Nwamaka Amobi, MD
University of California, San Fransisco School of Medicine (MD)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I decided to venture out of my hometown and move to Boston where I got a bachelor's degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institiute of Technology. During my summers off from college, I would volunteer at hospitals in South Los Angeles, and those experiences caused me to want to address health disparities and work with underserved communities by becoming a physician.
I got to dive deeper into that passion at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine by being involved in student organizations like White Coats for Black Lives and Clínica Martín-Baró. I learned the power of community-centered care by working with these organizations to increase access to healthcare for Black and Latinx patients. I decided to pursue family medicine to continue forming lifelong relationships with my patients and with my community.
Continuing my training at Jefferson was an easy choice for me because of the family & community medicine program's clear commitment to advocating for our patients and promoting health equity throughout Philadelphia. I'm excited to explore my interests in behavioral health and integrative medicine while here.
Outside of medicine, I love Afro-Carribean dance, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, taking care of my plant babies, and exploring restaurants in the city.
Christina Boras, MD
Cooper Medical College, 2020
The College of New Jersey (BS), 2015
I grew up in a very small town in Southern New Jersey called Shamong. If you've never heard of it, don't worry, no one has (it has one Wawa and a stop light-- that's about it). After finishing high school, I went to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and majored in Biology after completing one year at Rutgers New Brunswick. Throughout high school and college, I was a competitive cheerleader and won 2nd place at UCA College Nationals. After graduating college, I took a gap year working as a medical scribe for a cardiology group in South Jersey.
I stayed in South Jersey for medical school, attending Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, NJ. I loved being able to get out into the community and helping Camden's underserved population through our many service programs, my favorite being the Camden Prenatal Collaborative, which helped provide resources to high risk prenatal patients.
Going into medical school, I had a broad array of interests. On recent survey I found from my first year, I noted that I actively did not want to be a Family Medicine physician (joke's on me now). In my 3rd year of medical school, I found that my favorite part of medicine was building long-standing relationships with my patients and connecting with them on a deeper level irrespective of their medical conditions. I also found that Family Medicine provided me the opportunity to explore my interests and seek out further education in whatever area of interests I have, from Maternal Child Health to Point of Care Ultrasound to Medical Education.
Thomas Jefferson was my first choice for residency programs because I could readily identify with the people and their mission. The faculty and residents are so warm and welcoming and really appealed to my inner social butterfly. I also loved the idea of continuing to work with underserved patients in the Philadelphia community, just as I did in Camden.
Outside of medicine, I love to hang out with friends, watch reality TV, take long romantic walks through Barnes & Noble. I love reading good book cuddled up with a blanket sipping coffee. I also love listening to true crime podcasts and taking scenic walks outside. I am also a proud mom to Kiwi, the cutest gray cat you ever did see. Although I still live in Jersey, I'm excited to find the best Philly eats and see where I can get the best pasta to fulfill my carb cravings.
Kathryn Broderick, MD
Weill Cornell Medicla College (MD)
Bowdoin College, Maine
I grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts with my parents and two younger brothers. I went to Bowdoin College in Maine, where I studied neuroscience and education and spent most of my weekends playing outside.
After college, I split my time between two jobs. In the first, I was an international hiking and cycling guide, honing my Spanish skills and my passion for outdoor adventures. In the second, I taught therapeutic horseback riding and was licensed through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. Through this work, I had the opportunity to combine my loves of developmental neuroscience, adaptive curriculum design, and integrative therapeutic modalities. I specialized in teaching children with developmental disabilities and adolescents with mental health diagnoses. I have a deep-seated love for trauma-informed teaching and for multidisciplinary collaboration. My students and their families led me on a winding road to medicine.
When I started at Weill Cornell Medical College, I had a vision of the type of doctor that I wanted to be but not the specialty that I wanted to be in. I knew that I wanted to build relationships with my patients and to think broadly about health in the context of their lives and communities. As I explored my interests, I realized that family medicine was a perfect fit. I love that I can practice broad spectrum medicine, that my patients will push me to constantly learn new things, that my career requires me to think holistically, and that justice is a central tenant.
I am so excited to be at Jefferson! As is true of many of us drawn to family medicine, my interests are broad and include integrative medicine, trauma-informed care, reproductive justice, accessible primary care, gender affirming care and addiction medicine. When I’m not working, you can find me on my bike in Wissahickon Valley Park, trying new recipes and exploring Philly with friends.
Eunice Choe, MD
SUNY Upstate Medical School (MD)
I’m from Upstate New York. I studied Biology and Health: Science, Society, and Policy at Brandeis University. After college, I served in AmeriCorps VISTA as a rural behavioral health grant writer and program developer. Simultaneously, I worked as a nursing home support attendant and ballet teacher. These experiences established my dream in medicine: care for patients and lead community health projects. This led me to SUNY Upstate Medical University. There, my biggest role models were family medicine physicians who championed healthcare advocacy and full spectrum care. I’m delighted to continue my interests at Jefferson and serve the people of Philadelphia. Outside of medicine, I enjoy hosting potlucks with friends and faith-based communities, rollerblading, watercolor painting, watching ice hockey, and reliving my ballet/orchestra days. In three years, I look forward to trying food from every country that Philadelphia has to offer!
Kristin Enright, MD
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (MD)
Colby College, Maine
I’m from New York City, but my family moved to Utah when I was young. I spent a lot of time outside in Utah’s mountains before moving back East to go to Colby College in Maine. I spent my time there either nerding out in the chem lab or running around the rugby pitch with my best friends. I took a job in a rural Arkansas town as a high school Algebra II and Chemistry teacher. I fell in love with teaching, but more so, I became impassioned by the stories of my students. After a few years learning about educational, health and racial inequities, I moved back to Portland, Maine where I became a caseworker at a shelter serving Portland’s homeless community. I found my niche working alongside women who were managing substance use disorders, sex work, and histories of childhood trauma.
I went to Dartmouth for medical school knowing I wanted to be a Family Medicine doctor. I chose Jefferson because of its robust community medicine curriculum and partnerships with amazing clinics all over Philadelphia. I wanted a program that prioritized building a community out of its residency, and Jefferson is the best of them.
Elizabeth Franko, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College, 2023 (MD)
University of Scranton
I grew up in a rural area of Northeastern Pennsylvania along with my 7 brothers and sisters. I chose to stay close to home for college and attended the University of Scranton majoring in Biomathematics (Go Royals!). It was at Scranton that the value of “cura personalis”, meaning care for the whole person, cultivated my dedication to promoting human dignity and care for mind, body, and spirit. After graduating from the Scranton, I went on to pursue my MPH in Epidemiology at Drexel University which paired my love for math and passion for understanding how to better care for populations through public health initiatives. During my time at Drexel, I saw first-hand how integral preventative medicine was to communities, especially those who were underserved. It was then that I chose to apply to medical school, and I was lucky enough to stay in Philly at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) at Jefferson.
While attending SKMC I fell even more in love with Philadelphia and most importantly the people! I value Jefferson’s focus on caring for the underserved and have always felt privileged to be part of this community. I was overjoyed to match here for residency, and I look forward to continuing to learn, grow, and serve this city!
In my free time I enjoy going to any and all Philly sporting events, running along the Schuylkill trail, spending time with my nieces and nephews, and eating my way through Philly’s great restaurant scene.
Pascaline Karanja, MD
Tufts School of Medicine (MD)
University of California, Davis (BS), 2015
I was born in Gatundu, Kenya where some of my fondest childhood memories include chasing my grandma’s chickens and climbing my neighbor’s mango trees despite getting in trouble every time. During 3rd grade, my family relocated to Worcester, MA and they have remained there since. I then went off to college not too far away from home, yet far enough. At Boston University I Majored in Biology and Minored in Psychology. It was also there that I took Swahili classes throughout my 4 years as a way of continuing to stay connected to my Kenyan roots. Before medical school I pursued a Master’s degree in medical sciences with my thesis focused on PCOS which is when I discovered my interest in women’s health. I then decided to stay in Boston and attended Tufts University School of Medicine.
Throughout medical school, I continued to pursue my interests in serving underserved populations by volunteering as a sexual and reproductive health counselor in our student-run clinic and becoming a NICU cuddler for neonates with NAS. I was a co-president of SNMA and worked with my colleagues to spearhead various anti-racism campaigns. I continued to incorporate mentorship by serving as a mentee for underrepresented premed students.
I immediately knew I wanted to come to Jefferson because of its impressive community partnerships, the opportunity to train in full-scope FM, its commitment to health equity at the institutional level, and its dedication to fostering a supportive environment. I’m clearly an East Coast girl, no matter the continent, so I am so excited to be in Philly and join the JFMA family!
My interests in Family Medicine include community-based medicine, mentorship, and maternal and reproductive health. Outside of medicine, I enjoy catching up on sleep, binge-watching shows, trying new restaurants (especially for brunch), going to concerts, and being surrounded by water without actually going in!
Emily Lavell, MD
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University – 2023
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health - 2017
Johns Hopkins University - 2013
I was born at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and grew up in southern New Jersey. I always loved people and science and went on to study Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. I stayed in Baltimore for several years to work in brain cancer research, inpatient psychiatry, and healthcare policy consulting. While living there I also earned a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. I returned to Philadelphia to study medicine at The Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, where I expanded on my interests in health equity and improving primary care. While there I felt complete when I realized through rotations that family medicine was the obvious and natural path for me to combine my interests into a fulfilling career. I’m so excited to continue learning from my patients and colleagues as a resident at Jefferson. When I’m not working, I’m having adventures and snuggling on the couch with my son, husband, and dog.
Adetutu Olowu, MD
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (MD, MA) – 2023
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton, PA (MBS) – 2019
Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY (BS) – 2017
Hello, my name is Adetutu Olowu (please call me Tutu!). I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to my lovely parents as the third of eventually four children. When I was three years old, my family of six moved to New York, and it has been our home ever since. I have always had a love for science, so it was no surprise to anyone when I decided to pursue a career in medicine.
I attended the freezing yet charming Clarkson University for my undergraduate degree in Biology with a focus in Cognitive Neuroscience. After graduation, I continued my education at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine for a master's in Biomedical Sciences. I took a year off to spend time with my family and explore my interests before finding my way to the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple for a dual degree in Medicine and Urban Bioethics. As I entered medical school, I was eager to learn how to enhance my education to care for underserved communities. In Philadelphia, I found a city with both a significant need and impassioned people dedicated to serving this population. I knew Jefferson was the place for me because this program radiates an undeniable warmth that I knew would bring out the very best in me. I plan to continue exploring the biopsychosocial dimensions of well-being, ethical care delivery, and advocacy in healthcare. I am eager to continue my passion in working hard for those who depend on me, and I am so proud to do that as part of the Jefferson family.
Meghan Swyryn, MD
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (MD) 2023
University of Pennsylvania
I grew up in Orlando, Florida. While my family is still in Florida, and I love visiting them, Philadelphia has become my adopted home. I went to undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania where I majored in Biological Basis of Behavior and minored in Deaf Studies. While I was at Penn, I worked for the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Program in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. This experience sparked my interest in harm reduction and addiction medicine. After graduating I spent a year as a research assistant at Philadelphia FIGHT. I worked on studies focusing on adolescent sexual health and attitudes toward PrEP.
I went to medical school at Temple, and I was in the combined MD/MA program in Urban Bioethics. My thesis was an ethical analysis of safe supply, an emerging harm reduction strategy. I chose family medicine because I saw the impact primary care can make on patients’ lives. I was active in student clinics at Prevention Point, Students for a National Health Program, and Medical Students for Choice.
I was drawn to Jefferson Family Medicine because of their involvement in the community. I am interested in addiction medicine, HIV, and adolescent health. Outside of medicine, I love all Philly sports, bad reality TV, and spending time with my husband and our spoiled cat, Peanut.
I am looking forward to learning to become a family physician over the next three years with such an amazing group of co-interns!
Edward Delesky, MD
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University - 2022
Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ (BS) - 2018
I was born in Bayonne, NJ and raised in Jackson, NJ. I am a son, brother, and most proud to be an uncle to two wonderful nieces. I attended Rowan University (Go Profs), and initially pursued a career in Chemical Engineering. Along the way, I realized that the impact I wanted to have on others needed to be at a personal level and decided to explore careers in healthcare. I learned that medicine offers a unique blend of humanism and science, along with the endeavor of lifelong learning. I changed my major and graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry and was accepted to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University is in the underserved, and vibrantly diverse Camden, NJ. The treasure of CMSRU’s curriculum is the service learning in which students work to serve Camden as their classroom and home. For my part, I worked with at-risk youth in Camden by helping to develop an after-school tutoring and mentorship program named “Homework Heroes.” It is safe to say that this program was the most impactful experience I had in medical school. The children I worked with taught me lessons in patience, humility, perspective, and love. I could write a whole essay about these children, but I do have a word limit for this bio. In short, the beautiful, genuine relationships I made there convinced me, without any doubt, that I am meant to be a family medicine physician.
I am grateful to have found my home at Jefferson. I believe family medicine to be more than a job, or profession, but a calling. At Jefferson, I feel like I am surrounded by likeminded individuals who embrace me as family on this journey. At its core, this program has a devout commitment to serving the diverse community with whom it shares its home. Early in my medical education, the mission to provide excellent health partnership to those who need it the most was instilled in me. It is an electric feeling to know I will show up to work and this mission will be commonplace.
In my free time, I find peace and excitement with outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking. Eventually, I would love to see all the National Parks. I love plunging a French Press coffee and driving with the windows down testing the limits of the speakers in my car. My family and friends are the most important part of my life, and I cherish all the time I get with them. Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not write about my love of sports. I threw javelin at the collegiate level, but I just happen to love the sports I was mediocre at playing growing up: baseball, basketball, and football. The irony of completing residency at Jefferson is that I am a painfully loyal fan of the New York Mets, which will be an interesting dynamic to navigate while living in Philadelphia.
Nwando Ekezie, MD
CUNY School of Medicine - 2022
The City College of New York (BS) - 2016
As the only daughter of two hardworking Nigerian parents, I was born and raised in Bronx, New York. Although I initially thought I wanted to be a lawyer, I developed a strong interest in medicine while volunteering in my mother’s nonprofit organization, Beacon of Hope Outreach. While participating in community health fairs and global medical missions, I discovered my passion for primary care and community outreach. I enjoyed helping people understand their medical diagnoses and promoting health education.
Inspired by my experience, I founded the Mini-Medical School program and the Wellness committee during my B.S./M.D. training at Sophie Davis/CUNY School of Medicine. I also served as president of the Ob/Gyn Specialty Interest Group and AMWA chapter. In my roles, I valued creating mentorship opportunities for my colleagues and strived to bridge the gap in health equity in Harlem’s most vulnerable populations. My clinical years made me realize how much I valued continuity of care and building strong relationships with my patients. This ultimately drew me to Family Medicine. I knew Family Medicine was the specialty for me within the first two weeks of my rotation.
I knew I wanted a residency program with exceptional academic training and a sense of community amongst residents and faculty, which is what Jefferson offers. During my interview with Jefferson, I was very impressed by the program’s strong commitment to building strong community partnerships and caring for underserved communities in Philadelphia. I knew this program would help me build a career that incorporated mentorship, wellness, and patient advocacy.
In my free time, I enjoy taking scenic walks, traveling, going to concerts, and trying new restaurants. I am very excited to start this new chapter in Philadelphia and explore all the things this city has to offer!
Marie Ezran, MD
University of Maryland School of Medicine - 2022
McGill University, Montreal, Canada (BS) - 2017
I was born and raised in Northern California, although my family is originally from France, so I grew up with the French and American culture at home. For my undergraduate studies, I moved to Montreal, Canada to attend McGill University where I studied anatomy, Spanish language, and international development in addition to surviving the intensely snowy winters of Canada. I then moved to Baltimore to attend medical school at the University of Maryland. There, I witnessed how often patients face social, economic, and racial barriers to accessing health care. I took a medical Spanish and became passionate about health policy through my involvement with the Maryland State Medical Society. With a group of medical students, I met with legislators at the Maryland General Assembly and U.S. Congress to advocate for legislation that would improve access to health care (ex: legalizing the creation of safe injection sites for opioid overdose prevention). Throughout my career, I plan to continue advocating for my patients' health not only at the individual level in the primary care clinic, but also at a larger scale in state or national legislatures.
I was immediately drawn to Jefferson because of its friendly residents and faculty. I chose this program because of its diverse outpatient community clinics, learning opportunities in reproductive and immigrant health, and all-around supportive environment.
In my free time, I enjoy salsa dancing, learning to play the ukulele, and hosting themed dinner parties for friends. I look forward to discovering the neighborhoods and culture of Philadelphia!
Gisel Garcia Garcia, MD
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School -2022
University of Pittsburgh (BS) - 2017
I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and moved to the states when I was 8 years old. I lived in Gettysburg, PA until high school graduation and made my way over to Pittsburgh, PA for college at the University of Pittsburgh. I then took a gap year where I did research at Pitt’s Pharmacology and Chemical Biology department. There, I worked with rodents and discovered that wet bench research is not for me. I went to medical school at New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ where I was able to explore my interests in underserved populations and healthcare access disparities.
I first put the idea of becoming a doctor in my head at the age of 6 when I took care of a sick tiny bird. More officially, however, was in middle school when I realized that my love of talking to people and desire to be involved in my community could translate well into a career in the health field. I went into medical school wanting to be in Family Medicine and most people who know me say it makes a lot of sense. I hold a lot of big picture goals and ideas and loved that Jefferson from the very beginning showed interest in allowing me to explore them. I chose Jefferson because of this and because I felt a connection to the vibe of the program and its members.
In my free time I love hanging out with people, playing board games, tending to my fish tanks, and taking trips to Walmart in my sweatpants.
Eugenie (Genie) Hughes, MD
University of Virginia School of Medicine - 2022
Fordham, University, Bronx, NY - 2018
I grew up in a rural town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I moved to NYC for college, where I pursued research in school-based health interventions after serving as a teacher’s aide at a preschool for children with special needs in the Bronx. I also was part of a research team for integrated behavioral health in primary care settings. These pursuits fed my love of science and the humanities, mirrored by my decision to major in both Biology and Theology. I left NYC for Virginia, where I joined the primary care track at the University of Virginia SOM.
Through health education endeavors early in med school, I discovered an interest in correctional medicine, leading me to create an interdisciplinary community partnership that allowed for a longitudinal research project that fostered my interests in social justice, addiction medicine, and interprofessional care. This allowed me to further explore the special care needs of marginalized populations, something that led me to Thomas Jefferson to continue my training. I felt this program would support and challenge me in my pursuit of seeking out unique health solutions for underserved communities, all while being part of a community-focused academic department. Outside of residency, I love all outdoor activities, cooking, and working out. I’m so excited to be living in Philadelphia and exploring all it has to offer!
Lauren Kasoff, MD
University of Maryland School of Medicine - 2022
Wasington & Lee University, Lexington, VA (BS) - 2014
I grew up outside of Baltimore in Owings Mills, Maryland with my parents, sister, and brother. At the age of six, I started swimming competitively when I joined North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC), the same team as Michael Phelps. My passion for competitive swimming continued throughout high school and college, where I became a scholar-athlete at Washington and Lee (W&L) University. At W&L, I double majored in Psychology and Neuroscience. After graduating from W&L, I moved to Providence, Rhode Island to become a clinical research assistant in the Pediatric Mood, Imaging, and NeuroDevelopment (PediMIND) program to work with children and adolescents. My educational background and work experiences ultimately sparked my desire to pursue a career in medicine.
I returned to Baltimore to attend the University of Maryland School of Medicine. At the end of third year, I completed my family medicine clerkship, in which I realized a specialty existed that combined all the aspects of medicine that fascinate me. I loved caring for patients in every stage of life and getting to know patients within the sphere of their broader contexts.
As someone desiring to practice full-scope family medicine in an urban setting with an emphasis on reproductive health, family medicine-obstetrics, and community health, I was drawn to Jefferson. Among the programs I interviewed with, Jefferson stood out to me with its dedication to patient-centered primary care, commitment to community engagement, and most importantly, its people.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with family, running (anywhere from a short jog to training for a marathon), practicing yoga, loudly cheering for the Ravens on Sundays, binge watching terrible reality TV shows, attending happy hours with friends, and trying new coffee shops. I am incredibly excited to explore my new home and start my life in Philly!
Katelyn Koons, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University - 2022
Johns Hopkins University, Baltmore, MA (BS) - 2016
I’m a Philly gal through and through. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia with my parents, brother, and grandma. I always enjoyed science, and I ended up studying mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. I rediscovered my passion for medicine and pursued my post-baccalaureate pre-medical certificate at Jefferson. I was fortunate enough to attend Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and I made the best memories and friends here. I finally felt at home during my family medicine rotation third year, and the rest is history! I love all things sports medicine and gender-affirming care, and I look forward to life-long learning in all areas.
On my nights off, I will be at the south Jersey Shore hopping in the ocean or somewhere in Philly with friends sharing memes and cracking jokes. If it’s football season, I’ll be supporting my Eagles. Matching into Jefferson was the best day of my life, but February 4th, 2018 (Super Bowl LII) will forever be a close second. I cannot wait to continue exploring the city with my co-residents!
Brittany MacDonald. MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University - 2022
Illinois Wesleyan University (BA) - 2017
I was born near Aurora, IL, where I lived with my parents until I was about 6 years old. Once my two younger siblings were born, my parents decided it was time upgrade to a bigger space, so the five of us moved to Yorkville, IL. We remained in Yorkville for the remainder of my childhood, and while there, I developed a penchant for deep-dish pizza, science, and playing sports.
My mother tells me I was always drawn to medicine growing up. I even asked my grandmother to sew me a white coat for Halloween one year (believe it or not, this isn’t even the nerdiest thing I’ve done). I loved how medicine combined my interests in science, life-long learning, and helping others.
To pursue my dream of becoming a physician, I attended college at Illinois Wesleyan University, where I studied Biology and played soccer. I met another pre-med student there, Nick, and we decided to get married right after we graduated college in 2017. Nick and I applied to medical school together just a few weeks after getting married, and we were lucky enough to both attend SKMC after finishing our gap year as Emergency Department medical scribes in Peoria, IL. Nick and I will be continuing our journey at Jefferson together – he is going to be a resident in the Jefferson Internal Medicine program (feel free to say “Hi” to him in the hospital and let him know his better half sent you)!
Throughout my time in medical school, I developed an interest in working with medically-underserved populations, LGBTQ+ health, abortion care, and addiction medicine. Family Medicine was a perfect fit for me as I could pursue all these interests while simultaneously developing longstanding, meaningful relationships with my patients. I was drawn to Jefferson for residency since I knew I would receive training specific to my interests as well as a strong, academic foundation. The residents and attendings at JFMA are also some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
Outside of the hospital, I like to cook, bake, read, paint, lift weights, and snuggle with my two cats. I’m always in pursuit of good food, and I’m ecstatic that I get another 3 years to eat my way through Philly!
Maia Mandel, MD
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine - 2022
College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA (BS) - 2017
I grew up in Arlington, Virginia and attended the College of William and Mary where I studied Kinesiology with a concentration in Public Health. Throughout undergrad I engaged in public health nutrition research, volunteered at free clinics, and was a member of the women’s ultimate frisbee team.
I spent a year as a healthcare consultant in Washington, DC before starting medical school at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. With an interest in caring for underserved communities, I enrolled in VCU’s underserved medicine track, International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship (I2CRP). Through this program I learned more about the historic and systemic injustices contributing to stark healthcare disparities in Richmond. As a medical student I volunteered as a clinic coordinator for CARITAS, an organization that provides healthcare screenings for Richmond’s unhoused population at local emergency shelters. I also engaged in research projects on hepatitis C screenings for people with substance use disorders and substance use disorders in pregnancy. These experiences have contributed to my interests in reproductive health, addiction medicine, and caring for people experiencing homelessness.
I fell in love with family medicine because of the ability to care for people of all ages, form long-lasting relationships with patients, and its prioritization of community health and social justice.
In my free time, I enjoy hiking, backpacking, picnics, tossing a frisbee, and trying new recipes and restaurants. I could not be more excited to explore Philadelphia and start my training at Jeff!
Toni Okuboyejo, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University - 2022
Rutger's University, NJ (BA) - 2018
I was born in Houston, TX and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Having family both in the US and Nigeria, I was always in between countries. I went to Rutgers University,New Brunswick where I received my B.A in biological sciences with a minor in French. Though I was premed, I always had an interest in French culture and language.
I always knew I wanted to pursue medicine, my father was a physician working in Nigeria, so I was exposed to healthcare from an early age. Coming into med school, I was unsure what I wanted to specialize in, but I knew I had a passion for advocacy on all fronts. During my family medicine rotation was when I realized how much I loved longitudinal patient relationships and patient advocacy opportunities.
I chose to stay at Jefferson because the department of family medicine is truly dedicated to serving the local Philadelphia community. We serve a primarily underserved patient population, and we go beyond the four walls of the clinic for our community. JFMA fosters an environment that produces clinically and socially excellent physicians.
When I’m not immersed in medicine, I love any opportunity to get dressed up and go out with my friends! I also love going to the museums in the city, and the occassional concert when my favourite artist is in town. But most of all, I am a homebody and love spending time at home, especially after a long week of work!
Katelyn Bradley, MD
Ohio State University College of Medicine, 2021
The University of Notre Dame (BS), 2017
I was born in Scranton (what? The Electric City!) but my family moved to Pittsburgh when I was 5 years old. Living cross-state from almost all my relatives really got me used to traveling across the great state of Pennsylvania - we would make this trip many times each year. After high school, I was very lucky to be able to attend Notre Dame for undergrad. I loved nearly every minute I spent there, even our 4-8 senior football season. While at Notre Dame, I was involved in intramural sports, service, Catholic campus ministry, and was an avid Notre Dame basketball fan, both the men's and women's teams. (A highlight of my life was getting to see the women defeat UCONN in the final four in 2018.)
It was at Notre Dame that I decided to pursue medicine. After my freshman year, I completed a summer service learning program at East Liberty Family Health Care Center, an FQHC back in Pittsburgh. This summer transformed how I viewed doctors (especially family medicine docs!), medicine, community health, and vocation. This summer was the major spark for my desire to pursue a career in family medicine, where I cannot wait to truly care for the whole person.
I finished my time at Notre Dame with a major in neuroscience and behavior and a minor in Catholic Social Tradition. I went straight to the Ohio State University College of Medicine, where I got an awesome medical education but continued to root for the Irish (sorry, buckeyes!) I got involved with family medicine interest group during my first year and really never felt pulled toward a different specialty. Even though I had interest in other fields, especially obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics, I never wanted to give up the depth and breadth offered by family medicine. I am so excited to be able to take care of entire families and their communities as a family medicine doctor. During my interview with Jefferson, my excitement grew as I felt that I had finally found a program that would be a perfect match. Everyone I met, including the residents, was so nice and easy to talk to (even over zoom!) and this program had everything I was looking for in my education. Importantly, I could tell how deeply the residents, faculty, and staff care for underserved communities in Philadelphia, and this was the final element that made me feel at peace and so passionate about joining the Jeff Family Medicine residency program!
I am so excited to start my life in Philadelphia with my husband, Conor, who I married just before residency started. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis with Conor, eating all the awesome food that the city has to offer, and spending time with my dad, my sister, and her perfect dog, Gavin.
Martha Getachew, MD
University of Virginia School of Medicine, 2020
Hunter College New York City, (MS), 2015
Hello! My name is Martha (pronounced Marta) and I was born and raised in Washington D.C. After completing my undergrad at Yale University, I spent 3 wonderful years in New York City, working as a high school special education teacher in the South Bronx. I loved the long-term relationships I formed with my students and their families and desired to address health disparities due to social barriers and bias. This lead me to attending medical school at the University of Virginia. I was drawn to Family Medicine throughout medical school because of the opportunity to form partnerships with patients and the community, promote health equity and social justice, and tailor my career to my specific interests. I chose Jefferson because of it’s commitment to serving the Philadelphia community, partnerships with numerous community organizations, and above all because of the people—the collegiality, kindness, and commitment to service here is unmatched! My fun fact is that I have an identical twin sister. In my downtime I will be exploring all the restaurants, parks, and cat cafes Philadelphia has to offer!
Nina Kvaratskhelia, MD
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 2021
The Ohio State University (BS), 2016
A proud immigrant, I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia with my family coming to the United States when I was in first grade. My family moved frequently before finally settling in Ohio, where I attended The Ohio State University for undergrad. There, I realized medicine could be a marriage of my interests in the humanities, social justice, and research. I took a gap year to continue HIV research at the National Institutes of Health before coming to Brown for medical school.
At Brown, I continued to be involved in advocacy through leading the Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic and Medical Students for Choice. These experiences, as well as my clinical years, helped me realize that I wanted my future medical practice to incorporate a deeper understanding of community health and how it intertwines with individual identity and wellness. This, with my love for clinic and all things primary care, led me to Family Medicine. I knew I needed a residency program that would cultivate my social justice interests in a strong academic setting that pushes for progress and innovation. Thus, I could not be more thrilled to have matched at Jefferson to continue my passions for reproductive justice, gender-affirming care, and immigrant health!
In my free time, I enjoy all things outdoors, baking, and watching movies. I additionally love trying new food and coffee shops, which is part of why I’m so excited to be in Philadelphia! My partner, a psychiatry resident at Jeff, and I are thrilled to join my brother and sister-and-law who are settled in the area, and to explore all the wonderful things life in Philly has to offer!
Kelly McHugh, MD
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, 2021
The College of New Jersey (BS), 2016
I am originally from Manahawkin, New Jersey and have been in and around New Jersey my whole life. I went to The College of New Jersey for undergrad where I got my B.S. in Chemistry. I attended Cooper Medical School of Rowan University for medical school. Prior to medical school I spent a gap year working as a medical scribe in an Emergency Department. I went into medicine because I had a love for science from a young age but discovered in college that I also loved connecting with people. I chose Family Medicine because I really enjoyed all of my outpatient rotations and I wanted to be a resource for and connect with my entire community. I loved Jefferson Family and Community Medicine because I wanted training at a residency program that really gets its residents engaged in the community they serve (it’s in their name!). I also love the city of Philadelphia and am excited to be able to serve this patient population! A fun fact about me is that I am the oldest of five siblings, which I think contributed greatly to my desire to go into medicine and primary care. Outside of residency, some of my hobbies are cooking and baking – I love trying new recipes. I also am a huge Philadelphia sports fan, so I am especially excited to move into Philly and be in the middle of such a fun and sports-loving city.
Rachel Pallay, MD
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, 2021
Lehigh University (BS), 2016
I grew up in Central New Jersey (yes, it exists) with my parents, brother, and sister. I was a gymnast and decided I would become a doctor after my first broken bone. My orthopedist was the coolest guy I had ever met, and I wanted to be like him. So I went to Lehigh and got a degree in Biology, and then to Temple/St Luke’s for medical school. After living in Bethlehem through college and medical school, I made the most amazing friends, discovered the most amazing field (Family Medicine of course), and then was finally ready to make the transition to the big city. I was drawn to Jefferson because of the breadth of experiences for learning humanistic medicine.
When I’m not working you can find me on the beach at the Jersey Shore with my family, in the kitchen trying a new plant based recipe with a glass of wine in hand, or upside down in the gym.
I am so excited to explore Philly through running, eating, and happy hours!
Benjamin Rogers, MD
SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, 2021
University of Pennsylvania (BS), 2015
I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Mt. Airy, which is just due northwest of Center City. I spent my freshman year of college in Oberlin, Ohio where I was recruited to play college baseball, but transferred to the University of Pennsylvania for my sophomore year and have been in Philly ever since. I graduated from Penn with a degree in American History and was able to finish my collegiate baseball career there on the club team. During my time at Penn, I developed my interest in medicine while working with a breast cancer research team, volunteering at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and shadowing multiple physicians throughout its hospital network. Penn was also where I completed my pre-medical post-baccalaureate program after graduating.
After spending a gap year doing clinical research in CHOP’s orthopedic department, I attended medical school here at Jefferson. While at Jeff I was the president of the sports medicine organization, served as a member of the student admissions committee, and volunteered at local North Philadelphia schools teaching weekly lessons on healthy living. I could not have been more grateful to attend medical school in my hometown and am thrilled to be staying here for residency.
I come by my interest in Family Medicine through my strong interest in working within a field that allows me to engage in community outreach and develop longitudinal relationships with my patients. I have been motivated by these aspects of the specialty not only during my time rotating with several tremendous mentors in the Family Medicine department here at Jeff, but also during my time shadowing in primary care sports medicine as an undergraduate.
Outside of the hospital I enjoy spending time with friends and family (many of whom are still in the city), watching sports, re-watching my favorite movies/comedy sitcoms, working out, and eating (all Philly restaurant inquiries are welcome).
Jasmine Santos, MD
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 2021
University of Pennsylvania (BA), 2013
Hola! My name is Jasmine Santos and I was born and raised here in Philadelphia. I attended Masterman High School and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. I worked with the Hepatitis Surveillance Program at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health for three years. During that time I developed a passion for working with Latinx and underserved communities. I realized I could make a greater impact in the lives of patients as a physician, so I completed an evening post-baccalaureate program at Drexel University and applied to medical school. I attended Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and completed my clinical rotations at our campus in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I gravitated toward family medicine because I want to care for people of all ages and create lifelong relationships with families. I am ecstatic to join the Jefferson family and return to my hometown, where I can give back to the community that has given me so much. When I am away from the hospital, you can find me spending time with my family or planning my next adventure - I love to travel and explore new places!
Haley Smallwood, MD
Oakland University William Baeumont School of Medicine, 2021
Wayne State University (BA), 2017
I was born and raised north of Detroit in the city of Royal Oak, Michigan as the youngest of five daughters. With my love for the Motor City, I decided to stay near home to complete my B.A. in Anthropology at Wayne State University and then attend medical school at Oakland University William Beaumont SOM.
During my time in Detroit, I witnessed firsthand the barriers faced by our community’s most vulnerable populations when trying to access quality healthcare. This ignited my interest in pursuing a career in medicine overall and family medicine in particular. I view primary care physicians as serving an integral role in addressing the needs of urban underserved individuals and advocating for their health equity.
I fell in love with Jefferson because the program’s emphasis on urban underserved, participation in the RHEDI program, and curriculum highlighting addiction medicine. I also sought out Jefferson because of their focus on competent care of LGBTQ+ patients which closely aligns with my own career aspirations.
Outside of medicine, you can find me riding my Peloton, binge watching Bravo TV shows, or trying new restaurants with my friends and family. Having never lived outside my hometown, I am incredibly excited to make Philadelphia my new home and explore everything the city has to offer – especially its food scene!
Innes (Inna) Tounkel, MD
New York Medical College, 2021
Scripps College (BA), 2015
Hello! I am originally from San Jose, CA, and I attended Scripps College in Claremont, CA for undergrad. I graduated with a B.A. in Biology and then took two gap years, during which I worked at Planned Parenthood and travelled (including a medical service trip to Peru and backpacking through Southeast Asia). I have always been passionate about reproductive health justice and wanted to pursue a career in public health with a focus on women’s health and advocating for underserved communities. While working at Planned Parenthood, I realized that physicians have a powerful platform to advocate for their patients on both individual and community levels. This realization ultimately led me to pursue a career in medicine and move to New York to attend New York Medical College. I chose to go into family medicine because it will allow me to pursue all of my interests including reproductive health, advocating for underserved communities, gender affirming care, continuity of care, and global health (the list can go on and on which is why FM is perfect for me). Jefferson was my first choice because I knew the combination of full-spectrum training in an urban setting with customizable areas of concentration and partnerships with community health organizations would give me the unique opportunity to explore all of my interests. I am especially excited to have access to longitudinal abortion training. For fun, I love to travel, go to music festivals and concerts, do aerial arts, cuddle with my fur babies, expertly binge watch Netflix, and discover new places to eat! I can’t wait to move to Philly because I love exploring new cities and finding the best food spots (not to mention the amazing music and art scene)!
Brianna Yates, MD
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, 2021
The Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College (BS), 2016
I was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Coopersburg, a small town in Pennsylvania about an hour outside of Philadelphia. I graduated from the The Schreyer Honors College at Penn State (Go Nittany Lions!) where I majored in Biobehavioral Health with a minor in Spanish. After college, I worked as a medical scribe in an emergency department in central Jersey for a year. During this time, I was also accepted to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) across the river in Camden, NJ and was drawn to their mission, which emphasizes developing comprehensive systems of healthcare for vulnerable communities, advancing awareness of the social determinants of health, and closing gaps faced by many in both the quality of and accessibility to care. In medical school, I had the privilege of working with historically marginalized groups of patients in a resource-poor city. This fostered my passions for harm reduction and addiction medicine. This education has strengthened my drive to be at the forefront of universal change in providing more individualized, empathetic care to all patients.
My pursuit of Family Medicine has been driven by my desire to incorporate the roles of an educator, caregiver, and advocate into the practice of medicine while building longstanding relationships with my patients and treating members of the whole family.
I was drawn to Jefferson’s residency program because of their commitment to Philly’s underserved populations and their strong presence within the community. I can’t wait to be a part of the family!
During my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to the gym, tailgating Philly sports games, DIY home improvement projects, and trying new restaurants throughout the city!