AU/UGA Medical Partnership & St. Mary’s announce second class of physician residents

For the second year in its two-year history, the Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Mary’s has filled all 10 openings for its new class of medical residents. The new residents will join the 10 new physicians who began providing care at St. Mary’s last year as Northeast Georgia’s first-ever medical residents.


“We are very pleased that in the second year of our joint residency program, we have once again filled all available positions,” said Don McKenna, St. Mary’s President and CEO. “To me, this speaks volumes about the attractiveness of our program to the next generation of physicians. We are proud to be an integral part of this effort to bring more medical doctors to Georgia and to the Athens region in particular.”


The Internal Medicine Residency Program is a joint effort by the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s Health Care System to address the physician shortage in Georgia. Residents are graduates of medical school who are completing the last stage of their medical education, a three-year, hands-on educational program that ends in full certification and licensure to practice. The second class of residents will start at St. Mary’s, which serves as the IMRP’s Major Participating Site, on July 1, 2016.


The program received 1,848 applications for this year’s 10 openings. A committee made up of Internal Medicine Residency Program faculty, several local physicians, and leaders from St. Mary’s and the Medical Partnership, interviewed 111 candidates. Candidates typically interview with multiple programs. Afterward, the candidates and the programs rank their preferences, then the National Residency Matching Program determines placements. Residents learn which program they have been matched with on Match Day, held on the third Friday of March every year.


The Internal Medicine Residency Program appointments for 2016 and the schools at which they completed their undergraduate, graduate and medical education are:


Waqas Ahmad – From Florida. Bachelor’s degree: Loyola University, Chicago; Medical degree: American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine Sint Maarten
Kristina Catania – From Chicago. Bachelor’s degree: Florida State University; Master’s degree: Davenport University; Medical degree: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts
Seth Courson – From Augusta, Ga. Bachelor’s degree: UGA; Medical degree: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Mary De Croos – From Florida. Bachelor’s degree: Duke University; Medical degree: University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts
Zachary Di Iulio – From Oklahoma. Bachelor’s degree: Augusta State University; Medical degree: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Bennett Gladden – From Missouri. Bachelor’s degree: University of Kansas; Medical degree: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Sandeep Jalli – From: Augusta, Ga. Bachelor’s degree: Cornell University; Medical degree: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Martin Kagira – From Kenya. Bachelor’s degree: Beulah Heights University; Medical degree: Mercer University School of Medicine
Zachary Newman – From Tennessee. Bachelor’s degree: Capital University; Master’s degrees from Marietta College and George Washington University; Medical degree: St. George’s University School of Medicine
Rida Younus – From New York. Bachelor’s degree: New York Institute of Technology; Medical degree: International American University College of Medicine


This second class of residents has strong connections to Georgia. Nine of the 10 have ties to the state, ranging from being born here to having served in the Armed Forces in our state. One is a graduate of the University of Georgia, two earned their medical degrees from Georgia universities, and three others completed medical clerkships in this state.


“Commitment, hard work, and a passion to improve healthcare are all necessary for the ongoing development of our residency program,” said AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean Michelle Nuss, M.D. “We are excited to reach our next milestone in this collaborative effort to provide a high quality Internal Medicine residency program. It is a compliment to the community of Athens and our area’s physicians that we received more than 1,800 applications. Our team worked hard to identify individuals who would be the best fit for this program. These 10 individuals will help address the need for more physicians in the State of Georgia.”


The second class of IMRP residents will arrive in Athens for orientation on June 20, 2016. When they begin their residencies on July 1, the first class of residents, who started in 2015, will proceed to the second year of the three-year program. This progress brings increasing independence and responsibility for the second-year residents, including assisting in the education of the first-year residents.


In addition to the care they provide at St. Mary’s Hospital, the residents also work hand-in-hand with physician faculty at Community Internal Medicine of Athens in the Resource Medical Center at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave, Athens. This full-fledged outpatient practice provides primary wellness care, sick care and chronic disease management for adults, and accepts most major forms of insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and self-pay, with financial assistance available to those who qualify.


“Being the site of the first medical residency program in Northeast Georgia continues to be a tremendous honor for St. Mary’s,” said Bruce Middendorf, M.D., St. Mary’s Chief Medical Officer. “Residents bring new energy and enthusiasm into our clinical areas. At the same time, working with these new physicians is exciting for our medical staff. We are looking forward to welcoming our second class of residents and to working with them to further raise the bar for clinical excellence at St. Mary’s and across Northeast Georgia. This is a great day for our community.”


“It is remarkable that a new program filled all its positions in both of its first two years,” said Pete Yunyongying, M.D., Director of Graduate Medical Education for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. “This fact demonstrates that these applicants were impressed by the faculty, the physicians, the staff, the hospital, and the opportunity in Northeast Georgia.”


St. Mary’s contact: Mark Ralston



AU/UGA Medical Partnership contact: Jennifer Marie Adams


For more information about attending the Medical College of Georgia at the Medical Partnership campus

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