Residency Program Celebrates Fifth Graduating Class

On Friday, June 10, the fifth 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 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel.

The night began with a welcome from program director for the Internal Medicine Residency, Dr. Lela Ward. Guests then moved on to a dinner buffet followed by opening remarks from Medical Partnership campus dean, Dr. Shelley Nuss.

“To our graduates, you should be so proud, and your families should be so proud. This is a major milestone. Wear your white coat with pride,” said Nuss. “The pandemic has been a challenge for everybody in healthcare from nurses to physicians and beyond. I know you have done tireless work taking extra calls, and dealing with death, and sorrow, and sadness for many days, so thank you. Thank you to your service to your patients and to the community.”

Nuss was followed by Jeff Brown, FACHE, vice president of operations at St. Mary’s.

“St. Mary’s could not have gotten through this pandemic without you,” said Brown. “You hung in there the entire way. Even as the circles around your eyes got bigger and darker, you kept smiling, and I appreciate that. This program has become a foundational part of St. Mary’s, and we have appreciated your presence every day.”

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 train up to 37 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 in Greensboro.

Eight of the 11 residents from the Class of 2022 are staying in the southeast, including Dr. Robert Seminara who will serve as next year’s chief resident for the program.


The Class of 2022

Kajal Joshi, MD – Hospitalist, Athens, GA

Akhila Madala, MD – Primary Care, Athens, GA

Umair Majoka, MD – Hospitalist, Springfield, IL

Maureen Onweni, MD – Research, Atlanta, GA

Marjory Pesek, MD – Primary Care, Greenville, SC

Nathaniel Rodriguez, MD – Sleep Medicine Fellowship, UAB

Juan Salazar Castillo, MD – Locum Tenens, Georgia

Amtul Shafi, MD – Endocrinology Fellowship, John Stronger Hospital, Chicago, IL

Robert Seminara, MD – Chief Resident

Kevin Shapiro, MD – Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship, Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO

Zoheb Sulaiman, DO – Infectious Disease Fellowship, Augusta University, Augusta, GA


Winners from the End of the Year Awards Ceremony

The following awards were determined by voting from colleagues and peers.


Faculty Awards:

Cardiology Attending of the Year: Hiren Patel, MD
Hospitalist of the Year: Amir Shirazi, MD
Intensivist of the Year: Nick Fox, MD
Subspecialty Attending of the Year: Alan Morgan, MD
Faculty of the Year: Andy Albritton, MD
Resident Awards:

Intern of the Year: Jalessa Graham, MD & Alexandria Hoy, MD
Resident of the Year: Eliud Pabon, MD
Senior Resident of the Year: Robert Seminara, MD
Everyday Hero Award: Marjory Pesek, MD

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