PGY - 1

Joshua Matthew Adams

Joshua Matthew Adams, M.D., Ph.D

Program: Combined Pediatric - Child Neurology
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine

I am a native of Buffalo, NY who attended the University at Buffalo for my undergraduate training before moving to Houston where I attended Baylor College of Medicine for my MD/PhD. I completed my PhD in Developmental Biology and Developmental Genetics before completing my MD. I am interested in pursuing an academic, physician-scientist career in child neurology with a primary interest in the neurogenetics of cognitive disorders.

Michigan Difference: I chose Michigan for the city and access to such a great medical center with abundant medical research opportunities. Ann Arbor is a beautiful place to live and raise a family. My wife and I have a young son and are looking forward to raising him in such a family-friendly community. 

Eric Martin Blake

Eric Martin Blake, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Wayne State University

I was born and raised in Rochester, MI, just north of Detroit. Like my siblings and parents, I attended Michigan State University where I studied finance. After graduation, I moved to Chicago where I worked for a financial consulting firm. I was fortunate to work with several healthcare companies that fostered my interest in medicine. I later returned to Detroit for medical school at Wayne State University and am excited to be staying in Michigan for residency! Outside of medicine, my fiancé, Amy, and I have a dog named Charlie, who will wear your arm out playing tug of war. I also enjoy running, playing golf, trying out new restaurants, and all things Detroit/MSU sports.

Michigan Difference: I chose Michigan because it offers every opportunity to pursue my wide variety of interests in a supportive, yet academically challenging environment. My interactions with faculty and residents on interview day left me excited and confident that I would fit right in. Not to mention, Ann Arbor is a wonderful midwestern college town close to home.

Erin Boulger

Erin Valentine Boulger, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine

I was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago before moving to Baltimore to attend Johns Hopkins University where I earned a degree in Biomedical Engineering. During my time in Baltimore, I became very involved in a community organization called Thread that worked with underperforming high school students. It was because of this experience that I was inspired to complete an Americorps Year with City Year Baton Rouge where I worked in a 4th grade math classroom. I attended Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine where my clinical experiences at Lurie Children’s solidified my interest in pediatric medicine as an amazing way to balance my academic interests along with patient advocacy. Outside of medicine, I love staying active with my 2 dogs and fiancé who is an ortho resident at Henry Ford!

Michigan Difference: I chose Michigan for its combination of professional and personal fit. I was looking for a large volume children’s hospital that had opportunities for residents in the PICU and medical education. Family in the area also made Michigan the right fit for me!

Valentini, Kelly Jean

Kelly Jean Burke, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Canton, Michigan. I love sports and competed in gymnastics for 10 years growing up. I attended Michigan State University for undergrad where I majored in Nutrition and minored in Spanish. I love to travel and had the opportunity to study abroad for a summer in Santander, Spain. I went to Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and enjoyed volunteering with student organizations like FitKids 360 and Healthy Hearts. I am interested in pediatric cardiology, medical education, and health equity. In my free time, I love to be active, read, try new restaurants, and spend time with friends and family.

Michigan Difference: I chose Michigan because I knew I would get exceptional training and work with faculty that are leaders in pediatrics. I love that Michigan Medicine is dedicated to serving the community and provides a supportive and collaborative work environment. The program will allow me to achieve my career goals and is also close to home and my family.

Julia Cartwright, M.D.

Julia Cartwright, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Michigan

I grew up outside of Columbus, OH and completed my undergraduate education in Global Health at the University of Iowa. Prior to starting medical school I pursued my interest in public health as a consumer safety officer for the Food and Drug Administration in Colorado. I completed medical school at the University of Michigan, and am excited to stay here in Ann Arbor as a part of the pediatrics team! My professional interests include medical education and bioethics, and I plan to pursue a pediatric critical care fellowship after residency. Outside of work I enjoy being outdoors, whether that be cycling, camping, running, or travel!

Michigan Difference: As a student I was able to experience the strong education and mentorship Michigan is able to provide, as well as the opportunities for me to pursue all my professional interests.

Castillo, Katerina

Katerina Castillo, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

I was born in Ukraine but spent most of my life growing up in Traverse City, MI as one of 9 (!) children. I attended the University of Michigan for undergrad, where I spent time abroad in El Salvador, Colombia, and Switzerland. After these travels I thought I would move somewhere warmer, but ended up in Minnesota for medical school. Outside of work, I love to spend time with my baby boy and husband, cook and bake plant based food, and explore new cuisines. 

Michigan Difference: So many reasons! Coming to Michigan is coming back hoMe, and I am so excited to be back in Ann Arbor. From my interview, it was clear that there was a close community of super fun and kind people, whom I would enjoy working with. The program is very well balanced between Medicine and Pediatrics, and I knew I would get equally strong training on both sides. I also felt the program leadership was focused on training physicians who would work to improve healthcare and care for the underserved. All of this, in addition to all Ann Arbor has to offer, and being close to family, made it the perfect place for me and my family!

Elise Corden, M.D.

Elise Corden, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Virginia

I was born and raised in Michigan and I am thrilled to be here for my pediatrics residency! I attended the University of Michigan for my undergraduate degree in environmental science, and spent my weekends volunteering with Child Life here at Mott! While I initially planned on attending pharmacy school after graduation, I changed my path and earned my Masters of Management from the Michigan Ross School of Business before venturing out of state and starting medical school at the University of Virginia. In Virginia, I had the opportunity to become involved in pediatric global health research which I look forward to continuing during residency. Outside of the hospital, you can find me baking banana bread, knitting hats for patients, working on my photography skills, ice climbing in Michigan’s upper peninsula, or trying to hike all the national parks with my husband. We are elated to come back to Ann Arbor and look forward to experiencing the restaurant scene and Michigan game days with co-residents!

Michigan Difference: Michigan has always felt like home, and my interview day this year confirmed that once again. Everyone I met on my interview day was extremely welcoming and it was apparent that they were dedicated to providing residents with a comprehensive education in a supportive environment.

Christopher Demas

Christopher Demas, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Brown University

I grew up surrounded by the frozen landscapes of Syracuse, NY and attended college not too far to the west in Geneva, NY at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. More recently I moved to Providence, RI for my medical training at Brown University. I am likely a bit younger than most since I did not take any gap years throughout my medical journey thus far. Even though I was fortunate to find this path early on, I still considered a few different careers options along the way from being a teacher and chef to a violinist and aerospace engineer. People know me by my abundant non-caffeinated energy, love for teaching/mentoring, and leading a generally active lifestyle all months of the year! I look forward to the day we can gather again with friends and hope to join Michigan’s medical orchestra (Life Science Orchestra) as soon as it is safe to do so! 

Michigan Difference: I simply loved my interview experience at Michigan! Meeting all the kind, intelligent, and enthusiastic residents alongside supportive and thoughtful program leadership absolutely sold me on the program. I additionally have a strong interest in medical education and feel like Michigan will help me grow significantly as a clinical educator. 

Keats Ewing

Keats Ewing, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Midwest at Loyola University of Chicago

Hello there human! My name is Keats and I am so excited to be a part of the University of Michigan Pediatrics Residency Program! I grew up as the middle child of 3 out in Sunny San Diego, crossed coasts to Boston College for my undergraduate studies, and then came out to the Midwest at Loyola University of Chicago for medical school where I have been in love with the Midwest ever since! From working with children with special needs as a kiddo myself, to being a camp counselor, running a high school mentoring program, my work as EMT, and so on, I have always had a passion for working with children and could not be more thrilled to continue that opportunity! Professionally, I am interested in cardiac and critical care medicine and medical student and resident wellness. For fun, I enjoy watching nearly any and all movies (from Marvel and Star Wars movies to small indie films), playing and listening to music, spending time in coffee shops, and eating any and all foods.

Michigan Difference: The combination of the tight-knit family feel of the program with the diverse and complex patient population all in such an amazing town!

Sarah Frankl, M.D.

Sarah Frankl, M.D.

Program: Combined Pediatric - Child Neurology
Medical School: University of Pennsylvania

I grew up in Eagle River, Alaska, and spent most of that time outside playing sports, hiking, or skiing. I then traveled across the country to attend Bowdoin College in Maine where I studied biology and English, but also had a lot of fun running to the ocean and exploring New England. After college I taught biology and English to 9th and 8th graders in Arizona, and also got to hike around the Southwest. I then returned to the East Coast for medical school in Philadelphia at University of Pennsylvania. I absolutely love children and while in medical school discovered a love for neurology, so I am delighted to be going into child neurology! Speaking of love, the third day of medical school I met a very kind second year student, who offered to answer any questions I had about school or Philadelphia, and long story short is now my husband! When not doing medicine-related activities, we love to be outside exploring, hiking, camping, playing sports, or inside eating, cooking, baking, reading, playing board games, and cuddling our kitties. We are absolutely delighted to be moving to Michigan!

Michigan Difference: Michigan is the perfect fit. As a couple, we were looking for excellent training programs, excellent quality of life outside of the hospital, and an excellent culture. Throughout the interview season, every interaction with Michigan confirmed our suspicions we are headed to the perfect place for our next five years (at least)! 

Joudeh Bishara Freij, M.D.

Joudeh Bishara Freij, M.D., MSc

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

I grew up in the Metro Detroit area and attended the University of Michigan for my B.S. degree in Microbiology; I loved my time there! Ann Arbor is a vibrant town with an abundance of educational and entertainment opportunities. It was hard for me to leave Ann Arbor after graduation! However, I wanted to experience the big city feel, so I spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Chicago, but quickly realized that I missed the academic stimulation. I was then off to get a Master of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and thrived there. I had decided at that point to pursue a career in Medicine and got into Wayne State University School of Medicine. Four years later, I find myself back at the University of Michigan to start my career as a budding Pediatrician in an intellectually stimulating and rigorous environment, and I could not be happier! For fun, I enjoy reading Science Fiction and Fantasy books (currently reading the Stormlight Archive) and playing board games with friends. I am a huge Star Wars fan and love pretty much anything Star Wars. I enjoy food and good company, and whether it is cooking new dishes or trying out new restaurants or bars, I’m always up for spending a fun and relaxing time with friends!

Michigan Difference: First off, everyone thus far has been friendly and considerate, and I got the sense that they all care for one another. Second, I wanted exposure to a wide range of pathology and specialties which the University of Michigan offers in abundance. Lastly, Ann Arbor is an awesome college town and being a long time Wolverine fan makes this place perfect for me!

Candice Gard

Candice Noel Gard, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

I grew up in Aurora, CO and moved to Baltimore to complete my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. From there, I attended Tufts University School of Medicine for my medical degree. I am particularly interested in general pediatrics. In my free time, I enjoy baking, cooking, watching TV, and collecting makeup. I couples matched, and my partner is also an University of Michigan pediatric resident. 

Michigan Difference: I have never been to Michigan prior to residency, and I am excited for a new adventure! I am also excited to experience a college town. While interview season was over Zoom this year, I could tell through interview day and the social that the residents and faculty would be great people to work with.

Geick, Jenna Lynn

Jenna Lynn Geick, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Iowa

I grew up in Iowa and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Northern Iowa, where I studied biochemistry and the study of religion. After graduating, I took a year off to conduct research in Pediatric Cardiology. I went to the University of Iowa for medical school, where my passion for providing care for children and their families grew immensely. At this point in time, my career interests are vast and include general pediatrics, adolescent medicine, cardiology, and neonatology. In my free time, you can find me spending time outdoors with my family and our crazy dogs, traveling to new places, playing board/card games with my family, cheering on my favorite college sports teams (Go Hawks!), and watching too much Netflix. Fun fact about me: I am obsessed with Diet Coke. 

Michigan Difference: I chose Michigan because of the people - every resident/attending I met on my interview day seemed so genuine, supportive, driven, and proud to be at Michigan. I was also drawn to program because of the opportunity to be uniquely trained through exposure to wide range of sub-specialties, the AOC to focus my own training, and the robust resident education. 

Gochenour, Kevin Scott

Kevin Scott Gochenour, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Arizona

I am originally from Edinburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Father of 2 girls, Piper 4 years, and Mara 9 months old, happily married husband for 7 years to Elizabeth. I came to medicine after a 15-year career as a paramedic, the most recent 8 years as a helicopter paramedic, where my love of pediatric medicine was born. I studied geology with an emphasis in paleontology at Northern Arizona University before attending medical school at the University of Arizona in Phoenix. In my leisure time I enjoy being outdoors with my family hiking, camping, and fishing. I enjoy sharing in learning with my children in geology, gems, mineral collecting, biology, chemistry, and amateur astronomy. I am a science fiction fan, I enjoy both Star Wars and Star Trek, and have read the classics of the Known Universe series, the Foundation series, and more recently the Expanse. I also enjoy learning more about world history, and dabble in theoretical physics, computer, and electrical engineering. I am looking forward to working and training as part of the pediatric residency team at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and eventually pursuing a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care, Neonatology, or possibly Pediatric Emergency Medicine. I love to teach and look forward to working with medical students, co-residents, and other staff to increase our knowledge, skills, and abilities in the world of pediatric medicine.

Michigan Difference: In my view the University of Michigan, and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital are the premier location to train in pediatric medicine and is a cutting-edge provider of medical care to a diverse patient population. Situated in beautiful central Michigan, Ann Arbor will provide an ideal location to raise my young family while in residency.

Andrew Gu

Andrew Ran Gu, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

I was originally born in Vancouver, Canada but my family moved to Winston-Salem, NC when I was 6 years old. When I was 16, my parents moved again for my dad’s work, this time to Little Rock, AR where I completed high school. I attended college at Johns Hopkins University majoring in chemical engineering before moving to Chicago for medical school. I’ve had a longstanding interest working with children which later became a passion for helping kids become and stay healthy. I’m still unsure exactly what my future career will look like but have interests in critical care (NICU/PICU) and medical education. In my free time, I’m a foodie and couponer and enjoy playing board games and card games, Settlers of Catan and Magic the Gathering to name a few. I couples matched with my partner who is also a University of Michigan resident, and we are so excited to be in Ann Arbor.

Michigan Difference: I’ve never been to Michigan prior to residency but was looking to stay in the Midwest for the lovely seasons and welcoming hospitality. Despite virtual interviews, I easily connected with my interviewers over my interests and hobbies, found what I was looking for in a program, and fit in with the friendly and welcoming residents.

Colin Hayes MD

Colin Hayes, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Penn State College of Medicine

I grew up outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in a small town called Boiling Springs. After high school, I moved just a few hours north to Penn State (We Are...), where I earned a degree in biology. I then began medical school at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey. Throughout my undergraduate and medical educations, I became involved in multiple organizations that support children battling cancer, and I look forward to working toward a career in pediatric hematology/oncology. Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing sports, board games, and cheering on my favorite sports teams.

Michigan Difference: I was attracted to Michigan because of its challenging but supportive nature, its resources for personal and professional development, and its unique location in a college town within close proximity to urban, suburban, and rural areas.

Herrera-Theut , Kathryn

Kathryn Herrera-Theut, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Arizona in Tucson

I was born and raised in Arizona and completed my Biochemistry degree at Arizona State University and then went on to medical school at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I am passionate about medical care in rural and underserved communities. I love exploring the outdoors: camping, hiking, and running with friends. I’m a foodie and a huge Chef’s Table fan. In my spare time I also enjoy Catan, audiobooks, and trivia (hopefully back again post covid)!

Michigan Difference: I chose University of Michigan Med-Peds because I was beyond impressed with everyone I met during my interview and the recruitment process. I was also searching for a well-established Med-Peds program that had excellent categorical programs. While I was raised in Arizona, my extended family are all from Michigan, and Michigan feels like a second home. Ann Arbor is also an incredibly fun city with so much art, great food, and beautiful outdoor areas.

Hill, Amber Lynn

Amber Lynn Hill, M.D., Ph.D, MSPH

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh

I was born in California, but grew up mostly in Canada and the UAE. I attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for my undergraduate degree. Afterwards, I completed my MSPH at Johns Hopkins before working as a public health professional for a couple of years in Switzerland, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, and Washington, DC. These experiences motivated me to pursue a career in medicine, and I went to the University of Pittsburgh for my MD/PhD. My clinical interests are in adolescent and young adult medicine. My research interests are in the prevention and response to adolescent relationship abuse and examining how dating violence intersects with substance use, inequitable gender attitudes, and race-based discrimination. Outside of medicine, my (Michigander) husband and I love to travel, run, cross-country/downhill ski, hike, and hang out with family, friends, and our cat (Hank). 

Michigan Difference: We have a lot of family and friends in and around Ann Arbor and we felt that this was the perfect place for this next step in our lives! The faculty and residents that I interacted with on and after my interview day were incredibly supportive and welcoming. 

Gabrielle Horner

Gabrielle Horner, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: Tufts University School of Medicine

I grew up in New Jersey as one of five sisters and moved to Boston to attend Tufts University. I studied Biopsychology as well as Child Development and played on the Tufts women’s lacrosse team (Go Jumbos!). While studying abroad in South Africa I became passionate about public health and after graduation pursued a research assistant position at Massachusetts General Hospital studying health policy. I ultimately had the opportunity to return to Sub-Saharan Africa as a medical student to evaluate community-based HIV medication delivery programs. At Michigan I hope to merge my interests in public health, research and hospital medicine, in whichever form that takes. Outside the hospital, I am excited to find nearby running trails, explore local breweries, host Bachelorette viewing parties and cheer on U of M!

Michigan Difference: At the start of our virtual interview season I wondered how it would be possible to truly get a feel for a program. Those nerves disappeared after my first interview at Michigan, when at the Zoom pre-interview dinner, I could appreciate the genuine enthusiasm and love that residents had for the program. The next morning, Dr. Lukela began the interview day with a reflection on racial health inequities in the context of COVID; this spoke volumes to the program’s mission and resonated with my own values. Altogether, Michigan represented a well-rounded, supportive and fun community that I aspired to join despite never having set foot in Ann Arbor. I am so grateful to be a part of the Michigan Med-Peds family!

Hu, Tommy Yingjie

Tommy Yingjie Hu, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Penn State College of Medicine

I was born in China and moved to the US when I was eight. My parents and I lived in a small town in Central Pennsylvania called Danville for a few years before moving to the suburbs of Boston. I went to Tufts University for undergrad, where I majored in Biological Psychology and minored in Studio Art. After graduating, I spent two years doing research in a developmental genetics lab in Boston before ultimately starting medical school at Penn State College of Medicine, where I met my girlfriend, Cat, who is currently a resident in the Med-Peds program. In my free time, I like to bake, hike, puzzle, and play board games. And when I grow up, I want to be a pediatric hematologist/oncologist.

Michigan Difference: I chose Michigan because I loved the feel of the program, which stood out even during virtual interviews. I could tell that the program truly values the feedback and wellbeing of its residents. Ann Arbor is also a beautiful city and I am excited to spend the next three years of my life here!

Kelly Hallman, M.D.

Kelly Katona, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

I was born and raised in the Metro-Detroit area here in Michigan. I attended college at Oakland University in Rochester, MI where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and met my husband, Andrew. I attended medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine in the awesome city of Detroit. I loved being able to learn from and serve the Detroit community, as well as explore all that the city has to offer. It was during my third year of medical school that I became certain I wanted to pursue a career in pediatrics. I have a lot of hobbies including exercising, watching sports, being outside, reading books, crocheting, baking, trying new restaurants, playing piano, exploring new places, and hanging out with friends and family. I also enjoy watching Michigan football and basketball games with my husband! Go Blue!

Michigan Difference: Michigan offers everything I wanted in a residency program, including exposure to a large clinical volume, a strong focus on academic development, and an extremely supportive environment. I am confident that Michigan will prepare me for whatever path I take after residency. I couldn’t be more thrilled to live and train here!

Megan Lee King

Megan Lee King, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center

I have lived in the South my whole life. I grew up in Maryville, TN near the Great Smoky Mountains before moving to Raleigh, NC for undergrad at NC State (Go Pack!) where I met my husband, Ryan. I moved back to Tennessee for medical school in Memphis at University of Tennessee Health Science Center and fell in love with pediatrics during my 3rd year clerkship. I have loved all my pediatric rotation in medical school and am keeping an open mind about my long term plans, but general pediatrics seems like a good bet at this point. Although living in the north will be a new experience for me, my husband spent several years working in metro Detroit, and we could not be more excited to live close by and revisit some of our favorite places. Outside of work, we enjoy hiking, playing board games, and searching for the best cup of coffee around. 

Michigan Difference: Interviewing during the pandemic brought its own stressors. During my interview and social hour with Michigan, I felt a natural connection with the residents and staff here - which is hard to do over Zoom! I could also tell that I would receive the support I need to become a great pediatrician!

Grace McNair Luger, M.D

Grace McNair Luger, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Texas – San Antonio

I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, so yes, a much warmer climate than Michigan. I grew up with an incredible pediatrician as a mother so my love for medicine was nurtured from a young age. In college I began my work in advocacy and began exploring ethical considerations involved in the practice of medicine. I married my high school sweetheart my second year of medical school and we have since grown our small family with our two dogs. My passion for the underserved and marginalized grew exponentially during my medical school training as I observed the ways in which the violence in the world works its way out on the bodies of small children. That is when I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. I want to stand as a voice for the voiceless and advocate for children each and every day of my life. Kids are also just THE BEST! They say whatever is on their mind and make you laugh and smile through each and every day. I am thrilled to be a pediatrician and participate in this relentless joy. In my free time my husband and I love hiking, running, reading, backpacking, playing pickleball/ tennis, and taking our two crazy dogs on walks. 

Michigan Difference: Michigan was the program on the interview trail that captured my desire for advocacy best. I felt that in addition to being an exceptional place to train, I would also have faculty and fellow residents that spurred me towards both excellence and my deep passions.

Alexa Minc

Alexa Minc, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Michigan

I grew up in the city of Chicago, about a mile west of Wrigley field. I took after my grandfather, who was a jeweler in Argentina, and started learning metalsmithing in my teenage years. I also loved the sciences, so when it came time to enroll in college, I chose to pursue both, in a 5-year dual degree program with Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. I majored in cognitive science and jewelry and metalsmithing, respectively. I spent a lot of time during college mentoring teens and adolescents with chronic illnesses, and it was through this that I discovered a passion for medicine. A few years (and a lot of physics and organic chemistry courses) later, I found myself moving to Ann Arbor for medical school at the University of Michigan. During medical school, I continued my work with the disability/chronic illness community, helping found the student organization, Medical Students for Disability Health and Advocacy as well as an American Sign Language elective course for medical students and have continued learning ASL myself. Though I haven’t had a chance to get back to the metals studio, in my free time you can usually find me learning some kind of craft. I have been teaching myself to make clothes, embroider, crochet, or anything I can get my hands on! 

Michigan Difference: During medical school, I was able to get to know the med-peds program at Michigan and found an incredibly warm, open, and welcoming group who were passionate about their work. I was impressed by the fact that even with the academic rigor of the program, residents still had time for serious hobbies and lives outside of the hospital. The faculty members were very supportive and take extra time for teaching and helping students and trainees make steps towards achieving their individual career goals. I could tell how accessible and thoughtful the leadership team was and by the end of interview season I knew that Michigan was the right place for me to continue my training. 

Mokbel, Majd

Majd Mokbel, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Michigan

I was born in Dearborn, Michigan to a giant Lebanese family that never let you have a dull moment. Then at the tender age of 3, our family decided to spread our wings and moved to the Bay area in California. But after 8 years away from the extended family and our grandmother’s cooking we decided to come back home to Metro-Detroit where I have stayed until moving to Ann Arbor for medical school and residency. I studied Biochemistry and Spanish at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and then served in City Year Detroit as a corps member for a 6th grade math class on the east side of the city. During medical school, outside of studying and hanging out with my family I helped lead our Project H community clinic and the student group Medical Students of Middle Eastern Descent (MSMD). Outside of the medical world, I love to cook, play basketball, garden, and have a newfound passion in baking babkas (inspired by Seinfeld). 

Michigan Difference: Whenever I came across a Med-Peds residents or faculty member during my rotations at Michigan Medicine I could tell that they were my type of people. They were kind, smart, and always willing to help out the medical students. They were also integrated so well into the hospital that it was hard to tell who was Med-Peds at times. Most importantly, the reason I decided to stay at Michigan for my training was the familial feel that residents had with one another. They were in constant contact with each other and would rush to help one another out. That type of supportive environment at the program sealed the deal.

Brian Muchmore, M.D.

Brian Muchmore, M.D.

Program: Combined Pediatrics-Genetics
Medical School: University of Vermont

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, I went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where I was a Russian Studies major. After leaving Bates, however, I still had a thirst for travel, so I have spent most of my adult life either traveling, doing research or both at the same time. Some of my experiences include Russian language classes in Odessa, Ukraine, systemic autoimmune disease research in Granada, Spain and working in the service industry in St. John of the Virgin Islands. While working at the National Institutes of Health in a translational genetics laboratory, however, I was introduced to the pediatric oncology camp, Special Love, which has since driven me to enter medical school at the University of Vermont and to pursue both pediatrics and medical genetics as a combined pediatric-genetics resident. Weirdly enough though, while I have lived 8 years abroad and been to 40 countries, Ann Arbor is another new destination for my wife and I, and we look forward to exploring all it has to offer. 

Michigan Difference: Great pediatrics, great genetics and great city.

Mekala Kavya Neelakantan

Mekala Kavya Neelakantan, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

I was born and brought up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended the University of California-San Diego for college, where I majored in General Biology with a concentration in Theater. This is also where I met my husband, Karan, who will be starting his own residency in Dermatology! I then traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan for medical school, spending 4 wonderful years at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Here, I made some of the best friends in the world while cultivating my passion for pediatrics, medical education, and the arts in medicine. In my spare time, I absolutely love to read and write, video-chat with my dog (and my whole family), go on fun culinary adventures with Karan, re-watch the Office, play board games, and take spontaneous trips to find all of Michigan's hidden gems! After residency, I hope to pursue a fellowship in Neonatology, and cannot wait for the experiences to come at Michigan Pediatrics.

Michigan Difference:  I felt at home right after my interview day! I think that Michigan Pediatrics, with all of its resources, opportunities, and open-mindedness, will fit me like a glove. I am excited to be lifted up throughout my time here and cannot wait to lift up everyone around me as well!

Nulle, Jill Christine

Jill Christine Nulle, M.D.

Program: Combined Pediatric - Child Neurology
Medical School: University of Michigan

I was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado. I went to undergrad at the University of Notre Dame, where I double- majored in English literature and pre-medicine. After graduating, I moved to Washington DC for two years to do clinical research with children with genetic disorders and developmental disabilities. My husband and I came back to the Midwest when I started medical school at the University of Michigan. When I’m not at the hospital, I love to hike, kayak, bake, read, play board games, and explore Ann Arbor!

Michigan Difference: I chose to stay at Michigan for residency because I love the people here. The faculty and residents are all so amazing to work with! Ann Arbor is also such a fun city to live in, and has so much to offer from restaurants to sporting events to excellent outdoor spaces. I’m so excited to stay here to continue my training. Go Blue!

Hillary Nelson Purcell

Hillary Nelson Purcell, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Cincinnati

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended undergrad at Dartmouth College, where I majored in psychology, before returning to Cincinnati for medical school at the University of Cincinnati. While in medical school I met my husband, who is an incoming intern in the University of Michigan Family Medicine residency program. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, running, cooking, and playing with my cats!

Michigan Difference: Michigan has everything I was looking for: a free-standing children's hospital with a large and diverse patient population, access to all the subspecialties I'm interested in, and a great location in Ann Arbor.

Sydney Ryckman M.D.

Sydney Ryckman, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine

I grew up in northwest Indiana, attended IU Bloomington for my undergraduate education (Go Hoosiers!), and then attended IU School of Medicine. In medical school, I did a rotation in the Pediatric ICU and it changed my entire career path. I found a passion for pediatrics and I couldn't let it go! My professional interests include acute care, global health, advocacy, and serving underserved populations. Outside of work I enjoy being outdoors, traveling, hiking and practicing yoga. When not being so active, I love to cook, read a book, and I am always in search of coffee and good food!

Michigan Difference: The residents sent a welcome video before my interview, and I immediately felt their pride and happiness. During my interview, everyone I met was warm and kind, and I felt a strong connection with the program directors who interviewed me. I knew I would be well supported through residency and that my personality would fit in perfectly! I enjoy all four seasons, especially fall, and Michigan would allow me to stay near my family in Indiana! 

David Silverman

David Thomas Silverman, M.D.

Program: Categorical Pediatrics
Medical School: Boston University School of Medicine

I grew up in central Massachusetts before heading to Bowdoin College for undergrad, where I majored in Biology and Government. After graduating, I served as an AmeriCorps member in Washington, DC. I moved back to Massachusetts for medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, where I found my love for Pediatrics and for working with underserved families. In my free time I like to read, run, hike, and bake.

Michigan Difference: In addition to being an incredibly warm and welcoming program, it was clear that I would receive fantastic training here at Michigan, ready to care for any and all patients who come through my door.

Daniela Sosa

Daniela Sosa, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: Florida International University

I was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Montreal, Canada at 4 years old (where my dad still lives!). One year later, I arrived in the USA where I was raised in Miami, FL. I completed my B.S. in Biology at Florida International University (FIU), and stayed there for medical school. Prior to medical school I was a mathematics tutor and was convinced I would pursue a career in pediatrics due to my love of working with children. However, I discovered a love for adult medicine in med school, but truly could not give up the chance to work with kids. Once I was introduced to the Med-Peds community I immediately knew it was the right choice. Outside of medicine, I enjoy being outdoors and anything fitness related (weightlifting, yoga, running, hiking). I also love to bake bread (newbie), listen to podcasts, and read. Fun fact: I have the cutest dachshund!

Michigan Difference: I applied to U of M after learning about their strong categorical programs and Med-Peds presence. However, what truly sold me was the program's passion for compassionate care, inclusivity and interest in creating a thriving community. U of M offers a program where I know I will be getting excellent training to not only become a great physician, but also a better human.

Sabrina Wilcox

Sabrina Wilcox, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: University of Washington

I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming and went to undergrad at the University of Wyoming. I met my husband there, with whom I couples matched for residency. Before starting medical school, I worked as a Forensic Chemist for the Public Health Department of Wyoming. I then went on to medical school at the University of Washington, with my clinical rotations spreading across several northwestern states as part of the decentralized WWAMI program. I always had an interest in pediatrics before medical school, but truly fell in love with medicine during my third year. I sought out wonderful mentors who really validated that Med-Peds would be an excellent fit for my interests, and I am forever grateful for their recommendations! In my spare time, I enjoy doing puzzles (a new hobby since the pandemic), baking, running (because of the baking) and hiking. We have two big dogs at home, Finn and Stella, who also consume most of our time and affection when not at work. Right now, my future career interests are in hematology/oncology, as well as continuing my involvement in global health.

Michigan Difference: There are so many reasons that UM was the absolute best fit for both my husband and I. The strength of the categorical programs and the seamless integration of the Med-Peds program was quite obvious even prior to interviewing. However, on interview day the faculty and residents were truly the selling point. They were all so well-connected with each other, easy-going and thoughtful. I think that interviewing virtually brought several challenges, but despite the platform, their rigorous, top-notch training and collegial culture undoubtedly stood out. Lastly, Ann Arbor seemed like an exciting place to live that went above and beyond satisfying our wants - a smaller size, affordable, and with great access to outdoor recreation.

Julia Witowska

Julia Witowska, M.D.

Program: Combined Medicine and Pediatrics
Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

I grew up in a southwest suburb of Chicago called Wheaton, IL. I then went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my undergraduate studies, where I majored in molecular and cellular biology and minored in chemistry and Spanish. After college, I attended medical school at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine where I first discovered my passion for Med-Peds! While in medical school I was also very involved in research within the realm of medical education and cultural competence within healthcare, and volunteered as a healthcare provider and Polish interpreter at a local free clinic. While I still remain undecided in terms of career plans, I hope to combine my interests in inpatient medicine, transitions of care, and medical education in my future career. In my free time, I enjoy running, traveling, podcasts, exploring new coffee shops or restaurants, and spending time with my family and friends.

Michigan Difference: I was initially drawn to Michigan because of the two strong categorical programs that make up the Med-Peds program, but ultimately chose Michigan because of the people. Everyone I met during my interview day was humble, kind, and down-to-earth. I truly felt that this was a supportive community in which I would thrive during my residency training, and it was clear that the program leadership was committed to making sure each resident reached their individual career goals. I knew this was the right program for me after the interview day, and I am so excited to be a part of the Michigan Med-Peds family!