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Resident Representatives 2018‐2019

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: You may also contact the GME Office with any concerns you have during your training program.

Dr. Zach Z. AbuwallaZach Z. Abuwalla, MD
Pediatrics, PGY2

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.

Dr. Ashley L. AltmanAshley L. Altman, MD
Otolaryngology, PGY3

Having a comfortable, enjoyable, and educational residency experience is extremely important to me, which is my main reason for wanting to serve on this committee. I am interested in being involved in this committee so that I can help make improvements for all residents, as well as meeting residents from other programs. By serving as a member, I hope that I can make contributions to make everyone's residency as enjoyable as possible. I look forward to meeting new residents and fellows and being an advocate for my peers.

Kurt A. AshackKurt A. Ashack, MD
Dermatology, PGY3

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!

Dr. Aimee BobkoAimee Bobko, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery, PGY3

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.

Dr. Tyler CooperTyler Cooper, DO
Internal Medicine/Christ, PGY1

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.

Dr. Mark H. HanscomMark H. Hanscom, MD
Internal Medicine/UIH, PGY3

I am a current PGY3 in the Department of Internal Medicine here at UIH. I have been interested in academic medicine and medical education since I was a student, and that interest has only magnified over time. I participated in an evolving curriculum as a medical student (ours was the first class of a new curriculum redesign) and have seen both the good and the chaotic that program changes can bring. During that same redesign, however, I also witnessed the power of a strong advocate, and the potential for what can come when enough support is lent to a cause. I’ve since then sought opportunities to become involved in medical programming and education. I hope to continue to be involved in medical education going forward, both as a resident and as an attending.

Dr. James R. HeaberlinJames R. Heaberlin, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery, PGY4

My name is James Heaberlin and I am a fourth year orthopaedic surgery resident. I have many experiences in leadership roles throughout college and medical school which will help me be an effective leader to advocate for the necessary changes which will impact our work experiences. Through discussion with all of our peers, I would like to convey concerns of our fellow residents to our administration to create solutions for improving our overall experiences as residents.

Dr. David HodgeDavid Hodge, MD
Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, PGY2

David is a 2nd year resident in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics with a clinical interest in general medicine & pediatrics and with a focus on equitable health access through health care delivery improvement and population-based interventions.

Dr. Alex KrbanjevicAleksandar Krbanjevic, MD, PhD
Pathology, PGY2

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.

Dr. Ana C. MauroAna C. Mauro, MD
Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, PGY3

I am interested in serving on the GMEC as a Resident Representative because I recognize that residents' feedback is crucial to ensuring our residency program is the best it can be for both residents and the patients we serve. For the last two years in medical school, I had the honor of serving as the President of the Midwest Region of the Latino Medical Student Association. I hope to use this experience to help ensure residents' opinions and concerns are heard and accounted for.

Dr. Amar Gaurang ParikhAmar Parikh, MD
Internal Medicine, PGY2

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.

Dr. Rishi Ramesh PatelRishi Ramesh Patel, MD
Internal Medicine, PGY2

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.

Dr. Brian Arun XavierBrian Arun Xavier, MD
Radiology, PGY2

I am currently a PGY-2 Radiology resident at UIC and went to Boston University for medical school. As a part of the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC), I hope to change the landscape as residents and faculty see fit towards the goal of a more safe, healthy, and efficient work environment focused on patient care. Continuing on the efforts of prior years and by increasing the awareness and communication amongst the residents and faculty, it is our goal to find solutions to common problems and concerns that arise in the workplace and educational space to grow all residencies and fellowships at UIC to the next level of performance. Whether by supporting various initiatives for residents or communicating and developing the insights of the faculty, I hope to be a key factor that stimulates UIC to grow and advance patient care together.

UI Health | UIC

Quality & Safety Strategy & Leadership Steering Committee

Dr. Gabriel HoffmanGabriel Hoffman, MD
Internal Medicine/Emergency Medicine, PGY5

As a resident working in a teaching hospital, house staff are often at the forefront of delivering patient care. From communicating with patients and families to performing procedures to patient hand-offs, just to list a few, we are a critical component in delivering safe and quality care at the University of Illinois Hospital. It is from this vantage point, as a 5th year resident in Internal and Emergency Medicine, that I believe my experience throughout the hospital will help to inform the committee as a resident representative. This, combined with a passion for delivering patient-centric evidenced based care, will lead to productive conversations regarding the annual UIH quality and safety priorities.

Dr. Sarang ThakerSarang Thaker, MD
Internal Medicine, PGY3

I am a third year Internal Medicine resident on the Quality and Safety Strategy and Leadership Steering Committee. I also am a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and have over six years of experience caring for this community which has helped me understand the unique challenges our patients face. My training has allowed me to both directly observe systemic gaps which lead to adverse patient events, and appreciate policies designed to preserve patient safety. I hope to incorporate my clinical experiences and those of my fellow residents to design innovative strategies in order to mitigate harm to patients.