Medical Partnership, St. Mary’s welcome first residents

The Internal Medicine Residency Program, a joint effort of the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s Health Care System, is pleased to officially welcome its first class of Internal Medicine residents.

The 10 residents, who began orientation on June 24, officially began work today, July 1, 2015.

“The start of Northeast Georgia’s first residency program is a historic occasion,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO Don McKenna. “It is the product of years of hard work by many people, and offers the state and our community an unprecedented opportunity to enhance access to quality care by attracting a new generation of primary care physicians to our region.”

“We appreciate all that Governor Nathan Deal, the legislature, the Board of Regents, and the leadership of AU and UGA have done to make this program possible,” said Dr. Leslie Lee, interim campus dean of the AU/UGA Medical Partnership. “Through their foresight and dedication, they have provided the support needed to bring this dream to fruition.”

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

The Internal Medicine Residency Program includes five core faculty members, 10 subspecialty education coordinators, and approximately 70 additional faculty for the elective and subspecialty rotations.  These faculty members are actively engaged in providing quality clinical care and medical education on a daily basis.

“The eagerness of our medical staff to serve as faculty is a tremendous asset to our program,” said Bruce Middendorf, M.D., St. Mary’s Chief Medical Officer. “Our residents will be working side-by-side with experienced physicians who are excited to be involved in mentoring the next generation of doctors. I have never seen our medical community so energized.”

“The educational program’s overall goals and objectives are to graduate outstanding competent, knowledgeable and qualified internal medicine physicians, and this is the first step in achieving those goals,” said Michelle A. Nuss, MD, AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education.

The next chapter in the residents’ education began June 24 with five days of intensive orientation to St. Mary’s and the Medical Partnership, including sessions on hospital processes, advanced cardiac life support, and residency program expectations.

“We were very fortunate to match ten outstanding young physicians, and it has been wonderful seeing them come together as a group during orientation,” said Pete Yunyongying, MD, AU/UGA Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Program Director.  “They can’t wait to meet the community of Athens and Northeast Georgia in the coming months.”

The AU/UGA Medical Partnership is a collaborative effort between Augusta University and the University of Georgia and is addressing the critical shortage of physicians in the state. The Medical Partnership combines the significant 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, Inc. 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 services to the surrounding community and Northeast Georgia and is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding quality of care. For more information, visit or follow St. Mary’s on Facebook and Twitter.

The Internal Medicine Residency Program’s first class is:

Brian Brewer, M.D.

  • Undergraduate school: University of Georgia
  • Medical school: AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Heather Brody, M.D., M.Sc.

  • Undergraduate school: Tulane University
  • Graduate school: University of South Florida
  • Medical school: The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Narayana Gowda, M.D.

  • Undergraduate school: University of Georgia
  • Medical school: American University of Antigua College of Medicine

Andrew Ke, M.D.

  • Undergraduate school: University of Georgia
  • Medical school: Ross University School of Medicine

Soma Mandal, M.D., M.P.A.

  • Undergraduate school: Ohio State University
  • Graduate school: New York University
  • Medical school: Albany Medical College

Tenzing Phanthok, M.D., M.S.

  • Undergraduate school: Emory University
  • Graduate school: Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Medical school: University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Akhil Rasim Reddy, M.D.

  • Undergraduate school: University of Georgia
  • Medical school: St. George’s University School of Medicine

Sonia Suda, M.D.

  • Undergraduate school: Duke University
  • Medical school: Tulane School of Medicine

Kyle Walker, M.D., M.S.

  • Undersgraduate school: University of Georgia
  • Graduate school: Georgetown University
  • Medical school: Ross University School of Medicine

Addison Zhang, M.D.

  • Undergraduate school: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Medical school: American University of Antigua College of Medicine

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

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