- Year 1: Class of 2023
- Year 2: Class of 2022
- Year 3: Class of 2021
Year 1: Class of 2023
Sarah Copelas, DO
Medical school: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical interests: Women's health and family planning, adolescent health, gender-affirming medicine, sexual medicine, primary care psychiatry, and immigrant health.
Personal interests: Outside of medicine, I love all things outdoors – hiking, nordic skiing, and kayaking, to name a few – and I am continually working to brew the perfect batch of kombucha. I also cannot pass up a delicious bowl of ramen or a competitive game of Yahtzee against my partner.
Why UMN Medical Center: I pursued family medicine as a way to combine my curiosities about social justice, science, and cultural humility. Despite my UMMC interview day taking place during a winter blizzard, I loved everything about Smiley’s Clinic; talking over lunch about primary care in local correctional facilities made my heart tingle and I knew these were my people. I was also looking for a program with a strong family planning and LGBTQIA+ curriculum and found that at UMMC.
Christian Matthews, MD
Medical school: Boston University School of Medicine
Medical interests: My clinical interests include broad-spectrum primary care, with a focus on sports medicine, lifestyle medicine / healthy living, preventative medicine, point-of-care ultrasound, procedures, and mental health.
Personal interests: Watching, playing, and coaching all sports, but especially hockey and soccer. Boating, water skiing, and fishing. Hiking and camping. Downhill and cross-country skiing.
Why the Twin Cities: I love the people, and I love the connection to the outdoors in a big city. Having grown up in a similar environment, I feel I can relate the people in the Twin Cities. This includes taking advantage of the warm summers, boating, biking, and lounging around the lakes while embracing the cold winters with hockey, cross-country skiing, and making sure you have an extra 15 minutes in the morning to de-ice your car. The combination must have something to do with why the people are so friendly, resilient, and optimistic.
Why UMN Medical Center: I was impressed by the educational resources and opportunities for innovation that Smiley's and the University of Minnesota have to offer. Their commitment to providing comprehensive care to patients with things like in-clinic labs, ultrasound, and procedures, to go along with a world-class hospital system, assured me that I would be ready for anything that I might encounter after residency. They are also leaders in my personal interest in sports medicine, with an excellent fellowship program and opportunities during residency to work with athletes through the University of Minnesota, USA Soccer Cup, and the Twin Cities Marathon. All this together with a wonderfully friendly staff, and what more could I want?
Career goals: After residency, I hope to continue with my training through a sports medicine fellowship. My ultimate goal is to provide robust primary care service with expertise in sports medicine to all members of the community, including collegiate athletes.
Elizabeth Rose McAlister, MD
Medical school: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Medical interests: Harm reduction, sexual health, financial resource mindful healthcare, healthcare access as social justice, trauma-informed and intersectionality-minded care, LGBTQIA+ care and allyship, and autonomy-based advocacy.
Personal interests: Travel, absorbing books and podcasts on non-medical topics, dance, fire breathing and fire dancing, circus arts, and pole dancing.
Why the Twin Cities: The enthusiasm with which Twin Cities residents exercise and defend their civil liberties.
Why UMN Medical Center: Local community connections - and I hope to collaborate to develop the medical practice model I intend to build. The precedent of supporting patient autonomy-based training in the mixed political climate as demonstrated by RHEDI status.
Career goals: I intend to develop a model for a Red Umbrella clinic (in the same way as there is a general understanding of what "LGBT+ friendly" does or does not entail), and then build an intersectionality minded practice utilizing that model. To get as many official medical associations as possible to officially support the decriminalization of sex work as a public health and safety measure.
Abi Moeller, DO
Medical school: A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
Medical interests: Addiction medicine, behavioral health, women's health and reproductive rights, caring for the underserved, healthcare for those experiencing homelessness, HIV care and prevention, and LGBTQIA health.
Personal interests: I enjoy many different outdoor activities including hiking, running, and playing soccer. I'm an avid cook and baker. I love hanging out with my rescue pets, dog Sayef and cat Finn.
Why the Twin Cities: Many different outdoor activities year round.
Why UMN Medical Center: I met several of UMMC residents at the AAFP National Conference during my fourth year of medical school. In addition to having several training opportunities I was interested in, I felt an instant connection that "these were my people." I attended a fall event sponsored by the program and it only confirmed my initial feelings. The program had the strengths of being part of a large academic institution with robust family medicine / community health department while still having a strong commitment to the community they serve. Every member of the staff, faculty, and residents that I met were welcoming, supportive and seemed like a fun group.
Margo Tomka, DO
Medical school: Des Moines University
Medical interests: Women-centered comprehensive reproductive health, LGBTQI health, children and adolescent health and education.
Personal interests: Biking, swimming, hiking, and cooking.
Why the Twin Cities: Looking forward to having an answer to this one in the near future!
Why UMN Medical Center: The clinic's inclusivity and mission to serve its community. The RHEDI program. The welcoming residents, faculty, and staff during interview day.
Career goals: Provide comprehensive healthcare to underserved communities with respect and dignity.
Year 2: Class of 2022
Jackie Cameron, MD
Medical school: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Medical interests: Women's health and reproduction rights, adolescent health, sports medicine, procedures
Personal interests: Ice hockey, intramural sports, Green Bay Packers, hiking, boating, sailing, reading, spending time with family, friends and dog
Why UMN Medical Center: RHEDI program, affiliation with the University, residents and clinic staff on interview day, the mission of the clinic and the community it serves, the incorporation of ultrasound during clinic visits.
Anne Gair, MD
Medical school: University of Minnesota Medical School
Medical interests: Childhood literacy, Pediatric well-child checks, Health promotion, Motivational interviewing, Lifestyle modification, Narrative medicine, Oral health
Personal interests: Being active: running, hiking, skiing, kayaking, exploring nature, etc. Being creative: ceramics, card-making, writing, etc. Embracing earth: hauling brush, bailing hay, splitting wood, etc. Watching and photographing beautiful sunsets on the lake. Being with animals and people I love.
Why UMN Medical Center: I think all of the U of M Family Medicine Residency Programs are incredibly strong programs that train their residents to be tremendous family doctors; and I love how UMMC also provides certainty of being well-trained in trans health and reproductive health. Pediatrics is a particular area of family medicine that I am passionate about, and I love how the clinic promotes childhood literacy. I love the energy and vivacity that the residents share. Last, and certainly not least, the name of the clinic is too good to be true. Smiling is one of my favorite things to do, so how could I not be attracted to a program with a clinic named Smiley's?
Gina Groshek, MD
Medical school: Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical interests: Comprehensive women's health, addiction medicine, trans medicine
Personal interests: Prefer to stay warm indoors with my knitting, crocheting, or machine sewing projects in winter, and love going on walks with partner and dog, and often go disc golfing when the weather is nice
Why UMN Medical Center: I'm interested in comprehensive women's health, office procedures, transgender medicine, and addiction medicine. When I was told I could do all of those things, and still have elective time to use, I was ecstatic! This is an overall strong program.
Amanda Kupris, MD
Medical school: University of Queensland School of Medicine
Medical interests: LGBTQIA health, Palliative care, Woman's health (OB/GYN), Caring for the Underserved, and Adolescent Health
Personal interests: I play bass guitar. I am a drag king when time allows. I love to play video games and board games. I enjoy hiking and being active. I love music and festivals. I play softball, but enjoy playing other sports. I read regular books and comic books.
Why UMN Medical Center: I lived in Minnesota as a kid for a while before going back to Iowa and loved it! So when I went AAFP National Conference I immediately went to the University of Minnesota booths. The Smiley's (Medical Center) group was so friendly and inviting right away! They loved my dreams for the future and wanted to make them come true. They also offered many skills I was interested such as the RHEDI program, getting to work with the LGBTQIA community, as well as being a Baby Friendly hospital. I couldn't pass up this great program.
Jillian Trieff, MD
Medical school: Boston University School of Medicine
Medical interests: Preventive medicine, addiction medicine, LGBTQ+ health, sports medicine/exercise as medicine, general primary care, diabetes prevention and management
Personal interests: Fun outdoor activities, enjoying local food, taking in some of the great professional sports that make their home in the Twin Cities
Why UMN Medical Center: Many things drew me to the University of MN Medical Center FM Residency, but nothing more than the wonderful faculty and staff I met on interview day and the diverse patient population that Smiley's serves.
Avery Tucker, DO
Medical school: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical interests: Behavioral health, preventative care and performing in-office procedures
Personal interests: Anything outdoors-camping, hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking. I also love traveling, playing tennis, working out, cats and watching sports-especially the MN Twins
Why UMN Medical Center: While I was drawn to this program for many reasons, it was the welcoming environment, great location and amazing residents, staff and faculty that solidified my decision to pursue residency here.
Year 3: Class of 2021
Stefania Baccino, MD
Medical school: Universidad de la República - Facultad de Medicina
Medical interests: Women's health, obstetrics, procedural and preventative medicine
Personal interests: Biking, going to the park with my dog, gardening, sewing
Why the Twin Cities: The big city vibe for its relatively small size, reminiscent of my hometown in Uruguay. It also has a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy during the warm weather, including great dog parks.
Why UMN Medical Center: I applied because I was interested in working with a diverse patient population in a University environment, but what ultimately won me over were the warm residents, faculty and staff I met during the interview season.
Kathryn (Katie) Barta, MD
Medical school: Creighton University School of Medicine
Medical interests: Procedural women's health and adolescent medicine
Personal interests: Kayaking, cross country skiing, gardening, and tennis. I also enjoy eating and occasionally cooking, petting my cat, painting and crafting.
Why the Twin Cities: Nothing beats the Twin Cities' park system.
Why UMN Medical Center: I did an away rotation at Smiley's and was blown away by the atmosphere here. Everyone treats everyone like family, patients/student/residents/staff/attendings/etc. I had never experienced such an open, friendly and community-centered program, and I couldn't wait to be a part of it!
Morgan Buda, MD
Medical school: East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine
Medical interests: LGBTQ health, addiction medicine, and women's health
Personal interests: Traveling, hiking, biking, and exploring with my partner and our pets. I enjoy staying active, especially playing basketball and flag football, skiing, and taking advantage of the hiking trails around the city.
Why UMN Medical Center: This program is a well-rounded Family Medicine program that gives me the opportunity to pursue my passions in medicine. UMMC embraces diversity and focuses on patient-centered care. I also fell in love with the Twin Cities and the diversity here!
Charlie Goebel, MD
Medical school: Creighton University School of Medicine
Medical interests: Urban outpatient medicine with a focus on HIV Primary Care, LGBTQ health care, nutrition, and preventive medicine
Personal interests: Tennis, biking, kayaking, canoeing, cooking, eating, and hanging out with my cat.
Why the Twin Cities: I love the culture, food, and outdoors options here.
Why UMN Medical Center: What drew me to Smiley's was the faculty and their open-minded, creative approaches to patient care. I also wanted a program with a diverse patient population, and good academic opportunities.
Vivian Liu, MD
Medical school: St. George's University
Medical interests: Sexual health, LGBTQ healthcare, reproductive health, nutrition and culinary medicine, HIV primary care
Personal interests: Craft beer brewing and tasting, cooking, culinary medicine, exploring the outdoors
Why the Twin Cities: The nature, fresh air, and very friendly people. It feels like home!
Why UMN Medical Center: Its reputation as an academically rigorous and well-rounded family medicine program. More importantly, I experienced the culture of medicine here during the interview process and was touched by the collective spirit, camaraderie, and shared dedication of the program to issues of justice and health access for all, with special focus on populations such as the immigrant and LGBTQ communities.
Mitchell Mock, MD
Medical school: University of Alabama Medical School
Medical interests: Sports medicine, palliative care, behavioral health, and pain/addiction.
Personal interests: Spending time with my wife and our fur baby Mango, video games, rugby, yoga, weightlifting, reading, and hiking.
Why UMN Medical Center: The diversity in residents and patients, the challenge of being somewhere new with different cultures than my own, and I love the Smiley's clinic!
Kristin Schwacha, DO
Medical school: Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical interests: Reproductive health, LGBT care, osteopathic manipulative medicine
Personal interests: Hiking, yoga, history, visiting museums
Why the Twin Cities: I love how much hiking there is to do around the Twin Cities, the art scene, and the political engagement of its people.
Why UMN Medical Center: The UMMC's commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive primary care, reproductive health, and warm and friendly environment.
About our alumni:
- Of all residents who graduate from our program, most enter practice immediately after residency. About one in every 10 graduates will continue their training in a fellowship.
- Our board pass rate has been 100 percent for the past six years (national average is 94.3 percent).
- 67 percent of our graduates work in an outpatient setting, 33 percent work in an inpatient setting, and a small percentage incorporate OB in their practice.
- Our resident groups are racially and culturally diverse - 56 percent Asian, 22 percent Caucasian, 12 percent with two or more races, and 10 percent Black/African American.
Below are our graduates of the last five years, including (where available) their current city of practice.
Julie Amaon, MD
Innovating care delivery with a startup organization
Alysse Cruz, MD
Outpatient Practice at Allina Health in Fridley, MN
Kelsey Finn, DO
Outpatient Practice in Waikiki Health Center in Waikiki, Hawaii
Daniel Johnson, DO
Outpatient Practice at HealthPartners in Stillwater, MN and UMMC Residency Community Preceptor
Joseph MacDonald, MD
Practicing family medicine at Stillwater Medical Group in Stillwater, MN
Justin Penny, DO
UMN Medical Center Residency faculty in Minneapolis, MN
Temur Chowdhury, MBBS
Marshall Clyde, MD
Daniel Johnson, DO
David Peter, MD, MPH
Nicole Sheehan, DO
Sharondeep "Sharon" Toor, MD
Jennifer Brown, MD
Kriti Choudhary, MBBS, MPH
Andrea "Anna" Larson, DO
Nzube "Zube" Okonkwo, MD
Elizabeth Price, MD
Alexandra Tsvilina, MD, PhD
Kemi Ajibade, MD
Naima Ali, MD
Richard Brown, DO
Arlene Rillo, MD, RN
Las Vegas, NV
Maui Sayed, MD
Ayman Srajeldin, MD, ND
Hamilton, Ontario - Canada
Maleeha Faisal, MBBS
Amanda Hinrichs, DO
Sean Schulz, DO
Sonny Singh, MD
Las Vegas, NV
Laurie Townsend, MD
Sufian Zayed, MD
Naveen Kumar Anantha, MBBS
Karen Borchert, MD
Deqa Mohamed, MBBS
Noor Qureshi, MBBS
Jaskiran Sandhu, MBBS
Adalberto Torres, MD