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PGY-1 Residents

Aliana Abascal

Aliana Abascal

A.A.S., Cornell University

M.D., University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Aliana is committed to achieving parity for mental illness and facilitating its de-stigmatization.   Why should we be ashamed when we are depressed, but not when we are hypertensive?  She has been dedicated to the community as evidenced by her extensive volunteer work.  Aliana has been an active participant in the Wolfson Department of Community Service (DOCS), a student-run organization that oversees ten annual health fairs and weekly clinics for underserved patients.  She also volunteered for Project Medishare, an organization partnering with Haitians to achieve quality healthcare and development services.  Those who interviewed Aliana commented on her enthusiasm and resilience.  In her spare time, she enjoys participating in outdoor activities, such as whitewater kayaking, hiking, and playing with her dog, Zoey.

 

Taryn Abrams

Taryn Abrams

B.A., Duke University

M.D., Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University

Taryn’s interest in medicine and psychiatry developed gradually in a non-linear fashion. Growing up with a psychiatrist father and a mother with a master’s in counseling, Taryn was familiar with how mental health affects physical well-being. However, her early interests were in creative storytelling and the field of writing, and she chose to major in International Comparative Studies and Spanish at Duke. Her strong desire to master the Spanish language led her to undertake multiple study abroad opportunities in Spain, Mexico, and South America. Taryn continued to be drawn to medicine, and she decided to attend medical school. Her experience in stroke research solidified her interest for psychiatry as she found herself most interested in the behavioral symptoms of neurological disease. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, skiing, reading, running, and spending time with her husband and baby daughter, Avianna.

 

Makeda Agonafer

Makeda Agonafer

B.S., Emory University

M.P.H., Dartmouth College

M.D., Morehouse School of Medicine

Makeda is from Atlanta, and attended Emory University.  Her father is from Ethiopia, and Makeda speaks Amharic, an Ethiopian language, and is also proficient in French.  She co-founded Artists for Charity Ethiopia and helped raise funds to build an orphanage for children with HIV infection.  It was during her work in Ethiopia that she found her determination to be a physician.  When she returned to the US, she enrolled in the Master of Public Health Program (MPH) at Dartmouth College.  She completed her thesis on the Psychological Co-Morbidities of People living with HIV/AIDS after control of disease progression, which received special commendation from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy.  While at Morehouse School of Medicine, she received a student research fellowship award and conducted research in the Neuroscience Institute.  Her work involved an investigation of metabolic and behavioral alterations in mice overexpressing circadian rhythm gene Bmal1 in skeletal muscle.

 

Jason Carness

Jason Carness

B.A., Tufts University

M.D., State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

Following college, Jason worked in Information Technology, first as a computer programmer, and then in a leadership position as a project manager.  Missing the human element as well as his exposure to medicine by his father (an oral surgeon), he began to consider a career in health care, and decided to pursue medical school.  Jason has an interest in working with underserved urban communities, sparked by his research work at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he interviewed HIV-positive Medicaid recipients about their health and health care.  Jason’s Dean’s Letter commented that he was “one of the best and most intelligent students I’ve ever worked with.”  He was one of the few students in his class to be selected for the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society in recognition of exemplary service, integrity, clinical excellence, and compassion.

 

Susane Dickson

Susane Dickson

B.S.N., University of Florida

M.D., University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Susan completed her residency in pediatrics and has practiced pediatric urgent care medicine as well as private practice.  Her fast paced consultations seemed superficial, and she has felt drawn to psychiatry for a number of years.  Susan has been active in volunteer work, and her interest in psychiatry was cemented with her experiences in working in a trauma camp for children.  She plans to pursue fellowship training in child and adolescent psychiatry.  Susan has 2 sons, who will both be studying at Emory.

 

Kristine Goins

Kristine Goins

B.A., Rutgers University

M.D., University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey

Kristine was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University. During her undergraduate years, she discovered her interest in serving disadvantaged populations and lessening health care disparities. Throughout college and medical school, she participated in youth science enrichment programs in which she taught and performed health-related activities with local elementary school children. Following her third year of medical school, Kristine sought an opportunity to develop her interest in clinical research and expand her knowledge of mental illness and addiction. She worked on two projects during this student scholar program. The first was a clinical trial evaluating the neuropsychiatric safety and efficacy of smoking cessation agents in patients with a history of psychiatric disorders. Her second project investigated the effect of nicotine and antipsychotics on cortisol levels. She is interested in community psychiatry, child psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. In her spare time, she remains actively involved in the community and also enjoys spending time at the gym or yoga studio.

 

David Halverson

David Halverson

B.S., United States Naval Academy

M.D., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

David grew up in Sheboygan, WI.  After discovering the movie “TOP GUN” in 5th grade, he decided he “wasn’t going to be happy unless he was going mach 2 with his hair on fire,” to quote the movie.  Thus, he began on a path that would lead to military service.  After graduating from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, David began training as a Naval Aviator, which culminated with him piloting the mighty F-14 Tomcat.  David was combat trained and well-versed in landing on aircraft carriers, and he never had to eject, not even once.  While in flight school, David met his beautiful wife, Charla.  After leaving active duty service, David and Charla moved to Washington, DC, to climb the corporate ladder.  It was during this time that David realized he missed a profession that espoused the values of military, such as honor and service to others, so he decided to pursue a career in medicine.  David’s interest in psychiatry began early in his military career, but it blossomed when he began seeing patients while a student, where he was able to spend considerable time with patients, hear their stories, and get to know the people behind the illnesses.  During medical school, David transferred from the Navy to the Army National Guard, joining a medical detachment where he could participate in the healthcare of soldiers.  While David has enjoyed research, volunteering, and other activities during medical school, the accomplishment he is most proud of is his two boys that were born during those years.

 

William Hudson

William Hudson

B.A., University of Virginia

M.D., Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University

Howard graduated from the University of Virginia, majoring in psychology.  Following college, he spent several years as a musician.  While living in Athens, GA, he was a vocalist and guitarist for the band Pacific UV, which released 2 records on the WARM label.  The band’s first album received 4 stars by Rolling Stone Magazine and is still widely distributed in the US and Canada.  He decided to change paths and went to medical school.  He had the opportunity to work with the Department of Psychiatry in a summer research fellowship on sex-related communication in multiple sclerosis patients and has presented his work at national meetings.  Howard matched into a Pathology Residency at Cornell in 2012, but felt disconnected in the specialty and missed patient interaction which he previously thrived on and returned to psychiatry.

 

Emily Novik

Emily Novik

B.A., Williams College

M.D., Sackler School of Medicine

Emily has a longstanding interest and appreciation for the mind-body connection.  Her volunteer work at Silver Hill Psychiatric Hospital completing patient intakes solidified her interest in medicine and psychiatry.  Her medical school rotation evaluations describe her as a very talented individual and comment on her intelligence, motivation, maturity, and initiative.  She has been involved in volunteer work providing medical services for the underprivileged populations in Israel.  In addition, she has been active in an international project that provides life-saving heart surgeries and follow-up care for children who suffer from congenital heart disease.  Emily also enjoys working out and traveling.

 

Andrew Owens

Andrew Owens

B.S., Clemson University

D.O., Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Andrew grew up in eastern South Carolina, and spent the majority of his summers working in the tobacco fields at his family owned farm. Andrew was a stand out from an early age graduating valedictorian of his high school class.  Finishing up at Clemson University Magna Cum Laude, he continues to be a proud alumni and huge Clemson fan. Andrew excelled in medical school at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus, and was selected to be a member of Sigma Sigma Phi honor society. The Dean’s Letter commented that Andrew is “an exceptional student at the top of the class.” Those meetings with Andrew described him as bright, thoughtful, mature, and compassionate. Andrew has an interest working with the underserved population and also in forensic psychiatry. Andrew had a multitude of volunteer activities during his time in medical school including working with rural patient education clinics, community prescription drug disposal, and medical informational sessions with high school students.  In his spare time, Andrew enjoys traveling around the US, hiking, and kayaking.

 

Lan Chi Vo

Lan Chi Vo

B.S., University of Texas

M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Southwestern Medical School

Krysti has excelled in academics and graduated from University of Texas at Austin after only two-and-a-half years.  In addition to academically excelling, Krysti has been active in community service, student organizations, leadership, and research.  In her fourth year of medical school, she is pursuing a Distinction in Research and is investigating impulsivity and relapse of cocaine-addicted patients through analysis of fMRI neural activity and plans to pursue further research using neuroimaging.  Krysti grew up in a Vietnamese household, and is also interested in cultural issues, particularly the social stigma attached to mental diseases and impact on individuals seeking treatment.