St. Mary’s, Medical Partnership welcome 12 new residents

The Internal Medicine Residency Program, a joint effort of the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s Health Care System, welcomed its third group of Internal Medicine residents today – filling all openings in Northeast Georgia's first graduate medical education program.

The class of 12 residents, who began orientation on June 19, will begin the final phase of their medical education on July 1, 2017. Each has completed medical school and now begins a 3-year medical residency that will include progressively independent patient care under the supervision of physician faculty.

The residents provide care at St. Mary's and at the program's ambulatory care practice, Community Internal Medicine of Athens, located in the Resource Medical Park at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave., Athens. They also complete extensive coursework led by faculty from the AU/UGA Medical Partnership.

"We are very proud to welcome our third group of residents to Northeast Georgia's first residency program," said St. Mary's President and CEO, Don McKenna. "Our experience with the first two classes has been phenomenal, and we look forward to equally great success with our third class. It's an honor to be an integral part of the process of educating the next generation of physicians so that they can provide quality care. We are thrilled that we can provide this unprecedented opportunity to bring new physicians to our region."

This year's class joins the 10 residents who came to the Internal Medicine Residency Program and St. Mary's in 2015 and the class of 11 who started in 2016. These classes each move up a year in the three-year program, assuming greater responsibility and autonomy, including contributing to the education of the new first-year residents. For the inaugural class that started in 2015, the upcoming year marks the final stage of their journey as physician residents.

"The inaugural class at a new residency program blazes a trail for future classes to follow," said Pete Yunyongying, MD, AU/UGA Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Program Director. "Each subsequent class puts the program to the test and makes it even better, refining and building on the work done by previous classes. The faculty are very impressed with the caliber, dedication and commitment of all of our residents. It's exciting to be part of this effort as we continue to build this very first graduate education program in Athens."

This new group of residents has strong connections to Georgia. Two are natives of Georgia while six have educational ties to our state, including one who earned her bachelor's degree from UGA and two who are graduates of the Medical College of Georgia at the AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus in Athens. The class is 58 percent male and 42 percent female, with numerous members who are interested in research, community service and rural healthcare.

According to Bruce Middendorf, MD, St. Mary's Chief Medical Officer, it is unusual for a new residency program to "match" all openings in its initial years. In the match process, graduating medical students apply to residency programs that interest them anywhere in the nation. Then, programs select students to interview. Finally, both the student and the program have to select each other for a match to occur.

"In our first three years, we have matched every opening, which is truly remarkable," Dr. Middendorf said. For the Class of 2018, the program received about 1,300 applications. For the Class of 2019, almost 1,850 applications were received. And for this year's class, the Class of 2020, 2,478 applications were submitted.

In addition to program leadership, there are more than 70 additional faculty from the community involved in the residents' education. These faculty members are actively engaged in providing quality clinical care and medical education on a daily basis.

Residents focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in adults. They practice alongside supervising physicians to gain increasingly sophisticated knowledge, skills, and experience working with patients. Each resident will complete three years of training in Internal Medicine rotations as specified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification requirements.

After completion of the program, residents are eligible to take their Board certification exam, apply for state licensure, begin practicing internal medicine, or pursue additional training in specialties such as cardiology, endocrinology and rheumatology.

“We appreciate all that Gov. Nathan Deal, the state legislature, the Board of Regents and the leadership of Augusta University and the University of Georgia have done to make this program such a tremendous success,” said Michelle Nuss, MD, campus dean of the AU/UGA Medical Partnership. “Through their foresight and dedication, we’ve had the support needed to bring this dream to fruition.”

The AU/UGA Medical Partnership is a collaborative effort between Augusta University and the University of Georgia created to address the shortage of physicians in the state. The Medical Partnership combines the instructional and research resources of UGA, the state’s flagship land-grant research university, with the expertise of the Medical College of Georgia at AU.

St. Mary’s Health Care System, a not-for-profit Catholic healthcare ministry, is a member of Trinity Health. St. Mary’s includes St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro, St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia, and numerous affiliated facilities and practices. It offers a comprehensive range of health care services to the people of Northeast Georgia and is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding quality of care. For more information, visit www.stmarysathens.org or follow St. Mary’s on Facebook and Twitter.

The Internal Medicine Residency Program class of 2020 is:

John Crawley, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
  • Medical degree: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts

Joshua Estep, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: history, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Medical degree: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts

Jane Fon-Ndikum, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: clinical laboratory science, Stony Brook University
  • Master's degree: health care administration, Plymouth State University
  • Medical degree: American University of Antigua College of Medicine

Amit Koduri, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: biophysics, University of California-Los Angeles
  • Medical degree: University of Texas Southwestern

Jacob Kopp, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: biology, University of California-Los Angeles
  • Master's degree: epidemiology, Columbia University
  • Medical degree: Ross University School of Medicine

Robyn-Ann Lee Hing, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: biology and bioethics with a minor in cultural anthropology, University of Toronto
  • Medical degree: American University of Antigua College of Medicine

Xaimarie Santiago Gonzalez, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: science, University of Puerto-Rico
  • Medical degree: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts

Meet Shah, M.B.Ch.B.

  • Bachelor's degree: University of Manchester School of Medicine, Great Britain, United Kingdom
  • Medical degree: University of Manchester School of Medicine, Great Britain, United Kingdom

Amir Shirazi, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: biology, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Medical degree: Emory University, Atlanta

Yousef Treki, M.B.B.Ch.

  • Bachelor's degree: University of Tripoli Faculty of Medicine
  • Medical degree: University of Tripoli Faculty of Medicine

Sarah Nuzzo, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: biology, University of Georgia, Athens
  • Medical degree: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

Sarah Singh, M.D.

  • Bachelor's degree: biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
  • Master's degree: biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
  • Medical degree: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

 

 

 

St. Mary’s contact: Mark Ralston                                     

AU/UGA Medical Partnership contact: Mary Kathryn Rogers