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 2025-PGY1

  • eickholtz-allie

    Allie Sandra Eickholtz, MD 

    Hometown: Sanford, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health because of the people here. The attendings are invested in not just our education but also our professional development. The residents here are truly a family, they are always willing to help out.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I'm most excited to work with my co-residents as a team. Senior residents really help foster a team environment while supporting the junior residents' education.

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in rural or small-town general surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: I love the abundance of outdoor activities. Some favorite places include Yankee Springs State Park and Saugatuck Dunes State Park.

    HobbiesI enjoy sewing, running, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

  • garfinkel-sophia

    Sophia Garfinkel, MD

    Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum for residency because I loved everything about it on my interview day and the people that I met while on rotations. Everyone I worked was extremely knowledgeable and encouraging to me as a medical student, and someone was always there to lend a helping hand. I always felt comfortable here and I couldn't see myself training anywhere else.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to working with the residents and attending physicians. I loved the camaraderie of this program between all levels of training and the options to experience a variety of different areas of surgery . I am also looking forward to getting to know Grand Rapids and exploring West Michigan more.

    Clinical Interests: I am currently interested in Acute Care Surgery but I hope to explore all different parts of surgery during my training.

    Living in West Michigan: I love how beautiful it is on the West side of Michigan. I have previously lived in the Upper Peninsula and West Michigan definitely rivals the scenery and options for outdoor activities. There are also so many amazing restaurants that I cannot wait to visit.

    HobbiesWhen I am not working I love to work out at my favorite Crossfit gyms, watch classic movies, and enjoy time with family and friends. I am also currently trying teach myself how to cook and bake.


  • hoxhallari-ediana

    Ediana (Jona) Hoxhallari, MD

    Hometown: New Port Richey, FL
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    As a CHM student, I did my SICU rotation at Spectrum and I absolutely loved it! I learned so much and it was clear that the residents and attendings enjoyed teaching. It was clear that the environment was caring and supportive.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most excited to start doing procedures and expand my skill set. I am also looking forward to getting to know the amazing people in my program.

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in specializing in trauma and critical care. I also hope to be involved in academics and teaching the next generation of physicians. 

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy the diversity and liveliness of Grand Rapids, along with all the entertainment and restaurant options it offers. 

    Hobbies: I enjoy reading, traveling, painting, and spending time with family. One day I hope to be able to write "going to the gym" as one of my hobbies, but today is not that day. 
  • kelley-jesse

    Jesse Kelley, MD

    Hometown: Manistee, MI
    Medical School: University of Michigan

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health because of the people. Everybody I have had the fortune of meeting has been so helpful and kind. It is clear that Spectrum Health, and its people, take pride in patient care, resident education, and serving the community.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to bonding with my co-interns during the Procedural Skills Training Sessions!

    Clinical Interests: As of now, I am interested in general surgery, vascular surgery, trauma surgery, and minimally invasive surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: I most enjoy the four seasons and the scenery that comes along with it!

    HobbiesI enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing/kayaking, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.

  • kriz-connor

    Connor Kriz, MD

    Hometown: LaGrange, IL
    Medical School: Rosalind Franklin University

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health because I felt it would provide me with the exact environment I needed to excel in my training. I was impressed by the expertise of the attending physicians, the level of autonomy given to residents, and the cohesive nature of the program. It is truly a family!

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to serving the people of Grand Rapids and Western Michigan.

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in all aspects of general surgery and plan to pursue a fellowship in minimally invasive or bariatric surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: I love all of the outdoor activities, fantastic food, and kind midwestern people!

    HobbiesWhen I'm not at the hospital, I can be found eating at one of the local restaurants, reading a book, or running on one of the many trails around town with my wife and dog Nori. 

  • mannava-sindhu

    Sindhu Mannava, MD 

    Hometown: Morganville, NJ
    Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I first became interested in Spectrum Health as a fourth-year medical student since my husband moved to Michigan for his residency program. After my away rotation here, I was struck most by the healthy learning environment, exceptionally strong resident work ethic, and dedicated mentorship by attendings. I felt immediately at home with the Spectrum Health family and this sealed the deal for me!

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to getting to know my co-residents, attendings, and residency staff over the next five years. I'm grateful for the privilege of learning and growing alongside the wonderful and wholesome people who comprise Spectrum Health general surgery. 

    Clinical Interests: My current interests are surgical critical care and minimally invasive surgery. 

    Living in West Michigan: I love visiting Lake Michigan, trying new restaurants in GR and Traverse City, and exploring the parks and hiking trails around here. There's a lovely balance of city life and natural beauty in West Michigan and I'm excited to call this place home!

    HobbiesI love watching documentaries, trying new vegan recipes, visiting national parks, and hiking.

  • mormol-jeremy

    Jeremy Mormol, MD

    Hometown: St. Louis, MO
    Medical School: Rush Medical College

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    During my interview, I connected with all of the residents and faculty I interacted with and felt that I would be a good fit at this program.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to meeting my colleagues and training in a setting that will expose me to all aspects of general surgery.

    Clinical Interests: I am unsure what my specific clinical interests are at the moment.

    Living in West Michigan: There are lots of outdoor activities to do and interesting places to visit within a few hours drive.

    HobbiesMy hobbies include exercising, cooking and playing/watching sports.

  • pardington-emily

    Emily Pardington, MD

    Hometown: Canton, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum for residency for many reasons. I wanted a program that allowed for early operative exposure while providing opportunities for research. Location was a factor I considered, and Grand Rapids is a great city that has so much to offer, fulfilling both personal and professional needs. However, it was my surgical rotation at Spectrum that solidified this program as my number one choice for residency. The faculty and residents are incredible surgeons and phenomenal teachers, focusing not only on technical precision, but comprehensive patient care. They have cultivated an atmosphere that facilitates optimal learning without the slightest notion of malignancy. After my surgical rotation as a fourth year medical student, I knew without hesitation my number one choice for residency would be Spectrum Health.

    What do you like most about your program?
     I look forward to the entire journey. I am entering residency ready to learn and grow, excited to accomplish professional goals, and discover new ones.

    Clinical Interests: I am excited to explore the numerous surgical subspecialties throughout my five years at Spectrum and ultimately discover what my future in this profession will be.

    Living in West Michigan: West Michigan is such a vibrant, beautiful part of the state. Grand Rapids has incredible restaurants and breweries, weekly music and theatre productions, a local ballet company that performs throughout the year, comedy shows, numerous festivals such as ArtPrize- I could go on and on.

    HobbiesI enjoy baking, traveling, reading, and yoga. The Grand Rapids Ballet Company has adult ballet classes that I attend when able and I love going to their performances throughout the season, The Nutcracker being a yearly staple. My fiancé and I love taking cooking classes at the Downtown Market and attempting to recreate these dishes at home. I also love movies and a good Netflix series!

  • pressler-mark

    Mark Pressler, MD

    Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health because I did my med school rotations here in Grand Rapids, and was impressed by how effortless it was to fit in on my SICU rotation.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am looking forward to beginning training in a supportive environment.

    Clinical Interests: I am happily undecided, but have an eye on abdominal wall reconstruction.

    Living in West Michigan: My significant other already works here in Grand Rapids, it is really good to be close to her.

    HobbiesI love to cook, hike, ski, learn history, and teach manual transmission to friends.

  • roth-matthew

    Matthew Roth, MD

    Hometown: Bloomfield TWP, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I was fortunate to work with Spectrum General Surgery during medical school, and I knew it would be a great fit for my intern year, due to the residency's culture and breadth of experiences.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can, and helping to become a more capable physician.

    Clinical Interests: My main interest is in Interventional Radiology (in which I'll be doing my residency after my prelim year). However, I also have strong interests in pediatrics and trauma surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: I've been fortunate to live in Grand Rapids for the last four years, and its a vibrant city with a lot of fun things to do. On top of that, West Michigan is a naturally beautiful area, and is so close to the Great Lakes (only a 45 minute drive to the beach of Lake Michigan). 

    HobbiesI spend my free time reading, biking (mountain and road biking), and playing music  (mostly guitar and piano).

Class of 2024-PGY2 

  • Beckman-Douglas

    Douglas Beckman, MD

    Hometown: Marquette, MI
    Medical School: Central Michigan University

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    The general surgery program at Spectrum Health offers not only an excellent training environment, but also a strong culture that promotes teamwork and inclusiveness. Residents from this program regularly match to desired fellowships / obtain desired jobs post-residency. In addition, the city of Grand Rapids is an excellent place to live for young professionals who are looking to start a family.

    What do you like most about your program?
    My favorite thing about this program is the group of incredible people that it is composed of. From residents to attendings, everyone is very easy to talk to and get along with, in addition to being excellent within their profession. Having such a strong positive culture makes coming to work more enjoyable. 

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests are broad at this point, but I do have some level of interest in cardiothoracic surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy that West Michigan offers ample opportunity to be outside and active - trails, lakes, beaches, dog parks, sporting arenas / fields. Another enjoyable feature of Grand Rapids specifically is the vast array of culturally diverse food and drink options.

    HobbiesMy hobbies are mostly related to staying active and include running, road biking, pickup sports, playing with my dog, cooking, spending time with my wife, board / card games.

  • Khan-Mariam

    Mariam Tajalli Khan, MD

    Hometown: Saginaw, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health for my residency for a number of reasons. I had a great experience rotating with general surgery as a medical student. The residents are awesome - intelligent, hard-working, and a very fun group of people. Our attendings care a lot about our training and getting us in the OR early. Because we are a quaternary center, we have a high operative volume and get to see a lot of interesting things. I'm really glad to be here. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    I like the different types of training settings, the variety of pathology we see, and of course my co-residents! 

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests surgical oncology, breast surgery, general surgery. 

    Living in West Michigan: There's so much to do here. I especially enjoy the music scene, indoor rock climbing, and spending time outdoors when it's not too cold. 

    HobbiesMy main hobbies are reading, baking, and doing yoga.

  • Kowalski-Evan

    Evan Kowalski, MD

    Hometown: Commerce Township, MI
    Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I choose Spectrum for my residency because it was the ideal mixture of community and academic General Surgery. I also love West Michigan and the city of Grand Rapids

    What do you like most about your program?
    I really enjoy broad mixture of experiences in our program, It's rare to have a program where you can have a highly academic level 1 trauma center, an advanced MIS community hospital, and a low-income urban hospital all within a 15 minute drive. It exposes you to a variety of styles of practice and patient populations, which I find really valuable. 

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in Trauma and Critical Care and minimally invasive surgeries. 

    Living in West Michigan: I love the weather. Four beautiful seasons and Lake Michigan only a half hour drive away.

    HobbiesI enjoy reading, riding my bike, and spending time with my growing family. 

  • Levine-Anna

    Anna Levine, DO

    Hometown: Lansing, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    The teaching staff are engaged and eager to teach residents. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    This program builds a strong foundation involving caring for critically ill patients, research and surgical skills. The opportunities afforded to the residents are incredible.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests are general surgery, critical care, minimally invasive. 

    Living in West Michigan: The outdoor recreational activities are great. We love to kayak and go for hikes. The food and drink scene is very good as well!

    HobbiesMy hobbies are going kayaking, wood working and cooking.

  • Zarnke-Allison

    Allison Zarnke, MD

    Hometown: Rockford, IL
    Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health for residency because of the support available to residents and excellent operative experience. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    The kindness and support my co-residents show one another is second to none.  

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests include Acute Care Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. 

    Living in West Michigan: Grand Rapids is an easy to navigate, affordable city with a great food scene and access to nature. 

    HobbiesOutside of work I enjoy running, vacuuming my apartment, and I am strongly considering taking up golf. 

  • Ziegler-Nathan

     Nathan Ziegler, MD

    Hometown: Lombard, IL
    Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health? 
    It was very clear to me from my first exposure to the program that the residents here were very happy with the training they were receiving. I chose this program because of the unique intersection of being based in a system large enough to support high volume/diverse pathology, though small enough to allow for frequent opportunities for direct involvement with patient care and surgical intervention from early residency. 

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in working as a general surgeon after graduation.

    Living in West Michigan: I love the proximity to the beach at Lake Michigan and the beauty of "Up North." I thoroughly enjoy the changing landscape of food and bars in the city, which is rapidly growing. Finally, I like the ability to live in a quiet suburb and have only a short 10 minute drive in to a moderate sized downtown area.

    HobbiesI love to camp and stay active. I play pickup basketball or volleyball whenever I get the chance, and I love to rock climb at one of the local climbing gyms.

Class of 2023-PGY 3

  • Fritz_Gregory

    Gregory Dane Fritz, MD

    Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
    Medical School: Wright State University

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I had positive interactions with every resident that I met at the interview dinner. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming, and had nothing but positive things to say about the program. I felt confident I would receive excellent training after speaking with chief residents, who leave the program as confident, and competent surgeons.

    What do you like most about your program?
    Everyone was extremely welcoming, and willing to help whenever needed. Our residents look out for one another, and I felt like I could reach out to any of my senior residents if I was struggling in any way.

    Clinical Interests: I plan to pursue a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: There is always something to do / always an event to attend. I like to stay active when I have time, and there are plenty of outdoor trails to explore as well as bike trails to ride. There are also tons of breweries here in "Beer City", as well as tons of local restaurants to check out, which I have found as a great way to connect with my co-residents.

    HobbiesMy wife and I love exploring new restaurants / nearby areas during our free time. We are less than an hour's drive away from the beach which is wonderful on post-call days. I enjoy hiking and exploring with my two dogs. I enjoy gaming, and attend cars and coffee events around town when I'm free.

  • Fussell_Jenna

    Jenna Fussell, MD

    Hometown: Bettendorf, IA
    Medical School: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I could immediately tell during my interview that this program cared about their residents and was a place that would set me up to achieve whatever future I wanted within the surgical field. Grand Rapids is an amazing town with everything you could ever need to enjoy a post call day or weekend.

    What do you like most about your program?
    My co-residents and attendings are what make this program unbeatable. The people here are truly amazing.

    Clinical Interests: I really like robotic and minimally invasive surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: here is so much to do in Grand Rapids. I love going to the lakes, playing beach volleyball, and having a nice patio beer somewhere downtown where I can do some people watching.

    HobbiesI play a lot of volleyball, both beach and indoor. I like to bake, go to coffee shops, and breweries.

  • Haley_Matthew

    Matthew Haley, MD

    Hometown: Flushing, MI
    Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    Exceptional people, surgical training, and community.

    What do you like most about your program?
    The residents and attendings I'm around everyday - they're great people to work with.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests community general surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: There are countless things to do in and around Grand Rapids, and we're within arms reach of the lakeshore, Traverse City, Chicago and Detroit.

    HobbiesMy hobbies include woodworking, going kayaking and fishing.

  • Otto_Maxwell

    Maxwell Otto, MD

    Hometown: Park River, ND
    Medical School: University of North Dakota

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I rotated here as a visiting fourth year medical student and was impressed by how skilled the residents were at this program. The sense of trust and respect was clearly evident between the faculty and residents.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I love the people I get to work alongside everyday. The faculty are incredible and push me to achieve my full potential and my co residents are an amazing group of individuals who are always ready to support each other whenever help is needed.

    Clinical Interests: I plan to pursue a fellowship in Colorectal surgery at the end of my general surgery training.

    Living in West Michigan: There is so much to do around the Grand Rapids area. I enjoy the diversity of "things to do" around this area.

    HobbiesI enjoy spending time in the outdoors doing activities such as bowhunting, fishing, and hiking. I also enjoy meeting up with friends for drinks/dinner at many of the area's restaurants.

  • Patel_Aamir

    Aamir Patel, MD

    Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Medical School: University of Medicine and Health Sciences

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    Spectrum Health provided the opportunity to engage in a healthy mix of bread and butter surgical cases as well as high complexity cases due to the large catchment area which was exactly what I was looking for in a program. After arriving for my interview and meeting the residents, I immediately felt a sense of belonging and knew I could fit in with the family-like atmosphere created by program.

    What do you like most about your program?
    The residents and faculty that you work with are phenomenal. Countless times I have heard from off-service residents and medical students about how pleasant it is working with our program.

    Clinical Interests: I plan to end up in a city or town no bigger than Grand Rapids allowing myself the opportunity to practice a large breath of surgical procedures.

    Living in West Michigan: Grand Rapids is a city with all the amenities of a metropolitan area but with the small town feel of community. The outdoor activities available including a number of beaches, hiking trails, ski hills (even if they can't compare to the Rockies) and multiple lakes within a short drive make the lifestyle in Grand Rapids a hidden gem.

    HobbiesI snowboard and skate in the winter time. I have recently picked up paddle boarding to go along with photography hikes. When I am at home I find myself playing video games or watching sports. 

  • Urps-Nicole

    Nicole Urps, MD

    Hometown: Damascus, MD
    Medical School: George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health for my residency because of its strong academics, exposure to various and numerous surgical cases and most importantly the people (attendings, staff and residents).

    What do you like most about your program?
    I like most about my program are my co-residents! They make being at work fun and make it a safe learning environment to grow.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests include acute care surgery, critical care, general surgery and minimally invasive surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy living in West Michigan because there is always something to do! I love how close it is to the lake for day trips and exploring nearby cities and towns. There are also a lot of outdoor activities to participate in.

    HobbiesMy hobbies are running, hiking, painting, playing golf and participating in outdoor activities. I enjoy spending time with my co-residents and family when they visit!

  • Winkler_Nathan

    Nathan Winkler, MD

    Hometown: Iron Mountain, MI
    Medical School: Central Michigan University

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum because I saw the wonderful exposure to cases and confidence that the graduating residents had on my interviews. The attendings and peers are so welcoming and engaged in the teaching of the team as whole.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I love the people I work with. When things get tough in residency, as they invariably do and will, I know that I will always enjoy the people I get to work with, including both my peers and my Attendings.

    Clinical Interests: I would love to work as a true general surgeon in a rural environment.

    Living in West Michigan: I love the proximity that west Michigan has to lake Michigan and all it has to offer. The life and activities of the city are an amazing perk as well.

    HobbiesIn my spare time I like to go camping, hiking and play board games. And if there isn't enough time for that, I enjoy working on home improvement projects.

Class of 2022-PGY 4

  • LauraGrigereitMD

    Laura Grigereit, MD

    Hometown: Denver, CO
    Medical School: University of Colorado

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum because of the cooperative relationships between the residents and for the variety of training environments.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I appreciate the teaching I receive every day and having positive relationships with co-residents keeps work feeling good.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interest is general surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: The outdoor activities and the Great Lakes

    HobbiesI enjoy cooking, running, biking, kayaking, classical music, ceramics, and my flower garden.

  • JustinHsuMD

    Justin Hsu, MD

    Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan
    Medical School:University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health for my residency as it is a well-rounded hybrid program with plenty of case loads and resources for research/academics. The program also has everything (pediatrics, burn, surgical oncology...etc) in one city.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I like the camaraderie of the program. Everyone is eager to help and look out for each other. The attendings are a fantastic group of individuals who are all very approachable and passionate about teaching. The program also excels in getting the junior residents and interns into the OR early.

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in general surgery and minimally invasive surgery (robotic and laparoscopic surgery).

    Living in West Michigan: West Michigan has a lot of great outdoor resources as well as good food and things to do in the city without the traffic. The beach is a short drive away and living here is very affordable.

    HobbiesI enjoy cooking, playing the piano, fishing, and playing with my dog.

  • RoxanneKryiakakisMD

    Roxanne Kyriakakis, MD

    Hometown: Clemson, SC
    Medical School: University of Charleston, SC

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I liked that the residents operated often and early. I thought that everyone got along well during my interviews and wanted to be at a program where I felt like I would be supported.

    What do you like most about your program?
    We have a great group of residents who all get along well with each other and on top of that we are trained well.

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in colorectal surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: The summers are amazing. We have been enjoying the mountain bike trails.

    HobbiesI enjoy biking, bouldering, cooking, hanging out with my greyhound, and traveling.

  • KristinWempeMD

    Kristin Wempe, MD

    Hometown: Mitchell, SD
    Medical School: Sanford School of Medicine - Vermillion, SD

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    As I went through the interview process, I realized that the majority of surgical programs would give me an excellent training experience. Spectrum Health did not disappoint in that aspect. What drew me and put this program above others was the culture between residents and staff. I laughed and joked through my entire interview experience, I knew I would be happy to do 24 hour call shifts with these people.

    What do you like most about your program?
    We have such incredible faculty here that truly want us to be the best we can be. We are pushed to excel and supported through every day. My co-residents are amazing and our ancillary staff was above any expectations.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests is community general surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: Definite step up from South Dakota! The beach is so close and I love the water and sun. There is so much variety here in terms of things to do, beers to drink, and restaurants to go to. The mixture of young and modern with old and Dutch in the city gives Grand Rapids a cool vibe.

    HobbiesI would lie if I didn't say sleep was one of my favorite activities. Beach time takes up my summer off hours, as well as weeding and landscaping since I bought my house! Exercise has become a new fun part of my life this last year - hello resident wellness! Of course exploring the many many many local breweries and wineries with my co-residents is important too.

Class of 2021- PGY 5

  • AhmadEl-HattabMD

    Ahmad El-Hattab, MD

    Hometown: Born in Alexandria, Egypt, and raised in Iowa City, Iowa
    Medical School: The Universtiy of Iowa

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I was attracted by the general surgery program here because not only does it recruit high-caliber applicants who are genuinely good human beings, but also because I thrive in its high-volume community environment. This residency graces its trainees with a fine armament of skills to be prepared for good old-fashioned general surgery in the community, while also providing a superlative foundation for advanced fellowship training.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I love the sense of camaraderie among residents and the staff. There is a supportive environment, and our program leadership is structured and strong. More importantly, I have the opportunity to take excellent care of a vast array of patients with differing surgical diseases, while being challenged both intellectually and from a technical standpoint. This is truly a well-rounded program.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests are general/community surgery

    Living in West Michigan: West Michigan is simply beautiful!

    HobbiesI enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife and son. I have tried my hand at and thoroughly enjoy cooking and baking. I love to work on cars and I love to cycle. I hit the gym when I can and I really dig it. Basketball is the holy grail of all sports - all disputes should be settled on the court, then there will peace in the world.

  • BenjaminJohnsonMD

    Benjamin Johnson, MD

    Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, MI
    Medical School: Wayne State University School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health because I enjoyed the people I met, I like living in Grand Rapids, Spectrum provides a high level center for delivering health care to learn in, and I knew I would be comfortable practicing at the end of five years.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I like the breadth of operative volume, the fact that education is made a priority, and that staff genuinely care about me as a person.

    Clinical Interests: I plan to practice as a general surgeon.

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy the community atmosphere, the proximity to Lake Michigan, that Grand Rapids is very clean, and my coworkers.

    HobbiesMost of my time outside of the hospital is spent with my wife and two children. We like going to the beach, hiking near Saugatuck and by our house, sledding, getting ice cream, and playing video games.

  • Youn_Kim

    Youn Kim, MD

    Hometown: Baltimore, MD
    Medical School: St. George's University

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health because of the positive environment with focus on resident education/wellness and high operative volume that would train me into a well rounded competent surgeon.

    What do you like most about your program?
    This program gives you autonomy and early operative exposure and more than enough cases to become a solid surgeon. The Program Director and faculty are dedicated to the residents and helps guide you to be the best you can be.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interest is vascular surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: West Michigan is a nice community with many restaurants to check out around town and beautiful places to visit nearby with outdoor activities.

    HobbiesI like cooking, fishing and trying new food. My most favorite hobby is sleeping.

  • JulieLeMD

    Julie Le, MD

    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    Medical School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose to attend residency at Spectrum Health due to the strong emphasis on community outreach/education and palpable camaraderie between all health care team members including residents, attendings, mid-level providers and etc.

    What do you like most about your program?
    Our program has a strong emphasis on early exposure to the operating room starting intern year, gradual autonomy, and immense exposure to plethora of complex cases that I knew I would graduate feeling very proficient operating.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interest is breast oncology.

    Living in West Michigan: The close proximity to many outdoor activities and nature trails!

    HobbiesTraining for runs/races, baking scrumptious delights, reading murder mystery novels and art restoration.

  • saunders-rachel

    Rachel Saunders, MD

    Hometown: Jackson, MS
    Medical School: University of Mississippi

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    The program produced chief residents capable of going directly into practice, confidently, and chief residents capable doing well in various fellowships. I also liked the city of Grand Rapids.

    What do you like most about your program?
    Everyone in the program is friendly, and we get great operative experience.

    Clinical Interests: I enjoy trauma, surgical critical care, and general surgery. I also enjoy vascular and cardiothoracic surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: There are many outdoor activities in all seasons and great breweries and restaurants.

    HobbiesI enjoy playing hockey and rugby. I also enjoy running and spending time with my dogs.

  • JessicaThompsonMD

    Jessica Thompson, MD

    Hometown: Sault Sainte Marie, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    While general surgery residencies often identify as either a community or academic program, the Spectrum Health residency is a hybrid of the two. The residency has developed a robust balance between autonomy and supervision, and prepares residents to be confident and compassionate surgeons. We receive exceptional training both in and out of the operating room in a collegial and supportive environment.

    What do you like most about your program?
    My co-workers are my favorite aspect of the residency program. As a whole, we tend to be sociable and look forward to gatherings outside of work such as our annual golf outing, residency retreat, holiday social, and graduation.

    Clinical Interests: I am currently pursuing a breast oncology fellowship position.

    Living in West Michigan: Grand Rapids is a great community for young professionals and families. There is always something to do, whether it's trying out a new restaurant or brewery, attending a sporting event, visiting the Frederick Meijer Gardens, exploring ArtPrize, spending the day on Lake Michigan, among many other activities.

    HobbiesI enjoy outdoor activities with my husband and two daughters. My husband and I are members of the RunGR group, and also partake in various classes at the YMCA.

  • StephenThorpMD

    Stephen Thorp, MD 

    Hometown: Oliver, British Columbia, Canada
    Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    Hybrid program with high operative volumes and complex cases. Excellent morale among residents and good culture.

    What do you like most about your program?
    My co-residents and attendings. People are what make a program great, and we have great people here.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interest are cardiothoracic surgery, Global Surgery.

    Living in West Michigan: Easy to get out doors; great opportunities for back-packing, XC skiing, water sports. The Lake is wonderful!

    HobbiesBirding, nordic skiing, backpacking, reading, North German and Netherlands historical organs and the music of the German Baroque.

  • GiuseppeZambitoMD

    Giuseppe Zambito, MD

    Hometown: Shelby Township, MI
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I attended Michigan State University College of Human Medicine for medical school and was taken back by the breadth of pathology that was cared for at Spectrum Health and fell in love with the city of Grand Rapids itself.

    What do you like most about your program?
    My breadth and volume of clinical and surgical exposure, in a setting that fosters and supports learning.

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests including foregut pathology and surgical correction, along with abdominal wall reconstruction.

    Living in West Michigan: What I enjoy most about living in West Michigan is the sense small town sense of community feel, while still having the amenities of a large city.

    HobbiesMy hobbies include exercise and fitness, DIY home renovation projects, and cooking.