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Pediatric Resident Profiles

Current PL-1 Residents

Adora Anudu, MDAdora Anudu, MD

Hometown:  Lagos, Nigeria
Undergrad: University of Toronto
Medical School: University of Limerick, Graduate Entry Medical School
Why SIU Peds:  I feel like this is a pretty close-knit community. It is great to know everyone that you work with on a professional and personal level. There is definitely a sense of community here. I also love the size of the program because of the one on one attention that we get with attendings. This really encourages an environment to learn.
Hobbies: Cooking, baking, reading novels and watching movies
Career plans: Not sure yet! I am keeping an open mind and seeing what residency has to offer

Amy Joseph, MDAmy Joseph, MD

Hometown: Morgantown, WV
Medical School: Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India
Why SIU Peds: When I came here on my interview day, all the residents seemed to really know each other and were really happy to be here. Also, when we spoke with Dr. Patterson, she gave us so many examples about how changes had been made in the program in response to feedback from residents. To me, it spoke a lot to how much the residents were valued. As a resident, I’m really glad that everything I thought during my interview was true!
Hobbies: Exploring new places, hiking, spending time with my friends and family
Career plans: Planning to do a fellowship, just not sure which one yet

Stephanie Leeds, DOStephanie Leeds, DO

Hometown: Boone, IA
Undergrad: Iowa State University
Medical School: Des Moines University
Why SIU Peds: I was looking for a small program close to home. I loved everyone I met on interview day and I knew I would fit right in. The staff really values their residents and everyone loves to teach!
Hobbies: Dance, watching Iowa State athletics, shoe shopping, FaceTiming my dog, and traveling
Career plans: General outpatient pediatrics

Nick Luckert, MDNick Lukert, MD

Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois
Undergrad: Illinois State University
Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Why SIU Peds: I chose SIU because it’s close to home and has everything I’ve ever wanted out of a residency program: small size for a close, tight-knit community feel where everybody knows everybody, a standalone children’s hospital that is the referral center for a majority of the southern half of the state allowing us to see extremely varied pathology, and a wonderful city that is inexpensive, easy to get around, and multiple job opportunities following residency. Springfield is also a fantastic place with many parks for walking my dog and plenty of things to do after work with my wife.
Hobbies: Computers, taking the dog to the park, movies, going out to eat, video games, spending time with my wife and dog.
Career plans: I plan to be a general outpatient pediatrician.

Eman Mosleh, MDEman (Ema) Mosleh, MD

Hometown: East Jerusalem, Palestine
Undergrad: Cornell University
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar
Why SIU Peds: I loved everything about this program when I interviewed. SIU pediatrics is composed of people who encourage learning, compassion, and wellness. There are so many resources for us to use, and resident feedback goes a long way in shaping the program!
Hobbies: Writing, reading, mixed martial arts, playing video games, and pretending to fix my car before I take it to the mechanic.
Career plans: Hoping to go into the field of pediatric hematology & oncology, but who knows! ​

Fatima Tariq, MDFatima Tariq, MD

Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
Medical School: Dow Medical College, Karachi.
Why SIU Peds: Pediatric tertiary care center catering to large amount of population in central Illinois. Dedicated program leadership, learned faculty, courteous and considerate fellow residents and the most fun ancillary staff ever.
Hobbies: hiking, playing muse to my photographer husband, spending time with family and friends, and watching competitive cooking shows.
Career plans: Pediatric Hospitalist.

Marion Were, MD

Hometown:  Kampala, Uganda
Undergrad: (Leave blank if you went straight to med school from high school)
Medical School: Semmelweis University- Budapest, Hungary
Why SIU Peds: I like how open to and supportive of the program when it comes to foreign graduates it truly is as diverse as it says in the bio. Also am so glad I chose the program and it choose me because it is really big on resident wellness and making sure that as we go through what already is a stressful experience (residency) we have a good safety blanket and a community of people who care about your well-being and making sure that you do not burn out. At the end of the day SIU's actions speak way louder than their words and echo them!!
Hobbies: ​The usual: food, TV (Netflix) and hanging out with my friends like Good Ol' Abe! Travel as well, am huge on travel so am glad that the curriculum is set up in a way that you do have breathing space to hop over to Chicago or St. Louis or even NYC if you and your wallet choose.
Career plans: At the moment a cocktail of Gen Peds and Emergency Med is what I fancy but time will tell....after all I am just getting started!

Current PL-2 Residents

Caitlyn Berg, DOCaitlyn Berg, DO

Hometown: Missoula, MT
Undergrad: Montana State University Bozeman MT
Medical School: Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Why SIU Peds: I wanted a smaller program where I could get to know my fellow residents and attendings. I loved the feel when I interviewed here like everyone was family. My husband and I couples matched here together as well (he is family medicine) and the programs have worked together and it has been great!  Springfield is also the biggest city I have lived in and I like that you can get anywhere in twenty minutes, and there is still a lot of things to do and see!
Hobbies: I love spending time at home with my husband and our two dogs when I can. I am the baker of our group and enjoy bringing in treats for everyone periodically. I also love music, quilting, and watching Disney movies!
Career plans: NICU fellowship may be in the distant future, but immediately after graduation I plan on working as a general pediatrician for a while.

Andrew Bernales, MDAndrew Bernales, MD

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Undergrad: University of California, Riverside
Medical School: St. James School of Medicine
Why SIU Peds: ​What I like most about this program is that they care about well-being of their residents.  We have a program director, Dr. Patterson, who listens to our concerns and is very open to make changes to make our program the best that it can be.  Our attending's are very approachable and is eager to take time to teach.  As for my fellow residents, I couldn't ask for a better group of friends.  Whether you are an intern or 3rd year senior, we treat each other the same.  We work as a unit and are always willing to help each other out.  Overall, I think this is a great program that will help me achieve my career goals.​
Hobbies: Hiking, long drives, eating
Career plans: General pediatrics

Sarah Chamanara, DOSarah Chamanara, DO

Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Undergrad: UC Berkeley
Medical School: Touro University Nevada
Why SIU Peds: There's no other place where you can just text an attending for help. Even after you graduate.
Fluid rounds are great, too ;)
Hobbies: Rock climbing, crocheting, sleeping, eating a lot.
Career plans:​ I want to be the very best like no one ever was.

Aya El Jerbi, MDAya El Jerbi, MD

Hometown: Doha, Qatar
Medical School: Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar
Why SIU Peds: It’s a wonderful program! Everyone in the department is so supportive. Residents are diverse and lovely to work with (they’ve become my second family!). Our attendings are very approachable and absolutely love to teach. Our program director always strives to make changes and additions to the program to support resident education and wellness. I’ve had a great experience at SIU and will truly miss everyone when I graduate!
Hobbies: Traveling (I’ve been to 20+ countries!), painting, playing the violin
Career plans: Going towards where the heart is - Pediatric Cardiology fellowship

Zachary Emmons, DOZachary Emmons, DO

Hometown: Ventura, CA
Undergrad: BYU-Idaho
Medical School: Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Why SIU Peds: This is a great program! As residents, we are super supportive of each other, and attendings are approachable and always available to help mentor you towards your career goals. Our program director, Dr. Patterson, is very committed to resident education and is very responsive to resident feedback. She’s always looking for ways to make our time in residency a great experience
Hobbies: Watching baseball (let’s go Dodgers!), hanging out with my wife and kids, speaking Spanish, going for late night walks to unwind
Career plans: Leaning towards doing a fellowship in something hospital-based, but still undecided

Jenna Goeckner, MDJenna Goeckner, MD

Hometown: Effingham, IL
Undergrad: SIU Edwardsville
Medical School: SIU School of Medicine
Why SIU Peds: Because we are like a family! Even during the busiest times we still find a way to have fun. We have each other’s backs.  We are always looking for ways to improve and make things better for everyone. Plus we have a great doctor’s lounge – some of my favorite times are eating with everyone at the “Peds table.”
Hobbies:  Aside from the typical “spending time with my family and friends” and “watching Netflix” I like to read books, go for walks, plan for future travel destinations (when I have the time and money), work on puzzles and paint. I spend a lot of time at the mall getting massages at “You You Spa” and getting pretzels from Auntie Anne’s.  I also spend time trying to balance the heart burn I get from coffee, chocolate, fatty foods and wine with not damaging any organs from excessive H2 blocker/PPI use. I’m passionate about sleep as well.
Career plans: Primary Care probably

Jonathan Schweber, MB.BCh.BAOJonathan Schweber, MB.BCh.BAO

Hometown: Vancouver BC
Medical School: National University of Ireland, Galway
Why SIU Peds: This program provides everything you can ask for a well-rounded residency training program. The wide scope of practice in hospital along with the subspecialty services provide an all-encompassing educational experience. More importantly, this program carries an exceptional group of individuals. Everyone at our program is humble and down to earth, always willing to lend a hand and support one another. We want people for their heart, not just their brains.
Hobbies: Hiking, travelling, camping, skiing.
Career plan: Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship

Current PL-3 Residents

Manasi Hulyalkar, MDManasi Hulyalkar, MD

Hometown: Mumbai, India
Med School: RCSM Government Medical College, Kolhapur
Why SIU: I love our program because it is a relatively smaller size program where residents have a lot more autonomy. We get to work very closely with our subspecialists. The program is also very close knit and everyone is extremely supportive of one another. Our program director is a champion for resident wellness and very receptive to our suggestions. I also have the opportunity of raising my two boys in a wonderful city with a great community and all the amenities.
Hobbies: Travelling, Reading
Career Plans: General Pediatrics and eventually a healthcare leadership role

Aayush Khanal, MDAayush Khanal, MD

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Med School: Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University
Why SIU: I was born and raised in the Himalayas, where I received my initial medical training, a bachelor degree in medicine and surgery (M.B.B.S) , followed by a pediatric residency at the Institute of Medicine. Gradually, it dawned upon me that there was much more to pediatrics than what I had learnt and seen so far. This is what inspired me to pursuit further education and training in the United States. Here at SIU, I found a perfect balance of clinical training, academic and scholarly support, to build on a platform for whatever you may decide to do further down your career path. Also, a strong focus on wellness and resilience, which has helped me and my colleagues achieve a good work life balance. The faculty members, and everyone around the medical campus is so warm, you'll find a home away from your home right away.
Hobbies: I like anything outdoors, am a big fan for Manchester City (soccer), and love to root for the underdogs! I'm also a swimming and a basketball trainer for my 4 year old daughter. I am a beer connoisseur and a good vacation for me would be a road trip along southern Spain and Portugal.
Career Plans: PICU Fellowship

Kavipriya Komeswaran, MDKavipriya Komeswaran, MD

Hometown:  Chennai, India
Medical School: Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, India
Why SIU Peds: I wanted to match close to my husband’s workplace and I loved the program on my interview day. As each day goes by, I am more convinced that this was the perfect choice.
Hobbies: Biking, playing tennis, growing vegetables on my deck and my latest obsession is spending time with my newborn son!
Career plans:  Hopefully PICU fellowship

Jocelyn Lorenzo, MDJocelyn Lorenzo, MD

Hometown: Davao City, Philippines
Undergrad: University of Santo Tomas (UST), Philippines
Medical School: University of Santo Tomas (UST), Philippines
Why SIU Peds: ​This program has been my second family away from home. There is so much love between the residents and we always help each other. We work hard, but we party harder.  Haha. The faculty members are very approachable and eager to teach. We have an amazing program director, Dr. Patterson, who always has our best interest.  Overall, I think this program is great and I would choose this program all over again.
Hobbies: Hiking and road trips! I don't know if eating can be a hobby :)
Career plans: Currently applying for Child Neurology

Megha Malhotra, MDMegha Malhotra, MD

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Undergrad: Dalhousie University
Medical School: Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India
Why SIU Peds:  I was fortunate enough to match at a pediatric residency that is equally devoted to both academic development and resident wellness. Our program is a small, closely-knit community where a resident can cultivate their own interests while meeting high educational standards. As I move onwards in my career, I will leave with wonderful relationships and great memories.
Hobbies: Travelling the world, making friends and spending time with great people
Career plans: Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Jerry Miller, MDJerry Miller, MD

Hometown: Rantoul, IL
Undergrad: Parkland College (Champaign, IL) and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Why SIU Peds: Going to medical school here I grew to appreciate the collegiality among everyone in the residency and at SIU. I also appreciate the involvement of teaching done by our faculty in the hospital, in clinics, and with formal didactics.  
Hobbies: Watching baseball (Cubs) and football (Bears and Illini), running at local parks, golfing, binge watching Netflix shows, and hanging out with friends
Career plans: Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship

Meredith Volle, MDMeredith Volle, MD

Hometown: Springfield, IL
Undergrad: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Med School: SIU School of Medicine
Why SIU Peds: It was just a wonderful fit!  I loved the SIU culture, and after looking at other programs I realized we had something unique.  I appreciated the closeness with the attendings, the opportunities for residents in a smaller program with no fellows, and the focus on creating excellent general pediatricians while helping future specialists reach their career goals as well.
Hobbies: Playing Frozen dress-up with my daughter, walking my dog in the park, finding the perfect Netflix series with my husband, swimming, non-medical reading, collecting vintage clutch purses
Career Goals: Academic General Pediatrics

Past Residents: Where are they now?