Get to know our residents

Our residents are a diverse group that come from a variety of backgrounds and have unique experiences and interests. We look forward to getting to know you as well!

Class of 2028

James Gannon, MD
James Gannon, MD

Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Medical School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

What excites you about your residency/fellowship at Corewell Health? During the fall of my fourth year of medical school, I had the opportunity to spend a month as a rotating student where I worked hands on with many of the residents and faculty at several of the hospital sites. What I saw was a strong sense of camaraderie as well as a culture geared heavily towards teaching. I am excited to not only be a part of that experience, but to help continue that for future residents and students.

Clinical Interests: While I am currently undecided about my future career path, I have had the opportunity to rotate through several orthopedic subspecialties including trauma, joints, hand and spine. Each area piques my interest in different ways and I am looking forward to building upon these experiences over the next five years.

Hobbies: Outside of the hospital, I enjoy running along the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids, spending time with family and friends, traveling and practicing my German.

Parin Kothari, MD
Parin Kothari, MD

Hometown: Novi, MI

Medical School: Michigan State University

What excites you about your residency/fellowship at Corewell Health? Having spent the majority of my adult life in West Michigan, my interest in orthopedic surgery actually began here in Grand Rapids. I was exposed to this residency early on as a premedical student while scribing at the local orthopedic clinic and continued working with the program throughout medical school. My decision to pursue my surgical training here was solidified after completing my away rotations and interviews as a 4th year medical student. This program has a history of being exceptionally well-rounded in terms of operative volume, resident education, dedicated faculty, graduated autonomy and location. In addition to an excellent clinical experience, the camaraderie between the residents and faculty is truly the backbone of this program. Everyone here is deeply invested in helping you progress as both a physician and leader in the community. I truly believe this is one of the best programs in the country and am thrilled to continue my training here.

Clinical Interests: My current interests include upper and lower extremity trauma, as well as adult reconstruction. In addition to my clinical interests, I enjoy teaching as well. I am excited to explore the variety of subspecialties this program has to offer as I continue my surgical training.

Hobbies: During the warm months, I enjoy playing golf, running and hiking with my dog, surfing on Lake Michigan and biking. In the winter, I like to ski, snowboard, play pond hockey and sneak in some indoor-simulator golf at one of the local golf clubs. I also enjoy long road trips where I get to live out of my car.

Thomas Riggs, MD
Thomas Riggs, MD

Hometown: Fort Atkinson, WI

Medical School: Loma Linda University

What excites you about your residency/fellowship at Corewell Health? I am excited about the people here. When rotating here as a medical student, I was quickly impressed by the culture amongst residents and faculty's dedication to education. I am also excited about what living in Grand Rapids has to offer me and my family.

Clinical Interests: I am currently undecided. I have enjoyed all my orthopedic experiences, especially rotations on joints, hand and sports.

Hobbies: I enjoy camping, hiking, skiing and going to the lake with my family. I love playing spikeball and pickleball. I also enjoy watching the Packers, Bucks and Brewers.

Austin VanWyk, MD
Austin VanWyk, MD

Hometown: Dorr, MI

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

What excites you about your residency/fellowship at Corewell Health? I am excited to start residency at a program that values camaraderie between the residents and its faculty. The residents truly care about each other's wellbeing and education. Additionally, I am excited by the early hands-on approach to training with excellent clinical volume from the large area that Corewell Health in West Michigan serves. Finally, it's hard to beat West Michigan for a place to live.

Clinical Interests: At this stage in my training, I am interested in many of the different areas of orthopedics. Although joints and trauma have been most interesting to me so far, I look forward to exploring each subspecialty more as I progress through residency.

Hobbies: I enjoy a lot of outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, hammocking, and canoeing. I also enjoy spending time with my fiancée, dog and cat around the house.

Kirk B. Welsh, MD
Kirk Welsh, MD

Hometown: Shelby, IA

Medical School: University of Iowa

What excites you about your residency/fellowship at Corewell Health? I'm excited to become a member of the awesome family that is the residents and faculty of the orthopedic residency program here. It makes for an excellent, collegial learning environment that is exactly what I was looking for in a residency program.

Clinical Interests: At this time, I'm unsure of my subspecialty interests—I've enjoyed everything I've seen so far!

Hobbies: Most of my spare time is spent with my wife, our two young sons and our 120 lb dog! Outside of that, I enjoy skiing, reading and fantasy football!

Class of 2027

Clayton Foster, MD
Clayton Foster, MD

Hometown: Broomfield, CO

Medical school: University of Colorado

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? I chose Spectrum health because of how much they care about resident education. It is made evident by their willingness to change policies in favor of our overall experience. Also, Grand Rapids is a pretty sweet place to live.

What are your clinical interests? At this stage in my training, I am most interested in orthopedic trauma. It really is the essence of orthopedics, and the cases are awesome.

Hobbies: I love fly fishing, camping, hiking, sports and doing just about anything with my dog (Shark).

Tyler Janish, MD
Tyler Janish, MD

Hometown: Whittemore, MI

Medical school: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? The three most important characteristics I was looking for in a program were an excellent operative experience, a great location to raise a family and enjoy some time outdoors and a strong sense of camaraderie and support amongst the residents. I found all of that and more here in Grand Rapids.

What are your clinical interests? I plan on practicing general orthopedics in rural Michigan after my training.

Hobbies: I spend most of my time away from work with my wife and little guy back home. I also enjoy hunting and fishing up north where I grew up whenever I get the chance. If I'm not with family or in the great outdoors, you can probably catch me playing slow pitch softball or flag football with the "Boneheads", our residency sports team.

Grace Peterson, MD
Grace Peterson, MD

Hometown: Spring Lake, MI

Medical school: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? I chose Spectrum Health because it is a program with so much camaraderie and support among the residents that is visible in the hospital and the operating room, as well as while spending time together outside of the hospital. The attending faculty and residency leadership truly care for our well-being and value our education, which is at the core of every decision for the program. We have abundant operative experience including three different hospitals within the city of Grand Rapids serving different regions and patient populations to provide unique experiences and improve our skills. I also love Grand Rapids and West Michigan (which is home for me), and all that the lakeshore has to offer.

What are your clinical interests? I do plan on pursuing a fellowship after residency, but would like to experience more subspecialties before narrowing my interests. So far I have really enjoyed my time in the operating room doing upper extremity cases and general orthopaedic trauma call.

Hobbies: I love to go camping, hiking and running with my husband and my dog, Jazz. I have several plants in my mini jungle at home and love caring for them as well as for our new outdoor garden. I enjoy drawing and painting and have recently started working with glass fusing and hope to eventually try stained glass.

Class of 2026

Alex Balboa
Alex Balboa, MD

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Medical school: University of Toledo College of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? I chose Spectrum Health because of the great residents and faculty I met from the program on interview day. Everyone I talked to felt very genuine in their interest to learn about me, to share about their program, and to share about the relationships they'd formed within the program. There is a great sense of community that I wanted to be a part of. I also knew that by choosing Spectrum Health, I'd be entering a program through which I would gain the skills and training to be competent and confident in the next stages of my career. I also loved the fact that I would gain great exposure to a wide breadth and depth of subspecialties and practice environments.

What are your clinical interests? I am undecided so far, but I'm looking forward to the exposure I'll get to all the subspecialties in the upcoming years.

Hobbies: My fiancé and I enjoy food and traveling. If we're not in the kitchen trying out new recipes, you can find us trying new restaurants and breweries. We also love to be outdoors and can't wait to explore West Michigan through hiking and road cycling. I also enjoy rock climbing, playing volleyball and golfing.

Ty Bilden
Ty Bilden, MD

Hometown: Northwood, ND

Medical school: University of North Dakota

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? The orthopaedic surgery program at Spectrum Health prioritizes a resident-centric culture of camaraderie, robust faculty-resident relationships and has a longstanding history of producing highly skilled orthopaedic surgeons.

What are your clinical interests? My primary experiences in orthopaedics have revolved around sports medicine and adult reconstruction, however I am excited to gain more exposure to the other areas throughout residency. Additionally, I am interested in opioid-sparing strategies relating t

Hobbies: I enjoy staying active, spending time with my family and friends and drinking beer.

Jessica Flakne
Jessica Flakne, MD

Hometown: Maple Plain, MN

Medical school: University of Minnesota Medical School - Twin Cities

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? I was very impressed with Spectrum Health after my virtual interview. I was drawn by the obvious camaraderie among the residents and skilled faculty that would prioritize my education. I wanted to stay in the Midwest for my training and this program offered both excellent clinical and operative experience.

What are your clinical interests? As I am just starting my training, I'm am excited to explore all subspecialities in orthopaedics. I particularly enjoyed my rotation in pediatric orthopedics as a medical student, and look forward to learning more during each rotation as a resident.

Hobbies: My hobbies include baking, gardening and other outdoor activities. I also enjoy rowing and look forward to finding a local boat club.

Tyler Madden
Tyler Madden, MD

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Medical school: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? The orthopedic surgery residency at Spectrum Health is exceptionally well rounded. The surgical training is comprehensive and high-volume, resident education is a clear priority and there is a genuine camaraderie among residents. The program director is an outstanding advocate for residents and faculty are committed to training residents to develop the surgical and critical thinking skills to both excel as a surgeon and grow as an individual.

What are your clinical interests? My clinical interests encompass all subspecialties within orthopaedic surgery, particularly adult reconstruction and trauma. I look forward to developing a comprehensive surgical education at Spectrum Health and eventually deciding on a subspecialty.

Hobbies: In my downtime I love spending time with my wife exploring Grand Rapids and other cities. I also enjoy playing golf, lifting weights and snowboarding. Lately I've been getting into hunting and Ironman triathlons.

Luke Winkel
Luke Winkel, MD

Hometown: Troy, MI

Medical school: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? I wanted a program where I would get outstanding surgical training while having positive relationships with my peers and attending physicians. The program at Spectrum Health was the embodiment of these characteristics.

What are your clinical interests? I have an interest in biomechanics and engineering biology's relation to disease processes and healthy lifestyle in the realm of orthopedics and beyond.

Hobbies: I enjoy kiking, camping, hockey, reading and video games.

Class of 2025

Faisal Akram
Faisal Akram, MD

Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan and Chicago, IL

Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? Aside from being in a great and fast-growing city, the orthopaedic surgery program at spectrum health rose to the top of my list during my one-month rotation as a visiting student from Chicago. Amongst the many things this program has to offer, the first thing I noticed were a program director and orthopaedic attendings who were passionate about their roles as educators. Second, the program offers a wide variety of operative experiences with many different attendings from diverse backgrounds, complimented by the high level 1 trauma volume seen on a regular basis. Lastly, the residents are beyond welcoming and friendly, making this program feel like home.

What do you like most about your program? The residents. Every resident is a direct reflection of the high quality of orthopaedic surgeon this program seeks to train. Every resident is similarly very involved in education and teaching back to years prior to. Lastly, there is a unique blend of supportive camaraderie that exists between all residents and evolving to friends.

Clinical interests: Although a significant majority of my exposure to orthopaedics has been in joints through a research fellowship at Rush in joint reconstruction, I’m keeping an open mind as I learn about the many other specialties within orthopaedics.

Living in West Michigan: Grand Rapids is a great city with all the perks of a big city with none of the draw backs. Whether you’re into craft beer or great food, there’s something for everyone. And if not, it’s centrally located so that it’s driving distance to many other places. Being from Chicago, I enjoy being able to take a quick three-hour drive home to visit family.

Hobbies: I enjoy hikes, running, traveling, sleeping and spending good old fashion time with family and friends.

Taylor Buuck
Taylor Buuck, MD

Hometown: Hillsboro, OR

Medical School: Oregon Health & Science University

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? I chose to train in Grand Rapids because I felt at home during my away rotation, despite coming from Oregon. There is a strong sense of pride amongst everyone in the program that shines through in everything that they do and shows in the quality of their work.

What do you like most about your program? Of every program that I visited, this group of residents was far and away the most tight knit bunch. Everybody works their tail off to become the best they can be and picks each other up when they fall. I'm excited to be a part of that kind of team!

Clinical Interests: I am undecided so far.

Living in West Michigan: Grand Rapids has so much to explore, from running/biking trails, plenty of fun golf courses, and the lakeshore nearby to great restaurants and breweries.

Hobbies: I'm a big sports fan and still like to play when I can - looking forward to playing on the residency softball team this fall. In the meantime, I'm trying to improve my golf game, but the short game needs some extra work!

Stephen Goodin
Stephen Goodin, MD

Hometown: Born in Greece, grew up in Hastings, NE.

Medical School: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? As a fourth year medical student I decided to rotate with the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program at Spectrum Health. I had a great learning experience during that time and thought it would be a great fit for my family and myself.

What do you like most about your program? It is clear that teaching and education are a top priority to both the faculty and residents. There is a strong sense of community in this program as well as strong relationships and mutual respect that has been developed between faculty and residents. The relationships here also go beyond work, and I feel my wife and kids have just as strong of a support system as I do.

Clinical Interests: I first learned about orthopedics through sports so I was initially most interested in Sports Medicine. However, as I have gained more knowledge and exposure to other areas I have found those to also be very interesting. Right now my focus is to learn as much as I can on each rotation so that I can provide great care to my patients and let any specific interests areas develop over time.

Living in West Michigan: There is a lot to do around Grand Rapids and the surrounding area. There is no shortage of activities whether it's finding things to do with the kids, my wife or friends. We also have family that doesn't live too far away and it's nice that we can visit them.

Hobbies: Outside of activities with my wife or kids I like to do house projects (I'm a big DIY fan), work out, and listen to podcasts, and play video games.

Kent Kern
Kent Kern, MD

Hometown: Toledo, OH

Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? In looking for a residency program there are an infinite number of categories that you can judge a program. I had determined that the most important qualities in a program to me were the relationships between residents as well as their relationships with faculty, the quality and devotion to education, and the city where the program was located. Spectrum Health hit the nail on the head for all 3 of my most important categories, which I later determined was very hard to do while on the interview trail. The residents I had the opportunity to spend time with truly enjoyed being together and were friends outside of the hospital. Wednesday morning grand rounds were extremely informative and well organized, and residents always seemed confident and competent while both dealing with patients and in the operating room. Lastly, I found that Grand Rapids would be an awesome city to live in with endless activities, beaches, parks, breweries and more.

What do you like most about your program? I am most looking forward to the relationships that I'll form over the next 5 years while at the same time becoming the best orthopedic surgeon possible. This is the type of program that will give you all the opportunity in the world to reach your full potential and I'm looking forward to the chance take full advantage of that. The journey getting to residency is a long one but I couldn't be happier to be starting exactly where I am.

Clinical Interests: I don't currently know exactly what my future clinical interests are, but I know that I will have plenty of exposure to all specialties over the next 5 years so that I can make the most informed decision possible.

Living in West Michigan: Having lived here for a month while rotating and now being here for a little while I have loved all of the available outdoor activities like going on hikes, visiting state parks, and going to the beaches of Lake Michigan. There are so many local breweries and restaurants that its going to take me the entirety of residency to even make a dent, but so far I have loved the places I've been.

Hobbies: My wife and I have two golden retrievers and love to be outside as much as possible. We go for walks, hikes and runs all over the West Michigan. As a former athlete I am a huge sports fan and still like to exercise and workout as much as possible. Over the past couple of years I have also dabbled in home brewing, and there is no better place to be than Grand Rapids to support that hobby.

Matthew Pate
Matthew Pate, MD

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSU CHM)

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? I chose Spectrum Health because I was looking for a program that would give me the experience needed to leave residency and go directly into practice if I desired, but would also prepare me to pursue a fellowship. I believe that Spectrum does a great job balancing academic rigor with maintaining a high operative volume, thus was exactly what I was looking for in a program.

What do you like most about your program? My favorite thing about this program is the culture. The residents are a close knit group that support each other both in and out of the hospital. In addition to the resident comradery, the faculty are integral and deeply invested in the education of the residents, fostering an unparalleled operative experience.

Clinical Interests: My clinical interests include reconstruction and oncology with research interests in patient reported outcomes and biomechanics.

Living in West Michigan: I enjoy doing anything outdoors, and West Michigan provides endless opportunities for that. The location is also great; in three hours you can be lost in northern Michigan or be exploring downtown Chicago. Finally, the food, coffee, and craft beer scene can't be beat.

Hobbies: When not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife, son, and dog. My other hobbies include: hockey, golf, fishing, weight lifting, hiking, biking, and traveling.

Class of 2024

Drew Albert
Andrew (Drew) Albert, MD

Hometown: Lansing, MI

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? I chose Spectrum Health because the residents are genuine people, well-trained, focused on teaching, and just fun to be around. The residency leadership and program as a whole are focused on resident education and making sure you prioritize your own health, family, and work, in that order. I also wanted to be connected to Michigan State University. It is great to have the opportunity to mentor medical students and have access to Michigan State University’s resources.

What do you like most about your program? The best thing about our program is the people. Both attendings and residents are focused on your education and making sure you have a great experience. On numerous occasions, a chief resident would come into the hospital in the middle of the night to walk me through my first reductions as an intern. Also, I’m consistently reminded how fortunate I am to call my co-residents friends. I know I could literally go to anyone in the residency for help, day or night.

Clinical Interests: My clinical interests include all of orthopedics. My research is currently focused on total ankle arthroplasty outcomes as well as novel treatments of unicameral bone cysts at the Van Andel Institute.

Living in West Michigan: My favorite part about living in West Michigan is being close to nature, the beach, and family. A perfect day for my wife and I include heading out to Lake Michigan, relaxing on the beach, and having a barbecue.

Hobbies: My hobbies include playing violin and guitar, hiking with my wife and dog and traveling.

Drew Krumm
Drew Krumm, MD

Hometown: Brighton, MI

Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? Residency education is phenomenal. The faculty and residents are truly dedicated to teaching, especially early on for the junior residents. Dr. Roberts, our fearless leader, challenges all residents to maximize our potential and operative skills.

What do you like most about your program? Graduated autonomy, both taking call and in the operating room. We have a variety of experiences at several hospitals in town that are conveniently close to one another.

Clinical Interests: I enjoy all aspects of orthopedics, specifically the challenges and variety of orthopedic trauma. It is also exciting to see the dramatic improvement in function patients have after total joint replacements.

Living in West Michigan: There are endless activities to do year-round in Grand Rapids. There are plenty of biking trails, dog parks, ski hills, and breweries that keep us busy. Lake Michigan is also close and is a great destination in the summer.

Hobbies: Residency intramurals, dog walks, playing golf, triathlons.

Daniel McKearney
Daniel McKearney, MD

Hometown: Powell, Wyoming

Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? I wanted to do my residency in Grand Rapids to build the skills needed to eventually practice in a more rural area near my home state. We gain lots of experience through our level 1 trauma center and rotate through different hospitals and surgical centers for elective cases. I wanted to train through this "blue collar" trauma experience and still be involved with a high volume of elective surgeries.

What do you like most about your program? The fraternal spirit between our residents has been my favorite part of living and working in Grand Rapids. We have a job that can be challenging and stressful at times. However, our senior residents have done an awesome job mentoring my class, and the time we spent together outside the hospital makes our time on the clock that much more enjoyable.

Clinical Interests: At this point, I'm unsure what Orthopaedic subspecialty I'll pursue. However, I've enjoyed my time on the trauma service and I'm interested in practicing General Orthopaedics in a more rural area in the future.

Living in West Michigan: I enjoy living in Grand Rapids because its a mid-sized midwestern city that's easy to travel through and it still has some amenities that come with living in a larger city (good restaurants, breweries, and entertainment). I also like having nearby opportunities to explore Michigan forests and the lakeshore.

Hobbies: In my downtime, I like hiking, camping, and spending as much time outside as I can. I also enjoy listening to music, running/weight lifting, and learning how to golf.

J. Christian Peterson
J. Christian Peterson, MD

Hometown: Ogden, Utah

Medical School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Why did I choose Spectrum Health? Orthopaedics at Spectrum offers a diverse operative experience, with opportunities in both academia and private partnerships. Every orthopaedic specialty is covered in Grand Rapids, offering peace of mind knowing I wouldn’t have to travel elsewhere and leave my family. And our program has the culture, leadership, and education to rival any top tier program.

What did you like most about your program? When originally seeking an orthopaedic residency, I wanted a program that produced skilled surgeons READY to operate at 5 years, where the resident culture was one of comradery and togetherness, and was led by a program director whose number one priority was resident education. I have found each of these, and much more, here in Grand Rapids.

Clinical interests: Everything orthopaedics; currently undecided but enjoying each rotation. Leading research in multi-ligamentous knee injuries.

Living in West Michigan: Grand Rapids and West Michigan in general offers a multitude of outdoor activities. Fishing, numerous beaches, biking trails, hiking, etc. Grand Rapids is easily accessible and very affordable to live in. Many residents own their own home and have historically done well on back end given the valued market. I live within 10-15 minutes of almost all the facilities we work at, affording me more time to spend with family, extra-curricular activities, or studying.

Hobbies: I spend time with my family, with my wife and two young kiddos. I enjoy sports, especially basketball. Prior to COVID, I organized a weekly basketball game with a consistent showing of med students, residents and attendings.

Courtney Schmidt
Courtney Schmidt, MD

Hometown: Lowell, MI

Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health? I was initially very interested in Spectrum Health for geographic reasons. I wanted to be close to family and able to give back to my hometown through health care. I was able to rotate here as a medical student, which further cemented my desire to return to Spectrum Health for residency. Our clinical experience here is excellent. We work with faculty from a variety of practice settings and receive plenty of experience managing complex patients at our Level 1 trauma center. It's been an added bonus for me to get such great clinical training in a place I love.

What do you like most about your program? As an intern, I've had a great first year here. We get a lot of orthopaedic exposure early on in our intern year, and our senior residents are very dedicated to teaching both didactics at our weekly conference and practical skills while on call. I also love the camaraderie among residents in our program. We all look out for each other and enjoy spending time together at work and outside of the hospital. We also have a variety of resident events throughout the year where the entire residency can get together, which is great for our new interns to get to know everyone.

Clinical Interests: As I'm early on in training, I'm currently undecided as to what subspecialty to pursue within orthopaedics. I'm planning on keeping an open mind and learning as much as possible before making a decision.

Living in West Michigan: As someone born and raised in West Michigan, I think this place is one of the best kept secrets in the country. West Michigan summers are absolutely amazing with an endless Lake Michigan shoreline and an infinite number of inland lakes available to explore. I'm also a big fan of fresh apple cider and doughnuts in the fall and all the snow we get in the winter.

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with family, hiking with our dog, skiing, lifting weights, and settling down with a good book.