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More About Our Residents

Chief Residents (PGY 5)

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.



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 4 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 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.



PGY 3 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 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. 



PGY 2 Residents

Mary "Cat" Brandt, MD

Hometown:  Bloomington, Illinois

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 Kauffman, DO

Hometown:  Fayetteville, North Carolina

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, Iowa

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, Indiana

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.


PGY 2 Residents

Alison Embalabala, MD

Hometown:  Athens, Illinois

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, Missouri

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, North Dakota

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, New York

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.