AU/UGA Medical Partnership, St. Mary’s fill all positions in Internal Medicine Residency Program

St. Mary’s contact: Mark Ralston



AU/UGA Medical Partnership contact: Lindsey  Derrick



Athens, GA – The Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Mary’s is pleased to welcome its seventh class of internal medicine residents in Athens.

The new residents will begin practicing at St. Mary’s Health Care System on July 1 under the supervision of advanced resident physicians and physician faculty from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, as well as area community-based teaching faculty. In addition to providing supervised patient care in Athens, their 3-year residency involves ongoing education and rural healthcare rotations in Greene County.

Residency is the final step in a physician’s education before becoming a fully licensed and independent practitioner.

“This is the third class of residents who are entering the practice of medicine during an ongoing pandemic,” said Jason Smith, M.D., St. Mary’s Chief Medical Officer. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these new physicians in our Class of 2025 will have a unique perspective that will be with them for their entire career.”

The AU/UGA Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program (IMRP) is Northeast Georgia’s first modern graduate medical education program and received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education in October 2016.

“We are honored once again to have received so many truly exceptional applicants to our program,” said Dr. Lela Ward, Program Director for the IMRP. “The supportive medical community, dedicated volunteer faculty, exceptional staff, and commitment of St. Mary’s Health Care System to quality care truly make this an excellent program to learn and to train physicians in Northeast Georgia.”


The IMRP Class of 2025 and the schools at which they completed their medical education are:

·      Abdullah Baosman, DO: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

·      Chelsey Carter, MD: University of Medicine & Health Sciences – St. Kitts

·      Eric Florestan, MD: American University of Antigua College of Medicine

·      Alejandra Garcia Rychtarikova, MD: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

·      Nathan Haverstick, DO: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

·      Ummar Jamal, DO: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

·      Vinod Jeyaretnam, DO: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

·      Sarah Rohrig, MD: St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine

·      Keith Walters, MD: Meharry Medical College

·      Stephanie Watson, DO: Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

·      Tariq Zakaria, DO: Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine


In addition, the program matched a preliminary year intern, Phillip Armstrong, MD, who will complete one year of training with the program before moving on to complete his training in Anesthesiology. He earned his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School.

“We are proud to have these physicians join our residency program. They truly impressed us with their maturity, compassion, scholarly achievements, and dedication to improving the community,” said Dr. Ward.

As the Class of 2025 arrives, the Class of 2022 graduates. One of the physicians, Dr. Robert Seminara, will remain with the program a fourth year to serve as the 2022-23 Chief Resident.

“This is another exciting year in the history of the Internal Medicine Residency Program,” said Montez Carter, St. Mary’s President and CEO. “We are confident this next class will continue the tradition of compassion and excellence demonstrated by their predecessors. St. Mary’s is proud to be an integral part of the IMRP and its success in bringing more medical doctors to Georgia and to the Athens region.”

“I am so excited to have this group of residents join us. Their experiences, diversity, and talent will continue to strengthen the Internal Medicine program,” said AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean Michelle Nuss, MD. “I look forward to seeing what these young physicians will do in our community over the next three years.”

The IMRP is a joint effort by the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s, the program’s Major Participating Site. The program’s goal is to address the physician shortage in Georgia. Residents are medical school graduates who are entering the final stage of their medical education: a three-year, hands-on program with progressive levels of responsibility that ends in certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

In addition to the care they provide at St. Mary’s Hospital, the residents work hand-in-hand with physician faculty at Community Internal Medicine of Athens, located in the Resource Medical Center at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave, Building 200D, 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.

Third-year medical residents also complete a clinical rotation in Greensboro, Ga., where they provide inpatient care at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital. For more information, visit

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

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