GAINESVILLE, Ga. – More physicians are on the way to care for people across the region, as Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) learned Friday who is joining the newest class of resident physicians this summer.
This fourth class of residents spans five specialties. Six General Surgery, 20 Internal Medicine, 12 Family Medicine, 12 Emergency Medicine and six Psychiatry residents will start with NGMC on July 1. This new class brings the total to 139 residents caring for patients and furthering their training to be the physician leaders of tomorrow.
General Surgery Residents – Medical School and Home State/Country
- Samuel Berding, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Lucas Canaan, DO – Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine/Tennessee
- James Caruso, MD – Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University/Georgia
- Virginia Jarvis, DO – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine/Virginia
- Christopher Ng, DO – Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine/Massachusetts
- Rafael Tapia, MD – Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina/Georgia
Internal Medicine Residents – Medical School and Home State/Country
- Muhammad A. Akhtar, MD – Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland School of Medicine/Canada
- Nivedha Balaji, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Mahmoud Ballout, MD – Medical University of the Americas/Canada
- Steven B. Barker, DO – Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine/Tennessee
- Abijha Boban, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Silvia Cherian, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Henry L. Colorado, MD – Medical University of South Carolina School of Medicine/South Carolina
- Aleksandra P. Ignatowicz, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Megan S. Joseph, DO – Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine/Florida
- Sandus Khan, MD – Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland School of Medicine/Canada
- Vikas Kilaru, DO – Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine/Michigan
- Hussain Majeed, MD – University of Sharjah College of Medicine/Canada
- Amaka Ofuani, DO – Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University/Florida
- Rahul Patel, DO – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine/Tennessee
- Sharvil Patel, DO – Edward via College of Osteopathic Medicine/North Carolina
- Schaza J. Rana, MD – Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College/Pakistan
- Nawras Silin, MD – Gulf Medical University/Canada
- Andrew Strick, DO – University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine/Tennessee
- Moyan Sun, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Gabriel Velez-Oqueno, MD – San Juan Bautista School of Medicine/Puerto Rico
Family Medicine Residents – Medical School and Home State/Country
- Ahmed N. Abuzoor, MD – St. George’s University School of Medicine/Michigan
- Shaina Alleyne, MD – Morehouse School of Medicine/Georgia
- Glory C. Ani, MD – Ross University School of Medicine/Georgia
- Nathan E. Boys, DO – A.T. Still University of Health Sciences Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine/Missouri
- Nickeya B. Brown, MD – Morehouse School of Medicine/Georgia
- Harmandeep S. Gill, MD – Aureus University School of Medicine/Canada
- Malachi H. Groover, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Donna S. Lee, MD – University of Medicine and Health Sciences/Illinois
- Shany A. Freund Maravankin, MD – St. George’s University School of Medicine/El Salvador
- Hannah S. Packiam, MD – Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University/Texas
- Sonia E. Richards, MD – St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine/Georgia
- Richard B. Whitmore, MD – University of Stellenbosch Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences/South Africa
Emergency Medicine Residents – Medical School and Home State/Country
- Abigail Ehrhardt Banks, MD – University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville/Georgia
- Ziad Faramand, MD – Jordan University of Science and Technology Faculty of Medicine/Jordan
- Leyanet Gonzalez, MD – Caribbean Medical University School of Medicine/Georgia
- David Spencer Harmon, MD – University of Queensland School of Medicine/Florida
- Erin Harvath, DO – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine/Delaware
- Hawa Rafiq Henderson, DO, MA – Kansas City University Collee of Osteopathic Medicine/Tennessee
- Seth Illu, MD – Trinity School of Medicine/Utah
- Mariah Jackson, MD – University of Kentucky College of Medicine/Kentucky
- Siedah Morgan, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/New York
- Adebanke Olufunmilayo Oderinde, MD – St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine/Georgia
- Brett Sell, MD – University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita/Kansas
- Amy Tran Spence, DO – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
Psychiatry Residents – Medical School and Home State/Country
- Chelsea Cleveland, MD – Morehouse School of Medicine/Georgia
- Joseph Fowler, MD – Ross University School of Medicine/Florida
- Bret Gallihugh, DO – Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine/Tennessee
- Amanda Hendricks, DO – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine/Georgia
- Brenton Otey, MD – Ross University School of Medicine/Georgia
- Benjamin Welch, MD – East Tennessee State University James H Quillen College of Medicine/Maryland
In the months leading up to Friday, medical students participating in the National Resident Matching Program applied to residency programs and interviewed at hospitals across the nation. After those interviews, residency programs ranked the students – and students ranked the programs. Both rank lists were plugged into a national database which crunches the numbers to determine which of the students match with NGMC. Those results are released on Match Day, which was Friday.
“Our health system and our patients have come to rely on our residents, over the past two years especially,” says John E. Delzell, Jr., MD, MSPH, vice president of Medical Education for Northeast Georgia Health System and Designated Institutional Official for NGMC. “It was during our COVID-19 waves that the benefit of having residents was felt the most. Whether it was bringing the latest knowledge with them from medical school and asking those important questions, to holding the hands of our sickest patients, NGMC residents have made an impact and are resilient. Our new class will be mentored by the best and brightest for sure.”
Resident physicians who have matched into the Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry residency programs make up the inaugural class for these two specialties at NGMC.
“NGMC and Georgia Emergency Department Services (GEDS) are tremendously excited to welcome its first class of Emergency Medicine residents,” says Dr. Josh Mugele, program director for the Emergency Medicine residency program. “Our new residents are coming from top-tier medical schools from around the country. Their training will include working with EMS systems, responding to disasters, and learning how to care for all types of critically ill patients. They will also be involved in research to increase the science of emergency medicine, all of this in service to our patients. I truly believe that NGMC is poised to be one of the best places to receive emergency care in the country.”
Dr. Kalpana Prasad, program director of the Psychiatry residency program was equally excited for her new residency class.
“For the last several months, our team has been working on something very exciting,” says Dr. Prasad. “Together, we created a vision that I really care about and believe in—training doctors to become robust psychiatrists and future leaders of mental health. This has been a great need in the state of Georgia, especially in our region.”
Resident physicians are licensed doctors training in a specialty. They train for three to 10 years after medical school, providing patient care and performing procedures under appropriate supervision. They can write orders and prescribe medication. Residents also have educational, testing and evaluation requirements. Their training is overseen by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
“Our residents will work with our faculty, hospital and clinic staff in numerous ways. We look forward to welcoming all our new resident physicians to the local community and introducing them to patients,” says Dr. Delzell.
NGMC is working to expand to more than 200 residents across five specialties – internal medicine, family medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry – by 2024. That will make NGMC one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the state. The idea is to train the physician leaders of tomorrow right here in Hall County, so that they will stay to practice in this region and the state.
Learn more about NGMC’s residency programs at www.ngmcgme.org.