Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? I chose UMKC because I attended medical school here. I love Kansas City, and wasn’t quite ready to leave yet! I also like the way UMKC treats their residents and makes them feel comfortable.
What are your goals and interests? I enjoy shopping, playing tennis, spending time with friends and family, and hanging out with my dog.
When did you decide to become a doctor? I can’t even remember! I’ve never even thought about another career (besides something in fashion!)
What interested you about Family medicine? I like Family Medicine because it gives me a chance to be involved in Women’s Health, but also serve as a primary care physician.
Kellie Bartlow, DO
Kansas State University
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? The residents and staff were extremely friendly and welcoming during both my interview day and the day I spent observing the program. I was impressed both with the residents’ knowledge-base and the overall non-threatening learning environment.
What are your goals and interests? Hanging out with friends, watching movies, hiking, water skiing, drinking coffee.
When did you decide to become a doctor? I was about 10 years old and, after ruling out police officer, teacher, and fireman, I randomly decided that I should be a doctor. Somehow this decision stuck and, after many years of work (and the occasional random thought to do something else, like acting or becoming independently wealthy), here I am.
What interested you about Family medicine? When I was in my third year of medical school, I had narrowed down my options to Sports Medicine or OB/Gyn. I ultimately decided on OB/Gyn and matched into the UMKC program. After only a few months, I realized that I missed Sports Medicine and wanted more training in general primary care and thus decided to switch to Family Medicine. While I still enjoy Women’s Healthcare, I am looking forward to seeing and treating a greater variety of patients (I missed the kiddos!) and medical conditions.
Micahel Brown, DO
Brigham Young University
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? The two things that I felt important in a family medicine residency were strong academic support and unopposed opportunities to learn to practice medicine. UMKC had the best of both worlds through its offering of a strong academic program through the university, while being located at a completely unopposed hospital. My rotations with them as a student always made me feel warm and welcome and I was able to learn in a very safe and nurturing environment. It was very unlike any other experience I had as a medical student. At UMKC I felt like I had to become a good physician because that is what they believed I would be and I didn’t want to let them down.
What are your goals and interests? Despite all the trends and legislation currently going on that seems to discourage it, I still have the dream of starting my own practice in a community that needs me. I am strongly involved in health policy and love to advocate on behalf of the profession. Most of all I love spending time with my family, something this residency also values.
When did you decide to become a doctor? Early on in my undergraduate years when I found medicine to be a combination of the many varied interests in my life.
What interested you about Family medicine? Advocacy. I feel that a family physician is truly the patients first and last hope in obtaining the medical care they need. Even when you are not the one providing the service, your patients look to you for what the next best step is in their care. What better way to be a part of a community then to be a family physician.
Tara Brown, DO
Missouri Western State University
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? I rotated here during my fourth year and found that I really liked the residents, faculty, staff, and the hospital itself. TMC Lakewood is an environment in which I feel comfortable learning.
What are your goals and interests? My career goals include working in an underserved or rural part of Missouri not only to fulfill my obligations to the PRIMO program, but also to fulfill my own desire to serve and practice in underserved/rural areas. My husband, Adam, and I are excited one day to start a family, but for “practice” we have adopted two Yorkshire terriers and a guinea pig! I love to bake, and cheesecake is what I do best. Adam and I enjoy cooking together, hiking and camping, and spending time with our families.
When did you decide to become a doctor? I was an undergraduate at MWSU thinking about going into physical therapy, so I starting taking all the biology courses. I soon became involved in the pre-professional club and discovered my interest in medicine.
What interested you about Family medicine? Family Medicine allows me to see all ages of patients and have continuity of care with them. I will be able to do all the things I enjoy - office procedures to well baby exams!
Krista Clark, DO, MBA
University of Missouri - Columbia
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? I was instantly impressed with the residents and faculty. Everyone in the program was very welcoming and friendly, and I knew I would fit in well with the program. I also liked the idea of being in an unopposed Family Medicine program that also had a strong obstetrics department.
What are your goals and interests? I am very interested in Women’s Health and UMKC’s OB track. I love spending time with my husband and family. I also enjoy sports, DIY home improvement projects, and walks with my 110-lb dog.
When did you decide to become a doctor? I told my mother at age 5 that I was going to be a doctor.
What interested you about Family medicine? I love the diversity of patients and diseases that Family Medicine offers.
Brittany Irey, MD
Pennsylvania State University
University of Michigan
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? I was looking for a residency program with unopposed, hands-on training in the full spectrum of family medicine. UMKC has this plus exceptional OB and women’s health training. The overall philosophy and attitude of the family medicine program is right in line with my aspiration to become a compassionate and well-rounded family physician. The well-structured e-learning environment, teamwork, resident happiness, servant leadership, and good people made an unforgettable impression on me. Nowhere else did I feel such respect for family medicine from the community. Most importantly, I could see myself as part of the UMKC family.
What are your goals and interests? My future career goals are largely centered on community practice in an underserved area of the United States. I am specifically interested in maternal and child health. I want to pursue a family medicine obstetrics fellowship to provide me with the skills and confidence to be able to manage the full range of obstetrical situations presenting in areas lacking access to specialized OB/GYN care. Overall, I want to provide comprehensive healthcare from birth to death in areas of most need, internationally and at home. In my free time I enjoy expressing myself through photography, getting lost in a good novel, writing poetry, and baking. I also treasure my time outdoors taking long walks, camping, and hiking with my dog, Bentley.
When did you decide to become a doctor? My desire to become a doctor began when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her long struggle of enduring painful treatments and surgery to overcome this unjust invader inside her body, I found comfort and fascination in reading novels about kids also battling life threatening illnesses. Along with my expanding awareness of this reality, grew my strong passion to play a role in helping the sick fight psychologically, socially, and physically for recovery. This drive and passion became stronger and more concrete with my experiences volunteering at Motts Children’s Hospital, serving in underprivileged areas of Detroit and Chicago, working with Hispanic immigrants, providing care at free health clinics, and striving to meet the basic health care needs of children and families in Bolivia.
What interested you about Family medicine? I desire a medical career that not only serves those most in need, but also, encompasses the importance of human experience, rewarding lifelong relationships, and the excitement of ongoing intellectual and personal growth. It was clear that the practice and philosophy of family medicine would meet my goals as a physician and individual.
Jacob Masena, DO
University of Missouri - Columbia
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? After completing a four week rotation, I appreciated a good balance of oversight and independence between the residents and faculty. The opportunity for fellowship training in Sports Medicine was also appealing to me. Other reasons included the EMR’s used throughout the program and the opportunity to be trained on a vast number of procedures in the various clinics.
What are your goals and interests? To provide exemplary family care and incorporate a wide array of procedures and Sports Medicine into my practice. My interests include spending time with my family, golfing, various sports and outdoor activities, and following the investment markets.
When did you decide to become a doctor? I have always had a passion for medicine, but it was not until after college that I decided to become a doctor.
What interested you about Family medicine? Continuity of care and being able to build long-term relationships with patients and families to partner in the management of their health care. A broad spectrum of pathology and to be able to perform a variety of procedures also interested me.
Jason Meler, DO
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? One of the most important reasons that I chose UMKC for residency was that it was close to my family and where I grew up. In addition, I was impressed during the interview by the facilities and the options for fellowships that the program offers. All the programs that I applied to were affiliated with a University because I was after a program that provided strong didactics and close connections with the basic and clinic sciences. I want to remain connected to the foundations of medical knowledge that I began while extending my understanding of the pathophysiology of disease to the practice of treating patients. UMKC offers opportunities to enrich the education I have obtained and develop my career professionally.
What are your goals and interests? I am interested in the surgical OB fellowship. One of my favorite rotations in medical school was OB-GYN, and I'm excited to learn more about this field. While I spent a few nights at the hospital with little sleep, the excitement of deliveries made the time fly so that I was frequently surprised that it was morning already. I am also interested in staying on top of current research and perhaps dabbling in it again myself. Interests outside of medicine include running, staying in shape, playing music, learning about computer hardware, and cooking with my wife.
When did you decide to become a doctor? It was the year 2004, and I remember thinking that working in a medical lab or as a research assistant weren't for me. I was enjoying my job as a medical assistant and getting to know a few patients personally.
What interested you about Family medicine? The malleability of the specialty. I started out in medical school loving the complexities of disease and the autoregulation of different body systems, but then I liked the excitement of deliveries and surgery. Later still, it was interacting with psychiatry patients at the VA hospital. I couldn't find a residency program that offered a medpsychOBpath option, and I was feeling that I might have to join the military so I could stay in residency forever (just joking!). The obvious was to do what my wife Kara had wanted to do since the beginning: Family Medicine.
Kara Meler, DO
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? I liked how the residency program is unopposed yet has university affiliation. I was impressed by the electronic medical records system and didactics structure. The atmosphere of feeling right at home during my visit to UMKC made it very appealing as well. I think the size of the class is great and there are wonderful opportunities for OMM for the DO residents who wish to continue using and mastering their manipulation skills.
What are your goals and interests? My goal is to prepare myself to handle any situation that awaits me as a family physician. I want to learn everything I can to best serve my patients, both during residency and for the rest of my career. I see myself practicing in a rural area, possibly somewhere in the Midwest. I plan to incorporate osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) into my practice and am interested in pursuing a sports medicine fellowship. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my husband, family, & friends, cooking, swimming, biking, attempting basketball, watching movies, reading Harry Potter, listening to/playing music, and being outdoors.
When did you decide to become a doctor? Although I've changed my mind a few times about what type of physician to become, I've wanted to be a doctor since 4th grade.
What interested you about Family medicine? I enjoyed every rotation I had during medical school, particularly my family medicine rotations. I like the aspect of flexibility in tailoring family medicine practice to the needs of the community I plan to serve. I enjoy preventative medicine, sports medicine, and everything from delivering babies to helping prepare patients for hospice at the end of life. There is a great deal of diversity that awaits me as a family medicine physician and I embrace it with open arms!
Pam Rizza, MD
University of Kansas
Truman State University
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? I chose the program because of its strong obstetrics and women’s health emphasis. I also wanted a program that was unopposed, with mostly family medicine faculty.
What are your goals and interests? I love to run and be active. I ran a marathon before my daughter was born, and would like to do another in the near future. My goal is to qualify for Boston. I stay busy spending time with my daughter Kate, husband Shawn, and German shorthair pointer Annie. We take lots of walks and Annie is my running partner.
When did you decide to become a doctor? In high school, my best friend’s father was a family physician. I really respected him, and his role in the community impressed me. I started shadowing him in his clinic and fell in love with medicine.
What interested you about Family medicine? I love that the field allows you to shape your practice into exactly what you want. It is challenging to learn such a breadth of information, but exciting to be able to see the interconnectedness of disease states, and not focus on just one problem. I also believe in the importance of preventive medicine, and family physicians play a vital role in stopping disease before it starts.
Ryan Sears, DO
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? The first influential factor was the friendly and accepting attitude from attendings and residents that was apparent after walking through the door. Few Family residencies have the opportunity to cover all aspects of a hospital as found here. Also, the opportunity to gain further experience in obstetrics, geriatrics, and sports medicine coupled with the opportunity to train at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Downtown Truman Medical Center provide the needed experience for any excellent family physician.
What are your goals and interests? My goal is to open my own family medicine practice. With that in mind, I would like to gain enough practice management experience to be successful. I would also like to find enough procedural proficiency to practice in either a rural or suburban setting. Osteopathic manipulation is also important to my future practice and is a component I plan to use daily.
When did you decide to become a doctor? I really came to college with the idea of becoming a biomedical engineer, not knowing what that fully entailed, so after one year, I decided my desire was to work with people rather than primarily in a lab. So where did doctor come from, well, I had a little influence from my dad who was a family physician in Tulsa, OK.
What interested you about Family medicine? You have the opportunity to treat all ages and through pregnancy as well. I believe you have the ability to make the most impact because you are often the patient’s first evaluation, you coordinate their care with specialists if needed, and you can serve as their advocate in the medical setting. Family medicine also gives you so much freedom to mold your practice allowing for appropriate time with your patients and most importantly, your family. You may have further opportunity to sub specialize in certain aspects of family medicine, such as geriatrics, obstetrics, and pediatrics and procedural practice.
Chad Sharky, DO
University of Missouri - Columbia
Why did you choose UMKC for your residency? I knew very early in my clerkship rotations that Family Medicine was the path for me. While visiting UMKC’s Family Medicine Residency, I felt at home and knew that my potential would be greatest here.
What are your goals and interests? My goal is to join a group of physicians in the eastern suburban area of Kansas City, perhaps even a sub-rural practice. I hope to additionally practice Sports Medicine, but I’m still open to other plans. My interests are the outdoors, playing the drums, computers, reading and writing.
When did you decide to become a doctor? Becoming a doctor was a dream I had off and on in my childhood, but went into full swing during college.
What interested you about Family medicine? The scope of care delivered – both in age and types of diseases encountered, is unmatched in Family Medicine. Furthermore, developing long-lasting relationships with patients and families is very important to me.