Kishan Shah, MD
Hello! My name is Kishan, and I am one of the chief residents. 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. I have always been fascinated by the holistic nature of Psychiatry—along with a thorough understanding of medicine, you must utilize knowledge in psychology, neurology, spirituality, current events, amongst others! The beauty of Psychiatry is that every patient is different, every story is unique. This was epitomized for me during my rotations in Addiction Psychiatry as a medical student, which allowed me to see the process of recovery from start to finish; it gave me an appreciation for the crucial balance at play between psychotherapy and psychopharmacology and transformed my preconception of all the domains in one’s life that can contribute to mental illness. Listening to my patients inspires me daily and also helps me grow in better understanding myself. I am fortunate to be at a program that encourages both personal and professional development alike as we prepare to forge our own path forward in this exciting field!
The most important aspect of residency to me 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 second-year 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. While exploring the distinct subspecialties in Psychiatry, I have presented posters and workshops at various Psychiatry national conferences over the years. One of my favorites was presenting the media workshop at AAAP for two years, in which we examined the depiction of behavioral addictions in films. I have also completed two textbook chapters during residency on the topics of Nature Therapy and Internet Gaming Disorder.
As I prepare myself for the next phase in my career, I intend to continue being a voice for those most vulnerable and 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 can catch me kicking it on the soccer field in a Messi jersey!
Mary-Anne Hennen, MD
Hey, my name is Mary-Anne and I'm a PGY-IV and one of the Psychiatry Chief Residents (shout-out to my partner Kish) at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and an alumni of the same. 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!
Eve Rosenheck-Crane, MD
Hello! My name is Eve and I am a PGY IV psychiatry resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I grew up in New Jersey, went to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (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 our field’s use of both the science of medicine and the art of conversation to best serve patients and their families. My favorite part of practicing medicine is talking with patients and psychiatry allows me to spend my day doing just that. Additionally, I love learning about and utilizing new medications and therapies for our patients.
My interests within psychiatry remain broad and evolving. I am particularly fascinated by the management of treatment resistant mood and psychotic disorders. Additionally, a passion of mine is increasing access to psychiatric care, and I am working to create a new Integrated Behavioral Health Clinic within the primary care department to help address this deficit. I am very thankful for the opportunity to pursue my training here at NJMS and benefit immensely from the incredibly supportive faculty, staff and residents in our psychiatry department.
Saatchi Patell, MD
My name is Saatchi and I am a PGY IV 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.
Bellanirys Acosta Arias, MD
My name is Bella Acosta, and I'm currently a PGY-IV resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and I completed medical school at Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE). Prior to starting residency, I had the opportunity to work as a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University, where I collaborated on research about improving cognitive skills for elderly patients and individuals with mild cognitive impairment related to alcohol use.
Throughout my time working here at Rutgers, I've made wonderful friends and continue to learn a lot every day. My intellectual curiosity about ethical and legal questions related to certain clinical cases has sparked a passion for the incredible field of Forensic Psychiatry. This passion led to a conference presentation at the AAPL on the topic of "Decision-making capacity in the Era of COVID Skepticism." I plan to further hone my career by pursuing additional education and training, and I intend to apply for a Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. In my free time, I love to travel, play videogames, read fantasy and dystopian books, spend quality time with my fiancé, 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 PGY-IV 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.
Nikith Shekar, DO
Hello! My name is Nick Shekar and I am a PGY-3 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 Alzheimer's 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 child and adolescent psychiatry, sports psychiatry and neuromodulation techniques such as TMS.
In my free time, I love playing basketball, swimming, tennis, 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.
Sezai Ustun Aydin, MD
Hi! I am Ustun, a PGY-III 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?
Stephanie Ruthberg, MD, MS
Hello! My name is Stephanie, and I am a PGY-III 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 interests include consultation-liaison, emergency psychiatry, psychotherapy, psychotherapy, addiction, and academia. 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 Yoo. I am a PGY-III psychiatry resident at NJMS. I was born in Seoul, Korea, and moved to the States when I was 8. I received my BA in biochemistry and MA in bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, my MD from Rutgers NJMS and am currently in my 3rd year of psychiatry residency.
My current interests lie in mental health in the Asian population, palliative psychiatry, and psycho-oncology, as well as learning more about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). For fun, I enjoy martial arts, weight training, and trying to enjoy cardio.
Celena Ma, MD
Hi my name is Celena and I'm a PGY-III 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 III 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, Bronx Care, 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. 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?
Olufunlola Adefalu, MD
Hello! My name is Olufunlola Adefalu but everyone calls me “Lola”. I am a PGY-II 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 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.
Mariam Chrishty, MD
Hello, my name is Mariam and I’m a PGY-II 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!
Nishitha Depa, MD
Hello, my name is Nisha and I am a PGY-II 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.
Allison Dinar, DO
Hi! My name is Allison and I’m a PGY-II 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!
Andrew Holst, DO
Hi, I’m Andrew, a PGY-II 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.
Christine Kim, MD
Hi, my name is Christine Kim, and I am a PGY-II 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, MD
Hello! I am Ali. 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 when I realized that most psychiatric illnesses are perceived as inexplicable, irreversible, or a choice by many in society and it 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. I like to be active in my spare time by playing tennis, snowboarding during the winter, or scuba diving during the summer.
Isaac Song, MD
Hello I’m Isaac and I am a PGY-2 resident at Rutgers NJMS. I grew up in New Jersey and attended college, medical school, and now residency all at Rutgers. During medical school I discovered my passion for psychiatry after being exposed to diverse psychopathology and seeing the field's potential in creating lasting impact in patients' lives. I am excited to be training at my home program to continue serving the patients of Newark. My interests in psychiatry include trauma, early psychosis, mood disorders, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. In my free time I enjoy traveling, hiking, snowboarding, and playing with my dog Melon.
Elizabeth Chern, MD
Hello! I’m Liz and I’m a current PGY-1 at Rutgers-NJMS. I was born and raised in New Jersey and it’s been Rutgers all the way for me! I’ve had an interest in psychology and the human mind
since college, where I worked in a lab focused on resiliency and child development. I love
working with children and families in medical and non-medical settings and I teach Sunday
school at my local church. Outside of residency, I love rock climbing, scuba diving, yoga,
reading, cooking and baking, traveling, and drinking good coffee. You can usually find me in a
coffee shop! If you ask, I might just share my local recommendations.
Abrar Ebady, MD
My name is Abrar, I’m a PGY-1 resident at Rutgers NJMS. I was born and raised in New Jersey. I have always had a fascination with Psychology and the human mind. During college I got to intern with the Syrian American Medical Society at their Psychosocial clinic working with refugees who had crossed the border from Syria. I was exposed to a wide range of psychiatric and medical conditions where my fascination with medicine was solidified. I graduated from TCNJ with a bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Spanish and then completed a Master of Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers. I stayed at Rutgers for medical school and am here for residency. I am passionate about trauma informed care and working with children on early interventions.
In my free time I enjoy Pilates, reading, ice skating and painting.
Yu “Tina” Kong, MD
Hi! My name is Yu or "Tina", and I'm a PGY-1 resident. I was born in China, grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, moved to NY to attend New York University, and settled down here at Rutgers NJMS for medical school and residency. From childhood, I've been fond of the art of story-telling and how you can find aspects of it in just about every discipline. For me, I found that I was passionate about the narrative aspect of science, where the objective scrutiny of the body meets all the subjective things that shape a person's life. In medicine, I found the field of psychiatry to best embody that. At this point in my life, I am interested in emergency psychiatry, inpatient psychiatry, and consult liaison. However, I am excited to explore more niches in my field throughout the rest of my training!
Outside of medicine, I enjoy journaling and have a hefty—some might say, "excessive"—stationery collection of pens, stickers, and cute sticky notes. I'm also an avid reader with a soft spot for young adult fiction, and my favorite genre is fantasy. Aside from those main hobbies, I also enjoy eating good food, watching movies and anime, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family.
Diandra Fortune, MD
My name is Diandra Fortune, and I am a PGY-I Psychiatry resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. I was born and raised in Staten Island, NY. I initially wanted to pursue a career in social work as I completed an interdisciplinary degree at Loyola University Maryland for psychology/sociology. During my senior year of college, I worked with a child and adolescent psychiatrist with a specific research focus on OCD treatment. This experience planted a seed to change course, but my time working as a coordinator of a smoking cessation clinic solidified my desire to pursue a medical degree. I learned how much I love working with patients and their families.
I then attended Columbia University’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program to complete the pre-requisites for medical school. During this time, I continued to work in the smoking cessation clinic. I assisted in several research projects related to smoking cessation, hospital trainee education, and causes of pulmonary readmissions. I then went on to complete my medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
I am particularly interested in how we define and foster resiliency, how trauma/childhood stressors can contribute to the development of adult pathologies, and the ethical dilemmas that arise with the criminalization of mental illness and addiction.
In my free time, I enjoy cooking and running while listening to podcasts. I am excited to be back on the East Coast for residency!
Shweta Chawla, MD
Hi! My name is Shweta Chawla, and I’m a PGY-1 resident at Rutgers-NJMS. I grew up in Ocean Springs, MS and went to University of Alabama at Birmingham for college. I then moved back to Mississippi for medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. I chose psychiatry because I love listening to people’s stories and learning about the way intrinsic and extrinsic factors can impact thoughts and behaviors. I deeply value learning from the perspectives of others, and I’m looking forward to these next few years of training. My interests within psychiatry include women’s mental health and psychotherapy, specifically CBT.
In my free time I like to go on walks with my dog Layla, watch stand-up comedy (my favorite comedian is Jenny Slate), go to concerts, and explore new dessert spots in NYC.
Alexis Wirtz, DO
Hi! My name is Alexis, and I am a new PGY-I resident at Rutgers NJMS. I grew up in a small town in Michigan bordering Canada. I attended Michigan State University where I studied Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience and worked in a neuro-psychiatric research lab - this is where my love for the brain began. I went on to attend Oklahoma State University for medical school before moving to the Northeast to join the Rutgers Psychiatry family! I’m passionate about so many aspects of psychiatry, including interventional psychiatry, psychiatric research, general psychiatry, and decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health care.
Outside of medicine, I love spending time with my family, friends, and my fur baby. I love trying new restaurants, reading, playing racket sports, skiing, and spending time by the water.
Jaewoo Shin, MD
Hey, I’m Jae, a PGY-1 resident at Rutgers-NJMS. I’m from New York City- I grew up in Queens, went to high school in the Bronx, moved to Manhattan to study biochemistry at NYU, and then finished medical school in Brooklyn at SUNY Downstate. Going into medical school, I thought I’d be using my biochemistry background for anesthesiology, but I did a full 180 when I discovered the field of psychiatry as an MS3 and haven’t looked back since. I enjoy talking to people much more than putting them to sleep as I learn about our richly interconnected lives and dive into deeply personal topics. In my spare time, I enjoy watching movies, anime, cooking, playing baseball, tennis, and fishing.
Leia Chemmacheril, MD
Hello! My name is Leia Chemmacheril and I am a PGY-I at Rutgers NJMS! My fun fact for ice breakers is that I was born in Wisconsin, but my family moved to Jersey before I turned one. I have been a Jersey girl since. I went to NJIT for undergrad, then NJMS for medical school, and now staying at good ole’ NJMS (maybe I should call myself a Newark girl now!) I have two younger brothers that love to annoy me but are super fun to be around.
During my fourth year of medical school, I did a lot of traveling. I went to India, Nashville, Florida, London, and Paris! However, my dream vacation is the Coast of Amalfi. I love reading psychological and legal thrillers. My favorite book is The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I hope to learn a lot at this program and am excited to work in psychiatry!