Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The UMKC Pathology Program promotes and celebrates Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our day-to-day interactions. We strive to embrace all forms of diversity including race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and gender identity. Our program is a shinning example of cultural and ethnic diversity as many of our trainees, faculty and staff, represent different parts of the world. At our program we are fortunate to come together and celebrate one another’s uniqueness, and we can enjoy the freedom to be our own true authentic selves.

Zubaidah Khalaf, MD

Dr. Khalaf ZubaidahMedical School: University of Anbar College of Medicine

Hi Everyone, my name is Zubaidah. I was born and raised in Iraq, I went to University of Anbar College of Medicine in Iraq after that I moved to the United States with my husband Abdulrahman in 2014, we lived in Arkansas for 6 years, and we have 2 kids Yazan and Maria.

My favorite hobby is cooking, specifically Mediterranean food. I make dolma, hummus, falafel and baklava and many other dishes. In my opinion cooking is the best hobby you can have! Baking and cooking teach me patience while giving me enjoyment and pleasure, especially when my kids participate!

What I love most about the UMKC is the amazing family atmosphere between the residents, the supportive faculty and the great training.

What are your plans for after residency?
I would like to stay in academic medicine after I finish my surgical pathology fellowship, I love to teach!

Jay Johal, MD

Dr.Jay JohalMedical School : Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Bahrain.

Hello ! My name is Jay, I was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. I did my undergraduate degree back home at Simon Fraser University. Then I went abroad to RCSI-Bahrain for my medical degree. It was quite the worthwhile adventure! I really valued getting medical experience in different countries like Bahrain, Ireland, USA and Canada throughout my education.

My favorite hobbies include watching sports such as basketball, MMA and hockey. And attempting to play these sports whenever I have time! I also like going out to try different restaurants in KC and eating BBQ of course!

What I love most about UMKC pathology is the supportive learning environment in a close knit friendly atmosphere.

What are your plans after residency?
I would like to pursue a fellowship in cytopathology and gain more experience seeing interesting cases.

Shuti Chinchanikar, MD

Dr. Shuti ChinchanikarMedical School: Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research, Pune, India.

Hello! My name is Shruti and I am from Pune, India. After completing my medical education in 2016, I always had a penchant to further my study in the field of research. I moved to the US in 2018 and took up a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University, New Haven. In 2021, I was fortunate to match into the residency program at UMKC and was thrilled to experience a well-rounded training in a diverse learning environment through rotations in different hospitals! Although we all come from very diverse cultures, we have a super fun and collaborative environment here in the department where friends have become family and keep me from missing home in India.

I live with my husband and two cats, Shiro and Neko. We love to drive and explore different states around the country and have experienced the beautiful nature in many different national/state parks. My favorites are Volcano National Park, Hawaii and Glacier National Park, Montana so far! Kansas City has a bunch of activities and restaurants to explore from, the barbeques and fountains need a special mention! I also enjoy cooking, reading and clicking pictures of my cats!

What are your plans for after residency?
I wish to pursue a surgical pathology fellowship and foster my professional goal of becoming a good pathologist, delivering quality reports in accelerated time! I will always remain thankful for the excellent mentorship that I have been receiving from all my attendings at UMKC!

Hanae Benchbani, MD

Dr. Hanae BenchbaniMedical School: University of Mohammed V – Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat

Greetings! I come from the beautiful city of Rabat in Morocco, where I completed my medical school education. Afterward, I took a significant leap and moved to the United States. I worked as a research coordinator at Oregon Health and Science University, focusing on medical trials related to pulmonary hypertension and sepsis. This experience allowed me to understand the importance of research in improving patient care.

When it came time to choose a residency program, UMKC stood out to me because of its supportive faculty members and residents. The program’s emphasis on mentorship ensures a nurturing environment where I can continue to grow both personally and professionally. Moreover, Kansas City offers an ideal work-life balance, providing a variety of recreational activities and opportunities to unwind.

Outside the medical realm, I cherish spending quality moments with my family and trying new food. I also find great fascination in listening to true crime podcasts!

What are you plans after residency?
I am interested in doing a surgical pathology and cytopathology fellowships.

Aneeza Irfan, MD

Dr. Aneeza IrfanMedical School: Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Medical College

Hey! My name is Aneeza. I was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. During med-school I fell in love with pathology and joined the UMKC pathology residency shortly after graduating. I love the diversity offered by my program. When I’m not at work I enjoy spending time with my cat. My hobbies include hosting board game nights, tennis, hiking, biking, hot yoga, cooking and traveling.

What are your plans after residency?
I’m heading to MD Anderson Cancer Center for my Surgical Pathology fellowship. I want to do a second fellowship in hematopathology.

Saad Gandhi, MD

Dr. Saad GandhiMedical School: Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences.

Hi, my name is Saad Gandhi. I was born and raised in Hyderabad, Pakistan. After graduation I practiced in Pakistan for a while but my interest had always been pathology, and I was fortunate enough to match in a well-balanced program like UMKC. The program has provided me all the support I needed moving from another country and adapting to the environment here. Worthwhile to mention are the close-knit family atmosphere among the residents and the mentorship provided by attendings. Moreover. Kansas City is great, I have only just started exploring the city and I’m already in love with it.
In my free time I like to work out, watch movies, explore the city and I’m learning how to cook by trial and error method!

What are you plans after residency?
I would like to pursue a fellowship in hematopathology, but I’m keeping my options open as I progress through my training.