More About Our Residents

Chief Residents (PGY 5)

Ahmad Aulakh, DO

Hometown:  Baytown, TX; born & raised in Pakistan
Medical School:  Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Why SIU?  The friendly environment is why I came here. My interviews were very laid back and I did not feel stressed. One of the things I loved at that time as the interview season is a stressful process. I like the small city feeling. I live 5 minutes from the hospital and there is no traffic! Living in Houston...that is a big deal! I sat in many conferences during interviews, the SIU conference was the best. Not because it was earlier, but it was less malignant and people were pleasant at asking follow-up questions. It was a true discussion session. We have Dr. Mellinger!

Sam Knight, MD

Hometown:  Alberta, Calgary
Medical School:  Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Why SIU?  I can not imagine a residency program where I would be happier than SIU. From the moment I arrived for my interview, I was struck by how friendly and welcoming everyone was, the residents are truly not just co-workers but friends, the faculty cares so much for their residents as individuals, and lastly, the well earned renowned reputation for excellence in teaching. The state-of-the-art skills center also blew me away on interview day. I remember thinking how lucky I would be to match here, and continue to be thankful every day that I did!

Olivia M. White, MD

Hometown:  Warsaw, IL
Medical School:  University of Illinois College of Medicine - Peoria
Why SIU?  I rotated at SIU as a medical student and knew almost immediately that I wanted to train here. The resident's camaraderie and the attending's dedication to teaching were exactly what I wanted in a residency program.

Jordan Wood, MD

Hometown:  Danville, IL
Medical School:  University of Illinois College of Medicine - Peoria
Why SIU?  I chose SIU because of the great community of residents and faculty. There is a strong culture of support between residents and from faculty that makes it a great place to be a resident. As a mid-sized teaching hospital, this program provides ample operative experience and great preparation for community practice in general surgery.

Residents (PGY 4)

Kanika Chawla, MD

Hometown:  Delhi, India
Medical School:  St. Louis University School of Medicine
Why SIU?  I chose SIU program because of the rapport I saw between the residents as a group and with the attendings. As a trainee, it was not only important to go to a program where I would get a robust surgical education but also where I would be a part of a close-knit group working towards a common goal of becoming and educating skilled and safe surgeons.

Phila Gebremedhin, MD

Hometown:  Asmara, Eritrea
Medical School:  Addis Ababa University Faculty of Medicine
Why SIU?  I chose SIU because of its commitment and achievements in surgical education, providing a well rounded surgical education program. The program’s solid foundation to nurture one's surgical career with extremely collegial surgeons who are respected in their fields and tremendous educators is so remarkable. I have found the faculty, residents and staff to be phenomenal and provide every resident a truly nurturing environment to advance their career.

Brandon Sauer, MD

Hometown:  Kawkawlin, MI
Medical School:  Central Michigan University College of Medicine
Why SIU?  I chose SIU for its focus on teaching and the collegial / family-like environment between all the residents and staff. 

Wahid Souala, MD

Hometown:  Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Medical School:  Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Why SIU?  I enjoyed my interview experience and I had the best feeling towards the program and the city. It is a very friendly and welcoming program with excellent resources and surgical training. 

Residents (PGY 3)

Mary "Cat" Brandt, MD

Hometown:  Bloomington, IL
Medical School:  Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Why SIU?  I chose SIU because as a medical student here I could walk into the doctor's lounge and be invited to sit down with the residents and attendings to go over everything from basic anatomy to the nuances of various operative plans. I felt like a part of the team from day one. SIU has been my home for over four years now and I'm glad to be here for another five. 

Megan Welborn, DO

Hometown:  Fayetteville, NC
Medical School:  Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
Why SIU?  I chose SIU because of the program's excellence in leadership and education, culture of teamwork and family, and the opportunity to train with surgeons who share my passion for global surgery.

Sean O'Malley, MD

Hometown:  Clinton, IA
Medical School:  Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Why SIU?  I chose to train at SIU because of the program's nationally known reputation for surgical leadership and education. The staff and residents create a friendly, patient-centered learning environment with the perfect blend of academic and community surgical training. 

Supriya Shah, MD

Hometown:  Baroda, IN
Medical School:  Indiana University School of Medicine
Why SIU?  I chose SIU because of the excellence of the program, the learning opportunities, dedicated attendings, and most importantly the passion and comradery between residents.

Residents (PGY 2)

Alison Embalabala, MD

Hometown:  Athens, IL
Medical School:  Indiana University School of Medicine
Why SIU?  I felt that the faculty were very approachable and committed to resident education. I also like how supportive the residents were of each other and felt that it is an excellent environment to learn.

Calvin Korba, MD

Hometown:  Washington, MO
Medical School:  University of Missouri - Kansas City
Why SIU? The residents and faculty are so welcoming. SIU has excellent surgical education.

Wendy Lim, MD

Hometown:  Grand Forks, ND
Medical School:  University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Why SIU?  Everyone was very welcoming during the interview and I wanted to stay in the Midwest.

Bryan Mistretta, DO

Hometown:  Commack, NY
Medical School:  Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences (College of Osteopathic Medicine)
Why SIU?  I rotated at SIU as a medical student and fell in love with the program and facilities. There was a strong sense of family between the residents and the faculty was clearly invested in the success of the residents. I knew it would be a great place to train.

Residents (PGY 1)

Ize Anumah, MD

Ize Anumah

Hometown: Kogi, Nigeria
Medical School: All Saints University School of Medicine, Dominica
Why SIU?  I wanted a program where I would not only train to become a great surgeon but would also be part of close knit community and it was evident that SIU could offer that.

Krista Bonney, MD

Krista Bonney

Hometown: Fletcher, NC
Medical School: East Tennessee State University – Quillen College of Medicine – Johnson City, TN
Why SIU?  I was impressed with the evident camaraderie within this program and their focus on resident education. I was excited about the opportunities SIU has to rotate in a rural setting, and their attention to technical skills with an in depth, ongoing skills lab.

Melissa Justo, MD

Melissa Justo

Hometown:  New York City, NY
Medical School: University of Tennessee Health Science Center – Memphis, TN
Why SIU? The strong sense of community and commitment to education.

Daniel Suiter, MD

Daniel Suiter

Hometown: Clarksville, TN
Medical School: East Tennessee State University – Quillen College of Medicine – Johnson City, TN
Why SIU?  When I interviewed at SIU, I felt the residents were a cohesive group who cared about each other as people, and they respected each other for more than their ability as a co-resident. This grounded atmosphere in the residents and faculty I met on interview day made me feel SIU was a place I could grow in excellence as a Surgeon in training and meet the needs of my patients.