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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!
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. 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.
During my free time I like to cook vegetarian recipes, spend time with my cat, 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!