January Match Mix Shows Promise for Incoming Fellows in Advanced Internal Med Training

Thirty-two new fellows have matched into advanced training programs in internal medicine subspecialties for the 15 ACGME-accredited fellowship programs in the University of Arizona Department of Medicine.

They include nine new fellows in the Pulmonary division’s four fellowships, seven in Cardiology’s two fellowships, three each in Gastroenterology, Hematology/Oncology and Nephrology, two each in Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases and Rheumatology and one post-match candidate in Hospice and Palliative Care. Several fellows were accepted into UA programs outside the official match process.

Sixteen—or half—of incoming UA fellows are UA internal medicine residents who will be graduating this spring. Two more incoming fellows are former UA medical students returning after their residency. And 13 current UA internal medicine residents are headed elsewhere for fellowships.

Department Chair Monica Kraft, MD, said she was happy with the caliber of candidates that have chosen to further themselves by advanced training into subspecialties in internal medicine here. Both she and Jil Tardiff, MD, PhD, department vice chair for research, anticipate improved opportunities for research with incoming fellows as well.

All incoming fellows, Dr. Tardiff said, will benefit from an array of new DOM educational programs and internal funding to facilitate their academic interests. New initiatives include focused research seminars, an annual academic retreat, research poster competitions, individual academic mentors for each fellow, required scholarly activities, grant writing support, meetings financial support and dedicated research time. "The goal for these opportunities," she said, "is to foster an environment that encourages academic excellence across all of our fellowship programs and provides focused opportunities for fellows interested in investigative careers."

Dr. Kraft also was pleased with how our internal medicine residents fared in the official 2017 Fellowship Match. In all, there were 10,410 applicants vying for 9,766 fellowship positions offered by 4,176 programs nationwide across 62 specialties. It was the largest appointment year in the history of the NRMP Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®) with nearly 8,500 or 81.5 percent of applicants matching into a program. The Department of Medicine accounts for 22 of 34 fellows coming into UA College of Medicine – Tucson programs from the official match, including one to South Campus. Another 23 officially matched into UA College of Medicine – Phoenix fellowship programs.

Fellowships for South Campus Residents

“We are very proud of the fact that all of our residents who entered the fellowship Match received a fellowship position in their top specialty,” said Eugene Trowers, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine, gastrointestinal services director at Banner – University Medical Center South and director of the UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program at South Campus.

Among South Campus residents heading to other institutions:

  • Kai Rou Tey, MBBS – Gastroenterology and Nutrition Fellowship, Loyola University Health System, Chicago
  • Muhammad Husnain, MBBS – Hematology/Oncology Fellowship, University of Miami, Florida
  • Shabnam Yekta, MD – Hospice and Palliative Fellowship, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix

In addition, South Campus resident Senthil Anand, MBBS, will become a chief resident in the program next year at Banner – UMC South, and resident Akinbola Ajayi-Obe, MD, will go into primary care in private practice in Ilesha, Nigeria.

Fellowships for Tucson Campus Residents

Laura Meinke, MD, assistant professor of medicine and director, UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus, also said she was “very pleased with these results.”

Among Tucson Campus residents headed elsewhere are Banner – UMC Tucson chief residents:

  • Laith Ghazala, MD — Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic
  • Rorak Hooten, MD — Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, University of Nebraska
  • Lindsey Trutter, MD — Cardiology Fellowship, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix/Banner – UMC Phoenix

(Another chief resident, Jennifer Segar, MD, is headed to a UA fellowship—see “Hematology & Medical Oncology” below.)

Other Tucson Campus residents are headed for: 

  • Onyee Chan, MD — Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, University of South Florida – Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Fla.
  • Shaun Chatelain, DO — Geriatrics Fellowship, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City
  • Hem Desai, MBBS —Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Program, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Pryce Gaynor, MD —Multicampus Fellowship Program in Infectious Diseases, UCLA, Los Angeles
  • Rebin Kader, DO — Allergy and Immunology Fellowship, University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Anne Spichler Moffarah, MD — Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program, UC Davis, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Nour Alhoda “Hoda” Parsa, MD — Gastroenterology Fellowship Program, Albany Medical College, Albany, N.Y.

Incoming chief residents at Banner – UMC Tucson in July are UA Tucson Campus residents: Jawad Bilal, MBBS; Aakash Shah, MD; Kawanjit Surapur (Sekhon), MD, and Yunuen “Yuni” Valenzuela, MD. As other Tucson Campus residents are interviewing for positions, we will provide an update as to where our graduates take positions at a later date.

UA-Bound Fellowship Candidates

Among those joining Department of Medicine fellowship programs at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson in July are (including where they’re coming from and, for non-UA residents, where they earned their medical degrees):


  • Rhonda Alkatib, MD — UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus


  • Chris Angus, MD – University of Louisville Internal Medicine Residency Program, Kentucky; MD: Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
  • Bishnu Dhakal, MBBS – Albert Einstein College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program, Yeshiva University/St. Barnabas Hospital; MBBS: College of Medical Sciences, Bharatpur, Nepal
  • Saad Kubba, MD – Temple University Internal Medicine Residency Program, Philadelphia; MD: Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
  • Iwan Nyotowidjojo, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus
  • Kristina Skinner, DO – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus


  • Rebecca L. Milligan, MD – UA College of Medicine Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Tucson


  • Leopoldo Cobos, MC – Residency, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, Edinburg; MC: Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara Facultad de Medicina, Mexico
  • Dinkar Rupakula, MBBS – Academic Hospitalist, HealthPartners Medical Group, St. Paul/Minneapolis; Internal Medicine Residency Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Englewood, N.J.; MBBS: University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Deli, India


  • Azadeh Fotouie, MD —UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus
  • David Kim, MD —Residency, Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern; MD: University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas (2014); BS: Biochemistry, University of Texas at Austin (2010)
  • Thu Pham, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus


  • Michael Durando, MD, PhD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus (PGY-2 Fast Track)
  • Aung Bajaj, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus
  • Jennifer Segar, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus


  • Muna Omar, MBBS — Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program, UA College of Medicine – Tucson


  • Jessica August, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – South Campus
  • Norman Beatty, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – South Campus


  • Kapil Yadav, MBBS – Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans; Residency, Cook County Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program, Chicago; MBBS: Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Medical College, Jaipur, India
  • Hashim Taimoor, MBBS – Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship and Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham; MBBS: King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan


  • Jennifer Aranas, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus
  • Kussay Samkari, MD – Hospitalist, Banner Health, Phoenix, Ariz.; Residency, Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia)/Atlantic City Medical Center, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.;  MD: University of Damascus Faculty of Medicine, Syria (1999)
  • Lance Bechtold, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – South Campus


  • Bryan Borg, MD – University of Colorado Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, Denver; MD: UA College of Medicine – Tucson
  • Jonathan Callaway, MD – Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education Internal Medicine Residency (Arizona), Scottsdale; MD: UA College of Medicine – Tucson
  • Farraz Jaffer, MD – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – South Campus
  • David Miller, MD – Residency, Internal Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; MD: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Sasan Sazgar, MD, MBA –Residency, Unity Health System Internal Medicine Residency Program, Rochester, N.Y.; MBA: Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; MD: Shahid Behesthi University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


  • Hana Masood, MD, MBA – Residency, New York University/Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn; MD: Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C. (2014); BS: Biology/BA: Psychology, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (2007)
  • Manjinder Kaur, DO – UA College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program – Tucson Campus


  • Chithra Poongkunran, MBBS – Residency, Internal Medicine, Canton Medical Education Foundation/Mercer Medical Center, Canton, Ohio (2012); MD: Government Kilpauk Medical College, Chennai, India (2007)
  • Omavi Bailey, MD – Residency, Family & Community Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; MD: American International School of Medicine, Guyana (2014); MPH: Epidemiology, University of Florida, Gainesville (2008); BS: Mathematics and Chemistry Minor, Morehouse College, Atlanta (2003)

The UA Division of Integrative Medicine, which operates largely through the UA Center for Integrative Medicine, also currently has 164 fellows in its Fellowship in Integrative Medicine Program. While not accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), this 1,000-hour, two-year distance learning program for health-care professionals has achieved international recognition as the leading integrative medical education program in the world since its creation in 2000. Learn more here.

Release Date: 
03/02/2017 - 5:00pm