PGY1 – Class of 2025

PGY4 | PGY3 | PGY2 | PGY1 | Chief Residents

Zoey Del Pinto
Medical School: The Ohio State UniversityZoey Del Pinto
Hometown: All over the U.S.
Career aspiration: Unsure, something that will lend itself to global health
Hobbies: Going to the dog park, propagating all of my house plants, rewatching the same shows on Netflix over and over.
Why did you choose UMKC:I loved the way the residents interacted with each other and truly are friends! I loved my interview, esp. with Dr. Julian, who just seemed like the biggest advocate for his residents and helping them find their niche in medicine. I had also been to KC before and fell in love with the city, the people, and all of the fountains.Who inspires you: In medicine, my mentor Dr. Rachael McGuirk at OSU. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance, and every interaction she has with a patient makes their day a little brighter. In life, my niece Emillia. I hope to live every day with the same excitement, vulnerability, and awe.
Where do you live in Kansas City: South Plaza Nieghborhood
Lauren Fay
Medical School: University of Utah School of MedicineLauren Fay
Hometown: Nephi, UT
Career aspiration: Primary care vs maybe a subspecialty with a good mix of acute care and whole-person longitudinal care.
Hobbies:Running at an aggressively average pace while listening to books on tape or podcasts, spending time outdoors with friends and family, trying new restaurants, creative nonfiction and poetry.Why did you choose UMKC: The residents and leadership I met on interview day were some of the most authentic, kind, and downright funny people I ever met on the interview trail—in short, people I really wanted to work with. UMKC also has incredible opportunities to serve and learn from patients from all walks of life at three very different hospitals. On top of that, Med-Ped residents and faculty here are avidly involved in med ed, advocacy, and leadership, and I’m excited to get to work with and learn from strong Med-Peds leaders and clinicians in a variety of different settings.
Who inspires you: My family, my fellow residents, and all the constructive nonconformists out there busting up the status quo.
Where do you live in Kansas City: Waldo
Chia-Chi (Angela) Fu
Medical School: University of Texas Medical BranchChia-Chi (Angela) Fu
Hometown: Plano, TX
Career aspiration: I am trying to keep my options open. In medical school, I had a heavy influence of infectious disease, which I love for the flexibility of inpatient, consults, or being primary for a specific population. I enjoy the acuity of inpatient and seeing patients improve daily however, I also enjoy the relationships built in clinic and investing in patients and their health. No matter what, I want to continue to look for routes in global health and serve children and adults.
Hobbies: I love to cook! When I get extra time to myself, I make sure to try and make something that takes a while, such as Taiwanese beef noodle soup, one of my favorites. Extra time in the morning means I get to savor the experience of making coffee – so far, my favorite method is pour-over. I also play with my cat, who is mad I am not home all the time anymore. Still looking for social dance locations in Kansas City.
Why did you choose UMKC: I wanted to challenge myself with a new environment. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations I had during my interview, even though it was virtual. Being here has solidified that the people here are true gems, from the residents and faculty, to staff in the hospital, and even the patients. The work is tough, sometimes thankless, but needed.
Who inspires you: Several people inspire me, so it is hard for me to really pick one person. My cliché answer is my mother, who always puts her best foot forward no matter what she does! Always giving to others, always loving her family and everyone around her. She works, serves in church, and still cooks for the family (even though she hates cooking). She is also one of the humblest people I know, and she always keeps my pride in check 😉 Tough love, but I would not have it any other way.
Where do you live in Kansas City: I live in River Market District. When looking for housing, I wanted somewhere convenient where I could walk around on my days off instead of driving. I really enjoy the vibe and the random things I stumble across when exploring. Being close the City Market is also a plus!
Phil Jurasinski
Medical School: Des Moines UniversityPhil Jurainski
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI, and Las Vegas, NV
Career aspiration: Not completely sure yet, but I am thinking hospital medicine, critical care, or infectious disease.
Hobbies: Art, singing, baking, cooking, working out
Why did you choose UMKC: I wanted to be at a program that has a “Midwest nice” vibe that would be academically challenging and provide both strong pediatric and internal medicine training. Kansas City has a barbeque and foodie culture that is incredible, and also so much variety in the things you can do!
Who inspires you: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Also my paternal grandmother, who is one of the kindest people I have every known, and my mom, who is a three time survivor of breast cancer.
Where do you live in Kansas City: Westport area
Tala Nashawati
Medical School: The Ohio State University College of MedicineTala Nashawati
Hometown: Canton, OH
Career aspiration: Undecided! Hopefully I can combine inpatient and outpatient medicine, whatever I end up doing.
Hobbies: I love to read and do my own creative writing. I also spend a lot of time watching Netflix and playing video games on my Nintendo Switch. To stay active, I like MMA, volleyball, and tennis! And finally, I love spending time with my two cats, Alice and Chihiro.
Why did you choose UMKC: Even through Zoom, the vibes of UMKC’s med-peds community really shined through on my interview day. Everyone seemed like someone I could be friends with, and I felt I could be my genuine self during the interview. I was also really attracted to the diversity of experiences I would get with a huge academic children’s hospital, a safety net hospital like Truman, and Saint Luke’s as well. Plenty of opportunity!
Who inspires you: My parents. My partner. All the incredible physicians who’ve paved the way!
Where do you live in Kansas City: Westport
Rachel Oldfather
Medical University of Minnesota Medical SchoolRachel Oldfather
Hometown: St. Paul, MN
Career aspiration: Some sort of transitional medicine niche with both inpatient and outpatient time
Hobbies: Being outside, canoeing, crafts, long walks to nowhere, being with my friends.
Why did you choose UMKC: It was tough to get vibes during the virtual interview season, but on my notes during my UMKC interview, I had written “this feels right” and I’m so glad I listened to my gut. I also knew I wanted to work primarily at a county hospital and also a free-standing pediatrics hospital, UMKC is one of few programs that have both. That, and also having family nearby was a huge plus!
Who inspires you: My big sister – she supports me, challenges me, and inspires me every day. I have also been incredibly inspired by my co-interns!
Where do you live in Kansas City: River Market

 

Hospitals we Rotate

We would love to interview in person and take you on a tour of each of the hospitals we rotate through, but in the times of COVID we are forced to do the next best thing; an informational page on relevant topics. Below is a brief description of each hospital, the services we cover, and our experience within them. We look forward to discussing more with you during the resident mixer and interview!


Saint Luke’s Hospital

Saint Luke’s Hospital is a faith based not-for-profit hospital that was founded in 1882. There are currently 16 total hospitals affiliated with Saint Luke’s in Kansas and Missouri. Our main location is at the flagship hospital at the Plaza location. It is a 630+ bed hospital and tertiary referral center for the area. It was nationally ranked by the US News & World Report for Cardiovascular Care and Heart Surgery for 2020-2021. The Mid America Heart Institute is the region’s only adult heart transplant program (10th in the nation) and one of the nation’s leading cardiovascular disease outcome research programs. The Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute is the nation’s leading stroke reversal program for preventing and treating stroke, and treatment for complex brain and spinal cord injuries. It is also a level 1 trauma center, houses advanced surgical care, liver, and kidney transplant programs.

During our 4 years as Med Peds residents, while at St. Luke’s, we cover the general Medicine wards on the Medicine Teaching service, and rotate through the Medicine Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Cardiology, Nephrology, Pulmonology, and Hematology-Oncology services. We also have the unique opportunity to care for heart, kidney, and liver transplant recipients on each of the primary subspecialty services. Most of our electives also take place at SLH, where you get the option to rotate on any of the numerous subspecialties the hospital has to offer. With a newly remodeled resident lounge with television, foosball, kitchen with frequently stocked snacks, and private resident call rooms, spending an extra night covering the wards or sub-specialty services ends up not being too bad.

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Please check out the video to get a better look at what our resident experience at Saint Luke’s Hospital looks like. Play button


University Health Truman Medical Center

University Health Truman Medical Center (UHTMC) is the only safety net hospital to serve the medically indigent of the Kansas City Metro. It is composed of two acute care academic hospital locations (Hospital Hill and Lakewood), the University Health building for subspecialty services, a Behavioral Health Hospital, a long-term care rehabilitation facility, and multiple primary care practices located throughout the metro. They are also currently in the works constructing a second University Health Building that will house the Internal Primary Medicine Clinics. UHTMC ED is one of the busiest in the metro and a dedicated level 1 trauma center that sees some of the highest acuity patients in the area.

As a Med-Peds resident, the Hospital Hill location is considered our ‘home-base’ and the hospital that we spend most of our time. We cover the general medicine wards (coined ‘DoRo’ for “Docent Rotation” by the UMKC 6 year combined Bachelor’s/M.D. program), Progressive Care Unit, Intensive Care Units, and Subspecialty services available at TMC. As you would expect with resident run programs, we cover the same breadth of services as at St. Luke’s while also gaining valuable perspective practicing within a second healthcare system. During our Pediatric rotations, we also rotate in the UHTMC Well-Baby and Neonatal ICU.

We have the unique opportunity in Internal Medicine to serve as Resident In-Charge (RIC). Starting in the 2nd year of your residency, you spend one day a week during your DoRo rotations acting as the lead supervisor, triage, and assign patients to the 6 resident teams from the Emergency Department and clinics, and assist with transfers from other hospitals.

Our Med-Peds Continuity Clinic is also housed in the Hospital Hill building, which is connected by a sky-bridge from Children’s Mercy, which makes it very convenient to get to weekly continuity clinic when on the Pediatrics side. Check out the Med-Peds Red Clinic section for more info about our continuity clinic!

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Please check out the video that shows off what TMC is all about. Play button


Children’s Mercy Hospital

Children’s Mercy Hospital is a free-standing pediatric hospital and tertiary referral center. It is nationally ranked by US News & World Report in 10 pediatric specialties. It has 300+ beds, is a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, houses the largest PICU in the region (40+ beds and expanding), a Level 4 NICU (85+ beds), Fetal Health Center, Fetal Surgery and Heart Transplant Program, the largest Clinical Pharmacology Program in North America, and now a newly built Research Center. CMH is conveniently located on Hospital Hill, across the street from University Health Truman Medical Center.

As Med-Peds residents, we spend 6 months out of the year “on the other side of the street”. We rotate on the inpatient pediatric wards teaching service, the Pediatric ICU, Cardiovascular ICU, and the combined primary sub-specialty services of Gastroenterology/Neurology and Nephrology/Pulmonology, Hematology-Oncology, and Cardiology services. We also rotate within the inpatient or outpatient subspecialties during our elective months.

The resident lounge is considered a second home when on Pediatrics. It is a large, comfortable space that includes a kitchen and dining area, lounge area with TV, movies, AppleTV, private call rooms, and also houses our Peds Chief Resident and Program Coordinator offices, as well as the large conference room we held morning resident report and didactics in prior to the pandemic. The walls of the resident lounge are decorated with resident artwork which has become an “entertaining” tradition over the years.

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Resident Continuity Clinic

Red Clinic is the UMKC Med-Peds Continuity Clinic located on the 4th floor of the University Health Truman Medical Center. It is made up of 17 exam rooms, with flex space for over-flow into the Gold Clinic as needed. It is a busy clinic staffed by Med-Peds trained attendings, all 24 of the residents, a nurse practitioner, and our hard-working support staff. Each resident starts out with a panel of patients handed down from a previous 4th year graduating resident, but then you soon start to grow your own panel by picking up patients from the adult and pediatric inpatient services as well as the TMC Well-Baby Nursery. Don’t worry, we don’t throw you into the fire right away—interns will start with a smaller number of patients which slowly increases over your 4 years. Our goal is for you to have all the tools and training available to be an efficient and knowledgeable primary care physician by the time you graduate.

We (during non-COVID times) all sit together in the resident work space. Often times our clinics become a small reunion and time for us to catch up with one another. We have a very supportive environment and are always willing to help each other out if one of us is running behind. Our support staff is also helpful and always there to lend a helping hand.

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Mission Statement & Program Aims

 

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to cultivate individual strengths of our trainees in a supportive and collaborative environment, utilizing broad educational experiences to instill compassion, adaptability, and curiosity, guiding our residents to lifelong advocacy, leadership and excellence in medicine.

 

Program Aims:

  • To recruit trainees from a variety of personal and educational backgrounds.
  • To train residents who are well-prepared for combined primary care practice to care for medically complex patients.
  • To prepare trainees for dual-board certification.
  • To prepare trainees to identify, pursue and achieve individualized career goals.
  • Maintain a system that fosters adaptable, resilient and enthusiastic physicians.
  • Encourage resident leadership in a variety of settings.

Quality Improvement/Patient Safety

Med/Peds residents participate in a formal QI/PS curriculum during “+1” weeks, med-peds didactics, and pediatrics didactics. Each med/peds resident designs and implement a QI/PS project with faculty mentorship, culminating in a poster or oral presentation at UMKC’s Quality and Patient Safety Day. These projects do have the potential to be presented at regional/national meetings.

Kansas City

 

Did you know Kansas City…

Kansas City is Surprisingly Diverse- According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of Kansas city includes 59% whites, 29% AA, 10% Hispanics, ~8% other races or combination or races and 2.5% Asians. KC has the second largest Sudanese and Somali population in the United States. Furthermore, if you want to expand your horizon, the city’s actually got two Little Italy neighborhoods, one in Columbus Park and one in North East, and Argentine is one of the area’s oldest Hispanic neighborhoods. Strawberry Hill, a historically Croatian community, is your best bet if you’re craving (and who isn’t?) povitica with a side of tamburitza music, while the bizarro food and music combo of your dreams is sure to be found at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival held each August in Swope Park. There is also a growing Arabic population given recent refugee movements. Politically, KC is a mix of liberal, progressive hipsters with conservative Catholic grandmas and grandpas, and everyone in between. It’s very unique. There seems to be a good blend of Left and Right here, and quite a lot of independence.

The Regional Geography–

The amazing thing about Kansas City is that it’s very trendy and industrial, but if you need to take a breather from city life, there are rolling hills less than 30 minutes away on every side. You can live the city-life if that’s your thing, or you can live out where the river bends, in any small town in the surrounding areas. Or, if you’re undecided, you can live just outside the city to where there’s an equal distance between the heart of downtown and those country roads you long for. If you seek peaceful quiet country life but also civilization and lively bustle, KC is the perfect place.

Regardless of your decision, the highways in Kansas City are interconnected and easy to navigate. It is exciting to have the possibility go in 15-20 minutes from the hospital if you live outside the city like me.

ROYALS– The Boys in Blue- Even before they became World Series Champs, Royals baseball games were always the best. Baseball season brings the city together. The feeling you get in that stadium is like nothing you have experienced before; it feels like a big family. The atmosphere is filled with genuine excitement and camaraderie. You may not even buy your ticket if you are a Med/Peds resident, you can win tickets on the pediatrics or internal medicine side including parking tickets. Regardless, there’s just something about a warm summer night at K Stadium, immersed in a sea of blue T-shirts, hot dog in one hand and beer in the other, cheering on a great team, while gazing at a gorgeous sunset and firework show after dark. Even If you did not watch baseball before, you will enjoy a night like that.

The Barbecue— Texas, the Carolinas and Memphis may each claim that their barbecue is best, but Kansas City begs to differ. The unique KC barbecue style involves a molasses- spiked sweet tomato sauce, and there’s no finer place to experience it than at the original Arthur Bryant’s on Brooklyn Avenue. Arthur Bryant’s famous customers have included former presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. If you Take a drive to Joe’s BBQ on a cool autumn night, and immediately upon arrival, you’ll feel it. The place is packed, full of boisterous conversation and the aroma of mouth-watering BBQ. But really regardless of where you go, Q39, Arthur Bryant’s, Joe’s BBQ, just do not leave the city without trying how unique the KC barbecue style. The Other Food- To give an idea of the uniqueness of Kansas City’s food scene, there is even a Ramen bar. You read that right – Ramen Noodles. I have yet to try it, but it’s definitely piqued my interest. There are Vegan cafe’s, Farm-to-Table restaurants, bakeries, creperies, “Bruncheonettes”, hole-in-the-wall breakfast places, amazing BBQ joints, frozen cocktail bars, donut bars, tea places, steakhouses, Middle Eastern strip mall markets, fresh-pressed juice bars, upscale date-night dinner spots, the options are endless.

The Country Club Plaza, which opened in 1923, was the world’s first drive-in shopping center. Although back in the day it was built on land which was once home to pig farms, that distinctive odor has now been replaced by the smell of fresh-popped corn from Topsy’s and scented candles from Bath and Body Works. Today, the Plaza’s popularity and reputation have been recognized around the country. The entire 15-block district, with more than 150 shops and dozens of fine restaurants, makes the Country Club Plaza Kansas City’s premier retail, dining and entertainment destination… The Plaza is kept lively with a year-round calendar of music and special events, including the famous Plaza Lights and the widely recognized Plaza Art Fair.

The Farmers’ Market– Kansas City was actually ranked #10 on Travel and Leisure’s list of America’s best cities for hipsters, which cited the city’s readily available locally-sourced foods and plethora of farmer’s markets. Rain or shine, the region’s largest Farmers’ Market can be found at the City Market every Saturday and Sunday year-round. More than 150 vendor stalls burst with bedding plants, fruits, vegetables, meats, herbs, fresh baked goods and other sweets, cut flowers and crafts made by local artisans. At the City Market Farmers’ Market, you will find the finest produce, fresh from Missouri and the surrounding region, benefit from unsurpassed value, and support local farmers! The City Market has a rich history dating back to 1857 when the City Market Square began as a site for market commerce, horse trading, political rallies, revival, medicine shows and circuses. Do Not take your dog with you! Sorry!

The Jazz– New Orleans may be the birthplace of jazz, but Kansas City put its own special spin on things when this All-American music genre headed north. The American Jazz Museum hosts music performances throughout the year, and really gets swinging with the annual 18th and Vine Jazz and Blues Festival each October. Plus, each visit to the museum comes complete with a free photo op — posing with an 18-foot tall bronze head of native son Charlie “Bird” Parker.

KC CHIEFS — The Chiefs, on the other hand, are usually a pretty decent team. Ok, they haven’t won the Super Bowl since 1970!!! BUT they make it into the playoffs every couple of years. During football season, fans wear so much red and white. Arrowhead Stadium is considered by many to be the loudest venue in the NFL, but that’s just a portion of what makes a Chiefs game-day experience arguably better than any other. Once inside Arrowhead, the fun continues. Fans spontaneously start the “Tomahawk Chop” prior to kick-off and during time-outs. At the end of the national anthem, the entire stadium proudly shouts, “…home of the CHIEFS!” For touchdowns, the crowd gives their familiar touchdown song a unique and intimidating twist. Chiefs do make their fans happy and we still get free tickets every now and then as residents 😉 which is always a plus.

The Steamboat Arabia went down in the muddy waters of the Missouri in 1856, and there it has remained ever since. A 1988 salvage operation, while it did not recover the ship, brought up thousands of artifacts which are now housed in the Arabia Steamboat Museum. This museum contains one of the finest collections of well-preserved mid- 1800s relics, including food items that are (ugh) supposedly still edible. World’s oldest pickles, anyone?

WWI Museum- the National World War I Museum, housed inside (and underneath) the 217-foot tall Liberty Memorial, has one of the world’s largest collections of memorabilia from the Great War I. The replica of the blown-up French farmhouse is grim, but the Renault FT-17 tank and life-size trenches are pretty cool. Try the Reuben von Steuben at the museum’s Over There Cafe, but ask them to hold the mustard gas.

Always Things to Do around You There is always something cool happening just a few miles from where you live. The warmer months are full of outdoor concerts, movies on the lawn, excellent firework shows, 5K’s, embroidery stitching workshops, Beer Festivals, Coffee Cuppings, floral arranging classes, Art Festivals, antique shows, everything you could imagine. In the winter, you’ll find no shortage of warm, cozy cafes and coffeehouses in which to tuck away. You could visit a different one every week and still not have visited them all by the time winter is over. Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun; FUN is Calling!!! Especially if you decide on purchases season passes. Kansas City Zoo and more If I could describe Kansas City in one short sentence, I would say, without missing a beat, “It feels like home.”

Med Peds Cares

 

Med Peds Cares

Med Peds Cares is our community and advocacy group with the mission of giving back to our community. As residents, we are always looking for ways to engage as an active member of the community as this is an essential role of a physician. Med Peds Cares partakes in various programs such as the adopt-an-angel program during the holidays at a pediatric inpatient psychiatric facility, collects items for local transitional living facilities, and participates at the annual health fair run by Missouri state senator Kiki Curls. In addition, a quarterly newsletter is released to enlighten our Med-Peds community of further needs in the community, provide education, and present recent advocacy topics.

PGY2 – Class of 2024

Medicine Pediatric Class of 2024

PGY4 | PGY3 | PGY2 | PGY1 | Chief Residents

Megan Carroll
Megan CarrollMedical School: Indiana University School of Medicine
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Career aspiration: I am interested in combined cardiology or critical care, and I hope to incorporate global health into my future plans!
Hobbies: I really love cooking all types of food and trying new recipes. I have gotten into baking more recently, and I love bringing treats in for people’s birthdays. As much as I love to cook, I love to eat even more. I am a big Purdue and New Orleans Saints fan, but I’ll go to any sporting event! I played intramural sports in college and medical school, and I try to be active whenever I can. I love to read when I find the time, but I’ve been getting more into audiobooks and podcasts lately.
Why did you choose UMKC: I fell in love with the program on my interview day. From the residents to the staff, everyone was so interested in me as a person and down to earth. UMKC offered multiple different tracks and unique features, many of which were based on resident feedback which I appreciated. I could tell that the program was a perfect fit to both challenge and support me.
What do you like to do in Kansas City: I love exploring all the different neighborhoods with little shops and finding new places to eat. The city is the perfect size for me and it has something for everyone!
Who inspires you: My mom.
Where do you live in Kansas City: Crossroads
Melissa Doan
Melissa DoanMedical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Career aspiration: Ideally a specialty with a good mix of inpatient/outpatient but yet to be determined.
Hobbies: Hiking or exploring parks with my rescue pup, reading (sci-fi, historical fiction are my favorites), photography, eating, gardening
Why did you choose UMKC: There is a culture of empowerment where everyone will both challenge you to grow into the best person you can be and also help support you to get there. On interview day, I had so many good conversations with the faculty about the subtle facets of practicing the art of medicine. I really got the sense they took the time to read my application, which made me feel like they personally invest in all of their residents. There’s also a larger institutional culture of bettering human lives and that mindset of service (within and outside of medicine) is really important to me. At the end of my interview day, I never really felt like I was a visitor. I felt like I was a part of their community already!
What do you like to do in Kansas City: Hang out with my co-residents, go on hikes, check out the museums, and try all the local restaurants.
Who inspires you: My parents, my family, and my friends have always kept me grounded. I love having down-to-earth conversations with patients. It’s so refreshing and fuels me! I also did a lot of volunteer work with Camp Kesem and my camp family inspires me to be a better person everyday.
Where do you live in Kansas City: Union Hill
Janelle Fried
Janelle FriedMedical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Hometown: Green River, WY
Career aspiration: Right now I am interested in rural primary care with both inpatient and outpatient care for both kids and adults.
Hobbies: Hanging out with my family, taking our dog on hikes and exploring the outdoors. Additionally, we enjoy DIY home improvement projects and building or refurbishing furniture.
Why did you choose UMKC: My best friend lives in Kansas City, so I already knew I loved the area and would be a great place to begin raising my family. Also, everyone in the program was so down-to-earth and welcoming when I visited. I loved the people! Lastly, I wanted to be exposed to a diverse patient population and appreciate that we mostly rotate at three major hospitals in KC with all different missions (fantastic children’s hospital, great teaching, safety-net adult hospital and locally owned, not-for-profit hospital).
What do you like to do in Kansas City: My husband and I are looking forward to exploring the city with friends and finding great family-friendly activities for our daughter. We also really love BBQ and are excited about the food for the next several years.
Who inspires you: Spending time with my patients and their families and truly getting to know what’s important to them and how I can provide medical care that is evidence-based and ideally fits into their goals. Also, my husband is amazing and truly inspires me each day to be a better person. Last but not least, Jesus is the most perfect example for inspiration and I lean heavily on my faith.
Where do you live in Kansas City: I live on the northern side of Overland Park, KS. A 20 minute commute to the hospitals but a wonderful neighborhood and a house that we fell in love with.
Zoe Morgan
Zoe MorganMedical School: University of Wisconsin
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Career aspiration: Right now I’m planning to pursue an infectious disease fellowship. I want to work with HIV patients, especially young adults and adolescents.
Hobbies: Exploring new bars and restaurants, cooking, baking, going to art galleries and seeing live music, hiking and yoga
Why did you choose UMKC: I couples’ matched with my husband, who is going into surgery here. We both loved the feel of Kansas City, with its reputation for great food and live music. We were also super impressed with the faculty and training opportunities here, and happy to stay in the Midwest. The people were down-to-earth, fun-loving, and super friendly and I felt comfortable immediately.
What do you like to do in Kansas City: I’m looking forward to exploring the restaurant scene and music, as well as the beautiful outdoor spaces.
Who inspires you: My family and my patients, as well as my wonderful husband, inspire me and keep me going every day.
Where do you live in Kansas City: I live at The Yards apartments in the Stockyards district.
Ronald Palmen
Ronald PalmenMedical School: Medical College of Wisconsin
Hometown: Kenosha, WI
Career aspiration: Cardiology – adult or adult congenital cardiology
Hobbies: Naps, cooking, running, hiking, being outdoors
Why did you choose UMKC: I felt I meshed welI with the residents I interviewed with and they took me to Betty Rae’s, so can’t beat that, in addition to great and diverse experiences for both pediatrics and internal medicine training. Also, weather in KC a plus compared to Wisconsin.
What do you like to do in Kansas City: Walk my dog around the neighborhood, sip some local brews – caffeinated or hoppy, ordering from any local restaurant, experience new places, and ultimately be outside.
Who inspires you: My parents, mother nature, and my wife
Where do you live in Kansas City: Brookside
Nicole Rogers
Nicole RogersMedical School: University of Missouri – Kansas City
Hometown: Lee Summit, MO
Career aspiration: I am currently interested in primary care. There is nothing better than being able to take care of the same patient from when they are born into adulthood!
Hobbies: In my free time, I love volunteering at one of the animal shelters in the KC metro. It is so rewarding and fun to spend time hanging out with the dogs! I also enjoy hiking, baking, and reading. My sister recently moved to Aspen, CO so I hope to add skiing to the hobbies list soon!
Why did you choose UMKC: I was lucky enough to spend 7 years at UMKC prior to starting residency. During this time, I had many rotations with some of the current med/peds residents. I was impressed with how kind (and fun!) they were as well as incredibly well trained. The med/peds residents are highly regarded amongst the medical students! I love the patient population in Kansas City, the facilities, and the immense opportunities that UMKC affords its residents. The program has a family feel and I could easily tell that the residents enjoyed each other’s company and had each other’s backs.
What do you like to do in Kansas City: Bakeries and coffee shops are plentiful in KC and I love trying them all. McLain’s and Messenger are my favorites! Finding new trails or having a picnic at my favorite spots fun too. My family lives in Lee’s Summit so I will always welcome time with them and of course a home cooked meal.
Who inspires you: My parents have always been an inspiration to work hard, show others unconditional love, and do the best you can. Recently, I have been inspired by Brené Brown’s work on shame and its relation to empathy, connection to others, and loneliness. Her work is so powerful!
Where do you live in Kansas City: Plaza area

 

Welcome from the Chief Residents

Gayathri Kumar

Gayathri Kumar
kumargk@umkc.edu

Johana Mejias-Beck
mejiasbeckj@umkc.edu

Bienvenidos and Swagatam from the Chief Residents!

Last year was very hard for the whole world.
We were and continue to be impacted by COVID19 and its variants. We’ve seen drastic changes to hospital protocols, medical management, ambulatory clinics, surgeries, and medical education. Residency programs around the country had to shift gears and jump into the virtual world for didactics, noon conferences, professor rounds, resident reports, and interview season. Despite the unfortunate reality of the pandemic, the virtual world has opened the opportunities to have more medical trainees explore programs around the country without barriers. We are humbled by the ever-changing process of medical education and resident training but are committed to developing strong all-around physicians.

UMKC Med-Peds is a mid-sized program that trains six residents per academic year. In our program we have the opportunity to work in three drastically different medical centers: Children’s Mercy, Truman Medical Center, and Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City. Children’s Mercy is a stand-alone children’s hospital that spans a large portion of the Midwest. Truman Medical Center is a very busy academic medical center that serves the greater Kansas City area with very diverse patient care including insured, underinsured, and uninsured populations. Saint Luke’s Health System has multiple nationally recognized subspecialties, including the Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institution. While challenging, working in three different hospitals provides residents a broad scope of medical training. If you are interested in ambulatory-outpatient care, we have our very own Med-Peds clinic. If you are interested in sub-specialty, we have extensive subsets of electives. If you are interested in research, we have bountiful research opportunities and have nationally recognized research. If you are interested in Global Health, we have a global health track through the pediatric side. And with that, we’d like to say that we have limitless opportunities in our program!

There are no words to describe just how hard residency can be, and it’s not until you start residency that you realize just how much sacrifice goes into this medical journey. Our Med-Peds program is not just a residency program – we are a family. We get to know our colleagues and sometimes spend more time with them than we do with our own families. We have play dates for our kids. We have intentional and purposeful monthly social gatherings. We blend in well with the categorical sides and often hear, “You’re MedPeds? Oh good!” One of the best attributes of our program comes from the love, respect, and support of our Med-Peds faculty.

If you haven’t been to Kansas City – you are truly missing out! It’s a hidden gem. KC has a casual pace and friendly Midwest vibe, but big city amenities. The food scene rivals large cities with a huge push for supporting local restaurants. As our prior chiefs quote, “KC FOOD – enough farm-to-table to keep Portland transplants happy and enough barbecue to give even the hardiest carnivore ‘meat sweats’.” If you’re into sports, KC has professional baseball, soccer, and football (did you know we are Super Bowl Champions from 2020?!).  If you are into the arts, KC is filled with the KC Symphony at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, the works of internationally renowned artists at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, more than 20 museums to learn about anything from jazz and WWI, and a huge live music scene.

We feel fortunate to be a part of this program and call KC home, and hope you feel the same!

Johana and Gayathri

PGY3 – Class of 2023

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PGY4 | PGY3PGY2 | PGY1 | Chief Residents

Caitlin Armstrong
Armstrong, CaitlinMedical School: UMKC SOM
Hometown: Kansas City, KS
Career aspirations: I am interested in adolescent medicine and endocrinology, but also hospital medicine and primary care. We shall see.
Hobbies: I love movies, and make a point to support my local theaters. I especially love horror movies and anime. I am also really into art, music, and stand up comedy. I like to see live shows whenever I can. I make art sometimes but alas I cannot make music, I just appreciate it. I’m also really trying to enjoy cooking and exercise, its a work in progress.
Why did you choose UMKC? I fell in love with med peds because of our program. I love the culture and the people that make it the way that it is. As soon as I decided on med peds, I basically had decided on UMKC med peds, it just feels like home here. I love the differences in the institutions and the diversity in patient population. You get exposure to a huge range of environments and pathologies. Also the food is real good.
What do you like to do in Kansas City? My entire family is in KC, so I really love to spend time with them when I can. I spend most of my free nights eating dinner at my older sister’s because she is an amazing cook and always lets me mooch, and I get to play with my 2 year old niece Eve who brings me endless joy. I also love the live music scene, and omg the restaurants. I love to try new restaurants, but its equally satisfying being a regular at my favorite places like Tiki Taco and Ashleigh’s Bake Shop.
What inspires you? When it comes down to it, patients and families always remind me why I’m here. I just like people and relating to one another on a basic human level. Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying that just a nice conversation about diet and exercise.
Where do you live in Kansas City? I live at Union Hill Apartments.
Daniel Merrill
Dan MerrillMedical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU)
Hometown: Byron, IL
Career aspirations: Med/peds Hospitalist
Hobbies: Soccer, racketball, NCAA basketball (go BYU!), Netflix with my wife after the kids go down to sleep.
Why did you choose UMKC? I knew a prior med/peds Cheif at UMKC who was instrumental in opening my eyes into the med/peds world. Also, the down the earth residents and the surprisingly deep conversations I was able to have with the staff on interview day was great in differentiating this program from the rest. Plus I love KC!
What do you like to do in Kansas City? Well, I’m married with 2 kids so currently it’s all about the KC zoo, Dianna Rose Farmstead, parks/playgrounds, and hiking.
What inspires you? My wife has supported my struggles all throughout my medical education and continues to keep me grounded. I also have great faith in Jesus Christ which prompts me to be better person each day.
Where do you live in Kansas City? We bought a home about 12 minutes east of work and live close to all your typical amenities however we are far enough away to hear a rooster crow each and every morning.
Taylor Needham
Needham, TaylorMedical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Hometown: Van Buren, AR
Career aspirations: Med/Peds Hospitalist, possibly Palliative Care or ID
Hobbies: Tennis, Seeing a movie with buttery popcorn, Coffee shop
Why did you choose UMKC? It felt like the residents and faculty had read every part of my application; they were the most interested in me as a person and made me feel like they chose me to come and interview based on my educational goals and previous achievements
What do you like to do in Kansas City? Walking the trail in Mill Park, Q39 BBQ, Roller coasters at World of Fun, Tabletop games at Spanky’s Card Shop
What inspires you? My family, who support me from hours away. My friends, both the new here in KC and the old scattered across the country. And my patients, who help me to be a better doctor everyday
Where do you live in Kansas City? Plaza
Jennifer Paumen
Paumen, JenniferMedical School: University of Minnesota Medical School
Hometown: Silver Lake, Minnesota
Career aspirations: Med-Peds primary care will likely be a major part of my future practice, but I love inpatient work as well and ideally would love to do both. I also want to continue to incorporate community advocacy and global health into my career.
Hobbies: playing with my puppy, running, hiking, fishing, disc golf, dance, yoga, reading, and spending as much time with family and friends as possible
Why did you choose UMKC? It felt like a place I would be challenged and supported to grow into the kind of physician I aspire to be. The program had every aspect that I was looking for- a Med-Peds clinic that serves a diverse patient population, both private and safe-net training hospitals, pediatric hospital that cares for a large geographical area, advocacy/global health education and opportunities, etc. Plus, everyone I met on my interview seemed truly happy and supportive of each other, and the leadership was clearly passionate about the program and the residents.
What do you like to do in Kansas City? My husband, puppy, and I have enjoyed exploring the parks and hiking trails around the city along with enjoying new restaurants with new friends. Looking forward to exploring the river market, museums, and seeing some Royals games.
What inspires you? People dedicated to their individual growth and the growth of others. Those making a difference in the lives of others, in our world, and in our future.
Where do you live in Kansas City? We live north of the river.
Kevin Wang
Wang, KevinMedical School: Des Moines University
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Career Aspirations: A healthy combination of primary care, public health, pulm/crit, Peds Card and adult GI.
Hobbies: Doing absolutely nothing, plants, day dreaming about getting a dog, planning my next vacation, hiking, naps, and working out.Why did you choose UMKC? Fun, down to earth residents, top notch pediatric hospital, safety net adult hospital and a fun Midwest city with excellent food and cheap gas.What do you like to do in Kansas City? Museums, plaza people watching, checking out new restaurants, jazz bars
What inspires you? My family, my patients, Meredith Palmer
Where do you live in Kansas City? Westport
Samantha Winstead
Winstead, SamanthaMedical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine- Rockford
Hometown: Illinois City, IL
Career aspirations: Rural Primary Care- Combined Inpatient & Outpatient
Hobbies: running, cooking with my husband, exploring KC, traveling whenever possible, and reading sci-fi or whatever seems interesting at the moment
Why did you choose UMKC? Strong primary care support and dinner. I already thought that UMKC might be a strong fit, because I was looking for a program that historically supported their primary care grads well. The faculty here were so genuinely interested in my goals and me as a person. The cherry on top was dinner next to Anna Leu- I may or may not have ordered a salad at a BBQ place after the waitress so heavily recommended it. The salad was…unfortunate…and before I knew it some stranger was sliding brisket and cheesy corn onto my plate. The residents are hilarious, friendly, and made dinner the highlight of my interview season. Also, I couples matched with my husband Hunter (EM), and with their outstanding program, it was a great fit.What do you like to do in Kansas City? Eat chili pepper wontons at Blue Koi, watch people bake at the 3 level coffeeshop/ bakery Messenger + Ibis, play mini golf at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, run along the Berkley Riverfront trail, invite family & friends to town to eat BBQ at Joes, pretend I’m part of the Fab 5 from Queer Eye #KC, explore the many breweries and First Fridays with friends
What inspires you? My family, who have worked hard their whole lives, and make me the person and doc I try to be. Thanks fam, love you!
Where do you live in Kansas City? Union Hill