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Class of 2023

Austin Beason, MD

Hometown: Mattoon, Illinois
Undergraduate: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

About Me: I enjoy playing basketball, craft beer and live music. 

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: ​SIU has a proven track record for graduating technically-skilled, well-rounded orthopaedic surgeons. This reputation, the collegial atmosphere, and the robust operative exposure (even as junior residents) made SIU an obvious first choice for me. The early, hands-on experience as a junior resident is unmatched and our one-on-one training with attendings provides us with a personal and effective surgical education experience. We continue to match graduating residents into top-ranked fellowship programs​ and our training, research opportunities and community engagement prepare us well for both private and academic practice. On top of that, Springfield is a perfect place to live. Housing is economical, traffic is minimal and there's always something going on to entertain you for an evening. Also, if you're into Abe Lincoln - we've got all the sites and history you can handle. 

Avinash Inabathula, MD

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergraduate: Indiana University
Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine

About Me: I enjoy hiking, carpentry, working with computer hardware, playing baseball and watching the Colts and/or Pacers win. I was born in India and raised in Indiana.  My interest in orthopedics stemmed from growing up using power tools for home construction as a hobby, playing baseball in high school, and from my experiences during medical school. 

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: What I want out of residency is a solid but adaptable foundation on which I could build my practice as a future surgeon. At the same time, I wanted to be able to adapt th SIU really stood out to me as a program where residents were able to start honing their skills early and emerge from the program ready for general practice or fellowship. This is all within the framework of a one-on-one teaching system for each rotation, meaning every rotation fully immerses residents in a particular style of practice. No one leaves the program having been exposed to only one method of treating a problem. Because of this, I knew I would be able to adapt to changes in the field if I trained here. For me, SIU seemed like an excellent fit.

Erlena (Lena) Josifi, MD

Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois
Undergraduate: Vanderbilt University
Graduate School: Georgetown University
Medical School: University of Illinois at Peoria

About Me: I was originally born in Albania and my family immigrated to the US when I was in first grade. I go back any chance I get and love that I get to call someplace so beautiful and unique home. In college, I was a walk on cross country and track athlete and now I run marathons. My goal is to run all 6 World Marathon Majors. I’ve got Tokyo and Berlin left. Boston has by far my favorite experience! When I’m not running, I’m watching Cubs baseball, practicing yoga, hiking/outdoors, drinking coffee, and controlling my wanderlust.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU because for the early operative experience and the fact that it is a community program with a family feel. I was looking for a place where I’d have an abundant opportunity to hone operative skills in a collegial environment. With two level 1 trauma centers and both supervised and graduated autonomy, this program will set me up for a successful career after residency.