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More About Our Residents

Chief Residents (PGY 5)

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.



Ali 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.



PGY 4 Residents

Rajaie Hazboun, MD

Hometown:  Amman, Jordan 

Medical School: University of Jordan Faculty of Medicine

Why SIU?:  The collegial environment, history of excellence in surgical education and a faculty that is invested in resident education.


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.


PGY 3 Residents

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.


PGY 2 Residents

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 becuase 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 centre also blew me away on interview day. I remember thinking how lucky I would be to match here, and continue to be thankful everyday 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.



PGY 1 Residents

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 the 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.