Class of 2019 PGYII - Current 2nd Years

Lauren Bauer

U of Wisconsin

I grew up in Holly Springs, North Carolina and studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my undergraduate education. Afterwards I completed a volunteer year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, living and working in Camden, New Jersey learning about social justice and building intentional community. I graduated from medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, also with a Masters of Public Health degree, where I worked on establishing a mindfulness-based stress reduction curriculum for Latina women and measuring mental health outcomes associated with health coaching. I love family medicine for the continuity, variety, and emphasis on holistic, wellness-focused care. I am passionate about serving underserved communities, delivering babies, and being a community-responsive physician. I have interests in integrative medicine, policy/advocacy, mental health, big data, global health and health equity. In my free time I enjoy traveling, playing water polo, practicing yoga, dancing, making mosaics, and hiking. I am so excited to be living in the Burque, establishing community, and eating as much green chile as possible.

Aprilshandiin Curley-Sherer

U of New Mexico

I’ve had the privilege of being born and raised in beautiful New Mexico. As a Diné woman, I grew up navigating between two cultures, which was challenging at times but always motivating and inspiring. I view life as an intricate construction of experiences, relationships and memories both positive and negative, which have complement each other to shape and mold me into the person I am today. I am drawn to family medicine because it is a field which enhances the fundamental idea that medicine functions beyond the illness or disease of an individual; it is incorporated and intricately intertwined into the relationships and lives of patients and health care providers alike. I am continually inspired by the field of family medicine as it has the ability to intervene at various points in a person’s life from bringing new life into the world to improving quality of life in order to ensure a comfortable dying process. Looking towards the future, I am excited to be entering into the field of family medicine and to continue my journey with the support of the UNM Family Medicine Residency Program.

Sarah Friedberg

U of Cincinnati

My home state of Ohio provided me with superb training: first at Miami University for undergraduate school and then at University of Cincinnati for medical school. In undergrad, I worked for campus safety, advocating for victims of sexual assault and violence, and pursuing green initiatives. While at UC, I became passionate about equal healthcare access and social justice, particularly for women and the underserved. I coordinated programming for our school, taught health classes to groups of all ages, and worked with women seeking to break the cycle of prostitution and homelessness. I later traveled to Guatemala to learn rural medicine by providing primary care for Mayan populations. It is a privilege to join such dynamic, passionate, and dedicated colleagues at UNM for my residency in Family Medicine. I am drawn to UNM by the legacy of innovation, rigorous training, and strengths in global, public, and maternal/child health. Following residency, I hope to work in academic Family Medicine and devote my practice to the underserved. Ultimately, I would like to advocate for patients through research and policy work while pursuing my interests in social justice, community, and global health. Outside of medicine, I enjoy running, cycling, hiking, playing tennis, SCUBA diving, trying new foods, traveling, binge-watching great TV, movie nights, trivia, and spending time with my sweetheart, family, and friends.

Sonja Halterman

U of California, SD

Family medicine was the only specialty that encompassed everything I was looking for in a career. When I started investigating specialties, it was important for me to find one in which I could work with underserved populations, remain a generalist but also focus on women’s health, and help create change at a community level. I was also very fortunate to work with compassionate and inspiring family medicine physicians in medical school who demonstrated the impact that a great family medicine doc can have on a person’s life. I am so excited to venture into the Southwest for residency at UNM! The program has so many strengths, including compassionate, intelligent residents and faculty, an awesome curriculum with an emphasis on women’s health, and a commitment to social justice and underserved medicine. I also can’t wait to take advantage of the opportunities to work in the community to help address social determinants of health. Besides offering an amazing place to train, UNM is surrounded by a unique landscape and -- for an outdoorsy California native – there are so many cool places to explore!

Elizabeth Nicholas

U of South Dakota

I was raised on a cattle ranch in rural South Dakota. I attended the University of South Dakota for my undergraduate training, where I was a Division I collegiate swimmer for four years and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in English. I continued my education at the University of South Dakota’s School of Medicine and was always drawn to family medicine. I highly value the physician-patient relationship, and I wanted a career where I could form quality relationships with entire families. I also love that family medicine physicians are educators, motivators, and advocates for their patients. I chose the University of New Mexico because of its excellent full-scope education that emphasizes community medicine and has top-notch maternal-child training. I also wanted a residency that took a team-based approach to both learning and patient care. My husband and I will both be residents at UNM, and we are so excited to immerse ourselves in everything New Mexico has to offer!

Rania Khan

Emory University

Hi there! My name is Rania Khan, and I am coming from Atlanta, GA (aka Hotlanta) for residency training in the beautiful state of NM! I was born in India, but I have lived most of my life in Atlanta, where I did undergrad at Georgia Tech (go Jackets!) and medical school at Emory. I’ve always had an interest in broad fields – my undergraduate major was biomedical engineering, which combined many disciplines and is known in the engineering world as the jack of all trades. Family medicine was attractive me for the same reason – as a family medicine doctor, I have the opportunity to know a little about everything. I chose UNM for three reasons: 1) I feel confident I will get excellent training that would prepare me well for whatever career path I choose; 2) there was a sense of passion that was palpable from the faculty and residents I met on interview day; people seemed genuinely interested in family medicine and caring for the underserved; and 3) the natural beauty of Albuquerque and NM is breathtaking and I was looking for an adventure (and an escape from metropolitan living) for residency!

Jasmine Nanez

U of New Mexico

I am from Santa Teresa, a small town in Southern New Mexico. I discovered my passion for rural and urban underserved medicine through the different Family Medicine rotations I did during medical school at UNM SOM. I have been inspired by great role models to practice full spectrum Family Medicine. The UNM Family Medicine program has shown continued dedication, innovation and growth when it comes to serving the New Mexican population. I wanted to be a part of this world renowned team of doctors. Growing up and living in different parts of New Mexico has helped me realize that I want to continue to serve this community throughout my career.

Leah Feazel Nelson

U of Iowa

I grew up in rural southwestern Colorado, near Durango. After over 10 years of living outside the southwest for school, research, and travel, I am excited to be moving “home” to be part of the Family Medicine Residency program at the University of New Mexico! I love the complexity and breadth of Family Medicine. It is the only specialty that cares for all individuals over the entire lifespan for any medical problem. For me, though, the best part about Family Medicine is the ability to help people be well, not just treat them when they are ill. One of the main reasons that I chose UNM, is the strong focus on community health, wellness promotion, and disease prevention. There’s also the great training environment, diverse patient-population, and awesome co-residents. Outside of medicine, I am excited to live in Albuquerque with my husband, son, and dog. I am looking forward to hiking and running in the high desert and mountains of New Mexico, and plan to eat everything smothered in green chili.

Steven Nguyen

U of Virginia

Hello everyone! I grew up in the suburbs of Richmond, VA and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2011, majoring in Anthropology and Biology. I then spent a year with AmeriCorps VISTA in McAllen/Edinburg, Texas volunteering as a wellness coordinator where our team organized heathy eating and physical activity events for students and their families in an underserved community. I returned to UVA where I had opportunities to develop my passion for primary care and community health. My work in Texas and Virginia gave me perspective on how the health of an individual must be contextualized to their community. I chose Family Medicine because it values community engagement and team-based, longitudinal care that takes into account the whole person, their family, and community. With these values in mind, I found my match at the University of New Mexico Family Medicine Program. UNM Family Medicine embraces diversity, champions community medicine, and advocates for underserved communities. I am thrilled to spend the next three years with UNM Family Medicine. Outside of medicine, I enjoy running outdoors, exploring natural environments, eating delicious food, and spending time with family and friends. I look forward to new adventures and experiences in the Land of Enchantment!

Samantha Sanchez

U of New Mexico

I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM and completed both my undergraduate and medical degrees at UNM. I am thrilled to continue my residency training in my home state in a program dedicated to serving an underserved and diverse patient population. I grew up enveloped in the New Mexican music and food scene, in a large Hispanic family, and fell in love with the beautifully diverse culture of the region and population. In medical school, it was this fondness for culture and people that led to my interests in patient-provider relationships, community and public health, and broad spectrum care in Family Medicine. I am also interested in women’s health, pediatrics, substance use disorders, and mental health. I chose UNM because the program provides exceptional training in all of these aspects while allowing you the autonomy to customize your experience. I have gained a deep appreciation for treating patients as a whole and learned that this involves more than medical knowledge alone. I look forward to building strong working relationships with patients and giving back to a wonderfully unique community.

Serena Shung

U of Rochester

In my diary from fourth grade, I inscribed two life goals: 1) to help others, and 2) to have a dog, a cat and a pig. Although I no longer aspire to own a pig, I did spend the majority of my youth trying to discover the best way to combine my interests and skills to serve an area of need. I wandered through the locked gates and meeting rooms of Baltimore county jails to advocate for inmate health rights, taught high school science in dusty Ghanaian classrooms as a Peace Corps Volunteer, ventured into the wild mountains of the Dominican Republic to implement a community health project, and helped provide preventative healthcare to illegal immigrant workers in greater Rochester farms. Ultimately, this led me to family medicine, which emphasizes compassion and demands the broadest array of skills in order to serve the diverse individual and population needs that arise in low-resource areas. At UNM, I fell in love with the resourcefulness and ability with which the residency improves the health of their community. I am honored to be part of that effort as I learn to serve my own patients.

Sara Swiderek

U of New Mexico

Hello all! My name is Sara Swiderek and I have lived in Albuquerque for over 25 years. I completed my bachelor’s and graduate degrees at the University of New Mexico and am beyond thrilled to be staying here for my residency; the diverse patient population, impressive faculty, and academic reputation of UNM made my decision to stay in Albuquerque an easy one! My interest in family medicine began after completing several rotations at a small clinic in Bernalillo; the long-term relationships, wide variety of clinical pathologies, and versatility of family medicine make this specialty a perfect fit for me. My specific interests within the field include working with the underserved, international health and addiction medicine. Outside of medicine my interests include camping, playing soccer, and hiking with my dogs.

Amelie Wegner

U of Oregon

I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest before attending UC Berkeley for college, where I studied linguistics. After college, I joined Teach For America and taught high school English for three years on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Although I knew I would miss my wonderful students and the Pejuta Haka community, I eventually left teaching to pursue my dream of becoming a physician. I moved back home to Oregon to attend medical school at OHSU, where I learned early on that Family Medicine was the ideal specialty for me. In addition to its commitment to social justice and patient empowerment, Family Medicine allows me to practice medicine within the context of my patients’ lives. This is crucially important, as the health of an individual is often closely tied to health of one’s family and community. I am thrilled to be at UNM, a place I chose because of the people, its dedication to providing care to the underserved, and its commitment to women’s health.

Katarzyna Wilamowska

Albany Medical College

I am a jack-of-all-trades. I grew up bilingual and bicultural moving several times between Poland, where I was born, and the United States. Before medical school, I worked at Intel Corp. designing microprocessors, earned a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Medical Informatics. I chose Family Medicine because I want a career where I can provide medical care to anyone, anywhere, at any time in their disease process. It grants me the privilege to speak with patients about prevention of disease, how to treat their current health conditions, and to empower them when they make end of life decisions. Most importantly, every day I am both a learner and a teacher, a consumer and a creator of community resources, and a clinician and a researcher. My family medicine interests include working with underserved populations, health inequality, geriatrics, women’s health, teaching, quality improvement and combining computer technologies with healthcare. I chose UNM not only because it promises the well-rounded training I want, but also because it supports me and empowers me as a family physician.

Santa Fe Program

Trisha Fleet

U of New Mexico

I was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up there and in Palm Desert, California, Silver City and Albuquerque, New Mexico. During my undergrad studies at The University of New Mexico, I was fortunate to volunteer at UNMH as well as work in a research lab. After graduating from college at UNM, I moved to Seattle where I did prostate cancer research at the University of Washington. While I enjoyed doing translational research, I realized I missed patient care as well as New Mexico. I was happy to be accepted at UNM School of Medicine and complete my medical doctorate in NM while also continuing to conduct prostate cancer research. While in medical school, I was able to do rural rotations in Abiquiu, Penasco and Embudo, New Mexico. It was during these rotations that I found my heart was in Family Medicine. I am very interested in practicing in rural New Mexico and in addiction and international medicine. I am so happy to be staying in New Mexico for residency and to continue enjoying all New Mexico has to offer including unmatched skiing, hiking, trail running, camping and cycling!

Nora Gibbons

U of Arkansas

I was born in Cali, Colombia and lived there for three years but I’ve been in Arkansas for the rest of my life. I graduated from Hendrix College with a degree in Biology and attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. I chose family medicine because I want to work with underserved populations, I enjoy the variety of patients and chief complaints, and I’m excited by the opportunity to develop close relationships with patients. My interests include women’s health, rural medicine, and global health. Fortunately, I was able to spend a month during medical school in Bangladesh working at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh and I hope to continue working in resource limited areas in the future. I chose UNM for residency because of the program’s commitment to its community, the diverse patient population, and wonderful location. Outside of medicine I enjoy hiking, running, yoga, reading, and spending time with family, friends, and my two cats Toast and Marmalade. I also love exploring new places, eating delicious foods, and I am excited to begin a new journey in New Mexico!

Faynessa Hernandez

U of New Mexico

I have dreamed of becoming a physician since I was a young kid. I grew up in Southeast NM and my view of a physician was one who took care of patients who were all ages and genders. I have always enjoyed having continuity with my patients and being able to care for an entire family which is why I chose Family Medicine as my specialty. It is important for me to acknowledge not only a patient’s disease but the psychosocial aspects they are facing. I believe in treating the whole person. I have witnessed many people struggle to get adequate healthcare, and I would like to help alleviate some of the healthcare disparities that people in this state face and make medicine accessible to everyone. I believe that we as physicians and as people are obligated to work on improving the problems in the healthcare system. I want to practice medicine in the beautiful state that I grew up in and treat the people who remind me of my own family. I am honored to be a physician and to have people trust in me completely to take care of them and their loved ones.

Tanya Reyes

U of New Mexico

Hello there, my name is Tanya Reyes and I couldn’t be more honored to be an incoming Family Medicine intern at UNM ultimately looking toward the amazing program in Santa Fe. I was born in Alamogordo and have family in Las Cruces as well as Chihuahua, Mexico where my mother and I frequently visit. I grew up and consider my hometown to be good ol’ Espanola, home of the Sundevils! I am proud to be able to work so near to a place so dear to my heart, a place whose cultural richness is matched only by its friendly and charming people. One of my biggest passions in medicine, alongside international as well as rural outreach, has become management of substance abuse/addiction. Sadly this is an issue that needs no explanation to those who are from here. Outside of medicine, I self-identify as a nerd plain and simple. I love comic books, cartoons and artwork but before you think me a couch potato, I also love to be outside especially with my dogs. I love NM weather and scenery.