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Pediatric Chief Residents

John Paul Berauer, M.D.

Undergraduate: Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Medical School: University of Illinois at Rockford, Rockford, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: Growing up in the NW suburbs of Chicago, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to train here and care for the people in the community in which I was raised. Among each of the 18 programs I interviewed at, the people at ALGCH were the most welcoming, and the residents seemed the happiest. I couldn't wait to come back!
  • Hobbies/Interests: Chicago Bears, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Fighting Illini, working on my car, skiing, going to the zoo, spending time outdoors and with family, friends and pets.
  • Favorite Quote: "We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life."- Sir William Osler

Chinelo Okafor, M.D.

Undergraduate: University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: Positive experiences from fellow medical students that rotated here and great reviews of the program from past and current residents
  • Hobbies/Interests: Tennis, reading, video games, traveling
  • Favorite Quotes: "The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of better things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax. Of cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings."
    - Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

PGY-3

Krystal A Balla, D.O.

Undergraduate: Carroll College, Waukesha, WI
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I chose ALGCH for the strong camaraderie between all levels of residents, the amazing dedicated attendings and for the best possible atmosphere created no matter what the situation.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Shopping, traveling, interior design, softball, snowboarding and watching TV.
  • Favorite Song/Movie: In My Life by the Beatles and Man on the Side by John Mayer (songs)/Cinderella and Gladiator (best movie ever!)

Lauren Brankle, D.O.

Undergraduate: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: ALGCH had everything I was looking for in a residency program, but most importantly, I enjoyed all of the physicians and residents I met, and their close relationships.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Exercising; cooking/baking; spending time with my husband, Brian, and dog, Sammie; dancing; watching movies; babysitting my 1-year-old niece, Annabel; playing softball and volleyball
  • Favorite Quote: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Tiffany M. Davis, M.D.

Undergraduate: Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
Graduate:  University of Texas School of Public health, San Antonio, TX
Medical School: University of Texas School of Medicine, San Antonio, TX

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I chose ALGCH for the people. There was such a family atmosphere amongst the residents, faculty and staff that it made me want to be a part of it.
  • Hobbies/Interests: NFL football, photography, music and food
  • Favorite Quote: “All that we are is a result of what we have thought." - Buddha

Heidi Goeppinger, D.O.

Undergraduate: St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I grew up in Glenview, IL, and always knew of ALGH and its wonderful reputation. When I was applying and interviewing, ALGCH had everything I was looking for – a busy academic institution with warm and welcoming people.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy reading, cooking for family and friends and exploring new restaurants. I also love walking my dog, Tucker.
  • Favorite Quote: “In this life, we can do no great things, only small things with great love.” - Mother Teresa

Amina Habib, M.D.

 

Undergraduate: Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Graduate:  Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Medical School: Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: Great people and patients with wonderful teaching. You feel like you are part of a team where everyone supports each other to do their best work.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Photography, traveling, reading, cooking and eating
  • Favorite Movie/Book: Chocolat and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (movies)/Mountains Beyond Mountains  (book)

Nisha Hakhu, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of Southern California, Los Angeles,  CA
Medical School: Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, East Lansing, MI

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: The people – everyone was so nice, friendly and supportive. It was just like a family! Also, I was really excited about the school-based clinic, free clinic and international opportunities.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Yoga, pilates, travel, cooking, eating out, brunch

Christina Hanowsky, D.O.

 

Undergraduate: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/ College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, CA
 

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: The amazing residents, staff and their relationships with each other as well as the large number of patients that come through this hospital allowing for a lot of experience and exposure. I knew I would get a good education.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Ultimate Frisbee, sailing, camping, reading, spending time with friends
  • Favorite Book/Band/Movie: The Giving Tree (book); Dispatch (band); Shawshank Redemption and French Kiss (movies)

Barbora Nelson, D.O.

 

Undergraduate: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I did a rotation in the PICU and absolutely loved the atmosphere of the department as well as the whole hospital. The interview day and dinner were very comfortable, and everyone was very friendly.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Soccer, horses, photography, skiing
  • Favorite Movie/Book: Shrek, Cars (movies) and Prodigal Summer (book)

Patrick Noonan, D.O.

Undergraduate: Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: When I rotated at ALGCH as a medical student, I was very impressed with the residents and the attendings.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I love to watch and play any kind of sports, but mostly I like to spend time with my sons.
  • Favorite Quote: “This is a house of learned doctors.”

Emilia Nymander, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Graduate: Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I loved the environment and how friendly everyone was. I was also impressed by the dedication of the residents and attendings to the care of patients.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy cooking and baking, especially for others. I also love to read and am always looking for a good book recommendation. I’m also a hockey fan!
  • Favorite Movie: Piano Man by Billy Joel (song); Up (movie) and Pride and Prejudice (book)

Kristen Scherkenbach, M.D.

 

Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Medical School: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: As a medical student, I did most of my rotations at ALGH and loved all of the people there. The pediatric attendings are amazing teachers and very approachable and friendly. The residents were all great too and really seemed to be happy overall. ALGH just felt like home and was a place I could see myself happy at.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Sports, especially sand volleyball. Running, only in order to burn calories because I eat so much. Taking walks, going out to eat, playing with my cats, watching Green Bay Packer games, hanging out with my fiancee
  • Favorite Quote: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Annie Torres, M.D.

Undergraduate: Miami University, Oxford, OH
Graduate: Loyola University, Loyola, IL
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I chose ALGCH because I was really struck by the atmosphere of teamwork that has been cultivated here. Every person I met was incredibly warm, welcoming and passionate about the work they were doing and that enthusiasm was infectious.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I love working with animal rescue groups. Skiing, paddle boarding, biking, reading, brunch, Minnesota Twins games
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Pretty Young Thing by Michael Jackson (song); Rushmore (movie); The Lost Boys (book)

PGY-2

Sam Engle, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences, Kansas City, MI

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I chose ALGCH because the month I spent in the PICU as a student was amazing, and the residents I worked with and met during that time were great.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Family, fantasy football, pumpkin carving and running
  • Favorite Quote: “Never regard study as a duty, but as an enviable opportunity.”
  • Best place I've visited: Sanibel Island, FL

Laura Johnson, D.O.

Undergraduate: Wayne State College, Wayne, NE
Graduate: AT Still University, Kirksville, MO (MPH); University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE (Medical Technology)
Medical School: AT Still University - School of Osteopathic Medicine - Arizona, Mesa, AZ

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I picked the program at ALGCH because ever since I rotated there last year, nothing could compare when I would rotate or interview somewhere else. The physicians are exceptional to work with and learn from, that goes from the clinic pediatricians to the hospitalists to the specialists. The residents and attendings work together as a team, so you have the support to get everything you need from a residency. I liked that the patient population and census is so varied, this assured me that I would get to see a great variety of cases that would allow me to become an excellent pediatrician and feel comfortable handling a variety of situations when I am out practicing after graduation. I also like that I have the level of autonomy that allows me to make decisions, but I have great resources when I need them.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I'm kind of silly in that I love to do puzzles, but haven't put one together in a while. I also like to cook, which is usually baking cookies or something similar.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Favorite movies would be Office Space, Out Cold and The Bourne Series. I really enjoyed reading The Last Lecture and books by the author Dan Brown.
  • Best place I've visited: I went on a cruise to Alaska in May, and it was incredible. I would definitely recommend visiting Alaska and would love to go back!

Timothy Ketterhagen, M.D.

Undergraduate: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI/Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Medical School: American University of the Caribbean, St. Martin, Netherlands Antilles

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: The residents are very close and always willing to help each other out. The program has the feel of a large family. The faculty is extremely approachable and willing to teach, and I know that I am getting an excellent education, and I'll be prepared for either a fellowship or to begin practicing after residency. I am also originally from the Midwest, so it is nice to be close to family.
  • Hobbies/Interests: The Green Bay Packers, football, basketball, golf and guitar
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Mumford and Sons - The Cave (at the moment), Good Will Hunting
  • Best place I've visited: Lambeau Field or Prague, Czech Republic

Miriam Kim, D.O.

 

Undergraduate: Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Medical School: Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center, Des Moines, IA

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I had the opportunity to spend eight weeks doing rotations at ALGCH and absolutely loved the atmosphere and the congeniality between the residents. In addition, the attendings I worked under had so much to teach and never turned down a question. I knew this residency was a great match for my personality where I could work with a great team of residents, learn and not be afraid to ask questions and thus grow to my full potential as a pediatrician.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Running, spinning, P90x, yoga, salsa dancing, boating on Lake Michigan, walking my roommate's mini dachshund named Woogie
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: I love Michael Buble - any and all of the songs he sings. The last book I read was The Hunger Games, and it was pretty captivating. My favorite movie is Moulin Rouge.
  • Best place I've visited: Maui - whale watching. In Chicago, Tempo has the best breakfast, and it's open 24 hours.

Ami Patel, M.D.

Undergraduate: Tufts University, Medford, MA
Graduate: Tufts University, School of Medicine (MPH)
Medical School: St. George's University, True Blue, Grenada

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: ALGCH has a reputation of providing a wonderful training experience with their dedication to teaching along with a family-like atmosphere.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Traveling, cooking/baking/eating, spending time with my friends and family
  • Favorite Food: I love all food, but I have a big sweet tooth so I would have to say desserts.
  • Best place I've visited: Greece, France

Shirali Patel, D.O.

 

Undergraduate: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 
Medical School: Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: After rotating here as a fourth-year medical student, it was obvious that everyone loved working at ALGH, and that everyone was extremely friendly, enthusiastic, approachable and willing to teach! Not to mention, so many prior residents of the program were coming back to work as faculty, which only means great things of the progam!
  • Hobbies/Interests: Traveling, baking - mostly cupcakes, spending time with family/friends, sports, especially the Michigan State Spartans!
  • Favorite Quote: "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." - Muhammed Ali
  • Best place I've visited: Barcelona, Spain

Rebecca Petroski, D.O.

 

Undergraduate: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I felt that this was a residency that would provide a strong foundation in general pediatrics while also encouraging my interests in potential subspecialties through mentorship and research opportunities.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I love to watch, and someday hope to be in the crowd for, a summer and winter Olympic games. I like to travel, practice my Spanish and watch international soccer.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Movies: The Holiday, Love Actually and the new Batman trilogy. Books: The Hunger Games and books by Jhumpa Lahiri.
  • Favorite Quote: "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo
  • Best places I've visited: I've been fortunate to have visited some extraordinary places. My top 3 would have to include Hawaii, Disney World and Barcelona.

Sanaa Qamar, M.D.

Undergraduate: Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Medical School: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science, North Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I loved the friendly environment. I felt like the faculty genuinely wanted to teach and the residents were happy.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Triathlons, running, fiddle/violin, painting, spending time with family and friends
  • Favorite Song/Movie/book: One of my many favorite movies is Up.
  • Best places I've visited: Paris. Locally the best place (and my favorite in Chicago) is Lincoln Park Zoo.

Elie Schwartz, M.D.

Undergraduate: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Medical School: Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I want to do general pediatrics, and Advocate Children’s Hospital – Park Ridge provided the best opportunity to learn outpatient medicine while also having a wide variety of pathology that a lot of programs don't have. Also, the residents and attendings are amazing and I immediately felt at home.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Playing baseball, basketball, and softball. Running, swimming, biking, and playing the piano.
  • Favorite Quote: “Impossible is nothing”
  • Best place I've visited: Crater Lake, Oregon
  • Favorite Food: Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Cheese Pizza
  • Favorite Color: Purple

Natalie Sgarlata, M.D.

Undergraduate: Purdue University, Lafayette, IN 
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I love the friendly, open environment.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I love reading, running, spending time with friends and family, and camping!
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Favorite Book - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Favorite Movie - Remember the Titans
  • Best places I've visited: Camp Jorn YMCA in Manitowish Waters, WI

Megan Tzeng, M.D.

Undergraduate: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 
Medical School: Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine & Pharmacy, Rootstown, OH

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: The residents seemed to be happy, even while working hard. There was also a lot of laughing during morning report, which seemed like a good sign.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Puzzles
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Cherries
  • Best places I've visited: Going home!

Elizabeth Wollensak, D.O.

 

Undergraduate: Concordia University - Irvine, Irvine, CA 
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I chose Lutheran because of the people that were already here. I felt like I really fit in, and it would be a great environment for me to work and learn in for the next three years. The attending physicians here are very supportive, they love to teach, and everyone helps each other out!
  • Hobbies/Interests: Reclaimed furniture, ceramics, foreign travel, gardening, 5K races
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Song: True Colors by Cyndi Lauper. Movie: Say Anything with John Cusack. Book: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Favorite Quote: “It always seems impossible until it's done.” - Nelson Mandela
  • Best places I've visited: Istanbul, Turkey

Xiao Xiao, M.D.

Undergraduate: Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
Medical School: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I really like that ALGCH has a diverse patient population, and you take care of a variety of illnesses. Plus, all the people that I meet are wonderful, and the program really tries to make a reasonable schedule for residents!
  • Hobbies/Interests: Food, food and food - eating, cooking and checking out various restaurants and bars in Chicago. (Yes! I have time to do that as an intern.) I try to balance that with tennis and trips to the gym.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Movie: The Sound of Music
  • Favorite Quote: Sh ... er, stuff happens.
  • Best place I've visited: Barcelona, Spain

PGY-1
Elizabeth Boyle, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: It is truly a community at ACH-PR. I knew that I would receive stellar training in pediatrics while being supported by the faculty, staff, and my peers. Best of al,l there is a commitment to enjoy each day and have fun!
  • Hobbies/Interests: Food and restaurants – as a native Chicagoan I love to check out the newest spots in the city! Traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: The Giving Tree
  • Favorite Quote: "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose."
  • Best place I've visited: Italy
  • Favorite Food: Pasta
  • Favorite Color: Red

Michelle Farag, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, Champaign, IL
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I had a really great experience rotating at ACH-PR during my fourth year of medical school. I saw that the attendings and residents were friendly, served as great mentors to the interns, and worked well together to address the patient's needs. I knew it would be a good fit for me.
  • Hobbies/Interests:Cooking, traveling, the Bears, The Food Network, reading & hiking
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Movie: Despicable Me
  • Best place I've visited: Internationally: Florence, Italy. Locally: Flub a Dub Chub's - has the best Chicago style hot dog around!
  • Favorite Food: I love all food, but if I could eat one thing every day it would be chocolate!
  • Favorite Color: Blue

Elizabeth Berndt Henschen, D.O.

Undergraduate: Davidson College, Davidson, NC
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: Advocate Children’s Hospital – Park Ridge stood out to me because of the people. They truly are a family. I really loved the residents, felt supported by the nurses, and learned a tremendous amount from the attending physicians. I wanted to be happy to go to work each day, which is difficult to say in residency, and I found that at ACH-PR.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hanging out with my family and friends, bike riding/running along Lake Michigan, playing the piano, seeing musicals/plays, traveling, following Chicago sports.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Song: I don't have a favorite song, but my favorite artists are Billy Joel and James Taylor. Movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Book: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Best place I've visited: Last March my husband and I visited the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona and that's been my favorite place to date. Other favorites include the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., London, Venice, Paris, Glacier National Park in Montana, and Sedona National Park in Arizona.
  • Favorite Food: It changes. As a kid it was maraschino cherries, then it evolved into anything chocolate. In the last year, I've developed a love for pistachios.
  • Favorite Color: The shade of blue-green of the water in the Caribbean.

Jessica James, M.D.

Undergraduate: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Medical School: Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: The friendliness of the faculty and residents, the diverse pathology, and the incredible clinical opportunities all amazed me on my interview day! I'm thrilled to be a part of this program.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Musical theatre, dance, running, exploring my new favorite city (Chicago)!
  • Favorite Quote: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." –Arthur Ashe
  • Best place I've visited: Esperanza, Dominican Republic
  • Favorite Food: Jamaican anything!
  • Favorite Color: Purple

Lauren Lindle, M.D.

Undergraduate: Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL
Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I really enjoyed the feeling of community among the residents and staff. I also like the focus on general pediatrics and the commitment to creating excellent pediatricians.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I like to read and watch TV. My husband and I are very involved in our church and also enjoy board games and video games. We like to spend time with our family and friends.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Book: The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Best place I've visited: Hawaii. My husband and I went there on our honeymoon
  • Favorite Food: Ice cream!
  • Favorite Color: Blue

Rupa Mahadevan, M.D.

Undergraduate: George Washington University, Washington, DC
Medical School: George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program:As a future Pediatrician, I knew that I wanted to go to a residency program in a big city. The volume of patients and diverse pathology in Chicago is great for learning and there are so many opportunities to get involved in Advocate Children’s Hospital – Park Ridge. I also loved the family-friendly atmosphere. Everyone is so kind and supports one another which provides for a fun environment for professional growth!
  • Hobbies/Interests:Interests: dogs, traveling, gastronomy, tabla beats, chocolate, integrative medicine. Hobbies: cooking, pet sitting, festival hopping, running 5k/10k, learning to play tennis.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Movie: Cool Runnings
  • Favorite Quote: "Sometimes you need to talk to a two year old just so you can understand life again." Anon
  • Best place I've visited: Pierre Loti in Istanbul, Turkey (best hummus, apple tea, and views)
  • Favorite Food: Mom's home cooking is my favorite! I love Mediterranean and Malaysian food as well.
  • Favorite Color: Gold (Golden retrievers, gold jewelry, Golden grahams...)

Mark Murphy, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Medical School: Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: Hands down, I choose ACH-PR for the family atmosphere. There’s no other place quite like it. Very warm and genuine. All the resident’s personalities gel incredibly well.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Hanging out with friends, any reality TV show, foodie and beer connoisseur
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Any Vin Diesel movie, especially Fast and the Furious. Overall horrible movies, but I just can't stop watching them.
  • Best place I've visited: Barcelona, Spain
  • Favorite Food: Bar food
  • Favorite Color: Hot pink and lime green combo

Elizabeth Nakae, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of California – San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, CA

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: This program really stood out in respect to the people who worked here. The staff, physicians, program directors, and residents were all amazing and wonderful to work with. Additionally, this program has a wide variety of pathology and is consistently busy which allows for endless opportunities to learn.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I really enjoy running, training for marathons and triathlons, cooking, the beach, and visiting back home in California.
  • Best place I've visited: I love to travel. My favorite places have probably been Egypt and Croatia.
  • Favorite Food: I love food in general but my favorites would have to be Mexican and Indian food. I love anything spicy.
  • Favorite Color: Yellow

April Rahrig, D.O.

Undergraduate: University of St. Francis, Fort Wayne, IN
Medical School: Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I chose Advocate Children's Hospital – Park Ridge because of its strong academics, diverse patient population, and most importantly, for the friendly and welcoming environment.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Golf, yoga, reading, cats
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Song: Ordinary People by John Legend. Movie: Anything scary! Book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
  • Favorite Quote: "My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get" - Forrest Gump
  • Best place I've visited: Greece
  • Favorite Food: Steak and Baked Potato
  • Favorite Color: Black

Daniella Russi, M.D.

Undergraduate: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Medical School: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I love the family-friendly atmosphere that I felt when I went for my interview. When I spent the day on my second look, I was sure that this was the place I was going to be happy doing my residency.
  • Hobbies/Interests: I love to spend time with my two girls. Photography and sailing are my favorite hobbies.
  • Favorite Quote: “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” – Forest E. Witcraft
  • Best place I've visited: French Polynesia and my home country, Brazil!
  • Favorite Food: Brazilian Food

Amir Siddiqui, M.D.

Undergraduate: Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine – Chicago, IL

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: The residents are all really happy, the quality of learning is excellent, and I love Chicago!
  • Hobbies/Interests: I love to travel and have a healthy addiction to technology.
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Book: The Hunger Games, Movie: The Lord of the Rings
  • Best place I've visited: Makkah, Madinah, Istanbul, and Agadir
  • Favorite Food: I love desserts, especially bread pudding!
  • Favorite Color: White

Shrinal Vyas, M.D.

Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, IL 

  • Reason I chffose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: The program atmosphere and administration were the most friendly and welcoming of any program I visited! I also really appreciate the balance between general and subspecialty pediatrics training, which the hospital's location and patient population allow for.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Cooking and baking, working out, yoga, browsing Pinterest, candy crush saga (new addict to this game!)
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Movie & Book: The Kite Runner. Song: Can't pick one...
  • Favorite Quote: “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
  • Best place I've visited: Taj Mahal - Agra, India
  • Favorite Food: Cheesecake, cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate, cookies, muffins... almost anything sweet!
  • Favorite Color: Black & White

Meera Wiseman, M.D.

Undergraduate: University of California – San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Medical School: St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies

  • Reason I chose Advocate Lutheran General Pediatric Program: I love the support the faculty gives to the residents and really appreciate the atmosphere of camaraderie. I felt that ACH-PR provided the ideal balance of high academic expectations, happy resident life, and whole-hearted encouragement by all in the program.
  • Hobbies/Interests: Reading, painting, cooking, dancing
  • Favorite Song/Movie/Book: Book: Matlida. Movie: You've Got Mail
  • Best place I've visited: Florence has been a favorite for years, but I recently visited Mt. Koya-San in Japan and felt it was the most peaceful place on Earth.
  • Favorite Food: Macaroni and Cheese
  • Favorite Color: I have never been able to choose just one – I usually find myself in multicolor madness!

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