Series: Department welcomes its new residents, part III

Every year, the National Resident Match Program’s Match Day has an enormous impact on students throughout the country who are looking to further their medical education. This year on March 31, 33,535 first-year resident program matches were made. Nine of those matches were made with the U of M’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Our new residents include Jeremiah Atkinson, MD; Jonas Attilus, MD, MPH; Hamed Ekhtiari, MD, PhD; Jamie Fyda, MD; Hasti Hadizadeh, MD; Eric Leppink, BA; Christian Morfaw, MD; Caitlin Raasch, BA; and Masoud Salehi, MD. They will start their journeys in June.

This is the third in a series of three articles about our nine new residents. We are proud to introduce:

Christian Morfaw, MD
Christian Morfaw, MDDr. Morfaw earned his MD from the University of Buea Faculty of Health Sciences in Cameroon. While in Cameroon, he worked for several years at three organizations as a general practice physician before spending two years as the regional coordinator for the West Regional Technical Group against HIV/AIDS, in Bafoussam. He received a national award for his work in this capacity. After coming to Minnesota, Dr. Morfaw worked as a caregiver at Clare Housing in Minneapolis and in various positions at Homeward Bound in Plymouth. He also volunteered for several organizations, including the Hadi Medical Clinic in Minneapolis.

He built his research skills working with a malaria prevention project in the Buea Health District in

Cameroon, gaining experience in public health and epidemiology under the leadership of Dr. Peter Nde-Fon. Dr. Morfaw also participated in a community health practice under the auspices of the University of Buea Faculty of Health Sciences to identify the primary health-related problems and assess progress toward goals.

Dr. Morfaw is first author of three published papers and has given several oral presentations in both Cameroon and Minnesota and is multilingual. In his spare time, he enjoys soccer, singing, cooking, dancing, and spending time with his family.

Caitlin Raasch, MD
Caitlin Raasch, MDWhen Dr. Raasch learned she had matched with the U of M, she Tweeted, “My heart is so full. I get to spend the next four years at my first-choice program, UMN Psychiatry. Pinch me!!”

She will complete her MD in May 2021 from the University of Minnesota and earned a BA in biology and women’s and gender studies from St. Olaf in Northfield, MN. Dr. Raasch began her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, in biology and poverty studies. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and received an MCAT Dean's Full Tuition Scholarship for medical school.

Dr. Raasch’s work experience includes a year as a medical scribe for Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, and two years as a transfer student counselor at St. Olaf. She co-founded and volunteers with the U’s Gopher Grocery Assistance Program to help the elderly order groceries online was also a volunteer at the Red Door Clinic Needle Exchange Program, the Interprofessional Street Outreach Program, and Pillsbury House Integrated Health Clinic, all in Minneapolis; and piloted a new program at the Northfield Hospital Elder Life Program designed to prevent delirium in elderly patients.

As a fledgling researcher, Dr. Raasch volunteered at the Minnesota Medical Research Foundation working with Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD, on a traumatic brain injury project. She also worked as a research assistant for Cresta Jones, MD, on maternal and infant outcomes during advanced age pregnancies. Under the leadership of Kaz Nelson, MD, of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Raasch worked on a project that examined the intersection of gender and medical student inter-professionalism. She has made poster and oral presentations and is a co-author of a published paper.

In her spare time, Dr. Raasch enjoys baking, crafts, home improvement projects, and camping.

Masoud Salehi, MD
Masoud Salehi, MDDr. Salehi completed his MD at the Iran University of Medical Sciences School of Medicine in Tehran. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, working with Professor Marco A. Grados, MD, MPH, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division. The work is focused on anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders in youth. While in medical school, Dr. Salehi volunteered as co-instructor of weekly biostatistics workshops for medical students.

He gained clinical experience in the private psychiatry clinic of Hamid Reza Ahmadkhaniha, MD, in Tehran. During his military service, Dr. Salehi served as a doctor in clinics in Piranshahr, a medically underserved area in Iran.

In addition to his research fellowship, Dr. Salehi spent almost two years at the Nikan Health Researchers Institute in Tehran as an unpaid research assistant under the leadership of Masoud Ahmadzad Asl, MD. The research team would eventually publish an article about the role of folate in psychosis due to methamphetamine use in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal. Dr. Salehi has published three other papers in journals — one of which was selected as an Editor’s Choice — and has made poster and oral presentations at meetings throughout the United States.

In his spare time, he enjoys going to the cinema and is also an amateur filmmaker. He likes to cook, work out, and enjoys photography.

This completes our series about our new residents. We look forward to beginning to work with them all in June.

Here are the links to Part 1 and Part 11.

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