Get to know our residents

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

Class of 2024

  • wideman-brian

    Brian Wideman, DO

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

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    The faculty have a passion for teaching and a clear desire to ensure that the program and it's residents excel. The residents seemed to have a great working relationship with one another, and seemed genuinely happy to be working and learning here.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I'm excited to expand my knowledge and clinical skills, and can't wait to apply what I've learned to serve the community. 

    Clinical Interests: Neurology is a fascinating field with a lot of variety, and I feel that general neurology will suit me well. At this stage in my career I'm looking forward to further exploring the many subspecialties that neurology has to offer.

    Living in West Michigan: I've never lived in West Michigan before, but I'm very excited to move there and get to know the area and it's communities.

    HobbiesI love the outdoors, especially hiking and kayaking. I love animals, and have two dogs that keep me on my toes.

  • mallick-dania

    Dania Mallick

    Hometown: Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    Medical School: Aga Khan University Hospital, Pakistan

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    Great facilities, wonderful faculty and the residents I had interacted with, and the opportunity to couples match with my husband!

    What do you like most about your program?
    Looking forward to developing new relationships with faculty, peers, and seniors and learning from them! Also looking forward to expanding my skill sets and helping deliver the best care to patients!

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests are  stroke/vascular neurology, Tele-Neurology, Global Health. 

    Living in West Michigan: This is my first time living in Michigan, and so far I am enjoying the lakes, trails, and the parks! I hope to be able to learn to fish, ski, and ice skate (at least!) during my time here in Michigan! 

    HobbiesI enjoy travelling, hiking, exploring new coffee shops, outdoor activities, trying out new restaurants, and cooking!

  • wheeler-darla

    Darla Wheeler, MD

    Hometown: Detroit, MI
    Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine 

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose to do my Neurology Residency at Spectrum Health because I was impressed with the tremendous impact that this program has had on neurological care in West Michigan. The attending have a clear passion for teaching, and the residents have great procedural, academic, and private practice experience. Coming to Grand Rapids was also a good way for me to be closer to home and still experience a new city. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to developing relationships with my patients, colleagues, and staff, and learning how to become a great neurologist! 

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interests are stroke, dementia, and movement disorders. 

    Living in West Michigan: I love the art and food seen here, the festivals, and its proximity to the Lake Michigan beaches. 

    HobbiesMy hobbies are playing the flute, speaking German, reading, eating good food, hanging out with friends and family, and spending time by the water. 

  • offerle-lauren

    Lauren Offerle, MD


    Hometown: Van Wert, OH
    Medical School: Indiana University School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health because the people are sincere, the system is impressive, and the city is an awesome place to live. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to working with some incredible people to learn how best to improve our patients' lives. 

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in neurocritical care.  

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy the outdoor/active lifestyle and West Michigan offers that!  

    HobbiesMy hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing, tennis, cooking, and sewing. 



Class of 2023

  • Potluri-Anvita

    Anvita Potluri, MD

    Hometown: Hyderabad, India
    Medical School: Gandhi Medical College

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    Spectrum Health comes encompassed with a great faculty, diverse resident class, tremendous research potential and clinical learning opportunities.

    What do you like most about your program?
    The residents share comradery and are true friends even outside of work which gravitated me to the program. I felt a sense of belonging quite early on in residency unbeknownst to me even though I had no former ties to the city or to the people


    Clinical Interests: I am interested in neuromuscular but I'm keeping an open mind as I navigate through different fields of neurology in my second year. 

    Living in West Michigan: West Michigan is a beautiful place with the warmest people I've met. Grand Rapids has a lot to offer and it's a vibrant city filled with good food, music and life. It has a surplus of outdoor activities with hiking trails, beaches and national parks. 

    HobbiesReading, hiking, binge watching TV shows and gardening with a daily struggle to keep my indoor plants alive. 

     

  • Mulo-Kostika

    Kostika Mulo, DO

    Hometown: Novi, MI
    Medical School: Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    When my fiancée Robin and I were going through the couples match, we were expecting to make tough choices and concessions in order to train together in OB/GYN and Neurology, respectively. However, that choice was made easier by Spectrum Health. After spending a month as visiting students, we were both very impressed by the quality of the respective programs, the welcoming and professional spirit of everyone we encountered, the ever-expanding resources and dedication towards graduate medical education when other programs are heading in the opposite direction, and the excellent training opportunities that only a regional leader in healthcare can provide.
    One year in, I have no regrets regarding my choice for residency training. Every day, I feel my clinical acumen improve and my confidence and skills are nurtured by the support of my fellow residents and attendings. I am greatly looking forward to the rest of my training with the knowledge and guarantee that I will leave this program a confident and competent neurologist, as demonstrated by all the seniors graduating this year.

    What do you like most about your program?
    Although I am just joining the neurology program after a year of internal medicine, I can already tell the cohesiveness of the department. Everyone works together to improve the learning and training experience of the residents. All the attendings are renowned experts in their fields, and they are very involved in resident teaching and their passion for training young neurologists is evident. I also highly value Spectrum Health and the breadth of resources, pathology, and learning opportunities it provides for a resident. 

    Clinical Interests: I have enjoyed all subspecialties of Neurology I have been exposed to thus far. They each offer tremendous specialized care to patients with complex disorders.  Thus far, I am interested in vascular neurology and endovascular/interventional neurology. I had the opportunity to be in a hands-on rotation in interventional neurology as a medical student and enjoyed the acuity of care and technical challenges of each case.  am looking forward to exploring this interest more during residency.

    Living in West Michigan:I really cherish the outdoor activities and beautiful nature that surrounds us in West Michigan. Beyond the many parks, lakes, and trails available within the city limits of Grand Rapids, there are so many more beautiful landscapes a short drive away waiting to be discovered. If you run out of things to do nearby, which is near impossible, there are further destinations just a few hours away, that are worth a visit, such as Mackinac Island, Traverse City, Detroit, and Chicago. 

    Hobbies:  As all those that know me can attest, one of my biggest hobbies is coffee and everything that revolves around it. I enjoy brewing specialty cups at home and have slowly amassed a tiny coffee shop inside my kitchen. I also enjoy putting together inventive craft cocktails for my fiancée Robin and I to enjoy with friends. I also like to spend as much time as possible outdoors, occupying my little free time playing soccer, tennis, or taking walks by the river or Reeds Lake. 

     

  • Samaniego-Maria

    Maria Elisa Samaniego Izurieta, MD

    Hometown: Quito, Ecuador 
    Medical School: Universidad de las Americas, Quito-Ecuador 

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    Spectrum Health caught my attention as soon as I started exchanging emails to arrange my interview. The work ethics is great and professionals are strategic in nature. From a personal perspective they are caring, warm and welcoming. I felt like home since the very first days. It is an amazing experience

    What do you like most about your program?
    The thing I like the most about my program is the diversity among colleges and the interest of the faculty members to teach residents. 

    Clinical Interests: I haven't made up my mind regarding a specific sub-specialty. However, my inclination is toward inpatient sub-specialties such as neuro-critical care. 

    Living in West Michigan: West Michigan has a combination of outdoor and indoor activities to enjoy during my free time. Landscapes are amazing through all 4 seasons and residents here made me feel safe and very welcomed. 

    HobbiesIn my free time I enjoy hiking and playing Volleyball. 

     

  • Yao Cheng, MD

    Hometown: Suzhou, China
    Medical School: Suzhou, China School of Medicine

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    Spectrum Health provides all the opportunities that I was looking for as a learner in pursing my career in Neurology and Medicine. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    As I am a new resident/fellow, I am looking forward to working and training in a supportive program. My program has provided all the support that I need, from senior residents, attendings and faculties. They are always there and constantly helping and guiding me through the training process. 

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology 

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy the vibe of both big city and small town living in Grand Rapids. The summer is the most beautiful time in West Michigan. 

    HobbiesMy hobbies include hiking, cooking, playing the piano. 

     

Class of 2022

  • Mendoza_Carina

    Carina Mendoza, MD

    Hometown: Orange County, CA 
    Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, MI 

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    As one of the primary medical hubs for west Michigan, Spectrum Health provides a high volume and wide variety of patients with complex neurologic disorders. This level of medical expansiveness provides a great learning environment with both breadth and depth of exposure to medical disorders, diagnoses and treatments. Moreover, the faculty and staff provide valuable and continuous mentorship to learners at all levels of training. Having worked with many of these medical, faculty and staff providers as a medical student, and throughout my introductory year in neurology, I have had the opportunity to witness and experience the progressive responsibility and independence afforded to learners as they grow in their medical knowledge, skills and confidence. In addition to the excellent clinical apprenticeship, this program provides support for individuals interested in pursuing scholarly research. I have personally participated in several empirical research projects, professional conference presentations and publications. Finally, as a partner with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, I have been given multiple opportunities to teach medical students at various levels. 

    Clinical Interests: Epilepsy and Outpatient Neurology are my clinical interests.

    Living in West Michigan: As a native of southern California, I have enjoyed, for the first time in my life, the four seasons; the beauty of fall with all of its vibrant colors, the experience of snow (for the first time in my life), the rebirth of spring in all of its splendor, and the changes that summer offers to nature’s annual diverse seasonal cycle. 

    HobbiesCooking, baking, singing, dancing, crochet, drawing, reading

  • McCarthy_Philip

    Philip McCarthy, DO

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

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I think Spectrum Health offers the unique opportunity to be in a diverse environment of providers (NP/PA/attendings/residents) which offers a variety of learning experiences. The patient population is robust, Spectrum Health has the advantage of being a local primary center (i.e. Grand Rapids) as well as a tertiary referral center (west/mid/northern Michigan). The Neurology program at Spectrum offers a variety of subspecialties which provide the blossoming neurologist with a plethora of educational resources. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am most looking forward to the wide array of resources available at Spectrum, learning opportunities, and patient interactions.

    Clinical Interests: I think it is hard to narrow my interests in the first 2 years of residency. Honestly, I am pleasantly surprised by how often my interests have changed with the different experiences on rotations.

    Living in West Michigan: I grew up in Holland, Michigan, so I am glad to be near my family and close to Lake Michigan! 

    HobbiesI enjoy being outdoors hiking, kayaking, biking, jogging. In the winter I enjoy cross country skiing, downhill skiing. I enjoy listening audiobooks and currently have an interest in Oliver Sacks titles.

     

  • Rameez_Fnu

    Rameez Merchant MD

    Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
    Medical School: 
    Dow Medical College

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    My primary reason for choosing Spectrum Health was its location, in the heart of the thriving city of Grand Rapids. Being the largest health care provide in West Michigan, this program offered a resident the opportunity  to explore and learn from a wide range of clinically complex cases.

    What do you like most about your program?
    The neurology program at Spectrum Health has extensive faculty, which provides opportunities to work with mentors in various fields of interest. 

    Clinical Interests: My clinical interest includes inpatient neurology, particularly related to neurocritical care and vascular neurology. 

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy that we get to experience all four seasons in West Michigan, especially the beautiful fall season. Grand Rapids has a small-town like feel but it also has a thriving downtown with lots of activities for anyone to enjoy.

    HobbiesI like spending time with family, reading, playing video games, and going for long walks in the multitude of parks in this area.

     

  • Cencer_Samantha

    Samantha Cencer, DO

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

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health for my residency because I was looking for a place where I would not only receive the training I need to become successful as an independent physician, but because it is a location that allows for me to maintain as much balance as possible in my life outside the hospital as well. This a very busy neurological center that sees a variety of cases from the surrounding areas and I believe exposure is one of the most important factors in learning during residency. Outside of the hospital, Grand Rapids is a city surrounded by trails and the great lakes, which makes it easy to have a quick escape with limited time off. There are also a wide variety of things to do within the city from trying new restaurants, going to concerts or other shows, exploring festivals and events about food and the arts, or attending sports games... there is always something to do.

    What do you like most about your program?
    I am looking forward to continuing to gain independence and pursing job opportunities within the next few years.

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in pursuing a career as a neurohospitalist in the future. Because of the wide variety of patients I have seen thus far, and still with two years to go, I am confident I will continue to gain new skills to better prepare me moving forward. This program provides the chance to gain exposure to a number of neurological subspecialties that also provide residents with the opportunity to learn directly from fellowship trained specialists.

    Living in West Michigan: Grand Rapids is a city surrounded by trails and the great lakes, which makes it easy to have a quick escape with limited time off. There are also a wide variety of things to do within the city from trying new restaurants, going to concerts or other shows, exploring festivals and events about food and the arts, or attending sports games... there is always something to do. In a process that can often feel heavy, it was very important to me that I have the opportunities I need to recharge.

    HobbiesMy hobbies include a number of outdoor activities. In my time off, you can usually find me hiking, camping, birding, skiing, cross country skiing, or rollerblading. I have been able to pick up a new hobby at the local bouldering gym as well. I also spend a lot of time with my friends exploring different breweries or food in town, going to concerts, hanging at bonfires, or exploring the different museums. There is always something to keep me busy!

     

Class of 2021

  • AsadAhrarMD

    Asad Ahrar, MD

    Hometown: Punjab, Pakistan
    Medical School: Foundation University Medical College

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health? 
    I was looking for supportive, collaborative, fun group of people who were committed to providing great health and serious about academics as well. Our residency program strikes this balance, I am really happy with my decision.  I have a fantastic group of co-residents.  I have made new friends in my colleagues and have had fantastic learning opportunities.

    What do you like most about your program?
    In my almost 3 years at Spectrum Health, I've met some amazing teachers and mentors who have helped me discover and explore my interests. I really love the diversity of our program.


    Clinical Interests: I am interested in Vascular Neurology (Stroke).  My other interests are vascular dementia, intracerebral hemorrhage and Neuro intervention.

    Living in West Michigan: The best thing I like about West Michigan are the summers. There is always plenty of stuff to do.  Beautiful beaches nearby, people are very welcoming and nice.  Lots of nice restaurants and places to eat.

    HobbiesI like spending time with family and friends. I love football (soccer) and sometimes binging Netflix.

     

  • HemanthPasupuletiMD

    Hemanth Pasupuleti, MD

    Hometown: Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India
    Medical School: Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, India

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I found plentiful opportunities to grow here particularly from always enthusiastic attendings, very friendly residents.  Spectrum Health covers a large and diverse patient population, providing opportunities for exposure to diverse clinical presentations.  Last but not the least, cannot beat the homeliness of Grand Rapids.  It is a beautiful city

    What do you like most about your program?
    Personally, I like the autonomy this program provides to us.  Program is very supportive of residents.  We have tremendous support from attendings who are always willing to spend time with residents for teaching, emotional support etc.

    Clinical Interests: I am going into Neuro Critical Care fellowship.

    Living in West Michigan: Very friendly people.  Beautiful and clean city.  Lots of nearby lakes. 

    HobbiesI have always loved playing Cricket for the most of my life, which I miss here.  But otherwise, I love listening to Indian Music, spending time outside in nature, going for night drives.

  • ZeynepDemierMD

    Zeynep Demir, MD

    Hometown: Gaziantep, Turkey
    Medical School: Gaziantep School of Medicine 

    Why did you choose Spectrum Health?
    I chose Spectrum Health as it gives exposure to wide range of diseases at different settings which prepare me to become an excellent neurologist. Also, friendly environment was very important for me. 

    What do you like most about your program?
    I like Spectrum Health as it is full time teaching institute in a friendly environment, and it gives opportunity to develop a specialist interest. Residents have the autonomy as well as strong support by the attending physicians. 

    Clinical Interests: I am interested in neuroimaging, neuroimmunology and cognitive science.

    Living in West Michigan: I enjoy Art Prize events in GR, also like to try different cuisines, and see different landscapes. Cost of living is much more affordable here. 

    HobbiesMy hobbies are hiking, kayaking, photography and painting. I am also interested in reading about astrophysics.