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-bacculaureate 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 life-long 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 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)!
Katelyn Walsh, 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.
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!
Natalie Antosh, MD
State University of New York Upstate Medical University, 2020
University of Maryland (BS), 2015
I grew up in Syracuse, NY with an older sister and two younger brothers. I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in Psychology. During undergrad I did a semester abroad at the University of Otago in New Zealand, which was super awesome. I applied to SUNY Upstate Medical University early assurance and started there shortly after graduating from college.
I knew that I wanted a career in medicine because as cliché as it is, I really wanted to help people, and I felt that medicine allowed me the opportunity to bridge my interest in science with this goal. I chose Family Medicine because it gave me the opportunity to explore everything I was most excited about within medicine. Particularly being able to maintain continuity of care with entire families and working with underserved communities. I have a broad range of interests at the moment including reproductive justice, transgender care, the role of nutrition & food security in medicine, and the implications of climate change on human health. I am looking forward to starting my Family Med journey at Jefferson so that I can continue fostering these interests.
I am super excited to have matched in Philly with my partner who will be starting Pathology residency at Penn. During my free time I like to cook vegetarian recipes, spend time with my cat, Falafel, and rock climb. I am really looking forward to exploring Philadelphia’s food scene as well as trying to take advantage of all of the great opportunities Jefferson has to offer!
Hannah Facey, MD
SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, 2020
The University of Pennsylvania (BA), 2015
I was born in CT but spend my childhood growing up in Williamsport, a small town in north central PA. I first ventured to Philadelphia to go to college at Penn, where I majored in Biology with a minor in English. After college, I worked at CHOP for a year as a research coordinator, and I spent my free time as an assistant coach for my college synchronized swimming team. That year I was also accepted to Jefferson for medical school, and I’m thrilled to be staying here for residency, the place where I found my home in family medicine.
I chose family medicine because to me, being a primary care physician, one who cares for patients “from womb to tomb,” stood at the heart of what it meant to be a doctor. I also love that this specialty truly emphasizes the vital role that social determinants of health play in a patient’s ability to thrive in the world. In med school, I had the privilege of working with both Prevention Point and Project HOME, two incredible community organizations that fostered my passions for harm reduction, homeless health, and addiction medicine. Ultimately, I was drawn to Jefferson’s residency program because of their commitment to Philly’s underserved populations and their dedicated partnerships with organizations in the city that I hold close to my heart.
In my free time, you can find me cooking my way through New York Times recipes, jogging along the Delaware River, listening to true crime podcasts, exploring breweries/restaurants with friends, cheering on Philly sports teams (go birds), and hanging out in my South Philly home with my amazing partner and our two cats, Rocky and Paulie. I could go on for days about how much I love Philly (and cheesesteaks), and I could not be more excited to continue serving the wonderful people of the city of brotherly love.
Catherine Guariglia, MD
Drexel University College of Medicine, 2020
Trinity College (BS), 2014
I was born and raised in northern New Jersey and didn’t leave until I moved to Hartford, CT for college. I spent the next four years at Trinity College earning my degree in Biology. I was also a walk-on on the Women’s Rowing team and even won an NCAA National Championship at the end of my senior year.
I then spent two years in NYC as a Research Assistant in an addiction lab at The Rockefeller University before being accepted to Drexel University College of Medicine. So, I headed down to the wonderful city of Philadelphia to begin my medical career.
When entering medical school I knew I was going to be a doctor but I had no idea what doctor I was going to be. The most important lesson I learned in medical school is that healthcare is much more than the individual. I became passionate about exploring all areas that may impact my patients’ health. Although it took some time, I eventually realized that Family Medicine was the perfect specialty for me and I never looked back. I appreciate the holistic approach that family physicians take. I love that I don’t have to sacrifice caring for a certain patient population. We get to do it all!
Jefferson’s commitment to the underserved Philadelphia community and their collective excitement about the future of Family Medicine had me hooked from day one. I am also in love with the city of Philadelphia and everything it has to offer. I am so excited I get to continue my medical training in this fun and vibrant city.
When I am not in the hospital, I enjoy being with family and friends and staying active outside. I love cooking…but mostly eating…and discovering new recipes and restaurants. I love the Jersey Shore, the New York Giants, and Bruce Springsteen.
Yael Horvath, MD
SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, 2020
Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University (BA), 2015
I was born and raised in the beautiful suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I moved to Jerusalem, Israel, for my first year of college to study religion, philosophy, and history, and afterwards, moved to New York City to obtain my degree in biology from Yeshiva University. I took a gap year between college and medical school to work as a laboratory technician, and loved the hands on approach of wet-lab experimentation. I ultimately traded one white coat for another, and moved to Philadelphia to attend Sidney Kimmel Medical College to fulfill my lifelong dream of serving patients in the clinical setting.
Family medicine perfectly aligns with my desire to build longstanding relationships with patients and to treat members of the whole family. I am excited to remain in Philadelphia and continue working for a community I love.
During my free time, I love to watch movies with my husband, catch up with friends and family, and tinker around in the kitchen with new cooking and baking recipes.
Tiffany Huang, MD
Weill Cornell Medicine, 2020
Princeton University (BA), 2015
To make things easier, I say I’m a New Yorker, but any New Yorker, including myself, would be quick to tell you that I don’t really count because I grew up on Long Island. For college, I exchanged one type of suburbia for another and attended Princeton (secretly the American branch of Hogwarts), where I studied the Muggle magic of molecular biology. Like many young people these days, I didn’t know what I was doing after I graduated college and, despite dreams of opening up a food truck, farming on rooftops, and traveling as a job, I somehow ended up in Chicago, working and living in an underserved community on the West Side called North Lawndale. Not to be dramatic, but truly, the year I spent in Lawndale completely changed the trajectory of my life - it’s the reason why I decided to pursue medicine, and it’s the reason why I’ve chosen to become a primary care physician. After my year there, I returned to New York for four years of medical school at Weill Cornell Medical College. Now my time in my beloved city is up, and though I am crestfallen to leave, I could not be more excited about this next step in the journey. What I love most about family medicine is that the long-term relationship between a patient and a family doctor isn’t just a consequence of the specialty, but an absolutely essential tool. In particular, I was drawn to Jefferson because of the strong commitment to underserved communities in Philly.
Fun facts about me? I’m a massive nerd and can often be found at the end of a long Wiki hobbit hole, glued to a fantasy novel or movie, or deep in thought about my next move in a board game. I also love to cook with and for people, go on random adventures with friends, and be in the ocean. In terms of living in Philly, I am very excited to be within walking distance of the best hummus I have ever had.
Amy Nwaobasi, MD
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 2020
University of Connecticut School of Medicine (Unk Degree), 2018
University of Massachusetts Amherst (MS), 2014
University of Massachusetts Amherst (BS), 2013
I was born and raised in Boston, MA (go Pats!) and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where I received a B.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and an M.S. degree in Applied Molecular Biotechnology. The summer of my sophomore year in college, I interned at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Child and Youth Violence Prevention unit. It was there that I developed a deeper understanding of the intersectionality between social issues and health, and the importance of health equity for all.
As a medical student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, I was a part of the Urban Service Track Scholars program. This program not only strengthened my understanding of challenges and barriers that certain vulnerable populations face when it comes to health, but also provided me with the opportunity to give back to the underserved communities in the city of Hartford by organizing health fairs and after-school educational health sessions for middle school students.
I chose Family Medicine because of its clinical diversity, continuity of care, and strong emphasis on social determinants of health and social justice. It is the kind of specialty that will enable me to render care to the communities that matter most to me – the urban underserved. I’m excited to start my residency at Jefferson and to be in the lovely city of Philadelphia!
When I’m not thinking about medicine, I like to get lost in a good thriller/mystery book, attend music festivals, root for the Patriots or Celtics on any given day, and travel. Fun fact: I travelled 957 miles to Clemson, SC to witness the solar eclipse in the summer of 2017. It was the best 10 seconds of my life!
David Peters, MD
University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2020
Georgetown University (MS), 2016
Boston College (BS), 2015
I’m from Gloucester, MA, a fishing town just north of Boston (Title Town) where I grew up with my parents and my twin sister. I attended Boston College for undergrad, majoring in both Biology and Psychology. Right after graduating, I went to Washington D.C. for a year to do a post-bacc master’s program at Georgetown. Living in D.C. was great, but after coming to the disheartening realization that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for Boston sports, I came back home to attend the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
My pursuit of medicine is continually evolving, and I discovered that it was the right path for me during college through working as a phlebotomist and leading a service trip to rural Mississippi, among many other reasons. Family Medicine is the perfect fit for me because I am drawn to having strong continuity with patients and developing a breadth of knowledge and skills. I also love Family Medicine because it provides a great opportunity to work with an underserved, diverse community, and is an avenue through which I can engage with issues of social justice every day.
I was originally waitlisted for an interview at Jefferson, and actually got a phone call for an open spot two days before the interview. I didn’t know what to expect, but after meeting the residents and faculty, I knew this was home. Jefferson is a program that promotes the values that drew me to Family Medicine really well, and is filled with incredible people. It just felt right - I’m so lucky that I got that call!
I love to play and watch basketball, and have gotten into running over the past few years. I ran the Philly marathon in 2019 and am tempted to do it again during residency. I was on an all-male step dance team in college called Sexual Chocolate, and still try to learn some hip-hop dance on the side. I am also really enthusiastic when it comes to strategy board games, my favorites being Chess, Catan, and Ticket to Ride. I’m really excited to explore Philadelphia, and, of course, show out with all my Boston sports gear!
Chelsea Salas-Tam, MD
Drexel University College of Medicine, 2020
University of California, Davis (BS), 2015
Before coming to Drexel University for medical school, all I knew was sunny California. I graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Biological Sciences. I stayed in Davis, CA to work as a ministry intern for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an organization that developed my values for social advocacy and justice for marginalized communities. During medical school, I worked with Esperanza, an FQHC that aims to bring just and compassionate care in North Philly.
Early in medical school, when I imagined myself as a physician I always saw myself as a family doctor. It is the field that most aligns with who I am, my character and value for long-term relationships. For similar reasons, I found Jefferson to be the perfect place to train and cultivate my interests in primary care, community health, and providing healthcare to the urban populations.
My husband and I were so thrilled to find out we will be staying in Philly for residency. I love the grit, culture, and the people of this city and I'm excited to continue my training here. If I'm not at the hospital, you can find me at church, doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or baking lots of sweets.
Jacob Schutzman, MD
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, 2020
Washington University in St. Louis (BA), 2013
Born and raised just outside Philly in Lower Merion, I ventured out to the Midwest to go to college at Wash U in St. Louis where I earned a degree in economics alongside taking my premed classes and running a shipping, storage, & appliance rental business serving Wash U students. As my time at Wash U was coming to a close, I decided I needed more time before committing to medicine and found a job in management consulting at Deloitte in Boston. While there I initially worked on a couple of projects at a pharmaceutical company and then veterinarian supplies company before transitioning to an internal role evaluating and incubating new software product ideas. After a few years, I realized that while the work was stimulating and my teammates were great it was not going to keep getting me out of bed 5 or 10 years down the line. It was time to let go of those PowerPoint and excel skills and finally take the plunge into medicine. I knew I would be happier helping people get healthier instead of helping business grow stronger so I moved back to Philly to start med school at Temple.
A future surgeon at the time, I slowly fell in love with what I would eventually realize was Family Medicine as I was exposed to a holistic, patient-centered, & community-focused approach and a chance to build life-long relationships with patients. I am excited to bring that love to Jefferson where I'll be able to continue working with the diverse group of Philadelphians who taught me so much during medical school and take advantage of Jefferson's commitment to the underserved and top-notch education.
Outside of residency, you'll find me exploring Philly's vibrant food scene, trying new recipes at home, saying hi to dogs on the street, rooting for the Sixers and Eagles, and maybe even out for a run on the Schuylkill River Trail if I'm being good (I hear exercise is good for you). Oh, and the best thing about starting at Jeff that I haven't mentioned yet? Being right around the corner from Knead Bagels.
Kathryn Topalis, MD
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 2020
Boston University (BA), 2015
I grew up in Connecticut, and moved up to Boston for undergrad, receiving degrees in Ecology and Conservation Biology and in Hispanic Language and Literature at Boston University. While in college, I began studying sustainable development, and spent four months in Ecuador researching the link between environmental and human health (and living in the rainforest!).
Although I knew I would eventually attend medical school, I decided to spend a gap year continuing my work in environmental public health, and accepted a position at one of the CDC's Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units in Washington, D.C. I spent a year working there, focusing primarily on healthy schools, lead exposure, and safe housing.
I entered medical school at the University of Connecticut with an interest in health policy, and began writing and reviewing policy for the American Medical Association during my first year. Many of the policies that I authored and co-authored focused on creating more stringent environmental regulations. Through work with Physicians for Social Responsibility, OSHA, the New York branch of the CDC's PEHSUs, and the NY Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, I learned not only of the impacts that air quality, water quality, and unsafe housing have on health, but also of the unique vulnerability of certain communities to these exposures based on race or socioeconomic status. In an effort to train more students in advocacy skills, I founded a Public Health Capstone at UConn, which allows students to plan and complete a public health intervention in Greater Hartford in collaboration with a local community organization.
My decision to pursue Family Medicine came easily; I felt equally drawn to both pediatrics and geriatrics, and my favorite part of clinical care has always been the conversations I get to have with patients. Family Medicine physicians are particularly active in social medicine, and I have been so inspired by mentors that advocate for their patients both in and out of the clinic. I hope one day to have a career with facets in clinical care, environmental health, and health policy, and cannot think of a more perfect place to begin my training than at Jeff!
Molly Allanoff, MD
SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, 2019
New York University (BA), 2013
I grew up in Lafayette Hill, PA, and have always loved the city of Philadelphia. I made the trek up I-95 for college, attending NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. At Gallatin I created my own major titled Trauma and Translation, through which I pursued my dual interests in literature and languages. I always assumed that my life after college would continue to be heavily rooted in academia, and I considered getting a graduate degree in comparative literature.
My plans changed during my senior year at NYU, when I could no longer ignore the long-simmering desire to pursue a career in medicine. After much consideration, I decided the positives outweighed the negatives (e.g., taking Physics), and after graduating from NYU I moved back to Philadelphia and enrolled in a post-bacc program at Jefferson.
I remained at Jefferson for medical school, during which I fell in love with the holistic nature of Family Medicine, which combines medicine and care with my lifelong passion for narrative – in this case, the narrative of any given patient’s life. I was fortunate enough to rotate with Jefferson’s Family Medicine group during medical school and I immediately felt at home, so I am thrilled to be able to join the team for residency!
Outside of the hospital I enjoy reading (see above), running and biking, cooking vegetarian meals, eating vegetarian meals, and redecorating my apartment.
Michael Bozzi, MD
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2019
Haverford College (BS), 2012
I grew up in Connecticut but moved to the Maine Line in 2008 to attend Haverford College, and I have been in love with Philadelphia ever since. As an undergrad, I majored in chemistry and pitched on the baseball team (Go Fords) while meandering my way through the pre-med curriculum. After a few years pursuing a career in industrial chemistry at DuPont, the lab life proved too sterile for me and too removed from the populations I hoped to work with, so I shifted my focus to medicine.
Eager to remain in Philadelphia, I attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. During a summer internship at Prevention Point, the invaluable needle exchange and medical clinic in Kensington, I embraced the tenets of community outreach and harm reduction, which led me straight to family medicine.
I am thrilled to be joining the team at Jefferson and digging my roots even deeper into Philadelphia. The opportunity to work with such a diversity of communities all over the Delaware Valley while making my home in this vibrant city was too good to pass up.
During medical school, I married my college sweetheart, Debbie, who is a brilliant doctoral student in the Health Economics department at Johns Hopkins. We can regularly be found running along the Schuylkill River Trail, hosting potlucks and barbecues, or escaping to remote campgrounds around the U.S.
Elizabeth (Izzy) Clark, MD
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2019
Temple University (BA), 2014
I was born and raised in nearby Lancaster County, a place which I am delighted supplies many Philadelphia farmer’s markets with excellent produce. After spending time in Cairo, Egypt and in Washington, D.C., I came to Philly to attend Temple University, where I fit in premed classes alongside a B.A. in Spanish, a minor in Arabic, and a stint on the women’s rowing team. I left the banks of the Schuylkill for the Arizona desert, where I served as an Americorps VISTA in a health education focused nonprofit and where my husband and I got a dog. We happily moved back to PA so I could attend medical school at the University of Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh, we loved walking through the city’s incredible parks, which we explored anew after becoming parents half-way through our time there. In the four years of medical school I was very involved in forming partnerships with an underserved rural community in West Virginia, where I developed a deep appreciation for Family Medicine physicians working in an FQHC.
I chose Family Medicine because I am drawn to community medicine, a focus on social determinants of health, and the chance to form long-lasting relationships to promote health across the lifespan. I am so glad to find a place here at Jefferson, which I was drawn to for its strong commitment to providing care for Philadelphia’s underserved populations.
I enjoy exploring places on foot, running, cooking plant-based meals, water-skiing, tending a small garden, and spending time with immediate and extended family. I am thrilled to be back in Philly with a bigger family than when I was here last.
Lilli Flink, MD
SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, 2019
Barnard College (BA), 2013
Albert A. List College, Jewish Theological Seminary (BA), 2013
Though I grew up in the Chicago area, I consider the East Coast a second home. I went to Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City for my undergraduate studies, and then worked at the Yale Child Study Center in a toddler autism research clinic for two years. After attending Sidney Kimmel Medical College and loving my experience in Family Medicine, I am excited to remain at Jefferson for residency! I am grateful for the mentors I’ve found at Jefferson and the many opportunities to meaningfully serve the Philadelphia community. I find so many aspects of Family Medicine to be fulfilling, and I am especially looking forward to deepening my passions for geriatrics and women’s health. When I’m not on campus, you’re most likely to find me doing yoga, cooking, playing tennis, or tasting everything at one of Philly’s new restaurants.
Caitlyn Haines, MD
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 2019
Franklin & Marshall College (BA), 2014
I grew up outside of Baltimore in Ellicott City, Maryland with my parents and younger brother. Since then, I have spent eight of the last nine years in central Pennsylvania – graduating with a B.A. in Biology from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster and attending medical school at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey.
From elementary school through college, I was as a competitive swimmer, and found my passion for medicine as a physical therapy patient after a shoulder injury. I was always intrigued by primary care and preventive medicine, and look forward to being on the “front-line” of patient care. Within the scope of Family Medicine, I also have an interest in primary care sports medicine. I was drawn to Jefferson because of the program’s commitment to community outreach and exposure to a diverse patient population.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. After almost a decade in rural Pennsylvania, I am excited to embrace city-life! My husband Mike and I are “foodies” and enjoy trying new restaurants – something I absolutely look forward to in moving to metro Philadelphia! I also love baking and all things Food Network, staying active and exercising (in order to balance out my sweet tooth), and watching TV shows and movies.
Brittany Hozik, MD
Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, 2019
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia (MS), 2013
University of South Carolina (BS), 2010
I grew up on fried chicken, sweet iced tea, and 90 feels like a hundred- and ten-degree weather—I was born and raised in South Carolina. And true to my southern roots I am a previous State Clogging Champion title holder. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Science from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
I met my husband Michael, while earning my Master’s degree and then went on to teach Biology and Science courses at a community college and Shaw Air Force Base both in Sumter, SC. I began medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina and loved training in one of the most beautiful cities- Charleston, South Carolina. However, after almost five years of long distance with my husband working in the DC area we were ready for a move and to finally live together.
I chose family medicine, because of the opportunity to form incredible relationships with patients. I have always had an inherent desire to connect with people, which drew me to medicine and ultimately primary care. I am excited to join a team of compassionate and phenomenal people at Jeff!
While I will always be a southern girl; I am so looking forward to continuing my training up North! I am excited to explore Philadelphia with everything—from beautiful hiking trails, lots of history, awesome food, and close proximity to the mountains and the beach. I am excited yo start this new chapter of life and am so thankful to be joining the Jefferson Family!
Jose Medina, MD
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, 2019
University of Pennsylvania - Health Policy (MS), 2019, (MSW), 2014
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore (BA), 2011
I’m originally from sunny Miami, Fl, but have slowly been making my way up the east coast. My first stop was Baltimore, MD where I attended Johns Hopkins and studied Public Health. After surviving my first few “real” winters and not exactly sure about what I wanted to do after undergrad, I found myself back in the tropics, teaching science in Guyana. I was taken aback by the generosity of the community I lived within and shocked by the lack of social supports offered to struggling families. The experience led me back up north to Philadelphia to pursue a Masters in Social Work at Penn, and begin to understand how to navigate social and healthcare safety nets. After social work school, I worked throughout West Philly alongside Community Health Workers keeping patients in their homes and out of the hospital. Working closely with many Family Physicians in this role and seeing their impact on patients and the community, I decided to head off to medical school at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Family medicine was an easy choice for me as I felt it was an area of Medicine that shares many core tenets of social work, and where you can form lasting relationships with patients. I am so thrilled to be part of the Jefferson Family Medicine Crew. On my interview I was amazed by how close knit the residents were with each other, and with the faculty. Above all else I was impressed with the department’s dedication to underserved communities all of types throughout the city, and the opportunities for residents to get involved outside of the typical clinic and hospital settings.
When not working, I enjoy spending time exploring Philly with my wife, Ellina (a neurosurgery resident at Jefferson), and our fur-child Matilda. I grew up in a Cuban Bakery that my parents owned, and so whenever time allows I look forward to throwing-it-down in the kitchen and breaking bread with friends.
Greta Bires (Schneider), MD
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – New Brunswick/Piscataway, 2019
College of William and Mary (BS), 2015
I grew up just across the bridge from Philadelphia in South Jersey with my parents and older sister. I went to college in Virginia at the College of William and Mary where I majored in Chemistry, was a part of the Division I swim team, and found my passion for medicine.
I returned to Jersey for medical school at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. There I found my home in family medicine. I loved being on the front line, making healthcare more accessible and understandable to my patients, as well as using a family doctor’s broad spectrum of training to help my patient with whatever problem they bring when walking through the door. I chose Jefferson for its work with the urban underserved, for its strong sports medicine department, for its commitment to academics, for its outstanding reputation, and for the graduates it has produced, many of which I am lucky enough to have had as my mentors. Most importantly the people at Jefferson felt immediately like family and made Jefferson feel like a place I wanted to call home.
I am excited to be returning to Philadelphia and move into the city for the first time after living in the suburbs for so many years. Outside of medicine, I love spending time with husband and our families who are both happy we are moving closer. I also enjoy being outdoors, biking, swimming, baking, game nights, hosting dinner parties, and overall just being active.
Madeline Taskier, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 2019
Tufts University (BA), 2010
For the last three decades, I’ve called DC my home. I ventured off to Boston for college at Tufts University studying community health and anthropology. Leaving college, I knew I wanted to work in women’s health and spent two years working for a global maternal health advocacy organization. On a work trip to Rwanda, I met physicians who were both taking care of patients and doing public health advocacy—exactly what I wanted to do. I completed a pre-med post-bacc course at American University and moved to Ann Arbor with my husband where I worked for the University of Michigan OBGYN department managing their global programs in Ghana and Ethiopia.
I ended up back in DC for medical school at George Washington University where I co-directed the Healing Clinic, our student run free clinic and developed a sex-ed curriculum for DC middle schoolers. I chose family medicine because of its emphasis on social justice, continuity of care, relationship building, and advocacy. I love the wide spectrum of practice in family medicine (because I love everything!) and the specific focus on patients’ social contexts that contribute to their overall health.
Interviewing at Jefferson, I felt a strong commitment to social justice and the surrounding community. I knew that this program would offer endless learning opportunities at a strong academic medical center and would shape me into the physician that I want to be. I also felt that the program fostered a strong sense of community and support for its residents through all the ups and downs of residency.
Outside of the hospital, I spend time with my family, friends, and new puppy, Franklin. I’m am an avid baker and have a temperamental sourdough starter named Yeast Witherspoon. I’m so excited to start my life in Philly and figure out my favorite city walks, restaurants, and trivia spots.
Robert Wiley, MD
SKMC at Thomas Jefferson University, 2019
University of Delaware (BA), 2014
I grew up in Massachusetts before moving down to Delaware shortly before high school. After high school I attended the University of Delaware where I graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences. Despite living in Delaware for over 10 years I never became close personal friends with Joe Biden or Aubrey Plaza…for which I am still disappointed in myself to this day! I wanted more hands-on clinical experience before applying to medical school, so throughout the year following graduation I worked as a medical technician for a local ophthalmologist. During that year I was accepted into Sidney Kimmel Medical College here at Jefferson and loved my experiences so much that I wanted to stay for residency.
The core principles of Family Medicine -- continuity of care, the ability to care for any and all patients, longitudinal relationships with patients and their families, and many more -- are exactly the kind of medicine that I envisioned myself practicing even before I started medical school. Interacting with people is what brings me happiness and making complex medical concepts more understandable for patients is a daily reminder for why I chose to become a doctor in the first place. I wanted to stay at Jefferson for many reasons but particularly for the strength of the FM training, the camaraderie of the faculty and residents, and the meaningful experiences that I have had with the patient population here.
In my spare time you will find me cheering on my beloved Boston sports teams, enjoying a craft beer at a nearby brewery, or planning the next cruise adventure with my fiancée. While there are so many amazing food options in Philly, my heart (and my stomach) will always belong to Jim’s Steaks.