Pediatric Resident Profiles
Monica Abdelnour, MD
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Undergrad: Bachelor's of Science Major Genetics at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Medical School: National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Why SIU Peds: I come from a city in Canada that is filled with friendly and close knit people just like in Springfield. The kind and approachable nature of everyone at SIU was clearly demonstrated during my interview period. As this was something I searched for in a residency to enable my growth and learning in the next few years, I knew I can find my home and niche with the SIU Pediatrics family.
Career plans: I am interested in Infectious Disease and Inpatient Pediatrics but very open to seeing what else interests me!
Afreen Abraham, MD
Hometown: Ernakulam, India
Medical School: Kilpauk Medical College, Chennai, India
Why SIU Peds: It seemed like the perfect place to learn. Being a small program everyone knew each other so well. Everyone was so welcoming right from the interview day. The seniors and the staff were so approachable and the program seemed to really care about their residents. It's like a home away from home. Can't thank God enough for the fabulous group of co-residents! Each day gives me a new reason to why I would choose SIU all over again if I had to.
Career plans: More inclined towards general pediatrics, but will figure out through residency.
Yuri Fedorovich, MD
Hometown: This is a complex question. Half of my life I grew up in Dolyna, a small town founded in 10th century, within the Carpathian Mountains, in Ukraine. In high school I moved to Marion in southern Illinois and stayed there until my next move to Springfield, IL five years before my residency start date.
Undergrad: Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
Why SIU Peds: great community, variety of medical cases, resident centered program, staff who are always ready to help and answer questions, residents that I enjoy working with, free food and parking, no traffic, great location in between Chicago and St. Louis, and of course, I did not have to move to a new place after medical school.
Hobbies: Learning and exploring what I have not done before, hiking, running, working on my car since the engine light keeps coming on, sketching, catching up on movies I’ve missed.
Career plans: In search of a best hectic environment that I enjoy working in.
Sarah Furqan, MD
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
Medical School: Jinnah Sindh Medical University
Why SIU Peds: I aspired to be part of an outstanding pediatric residency program that focuses on the development of the next generation of doctors who cater the changing needs of medicine.
Career Plans: Fellowship in Neonatology.
Mohammad Jaber, MD
Hometown: Savoy IL
Undergrad: Electrical Engineering at UIUC
Med school: UIC Urbana campus
Why SIU peds: I loved how kind the residents were on my interview and I wanted to be close to home.
Career plans: I am considering NICU. I am open to other options too.
Vani Krishna, MD
Hometown: Cochin, India
Medical School: Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University
Why SIU Peds: The sense of belonging I felt on my interview day is what made me want to be part of this group. The leadership has been responsive and my colleagues are a joy to work with.
Career plan: still deciding between fellowship choices
Doug Meyer, DO
Hometown: Peshtigo, WI
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Medical School: University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
Why SIU Peds: SIU Peds is a small program in the Midwest, offering a place to learn how to be a pediatrician close to family (if you are from the Midwest). The program really looks at the whole person, focusing on resident education and well-being, while remaining true to patient centered care. I felt like a part of a family during my interview and feel this is even truer today!
Career plans: General pediatrics in a rural setting
Usha Ravi, MD
Hometown: Vizag, India
Medical School: Taishan Medical University, Shandong, China
Why SIU Peds: I loved the way I felt when I met the residents on the pre-interview dinner and felt really welcomed by everyone on the interview day. I knew right away that SIU Peds is the place I wanted to be.
Career Plans: I want to do a fellowship in the future but not sure which one as of now!
Adora 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, 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, 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 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 (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, 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!
Caitlyn 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, 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, 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, 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, DO
Hometown: Ventura, CA
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, 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.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