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Internal Medicine Residency Program


Internal Medicine Residency Program

Under the leadership of Drs. Leanne Forman and William Frishman, the Internal Medicine Residency Program of Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College is committed to providing outstanding training in Internal Medicine. Dr. Forman is the newly appointed program director after serving leadership positions in the residency as the section chief and director of outpatient medicine for more than 10 years. Dr. Forman has had more than 25 years’ experience in graduate and undergraduate medical education at several distinguished institutions. She has consistently been recognized for excellence in teaching and contributions to the program. The program continuously strives to anticipate the needs of the physicians of today and tomorrow. The educational process focuses on the acquisition of medical knowledge, utilization of evidence and clinical skills as well as emerging practice patterns.

We motivate each house officer to embrace a critical and probing scientific attitude along with a commitment to reducing health disparities. As a tertiary referral center, Westchester Medical Center has amongst the highest case mix index in the region. The Cardiology, Transplant and Critical Care services care for patients from throughout the Hudson Valley. Our diverse patient population provides a robust clinical and educational experience for training physicians. Full-time faculty members from all divisions serve as general medical attendings, mentors and consultants to provide a collegial relationship between faculty and house staff. All mandatory training is provided on site.

The university hospital is located on a large picturesque campus with New York Medical College including the schools of medicine, dentistry, graduate school of basic medical sciences and school of health sciences. This close proximity provides integration of medical student education as well as numerous teaching and precepting opportunities for the house staff. The medical school has a new translational research center which provides the infrastructure to conduct high quality research by utilizing the resources offered by New York Medical College and clinical investigators at Westchester Medical Center.

Recent enhancements to the program include the creation of a Director of Research for the Division of Internal Medicine Dr. Christopher Nabors. Dr. Nabors has received national recognition for his quality and safety projects which have led to many scholarly projects for the department. New educational venues include the creation of separate noon conference series for interns and residents, a formal point of care ultrasound training program and specific skill training for second year residents. Hospital-wide initiatives to advance safety and quality improvement include the development of a telehealth unit and an expanding quality improvement department.

The hospital has a robust graduate medical education program which has received increased funding in the past 3 years that allows house staff to attend and participate in national specialty meetings as well as a dramatically enhanced faculty development program. The GME office has also provided funding for utilization of the simulation center on campus in addition to numerous electronic and administrative educational supports.

Fellowships are available in all approved areas of sub-specialty training at the medical center and WMC house staff are highly successful at obtaining fellowships of their choice at the medical center and throughout the country.


Leanne Forman, MD
Program Director
  Christopher Nabors, MD, PhD
Associate Program Director
Research Director

Merita Shehu, MD
Associate Program Director


Program Structure

Total Positions Available in the program:













Chief Medicine Residents


 (Categorical)Yearly Schedule:

  • 12-14 weeks Medicine/Specialty floors
  • 4-6 weeks Intensive Care Unit
  • 6-8 weeks Elective
  • 8 weeks Night Medicine
  • 10-11 weeks Ambulatory Clinic
  • 4 weeks Vacation
  • 2 weeks ER

PGY-I (Preliminary)

  • 18-24 weeks Medicine/Specialty floors
  • 8 weeks Intensive Care Unit/CCU
  • 8-10 weeks Elective
  • 6-8 weeks Night Medicine
  • 4 weeks Vacation

Prelims program tailored to meet advanced program requirements.


  • 10-12 weeks general floors
  • 8-10 weeks Elective
  • 2-4 week CCU
  • 8-10 Medicine Specialty Floors
  • 2-4 weeks Night Float
  • 10-11 weeks Ambulatory Clinic
  • 1-2 weeks Medicine Consults
  • 4 weeks Vacation
  • 2 weeks Quality Improvement / Research Rotation
  • 2 Weeks ICU


  • 14-16 weeks Electives
  • 10-11 weeks Ambulatory Clinic
  • 6 weeks ICU
  • 6-8 weeks ICU Night Float/Rapid Response Team
  • 6-8 weeks Admitting Team ER
  • 2 weeks Medicine Consults
  • 4 weeks Vacation
  • 4 weeks General Floors

A Typical Day on the Floors:

7:00 AM Morning Sign-in
7:45 AM Morning Report
10:00 AM Hospitalist Team Bedside Rounds
12:30 PM Noon Conference/Grand Rounds/Chairman Rounds/CCU Rounds
1:30-4:30 PM Time to do work
4:30-5 PM Sign-out


  • Weekends, Call and Night Float

Floor Call:

  • Every 4th night from 4:30pm-8:00pm

Floor Night Float:

  • Six nights/week from 8:00pm-7:00am (Sun – Fri)

 Ancillary Services:

  • 24/7 phlebotomy shifts
  • IV’s by nurses
  • EKG technicians 24/7
  • Patient transporter support by STAT flight

 Clinical Skills Education:

  • Simulation - State of the Art Simulation Center
  • Standardized Patient Program for all PGY1s.

Conference & Didactics (Monday, Tuesdays & Thursdays)

To ensure protected time & cater to the appropriate target audience, we split our afternoon conferences into two separate series for the interns & residents. The curriculum is not only designed on the ABIM blueprints to aggressively prepare the house-staff for their boards but also equip them to be mature & confident clinicians.

For PGY2s & 3s: From 12:30pm to 1:10pm with the specialists & chief medical residents covering a wide variety of topics & discussing in detail vital aspects of clinical management. In addition, the following have been recently incorporated into the conference schedule:

  • Weekly afternoon report (case-based discussion) with the program director & faculty.
  • Weekly board review sessions (MKSAPs & UWorld).
  • Bi-weekly pharmacy lectures on relevant topics by directors of clinical pharmacy.
  • Monthly EKG sessions.
  • Monthly evidence-based medicine/journal club.
  • Monthly Point of Care Ultrasound Training (POCUS).

For PGY 1s, Sub-Interns & Medical Students: From 1:15pm to 2:00pm with the general IM faculty & chief medical residents covering introductory aspects of internship, refreshing basic pathophysiology and discussing ways to approach basic & advanced clinical scenarios. In addition, the following have been recently incorporated into the conference schedule:

  • Bi-weekly clinical reasoning sessions (instead of morning report).
  • Bi-weekly pharmacy lectures on relevant topics by directors of clinical pharmacy.
  • Monthly EKG sessions.
  • Monthly evidence-based medicine/journal club.
  • Monthly Point Of Care Ultrasound Training (POCUS).
  • Monthly high value care curriculum.

Grand rounds (Wednesdays):

On Wednesdays, we have departmental grand rounds from 12:00pm to 1:00pm for all PGY levels where distinguished guests are invited to present topics of interest and engage with the house-staff & faculty in scholastic discussions.

Critical care rounds (Fridays):

Weekly critical care rounds are organized from 12:15pm to 1:00pm at Macy Pavilion where ICU residents from the CCU or Medical ICU present interesting cases, moderated by critical care attendings.

Chairman rounds (Fridays):

Weekly chairman rounds are organized in the main hospital from 1:00pm to 1:45pm where on-call intern presents an interesting case from the floors, moderated by Dr. Frishman & faculty.

Humanities rounds (Last Tuesdays of the month):

Once a month, usually last Tuesdays from 12:30pm to 1:30pm, we all meet for humanities rounds organized by the house-staff, coordinators & faculty where we share insights into the human society & culture as they arise in literature, religion, art, music, history, language & philosophy.

Research and Scholarly Activities

Participation in clinical research activities to produce abstracts and publications is encouraged and supported by the program; however, it is not mandatory. Our program’s goal is to help you thrive into a well –rounded and confident clinician. You will be paired with faculty mentors from your sub-specialty of interest during internship to foster a professional and personal support system.

Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Projects

Each categorical resident is encouraged to identify a patient safety or quality improvement concern in the in-patient setting and devise a research project to improve such issues, mentored by either Dr. Forman or Dr. Nabors. Two weeks of dedicated research time is allotted in the PGY-2 year for this purpose. Additional time can be allotted in the PGY-3 year if needed to finish the project or if you want to work on more ideas. You will have the opportunity to present the findings/recommendations of these projects at the WMC monthly QI/Patient Safety meetings attended by the heads of various clinical departments. Our house-staff present these projects at the American College of Physicians meeting as well. Such projects are required for academic hospitalist positions and reflect well on your fellowship applications.

In the ambulatory setting, one half-day of each clinic week is dedicated for all PGY levels to work on one of the numerous ongoing QI projects.

A few QI projects done by our house-staff recently:

1.     Tasleem Katchi: Optimizing Medication Management in the Elderly.

2.     Joanna Blanco and Shashvat Gupta: Appropriate discharge planning for hospitalized patients.

3.     Srikanth Yandrapalli: Medication dosing in patients with renal impairment.

4.     Katherine Linder: Attitudes towards palliative care consultation.

5.     Akshay Khatri and Tausif Siddiqui: Appropriate use of respiratory multiplex PCR.

6.     Tasleem Katchi: Knowledge, attitude, and practices about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV.

7.     George Jolly: Knowledge, attitudes, and practices about Pertussis Vaccination.

8.     Suman Pal, Alina Kifayat, Nicole Zagelbaum, Anila Kumar: Determinants of primary healthcare utilization among LGBT individuals.

9. Jagjit Khosla: Depression screening, management, and follow-up in adult primary care center patient centered medical home.

Clinical Research:

Opportunities in clinical research are available for interested housestaff. Clinical research takes place in the inpatient, tele-health, and ambulatory settings. While case-reports and retrospective data review studies are more popular, house-staff are also currently involved in prospective studies undergoing at WMC and basic research studies at NYMC. Internal medicine and subspecialty faculty work actively with the housestaff to mentor them and guide them with developing an idea, designing the project, preparing IRB submission, data gathering and analysis, and preparation for publication. Our housestaff is very active in presenting case- and research abstracts orally and as posters at various regional and national Internal Medicine and Subspecialty meetings. Additionally, the Internal Medicine program hosts half-yearly research meetings in which interested residents present their case vignettes and research posters. Prizes are given to the best poster in both categories.

Recent House-staff publications:

1.     Katchi T, Cooper HA, Yandrapalli S, et al. Prosthetic aortic valve endocarditis without evidence of vegetation. J Heart Valve Dis. 2017;26(3):365-367.

2.     Gupta T, Patel K, Kolte D, et al. Relationship of hospital teaching status with in-hospital outcomes for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. Am J Med. 2017 Oct 13. pii: S0002-9343(17)31033-1.

3.     Yandrapalli S, Tariq S, Aronow WS. Advances in chemical pharmacotherapy for managing acute decompensated heart failure. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2017;18(5):471-485.

4.     Andries GKhera S, Timmermans RJ, Aronow WS. Complete versus culprit only revascularization in ST-elevation myocardial infarction-a perspective on recent trials and recommendations. J Thorac Dis. 2017;9(7):2159-2167.

5.     Sanaani A, Yandrapalli S, Jolly G, Paudel R, Cooper HA, Aronow WS. Correlation between electrocardiographic changes and coronary findings in patients with acute myocardial infarction and single-vessel disease. Ann Transl Med. 2017;5(17):347.

6.     Yandrapalli S, Raza A, Tariq S, Aronow WS. Ambulatory pulmonary artery pressure monitoring in advanced heart failure patients. World J Cardiol. 2017;9(1):21-26.

7.     Nagpal P, Bhalala M, Vidholia A, et al. Abdominal skin rash after TACE due to non-target embolization of hepatic falciform artery. ACG Case Rep J. 2016;3(3):217-220.

8.     Gupta N, Chaudhary R, Krishnamoorthy P, Mahajan S, Bodin R, Sule S. Coronary artery disease in patients with disorders of bilirubin excretion. Am J Ther. 2017;24(6):e653-e658.

9.     Linder K, Gandhiraj D, Hanmantgad M, Seiter K, Liu D. Complete remission after single agent blinatumomab in a patient with pre-B acute lymphoid leukemia relapsed and refractory to three prior regimens: hyperCVAD, high dose cytarabine mitoxantrone and CLAG. Exp Hematol Oncol. 2016 Jul 26;5:20.

10.  Chakinala RC, Haq KF, Barsa JE, Solanki S, Chawla L, Khan MA, Farooq T, Schorr-Lesnick B. Incidentally Discovered Extranodal Marginal Zone B-Cell Lymphoma of Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue in the Colon. Case Rep Med. 2017;2017:1505706.

11.  Yandrapalli SMehta BMondal P, et al. Cardiac papillary fibroelastoma: The need for a timely diagnosis. World J Clin Cases. 2017;5(1):9-13.

12.  Raza A, Zaid S, Michev I, et al. “Cusp Overlap” View Facilitates Accurate Fluor-Guided Implantation Of Self-Expanding Valve In TAVR. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2016, Mar; 69(11): 1045.

13.  Yandrapalli S, Jolly G, Horblitt A, Sanaani A, Aronow WS. Cardiovascular benefits and safety of non-insulin medications used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Postgrad Med. 2017:1-11. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2017.1358064

14.  Katchi T, Kolandaivel K, Khattar P, Farooq T, Islam H, Liu D. Extramedullary hematopoiesis presented as cytopenia and massive paraspinal masses leading to cord compression in a patient with hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin. Biomark Res. 2016 Sep 1;4(1):17.

15.  Lai HM, Pawar R, Wolf DC, Aronow WS. Impact of cardiovascular risk factors on long-term mortality after liver transplantation. Am J Ther. 2016;23(2):e357-62. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e31829c4c5f

16.  Yandrapalli S, Tariq S, Kumar J, et al. Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management. Cardiol Rev. 2017. doi: 10.1097/CRD.0000000000000164

17.  Raza A, Steinberg K, Tartaglia J, Frishman WH, Gupta T. Enhanced External Counterpulsation Therapy: Past, Present, and Future. Cardiology in Review. 2016, Mar; 25(2): 59-67.

18.  Gupta T, Mujib M, Agarwal P, Prakash P, Garg A, Sharma N, Aronow WS, Nabors C. Association Between Opioid Abuse/Dependence and Outcomes in Hospitalized Heart Failure Patients. Am J Ther. 2016;23(2):e350-

19.  Mehta D, Chugh P, Chawla L, Jodorkovsky D. Paraneoplastic Hepatopathy Associated with Gastrointestinal Carcinoid. ACG Case Rep J. 2017 Nov 8;4:e117

20.  Katchi T, Liu D. Diagnosis and treatment of CD20 negative B cell lymphomas.

21.  Yandrapalli S, Aronow WS, Mondal P, Chabbott DR. Limitations of sacubitril/valsartan in the management of heart failure. Am J Ther. 2017;24(2):e234-e239.

22.  Karass M, Chugh S, Andries G, Mamorska-Dyga A, Nelson JC, Chander PN. Thrombotic microangiopathy associated with synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists. Stem Cell Investig. 2017 May 26;4:43.

23.  Karass M, Mondal P, Alkayem M, Ojo A, Aronow WS, Puccio C. A rare presentation of acute heart failure secondary to aggressive uterine leiomyosarcoma metastatic to the myocardium initially diagnosed as hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. Ann Transl Med. 2016 Oct;4(19):374

24.  Yandrapalli S, Andries G, Biswas M, Khera S. Profile of sacubitril/valsartan in the treatment of heart failure: patient selection and perspectives. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2017 Oct 5;13:369-382.

25.  Gupta T, Kolte D, Mohananey D, Khera S, Goel K, Mondal P, et al. Relation of Obesity to Survival After In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. Am J Cardiol. 2016 Sep 1;118(5):662-7.

Meeting Abstracts:

Our housestaff is very active in presenting oral and poster presentations at local and national scientific meetings and more than half of our residents presented at various Internal Medicine and sub-specialties including NYACP, ACP, ACC, AHA, NJ-ACC, Chest, HFSA, SCAI, ACG, DDW, ASCO, SHM, SGIM, NKF, ASN, ACR, CCR, ATS, IDSA.

Internal Medicine Resident Research Day Prizes:

March 2018

Clinical Vignette: Shashvat Gupta for “Wolf Parkinson White syndrome causing Non-ST elevation Myocardial Infarction”

Original Research: Daniel Elefant for “Alkaline Phosphatase Enriched Exosomes as Guidance Cues in the Developing Optic Chiasm”

October 2017

Clinical Vignette: Tasleem Katchi for “Rapidly Progressive Heart Failure From Light Chain Cardiac Amyloid” (Also presented at Heart Failure Society of America National Meeting, September 2017)

Original Research: Tausif Siddiqui for “Hepatic Portal Venous Gas in Pediatric Liver Transplant Patients: Incidence and Clinical Significance”.

 Research Awards:

1.     Khwaja F. Haq, Chief Resident 2017-18 2017 Fellows-in-Training Award (Liver Category), American College of Gastroenterology

2.     Asritha Gollapudi, PGY-2 2016 Case Vignette National Winner, American College of Physicians Meeting

3.     Dhruv Mehta, PGY-2 2015 Presidential Poster Award, American College of Gastroenterology

4.     Nancy Gupta, PGY-3 2015 Best Poster Award, American College of Physicians

5.     Nisha Sharma, PGY-3 2015 Presidential Poster Award, American College of Gastroenterology

6.     Dhaval Kolte, Chief resident 2014-2015 2014 Best Poster Award, American College of Cardiology

7.     Marjan Mujib, Chief Resident 2015-16 2013 and 2014 Young Investigators' Award, New York American College of Cardiology

Chief Residents

Department of Medicine Residency Program

2019–2020 Chief Residents

Joanna Blanco, MD
Dr. Blanco hails from Toms River, New Jersey and fondly remembers her childhood at the Jersey shore. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Science at Saint Peter’s University, the Jesuit University of New Jersey, where she graduated summa cum laude and was valedictorian. Her time at Saint Peter’s helped nurture her passion for service and instilled in her the Jesuit value of cura personalis, or care for the whole of a person, something that she strives to do while practicing medicine. Dr. Blanco earned her medical degree from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and enjoyed her participation in community outreach and work with disabled individuals. During her residency at Westchester Medical Center, she earned several prestigious awards including the “Patient Centered Care Award” in her intern year, the “Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Resident Teaching Award,” and was inducted into the AOA Medical Honor Society in her third year of residency. She has also participated in the Graduate Medical Education (GME) House Staff Quality Council and was elected by her peers to be the internal medicine representative for the GME Committee. As chief resident, Dr. Blanco will be the primary liaison for New York Medical College students during their clerkships. She strives to promote resident well-being and encourage patient-centered. Her interests outside of work include spending time with friends and family, traveling, and singing.

Shikha Broker, MBBS
Biography Coming Soon

Alina Kifayat, MBBS
Dr. Kifayat is a native Long Islander and a die-hard dog lover who spent most of her years in Port Washington. After graduating with highest distinction from one of the finest institutions of health sciences in Pakistan, Khyber Medical College, she went on to pursue further training in Internal Medicine at Westchester Medical Center.

Throughout her time at the intense three year training program, her dedication towards her career was well appreciated by the faculty and her peers, and she went on to receive several awards. She was awarded with the “Work and Diligence” award in first year and was named as the “Best Overall Categorical Resident” in second year. Displaying unparalleled leadership qualities she was given the “Outstanding Role Model Award” in third year. Soon after she was elected to serve as a Chief Medical Resident. In her new role, she serves the objectives of the program with a special interest in areas of resident education and resident well-being. She is the sole coordinator for educational sessions for all three PGY levels at her program.

She is a strong advocate of residents and due to her exceptional qualities she is simultaneously serving as a hospital wide peer selected delegate for the Committee of Residents and Fellows(CIR).

Outside the hospital, you will probably find her at an art exhibition, at a bookstore/reading at a coffee shop or exploring the streets of New York.

2018–2019 Chief Residents

Gabriela Andries, MD

Dr. Andries was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. After graduated Cum Laude from Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, she worked as general practitioner for almost 2 years in Indonesia before deciding to come to US and pursue further training in Internal Medicine. During her residency at Westchester Medical Center, she proved herself to be exceptional in patient care, clinical judgement and communication skills. She was awarded "Best Overall Categorical PGY-1" in her first year, "Outstanding Role Model Award" in her third year of residency, and chosen to be chief resident for academic year 2018-2019. She discovered her deep interest in the field of cardiology and has been involved in research which resulted in several peer-reviewed publications, poster presentation in national meetings, and book chapters. Outside of medicine, she enjoys painting, drawing manga, and cycling.

Zahava Farkas, DO

Dr. Farkas is a through and through New Yorker, growing up in Brooklyn and Long Island before moving to Manhattan. She completed her undergraduate studies at Queens College, City University of New York, and went on to complete her medical degree at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She took up her internal medicine training at New York Medical College-Westchester Medical Center in 2015 and after a robust three-year appointment in clinical and academic medicine she elected to take a position as chief medical resident. Throughout her training, she has been involved in research, primarily related to Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary disease, with several abstracts, peer reviewed publications and presentations at national conferences including American College of Physicians and Digestive Disease Week. She enjoys teaching and was awarded the Best Teaching Categorical award as a third year resident. She has been involved in organizing daily conferences for the residents, is the primary liaison for NYMC students during their clerkships and has continued her work as a preceptor for NYMC students’ Foundations of Clinical Medicine. She plans to pursue a career in clinical and academic medicine and will be applying for fellowship in the 2018 cycle.

Michael Karass, MD
Having lived in three countries growing up, Dr. Karass has a passion for cultural development and health disparities. Dr. Karass graduated Magna Cum Laude from SUNY Albany where he was enrolled in the Honors Program. He was involved in nanoscience research involving the creation of artificial salivary glands for patients with xerostomia, a condition seen in some cancer patients treated with radiation therapy to the neck. He then went on to complete his Medical Doctorate at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. During medical school, he was a Research Fellow at the Mayo Clinic and at Emory University publishing on bronchial pulmonary dysplasia, asthma, and graft versus host disease, among other topics. He also participated in a medical mission trip to Kenya and Tanzania, which inspired him to co-start the student chapter for the Coptic Medical Association of North America, dedicated to health disparities in developing countries in Africa and South America. He helped organize various conferences in NY, NJ, Florida, and Virginia on topics related to health disparities, medical mission trips, holistic approach to patient care, leadership development, and student wellness. Dr. Karass hopes to encourage academic inquiry and compassionate care. He currently is involved in research on bladder cancer, thrombotic microangiopathy, fevers post stem cell transplant, among others. Listing of Published Manuscripts:

2017–2018 Chief Residents

Khwaja Fahad Haq, MD

Dr. Haq immigrated to the US soon after successful completion of his medical education at Dow Medical College, one of the most prestigious health sciences institutions back in his home country, Pakistan. While in medical school, he actively participated in research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Molecular Surgical Laboratory & Johns Hopkins University’s Autoimmune Disease Research Center. During this period, he was acknowledged for his technical assistance resulting in publication of the project, “A Quorum Sensing Regulated Small Volatile Molecule Reduces Acute Virulence and Promotes Chronic Infection Phenotypes” in PLOS Pathogens. Clinical experiences in the form of elective rotations at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital followed, helping him get familiar with the clinical side of the US healthcare system. Soon after he joined WMC, he excelled in all aspects of training, and was selected as one of the chief residents with responsibilities including support of the vital objectives of the program, functioning as a key mentor, and being a strong advocate for the residents. Halfway through his residency, he fell in love with the field of Gastroenterology & Hepatology and everything it had to offer including patient care, procedures, teaching and research. He considers himself fortunate to have found a solid team supervised by experienced and approachable mentors at WMC. Together, they worked on multiple scientific ideas resulting in several research awards including the ACG’s Presidential Poster Award, DDW’s Poster of Distinction Award, and his favorite, WCOG’s Fellows-in-Training Award for "Toxin And Drug-Induced Hepatitis: A Nationwide Analysis of Temporal Trends, Cost of Care and Outcomes". For many reasons, if he had to do it all over again, he would proudly choose the Department of Medicine at WMC in a heartbeat. We wish him best of luck as he moves to Michigan to pursue a rigorous and highly recognized fellowship in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the Henry Ford Hospital System, affiliated with Wayne State University. Outside of work, Dr. Haq will continue to enjoy multilingual cinema, real estate investment banking, traveling, and spending time with his friends and family, including his wife and two kids.

Katherine Linder, MD

Dr. Katherine Linder was born and raised in Albany, New York. After completing her undergraduate studies at SUNY Albany, she took up residence in Hoboken, New Jersey. Soon after, she took a position as a clinical trials research coordinator at the former St. Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Manhattan. While there, she found a deep love and appreciation for medical oncology, which inspired her to pursue medical school. Dr. Linder graduated from Ross University School of Medicine in 2014 and took up her internal medicine training at New York Medical College-Westchester Medical Center. After a robust 3-year appointment in clinical and academic medicine she elected to take a position as chief medical resident. Under the new leadership she made it a point to focus on resident wellbeing and success. She has been involved in organizing Grand Rounds for the Department of Medicine for the academic year 2017-2018 and has been a preceptor for NYMC students’ Foundations of Clinical Medicine for nearly 4 years. She continues to be involved in oncology research with several publications throughout her training. Dr. Linder will take the invaluable experience gained at Westchester Medical Center to Houston as she pages the next chapter in her career with a hematology-oncology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine.

Srikanth Yandrapalli, MD

Dr. Yandrapalli comes from Vijayawada, a city in the state of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India. While in medical school at Andhra Medical College, he visited the US for elective rotations at Northwestern University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. During this time he participated in basic sciences research at the University of Michigan where he coauthored a publication “Singular Value Decomposition of Optically-Mapped Cardiac Rotors and Fibrillatory Activity”. While at Andhra Medical College, Dr. Yandrapalli excelled in social and preventative aspects of medicine for which he was awarded a medal of proficiency. He was involved in numerous public health projects, and volunteered to provide basic medical care to underserved tribal populations. Since the beginning of his residency at New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center, Dr. Yandrapalli consistently excelled in the clinical and academic aspects of medicine and was awarded “Best Teaching Award” as an intern. He demonstrated strong leadership qualities as a resident and was very well liked, qualities which led to him being chosen a chief resident for the academic year 2017-2018. Dr. Yandrapalli precepted many 1st and 2nd year medical students and mentored them on research projects. He continued to build upon his interest in cardiovascular medicine and published numerous peer-reviewed articles and presented case and research abstracts at ACP, ACC, AHA, Chest, SCAI among other meeting. He considers himself fortunate to be working and learning form renowned experts like Dr. William Frishman and Dr. Wilbert Aronow. As a chief resident, his responsibilities were inpatient and ambulatory resident rotation and assignments scheduling, quality improvement and patient safety projects, resuscitation committee council etc. He will continue his educational journey in New York starting his cardiovascular disease fellowship at NYMC-WMC program in July 2018. Dr. “Y” enjoys playing the guitar and singing.

Chief Residents 2016-2017

Dennis Roarke, MD

Dr. Dennis Roarke is a native of Long Island, NY. He completed his undergraduate education at Binghamton University and Hunter College. Prior to entering medical school, he worked for 3 years with Dr. Louis Aronne at Weill-Cornell Medical College, New York NY coordinating clinical trials for anti-obesity medications. While there he co-authored a chapter on “Therapeutic options for modifying obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors” for the Johns Hopkins textbook of Dyslipidemia. He then entered medical school at New York Medical College, Valhalla NY. While there he was involved in several extracurricular activities including the Cancer Education and Awareness Program, La Casita de la Salud a student-run medical clinic, and volunteering at Woodfield Cottage a juvenile detention center. Dr. Roarke then began residency training in Internal Medicine at New York Medical College-Westchester Medical Center. During his residency he was actively involved in ways to improve the hospital and residency including the GME Housestaff Quality Council, the DNR process group, and as a delegate for the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) housestaff union. Dr. Roarke enjoys teaching and has served as a preceptor for 1st and 2nd year medical students throughout his residency. As a chief resident, he is in-charge of organizing Grand Rounds for the Department of Medicine for the academic year 2016-2017. He plans to continue serving in an academic medical setting in the future.

Rahul Sao, MD

Dr. Sao attended medical school at prestigious University College of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. After completing his MBBS degree, he volunteered as a research assistant at Boston University before joining Westchester Medical Center for his Internal Medicine residency training. He was a standout performer throughout the residency and was awarded the ‘Best Teaching PGY-I and PGY-II’ and the ‘Best Ambulatory Care PGY-I’ awards by the Department of Medicine. Dr. Sao enjoys teaching medical students and he has mentored multiple medical students during his residency as well as participated in “Transition to Residency” course as an instructor. His research interests lay in the field of gastroenterology. His research work focused on low-cost intervention to improve the quality of screening colonoscopies and epidemiology of various gastrointestinal pathologies. He has also co-authored multiple peer-reviewed articles and presented multiple abstracts including an oral presentation at national conferences during the course of his residency. As a chief resident, he is in-charge of resident assignment scheduling for the Department of Medicine for the academic year 2016-2017. His immediate goal is to obtain the highest level of clinical training in a gastroenterology fellowship program and subsequently establish himself as an academic gastroenterologist and a researcher working to improve the quality of care and outcomes in gastrointestinal pathologies. Outside of work, he is a huge soccer fan and enjoys travelling.

John Savooji, MD

A graduate from St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore; one of the finest medical institutions in India. While in medical school, John got the unique opportunity to visit United States as an international exchange student at the University of Minnesota. As a result of this experience, he decided to come to the US for post-graduate studies and chose NYMC/ Westchester Medical Center for residency. His journey at WMC has been fabulous with great support from faculty, exposure to a diverse mix of cases and strong teaching. John considers himself fortunate to have been designated as a chief resident at WMC. In addition to being a chief resident, John is also an Instructor of Medicine for NYMC and looks forward to a year of teaching medicine. He plans a career in academic oncology and has a keen interest in molecular targets in NSCLC. Outside Medicine, he loves to swim, go on hikes and explore new places. Recent Publications 1. ABT-199 (venetoclax) and BCL-2 inhibitors in clinical development. Cang S, Iragavarapu C, Savooji J, Song Y, Liu D. J Hematol Oncol. 2015 Nov DOI: 10.1186/s13045-015-0224-3 2. Second- and third-generation ALK inhibitors for non-small cell lung cancer. Wu J, Savooji J, Liu D. J Hematol Oncol. 2016 Mar. DOI: 10.1186/s13045-016-0251-8. 3. CD34(+) therapy-related acute promyelocytic leukemia in a patient previously treated for breast cancer. Savooji J, Shakil F, Islam H, Liu D, Seiter K. Stem Cell Investig. 2016 Mar DOI: 10.21037/sci.2016.03.03.

Our chief residents are currently involved in a variety of projects designed to enhance patient safety on the internal medicine service. They provide a vital service of support and coordination not only to our residents but the faculty and staff.

PL1 Categorical Residents

William Assante, MD
New York Medical College

Glory Atuh, MD
New York Medical College

Daniel Greenberg, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Urvashi Hooda, MBBS
All-India Institute of Medical Sciences

Chengyue Jin, MD
Peking University Health Science Center

Justin Konig, MD
Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

Bo Li, MD
University of Toledo College of Medicine

Michael Lichtbroun, MD
Sackler School of Medicine

Zilan Lin, MD
Medical University of South Carolina

Liana Michaud, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Gaspar Miranda, MD
Escuela Autónoma de Ciencias Médicas de Centro América

Fareena Nawaz, MD
University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Victor Paulose, MD

SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

Daniel Peneyra, MD
SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine

Robert Pollock, MD
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Russell Rozario, MD
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Aaron Schluger, MD
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Matthew Seplowe, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Abhinaya Sridhar, MBBS
Kasturba Medical College Mangalore

Rathnamitreyee Vegunta, MD
Katuri Medical College, Guntur

PL1 Preliminary Residents

David Bamshad, MD
New York Medical College

Lauren Bartels, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Troy Davis, MD
New York Medical College

Samantha DeStefano, DO
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Virginia Campus

Alexander Eng, MD
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine 

Cezar Lisov, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

William Madry, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Kelsey Maher, MD
New York Medical College

Armel Ngeugam Silenou, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Talia Strulowitz, MD
New York Medical College

Kanika Thapar, MD
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Christian Welch, MD
Georgetown University School of Medicine

Henry Yang, MD

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University


Sara Akbar, MBBS
Aga Khan University Medical College

Michael Broker, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

Michael Chen, MD
Penn State University College of Medicine

Neha Deval, MBBS
Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad 

Nikhil Govil, DO
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine

Lawrence Huang, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Anant Jain, MBBS
Government Medical College Amritsar

Dennis John, MD
New York Medical College

Woo Young Kim, MD
Korea University College of Medicine

Levy Jo Manuntag, MD
University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Monica Fabiola Nogueira Cordeiro, MD
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Faculdade de Medicina

Leonardo Zelaya Castillo, MD
Universidad Católica de Honduras Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz Facultad en Ciencias de la Salud

Zhong Zheng, MD
University of New Mexico School of Medicine 

Yangsheng Zhou, DO
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine


Asad Anwar, MBBS

Aga Khan University Medical College   

Ammar Athar, MD

New York Medical College

Eunna Cho, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Alicia De Castro, MBBS
University of the Philippines Manila 
College of Medicine 

Anusha Devarajan, MBBS
Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre, Bangalore  

Kartik Dhaduk, MBBS
Government Medical College Surat

Richard Doobay, MD
New York Medical College

Rahul Gupta, MBBS
Government Medical College Amritsar

Firas Jafri, MBBS
Jinnah Medical & Dental College

Jagjit Khosla, MMBS
University College of Medical Sciences 
and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital

Gowthami Kobbari, MBBS
Andhra Medical College

Anila Kumar, DO
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Kyu-in Lee, MD
New York Medical College

Suman Pal, MBBS
Maulana Azad Medical College

Jay Pandav, MBBS
Topiwala National Medical College
Purva Ranchal, MBBS
Government Medical College Patiala
Saira Zafar, MD
Ross University School of Medicine
Nicole Zagelbaum, DO
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Our Faculty

Maria Capparelli, MD
Christine Carosella, MD
Ronald Cho, MD
Rosemarie Conigliaro, MD
Leanne Forman, MD
Melissa Gennarelli, MD
Randy Goldberg, MD
Gary Guo, MD
Jason Goutis, MD
Naga Kanaparthy, MD
Chikere Kanu, MD
Kausik Kar, MD
Carol Karmen, MD
Bernard Katz, MD
Stephen Lobo, MD
Aaqib Malik, MD
George Mathew, MD
Arif Mumtaz, MD
Rebecca Newman, MD
Christopher Nabors, MD
Gary Rogg, MD
Merita Shehu, MD
Tejinderpal Singh, MD
Eric Wold, MD
Shick Yu, MD

Following are general guidelines for applying to the program. The information provided should answer most of your questions.

Thank you for your interest in the Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College Internal Medicine Residency Training Program at Westchester Medical Center. Together, they comprise a major academic medical center. Our program is fully Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Criteria for applicants:

Our program will begin our first round of invitations on October 3, 2019. Applications will not be reviewed after October 1.

Please note: we do not have a firm cut off on USMLE or other exam scores. We review all applicants from a holistic standpoint, taking into account their overall diversity, skills and experience.

Applicants may apply to both Categorical and Preliminary Internal Medicine positions.

Regarding preliminary positions: we will be interviewing for a total of 8 preliminary positions and will link up to 5 of those positions with the Westchester Medical Center Anesthesiology Residency Program. Candidates for the linkage will be interviewed on the same date they are interviewed by the Anesthesia Program. Candidates will be considered for both general preliminary spots and linked positions.

  • We are looking for applicants who are not more than five years out of medical school. However, an applicant involved in a post-graduate clinical environment will be considered. 
  •  You must have taken and passed the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (step 2 results can be pending at the time of interview). Step 3 is required by the NRMP rank order list deadline day only if you are applying for H-1B visa. 
  •  Applicants need at least three current letters of recommendation. 
  •  If needed, applicants can obtain Exchange Visitor Sponsorship through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) to acquire a J-1 visa. The program sponsors J-1 and limited number of H-1B visas. Anyone applying for H-1B visa must have taken, and passed, Step 3 of the USMLE by the NRMP rank order list deadline. 
  •  Interviews, by invitation only, will take place from mid-October through the end of January. More information about the residency program is available by emailing the Program Coordinator at


  Austin Charnis
Internal Medicine
Residency Program Coordinator
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Taylor Pavilion Room D322
Office: 914.493.6613
Fax: 914.493.7506