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Current and Former Students

Class of 2027

Katharine Jeffreys

Katharine Ross Jeffreys

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Chicago, Psychology

Why RUSH?: It was my priority to attend a medical school with a genuine dedication to its surrounding community. RUSH has fulfilled this mission for years and continuously works to improve its relationship with people and organizations on the West Side. Additionally, as a woman of color who intends to practice in a diverse community, I am continuously impressed with RUSH’s devotion to DEI. Their faculty, student body, and curriculum reflect RUSH’s goals to diversify the field of medicine.

Why Family Medicine?: After college, I served as a research assistant on a study examining the effects of stress on pregnancy outcomes in low-income African-American mothers. I had the privilege of supporting women from their first trimester of pregnancy until their infants were nine months old. The experience of supporting both mom and baby in their health journey was incredible. I enjoyed establishing long-term relationships with my participants. Family medicine is the only specialty that allows you to care for the whole family over their lifespan! Additionally, I am passionate about pursuing community-based medicine and family medicine physicians are trained to be pillars of their community.

Hobbies: Running, live theater, film, and music!

Fun Fact: I was the host of a gun violence prevention podcast called “Unloading: Community Solutions for Gun Violence”

Sara Kee

Sara Kee

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Washington - Seattle; BS Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology

Why RUSH?: As a future physician in a rapidly changing world, a physician’s scope of practice is becoming a fluid state where it is dependent on our dynamic communities, advancing technologies, changing legislative initiatives, and a myriad of other factors. Rush’s commitment to service and values of partnership with communities resonates with my own philosophy where we are constantly addressing these gaps, needs, and changes with the care and fervor of physicians emboldened by service and community relationships. At Rush, I know I will be able to foster my skills as a community leader, patient advocate, and service-minded future physician with strong technical skills, cultural competency, and dedication to my patients. I am excited for the opportunity to join hand in hand with Rush as we continually partner with the Chicago community and state and national academies to advocate for the needs of patients and improve the delivery of care.

Why Family Medicine?: Family medicine embodies being your whole self forth as we work with patients to help them achieve the health they desire. To me, the cornerstone of being a family medicine physician is to provide longitudinal care and grow those beautiful, long-lasting relationships with patients. I see myself in a family medicine career because I value safe spaces where we can hold open conversations about something as vulnerable as health.

I find the novel patient stories within the practice of family medicine fulfills my desire to be challenged and enhance my learning. In this field, I am able to shape my practice to include and focus on different areas in the community. Thus, my work is done with intention and I am able to fully invest in my patients’ health. Family medicine has so much scope that I am able to bend and pursue; it is truly the heart and soul of the medical field and I strive to be able to guide and listen to my patients with the same spirit as a future physician.

Hobbies: Reading, finding new restaurants, journaling/crafting, doing puzzles, walks with music or an audiobook, and hanging out with my family and friends!

Fun Fact: I love crafting and DIY projects! My favorites have been making 3D origami figurines and crocheting amigurumi animals.

Class of 2026

Jennifer Castillo


Hometown: Park City, IL

Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Illinois at Chicago, Biological Sciences

Why RUSH? As a physician, I want to aid in increasing access to healthcare and advocate for change that will increase patients’ quality of life. RUSH has continuously demonstrated these same values and goals. Choosing RUSH will allow me to continue to uphold these values, while learning how to make the best impact as a physician from faculty and students.

Why Family Medicine? Due to family medicine’s wide scope of practice, it provides a unique opportunity to treat patients over the course of their lifetime. This facilitates the development of long term relationships with patients, which is what draws me to the specialty. Practicing family medicine will also allow me to help patients prevent illnesses and the progression of illness.

Hobbies: Spending time at the beach, going to the gym, and taking tennis lessons.

Fun fact: My favorite season is the summer!

Andrew Mohama


Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD / Minneapolis, MN

Why RUSH? From day one of interviewing with RUSH to now being a medical student, RUSH never had to prove that they cared about the community—it was exceedingly evident in everything RUSH does. As a Syrian-American, I feel welcomed and uplifted here. I feel honored and proud to be part of such a diverse class and team of faculty and physicians who come from all walks of life. 

I also genuinely believe in the mission and vision at RUSH, and I feel encouraged to always push our theory of change into practice—in the classroom, the patient room, and the community at large. RUSH is a place that not only allows us to care for patients when they enter our doors but helps empower the responsibility to remove barriers to health care access through service and public health advocacy, among many other acts. I believe physicians and health workers must use their position to advocate for policies, partnerships, and initiatives that allow accessibility and just systems to exist, and RUSH is a place where this is both encouraged and actively carried out. This work is longitudinal—it may take an entire lifetime and more to accomplish. But to me, this is exactly what RUSH is concerned with and why I believe in our shared vision for a better future for all.

Why Family Medicine? While this question truly calls for a long, deep-dive conversation (perhaps over a specialty roast coffee or a long bike ride), I will do my best to give the short version of why I am currently interested in family medicine. With an academic background in biology and philosophy, many of my interests lie at the intersection of science and intellect, research and narrative. Each patient has a story, and I believe primary care physicians have the opportunity to create a loving space that allows patients to achieve a sense of self-empowerment about their life stories. I believe that storytelling can help us live better, more connected lives. And at the heart of family medicine seems to be a powerful bearing of witness to these diverse and infinitely powerful stories. 

A patient’s journey may involve problems that cannot be fixed; however, I believe physicians do not only fix. And oftentimes, family medicine is not concerned with a quick fix. Rather, it is the consistent building of trust and relationships with patients, along with recurrent professional medical guidance, that can allow a path towards better health and well-being. A primary care career will allow me to bear witness and provide a partnership with patients during the healing process. It will also allow me to integrate other areas of interest into my work, such as hospice and palliative care.

Beyond the patient room, family medicine doctors are exceptionally equipped to be advocates in policy and public health work. I am compelled to pursue a career that allows me to participate in advocacy through unique mediums of policy work, writing, speaking, and leadership roles, among many other avenues. Family medicine intersects many of my curiosities into one career, and I am thrilled to explore this interest further through FMLP to see if it is the right choice for me!

Hobbies: ultra-endurance cycling, gravel and mountain biking, running, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and basically all things outdoors! I play guitar, enjoy podcasts, and am a lover of sharing stories and intentional conversation. 

Fun Fact: I biked across the United States in 2017! This catapulted my love for cycling and the various parts of life that intersect with the bike. I am an outspoken activist for inclusivity in the cycling world, because firmly believe that biking is for everyone and can connect a myriad of diverse communities and people together. There is nothing quite like riding a bike.

David C. Taylor


Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Undergraduate School and Major: UC Berkeley, BA Sociology

Why RUSH? I am drawn to RUSH because the breadth of its mission statement stood out to me. RUSH is dedicated to deeply understanding the complex needs of residents in their service area. This commitment to the community is evident in many initiatives and mirrors my own desire to deeply engage with patients. In addition, I remain impressed by the genuine warmth as well as the accomplishments of my peers. The combination of a strong mission and engaged student body made RUSH a clear choice for me.  

Why Family Medicine? I am interested in a career in Family Medicine because I recognize that Family Medicine is the backbone of the healthcare system. I appreciate that a well-trained family physician with institutional support can take care of the vast majority of a patient’s healthcare needs. Prior to medical school, I worked for many years in a free clinic providing care to underserved and LGBT communities. Through this experience, I learned firsthand many of the challenges my queer family faces, including “siloing” aspects of their sexual health from their doctor. Family medicine allows me the opportunity to create a space where patients of all backgrounds can discuss any concern.

Hobbies: Urban exploration, medical soap operas (Grey’s Anatomy anyone?), travel.

Anjali Venkat


Hometown: Winston Salem, NC 

Undergraduate School and Major University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Major: Biology and Religious Studies, Minor: Spanish 

Why RUSH? I was drawn to RUSH for its commitment to serve and care for the city of Chicago. Every student and faculty member I spoke with truly found their special way to contribute to their community. The sense of comfort and belonging I immediately felt after my interview confirmed that RUSH was the place I would feel most at home and grow into the compassionate physician I hope to become. 

Why Family Medicine? I am most drawn to family medicine for its unique opportunity to follow the entire health of a patient from cradle to grave, paying attention to the small and large changes that happen in patients’ daily lives. The field also provides a basis to build upon my interests in traditional healing practices to create a practice focused on preventative medicine and the improvement of my community’s overall quality of life. 

Hobbies: Cooking, yoga, biking, reading, going to concerts 

Fun Fact: I just finished my yoga instructor certification this summer! 

Class of 2025

Haley Bylina


Hometown: Chicago, IL

Undergraduate School: Truman State University, Health Science (major) & Biology (minor)

Why RUSH? RUSH has been my dream school for as long as I could remember. It represents an institution dedicated to its patients, students and staff through innovation, outreach and quality healthcare. I am incredibly honored to be a part of a mission that has served my home (and family) for so many years.

Why Family Medicine? Family Medicine is at the intersection of my passion for public health and medicine. I aspire to invest in my patients to provide quality, comprehensive healthcare through the cognizance of public-health related influences and valued shared decision-making. This allows me to function as my patients’ advocate, liaison and ally.

Hobbies: Instant Pot cooking, Pinterest and spending time with family!

Fun Fact: Michelle Obama and I went to the same high school (not at the same time)!

Sarah Dynia


Hometown: Oak Lawn, IL

Undergraduate School and Major: Northwestern University, Major: Neuroscience and Psychology, Minor: Latin

Why RUSH? RUSH is a great fit for me for so many reasons! RUSH’s strong focus on community service and care for the city of Chicago aligned perfectly with my goals as an aspiring physician. I’ve been in and around Chicago my whole life and I’m excited to further learn about the city as a RUSH medical student! RUSH’s sense of community was also a big draw for me, and I am excited to be a part of it.

Why Family Medicine? I am interested in family medicine because of its unique ability to provide interdisciplinary, community-focused healthcare as well as build longitudinal relationships with patients. I hope to use family medicine to explore my interests across various patient backgrounds, work towards health equity and justice, and provide advocacy for my patients.

Hobbies: Gardening, exploring new restaurants, puzzles, cooking

Fun Fact: I’ve been on a billboard before!

Deepa H. Shankar


Hometown: Aurora, IL 

Undergraduate School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, major in Molecular and Cellular Biology, minor in Chemistry

Why RUSH? RUSH is a school that will  allow me to grow into the physician I dream of being. I was drawn to RUSH because of how genuinely the school seeks to serve underserved communities in Chicago, as well as how seamlessly our school integrates service learning and education on social determinants of healthcare into its curriculum. I truly feel I am among like minded individuals at RUSH and I am so looking forward to the years to come. 

Why Family Medicine? I am drawn to family medicine in particular because of its ability to provide true cradle-to-grave care. I believe that access to primary care is imperative in reducing disparities in healthcare—especially as I have seen firsthand the effects that a lack of access to primary care can have on patients in my work with individuals facing homelessness and poverty. Family medicine allows me to advocate for patients of all backgrounds and identities and in an infinite combination of ways. 

Hobbies: I enjoy cooking for my friends, hiking/spending time in nature, and lots of Netflix! 

Fun Fact: I am always down to eat Taco Bell no matter the time of day or occasion.

Stephany Valladares


Hometown: Chicago, IL

Undergrad: Northwestern University, Evanston

Why RUSH: As a Chicago native, I have witnessed health care delivery in the city and the health inequities that result from it due to the structural and economical barriers that people face in urban areas. RUSH serves a diverse subsect of the city, and I look forward to working with patients from the West Side and other marginalized areas of the city. Additionally, RUSH’s commitment to service indicated to me that I would be surrounded by likeminded individuals in medicine, with similar goals to advance and sustain communities.

Why Family Medicine: Family medicine’s longitudinal nature and holistic approach in patient care is the main reason why I chose to be a part of the program. Having the opportunity to learn from physicians who take patients’ various avenues of influence into consideration when treating their conditions is very valuable. This type of healthcare delivery is what not only changes individuals, but entire communities.

Hobbies: Medical interpretation at Community Health Clinic, yoga, biking on the 606, and exploring new restaurants and coffee shops, I am a big foodie!

Class of 2024

Sheryl A. Cherian


Hometown: Lincolnwood, IL (first suburb to the north of Chicago)

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Notre Dame, Major: Neuroscience & Behavior, Minor: Poverty Studies

Why RUSH? So many reasons! My roots are in Chicago, and I desire to practice in an underserved, urban setting, so the opportunity to learn medicine at such a community-focused institution on Chicago’s west side felt like a great fit. I also appreciated the sense of strong internal community I felt during interview day, and my interactions with peers, faculty, staff and others in the RUSH community since then have solidified this intuition. RUSH is truly a special place.

Why Family Medicine? Most of my post-graduate clinical experience is in geriatrics, both in hospice and in a primary care setting, and my undergraduate research interests were mostly in early childhood development and women’s health. Family medicine would allow me to explore my interests across the age and gender spectrum, “from cradle to grave,” with unique opportunities to get to know people in intergenerational and community contexts which of course are factors in their health. I am also drawn to issues of health equity; as a family physician, this holistic outlook would mean that advocacy would be a natural extension of my work.

Hobbies: long-distance cycling, running, playing ukulele, cooking with friends

Fun Fact: Two years ago, I biked across 5 U.S. states with my best friend!

Emma Klug


Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Undergraduate School: Kenyon College

Why RUSH? I chose RUSH because it is an institution that lives by its values. Its commitment to serving and supporting the surrounding community is demonstrated by every student, faculty, and staff member. The abundance of opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with the community outside of the classroom makes RUSH a great place to learn what it truly means to be a physician.

Why Family Medicine? I am drawn to family medicine because I want to develop longitudinal relationships with patients. Additionally, family physicians have a comprehensive understanding of their patients’ lives in the context of their families and communities, and how this environment affects their health. As such, family physicians are particularly well-suited to affect positive change not only in the lives of individuals, but to advocate for entire communities and populations.

Hobbies: Playing soccer, running, cooking, hiking, camping, reading

Marissa Pharel


Hometown: San Juan, PR

Undergraduate School and Major: Villanova University, BS Psychology/BA Spanish

Graduate School: Columbia University, MS Human Nutrition

Why RUSH? The main reason I chose RUSH was because of the visible commitment to underserved communities. I was impressed by the focus on health equity that is seen not only through community service, but even in the classroom through specific sessions and electives geared toward teaching students how to understand disparities and how to become true advocates in the community.

Why Family Medicine? As a black female, born to Haitian parents in New York but raised in Puerto Rico, I identify with both Black and Latino culture. Having witnessed first-hand the interplay between socioeconomic status and health care access, I knew I wanted to devote myself to my communities while addressing health disparities. Through reflection, I realized family medicine was the perfect path, as it aligned with my values and goals. Family Medicine would provide me the honor of serving as a patient-centered, culturally competent advocate for my patients, while building long-lasting relationships and experiencing continuity of care. I look forward to working directly with underserved communities to increase health literacy and more importantly, to remind them that they deserve to live long, healthy, happy lives.

Hobbies: I enjoy dancing, reading, taking long walks and exploring different restaurants (even though my wallet doesn’t appreciate it)!

Fun Fact: I speak 4 languages! Also, even though I grew up on an island surrounded by water, I really really dislike the beach with a passion.

Natali Smiley


Hometown: Izmir, Turkey

Undergrad School and Major: University of Washington, International Studies and Global Health

Why RUSH? Every member of the RUSH family takes their commitment to service seriously and chooses daily, to live for others.

Why Family Medicine? It’s been said before, but FM incorporates and celebrates the comprehensive person every patient is- and what a privilege it is to learn how to enter into the details of our patients’ lives and walk with them through it all.

Hobbies: hosting, cooking, pretending I can take care of plants, traveling, language-learning, dancing to 70s and 90s jams

Fun Fact: I have been inside and on top of the Pyramids of Giza.

Emily Wayland


Hometown: Appleton, WI

Undergraduate School and Major: Carroll University, Major: Biology, Minor: Psychology, Biochemistry

Why RUSH?: What initially drew me to RUSH was their commitment to the surrounding community but it was the sense of community, the ability to participate in the FMLP program, and the family-like feel during interview day that really solidified my decision to attend.

Why Family Medicine?: I am interested in family medicine because the idea of “cradle to grave” medicine and being able to follow families as they grow up really resonates with me. I love the ability that family physicians have of forming real relationships with their patients. With this relationship building, they are able to form bonds, build trust, and also incorporate preventative medicine into the care of their patients.

Before coming to RUSH I was able to serve with Peace Corps in Tanzania and working with the general practitioner in Tanzania, I was able to see long-term community engagement first hand. Seeing the village doctor’s passion for caring for all of his patients and his devotion to medicine really stuck with me and reinforced my passion for pursuing family medicine.

Hobbies: I love reading, swimming, playing flute and playing with my dog.

Fun Fact: I have the sweetest Tanzanian dog that is partially bilingual and understands both Swahili and English commands!

Our Graduates

Class of 2023

Name Residency/Fellowship Current Practice Clinical Interests

Claire Bosworth




Tim Huang




Stephanie E. Moss




Emily (Lily) Peterson





Class of 2022

Name Residency/Fellowship Current Practice Clinical Interests

Ellie Battino, MD

Family Medicine
Natividad Medical Center, Monterey CA


Obstetrics, reproductive health, community-based participatory research, and health at every size

Claire Brady, MD  

Family Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL



Cris Chan, MD

Family Medicine
Stanford Health Care, San Jose, CA


Sports medicine, underserved populations, preventive medicine, medical education

Briyana Domjahn, MD, MPH  

Family Medicine
Advocate Illinois Masonic, Chicago IL


Women’s health, obstetrics, LGBTQ+ health, health equity, social justice, integrating public health and clinical medicine, community health

Adam Korte, MD  

Family Medicine
Advocate Illinois Masonic, Chicago IL


Addiction medicine, social justice, geriatric medicine


Class of 2021

Name Residency/Fellowship Current Practice Clinical Interests

Laura Hurley, MD, MPH

Family Medicine
Allina Health, St Paul MN


Behavioral health and women’s health

Leah Petrucelli, MD

Family Medicine
Advocate Illinois Masonic, Chicago IL


Integrative medicine: acupuncture, herbal medicine, body work, food as medicine, health equity, learning OMT

Kavya Timmireddy, MD

Family Medicine
Strong Memorial, Rochester NY


Health equity work, care for the underserved (with specific focus on care for individuals with disabilities or are LGBTQIA identified), family planning, and behavioral health

John Walton, MD  

Family Medicine
Northwestern McGaw, Lake Forest IL



Rebecca Wornhoff, MD

Family Medicine
Boston University Medical Center, Boston MA


Community health, women’s health, and working with immigrant populations

Jennifer Camello, MD

Family Medicine
University of Colorado, Aurora CO


Healthcare for vulnerable populations, climate change and health, and OB


Class of 2020

Name Residency/Fellowship Current Practice Clinical Interests

Josh Doppelt, MD

Family Medicine
Swedish-Cherry Hill, Seattle WA



Kristen Hillgamyer, MD

Family Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL


Health equity, primary care innovation, sports medicine, behavioral health, addiction medicine

Dorjee Norbu, MD

Family Medicine & Psychiatry (combined program)
University of Cincinnati and Christ Hospital, Cincinnati OH


Address the primary care as well as the mental health needs of our underserved communities

Jackie Hendrix, MD  

Family Medicine
UW Valley Family, Seattle WA


Women’s health, preventive medicine, palliative care, adolescent medicine, Latinx health, and working with underserved communities


Class of 2019

Name Residency/Fellowship Current Practice Clinical Interests

Mallory Davis, MD

Family Medicine
Swedish Medical Center- First Hill, Seattle WA

Fellowship: Addiction Medicine
Swedish Cherry Hill, Seattle WA


HIV medicine, addiction medicine, gender affirming care, reproductive health and justice, and community medicine

Emma Richardson, MD

Family Medicine
Contra Costa Regional Medical and Health Center, San Francisco CA



Valerie Rock, MD, MPH

Family Medicine
Swedish Medical Center- First Hill, Seattle WA

Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center, Seattle, WA

Geriatrics, women’s health, pediatrics, cross-cultural health

Katy Rooney, MD

Family Medicine
The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM

Fellowship: Addiction Medicine
Swedish Cherry Hill, Seattle WA


Primary care, obstetrics, family planning, and managing substance use in pregnancy

Erick Skaff, MD

Family Medicine
West Suburban, Oak Park IL




Class of 2018

Name Residency/Fellowship Current Practice Clinical Interests

Zoe Gordon, MD, MPH

Family Medicine
Lawrence Family Health Canter, Lawrence MA

Lynn Community Health Center, Lynn, MA

Community healthcare

Ramya Kuchibhatla, MD

Family Medicine
Kaiser Permanente Orange County Medical Center, Los Angeles CA

Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Los Angeles, CA


Urgent care

Sean McClellan, MD

Family Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL

Fellowship: National Clinician Scholars Program
UCSF, San Francisco CA

Clinical Instructor, Family Medicine, UCSF

Immigrant health

Research interests: Understanding the distinct ways chronic conditions affects different populations with an emphasis on global health and disparities and a specific focus on Mexico and immigrant populations in the United States


Class of 2017

Name Residency/Fellowship Current Practice Clinical Interests

Kristen Anderson, MD  

Family Medicine
UW Valley, Seattle WA

UW Medicine, Valley Medical Center- Primary and Urgent Care Clinic, Renton, WA

Managing chronic medical conditions, mental health, care of infants and children, and office-based procedures including skin biopsies, IUD and Nexplanon insertion and removal, and joint injections

Ed Elchico, MD

Family Medicine
Swedish Medical Center, Seattle WA

International Community Health Services (ICHS), Seattle, WA

Children’s medicine, teen medicine, pregnancy care, LGBTQ+ care, refugee and immigrant health, medication assisted treatment, mental health

Brian Stojak, MD  

Family Medicine
Advocate Illinois Masonic, Chicago IL

Swedish Hospital, Chicago, IL

Adolescent Health, Pediatric Care, Integrative Medicine, Adult Wellness Exams, LGBTQ+ Health