. I then moved to Vancouver Island and worked for Stryker Endoscopy and Sports Medicine as a medical device sales representative. I fell in love with the collegial atmosphere in the OR, the ability to use cutting edge technology to improve patient care and the opportunity to directly work with patients. So… I decided to move yet again and came back to Europe where I started medical school at the University of Limerick School of Medicine in Ireland.
The unique combination of primary care and surgery is what led me to OBGYN! I was constantly stimulated by the diversity of patients, the ability to work in a variety of settings and the privilege of treating women throughout all stages of life. During my interview at Baystate, I was so impressed by the culture of the program, the camaraderie between the residents and faculty and the clear emphasis on teaching as a resident. Baystate has the perfect combination of an academically challenging program, comprehensive sub-specialty exposure and a supportive environment where everyone seems to be having fun! The location in Western Mass was also a HUGE factor for me as it is close to my family in Canada and would allow me to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. In my free time, I love to do anything active - particularly trail running, hiking, hot yoga and Pilates. I also love coffee and can’t wait to find my favorite coffee shop in the area!
I am so thankful to be joining the Baystate OBGYN family and can’t wait to start learning from my amazing co-residents and faculty. For all my Canadian or Irish graduates in particular, please feel free to contact me with any questions. I would be happy to help!
Elena Labovitis, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine-New York
Hello everyone! My name is Elena. I was raised in a Greek-Albanian family and immigrated to Massachusetts as a teenager. I earned my undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, MA and then I moved to Boston to work in research for two years before obtaining my master’s and finally my medical degree at Touro COM - NY.
I was fortunate to do a rotation at Baystate in Family Planning and Contraception during my 4th year, and I absolutely enjoyed every aspect of the experience. Everyone was eager to teach, integrate you into patient care and simply get to know you as a person. They welcomed my diversity and made me feel appreciated; it felt like home. Their focus on resident wellness and providing quality care to underserved communities are some of the many qualities that drew me to Baystate. I could not be more excited to join this family!
A bit more about myself: I usually spend time with family and friends in my free time. I love traveling to explore new cultures and cuisines – as food is the whole point of traveling! I picked up skiing this past winter, and I look forward to spending some time in the Western Mass mountains. My happy place is anywhere near a sea/ocean.
I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of the Baystate family, and I feel privileged to be training in the best specialty!
Chloe Benichou, DO
University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello! My name is Chloe. Although I am originally from Montreal, Canada, I moved to Texas in middle school, so I guess I now claim to be a Texan! I completed my undergraduate degree at Hendrix College (a small Liberal Arts school in Conway, Arkansas), and then worked at a research lab at UT Southwestern for two years before obtaining my master’s and finally my medical degree at UNTHSC in Fort Worth, Texas. Needless to say, I have had ample time to forget what real winters are like and I am about to experience quite the climate change - but I am so excited to be living in New England and have seasons!
Being from the south, I knew I wanted to be at a program that strongly advocated for the right of women to choose their health journey in all aspects of life. My passions within the field include advocacy which led me to the Congressional Leadership Conference in Washington DC during my third year. There, I met and spoke with a Baystate resident and immediately knew the program not only had every aspect I was searching for in a training institution but also would encourage me to continue exploring the passions I was developing within Obstetrics and Gynecology. Although I was not able to complete neither an in-person rotation nor an interview during my fourth year due to the pandemic, the fact that an online interview instantly made me feel like I was home spoke volumes. The residents and faculty’s clear support for one another was evident, even through a screen, and their comradery was immediately contagious. I could not be more excited to join this family!
In my free time, my favorite things include exploring new restaurants, visiting wineries, and traveling (bonus points if I can do all three in one). I also love skiing, hiking, running outdoors, and am a huge adrenaline junkie but I absolutely despise bugs; it’s a catch-22 I have been stuck in my whole life but can deal with to see beautiful views. Realistically, during the next four years, my free time will consist of my other loves, Netflix, and spending time with friends and family. I have been known to make quite the charcuterie board to celebrate any occasion and cannot wait to use this skill as often as I can in Western Mass!
I am happy to answer any questions about this incredible program, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Kelsey Carman, MD
University of Michigan Medical School
Hi! I’m Kelsey, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the Baystate ObGyn family! When I’m not delivering babies or talking about sexual health, I can be found embarking on trail walks with my adventurous dog, or watching my husband play drums in his local blues-rock band.
I grew up in Southern California, but have called many places home. After graduating from college in New York, I spent a year teaching English in Thailand. Upon returning I earned my MPH degree at Tufts University and worked at Fenway Health, a Boston based LGBTQ+ health center and research institute. Through my public health work, I discovered a passion for providing compassionate and inclusive healthcare, understanding social determinants of health, and advocating for underserved communities. After completing a post-baccalaureate program, I attended University of Michigan Medical School, where I solidified my love for ObGyn.
When exploring residency options, I sought out programs where I could serve a diverse patient population, gain exposure to subspecialties and family planning, live in the Northeast, and join a supportive team of people! During my interview experience, I immediately felt connected to the residents and faculty, who emphasized Baystate’s well-rounded residency experience - both within and outside of the hospital. I’m incredibly grateful to have matched at a program where I can receive excellent training in all major sub-specialties while working with academic physicians, midwives, medical students, and residents all in one hospital setting. Training at Baystate allows me to provide care to diverse patients from a variety of backgrounds, who come from a large surrounding area. Ultimately I feel confident that my training at Baystate will allow me to become a compassionate and well-rounded General ObGyn. Being able to receive rigorous training in a team-oriented environment alongside supportive residents and well-respected faculty made Baystate a perfect match for me!
Samantha Haefner, MD
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Hello! My name is Samantha and I am a lifetime Midwesterner. I grew up in Wisconsin and studied neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin, where I had such a great time that I stayed there for medical school. However, when looking for a residency program, I wanted to explore another area of the country, and New England seemed like the perfect spot for this new adventure!
Throughout the interview process, I felt incredibly welcomed by everyone here at Baystate even though the process was entirely virtual. It quickly became clear to me that the residents truly care about each other as a family and support one another, which I was really looking for in a program. Being passionate about women’s health advocacy and reproductive justice, I am also excited about the wonderful family planning training I will get here at Baystate.
For a little bit more about myself, I am married to my high school sweetheart, Jake, and we have a two-year-old corgi named Tilly. I enjoy spending my free time going on walks, crafting, reading, and traveling, and I am so excited to be joining the Baystate team!
Please reach out with any questions you may have about our program.
Megan Murnane, MD
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland School of Medicine
Hi everyone, Megan here! Congrats on making it this far in your medical training! I am a native Californian, born and raised just outside of San Francisco. I attended Santa Clara University for undergrad. I then went across the pond to my parents home country, Ireland, for my master's degree at Trinity College, Dublin. After my masters, I returned to SF for 4 years and worked in research at UCSF. It was there that I learned that I loved working with patients far more than I liked working with cell cultures/mice, so started my journey to become a physician! That journey took me back to Ireland where I started medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons.
During my first year of medical school in Ireland, I actually got to vote for the first time as an Irish citizen to over turn the law that banned Irish women from obtaining abortions. I spent the remaining 3 years of my medical education working and advocating to improve access to comprehensive family planning education in Irish medical schools. The opportunity for advocacy on behalf of my patients is a large reason I am drawn to the field of Obstetrics and gynecology amongst other reasons: the med/ surg balance, the variety, and the opportunity to be a part of many pivotal moments in a woman’s life. I chose Baystate for many reasons, but the obvious one being how welcoming, kind, and supportive everyone is. Even though interviews this past cycle were virtual due to the pandemic, it was clear Baystate had all the good vibes and was somewhere I could call home. Baystate also had everything else I was looking for in a program: a culturally and socioeconomically diverse patient population, a strong family planning curriculum, an early surgical exposure/ strong surgical training, and it was an ideal location for both me and my fiancé, who’s working remotely with the occasional commute to Boston.
In my spare time you will find me distance running, eating cheese, gardening, painting, hiking, and visiting breweries, wineries, farmers markets, and vintage/ thrift stores! I am so excited to explore all of the outdoor activities Western Mass has to offer— being near ski slopes was a must for our household. All in all, I am incredibly lucky to be in such a great program and place!
The match is so stressful, but just know you will end up where you are meant to be! Feel free to reach out with any questions, especially to all my fellow IMGs out there!
Jahel Santacruz, MD
Universidad Internacional del Ecuador Facultad de Ciencias Médicas y de la Salud
Hello everyone!! I am Jahel, I am from Quito, a beautiful city in the highlands of Ecuador. I graduated from Universidad Internacional del Ecuador and then moved to Chicago for 2 years to study for the USMLE. After that, I moved to Texas to work as an OBGYN research fellow at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I was working with genetically modified mice and cancer cell lines.
As an international graduate, I applied to a lot of OBGYN programs around the country, but Baystate definitely caught my eye because it had everything on my checklist for a residency program: I wanted to be in a friendly learning environment, have exposure to all OBGYN subspecialties, global health opportunities, family planning and reproductive health training, also I wanted to work with underserved communities and with the Latino community. When they sent me the interview, and they were interested in learning more about what made me unique, I kinda knew this was the program for me. I was looking for a place that values diversity, a place where people come together and work as a team for the patient's well-being.
During the virtual interviews, I felt very comfortable with the faculty and residents, and they were genuinely happy to be working here at Baystate. They all referred to the program and their co-workers as their family and that was a key seller for me. I feel very lucky to be part of this family now and I can’t wait to start training and learning from all these wonderful people.
Bradley Schroeder, DO
Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello! My name is Brad and I’m originally from Johnstown, PA, a small town in western PA. I’ve spent much of my education bouncing between the Midwest and east coast. I did my undergrad at Notre Dame, then grad school at Georgetown, then back to the Midwest for Med school at Marian University in Indianapolis, and finally to Philadelphia for an intern year in internal medicine before finding my home at Baystate.
When I reflect on what drew me to Baystate, there wasn’t any one detail or epiphany; it was more a string of good feelings about the program. I really enjoyed the balanced education across both Ob and Gyn, the emphasis on resident wellness, and opportunities to get involved in health policy as that’s a big interest of mine. I also really valued that we’re essentially a referral center for the western MA. Rarely do cases get shipped out for being too complicated but still provides the supportive and engaged community feel.
Outside of work, I really enjoy baking, playing with my corgi Napoleon, soccer, and college football. I also have aspirations of becoming more of a legitimate outdoors person with all of this wonderful nature around us; Jury is still out on that one though.
Kelsey Bertelsen, DO
Des Moines University College Osteopathic Medicine
Hi everyone! My name is Kelsey. I grew up in a small town just south of St. Paul, Minnesota. I then completed my undergrad degree at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and finally my medical education at Des Moines University in Iowa. While I have enjoyed my little tour of the upper Midwest, I am very excited to explore a new part of the country in New England!
I was fortunate enough to do a rotation at Baystate during my 4th year in benign gynecology and I was sold. I found myself comparing every other program I visited to Baystate. Everyone made me feel so incredibly welcome. I loved that all the specialties were represented under one roof, and the family planning curriculum is unbeatable. The emphasis put on resident wellness and resident driven changes is something that I did not expect to find in a residency program. You’ll hear a lot during the interview process that you should just trust your gut. That is exactly what I did with Baystate, and I could not be more excited to start working with such an amazing team.
In my free time you’ll find me trying all the new local restaurants and cocktail bars, taking walks, baking, crafting, growing my indoor garden, and binging Netflix. If you have any questions at all please feel free to reach out! Best of luck!
Sarah Dunalewicz, DO
Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello there! I'm Sarah, a midwesterner from Kansas City (the Missouri side). I moved to New England for undergrad and completed a Bachelor's in Neuroscience at Mount Holyoke College, which is where I discovered the wonderful, magical bubble that is Western Mass. After graduation, I moved back to KC and worked for a couple of years in clinical research, mainly focusing on oncology clinical trials. I went to KCU for medical school, and spent the last two years rotating in Denver, Colorado where I learned how to ski and hiked every day I could.
Baystate was only a short drive from my college, so I have technically known about it for a long time, but I had no idea what a perfect fit its residency program was for me until I did an audition rotation here my fourth year. Everyone I met here was determined to help me learn and have a positive experience from day one. The residents and attendings would regularly check in with me to see how I was doing and make sure that I was getting the most out of my rotation, even though I was only there for one month. This program is also highly focused on helping underserved communities, and the hospital has a very broad referral base. There was also the added benefit of being in a place I adore for its unique blend of a rural setting with a progressive mindset and wonderful outdoorsiness.
I am very interested in global health, and love to travel. I have had the opportunity to volunteer (medically and otherwise) in Ecuador, Belize, Guatemala, and Kenya. (I was supposed to add India to that list, but have been thwarted by Coronavirus for the moment...maybe third year!). I also enjoy running, hiking, biking, hot yoga, baking, swimming (I was a synchronized swimmer for 16 years), and literally anything that involves being outside.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the program, and best of luck!
Sharon Geerts, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi there and welcome to Baystate! I am very excited to see your interest in our Ob/Gyn residency program and share with you a little about me and why I chose Baystate!
I am originally from Antwerp, Belgium but moved to a suburb of Philadelphia in middle school. My journey to New England started when I went to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for undergrad and spent 3 years in Boston working in research at Massachusetts General Hospital before moving up to Maine for medical school. I can certainly say New England has taken my heart and I am so very excited to return to western Mass for residency.
I chose Baystate for a multitude of reasons. During my first two years of medical school, I had always heard positive things about Baystate. During my interview day I felt welcome and found the residents to be a fierce team of individuals who were supportive of one another and the camaraderie between them was visible. I had the amazing opportunity to do a Urogynecology rotation later on and the welcoming feeling I had felt during my interview day immediately came back to me. I continued to see the encouraging nature between the residents and the faculty. In addition, the program has a genuine holistic approach to training focusing on resident wellbeing while providing the academic rigor necessary to become a confident independent obstetrician and gynecologist. I also enjoyed seeing how the senior residents taught the junior residents further amplifying the theme of teamwork and supportive nature of the program.
Western Mass is absolutely beautiful, and I am excited to have the opportunity to dabble more in outdoor activities. I enjoy exploring breweries which there are plenty of in the New England area. In my free time you will catch me cross-stitching, doing yoga, or cuddling with my cat Skittles. I also enjoy wining and dining with friends and making a mean stew or chili!
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about our wonderful program here at Baystate!
Alyssa Guajardo, DO
A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello, and welcome to Baystate! My name is Alyssa, and I am a native Texan raised in the suburbs of Houston. I attended Baylor University for undergrad, followed by the University of Houston for my master's degree in chemistry. After graduating, I worked as a nursing assistant in the emergency department for a year before moving to Missouri to begin medical school at A.T. Still University. For the past two years, I have lived in Phoenix, where I completed clinical rotations, and soaked up the sun as much as possible! I am excited to move to Massachusetts to explore New England and experience all four seasons again!
During my time in Springfield for my interview, everyone was so welcoming and kind, making me feel right at home. I soon learned that Baystate had all of the things I was looking for: a family feel, a collaborative atmosphere between all healthcare providers, a focus on preventive medicine, global and community outreach, and an opportunity to serve a diverse and underserved patient population. To top it off, it was apparent that the residents have a strong voice in implementing change and genuinely enjoy each other’s company! As I got to the end of my interview trail, I could not shake the feeling that Baystate was the place I was meant to train to become the best Ob/Gyn for my patients.
In my spare time, you can catch me eating anything and everything, listening to live music, binging Netflix, and FaceTiming my family dog, Romeo Stephen III. I also love traveling, spin classes, visiting new wineries, and hanging with friends! I can’t wait to explore the many hiking trails in the area, snowboard at the nearby mountains, and visit my sister in Brooklyn with any free time I might have.
I am beyond ecstatic to have joined the Baystate family! Feel free to reach out with any questions!
Madyson Noonan, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello and welcome to Baystate OBGYN! My name is Madyson but everyone calls me Maddie. I was born in Boston and have lived in a small town outside the city for nearly my whole life. I ventured out of the northeast for college where I spent four unforgettable years at Tulane University in the greatest city in the world, New Orleans!! For someone like me who loves food, music, and entertainment it was one of my most fond experiences. After college I worked in a research lab in Boston before starting medical school at University of New England COM in southern Maine. Living on the beach made medical school so much easier to get through!
From the day I decided to go in to OBGYN I knew that Baystate was where I wanted to end up. Not only did I want to return to my home state of Massachusetts, I was also attracted to the large patient volume and strong clinical education provided to residents in this program. After spending four weeks completing a sub-internship and meeting all the members of this incredible group, I could not imagine training anywhere else. The residents are all second to none in their desire to help students learn and feel like an integral part of the team.
I am so excited to spend some time exploring Western Massachusetts! I love to run and hike, and the proximity to so many ski locations is definitely a perk. Anyone who knows me will vouch for my obsession with my two german shepherds, Paxton and Ele, who are always willing to join me on my outdoor adventures. I absolutely love to cook, but what I like to do even more is eat. I am always looking for a new restaurant to try!
I truly could not be happier to be at Baystate. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Jennifer Shields, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Welcome to Baystate! My name is Jennifer, and I am originally from Boston, MA. I completed my undergraduate education at Wheaton College Massachusetts. After graduating, I worked for several years in the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at BIDMC, the same lab that is currently working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with Johnson & Johnson! I also spent those years volunteering as a hotline counselor at Planned Parenthood, which had a huge impact on me and ultimately led me to go to medical school to become an Ob/Gyn.
I joined the Baystate family after completing my medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.. There are many factors that go into picking a residency program, but honestly, the most important is the gut feeling you get when a program is right for you. During my interview here, I had that gut feeling. Everyone I met was welcoming, personable, exceptionally trained, and shared my values regarding family planning and abortion training. I am thrilled to be a part of the Baystate Ob/Gyn family!
There are several perks to living in western Massachusetts. You are only a short drive away from both New York and Boston. If you are an adventure-seeker like me, you will appreciate that Six Flags New England is just down the street. If you have any questions about the program, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Rebecca Barbaresso, DO
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi there! Welcome to Baystate! My name is Becca and I moved here from Michigan (or “the Mitten” as I fondly call it). I completed my undergrad at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and stayed in Ann Arbor for three years post-grad conducting Type II Diabetes research in mouse models. I graduated from Michigan State’s University of Osteopathic Medicine (but, don’t worry, I maintained my Wolverine roots). I’ve lived my entire life in the Mitten until now and I couldn’t be more enthused to be a part of Baystate and excited to explore the New England area!
When researching residency programs, Baystate immediately caught my eye. The program has a genuinely holistic approach to graduate medical training, with education and resident well-being as its top priorities. The interview was so pleasant that it felt like I was conversing with professional acquaintances I had known for years. Everyone was SO kind, causing me to leave the hospital beaming from ear to ear, knowing that I wanted to book another flight as soon as possible for a second look. When I did return for my second look, everything that I had researched online and experienced during my interview was confirmed. Once again, everyone was incredibly engaging, interactive and friendly. I knew this would be a program where I would thrive as a resident and be primed to become an OBGYN achieving her greatest potential.
I absolutely love the outdoors despite having lived in the outskirts of Detroit for the majority of my life. I am living in Northampton, which is the perfect mix of city and country; in the morning I’m on a scenic hike and that afternoon I’ll be walking into downtown for dinner with my partner. There is always something going on in Western Massachusetts, so you definitely won’t find yourself bored! Apart from hiking, I’m a foodie who enjoys weightlifting and golfing. My creative side dabbles with drawing, as well as making crafts with wine corks and bottle caps!
If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to reach out!
Tara Formisano, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi! My name is Tara and I am so happy to see your interest in both Ob/Gyn and Baystate!
A little about me— I am a New England gal through and through. I grew up in Connecticut and was dead set on going somewhere warm and with palm trees for college. With the help of softball, I ended up at Stetson University for undergrad. I quickly found out that I thoroughly missed the seasons (seeing pumpkins in 80 degree weather in October was weird)! Upon graduating, I decided to move to Chicago where I got my Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences and my fair share of the midwest and cold. Throughout these travels, I always missed New England. When it came time to decide where to go to med school, it was an easy decision, the most New England state, Maine! Once officially back in my home territory, I was certain I had no intention of leaving New England again and joining the Ob/Gyn family at Baystate Medical Center has certainly helped me succeed in that goal.
I’ve wanted to go into Ob/Gyn since I decided I wanted to become a physician in undergrad. My medical school and clinical experiences only helped me confirm that decision. I also specifically wanted to practice rural women’s health and I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to join the National Health Service Corps. When it came to searching for a residency program, I wanted one that fostered a healthy academic rigor that would best prepare me for a career in underserved/rural medicine. Not only did I find that at Baystate, but I was also blown away by the teamwork and camaraderie displayed between faculty and residents, and, most notably, the resident as teacher model that Baystate has successfully implemented. It was a no brainer for me that Baystate was where I wanted to be!
Fun facts: I am obsessed with my doggo, Betsy. She is a 3 year old, 10 lb Maltipoo (Maltese Miniature Poodle Mix). In the winter, I ski any chance I can, Sunday River in Maine being my favorite mountain (and not far from the Springfield area). In the summer, camping, hiking, and at the beach/in the water is where I will usually be found. In the fall, it’s all about pumpkin flavored everything. Western Mass certainly provides the seasons and the location for me to continue to enjoy all those activities!
I am happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to contact me! Good luck with your journey—you will get through it and end up exactly where you are meant to be!
Madison McGahan, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hi everyone! My name is Madison and I am excited to tell you a little about myself and share with you why I chose Baystate!
A little about me: I was born and raised in Long Island, New York. I completed my undergraduate degree at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and then moved back to Long Island to attend medical school at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. Although I have never lived in New England until now, I have always loved exploring the area whether it’s hiking, biking, seeing live music events, or trying something totally new that the area has to offer!
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my two dogs- Gus & Oliver! I love the ocean, going to the beach, hiking, reading historical fiction, and going to the movies.
When I was researching programs to rotate at as a fourth year medical student, Baystate stood out to me for a number of reasons, including its values of academics, diversity, and wellness. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to rotate at Baystate and quickly felt connected to the program, the hospital, and the area. I truly felt that Baystate was a place that would not only teach me the technical skills to become a successful Ob/Gyn, but also a place that would enable me to be a strong advocate for women’s health. Most importantly, I loved working with and getting to the know the residents and faculty! These are just some of the reasons why I believed Baystate was the perfect fit for me!
Baystate is an incredible place to train and I am so excited to be a part of such a supportive environment where people are genuinely happy and proud of their program! Please feel free to reach out with any questions about our awesome program!
Brittany Novak, MD
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Hi, congrats on making it to this exciting new stage of your medical career.
I’m originally from Massachusetts and am excited to be exploring a new part of the state through these years of residency. I grew up in a small town south of Boston, and then I received my undergraduate degree from Harvard majoring in psychology, and minoring in French and environmental science. After college, I worked in New York City in public health at Columbia, working with drug users and becoming an HIV counselor. With that perspective, I realized that I wanted to become a physician, which led me to the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
I chose Baystate for the culture and the atmosphere of learning. The feel that I got from my interview of a warm and supportive place that nurtures learning has been reinforced with each new rotation of residency. The residents look out for each other and lean on each other. Attendings to midwives to senior residents all are approachable and seem genuinely happy to teach, as well as push us to become more independent and decisive clinicians. I was looking for a program that would help me become a competent and nurturing Ob/Gyn, as well as one that valued work life balance. Many of us in the program have families. For me, Baystate is a perfect fit for its focus on education, collaborative learning environment, and family friendly atmosphere.
Over the years, I’ve developed a love of travel and cooking. In college, I spent a semester studying in Paris. Since then, I’ve studied global health in India, hiked Machu Picchu and learned how to SCUBA dive in the Maldives. I love cooking Indian and Persian food, and relaxing with yoga. I used to have all kinds of fun hobbies. And then I had a baby. Now most of my free time is spent with my husband, chasing our mischievous toddler as she squeals gleefully.
I’m thrilled to have picked Baystate for my training. I’d be happy to talk if you have any questions. Good luck!
Lauren Smith, MD
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Hello! My name is Lauren. I am originally from Birmingham, England but have spent the past 12 years in Michigan with my family. I attended medical school at MSU College of Human Medicine where I got to experience a diverse and fulfilling medical education. My pre-clinical years were based in Grand Rapids and my clinical years in Flint. These differing experiences exemplified the growth and discovery that can occur when you venture somewhere new…. That is what pulled me to Baystate!
I love the Mitten, but I knew to become better I had to leave. I was initially drawn to Baystate after continuing to hear about the well-rounded, robust training. Individuals who had rotated here could not stop talking about stellar teaching, supportive learning environment, and the skills of the residents. The program is constantly improving and striving to make great OB-GYNs.
The strong family planning training at this program was a key seller for me. This vital part of women’s health continues to be neglected throughout the US and I want to be a part of the solution. Baystate offers fantastic training in abortion and family planning. Residents learn the skill of the procedures along with the know-how to good patient advocates.
Finally, the sense of community and support of this program is unbelievable. Everyone from the chair to the midwives has been so welcoming and has genuine investment in the learning and well-being of the residents. I have felt at home since the first day and am so happy with my choice.
Stephanie Smith, DO
Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine
Welcome! Thank you for your interest in our program!
I am originally from sunny Southern California and completed my undergraduate education at UC Davis. Afterward, I worked as an RN at an underserved community clinic before attending medical school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. While in medical school, I completed an OMM teaching fellowship in which I taught Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment to 1st and 2nd year medical students. My goal is to eventually incorporate OMT into my OBGYN practice which is a work in progress. In the meantime, I maintain my OMT skills by treating my co-residents!
I first learned about Baystate from a residency fair at ACOG and the residents had nothing but positive things to say about this program. I was fortunate to complete a sub-internship here during my 4th year. I was impressed with the commitment to residency education, the relationships between the attendings and residents, the gynecologic surgical volume and most importantly the camaraderie amongst the residents. The residents were confident, had admirable surgical skills and were extremely warm and friendly. Another huge perk of our program is that we get exposure to all of the sub-specialties by the end of our second year and we do all of our rotations at the same hospital.
I’m one of the few who live in Springfield which is quite the contrast from Los Angeles, but I love my short commute to the hospital. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and co-residents. I love avocados, cycling, yoga, meditating, exploring the surrounding areas and plan on many trips to NYC to fill my cup of city life. Please feel free to reach out anytime for any questions you have!