Tessa Adzemovic, M.D.
I was born in Toronto, Canada, and grew up next to the Art Gallery of Ontario, which I’m convinced inspired my love for the fine arts. My parents, brother and I later moved to Ann Arbor, where I became a ‘River Rat’. I received a BA in French and Francophone studies from the University of Michigan. After college, I moved to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I founded a dance program for inter-ethnic youth in the little town of Mostar. I returned to Ann Arbor to attend University of Michigan’s Medical School, where I was active in our Asylum Collaborative and started the Medical Home Visit Program in partnership with the VA Home Based Primary Care program. I received a masters of science in clinical research with a focus on trauma care delivery in New Delhi, India.
I love reading, dancing ballet, and have a new found obsession with Spike Ball. Over the last three months, I have been (accidentally) watering a small artificial cactus, which has been a lesson in futility.
Michigan Difference: If Zingerman’s wasn’t enough of a reason, then the residents and faculty were. I am unbelievably lucky to be at an institution that cultivates strong mentorship for its trainees. I feel strongly about serving the community I grew up in and look forward to taking care of patients from all over Michigan, and the Midwest.
Genevieve Allen, M.D.
I was born and raised in Washington, DC and am a huge Washington Capitals and Nationals fan. After high school, I moved to Texas to attend the University of Texas at Austin where I majored in Biology. Go Longhorns! After graduation, I served as a health volunteer with the Peace Corps in Zambia. Medical school was not initially on the horizon, but mid-way through my Peace Corps service, I decided to attend medical school. Thankfully, the MCAT is offered in Cape Town, South Africa and after completing my Peace Corps Service followed by a six-month stint working for Peace Corps in DC, I matriculated at the University of Michigan Medical School. Outside of the hospital you can find me rowing on Argo Pond, hiking, or cooking.
Michigan Difference: I initially chose Michigan four years ago for medical school because of its supportive environment combined with strong clinical training. I figured I could tough out winter for four years then move south. When it came time to apply for residency, I looked all over the country but realized the reasons I chose Michigan four years ago still held true (and were especially true of the Med/Peds Program). I had also learned that if you get a good winter coat, winter is not too bad. I also liked Ann Arbor’s size. While working long hours, I would still be able to row, hike, cook, and see friends outside of the hospital without thinking twice about traffic.
Allison Bloom, M.D.
I was born and raised in Potomac, Maryland and attended Brown University for undergrad where I majored in biology. After graduating, I spent a year as an AmeriCorps member with CityYear DC. Following my year in DC, I moved to Durham, North Carolina where I completed medical school at Duke University. I have always been interested in primary care and enjoy hospital medicine as well. Apart from medicine, I love being active, baking bread, and refurbishing furniture!
Michigan Difference: From my very earliest interactions with Michigan residents, faculty and staff, I have always loved everything Michigan Med-Peds related. Not only does Michigan have an amazing hospital system that will provide me with infinite potential to grow as a resident, it also provides an incredibly welcoming, supportive and motivating environment. I am so excited to be part of the Michigan Med-Peds family!
Alexandra Blumer, M.D.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to South Carolina to complete my undergraduate degrees in Biological Sciences and Biochemistry at Clemson University (Go Tigers!!). I returned to Pittsburgh for a gap year where I worked as a lab technician for a biotech company before starting medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. I am still undecided on which field of pediatrics I will pursue following residency, but am currently interested in hospitalist vs NICU. I am especially interested in advocacy, health disparities, and medical education and am so lucky that fellow residents share the same interests. In my free time, I enjoy baking and cooking Half Baked Harvest recipes, travelling, watching terrible reality TV (anything on Bravo, The Bachelor, etc) or re-watching The Office, true crime books/documentaries/podcasts, and every album Taylor Swift has ever made. During COVID, I have also found love for baking bread, starting a patio garden, painting by numbers, and having my cat guest star in zoom meetings.
Michigan Difference: I had never been to the state of Michigan before interview day and was initially a little hesitant before applying about moving from a huge city like Philadelphia to a college town. On interview day, I was instantly drawn to the people and the hospital and was especially impressed by how the residents interacted with each other. I could tell that they were friends and genuinely enjoyed spending time with one another. I liked it so much during interview day that I spent a little extra time exploring Ann Arbor and was happy to find that downtown had many great restaurant and brewery options! I am so happy that my gut feeling was correct and I have so enjoyed hanging out with fellow residents, both in team rooms on busy services and outside of work at team dinners, resident book club, tubing, and intern class Bachelor nights! The residents, fellows, attendings, and support staff are all amazing and always available for help. I knew that Michigan would be the perfect program to challenge myself during training while in a very supportive environment.
Kendra Brown, M.D.
I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and completed my undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Global Health at the University of Madison. I returned to my hometown to complete my Medical Degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin, finding it rewarding to be learning about health in the community that shaped me. I crossed Lake Michigan to come to Ann Arbor for residency, where I have enjoyed becoming a Michigander. My father’s family is from the Detroit area, and it’s been exciting to hear stories and explore the places he grew up in. In my freetime I enjoy baking, perfecting my charcuterie skills, reading, and exploring the coffee shops and bakeries of Michigan. In the future I plan to practice in outpatient pediatrics because I love the continuity of care that comes with this field and the ability to promote healthy lifestyles throughout a child’s life, setting them up for success in the future.
Michigan Difference: I always knew I wanted to leave Wisconsin after medical school to experience somewhere new. On my interview day in Ann Arbor I met some of the most wonderful people who I knew I would enjoy having as colleagues and learning from over the next three years. I loved that the University of Michigan offered me the opportunity to treat common pediatric diagnoses while also challenging me with complex cases to build my fund of medical knowledge and skills.
Aristides Diamant, M.D., Ph.D
I grew up in Bellingham, Washington, a mid-sized town with a state university and lots of beautiful green parks whose denizens proudly refer to themselves as “Bellinghamsters.” I studied biology, chemistry and music at Seattle Pacific University, where I decided to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. To that end, I earned a PhD in molecular biology at the University of Cambridge before heading to Washington University in St. Louis to study medicine. In my spare time I enjoy playing soccer and cello, learning new languages, exploring in nature, exploring in the kitchen and sharing food with my loved ones.
Michigan Difference: I was looking for a program where I would be surrounded by people who both challenge me and support me, where I would be exposed to the full breadth of pediatrics in my clinical training and where I would have access to world-class research facilities in my scientific training. Not only did Michigan check those boxes, but it had the added bonus that it happens to be located in a mid-sized town with a state university and lots of beautiful green parks; a place where a homesick Bellinghamster can feel right at home.
Melanie Donahue, M.D.
I was born in San Diego but raised in the Northeast on Cape Cod, an “island” of lost R’s and wicked big sharks. My undergraduate education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute was geared toward engineering and mathematics - as well as swimming with even bigger sharks while studying abroad in South Africa. I then spent three years working in Cambridge at the interdisciplinary Broad Institute, which refocused my attention on human cellular machinery and ultimately caring for the whole human. I completed medical school at the University of Massachusetts, where I discovered my interest in transitional care for patients and families with chronic conditions, continued to explore the genetic drivers of common diseases through an ASH research fellowship, and sparked a passion for education and improving access to STEM experience for the next generation. Outside the hospital, you’ll find me dreaming about horseback riding while jogging or at yoga, trying out a new recipe at home or a new brew at pub trivia, and continuing to explore Michigan.
Michigan Difference: Though I had never lived more than an hour from the ocean before, my visit to Michigan quickly convinced me to give these ocean-size lakes a try. I was won over during my interview experience by the beaming Wolverine pride throughout Ann Arbor, institutional support for both clinical goals and life outside the hospital, and genuine family feel of the Med-Peds residents within two strong categorical programs. Plus it certainly didn’t hurt that it’s still (mostly) acceptable to be a Brady-era Patriots fan here, and I’d finally feel like I belonged in the UMich alum March Madness group I’ve been a part of for years!
Suzanne DiBattista, M.D.
I have lived in and around Chicago my whole life until making the big move out to Ann Arbor. I grew up as one of eight kids in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, made my way to Northwestern for Undergrad, and went to Rush for Medical School. I met my husband at Rush, and we were lucky enough to couples match at U of M. We have loved living here and becoming Michiganders. Outside of the hospital, we love to explore and hike the metro parks and state parks, cook dinner together, and spend time with our co-residents.
Michigan Difference: Michigan was our perfect option for the couples match as it has strong programs in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine (my husband’s program) with a full range of patients to learn from. It is between our families (Chicago and Pittsburgh) and provides an easy place to live during residency with a convenient balance of accessible grocery shopping/errands and plenty of restaurants and outdoors activities to explore.
George Freigeh, M.D.
I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area in Sterling Heights, MI. I went to the University of Michigan for undergrad and majored in Cellular & Molecular Biology and in Psychology. I moved to Chicago for medical school at Northwestern University. During medical school, I became interested in the field of medical ethics, and I completed a Masters in Bioethics and the Medical Humanities during my time at Northwestern.
Michigan Difference: I absolutely loved being an undergraduate at Michigan, so I was excited to return to Ann Arbor. The residency program fosters a great environment for its residents, prioritizing both clinical care and resident education. On my interview day, I was struck by how close all the residents were, and how much everyone genuinely enjoyed spending time with each other. I think a particular strength of Michigan is how connected it is as an institution. There are so many opportunities for research, medical education, healthcare administration, and for residents to develop their interests being a part of a large healthcare organization with easily accessible, world-class graduate and undergraduate schools.
Tara Funk, M.D.
I grew up outside of Chicago and ventured down to Baylor University in Waco, TX for undergrad for athletics. After a gap year in Dallas, TX to take the MCAT I headed back to Chicago for medical school at Loyola University’s Stritch SOM where I met my fiance. We couples matched at UofM/Beaumont ED. We love to spend any free time we have outside - hiking, biking, skiing and playing with our new golden retriever puppy Sierra. We have a goal of visiting every National Park in the US!
Michigan Difference: I really liked the people I met on my interview day and the atmosphere of the program. My fiance and I also liked everything there is to do around the metro Detroit area and being driving distance from home in Chicago.
Michelle Glick, M.D.
I was born and raised in northern New Jersey (NYC suburbs) and had no idea of Jersey’s reputation in other parts of the country until I left! I took a more “non-traditional” route to medicine. I went to college at Amherst College, a small liberal arts school in western MA where I was an English major. After college, I lived and worked in Washington, DC for 5 years. I spent the first 3 years as a public middle school science teacher (yay earth science!) via Teach for America, and then worked as a clinical research coordinator and asthma educator at Children’s National, which is when I decided to finish my pre-med reqs and apply to med school. I attended med school at Jefferson in Philly. In my free time, I enjoy watching a lot of TV and exploring Michigan’s hiking, parks and lakes with my doggo.
Michigan Difference: My partner is from Michigan and a U-M grad, and he had convinced me early on that Mott is the best children’s hospital ever. I was a bit hesitant to leave my urban hubs on the east coast, but I came for an away rotation here in one of our best departments - Peds Infectious Disease - and I fell in love with our residency program. I am interested in health disparities within pediatrics, school-based health, asthma, and working in healthcare shortage areas or with populations experiencing barriers to care, so I knew that working in Ypsilanti (where many of these things exist) would be really important to me, and was so glad that the program honored my request to be there for my continuity clinic. I have been specifically impressed with my co-residents and attendings here and their commitment and passion for high-quality care for all patients. One of my favorite parts of residency so far was getting involved in our advocacy group and co-starting an initiative this year called Pediatricians for Black Lives that has been widely supported throughout our program.
Michael Ho, M.D.
I grew up in Saline, Michigan. As an undergrad at University of Michigan I majored in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Through my program, I studied ecology in New Zealand and did field work in rural Northern Michigan. I also minored in Spanish. After graduating from college, I lived in San Francisco and worked at a mobile clinic for homeless patients where I assisted in providing medical care and case management services. After a year in the Bay, I returned to University of Michigan for medical school. My passions in medicine are somewhat varied, but include cardiology/congenital heart disease, care of the underserved, critical care, and alternative models of healthcare delivery. Outside of the hospital, I enjoy playing tennis, riding my bike, working on my Spanish and Portuguese, caring for my houseplants, and spending time with my friends and family.
Michigan Difference: For me, the best part of this program is the people. Co-residents, faculty, staff, or students -- I find that Michigan attracts brilliant and hard-working people who are also genuinely kind, supportive, and unpretentious. The fact that this culture exists in a place that has an outstanding academic medical center (on both IM and Peds) is really just an added bonus!
Elizabeth Hovel, M.D.
I grew up just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, which is where I went for undergrad - Go Badgers! After spending some time working at a public health department in Spain and doing an AmeriCorps year at an FQHC in Milwaukee, I moved back to Madison for my MPH and medical school (where I met my fiancé Jordan, an IM resident here). I love to spend time outdoors, travel, and try new food or beer.
Michigan Difference: I was particularly excited about the opportunities to individualize your education here; I’ve been able to spend time doing advocacy projects and go to the national AAP conference. Overall, Jordan and I were looking for an academic center with friendly people, strong programs, and good clinical volume in both our specialties. We also knew we wanted easy access to hiking, breweries, and water. Ann Arbor was the perfect fit, and has been a fantastic place to live during residency! Lastly, U of M is a great place to couples match - our programs have consistently helped us to maximize time off together.
Natalia Jovanovic Painter, M.D.
I am from Gurnee, Illinois - a suburb one hour north of Chicago. I grew up with an older sister, older brother, and parents with strong Serbian and Slovenian roots. It is from them that I got my work ethic and giving spirit - and somehow a strange Serbian? accent too...nobody is quite sure about that one! I attended The University of Chicago for undergrad, studied Biology and specialized in Endocrinology, while also playing collegiate soccer. Afterwards, I ventured to Boston for an internship at a Dermatology private practice, but missing the Midwest too much, soon returned for medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Peoria was an awesome spot for me to find my Med/Peds identity (the place is booming with friendly Med/Pedsians!) and discover my passion for Hospital Medicine, ID, and Med Ed. I also love baking, playing/watching soccer, watching NBA with my husband, searching for new ice cream shops, board games, running, hiking/camping - all of which I am excited to do in Michigan!
Michigan Difference: Michigan Med/Peds had been on my radar long before the residency application process started. I had heard so many good things about the program from my Med/Peds mentors - and good things about UMich in general from other family and friends. When I had the opportunity to visit for myself on interview day, I could see why! I met so many welcoming residents and faculty and felt like Michigan had the right balance of Medicine and Pediatric training rigor, mentorship, opportunities in teaching / Med Ed, and that strong Med/Peds identity and community that I was looking for - not to mention a beautiful town and outstanding academic center to do it all in! So pumped to join the team - GO BLUE!!!
Marianne Kerski, M.D.
I was born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota. I attended undergrad at the University of Minnesota where I studied biomedical engineering. Prior to medical school, I spent a year working on clinical informatics projects at the Mayo Clinic. I went to medical school at the University of Minnesota as well. My clinical interests include rheumatology and biomedical informatics. In my spare time, I enjoy many outdoor activities including running, hiking, roller blading, and skiing. When the weather is less than ideal, I enjoy puzzles and board games.
Michigan Difference: When looking for a medicine-pediatrics program, I wanted a program that had strong clinical training on each categorical side and had ample opportunities to get involved in academic pursuits. I felt multiple programs I visited would have been able to give me those initial goals. Ultimately, I chose Michigan because of the strong community feel among the residents and faculty members in combination with Ann Arbor feeling like home.
Noah Kline, M.D.
Born and raised in rural Washington state, I attended the University of Washington in Seattle and studied biochemistry and microbiology. Instead of heading straight to med school, I spent three years as a working researcher at a biotech startup and enjoying the city with my then-girlfriend-now-wife, Alissa. We made our way to the Midwest in 2015 so I could attend med school at Oakland University Beaumont School of Medicine. After living in Michigan for over five years, we continue to enjoy all its similarities to the Pacific Northwest — the natural beauty, arts & culture, breweries, and nice open-minded people.
When I matched to U-M, we moved over from Detroit (a city I absolutely love!). We appreciate Ann Arbor’s many green-spaces, local shops, and family-friendly vibe. We’re also busy renovating our little blue house on the west side, with a sunny garden and big backyard for our rescue pup Ziggy.
Michigan Difference: I love U-M because our group of residents is such a supportive, close-knit crew. Faculty is passionate, eager to teach, and approachable. Plus, Ann Arbor is a great town!
Lydia Lanni, M.D.
I was born and raised for the majority of my life in Michigan living in several Metro Detroit cities. I went to Wayne State University in Detroit for my undergraduate studies in Nutrition and Food Science with a minor in Biology. I loved it so much that I stayed at Wayne for my Master’s degree and completed medical school there as well. After my second year in medical school, I took a year to complete the coursework for my Master’s of Public Health and later went on to finish in my fourth year. My husband, my dog Arthur and I live in Ypsilanti, which we have enjoyed exploring. When not at work, I enjoy kayaking, going to local breweries, and making crafts (painting, macrame, crochet, etc).
When I was applying, I was drawn to medium to large sized programs that had a strong academic focus, opportunities to practice with medically underserved populations, and patients with varying degrees of medical complexity. After interviewing, Michigan seemed like it would be a great place to complete my training. What has really sold me on the pediatrics program are my co-residents and attendings who are some of the most compassionate, intelligent, and caring people I know.
Catherine McDermott, M.D., M.Ed.
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and despite initial inklings of pursuing veterinary medicine, I fell in love with human medicine and completed medical school at Penn State. My love of animals persists though and my family recently grew to include Lucy, a senior golden retriever and perpetual frenemy to our cat, Ginny. Outside of pet-wrangling I enjoy spending time outside, crafts, cooking, and exploring new coffee shops. Within medicine, I am interested in medical education and rheumatology. My partner is also a pediatrics resident and have enjoyed making Ann Arbor our new home.
Michigan Difference: As a med-peds resident, I wanted a program with strong IM and pediatric programs where there were opportunities to get involved with medical education and QI work. Once meeting the residents here, seeing how supportive everyone was of one another, how resident education was prioritized (ask about our amazing RAs!), and how invested the program is in our wellbeing, I was sold. I realized I really could have it all- a program that cared about me as a human, education at a top-ranking hospital, and the opportunity to carve out niches in areas of interest in a city with all of my favorite things!
Emile Muallem, M.D.
I was born and raised in Southern California and completed my undergraduate studies at UC Irvine and spent time abroad studying Marine Biology at the University of Queensland in Australia. After college I took a few gap years working as an MCAT instructor in Los Angeles and then moved to Boston to work as a pediatric residency coordinator (where my love of peds began). I traded LA freeway traffic and fires for snowstorms and warm cider and moved to Michigan for medical school at OUWB. I’m a huge fan of the mitten state and I now orient others of the Michigan map with my right hand. I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend, who is also a resident here, hanging out with my co-residents, working out, meal prepping, and watching my LA lakers play.
Michigan Difference: Michigan made a lot of sense for me both personally and professionally, I immediately clicked with the faculty and chief residents during my interview and I appreciated the “work hard, play hard” mentality. I also loved that the program celebrated and encouraged resident creativity and felt as though my passions and interests would be fostered in this environment. C.S. Mott is top tier leaning children’s hospital with fantastic, hard-working people, nestled in a fun town with a lot of energy. My significant other is also from the area and attended medical school here in Michigan so the decision was easy. Go blue!
Helen Mulcahy, M.D.
I spent my whole life in Michigan before moving to South Bend, IN to attend The University of Notre Dame for my undergraduate degree in Anthropology. I decided the human experience was best captured in people’s experience with health and illness and so I moved next to Cincinnati for medical school. I met by best friends in Ohio (somewhere I never thought I’d live) and had a fantastic four years interacting with the rich community I found there. I moved back to Michigan, just 30 minutes from my childhood home to be near family and continue to explore Michigan. I love being outdoors, reading and just generally letting my mind wander. I also love new experiences including food, drink and comedy.
Michigan Difference: You can’t beat this state in beauty, diversity or weather (hope you like snow). Plus, my family being nearby is a huge plus in residency. All of that on top of the fact that I felt immediately at home when I was at my Michigan interview. I guess it makes sense, seeing as I was born at the old Mott hospital. Coming here, I realized I chose it for the wonderful people that are drawn to this program!
Courtney Nugent, M.D.
I grew up in Elmhurst, IL and for college I wanted to explore somewhere new so I went down to New Orleans, LA to attend Tulane University. In college I double majored in Neuroscience and Spanish and even had the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Right after college I moved back closer to home to attend medical school at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. Now, I’m so excited to be spending the next part of my adventure here in Michigan. Outside of the hospital I love practicing yoga, reading by the pool, trying out different recipes from Trader Joes, exploring different restaurants here in Ann Arbor, and spending time with my family and friends.
Michigan Difference: I wanted to be at a strong academic program that would challenge me and give me great education in all different areas of pediatrics while at the same time providing a supportive learning environment. When I came to interview I was so impressed not only with everything the program had to provide, but with how welcoming and friendly all of the residents and faculty were. Now I can say after being her for over a year I found everything I was looking for on interview day and so much more. Over this past year I’ve learned so much but truly the best part is that I’ve gotten to work with an incredible group of co-resident who have come to feel like family!
Katie Ramos, M.D.
I grew up in Caro, Michigan, which is a small town in the thumb of Michigan. I attended U of M for my undergraduate degree. I took a year off from school after I graduated and worked as a substitute teacher K-12 for my hometown. I loved my time working with kids, but I definitely realized I could never be a teacher (props to them) and preferred to work with one kiddo at a time. I then moved to Grand Rapids where I attended Michigan State College of Human Medicine for medical school. During this time, I confirmed my love of Pediatrics. I also loved my time exploring the breweries in Beer City. I finally married my high school sweetheart the summer before starting residency! We have a cute pup named Ellie and live in South Lyon, 20 minutes north of Ann Arbor.
Michigan Difference: I have done all of my training in the state of Michigan. I love being close to family! I also did an away rotation during my 4th year in medical school at Mott, and I really enjoyed my time. The attendings were super helpful and willing to teach, and I felt like the residents got along well and were friends! I also wanted to attend a medium to large residency program and have exposure to everything, which Michigan definitely offers. Now that I am here, I love my co-residents! They are the best part of this program.
Alicia Rolin, M.D.
My family moved to the US right before I was born, and I spent much of my childhood flying back and forth between Brussels and New York. Feeling right at home in the blend of French and American culture, I went to McGill University in Montreal for undergrad where I majored in physics and geography. I subsequently spent several years working as an epidemiologist, working primarily for governmental organizations such as the NIH, CDC, and IHS. I was fortunate enough to be employed as an epidemiologist on three different continents. Feeling tired of research, I eventually transitioned to a more clinical setting, working in substance abuse clinics across rural New England. Working directly with patients cemented my desire to become a physician and I went back to medical school at Brown University in Rhode Island. Outside of work, I have a pup named Benji, who is a sweet, lovable fluffy monster. We spend much of our time walking, hiking, and eating ice cream. If we are not outside, then we are probably snoozing on the couch (also likely with ice cream).
Michigan Difference: On the interview trail, I realized I wanted to be at a large academic medical center. Mott has the advantage of being a large program, without having to be located in a big city. I had a really fun interview day here (on Halloween!) and felt right at home. I’ve lived many places, but never in the midwest so thought it could be a fun adventure! Ann Arbor has the additional benefits of having lots of green spaces and is super dog friendly. My pup has never been happier!
Eric Stromberg, M.D.
I grew up in Livonia, Michigan just a short drive away from Ann Arbor. After completing my Undergraduate degree in Biology at Oberlin College I headed off to Chicago to go to medical school at Northwestern. Both my parents are teachers which undoubtedly influenced me to pursue a career in pediatrics. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to come back to Michigan for my residency training. In my freetime I enjoy spending time with my family who live nearby, exploring the many wonderful restaurants and breweries in Ann Arbor, and taking my dog for a walk. In the fall, you can find me at the Big House for Michigan Football games (with the exception of this year of course!). In the future, I plan to pursue a career in pediatric cardiology.
Michigan Difference: My wife and I are from the Metro Detroit area and we were so excited to be close to family during this time. Both of us love everything that Ann Arbor has to offer, even coming from a larger city where I completed Medical School. Michigan was always high on my list because I knew that I would be exposed to all of the different fields within pediatrics and receive good training. However, on my interview day, it really was the people that I met within the program that stood out to me. Program leadership and my co-residents have proved to be important areas of support throughout my residency so far.
Kristen Unsicker, M.D.
I grew in the Boston area and completed my undergraduate degree in mathematics at Fordham University. I followed a pre-med track as well and decided that I wanted a career focused more on caring for others. I took some time off before medical school and started my own tutoring business. After realizing how friendly of a place the midwest really is I decided to go to Indiana University for medical school (Muncie Campus) where I met my husband. I enjoy all things involving food, getting outdoors, and am always planning multiple possible future vacations.
Michigan Difference: My husband and I couples matched (he’s in the Anesthesia program) here and were excited about Michigan for its variety of strengths as an institution on a whole, getting to stay in the Midwest with its friendly culture, and the opportunity to explore this beautiful state. We love taking trips to all the wonderful lakes, hiking spots, and fun cities around us.
Danielle VanBeckum, M.D.
I grew up near Green Bay, Wisconsin and stayed there for undergrad before moving to the U.P. (way up north) in Michigan for grad school. I studied brain tumors and taught undergrad classes for a while there before moving to East Lansing to go to medical school. My family has all relocated to southeast Michigan now too, and it's been great to get to see my new little niece grow up! When we’re not at work, my partner and I enjoy traveling, exploring outdoors, biking, snowboarding/skiing, playing board games, visiting with our families, cooking/baking and pampering our fur babies and many houseplants.
Michigan Difference: Michigan was always high on my list going into interview season, and immediately when I arrived for my interview day everything just felt right and it clicked--I felt like I had found my people. I was a bit nervous about being a small fish in a big pond coming to a bigger hospital system and program than I was used to, but everyone here has been so wonderful—program staff, leadership, attendings, and especially my co-residents! Having family close by now is obviously a huge bonus for both me and my partner as well, plus we love getting to experience all four seasons with some snow in the winter.
Alexander Waselewski, M.D.
I grew up in Sterling Heights, MI in the metro Detroit area. My dad was a firefighter in Detroit which is where I got my inspiration for doing something that serves people. I attended undergrad at University of Michigan and studied biomedical engineering due to my love of math and science. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor and went to medical school at Wayne State in Detroit where I decided to pursue pediatrics late in my medical school career. I saw my first baby in the hospital and knew this is what I wanted to do. I enjoy playing basketball whenever I can and hanging out with people doing whatever the group wants.
Michigan Difference: I knew I wanted to be at a larger residency program so I would have lots of new people to meet and have flexibility with scheduling. I knew that I wanted to be at an academic institution to pursue my interest in undergraduate medical education with medical students. I knew I wanted to be at a program where I would be able to see all pediatric subspecialties. Michigan met all of those criteria while also being right in my backyard. My wife wanted to do family medicine residency here and she ended up matching the year after I did. My identical twin brother also wanted to come back home for internal medicine residency after doing medical school in Virginia. I also love the city of Ann Arbor. Michigan met all my criteria for a residency program and it allowed me to be in a great city close to my family and friends.
Zachary Whitt, M.D.
I was born in Winston-Salem, NC, but moved around the Southeast making stops in The Woodlands, TX and then Roswell, GA, where I spent most of my childhood. I attended the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!) for undergrad getting degrees in Biology and Spanish. I spent a year as a Genetics Counseling Assistant at Emory University, which led me to my passion for Medical Genetics. To pursue this dream, I attended the Medical College of Georgia for my medical education. On my days off, I enjoy hanging out with my co-residents exploring the great restaurants and breweries of Ann Arbor, watching college football, Netflix binges, and traveling.
Michigan Difference: Going into a Combined Pediatrics and Medical Genetics residency, I knew I wanted amazing training in both programs, which I found at the University of Michigan. After interviewing with both training programs, I was confident I would get the highest quality Pediatric and Genetics training available. It was obvious that there was amazing integration between the programs as well with geneticists serving at the highest levels in the pediatric department. In a field where rare diseases are our specialty, it was critical to have a large patient population as well top rated pediatric subspecialties and Michigan definitely fit that bill. As if that wasn’t enough, the residents made me feel right at home on my interview day and it was clear they were very close to one another. Then you have Ann Arbor as a backdrop for it all, which was the cherry on top!
Matthew Wolf, M.D.
I grew up just outside of Madison, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin where I studied Biochemistry and Spanish. During college, I had a wonderful balance of language learning opportunities and scientific endeavours; I spent my time split between studying the Spanish language and culture and diving into neuroblastoma research. This fueled my desire to pursue a career as a bilingual physician. I attended medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin - Green Bay and ultimately fell in love with the field of pediatric cardiology. Outside of medicine I enjoy hiking, running, traveling, or doing anything I can to be outdoors. You can find me perpetually planning my next trip or looking up new recipes to try and whip up.
Michigan Difference: I knew that I wanted to be at a large academic institution to have access to all pediatric subspecialties. It’s not often that a program is strong in so many different subspecialties, and Michigan definitely is a pediatric powerhouse. Admittedly, Michigan’s strength in pediatric cardiology was a huge draw for me too. Plus, I really enjoyed the smaller city feel, with big city amenities, that Ann Arbor offers. What really sealed the deal though was how wonderful all the people were on interview day. I felt right at home and that gut feeling has done me well as the people within this program are fantastic and I feel lucky to work with them every day.
Megan Zakerski, M.D.
I grew up in Pinckney, Michigan which is a small town about 30 minutes from Ann Arbor. My husband and I met when we were in high school. I studied Biology and Psychology at the University of Dayton, go Flyers! I went to medical school at the University of Michigan. It was great to move back to Michigan to be closer to family. We have 2 dogs - a shetland sheepdog and a golden retriever. We enjoy finding new parks and trails to explore with them. I also love to garden and crochet.
Michigan Difference: I loved my pediatric rotations during medical school here! There was a great team atmosphere and the residents and attendings set great examples for compassionate and evidence-based care. I could also tell that education was a priority for medical students and residents. I knew that I would be able to see a good balance of common and rare conditions to prepare me to be a general pediatrician. We also love the area - there are so many great parks and restaurants.