PGY – IV Residents
Andrea Guerrero Cignarella, MD, MBA candidate
Hello! My name is Andrea and I am one of the chief residents. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and completed medical school at Universidad Central de Venezuela. Before starting residency, I worked as a research fellow in smoking cessation at the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in Miami, FL. While there, understanding and learning about addictions became one of my interests.
Being a Psychiatrist was a decision that expressed my curiosity for human behavior and my desire to help others. I am proud to be part of this amazing field that keeps growing and evolving every day. After all, the mind is the screen that continuously shapes our world and in my opinion, Psychiatry is a field where we can potentially have the deepest impact in a person's life. My priorities are giving my best in everything I do and enjoying life. I like practicing yoga and meditation, going for runs and hiking.
Prerana Suresh Kurtkoti, MD
My name is Prerana Suresh Kurtkoti and I am one of the chief residents in Psychiatry at Rutgers NJMS. I am from Bangalore, India, and have completed my MBBS degree from Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center. The diseases of the mind which are shrouded in mystery have always held a certain allure to me. Working at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, India I saw how the human brain can twist a figment of our imagination into our whole reality and my thirst to understand the mind put me on a journey to become a psychiatrist. It is a specialty where one not only treats patients but also grows as a person. It teaches us how to understand people better, how to handle situations better, and how to appreciate the positive aspects of life. I feel I am a better version of myself now compared to what I was before I started working in the field of psychiatry. My experience at Rutgers psychiatry program has been wonderful. Working at the different clinical sites exposed me to different patient populations and work environments. I have also had the opportunity to explore my potential in teaching and research in this program. I am really excited and looking forward to learning more about psychiatry and its different specialties. My current interest in the field of psychiatry are Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, interventional psychiatry. My other interests outside of psychiatry are dancing, cooking, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Donya Nazery, DO
My name is Donya and I'm a PGY-IV Psychiatry resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Early in my college career, I developed an interest in all things brain, mind, and human psychology. I completed my Bachelors in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior with a Minor in Psychology at the University of California, Davis. While there, I got involved in Autism research at the neurocognitive lab and the MIND institute, studying functional MRIs of adolescents on the autism spectrum. I found that I enjoyed the clinical aspect of interacting with patients and their families. I completed medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Middletown, New York.
During my time here at Rutgers NJMS, I've been afforded many opportunities to thrive and excel both professionally and personally. I was invited to speak at the 2019 Urban Mental Health on social media addiction, co-authored a chapter in the textbook "The Technological Addictions" published by the APA in 2020. I was also able to contribute to multiple resident wellness projects both within our department as well as the GME.
I feel privileged to be able to practice psychiatry as a profession. Psychiatry combines my love of science and the art of connecting with people. I'm interested in a holistic approach to psychiatry with focus not only on treating disease but optimizing mental health through means of proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness. In the future, I see myself practicing holistic psychiatry in an outpatient setting with an interdisciplinary group of colleagues.
Outside of work, you will find me cooking with my husband, enjoying a day out with friends in Jersey City, taking yoga classes or tending to my collection of 150+ tropical houseplants.
Karl Steier, DO
My name is Karl Steier and I am a PGY-IV resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Broward County, FL. As a young person, I had an enthusiastic inclination toward the study of human behavior, beginning with casual readings of books on the subject. The books primed me to look for the poetry in even the most arid and often laborious academic and professional circumstances. I attended Florida Atlantic University and majored in psychology. I was exposed to a multitude of disciplinary perspectives. I quickly identified the disciplines of evolutionary and developmental psychology as my primary areas of interest.
Upon graduation, I applied for jobs in various mental health facilities. Soon thereafter, I started working at a psychiatric hospital, as a mental health technician. The milieu of mental health and medicine became more tangible, and less abstract, as I interacted with various staff members and numerous patients. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to attend medical school. I completed post-graduate requirements and matriculated into medical school. A passion for psychology and neuroscience ameliorated my drive for pursuing psychiatry. In 2015, I moved to Alabama, where I attended the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.
As a future psychiatrist, I anticipate maintaining the utmost respect for the interior landscape of each patient, while offering caring communication, active listening, sharp observational skills, and an in-depth knowledge of today's neuroscience and pharmacology. Psychiatry is a wonderfully challenging multi-disciplinary field that necessitates creativity, precise judgment, patience, and most important of all — compassion. In my free time, I enjoy listening to new music, working out, podcasts, and exploring NJ and NY. I am ineffably thankful to have trained at NJMS.
Philip Wong, MD
My name is Philip Wong, and I am a PGY IV psychiatry resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Prior to receiving my medical education at Rutgers NJMS, I studied psychology and philosophy at New York University. Born in New Jersey, though raised at my family's Chinese restaurant – the place where I call "home" and where my passion for mental health and my path to psychiatry began. Through my passionate curiosity, I learned my love and appreciation for each individual's personal narrative – the stories we tell, not only to others but also to ourselves.
PGY – III Residents
Mary-Anne Hennen, MD
Hey, my name is Mary-Anne and I'm a PGY-III psychiatry resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and an alumni of the same. My friends call me MAH or Mare. I'm a Central (yes Central NJ is real @Al) Jersey girl, born and raised, and attended Rutgers in New Brunswick for my undergraduate education, where I got involved in pre-med summer programs at NJMS as a freshman. It was there that my relationship with NJMS began, and since then it's always held a special place in my heart. Working and studying here provided me with so many opportunities to pursue scholarly activities, like publishing 2 review books for medical students: “Ward Wisdom 2021” and “Ward Wisdom 2022.” I’ve also been fortunate enough to have the opportunities to speak and present in different conferences/lecture series across several disciplines, such as Urban Mental Health 2021, NYU’s Master’s Program in Addiction, and the Minority Association of Premedical Students at Rutgers University Newark. Perhaps the most meaningful accomplishment to me personally is that I was honored to receive the Golden Apple Teaching Award in 2021. Throughout my time here at Rutgers NJMS Psychiatry, I've come to find that my passions within the field revolve around academia, consultation-liaison, addiction, and advocacy.
I'm so grateful to be able to learn and train here at my beloved home program, I truly wouldn’t have chosen to train anywhere else! And in my free time I enjoy painting, sketching, training/playing with my dog Lula, and playing Nintendo switch with my friends and family. I'm also a fan of the true crime genre, and love watching documentaries and listening to podcasts like "Dr. Death," "Serial," "Up and Vanished," “In the Dark,” “Let’s Not Meet,” "MFM," and "The Shrink Next Door," just to name a few!
Saatchi Patell, MD
My name is Saatchi and I am a PGY III resident. I'm a Southern California native who grew up in Los Angeles. I've spent most of my adult life in San Diego, where I attended UC San Diego School of Medicine. I enjoy working with older patients and am particularly interested in the unique challenges patients who remain in the family home as they age face. I enjoy exploring the evolving family dynamics and relationships that come with aging. I appreciate hearing the incredible stories patients collect over the years and having the opportunity to ask "what's next?" to a group of people who aren't asked about their future plans often. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, photography, being outdoors in the sun and of course, spending time with loved ones.
Eve Rosenheck-Crane, MD
Hello! My name is Eve and I am a PGY III psychiatry resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I grew up in central New Jersey, went to school at the University of Michigan (go blue!) and completed medical school at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
I discovered my passion for psychiatry while in medical school. I was drawn to how the field demands the use of both the science of medicine and the art of conversation to best serve patients and their families. My favorite part of medicine is talking with patients, and psychiatry allows me to spend most of my day doing just that. Additionally, our patient populations are frequently neglected and underserved, and working with our patients is often meaningful and rewarding.
My interests within psychiatry include mood and psychotic disorders, especially treatment resistant depression and schizophrenia. I am continuing to explore many potential career paths during my training here at NJMS. I am very thankful for the opportunity to pursue my training here.
Kishan Shah, MD
Hello! My name is Kishan, and I am a PGY-III Resident at Rutgers NJMS. Like many residents at NJMS, I am Jersey born and raised and humbled to be serving a culturally diverse patient population right here in my home state. Since matching at my home program, this Residency has helped me grow into the provider I one day aspire to be. I have had various academic opportunities, including presenting posters and workshops at national conferences such as APA, AAAP, AACAP, ASAM, and AAPL. I also recently completed a chapter in the upcoming APA textbook, Nature Therapy. One of the most important aspects of Residency to me thus far has been the opportunity to engage with and teach our amazing medical students. In my second year of Residency, I served as the Teaching Assistant for the medical school Psychiatry curriculum, in which I enjoyed teaching various classes and small groups. A highlight of that year was receiving the NJMS Golden Apple for Excellence in Teaching.
I have always been fascinated by the holistic nature of Psychiatry. This feat was epitomized during my various rotations in Addiction Psychiatry, which allowed me to see the process of recovery from start to finish and the many socioeconomic factors that play a part in it. It gave me a sincere appreciation for the crucial balance at play between psychotherapy and psychopharmacology and transformed my preconception of what it meant to treat a patient with addiction. As I prepare myself for the next phase in my career, I intend to continue being a voice for those most vulnerable by helping reduce mental health stigma within our society, especially within my own South Asian community. My interests going forward include Addiction Psychiatry and Academic Medicine. And when I'm not in the hospital, you'll probably catch me kicking it on the soccer field in a Messi jersey!
Bellanirys Acosta Arias, MD
My name is Bella Acosta and I'm a PGY-III resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and completed medical school at Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE). I developed an interest in psychiatry since my psychology classes during medical school and decided to pursue my dream of accomplishing a better understanding of the complexities of the mind. Prior to residency, I was working as a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Specifically, my work there was in the Learning-Based Recovery Center Division at the West Haven, VA. I was involved in different research projects as part of an innovative field known as "Digital neurotherapeutics" which involved the improvement of cognitive skills with the use of computer games and exercise in elderly patients and patients with mild cognitive impairment related to alcohol use.
Throughout my time working here in the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Psychiatry Residency Program, I've made wonderful friends and continue to learn a lot every day. My intellectual curiosity in ethical and legal questions related to some clinical cases have sparked a passion for the incredible field of Forensic Psychiatry, which led to a conference presentation in the AAPL on the topic of “Decision-making capacity in the Era of COVID Skepticism”. I plan to continue to hone my career by pursuing further education and training and applying for a Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. In my free time, I love to travel, read dystopian books, spend quality time with my fiance, family and friends, or rewatch my favorite shows like the office!
Memphis Diaz Garcia, MD
Hello, my name is Memphis Diaz Garcia, and I am a new PGY-III resident coming from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I was born in the Dominican Republic in the early 90's. My mother, older sister and I followed my father to the United States soon after, in the search for better opportunities. My father worked hard to get us into the "nicest" neighborhood possible in South Philadelphia. His hard work paid off, as I was able to spend the majority of my formative years in public "magnet" schools. This allowed me to put my foot in the door, propping it open to enter Brown University for my undergraduate education. It was there where I learned that I do not really like numbers so much as I liked talking with others, learning from their perspectives/experiences and applying those lenses to re-framing and communicating the world around me. Therefore, I ended up changing my concentration from pure/theoretical mathematics to anthropology. Through my concentration, I realized that the embarrassingly many hours I spent watching anime —which I still do— and talking to almost anyone was never a waste of time, there were always new lenses through which to view the world. Maybe this aspect of my undergraduate education was the reason why I gravitated towards psychiatry during my medical education.
I knew that I wanted to pursue medicine as a future career. Once I was given the honor to learn through the underserved populations of Newark at NJMS, I did not have a clue what path I wanted to take. I knew I definitely still enjoyed watching anime and I picked up cooking and ballroom dancing. Still, I was confused and almost lost my passion. It was when I was exposed to psychiatry during an elective in my third year that I realized my future career goals. Personally, I feel that psychiatry is a field that relies on the psychological and social aspects of pathology in addition to the biological aspects that are over-reinforced in our general medical education. These aspects are even more important in the care of the surrounding communities of Newark. My introduction to psychiatry aligned very well with my background in anthropology, which has brought me to where I am today. Currently, I plan to apply for Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry fellowship and dedicate my time engaging the diverse populations of patients and cases seen in CL-Psychiatry. I hope to continue serving my community as a CL-Psychiatrist in the future. Ultimately, in the distant future, I want to somehow return to my studies in medical and cultural anthropology to study the varying cultural perspectives of mental illness and their impact on psychiatric care.
Utku Kucuker, MD
Hi! I am Utku and I am a PGY III psychiatry resident. Born and raised in Turkey, I took a rather arduous yet equally fruitful path of doing my residency in the USA after finishing medical school. Once I picked the location on the map for residency, the rest was not difficult, as I had made up my mind in medical school to pursue a career in psychiatry. What attracts me to psychiatry the most is being part of the brave journey to explore one of the biggest unknowns throughout the history, microcosmos or the nature of human mind. Intertwined with this infinite quest is to appreciate and help the suffering of the patients with mental illness.
I was lucky to have great mentors in my career that allowed me to grow in this direction while sparkling and sustaining my interest in clinical and translational research; which plays a crucial role in both my clinical and academic life. I do not want to miss the opportunity to thank to my mentors: Dr. Vedat Sar, Dr. Hale Yapici Eser (Koc University), Dr. Paul E. Croarkin (Mayo Clinic) and Dr. Zeshawn Ali (Rutgers University).
Currently, I am in my third year and I am applying for child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship. The opportunity to help this vulnerable population and to have a positive impact on their life that would stay with them for the rest of their life is my main drive for this field. While doing so, I would like to continue my research on the phenomenology of mental illness in child and adolescent patients to improve psychopathological understanding. By referencing to common traits in various psychiatric disorders, I hope to provide tailored psychotherapeutic interventions. My next aim would be mapping these psychopathological constructs in the brain by using functional imaging, which can be targeted with non-invasive neuromodulation techniques and neurofeedback in the future.
In my down time, I enjoy almost all sorts of sports from very cerebral ones like chess to very physical ones like basketball. I am as competitive as it gets in both. I also enjoy exploring new sitcoms (always open to new recs), and I like the company of good books and slow burn movies.
PGY – II Residents
Sezai Ustun Aydin, MD
Hi! I am Ustun, a PGY-II resident at Rutgers NJMS. I am from Turkey where I also completed my medical training and child psychiatry residency before my residency training at Rutgers NJMS.
I remember seeing my first psychiatry case report -very complex behavioral problems for me as a med student at that time-, and how a team of psychiatrists and psychologists were able to explain the mechanisms underlying these behaviors. I have shadowed cardiac and brain surgeries, but nothing fascinated me more than this case. Treating not only as a biological being but as a whole person with their unique set of needs, desires, fears, strengths, and shortcomings, as well as social and cultural aspects, introduced me to a new approach. Even with similar symptoms, every patient is a unique individual with their own story. I believe this makes psychiatry a field of medicine where treatment is tailored, and medicine meets art.
I am interested in children and adolescent psychiatry, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapies, mindfulness, and technology's impact on young developing minds. Outside the hospital, I enjoy yoga, jogging, and hanging out with friends. Ah, did I forget to mention that I am an avid video gamer?
Cristiana Nicoli de Mattos, MD, PhD
My name is Cristiana Nicoli de Mattos and I am a PGY-II Psychiatry Resident at Rutgers NJMS. I grew up in Brazil and attended medical school at the University of São Paulo.
Early in my medical training, I got fascinated with mental health. I love the fact that Psychiatry is at the same time intellectually stimulating, has a holistic approach to the patient, and has space for different ways of expression such as art (I am someone who always found painting and drawing as a good way of expressing myself).
After finishing medical school I completed my residency in General Psychiatry and received a Ph.D. at the University of São Paulo. In 2017, life circumstances took me to the United States. Since I could not imagine my life without practicing Psychiatry, I decided to apply to Psychiatry Residency Program once again. Rutgers-NJMS will provide me with all the resources and encouragement to be a well-rounded psychiatrist while being able to continue doing research.
In my free time I enjoy drawing and painting, spending time with my pets, gardening, cooking and hiking.
Stephanie Ruthberg, MD, MS
Hello! My name is Stephanie, and I am a PGY-II resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but my extended family has always been here in the tristate area. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where I studied psychology, international studies, and fine art. After working in the fashion industry in NYC, I decided to instead integrate my interest in non-verbal communication, pattern-recognition, and problem-solving with my other longstanding interests in mental and physical health within the world of medicine. I first completed the Columbia Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program and an M.S. in nutrition at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons before coming to Rutgers NJMS for medical school, and I am thrilled to be training at my home program.
What I love most about psychiatry is hearing peoples' stories and being able to help others through vulnerable times. My psychiatry interests include child/adolescent, psychosomatic conditions, trauma, integrative psychiatry, CL psychiatry, psychotherapy, and addiction. I envision my future career as one that combines both inpatient and outpatient work where I can serve a diverse patient population through treatment and advocacy. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, drawing, yoga, travel, and playing with my two dogs.
Hojun "Phillip" Yoo, MD
Hi! My name is Hojun "Phillip" Yoo. I am a PGY-II psychiatry resident at NJMS. I was born in Seoul, Korea, and moved to the States when I was 8. I was drawn to medicine when I began thinking about the central question of "What makes a life worth living?"
I have always been extremely lucky to have had incredible mentors throughout my life. Two mentors who have changed my life are Dr. Nicolas Ahn, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at CWRU medical school and Dr. Insoo Hyun, Ph.D, a bioethicist, currently the director of research ethics at Harvard Medical School. Under Dr. Ahn’s guidance, I was able to be a part of multiple journal publications, and with Dr. Hyun’s encouragement, I ended up pursuing a Master's degree in bioethics.
Another such mentor has been Dr. Opler. Starting medical school, I initially had no interest in psychiatry. Studying under Dr. Opler in my first week of my psychiatry rotation, I found psychiatry to be an exciting, meaningful, and compassionate discipline. Additionally, on an academic level, I found psychiatry to be at the rare intersection between medicine, bioethics, and the humanities. These mentors have had the greatest impact on the way I think about psychiatry and approach patient care, and I try to acknowledge their support whenever possible.
My current interests lie in psycho-oncology, palliative psychiatry, and general consult-liaison psychiatry, as well as learning more about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
For fun, I enjoy kendo and messing around with my kendo equipment, weightlifting, and fidgeting with my fountain pens.
Nikith Shekar, DO
Hello! My name is Nick Shekar and I am a PGY-II psychiatry resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born and raised in central New Jersey, and am excited to be back in my home state for residency. I attended undergrad at the University of Maryland, where I studied Physiology and Neurobiology with a minor in Spanish. While in college, I joined a research lab studying social anxiety in adolescents. I spent a year before medical school working as a medical scribe in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where my interest in psychiatry heightened. I attended medical school at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine in Long Island, NY. I spent the summer after my first year of medical school in a clinical research lab studying novel treatments for Alzheimers Disease and Major Depressive Disorder.
I decided to pursue a career in psychiatry because I am passionate about mental health and specifically lowering the stigma of mental health care for underrepresented communities. On clinical rotations in psychiatry, I loved the balance of talking to patients and getting to know their stories, while also thinking about psychopharmacology and other interventions that could improve their overall well-being. I have a strong interest in sports psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and neuromodulation techniques such as TMS.
In my free time, I love playing basketball, swimming, cooking, and listening to hip-hop music (huge Drake fan)! I am a passionate Philadelphia sports fan, and my favorite sports to watch are basketball and football.
Celena Ma, MD
Hi my name is Celena and I'm a PGY-II psychiatry resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born in Los Angeles, CA but grew up mostly in northern NJ. I went to Tufts for college and stayed in Boston post-graduation working at MGH researching GABA receptors. I attended medical school at Rutgers NJMS and I'm excited to continue serving our diverse patient population here as a resident. I'm passionate about the normalization of mental health and learning how to be the best advocate for my patients. Some of my current interests include consult-liaison and perinatal psychiatry.
Fauzia Arain, MD
Hi! My name is Fauzia Arain, and I am a PGY II resident at Rutgers NJMS. I spent most of my life in Karachi, Pakistan, and graduated from Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore in 1997. I then worked as an Ob/Gyn for 12 years in my private practice at Naila Hospital, Karachi, as a clinician/ surgeon as well as an administrator, serving an underrepresented female population.
While in practice, I joined the National Women Healthcare Forum Pakistan, volunteered at nonprofit clinics, and conducted free community workshops to help improve women’s physical and mental health in outreach areas of Karachi. Partnered with Asia’s largest charity hospital, Kohi Goth, I also volunteered at outpatient clinics and surgical camps in rural areas treating trauma patients and taught midwives and nurses to conduct basic obstetric procedures.
This is when I developed a passion to work in psychiatry; I realized that I enjoyed hearing about people’s unique stories, and although I liked the surgical components of Ob/Gyn, I felt that I had more to offer to psychiatry. The mind is also incredibly mysterious and fascinating; psychiatry’s ability to bridge the abstract scientific concepts of neuroscience with real face-to-face patient interaction drew me in.
I migrated to the US in 2013 to allow my children better access to quality education and to redefine my medical goals. So far, I have completed a Psychiatry Clinical Research Fellowship at NYU Langone with Dr. Barry Reisberg, at the Aging & Dementia Clinical Research Center, NY. I also worked at Columbia University Medical Center NY as a Clinical Research Associate in Oncology. I then completed an internship in Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State School of Medicine, MI, and a Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, BronxCare, NY. I have taken on many scholarly opportunities and have presented at various national and international conferences. I continue to do my advocacy work and dedicate some portion of my time to mentoring physicians with stories like mine of migration, loss, resilience, and perseverance.
Outside of medicine, I am chair of the PAPANA (Pakistani American Psychiatric Association of North America) Communication & Medica Committee, as I continue to do my advocacy work and dedicate some portion of my time to mentoring physicians with stories like mine of migration, loss, resilience, and perseverance. I also have a passion for fabric and glass painting (I often paint with my daughters Aleena and Aimen). I also love Pakistani cooking and baking (specifically patisserie with my son Haroon). I enjoy dancing the bhangra (it is getting harder with age…) and reading Urdu poetry. Above all, I love spending time with my husband Zubair; and did I mention that I have three grown-up kids?
PGY – I Residents
Hello! My name is Olufunlola Adefalu but everyone calls me “Lola”. I am a PGY-I at Rutgers NJMS. I have a multinational background, born in the United Kingdom but raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Afterwards, I briefly returned to London to complete Advanced level sciences in Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Then, once again, I relocated to the United States and earned a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing at Rutgers College of Nursing in Newark. My experience as a nurse working on the crisis unit with this patient population sparked my interest and passion about Psychiatry. I studied Medicine at Windsor University school of medicine in St. Kitts and my continued interest in this field blossomed. My particular area of interest is acute inpatient psychiatry where I get to see the transformation of a patient from his or her depressive state become functional in the society or see the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenic patients abate. Additionally, I am passionate about community psychiatry, where I can continue to bring awareness to the community about mental illness in hopes of eroding some of the stigma surrounding mental illness. I enjoy cooking, dancing, traveling and taking nature walks in the park.
Hello, my name is Mariam and I’m a PGY-I resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born and raised in Ireland and grew up in a small town named Carlow. I then moved to the United Kingdom (Manchester) at the age of 13 - which is where I call home.
I attended high school, did my A levels and medical school in the UK. I also worked as a junior doctor there for the National Health Service before moving to the US in pursuit of an exciting new adventure with my husband (and a residency in Psychiatry!).
Psychiatry interests me as I believe it’s a field where patients are seen and treated as individuals in context of their life as a whole and not just as numbers or lab results. I also feel that a career in Psychiatry will allow me to truly help and treat the underserved- in hope that I can help break the vicious cycle that patients are often stuck in due to their mental health.
In my free time I enjoy shopping, going on long walks surrounded by nature and spending time with family & friends. I also love travelling- I have visited 27 countries so far and have a personal goal to visit as many new places as possible.
I am very excited to be at Rutgers and am looking forward to the years to come!
Hello, my name is Nisha and I am a PGY-I resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born in India and raised primarily in Boston and Toronto (wholeheartedly identify as a Canadian). After completing my undergraduate at McMaster University, I attended St. George’s University for medical school, where I spent my 1st year in the UK and 2nd year in Grenada. The next two years, I spent time living in different parts of the US and doing rotations in 6 different hospitals. After all the gallivanting, I’m so glad to finally call NJ home!
Throughout my life, as I moved from one place to another, I greatly enjoyed exploring new sights and engaging in various local cultures. In the process, I have found that understanding people and their motivations was always the most enriching part. My experience being exposed to a fair amount of cultural diversity fostered a particular interest in global mental health. As I learnt to understand my own psych and my own motivations throughout the years, I have also been increasingly drawn to the connection between philosophy, psychology and mental well being.
Outside of work, I enjoy an active life of traveling, playing tennis, cabin road trips, and the occasional new york city weekend. Otherwise, I’m also a huge fan of the more subdued/lazy ordering-in and watching tv in silence kind of weeknights.
Hi! My name is Allison and I’m a PGY-I psychiatry resident at Rutgers NJMS. I grew up in northern New Jersey (central jersey is not a thing @Mary-Anne), and attended University of Delaware for undergrad, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Middletown, NY for medical school before making my way back to New Jersey for residency. During my third year I had the opportunity to do an audition rotation at NJMS on the consult service and immediately felt at home. I made core connections with both residents and attendings, and was able to build upon my existing psychiatric clinical knowledge. Currently I am not sure what field within psychiatry I want to pursue, but my interests include child-adolescent, consult-liaison, and addiction. In my free time you can find me at the beach, traveling, reading, or simply hanging out with friends!
Hi, I’m Andrew, a PGY-I at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I’m from North Carolina and worked previously as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In my time as an LCSW, I was fortunate to work in both inpatient and outpatient settings in several capacities, with patients from all walks of life seeking treatment for a wide array of diagnoses. Initially, I worked in a rural hospital conducting psychiatric risk assessments in the Emergency Department. There, I cut my teeth in clinical work and learned a great deal about how medicine and mental health intersect. It quickly became apparent that mental and physical health are intertwined, which is part of what inspired me to become a physician. I earned my medical degree at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City; planning all along to specialize in psychiatry. My interests include consult-liaison and forensic psychiatry, but I love the field generally. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to complete my psychiatry residency at Rutgers. Residency is demanding, but in my free time I enjoy strength training, gaming, studying true crime, and spending time with my family.
Hi, my name is Christine Kim, and I am a PGY-I resident at Rutgers-NJMS. I grew up in immigrant towns in NY and NJ. I attended Rutgers- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I became interested in psychiatry when I started working in homeless shelters. I made a lot of good friends there and realized that I could do more to help them. I am excited to serve the underserved and learn more about mental health and access to care. My ultimate goal is to be a great advocate for my patients.
Outside of the hospital, I love spending time with my family, friends, and boyfriend. I enjoy reading books and comics, watching anime, walking, hiking, and trying new food.
Yusuf Ali Sendil
Hello! I am Ali, a PGY-I resident at Rutgers NJMS. I grew up and completed medical school in Turkey. I worked with individuals living with schizophrenia as a volunteer medical student; with refugee populations as a general practitioner; and as a psychiatric resident for a year. Then, at the start of 2021, I moved to the United States, where I worked in clinical research with schizophrenia in Boston before joining NJMS.
My curiosity about mental health began during my teenage years when I realized that most mental health illnesses are perceived as inexplicable, irreversible, or a choice by many in society. In medical school, my fascination for psychiatry grew stronger as I began to learn about how an individual’s genetic background, when combined with their life experiences, can result in changes in their neurocircuitry, leading to behavioral changes and the development of psychiatric disorders. My interests include understanding severe psychiatric illnesses better, treating them in a more targeted way, and bringing these treatments to the underserved. I also enjoy teaching and am so grateful to be in a program that has ample opportunities for my career aspirations.
In terms of hobbies, I like spending my time at different altitudes than sea level, such as snowboarding, mountaineering, or the other way around, scuba diving.
Hi I’m Isaac and I am a PGY-I resident at Rutgers NJMS. I am a New Jersey native and Rutgers lifer, having completed undergrad, medical school, and now residency all at Rutgers. During medical school, I received incredible exposure to diverse psychopathology through the amazing faculty/staff in the psychiatry department, which sparked my interest in psychiatry. I am excited to be working in psychiatry during a time of innovative research and decreasing mental health stigma. In my free time I enjoy traveling, hiking, snowboarding, and playing with my dog Melon.