Our Residents

Class of 2022

Rush Emergency Medicine residents group photo

Name Academic Profile  
Alex Jay
Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU)
Undergrad: University of Northern Iowa
Hometown:  Delhi, IA
I grew up in a small, quaint town in Iowa and just recently moved to Chicago for residency. In my spare time you’ll find me at the nearest coffee shop by morning and local brewery by night. Also an avid runner (who in EM isn’t, amiright?), and enjoy a good book, Netflix binge, and any type of cheese I can get my hands on. 
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: It’s the greatest food city in the world, and that’s a fact.

Michael Kalina

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
Undergrad: Northwestern University
Hometown: Munster, IN
Hi everyone!  I’m excited to join the Rush EM family.  In the past, I played professional minor league baseball and most recently graduated from Internal Medicine residency.  I have passed wine sommelier exams and greatly enjoy cooking. I love to learn about cultures from around the world and have found that celebrating the art of the meal is a great lens through which to do this.  My favorite part about this program is having the opportunity to work with passionate and knowledgeable faculty, staff, and residents, to help patients in their most challenging times.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Big city that feels like a small town, with a lake that feels like an ocean!

Shivon Manchanda

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana
Undergrad: Northwestern University
Hometown: Orland Park, IL
I grew up in the Chicagoland area and am so happy to be doing residency in my favorite city. My professional interests include medical education and physician wellness. I like novelty – I’m usually reading and learning about new topics, trying to tweak or building things, or traveling and exploring new places. However, I am no stranger to the good ol’ nap. Also, pizza is life.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: There’s always something to do!

Dennis McKinney

Medical School: Rush Medical College
Undergrad: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Hometown: Skokie, IL
Hello! I grew up in Skokie, IL and attended UofI in Champaign for undergrad where I studied finance. After a couple of years I decided to leave the thrilling lifestyle of an internal financial auditor behind and pursue medicine, where I attended Rush Medical College. I am thrilled to stay in the Rush family for residency and be part of a new program. Within EM, I am particularly interested in administration and global medicine. Outside of EM, I love playing basketball and checking out new restaurants. I am also fiercely devoted to my weekly pub trivia team - The Lorel Park Legends.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: The food!

Benjamin Mogni

Medical School: University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Undergrad: Northwestern University
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL
My wife, puppy and I live in the south loop. My wife and I met at Northwestern in a Spanish class and we love Chicago. The variety of foods and the amazing amount of activities to do keeps us busy! The thing I like most about residency is that I have finally completed medical school! I am excited to start soon. My wife and I Iove to do yoga. I especially enjoy performing arm balances. For EM, I hope to explore disaster medicine more in residency.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: The variety of food and the White Sox!

Vanessa Petrak

Medical School: St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies
Undergrad: California State University San Bernardino
Hometown: Needles, CA
I love going to sports games with my family and friends, country concerts are my absolute favorite, and I am obsessed with running. I started running cross country in high school and college and haven’t stopped. I could live off pasta, pizza, and Dr. Pepper. I am also a huge Netflix fan, always looking for new shows to binge watch. I love being in the Emergency Department and my passion is in Education. I plan to pursue a Medical Education Fellowship after residency and eventually become a Clerkship Director. I would love to help educate medical students as they are the future of medicine. 
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: I love how beautiful and clean Chicago is. The city is full of amazing restaurants to enjoy and there are always events going on from sports games, concerts, and festivals. It is a perfect city!
Harrison Pidgeon
Medical School: Rush Medical College
Undergrad: Fordham University
Hometown: Boston, MA
Hi! I’m from Boston and completed my undergrad at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. I was an EMT during college which is what introduced me to Emergency Medicine. I came to Rush for medical school and I am stoked to be staying here for residency. Outside of the hospital I love to have a good time, eat my way through this awesome city, and hang out with my partner Sarah and my dog Tesla. Inside the hospital I still like to have a good time; my EM interests are center around population/community health and social Emergency Medicine. I can say the ABC’s backwards faster than anyone I know.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: There are 2-3 street festivals every weekend during the summer!

Michael Rentz

Medical School: University of Cincinnati
Undergrad: University of Cincinnati
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
I was born and raised in Ohio, and I decided to stick around for my MPH and a BS in biomedical engineering prior to medical school. I’m excited to transition to Chicago for a great EM experience and a fun city! I enjoy restaurants, running, podcasts/music, board games, and spending good times with friends. My professional interests are in education and public health.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago:  Toss-up between the food scene and living near the lake!

Joshua Ruff

Medical School: Rush Medical College
Undergrad: Emory University
Hometown: Beverly, MA
I grew up in Massachusetts, studied at Emory in Atlanta, then settled in Chicago. I enjoy playing club soccer and traveling with my wife.  I am always working on new projects (currently building a rooftop garden and training our new puppy). I love the variety and complexity of emergency medicine.  My EM interests are critical care, EMS, and social medicine.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago:  I love Chicago’s unique neighborhood within a city feel.
Drew Sexton
Medical School: Rush Medical College
Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Originally from St. Louis but I’ve been in Chicago for the last four years. During graduate school I worked in retail and clinical drug development. In my free time I enjoy cooking, watching the food network, working out, reading, and catching up with friends. I am excited to continue my training at Rush and am interested in Emergency Department operations. 
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: The River Walk 

Jeny Tan

Medical School: Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergrad: Governors State University
Hometown: Zamboanga, Philippines (Asia’s Latin City)
I’m a small fireball with endless energy. I grew up in Zamboanga, Philippines before moving to the South Suburbs of Chicago when I was 10 years old. I was a licensed massage therapist before going into medical school. When I’m free, I like to spend my time going on nature walks, gardening, playing with my pets, kicking back and relaxing. If I can afford it, I love traveling and exploring new places. I love the rain as much as I love soaking up sunshine. I love all forms of art from singing to dancing to painting. I’m free-spirited and always up for an adventure. I love Rush because I truly feel at home. Everyone is so welcoming. The moment I say I’ll be an Emergency Resident, I’m always greeted with “Welcome to the Family!”
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: I love Chicago because there’s always something new for me to explore. 

Emily Tisma

Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
Undergrad: Indiana University - Bloomington
Hometown: Northwest Indiana
I love staying active! My favorite hobbies include backcountry camping, hiking, indoor rock climbing, snowboarding, and running with my pup, Lou. I’m always interested in going out to see live music, comedy, and sporting events. When I’m taking it easy, I enjoy playing trivia, watching NBA games, and confusing myself with feminist theory texts. I chose Rush EM for the opportunity to contribute my own creativity and enthusiasm to the creation of a new program. I am dedicated to social justice initiatives and am also interested in critical care.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: I’m excited to explore the many unique neighborhoods on foot (and by mouth!)

Class of 2023

Name Academic Profile  
Dainis Berzins
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergrad: Loyola University Chicago
Hometown:  Brinklow, MD
Originally from Maryland, I came out to Chicago for my undergrad and medical degrees. Growing up on the East Coast I love everything outdoors, especially hiking and fishing. Playing NCAA Division I volleyball was my initial pull for coming out to Chicago and I have made this city my home for the past 10 years. When I have some free time, a few of my hobbies include cooking, gardening and working on my saltwater aquarium.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Checking out the Summer street festivals, playing in the Chicago sport leagues and exploring the restaurants and bars throughout the city with friends!

Michelle Brito

Medical School: Texas Tech University School of Medicine - Amarillo
Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis
Hometown: Houston, TX
I grew up in Houston, Texas and spent my summers visiting family in Ecuador. I am a soft blend of pep, subtle sass, with a running undercurrent of sarcasm. I mainly run off of avocados and eggs, but occasionally expand my culinary horizons with international foods. On a day off, you could probably find me biking, hiking, yoga-ing, sharpening my dance moves and/or planning adventurous travel excursions. When I grow up, I plan on applying my future talents to global health and disaster medicine.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: joining the Chicago bike culture and Chicago’s salsa scene

Mollie Chesis

Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Undergrad: Brown University
Hometown: Stilwell, KS
I grew up thinking that playing in corn fields is a definitely totally normal thing to do and thinking I was going to be a writer. I did study creative writing in college, but I guess I decided to be a doctor. RIP WIP. I still love to read and to write, but I spend all my spare hours being a circus artist! I’m going on ten years of working on contortion, hand balancing, and any circus apparatus I can get my hands on! Chicago has an amazing circus scene, and I genuinely pumped about starting lessons and classes in the city. (That all being said, if you are ever wanting to have long discussions about esoteric writing concepts—hit me up).
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Public transit! I know it seems silly, but I cannot explain how wide-eyed I get on a train that literally goes into an airport. It feels like MAGIC.

Paul Kamsi Yonna Edemobi

Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine
Undergrad: University of Mary Washington
Hometown: Woodbridge, VA
Hi, I’m Paul! I was born and raised in Nigeria for 15 years before my family made the move to Virginia. I love staying active. I enjoy playing rugby, soccer and salsa dancing. I am also a big comic and manga fan. Also whenever I have the time, I like to do a little button smashing on the play station. I am excited to be part of the Rush family and glad I have the opportunity to explore more of Chicago!
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Two words: Summer Activities

Jeanette Lorme

Medical School: Rush Medical College
Undergrad: Northwestern University
Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA
I grew up in California, played college soccer at Northwestern, and worked in healthcare consulting in New England prior to making a career change to medicine. Working as an EMT sparked my interest in Emergency Medicine and Rush Medical College called me back to the great city of Chicago. I love the sense of community, teamwork, and dedication to serving patients at Rush and I’m thrilled to be part of the Emergency Medicine team here with super smart and welcoming faculty and residents! I love biking, canoeing, and being outside as much as possible with my crew - my husband Tyler and our large dog (aka small horse) Moose.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Friendly people, finding new ways to experience awesome skyline views (by bike, boat, and rooftop!) and an endless number of great restaurants and breweries to explore in unique neighborhoods.

Tucker Matthews

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Hometown: Sudbury, MA
I went to college in Madison, and have since lived in Nicaragua, Boston, and NYC. I’m pretty obsessed with my dog, so can often be found giving her belly-rubs or talking to her like she’s a human. Also a film nerd, rock climber, soccer player, board gamer, R&B enthusiast, and Boston sports fan. I rotated at Rush as a medical student and absolutely loved the atmosphere and the people, and I’m thrilled to be joining the community. My EM interests revolve around ED management and EMS. 
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: It’s a big city but also feels super tight-knit, and as an east-coaster, the people are extremely nice!
Hans Michael Murcia
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine
Undergrad: Loyola University Chicago
Hometown: Chicago, IL
I was born and raised in Colombia, moved to the US when I was very young. I am a former combat medic in the US ARMY. I was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, deployed to Iraq and did all that good stuff for 4+ years. Later, I went back to school and got my BS in mathematics, then medical school and now here I am. Chicago is home. I like to spend my time going on walks, playing video games, visiting museums and traveling. I love to constantly challenge myself and keep my brain active. Emergency medicine provides the complexity, variety and challenge that I am looking for like nothing else. My professional interest include toxicology and EMS. I look forward to advocate for immigrants, minorities, veterans, LGBT and social justice in general.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Lots of restaurants, lots of things to do, PIZZA!!

Eric Polich

Medical School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Hometown: Madison, WI
I grew up in Madison, WI and completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before medical school I worked as an EMT and volleyball coach. I still love to play volleyball to this day! I also enjoy being outdoors and hiking at state and national parks with my significant other, Alexa, and our two dogs, Koda and Sully. I am thrilled to be starting my residency at Rush and be part of the family. My particular EM interests include medical education and critical care.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: There is always something new to explore with so many different neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, and events.

Willeed Rabah

Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Undergrad: Central Connecticut State University
Hometown: Middletown, CT
I was born and raised in Connecticut but spent some of my childhood in the Middle East. All my schooling at this point in my life has been in Connecticut so I am excited to leave the Northeast to complete my training. In my free time, I love playing and watching soccer and spending quality time with family and friends.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Easy access to everything, great diversity, and I am sure there will always be something to do.
Nicolas Ramsay
Medical School: Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Undergrad: Columbia University
Hometown: Miami, FL
You can call me Nico. I was a missionary kid in Vina del Mar, Chile growing up, then moved to Miami, FL. I played soccer at the University of Central Florida, then began a career in youth ministry with Young Life before switching to medicine. I enjoy live music and concerts, board games, playing sports (soccer, volleyball, marathons, triathlons, frisbee, you name it), and exploring the outdoors and national parks. So far, my favorite is Zion National Park which has Angels Landing, one of the best hikes ever if you’re ok with heights. 
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: I like that it’s a big city on the water with all kinds of events, sports, and restaurants. I love the diversity of people, food, languages, and weather, and I’m excited to trade my beach towel for winter gear. 

Evelyn (Evie) Schraft

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine
Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis
Hometown: Springfield, MO
I have fallen in love with Chicago since moving up from Missouri. My husband and I met while working together at a bike shop. Now we have two little girls to pull in the trailer behind our bicycles! I love podcasts, yoga, cooking, and cross-stitch. At Rush, I am excited to explore ultrasound, social EM, and medical education.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: The Brookfield Zoo, Costco, and our local ice cream shop

Earl Williams, Jr.

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine
Undergrad: Dartmouth College
Hometown: Chicago, IL
I was told life is a marathon, not a sprint. Since then I’ve attempted to fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds of distance run… so far so good.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: I’ve become the hero I’ve always dreamed. What’s more, I get to be a hero in the city that raised me and for the people that need me most.

Class of 2024

 

Name Academic Profile  
Ololade “Lola” Akinfemiwa
Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine
Undergrad: McMaster University
Hometown: Toronto, CA
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but spent most of my life in Toronto, Canada. I love to dance, play sports and spend time with my amazing family. Community service is important to me, and I love to mentor medical students. I am looking forward to joining the Rush family and exploring my emergency medicine interests!
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: The diversity of the city and the amazing food. There is always something to do!
Savannah Benko
Medical School: Rush Medical College 
Undergrad: Providence College
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
I was born in Chicago and grew up just outside the city in Oak Park. I went to Providence College in Rhode Island for undergrad before returning to Chicago for medical school here at Rush. I love tennis, puzzles of all varieties, traveling, and trying new foods (still working on the cooking part). Professionally, I’m interested in Emergency Psychiatry.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Food, friends, family, the lake, and food (again).

Miranda Bradley

Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Undergrad:  University of Montana
Hometown: Laurel, MT
I was born and raised in Montana but spent most weekends in Wyoming. I attended the University of Montana (yay Missoula!) for undergrad and University of Washington for medical school. I love traveling and watching comedies with my boyfriend, Alex.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Prior to moving to Chicago, everyone I spoke with about the move had only wonderful things to say about the city. I’m looking forward to experiencing the festivals, concerts, and comedy scene, and overall I’m just so excited to get to learn, work, play, and EAT in Chicago!  

Dustin Brown

Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine
Undergrad: University of Arkansas at Little Rock  
Hometown: Hermitage, AR
Hey everyone! I was born and raised in Arkansas and completed my undergraduate and medical studies in Little Rock. I am super excited to transition to Chicago for a fantastic EM training experience! The people at Rush have truly made the experience great and have created a welcoming and supportive environment. My professional interests include: medical education, social determinants of health, and LGBTQ+ health education/outreach. In my free time, I love to paddle board, go to the gym, video games, spending obsessive amounts of time with my dogs, and exploring the unique neighborhoods and sights of Chicago.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: I love the complexity of the city, all of the cool activities available during free time, how friendly the people are, and the easy commuting options.

Devon Buddan

Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine
Undergrad: California State University of East Bay
Hometown: Inglewood, CA
I was raised in Inglewood, CA by my wonderful mother and the rest of my big, beautiful, Belizean family. In college I chose to major in Ethnic Studies which laid the foundation for understanding the social aspects as well as structural inequalities in medicine. I’m excited to bring my perspective to the Rush family and ready to serve the Chicago community. Besides medicine, I worked as a waitress, event planner and tutor prior to starting medical school. My interests include: weightlifting, anything outside and also free, exposing youth to new things, books, playing scrabble/Jenga/card games with friends and also being overly competitive, dancing while I still have good knees, NPR Tiny desk concerts. My goals include: collaborative projects with the Chicago community, making my mommy (more) proud and, of course, maintaining humility and compassion while becoming an excellent EM physician.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Well, Chicago is “home” to the Obamas and my favorite rapper, Common… need I say more?

Christian Casteel

Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergrad: Missouri State University
Hometown: High Ridge, MO
I grew up in a small Missouri town, and after attempting careers in skateboarding and being in a heavy metal band I somehow found myself in medicine. After 4 years at Applebee’s and 3 years of being an ED scribe/phlebotomist I knew EM was for me. Being in Chicago and at Rush is a total dream come true for me. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar, skateboarding, working out, going to concerts, rec sports, exploring new places to eat/drink. Lifetime St. Louis Cardinals, Blues, and KC Chiefs fan. My professional/academic interests are social EM, diversity and inclusion, global health, and medical education. The fact that all of these areas were so strongly represented and supported at Rush made me want to train here.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Chicago is amazing because it offers some of the best opportunities for all of my hobbies and interests. Awesome music/concert scene, tons of skateparks, huge sports city, winter fashion, beaches, and endless food and drink options!
Hannah Meissner
Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine
Undergrad: University of Notre Dame
Hometown: South Bend, IN
I am foodie and can definitively rank every Ben and Jerry’s flavor (S’mores is an underrated classic). In my free time I love to travel, read, and play board games. I am interested in social emergency medicine and hope to someday play an active role in shaping health policy.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Elvis Juice on tap, Lake Michigan, and Chicago sports

Eric Moyer

Medical School: Rush Medical College
Undergrad:  Washington University in St. Louis
Hometown: Brookline, MA
Originally from New England, but I’ve been in the midwest now for almost 10 years. I studied biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis before medical school at Rush. In my free time, I enjoy reading, working out, playing basketball or chess, and exploring Chicago’s restaurants/bars with friends. My professional interests include medical education and teaching.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: I’ve been living in Wicker Park for the past few years and absolutely love the area for the restaurants/bars.  

C. Woodworth Parker

Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
I was born on the East Coast, but grew up in Kansas City (Go Royals!). As an avid fan of hockey and sailing, I’m thrilled to be back in Chicago. Leading up to medical school, I was an AEMT-CC and Firefighter and earned a Masters in Biomedical Sciences. After medical school, I served as a Naval Flight Surgeon. My fiancé, who is a clinical pharmacist, and I can’t wait to tell you about our dog, a Purebred Philadelphia Mut. He’s the best boy.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: The Hawks, The Lake, The Food!
Ashley Penington
Medical School: Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergrad: University of Oregon
Hometown: Bend, OR
Hey there! As a PNW native, I love hiking, trail running, backpacking, skiing, cycling, paddle boarding, and camping with my husband and our two dogs in our tiny trailer. Both of us moved out here a few years ago and since then, we have really enjoyed finding areas that remind us of Oregon out here in the Midwest. We have been busy doing renovations on our home (aka DIY projects for days) and exploring all the things that Chicago has to offer. I am excited to continue working on my garden, improving my cooking skills, exploring more areas in and around Chicago, and most of all, being a part of this incredible EM family here at Rush.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: Being able to sit on our back porch out in the suburbs on a warm summer evening with a hazy IPA in hand.

Daniel Reyes

Medical School: Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Undergrad:  University of California, Berkeley
Hometown: Calabasas, CA
I was born and raised in LA and then went to college at the University of California, Berkeley. Teaching a medical ethics class in college got me really into the field of education, so I taught high school science in the Bay Area for about a decade before medical school. During this time, I also coached high school swimming and water polo. Sensing that I had achieved much of what I set out to in the classroom, I decided to pursue a career in medicine with the goal of bringing down barriers to access to equitable healthcare for all in mind. Working as an EMT in my town got me into the pace and scope of emergency medicine. I am an avid water polo player, swimmer, cyclist, and urbanist. One of my favorite activities, however, is simply going for walks at night while listening to one of several favorite podcasts. I also thoroughly enjoy cooking- recipe recommendations are always welcome!
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago: The fact that it is a HUGE and exciting city with so many things to immerse yourself in that are all accessible by walking, cycling, or public transit.

Robert Wilson

Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Undergrad: University of Colorado
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
 I grew up in Alabama before moving to Colorado, where I studied ecology and evolutionary biology. After a few years of eclectic work experiences (ecology field work in Australia, organic vegetable farming, etc.), I found my way to medicine and moved to Philly, where I completed my MD/MPH. I’m excited to now be in Chicago and see what the Midwest has to offer! In my free time, I love being outside: backpacking, skiing, riding my bicycles, (most recently) canyoneering, fishing, or just relaxing at the beach.
Favorite Thing About Living in Chicago:  Friendly people, good food, seasons.

 

Our Alumni