Resident Representatives 2019‐2020
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Graduate Medical Education Committee
The resident members of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) represent all residents in all programs. You may contact the resident members of the GMEC with any issues you feel need to be addressed by the Committee.
You may contact them through the Resident Forum email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the GME Office with any concerns you have during your training program.
Zach Z. Abuwalla, MD
The multiple leadership positions that I have held in the past have prepared me for this role. In my most recent job, I led a group of medical students in performing a Rapid Assessment Review of technology-based interventions for mood and anxiety disorders. Prior to that, I was elected as the VP of Communications on the Student Government Association in my medical school, a role which had many responsibilities similar to those that a GMEC member would have. I care about our program and want to do my part in improving it.
Kurt A. Ashack, MD
Kurt Ashack was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, but raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He obtained a masters degree in Biomedical Sciences at Grand Valley State University and then went to medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids. Before beginning his dermatology residency at UIC, he completed his internship at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. In his spare time, Kurt enjoys traveling within and outside of the US, attempting to cook, running marathons and half-marathons, water sports, golf, watching the Detroit Tigers and Indiana Hoosier Basketball!
Aimee Bobko, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery, PGY4
My name is Aimee Bobko, and I am currently a third year orthopedic surgery resident. Being on the committee, I hope to serve as an advocate for a quality resident experience. I have seen the positive changes that the GME committee has made to improve resident life, and I hope to be a part of continuing these efforts. I have been involved in several interdisciplinary groups and committees in college and medical school, including chair of an American Medical Association (AMA) student chapter that was awarded on the national level. These experiences will help me contribute to identifying areas of improvement and in developing practical solutions.
Ann Franco Chakkalakal, MD
My name is Ann Chakkalakal and I am a PGY-4 co-Chief Resident in Psychiatry. As someone who has taken multiple leadership roles focusing on advocating for my fellow residents throughout my time in residency, I am excited to have the opportunity to serve in the capacity of resident representative on the Graduate Medical Education Committee. I am passionate about both academic medicine as well as administration, and feel that not only am I well equipped to serve in this capacity, I would learn from the experience as well. I strongly believe in encouraging feedback and have experience implementing sustainable changes to improve resident education and wellness. I hope to continue to create an environment that fosters academic and professional growth as well as a positive, constructive relationship between residents and administration as well as between departments.
Tyler Cooper, DO
Internal Medicine/Christ, PGY2
I grew up in Canada, where I started playing hockey, and the UK before my parents settled us in Central Illinois. I attended the University of Iowa (GO HAWKS!), before going on to attend medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic medicine. In my free time enjoy cooking, spending time with family and friends.
Marshall Haden, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery, PGY3
Throughout my first two years of residency I've become familiar with the role the GME office takes in the residency experience, particularly in constructing a respectful, educational work environment for us as we go through our training. I know the various ways we interact with each other as residents and fellows, and also the interactions we have with other hospital staff have a profound impact on our ability to learn and grow into responsible, respectful physicians. I am excited to be part of this committee so I can be a part of the team that helps shape our learning environment into one we can all be proud of.
Evan Jameyfield, MD
I absolutely loved my interview with UIC last year as I was preparing for a residency in Neurology. From the residents to the neurology attendings, it was incredibly apparent that there was a culture of "family" at UIC. Training at a busy Level 1 Trauma Center in the great city of Chicago will allow extensive clinical training through the diverse patient population served by UIC. As a first year resident, I already have the opportunity to serve as an "attending" at the medical student-run clinic that operates as a free clinic. I will also grow academically through the Neurology department's commitment to education and research. I am excited and honored to be a voice for the residents by serving on the Graduate Medical Education Committee. I am hopeful we will be able to implement policy changes that benefit both residents and patients! When I am not working in the hospital, I love exploring new areas in Chicago, playing basketball with my co-residents, spending time with my family, and date nights with my girlfriend!
Aleksandar Krbanjevic, MD, PhD
Aleksandar Krbanjevic graduated from a Medical School in his lovely “Mitteleuropa” hometown Novi Sad, Serbia. Thereafter, he moved to the States to pursue his PhD training in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology. He continued his basic and translational research career as a Postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, Chicago in neurosciences. Subsequently, he continued his interests in brain by conducting the research in biochemistry of neuronal membrane signaling at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He further enriched his basic research experience by slightly shifting the gear to another ectodermal differentiation as a NIH T-32 Fellow at Indiana University, Indianapolis where he conducted projects that elucidated mechanisms of non-melanoma skin cancer and atopic dermatitis. He is currently PGY-2 resident physician in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His goal is to proceed with academic career as a physician-scientist.
Conner Olsen, MD
Internal Medicine, PGY2
My name is Conner Olsen and I am a PGY-2 in the Department of Internal Medicine at UIH. Through my years as a medical student at UIC and now a resident, I've seen how the hospital and its residency programs operate. I am passionate about resident wellness, education, and engagement. As a member of the Graduate Medical Education Committee, I will look to build relationships with residents across programs and use our collective voice to advocate for positive change.
Amar Parikh, MD
Internal Medicine, PGY3
Hello! My name is Amar Parikh and I am a PGY2 in the Internal Medicine department. I am a born and raised New Yorker who found himself in the Midwest for the first time during my interview at UIC. Moving to Chicago is one of the best decisions I have made. I have quickly fallen in love with both the people and the city. Though my career aspirations are guiding me into Hematology-Oncology, one of my truest passions is general wellness. As such, it is my hope to create a better work environment at UIC for all of us.
Rishi Patel, MD
Internal Medicine, PGY3
My name is Rishi and ever since I was in grade school I have really enjoyed serving on school related committees. It's something I have always felt passionate about because it provides me an opportunity to make a difference and represent the interests and desires of my colleagues. I served as a student government senator in undergrad and some of our responsibilities included appropriating money to various organizations, but also creating new laws and policies that would directly impact the wellbeing of fellow students. Residency is a very stressful training period, and I feel like being able to support and represent my colleagues with a new take on ideas would give me a chance to stand for my peers.
UI Health | UIC
Quality & Safety Strategy & Leadership Steering Committee
Amy Abramowitz, MD
My name is Amy Abramowitz and I am a PGY-4 and co-Chief resident in Psychiatry. I have been involved in QI initiatives within the Psychiatry department for the past two years. I was selected to participate in the 2018 Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety conference. Since then I have been involved in the effort to reduce restraint utilization and improve patient and staff safety on the inpatient psychiatry unit. To this end I have served on the 8E Steering Committee, developed a research study to understand patient’s experiences with restraints, and implemented a new sign out protocol focused on agitation management. I am very interested in connecting with residents, attendings, and administrators to develop hospital-wide quality and safety strategy, particularly efforts to improve violence toward patients and staff. As part of the QSSL committee, I hope to prioritize developing ways of engaging residents in QI and safety projects. I would like to improve awareness and involvement of residents in reaching hospital quality and safety goals. Residents contribute immensely to creating a culture of high quality and safety. It is an honor to advocate for residents and their role in improving that culture.
Sajid Qamar Ansari, MD
Internal Medicine/Nephrology, PGY5
Being in the field of medicine, I have realized that keeping people healthy, secure and at peace is the most gratifying feeling I could ever experience but now I understand that improving quality of patient care, reducing harm and providing tools to enable standardization of clinical practice is even more gratifying. During my residency, I was a member of Clinical Care Improvement Training Program (CCITP) for physicians and, completed research methodologies courses which taught me the basics of processing the clinical quality and improvement projects and its application to real life problems. Successfully completed many quality projects (PDSA cycles) and implemented outcomes in clinical improvement. Currently, I am a clinical nephrology fellow and also enrolled in MS CTS program (Masters in Clinical and Translational Sciences) at UIC School of Public Health. My long-term goal is to become an independent investigator with expertise in identifying ways to eliminate health disparity amongst the minority groups with Chronic Kidney Diseases.
Lily Cheng, MD
Internal Medicine/Emergency Medicine, PGY3
Lily was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Afterwards, she pursued a masters degree in Medical Sciences at Boston University and then completed medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. During her residency in Chicago, Illinois, she is working on quality improvement projects to improve patient safety and healthcare efficiency.
Natalia Monika Hajnas, MD
Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, PGY1
I believe quality and safety is an incredibly important part of healthcare and also residency training. Throughout medical school rotations and now in residency I find myself taking note not only of management plan of patients from the medical standpoint, but feasibility of the execution of the plan. This translates into my interest in quality and safety in that these are high level, big picture measures that directly impact patient care and deserve ample attention. Furthermore, they are controllable factors that can be constantly improved.
Augustin Joseph, MD
Internal Medicine, PGY2
Augustin Joseph is a second year Internal Medicine resident who plans on specializing in Hematology/Oncology and Palliative Care. He was a native New Yorker until he left for his undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Soon afterwards, he ventured out to the snowy Midwest for his medical school at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in small town Rochester, MN. Currently, he is very glad to be back in a big city and loves to spend his free time eating, traveling, hiking, and/or reading. He takes particular interest in systems development especially in the developing world and hopes to live abroad designing hospitals for several years sometime after residency.