Internal Medicine Residency Program Celebrates Graduates

On Friday, June 12, the third class of the Augusta University/ University of Georgia Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program in partnership with St. Mary’s Health Care System celebrated their graduation in the Flower Suites at St. Mary’s.

Graduates and select staff members attended the ceremony in person while family, friends, and faculty members joined virtually via Zoom due to social distancing regulations.

Dr. Achilia Morrow, Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, made the opening remarks and was followed by AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean, Dr. Shelley Nuss, and Montez Carter, President and CEO of St. Mary’s.

Nuss congratulated the group on three years of hard work and commended them on ending their residency career in the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want you to feel really good about the work you’ve done over the last three years,” said Nuss. “You’ve been challenged, pushed, and worked to the brink. You’ve been faced with taking care of patients in an unprecedented pandemic like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Remember that you are stronger because of it. Know that you’re ready. You are ready for the next phase of your journey.”

Residents are graduates of medical school who are working toward full licensure as independent physicians. The Internal Medicine Residency Program is a three-year program with increasing levels of independence. It’s the final stage in their internal medicine education. At the end of the three-year program, they will sit for their Boards and then either go into practice or continue into training for a specialty.

The IMRP is accredited to host up to 34 residents. They provide supervised inpatient care at St. Mary’s Hospital on Baxter Street and outpatient care at Community Internal Medicine of Athens on Oglethorpe Avenue. In addition, third year residents spend two months in a rural healthcare setting, providing inpatient care at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital and outpatient care at TenderCare Clinic, both in Greensboro.

Two of the 13 residents will remain at St. Mary’s in Athens—Amir Shirazi, MD, will be a Hospitalist, and Sarah Nuzzo, MD, will serve as the Chief Resident.

Four of the other residents will keep their talents in the South— John Crawley, MD, will serve as a Hospitalist in North Carolina, Jane Fon-Ndikum, MD, a Hospitalist in Texas, Amit Koduri, MD, will peruse a Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Texas – Houston, and Xaimarie Santiago, MD, will be a Hospitalist in South Carolina.

Shirazi said staying at St. Mary’s to continue his career was an easy decision.

“I’m beyond excited to continue working in Athens. Georgia is where I call home. Having spent the past three years training in Athens and forming friendships with so many people at St. Mary’s, I’m privileged to continue these friendships into the next phase of my career,” said Shirazi. “There are many reasons why St. Mary’s is a wonderful place to provide care for patients. Some of the many reasons include a truly outstanding nursing and support staff, top tier physician colleagues, and the opportunity to teach future physicians.”


The Class of 2020:

Waqas Ahmad, MD—Outpatient Medicine, Illinois

John Crawley, MD— Hospitalist, North Carolina

Joshua Estep, MD— Hospitalist, Oregon

Jane Fon-Ndikum, MD—Hospitalist, Texas

Sandeep Jalli, DO—Samaritan Health Services Cardiology Fellowship, Oregon

Amit Koduri, MD— Cardiology Fellowship, University of Texas – Houston

Jacob Kopp, MD—Hospitalist, California

Robyn-Ann Lee Hing, MD –Hospitalist, TBD

Sarah Nuzzo, MD—Chief Resident, St. Mary’s

Xaimarie Santiago, MD— Hospitalist, South Carolina

Meet Shah, MD— Cardiology Fellowship, Deborah Heart & Lung Institute- New Jersey

Amir Shirazi, MD— Hospitalist, St. Mary’s

Yousef Treki, MD –Hospitalist, TBD


Winners from the End of the Year Awards Ceremony

*The following awards were determined by votes from their colleagues and peers.


Subspecialty Attending of the Year:  Alan Morgan, MD

Cardiology Attending of the Year: J. Lauren Dowling, DO

Hospitalist of the Year: Andrew Ke, MD & Robert Meyer, MD

ICU Attending of the Year: Nick Fox, MD

Faculty of the Year: Robert Meyer, MD

Rotation of the Year: ICU

Intern of the Year: Maureen Onweni, MD

Resident of the Year: Caridad Padron, MD

Senior Resident of the Year: Meet Shah, MBChB

Outstanding Professionalism & Ethics: Meet Shah, MBChB

St. Mary’s Nursing Choice Award: Zoheb Sulaiman, DO

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