Our Residency Program Is Comprised of Extremely High Caliber Physicians With Diverse Interests And Backgrounds.
NJMS has a tradition of commitment to diversity and has fostered a spirit of inclusiveness for its highly diverse community, faculty, staff, residents and students. We recognize the impact that diversity has on the educational experience of all students and on the delivery of culturally competent quality healthcare, especially in a community as culturally diverse as Newark is.
Explore some of the activities organized by the NJMS Office of Diversity at:
We also invite you to meet some of our current housestaff!
Click here for a list of all 2021-2022 Medicine & Medicine-Pediatrics residents:
Benjamin Simmons, MD (PGY-II)
I was born and raised in Queens, NY and have always considered myself a city kid at heart. I grew up observing how our country systemically undervalued many of its own communities, and knew I wanted to be part of the force that shifts this ideology. My passion for medicine came from the merging of my interest in scientific conversations and my interest in engaging with the community. As for my love of research, I remember being young and feeling unsettled in seeing people make decisions about their health based on opinions and rumors; I felt that there had to be a way to come up with objective data that we could make shared decisions based on. Rutgers NJMS is a great place for me because a large part of the patient population are from communities that have been taken advantage of and need the most empathy and compassion, and the faculty is amazing at being direct in confronting these issues. The fellowship-match strength of a program is also very important to me, as many of the amazing aspects of internal medicine fall under one of its many subspecialties. NJMS has an excellent track record of matching its residents into the most competitive of subspecialties.
Monica Abreu Diaz, MD (PGY-III)
Two of my biggest passions are practicing medicine and cooking, both of which involve a delicate balance of science and art. Additionally, both medicine and cooking bring people together, whether it is family and friends around the dinner table or attendings and residents around a table for rounds.
I was drawn to internal medicine because it requires us to see the medical and social aspects of an individual as a whole. NJMS and the city of Newark gave me the possibility of learning in an environment with endless pathology from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Because I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, I always wanted to explore the world of medicine and other cultures beyond the island’s beautiful horizons and coming to this program with its abundance of diversity in its residents and patient population was the right choice for me.
Lawrence Benedict, MD (PGY-II)
Growing up in Southern New Jersey, I knew I was going to be an engineer. From The Academy of Engineering Sciences for high school to a degree from Drexel’s Biomedical Engineering, to 6 years working in medical devices, I was an engineer through and through (I even fit the old adage of the extroverted engineer, I would look at your shoes when I was talking). But by a chance assignment at work, I was put in charge of making phone calls to patients to determine the potential risks and injuries they experienced using medical devices. Almost instantly the patients became more interesting to me than the devices; the complexity, emotions, impact, medicine had it all. Initially, I felt lost but after completing a post-bacc, I found myself back at Drexel University for medical school and didn’t have another doubt.
I chose Rutgers NJMS because I felt a kinship to the approach to medicine, an interdisciplinary team working together to improve the institution as a whole and achieve the greatest care possible. The program also offers countless opportunities to broaden your expertise including several possible built in tracks as well as a chance to take business classes while completing residency.
Hyein Jeon, MD (PGY-III)
I chose Internal Medicine for its ability to intricately tie together intellectual rigor and form in-depth relationships with my patients. NJMS has provided amazing opportunities to be challenged academically: even after a full year, still, nothing beats the thrill of finally being able to explain all of the patient’s symptoms, after endlessly inquiring and probing into secondary, tertiary, and even superimposing causes. I have also found it fulfilling to serve an incredibly diverse patient population. In this way, NJMS has reaffirmed my choice to pursue Internal Medicine.
But what truly strikes me is the extremely supportive and diverse community of residents, staff, and faculty at NJMS. I have benefited so much from their camaraderie, excellent teaching and mentorship generously offered in both my clinical and research pursuits. I constantly strive to emulate the ways they have taught me, by example, to be a better clinician, mentor, and educator. I was thrilled to be accepted in the Clinician Educator track!
Sarah Bentil- Owusu, MD (PGY-III)
I was born in Ghana, West Africa, and my family moved to the United States when I was 8 years of age. I spent the majority of my formative years in North Carolina. It was there that I completed my professional graduate career at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. During my time in medical school, I found profound enjoyment in the complete care of patients as well as working on a team to solve the puzzle that was their diagnosis. The rotations that brought the most joy were cardiology and the medical intensive care unit. It was important to me during my application for residency that I chose a place that was not only diverse in population but also in pathology. I can say that I have found that in the internal medicine program at Rutgers NJMS. Not only am I surrounded by colleagues who come from unique backgrounds, I have also been surrounded by diagnoses and illnesses only heard of in textbooks. It is both a challenge and a reward treating a unique population such as ours and I am humbled at the opportunity to do so. The camaraderie with my fellow residents combined with the population and unique pathology has made training at this program an invaluable experience.
Sana Rashid, DO (PGY-III)
At the age of eight, I emigrated from Pakistan to the United States with my family. New Jersey quickly became my new home. I attended Monmouth University as an undergraduate where I studied Chemistry and Political Science. Ultimately, I decided to pursue a career in medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. During my time there, I discovered that I loved medicine as a whole and internal medicine would be perfect fit. NJMS has allowed me to work with a culturally diverse group of extremely driven and accomplished colleagues who constantly motivate me. Equally, I have made some lifelong friends in the short time I have been here. It is humbling and rewarding to serve the patients of Newark and learn from the incredibly complex pathology. I am glad to have joined the Urban Health track, as it adds to my understanding of the psycho-socio-economic dimension that accompanies individual pathologies and I think it will help me tremendously in my future practice of Cardiology for the underserved.