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More About Our Residents

Class of 2020

Andrew J Mitchelson, MD

Hometown: Taylorville, Illinois
Undergraduate: Saint Louis University
Medical School: Southern Illinois University

About Me: Food. Carpentry. Wine. Camping. Orthopaedics. These are the things I like, though not necessarily in this order.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: During my medical school rotations, I was continually impressed by the quality of education and the hands-on approach to learning orthopaedics. The community-based faculty provide exposure to high volume, practical orthopaedic surgery that prepares graduates for real world practice.  The support from the hospitals is meaningful. And finally, the tight-knit residency made SIU a great fit.

David C Tapscott, MD

Hometown: Edinburg, Illinois
Undergraduate: Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Medical School: University of Missouri School of Medicine

About Me: I’m a local resident. I grew up in Christian County. I got a degree in mechanical engineering from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. After that I went to medical school at Mizzou.  From there I transitioned into the orthopedic residency here at Southern Illinois University.  My wife and I have one beautiful daughter.  I enjoy sports, motorsports, and mountain biking and kayaking. I hunt and fish on a regular basis.  I’m very lucky to be in my home area and have my family around me during my residency. 

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I did my medical training at a Midwestern program with a good orthopedic surgery residency. However, when I rotated at Southern Illinois, I noticed that their young residents scrubbed more cases, and did more surgery than their counterparts at my home program. I wanted the autonomy and one to one surgical training that was offered here.  I feel that the chief residents at Southern act, think, and operate at the level of young attendings due to their good training. Double scrubbing cases, even as a junior resident, is extremely rare. We have more attendings than we do residents, so our case availability is amazing.  I’ve been very happy with my choice to come here. At Southern we enjoy a very supportive and engaged faculty who have a high volume of cases. We are very well supported both by our residency classmates and our town faculty. I would recommend our program to anyone.

Craig Wilson, MD

Hometown: Galesburg, Illinois
Undergraduate: Augustana College
Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

About Me: I’m very intelligent, athletic, handsome, and humble.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho:  I went to SIU for medical school and saw first hand the excellent training the residents received. The attendings and community are very invested in the program and the residents as individuals. The surgical experience here begins early as interns leading to competent surgeons graduating our program

Class of 2021

Kory Blank, MD

Hometown: Wayne City, Illinois
Undergraduate: Eastern Illinois University
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine

About Me: I was born and raised in Southern Illinois. I have a three and a half year old son that looks exactly like me, unfortunately for him. When not working, I enjoy running and watching the latest Paw Patrol episode to see what hijinks Cat Boy, Gecko, and Owlette have gotten themselves into.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU because it was immediately clear that the residents I spoke with at the interview had very similar goals to my own. I would like to practice in a small Southern Illinois town after graduation, and no other program I interviewed at was as tailored to that goal as SIU. 

Christine DiPompeo, MD

Hometown: Elmhurst, Illinois
Undergraduate: Northwestern University
Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago

About Me: I majored in English in college and had a less traditional path into medicine. I enjoy weekend getaways to the mountains for hiking. I have three dogs and I am always looking to rescue one more. I am interested in Spine and Sports Medicine.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU due to the large community presence and the early operative experience. I also liked how well the residents got along with one another. The program is the perfect size and we all get along well and are able to have a good time outside of work.

Ryan O’Rourke, MD

Hometown: Joliet, Illinois
Undergraduate: University of St. Francis
Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine

About Me: Grew up in a southwest suburb of Chicago; Chicago sports fan; collegiate soccer player; proud father of four children; enthusiast for craft beer, grilling, and smoking meat.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU because of the extraordinary surgical experience. It is a very hands-on program for the residents with early exposure in the OR, even as interns. Rarely, do we "double scrub". It is also a smaller learning environment and we build a strong repoire with the attending faculty.​

Class of 2022

Paul Al-Attar, MD

Hometown: Rochester Hills, Michigan
Undergraduate: University of Michigan
Medical School: University of Michigan Medical School

About Me: I'm a native of the great state of Michigan. I love watching Michigan football (Go Blue!) and Detroit sports. I played soccer in college and am a big follower of international soccer. I also can read, write, and speak Arabic. My hobbies include tailgating, working out, traveling, and eating Middle Eastern food.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: SIU is a humble, busy Midwest program which offers a multitude of exposure to standard as well as complex Orthopedic care. We have more attendings than residents which gives us the opportunity to work in an apprenticeship model during our different subspecialty rotations. We get into the OR early and often starting intern year and are often one-on-one with our attendings.. SIU offers the opportunity to be trained as a confidently skilled surgeon and clinician who is ready to go immediately into practice, if not to pursue additional training in a top fellowship program.

Brian Kurcz, MD

Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois
Undergraduate: Northern Michigan University, Northwestern University
Medical School: Chicago Medical School

About Me: I'm a Chicago native, in the past I had a career as an engineer for Samsung, but made the change to medicine and orthopaedics as my passion. I enjoy hockey, biking, the outdoors and skiing. 

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU for the mentorship, community model based on exposure and operative abundance at all levels.

Hamadi Murphy, MD

Hometown: Winter Park, Florida
Undergraduate: University of Michigan
Medical School: University of Cincinnati Medical School

About Me: Hamadi Murphy is a member of the SIU Orthopaedic Surgery class of 2022.  He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  He then obtained a Masters in Physiology at the University of Cincinnati before matriculating into medical school there as well.  He completed medical school in 2016 and started residency at SIU in 2017.  In his free time he enjoys traveling, playing basketball, and the outdoors.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU because they have a great reputation for training competent and skilled orthopaedic surgeons.  I believe the apprenticeship model here allows us to participate in all aspects of patient care from day one, and this enables us to develop our skills both inside and outside the OR from the very start.  In addition the camaraderie amongst the residents makes this a great place to train.  The attending’s are also very supportive and approachable which makes residency here a good experience.  

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.

Class of 2024

James "Ross" Bailey, MD

Hometown: Memphis, TN
Undergraduate: University of Memphis
Medical School: Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University

About Me: I was born and raised in Memphis, TN. I did my undergraduate training there and ran a lawn and landscaping business there for several years before heading to the other end of the state to pursue my medical degree. My hobbies include hunting, fishing, playing intramural sports, golfing, traveling, playing music, and furniture making. I enjoy spending time with my wife and young son. Since high school my dream has been to be an orthopedic surgeon, and I am thrilled to do that here at SIU. 

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU because of the opportunity to learn under a mentorship model that provides an early and diverse operative experience. From my first exposure to the program, it was obvious that the residents here had operative skills and exposures that are second--to-none. I believe this is a program that will allow me to do what I love while developing the orthopedic skills that I plan to use throughout my career both at home and abroad. 

Kathleen Kay, MD

Hometown: Effingham, IL
Undergraduate: DePauw University
Graduate: Boston University School of Medicine
Medical School: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

About Me: I grew up in Effingham, IL and played tennis and danced competitively. I grew up spending summers on the lake, water skiing, tubing, and paddle boarding. I went to DePauw University in Greencastle, IN where  I studied Biochemistry and played Division III tennis. During my free time you can find me biking or playing sand volleyball. My patio is always open for drinks and a cookout.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU Ortho because there is excellent camaraderie between the residents and one on one experience the residents have with the attendings.

James "Jimmy " Lieber, MD

Hometown: Highland Park, IL
Undergraduate: Pomona College
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine - Urbana

About Me: I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and am a big Cubs and Bears fan. I played football in college and was an EMT prior to attending medical school. During my free time I like to cook with my wife, hike, cycle while watching reruns of The Office, or go to record stores to add to my collection.

Why I Chose SIU Ortho: I chose SIU because of the excellent operative experience offered by the program and the clear camaraderie among the residents and faculty. With more attendings than residents you get to be involved in the operating room early and often. Additionally, working with primarily community based surgeons enables me to train in a similar setting I envision myself practicing in.