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

Jacob Franke, MD
Jacob Franke, MD

Hometown: Maeystown, IL

Medical school: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? I choose to Spectrum Health for residency because of the vast amount and variety of training opportunities. With over thirty faculty, the faculty-resident ratio provides terrific surgical autonomy with early operative experiences. Without an ENT or OMFS residency here, the plastic surgery residents get an incredible breadth of training in head and neck reconstruction and facial trauma. The affiliation with Michigan State University also provides endless opportunities for research and other scholarly activities. This program has the 'priva-demic' model of plastic surgery training, which provides broad academic and private practice exposure to create well-rounded surgeons that can practice anywhere.

What are your clinical interests? My clinical interests include hand surgery, microsurgery and peripheral nerve surgery.

Hobbies: I enjoy being outdoors. My hobbies include golf, running, weight training and spending times with my friends and family.

Justin Markel, MD
Justin Markel, MD

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Medical school: West Virginia University

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? The residents seemed very happy and worked well as a team.

What are your clinical interests? I am interested in facial cosmetics, hand and microsurgery.

Hobbies: I like to kayak, make music and workout.

Class of 2027

Nina Livermore
Nina Livermore, MD

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Medical school: The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? I chose Spectrum Health because of how welcomed I felt despite it being a virtual interview. This program will give me all the opportunities I need to succeed career-wise, while also providing the support to grow on a personal level.

What are your clinical interests? My clinical interests are hand surgery, pediatric craniofacial surgery and oncologic breast reconstruction

Hobbies: I love trying new fitness classes/activities, reading novels of all sorts, going out for karaoke and spending time with my dog Gnocchi.

Megan Sommers
Megan Sommers, MD

Hometown: Pipestone, MN

Medical school: University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

Why did you choose Spectrum Health for your residency/fellowship? After rotating as a 4th year medical student, I knew that Spectrum Health was the program for me. What stood out the most was the early operative experience, high level of surgical autonomy and supportive culture within the institution. The large faculty-to-resident ratio, combined with the mentorship based training model, provides the unique experience to learn a diverse number of skill sets. Additionally, the program ensures residents are equipped to enter any fellowship or private practice with their well-run resident clinic during the 5th and 6th years.

What are your clinical interests? My clinical interests include craniomaxillofacial trauma, breast and microsurgery.

Hobbies: My interests outside of medicine include hiking, traveling, running, yoga, golfing, reading, breweries and spending time with family and friends.

Class of 2026

Daniella Anderson
Daniella Anderson, MD

Why I chose this program: When I rotated at Spectrum Health as a medical student, I was very impressed by the collegial surgical culture, resident driven education, and exposure to different types of practice including an academic model and private practice model. This program is also very resident-focused— because there are no plastic surgery fellowships at Spectrum Health, residents and interns operate one-on-one with attendings. The mentorship-based training model also allows residents to develop close relationships with faculty. While many graduates have matched into competitive fellowships, several have also been able to go straight into private practice.

What I’m looking forward to the most about this program: Early operative time as an intern and exposure to a diverse mix of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery.

What attracted me to Grand Rapids and West Michigan: It’s a relatively affordable place to live with great food, tons of breweries, and friendly people.

Clinical interests: breast surgery, general reconstruction, aesthetic surgery

Hobbies: music, concerts, surfing, piano, running, volleyball, breweries, sports, outdoor activities, aromatherapy, spending time with my boyfriend and family.

Nicholas Wesely
Nicholas Wesely, MD

Why I chose this program: I chose this program because of the great support system among the residents and faculty, high patient volume, and large number of faculty members, which allows for a diverse range of skills sets to learn from

What I’m looking forward to the most about this program: Seeing and treating patients, gaining clinical experience/skill sets in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and getting to know the colleagues I will be working with.

What attracted me to Grand Rapids and West Michigan: The diverse nature it provides. Whether it is outdoor activities, culinary experiences, or artistic affluence you are looking for, Grand Rapids offers a myriad of fun activities you can experience in that realm. Since I love to explore different interests, Grand Rapids is a wonderful place to call home.

Clinical interests: Aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, microsurgery, craniofacial, global health

Hobbies: I am happiest when outdoors and enjoy anything from hiking to mountain biking to skiing to water sports. When not outdoors, I like to cook, play piano, sing, draw, read, or binge watch a new Netflix show. I am very competitive and enjoy game nights with board and card games.

Class of 2025

Joseph Gorvetzian
Joseph Gorvetzian, MD

Why I chose this program: This program easily topped my rank list for a number of reasons. it epitomized the 'priva-demic' model of plastic surgery training, with broad academic and private practice exposure to produce well- rounded surgeons who were ready for anything and everything. It had a robust resident clinic, a unique academic/trauma service whereby the chief residents essentially fulfill the role of an attending, and an emphasis on early operative autonomy. But ultimately, I chose this program because of the people. I felt like I was being welcomed into a family, where everyone already knew my name and knew my application and were excited to have me. It had that unparalleled, intangible quality of being ‘the full package’ that I rarely experienced while on the trail.

What I like about the program: Huge case volume and variety, tons of operating from day one, incredible teaching-oriented attendings, lots of research opportunities, and an awesome group of residents to learn, train, operate, and hang out with.

What I like about Grand Rapids and West Michigan: The beaches are jaw-dropping, people are super welcoming, and there’s an amazing food and beer scene. Plus, the cost of living is so reasonable that you can afford to enjoy it all!

Clinical interests: Craniomaxillofacial, facial aesthetics, micro, hand

Hobbies: Golfing, rowing scuba diving, cooking, hiking, wine collecting, perusing art galleries and antique stores

Mitchell Gauger
Mitchell Gauger, MD

Why I chose this program: I was immediately attracted to this program because of the camaraderie I saw between residents and attendings. This is one of the few interviews on the trail where I knew all residents and attendings had studied my application. This program is deeply committed to resident recruitment. When I learned more about the program, I was sold. This program has a unique training program that seamlessly blends academic and private practice plastic surgery experience. Many of our graduates have gone on to pursue very competitive fellowships, and others have been able to dive into practice and have extremely successful early years. The chiefs consistently have high operative numbers when they graduate. This, combined with the autonomy and sound clinical decision making that our program emphasizes allows our graduates to be versatile and successful with whatever they chose to do.

What I like about the program: Our program has an incredible balance between academic and private practice medicine. I feel that whatever direction I pursue professionally, I'll be well trained and supported by the program. Our residents get to operate with Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeons throughout the city, many with diverse backgrounds. We as residents benefit from this diversity by developing a wide variety of techniques and skills. Plastic Surgery is all about developing a large skill set, and then using those skills creatively. Our program does an excellent job of fostering that.

What I like about Grand Rapids and West Michigan: Grand Rapids offers the feel of a large city, without many of the inconveniences. There's a great restaurant and brewery scene, and the city is easily walkable. Grand Rapids is a young city and there are always people out and about looking for fun things to do. West Michigan has an abundance of activates to choose from. There's beautiful sand beaches; rivers to kayak, float, and fish; wineries to tour, and an endless supply of outdoor activities.

Clinical interests: Hand Surgery, General Reconstruction, Facial aesthetics, Lower extremity reconstruction

Hobbies: Swimming, golfing, fishing, canoe camping, cross country skiing

Class of 2024

Arminder Kaura
Arminder Kaura, MD

Why I chose this program: I chose the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery program at Spectrum Health because it offers the best of both private and academic training models. The large faculty-to-resident ratio and mentorship-based training model provide the ability to develop close one-on- one relationships with experts in each sub-specialty of Plastic Surgery.

What I like about the program: The residents here receive significant autonomy and early operative experience throughout their training, both with the faculty and through the resident-run chief clinic. Additionally, the academic affiliation with Michigan State University opens numerous doors for pursuing research endeavors ranging from basic science to more clinically oriented projects.

What I like about Grand Rapids and West Michigan: Outside of the training facilities, Grand Rapids is an accessible location in close proximity to the beautiful landscapes of West Michigan, while not being far from large cities such as Chicago, Ann Arbor, and Detroit.

Clinical interests: My main clinical interests revolve around pediatric plastic surgery and reconstructive microsurgery

Hobbies: My non-clinical hobbies include cooking, weightlifting, hiking, and spending time with my family.

Olivia Means
Olivia Means, MD

Why I chose this program: This program was my favorite interview by far. I could tell the residents were interested in getting to know me and the faculty were excited about how this program could give me the tools to be a great plastic surgeon.

What I like about the program: The people! I could not ask for a better group of faculty and residents to train with and learn from. Also, the large faculty pool makes it possible for lower level residents to be first-assist in most cases they are assigned to. That has been a tremendous plus, not just seeing and retracting, but doing!

What I like about Grand Rapids and West Michigan: I joined a great church. The weather is nice and there are beautiful parks/trails by the water.

Clinical interests: My clinical interest include craniomaxillofacial trauma, hand, lower extremity reconstruction, breast.

Hobbies: Playing sports, photography, hiking, traveling.

Class of 2023

Elizabeth Lucich
Elizabeth Lucich, MD

Why I chose this program: I was so excited that I matched at this program. I originally heard about this program after my home institution Program Director told me to check it out. When researching this program, some of the things that I really liked about it was the large number of attendings that participate in our program as well as the fact that many are in private practice. What that translates to as a resident, is being able to see multiple ways to perform a procedure and be able to mold those into a way that works for you. We also get to see not only how to take care of patients but also how to run a practice. You truly get exposed to all the business models here. When I arrived on interview day, I immediately felt welcome. As soon as I stepped foot into the door on my interview day, everyone knew my name and some facts about me. I felt that any program that takes such pride in truly getting to know their candidates is a program that cares about its reputation and the training of their residents. Besides that, I wanted to be able to trust my co-residents and to have somewhere to turn for help and advice in the future, and I felt this program offered it all. The autonomy here is unbeatable and I cannot imagine training anywhere else.

What I like about the program: The operative training here is not only broad but starts on day one. I do not know many other programs that have PGY-1s in the operating room as often as this. There is also exposure to all the areas of plastic surgery, including cosmetic, reconstructive, hand, microsurgery, and craniofacial. I really enjoy our chief clinic and the autonomy this affords us as residents. Lastly, the interpersonal relationships amongst residents and between residents and attendings is phenomenal.

What I like about Grand Rapids and West Michigan: There are a plethora of activities to do (skiing, hiking, wine tasting, brewery tours, sports), easy access to Lake Michigan, unbeatable scenery, a safe town, and a good size where there are plenty of downtown activities without the heavy traffic

Clinical interests: My clinical interests include general reconstructive plastic surgery.

Hobbies: Walks and bike rides with my husband and dog, sewing, drawing, and slowly working on home improvement projects

Matthew Braza
Matthew Braza, MD

Why I chose this program: As a prospective resident applicant, the Spectrum Health PRS program stood out amongst other programs around the country for its attention to detail. They had clearly read my application, were interested in getting to know me on a personal level, and seemed to actually care about their residents. Now as a resident, the program’s attitude, in addition to its storied history and excellent operative experience, have made this an incredible training opportunity for me.

What I like about the program: The operative experience with coverage of over thirty attendings around Grand Rapids is invaluable. Because most of our attendings are in private practice, this program exposes residents to the principles and workings of private practice plastic and hand surgery. Lastly, the camaraderie between residents and attendings is second to none and makes residency exceptionally enjoyable.

What I like about Grand Rapids and West Michigan: West Michigan is easy going, values art and culture, provides easy access to the outdoors, and has excellent breweries and coffeehouses. Locally in town, my favorite spots are Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop, Madcap Coffee Company, Roots Brew Shop, and Brewery Vivant.

Clinical interests: I am keeping my avenues open but am interested in hand, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgery.

Hobbies: Relaxing with my family, cooking, golfing, cycling, watching the Packers