Current Residents


Jac Cooper, MDJac Cooper, MD

Hometown: Valparaiso, IN

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine – Indianapolis, IN

Why SIU?: I enjoy the collegial relationship between attending and residents.  The focus on surgical education also greatly benefits resident training.


James Regan, MBChB James Regan, MB,ChB

Medical School: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


Erin Bailey, M.D.

Hometown: Hopedale, IL

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago

Why SIU?: I followed my heart



Elaine-Jayne Buckley, M.D.

Hometown: Cranbrook, British Columbia

Medical School: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Why SIU?: When I applied to SIU I didn't know very much about Springfield or the surrounding area. The welcoming, friendly, approachable nature of everyone I met in Springfield made me know this was a place I would find support and encouragement throughout residency. Dr. Mellinger, the general surgery staff, and the residents approach residency to find a balance between autonomy and support. I was thrilled to be accepted to SIU General Surgery for residency and have found a new home here in Springfield.


Ben Rejowski, M.D.

Hometown: Burr Ridge, IL

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis

Why SIU?: I wanted an academic surgery program that focused on broad-based general surgery and allowed for early hands-on experience. SIU accomplishes both in the setting of a well established faculty and supportive colleagues.


Emily Sturm, M.D.

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis

Why SIU?: I felt there was a good deal of integrity among the faculty.  I also appreciated the emphasis on resident education; they really seemed genuinely invested in teaching.


Susan Wetzel, M.D.

Hometown: Westerville, OH

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis



Melanie Barnard, MD

Hometown: Kampala, Uganda

Medical School:  Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University

Why SIU?  Good training, friendly and positive atmosphere, and location near my husband's family.


John Bauman, MD

Hometown:  Belleville, IL

Medical School:  SIU School of Medicine

Why SIU?  The people.  Really impressed by both the residents and attendings, people who enjoy teaching and learning in a friendly environment.  That makes the whole experience better for the doctors, and also the patients.


Amir Khan, MD

Hometown:  Scottsbluff, Nebraska

Medical School:  University of Nebraska College of Medicine

Why SIU?  I chose SIU because of the program'ss excellent leadership from level of Program Chair/Director to senior/junior house staff and its friendly environment.  Additionally, the program has aspects of both a community and academic program.


Nader Tehrani, MD

Hometown:  Battle Creek, MI

Medical School:  Albany Medical College

Why SIU?  I chose SIU because of the friendly, encouraging atmosphere and the emphasis on education.  The faculty and staff at SIU are truly committed to resident training.



Mike Ivers, MD

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Medical School: University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine

Why SIU?: I chose SIU because everyone, from interns to attendings, place a premium on education and work together to take care of patients.

Mike Kiefer, MD

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Medical School: Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine

Why SIU?: For a small program with great generalist training. For relationships with faculty who can know me, and trust me because they know me. For a chance to serve a community that straddles the line between rural and urban. For a midwest adventure.

Erin MacKinney, MD

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin

Why SIU?: The residents seemed like they were family and the faculty were kind and genuine.  It seemed like a place where I could have fun learning surgery.

Matt Smith, DO

Hometown: Decatur, IL

Medical School: University of Missouri - Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Why SIU?: I liked the mix between a community/clinically based program while still having good opportunities for research.  I also liked the sense of family I got from the residents when I came to visit.


Sarah Fedeli, MD

Hometown:  Bloomington, IL

Medical School:  University of Washington

Why SIU:  Friendly, approachable people; emphasis on surgical education and simulation; proximity to family.

Jim Feimster, MD

Hometown: Byron, IL

Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Why SIU: SIU has a national reputation for being the front-runners in the development of surgical education and training general surgeon leaders with an emphasis in teaching. The faculty, residents and staff create a learning environment that is family-friendly, supportive, and conducive for developing the essentials for an academic or private general surgery practice. Lastly, the new surgical skills lab is a one-of-a-kind facility with amazing staff that help hone the residents' skills via simulation.

Maria Rossi, MD

Hometown: Morton, Illinois

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine- Peoria

Why SIU:​  I wanted a residency program that would not only enable me to become a highly skilled and academically sound surgeon, but also one that would provide me with a supportive environment. After meeting the staff, residents and faculty, I knew SIU was the best place for me. The program places an emphasis on resident education, early operative experience and guidance from remarkable surgeons who are interested in teaching and helping their residents succeed. 

Garrett Shackleton, MD

Hometown:  Mason City, IA

Medical School:  University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

Why SIU:  I have always lived in the Midwest and I wanted to stay somewhere close to home for residency.  I felt that SIU was the most committed to maintaining high standards for resident education out of all of the programs that I interviewed with.  The residents and faculty were all friendly and easy to talk to, and I knew it would be a great learning environment for surgical training.