Rachel Azriel, MD
Bio: Rachel hails from our home medical school here in Cincinnati and now considers the Queen City home. She earned her BS in Health Sciences and Life Sciences from Ohio State University before coming to UCCOM for medical school. Prior to medical school Rachel spent a year volunteering at the Ethiopian Absorption Center in Mevaseret Tzion, Isreal. While a student at UCCOM she has dedicated herself to caring for underserved communities, serving as a summer intern at Bethany House Services, Education Co-Chair for the Initiative on Poverty, Justice, and Health. She also served as a representative to the UCCOM Service-Learning Advisory Council and President of the Jewish Medical Student Association. In recognition of Rachel’s commitment to service and vulnerable populations she was elected to UCCOM’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. We are lucky to have such a committed advocate and service-minded individual joining our program!
Why I Chose Cincinnati: I chose to stay in Cincinnati for so many reasons, but really it came down to three things. First, I was looking for a program with a strong Med-Peds identity, as well as strong Internal Medicine and Pediatrics programs. Having completed my medical school training at both UC and CCHMC, I knew both programs here had much to offer in their own right and integrate together in a way that creates a strong, independent Med-Peds program. I knew I would be set up for success and prepared for any career I could envision for myself. Second, I was looking for a program that would feel like family. From early in my third year of medical school at UC, I appreciated how close the Med-Peds and categorical residents were with each other. Every rotation where I was given the opportunity to work with a Med-Peds resident, I was convinced over and over again the residents were truly a family. The support I saw both in and out of the hospital was something I knew I wanted in my own residency program. Additionally, the strong support the program leadership and faculty provide their residents throughout their training was something I could not forgo in my choice of programs. Finally, being able to stay in Cincinnati allows me to be close to family and my support system. I never would have thought 5 years ago when I moved to Cincinnati I would call this place home, but I am so excited for the opportunity to continue experiencing all this city has to offer!
Dekoiya Burton, MD, MBA
Bio: A leader since his earliest days, Dekoiya grew up the oldest of a family of 11 and became the first in his family to graduate from college. After matriculating from Boston University with a degree in Human Physiology, he spent a year working as a Program Manager at College Community Career in Sugar Land, Texas. This program fosters a college-going culture with low-income, first-generation high school students, preparing them for admission and graduation from 4-year universities. As a medical student Dekoiya served as President of the Making Equity Standard in Healthcare initiative, founder of the White Coats 4 Black Lives organization at Dell Medical School, and an elected member of the Dell Medical School Student Senate. During medical school, Dekoiya did research focused on addressing hypertension in black men through collaboration with local barbershops. Dekoiya will be graduating with both his MD and MBA degrees this spring. We are thrilled to have such a strategic leader and purposeful advocate joining our Med-Peds residency!
Why I Chose Cincinnati: I wanted a place that had a great culture, a diverse clinical experience, and camaraderie among the residents. Cincinnati seemed so genuine and dedicated to the health and well-being of its residents while also allowing them to be themselves. The 2nd Look program was the best day of interview season for me and I was hooked ever since.
Kali Chiriboga, DO, MBA
Bio: Growing up in a small agrarian town in Wisconsin, Kali left the Midwest for college in the Pacific northwest. After graduating with her BS/BA she stayed at Oregon State University of pursue an MBA. While pursuing her MBA she also worked as a certified pharmacy technician and bilingual STEM teacher at a local Boys and Girls Club. While a medical student, Kali conducted research on sexual harassment and assault in medicine and community-based health interventions focused on mental health and wellbeing outreach. She also held numerous leadership roles, including serving as Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association and coordinator of the COVID Student Support for Healthcare Workers. Kali was also active in numerous local service activities as a medical student. In recognition of her academic activities and service to the school and local communities, Kali was elected to both the Gold Humanism and Sigma Sigma Pi Honors Societies. We are so blessed to have such a community minded leader joining our residency program!
Why I Chose Cincinnati: When I chose to pursue Med-Peds, I decided to value programs that provide excellent training, promote resident wellness, had combined fellowship options and would allow me to continue my interests in advocacy and research. The program, residents, physicians, and staff at Cincinnati were so friendly and engaging, even during the virtual interview, that I immediately walked away from interview day with excitement. However, what really won me over was the genuine interest by Dr. Kinnear in my research with sexual assault and harassment, as well as Dr. Warm telling us to take our frustrations and turn that into research/work to change those frustrations -- which is exactly how I began my own research journey. My husband and I also loved the hiking, the food, and the brew scene of Cincinnati, which was important to us as we moved from Portland! The location of Cincinnati in the United States was also a large bonus for us as it allows us to be short flights away from the majority of our family within the states. It seemed like Cincinnati was a perfect fit for us.
Megan Harris, MD, MPH
Bio: Megan hails from upstate New York and she received her undergraduate degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University in Boston, graduating magna cum laude. During a gap year between college and medical school, she nurtured her passion for education by serving as a substitute teacher in her hometown, including working with special needs classes. During medical school at SUNY upstate, she also completed her Master of Public Health. Megan has participated in global health efforts in Kenya and Ecuador and helped with a research aimed at improving public health surveillance and community support for refugees and immigrants in high-risk COVID-19 settings. She has participated in multi-arm QI initiatives, international sickle cell disease research, and community-based studies of COVID-19. As a medical student Megan served on the executive board of Students for a National Health Program, worked as service-learning leader, volunteered as a crisis counselor, and supported LGTBQ+ youth. Her dedication towards serving others was recognized through election into the Gold Humanism Honor Society during medical school. We are thrilled to have such a service-minded individual joining our Cincy Med-Peds program!
Why I Chose Cincinnati: There are many reasons I was drawn to the Cincy Med-Peds family: A clear sense of Med-Peds identity at the institution, strong MedEd (Dr Warm’s presentation was a big sell!), a diverse patient population, advocacy rotations, a strong QI emphasis, and a global health program focused on developing and maintaining sustainable partnerships. Ultimately, the most important question I asked myself about each program at the end of the interview season was: If I end up here, do I feel like I will be surrounded by like-minded colleagues and mentors who will support me to be better healer, scientist, advocate, and overall human? For Cincy, the answer was a resounding yes.
Grace Howard, MD, MPH
Bio: After receiving her mechanical engineering degree from Duke University, Grace spent two years working at Occidental Oil and Gas Corp in Houston, Texas. Following she spent a year in the Peace Corps in Maula, Malawi where she worked as a secondary school teacher. As a medical student Grace was involved in the Taking Educational Action in Community Health (TEACH) program that delivered an innovative curriculum to women’s home residential treatment center in Houston. She also served as Co-Chair of the Houston Global Health Collaborative and worked as a research assistant in the Rice 360 Institute for Global Health on the Breath Alert project for NICUs in in Blantyre, Malawi. In recognition of her outstanding academic performance and service activities, Grace was elected to the AOA and Gold Humanism Honor Societies at McGovern Medical School. Grace will be graduating with a combined MD/MPH degree this spring. We are so delighted to have an individual with such amazing life experiences and a strong interest in global health joining our Med-Peds Program!
Why I Chose Cincinnati: During interview season, I was searching for a med-peds residency that would give me a diversity of training experiences both inpatient and outpatient, have a combined med-peds clinic, global health opportunities, and as stand-alone children's hospital. Most importantly, I wanted to train at a place where teaching and learning was valued, where I would be surrounded by kind and driven residents, and where I could grow as a physician and person. I was impressed by collegial spirit of the med-peds residents, the innovation in medical education, and the incredible amount of opportunities to train with the amazing physicians in Cincinnati. Getting to move to a city with four seasons, great parks and running trails, and a robust art scene has been an added bonus, and I am looking forward to the next four years of growth and learning in Cincinnati!
Dan Lichtenstein, MD
Bio: Daniel earned his BS in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal before working for two years at Boston Children’s Hospital as a research assistant studying the molecular underpinnings of congenital sideroblastic anemia. He then matriculated to SUNY Upstate for medical school where he continued to hone his research skills by participating in a oneyear NIH Medical Research Scholars Program during which he studied novel immunotherapies for high-risk hematologic malignancies in children and young adults. As medical student at SUNY upstate, Daniel volunteered at a center supporting LGBTQ+ youths and young adults, was a service-learning leader, and provided care at a free health clinic. In recognition of his academic excellence and service activities, Daniel was elected to the AOA and Gold Humanism Honor Societies. We are honored to have such a brilliant and dedicated physician as part of our Med-Peds family!
Why I Chose Cincinnati: I was looking for a program with depth and breadth of training within a tight-knit and supportive community of residents and faculty that would help me grow into an aspiring advocate and physician scientist. On my interview day at Cincinnati I chatted with down to earth and approachable people who seemed to genuinely care about each other, and was impressed by the training opportunities available. Cinci’s unique approach to Med-Ed - unmatched across the interview trail - was the cherry on top, and I can’t wait to join the Med-Peds team!
Alex Schoenberger, MD
Bio: After completing her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Dartmouth College, Alex was selected to join Teach for America where she worked as the lead teacher of a preschool/pre-K classroom in Bronx, NY. During medical school at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Alex served as her class’s copresident, co-chair for the Women and Children Advocacy division of the UCCOM Initiative on Poverty, Justice, and Health, co-president her school’s American Medical Women’s Association chapter, and Advocacy and Website subcommittee chair of the AAP’s Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She also co-founded the UCCOM Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Interest Group to focus on advocacy and care for this patient population, in addition to being an active member of numerous other organizations and activities. In recognition of her outstanding scholarly and service excellence, she was elected to both the AOA and Gold Humanism Honor Societies. We are blessed to have such a strong leader and advocate joining our residency program!
Why I Chose Cincinnati: When looking at all of the incredible Med-Peds programs across the country, a few things made Cincinnati stand out from the rest. On the outpatient side, Cincinnati’s single combined Med-Peds continuity clinic offers a consistent “home base” of support and learning throughout residency. The clinic provides compassionate, evidence-based care to Cincinnati residents of all ages, and multifaceted advocacy is regularly integrated into this care. After seeing the many benefits of a single combined continuity clinic as a medical student at UCCOM, it was hard to imagine training somewhere without it! As for inpatient training, I was looking for a program in which the residents are fully embraced by each categorical program but are also supported in bringing best practices from each field to the other. The widespread and respected Med-Peds presence at UC and CCHMC makes this collaboration and innovation not just possible, but also valued. As I identified physicians throughout medical school whose careers, leadership, and character I wanted to emulate, time after time I discovered that they were Cincinnati Med-Peds graduates or faculty. The Med-Peds residents I worked with during my clinical years were a kind, passionate, and supportive crew of people who treated each other like family, and they consistently demonstrated the traits that I hope to embody as a resident, colleague, and teacher. It is a true gift to be able to train with the same people who convinced me to go into Med-Peds as an M3, and I could not be more excited or grateful to be joining this fantastic program!