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Pediatrics Residency Program

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A Message from Program Director


Dear Future Pediatrician,

Thank you for your interest in the Pediatric Residency Program at Westchester Medical Center at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital (MFCH). We hope the information located here will further your interest in our program by conveying its many strengths.

Our program's mission is to produce outstanding pediatricians, who are ready to excel in both general and subspecialty pediatrics. To achieve this, we create an educationally innovative, inclusive and supportive environment and foster camaraderie and teamwork amongst our physicians. Our residents receive an exceptional education in all areas of pediatrics and they acquire the practical skills needed to care for children with a vast range of illnesses.

Our location in New York's Hudson Valley grants us unparalleled population density and diversity. MFCH is the principal referral center of the Hudson Valley, the 150-mile region between New York City and Albany; this ensures that our residents manage childhood illnesses that range from common, to rare, to previously undescribed. Year after year our residents express enthusiasm about the diversity of our cases and the educational opportunities provided by the breadth of pathologies we encounter. Our administrative leadership and extensive teaching faculty strive to maximize the educational opportunities offered by our diverse patient population. We pride ourselves on our program’s supportive, inclusive culture that values advocacy and joy in our work.

MFCH provides a state-of-the-art environment for our clinical, educational, and research activities. MFCH is a full-service children's hospital with complete pediatric subspecialty representation. Designed with the comfort of both families and caregivers in mind, MFCH features on-call suites for our residents and numerous conference areas.

The first children's hospital named after a child, MFCH has set the standard for a comforting and stimulating healing environment for ill children and their families. We offer private rooms for every patient with sleeping space for parents, family housing at our on-site Ronald McDonald house, a giant aquarium, an interactive computer lab, the world's largest dollhouse, a baseball museum, and a wheelchair-accessible miniature golf course.

Our program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. We strictly observe both New York State and Residency Review Committee regulations regarding resident work hours and supervision.

We are proud of our program and its graduates, and we look forward to introducing them to you.

Sincerely,

 

Matthew J. Kapklein, MD, MPH
Program Director

Caroline Moon, MD, MTS
Associate Program Director

Gabriella Dauer, MD
Associate Program Director

To learn more about our program, feel free join us for an informal open house panel discussion on Wednesday, September 30 at 8 p.m. ET on Zoom (477-318-5601).


Program Overview and Curriculum

Resident Education

Our program is committed to resident education with protected educational time for daily morning report, noon time core conference and, weekly resident-led continuity clinic conference. In the past these educational sessions have been in person, but in light of current events, morning report and noon conference have been transitioned to online sessions via Zoom.

Our pediatric residency program Zoom ID is 477-318-5601. Feel free to pop in just about every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00-9:00 ET (morning report) and every weekday 12:00-1:00 ET (core conference) and 1:00-1:30 ET (clinic conference) to get a glimpse of our daily education and resident life.

Morning Report

During morning report, cases from the night or days prior are presented by residents to their peers and selected faculty. Emphasis is placed on clinical diagnostic reasoning and decision making.

Core Conference

Noon conference consists of a boards-based curriculum, supplemented by a variety of educational topics in all pediatric subspecialty areas including: wellness sessions, journal club, resident-as-teacher presentations, pediatric board review sessions, emergency medicine skills workshops, and monthly house staff meetings.

Clinic Conference

Residents present our continuity clinic conference. The same web-based content is delivered by and to a different group of residents each weekday.

Grand Rounds

Grand rounds occur every Wednesday from 8:00 - 9:00 and are open to all faculty, residents, and medical students. Here, faculty and residents, as well as guest lecturers, present a variety of pertinent pediatric topics.

Board Review

In addition to our daily morning report and noon conference, residents are given an annual subscription to TrueLearn Question Bank for board prep and the Yale Primary Care Pediatrics Curriculum for the weekly lectures in continuity clinic.

Simulations

We also have regularly scheduled mock codes and monthly Emergency Department simulations, or “sims,” with our PICU and PEM attendings. Simulated resuscitations are also held frequently in our NICU.

Mentorship

Each resident is paired with a career mentor in their desired field, based on their area of interest. This is an opportunity that allows residents to get career guidance for the field of their choice. Research coordinators are also assigned to residents in their PL-1 year; these faculty help residents find project mentors and help develop their ideas into workable original research and quality improvement projects.

Research/Quality Improvement

Each resident is required to participate in and complete a scholarly project during their training. They are free to choose their own topic in an area such as quality improvement (QI), prospective studies, or basic science research. There are ample opportunities for research and our residents are involved in many projects. Residents are also able to take dedicated four-week research electives in their second or third years. Some of the most popular departments for research are PICU, NICU, pulmonology, and hematology/oncology. Additionally, PGY-3 residents spend two weeks on a Quality Improvement rotation where they work on active local projects.

Examples of recent resident scholarly project presentations include:

  • Impact of an Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) oncology program
  • Effects of implementing a clinical pathway for community-acquired pneumonia
  • Incidence of intention to breastfeed among marijuana-using new mothers
  • Association of mode of delivery with maternal use of marijuana products
  • Effect of sex on glomerular filtration rate in a programmed rat model
  • Lifestyle characteristics of parental electronic cigarette users

Rotation Blocks

Each block consists of a four-week rotation. All inpatient rotations occur at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. Over the course of three years, pediatric residents are exposed to a variety of pediatric cases, ranging from the typical "bread and butter" to the highly subspecialty-based and complex

Inpatient Floor Rotation

Each of our three inpatient teams consist of 4-5 PL1 junior residents, 2-3 PL2/3 senior residents, and variable numbers of medical students. For the two larger teams (Rainbows and Ladders) with five juniors and three seniors, the teams are split into two “hemi-teams” for family-centered rounds. On all teams, PL1 residents typically have primary responsibility for five to nine patients. Family centered rounds are conducted on every team, every day.

  • Rainbows: Our hospitalists supervise the general pediatrics team, where our residents care for a wide variety of common and complex problems.
  • Stars: Our smallest inpatient team (four juniors, two seniors) covers the hematology/oncology service, which includes bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients.
  • Ladders: Patients admitted to other subspecialty services are cared for by the residents on the Ladders team. Our largest subspecialty inpatient services are Pulmonology, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology and Neurology.
  • There are no patient caps for any of the inpatient teams, as Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital accepts all patients who request our care, and we believe all patients deserve to be on a teaching service. At times of high census, all caregivers (faculty, fellows and others) pitch in to ensure that our patients receive the best quality care, while making sure our residents get the rest they need.
  • 24-hour call instead of night shifts? Yikes! Don’t let it scare you -- our residents love it and will love telling you why.

Pediatric Emergency Department

Our dedicated pediatric emergency department is a level 1 pediatric trauma center staffed and supervised by board-certified pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) attendings. Our robust emergency department is always busy and provides excellent exposure to a variety of pathology, as well as hands-on exposure to a variety of procedures. There are no PEM fellows, allowing residents to have high levels of autonomy in our high acuity ED.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

Rotations in the 18-bed Level I medical/surgical PICU occur in the second and third years. There, residents take primary responsibility for critically sick children with a variety of conditions, including trauma and post-operative cardiac surgery. There are no PICU fellows, allowing residents to have high levels of autonomy in our high acuity PICU.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Residents rotate in our 50-bed Level IV NICU yearly, starting in the first year, where they care for neonates with a wide variety of conditions.

Nursery

First year residents spend four weeks in the nursery at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, taking care of healthy newborns, giving anticipatory guidance, and guiding parents after the birth of their child.

Elective Rotations

We offer the full complement of core pediatric subspecialty rotations. In addition, each resident has several blocks in which they have the opportunity to determine their own curricula, including creating their own electives.

Continuity Clinic

Residents are allocated one half-day a week at one of nine clinic sites. These sites are located anywhere from five to 30 minutes away from the main hospital campus. Clinic sites range from hospital-based clinics, to community-based health centers, to private practices. The wide range of clinics offered allows residents to choose which type of outpatient pediatric clinic they would prefer. Additionally, all residents rotate through our hospital-based clinic.

Schedule by Year

PL1 Year

The PL1 year is inpatient-heavy, with half the year spent on our three inpatient teams – general pediatrics (hospitalist), mixed subspecialty, and hematology/oncology – each in equal measure. Call is every fourth or every fifth night. The remainder of the year includes a month each of NICU, ED, Well-Baby Nursery, Adolescent Medicine and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics, as well as a rotation devoted to improving residents' procedural and evidence-based medicine skills. During the non-inpatient rotations, the only in-hospital responsibilities are cross-coverage of the ED on weekends, usually two out of the four weeks.

PL2 Year

In PL2 year our residents take on supervisory responsibilities for their PL1 colleagues, and spend time exploring subspecialty interests and other individualized rotations. All PL2s have two half-months as inpatient team leader (again split among the three teams), plus one month each of NICU, ED, PICU, Community Pediatrics and Advocacy, and half a month at our on-campus Child Advocacy Center, the regional referral center for evaluation of non-accidental injuries and sexual trauma in children. The remaining time is spent on subspecialty rotations of the resident's choice (three months), plus two individual blocks, where residents may design their own rotations or choose from among other well-established ones; some popular choices include Research, Resident-as-Teacher, Lactation, and additional supervisory experience in the Well-Baby Nursery. Call on inpatient rotations ranges from every fourth (inpatient team supervisor) to every sixth (PICU) night. During non-inpatient rotations, call responsibilities consist either of ED cross-coverage (as above) or cross-coverage of one of the inpatient teams -- usually three to four calls over the months.

PL3 Year

Supervisory responsibilities expand in the PL3 year to include the intensive care units: a total of four half-months are spent supervising junior residents on the three inpatient teams, NICU and PICU. Call on these rotations is every fourth night. The only other required rotations are one month of ED and two weeks of Quality Improvement. The remaining half of the year is divided between elective subspecialties and individual rotations – three months of each. Most PL3 residents spend their individual rotations preparing for their planned careers: a resident planning a career in outpatient general pediatrics may spend a month at a clinic or private practice, a resident planning a career in emergency medicine may spend a month doing ultrasounds, a resident planning a career as a hospitalist may spend a month as a "pretending" (or "practice attending") hospitalist on the general pediatrics inpatient team, and so on. Residents who feel they need the time may also spend an individual month preparing for their pediatric board certification exam. Cross-coverage during these rotations is similar to PL2 year, and now also includes PICU coverage.

Plus

Residents attend their continuity clinic weekly throughout their training. All residents also have one call-free block; most residents use it during their PL3 year – this is a good time to do international rotations or rotations at other institutions if they wish. Many residents in the past have done away rotations at private offices, global health locations, and specialized departments at other hospitals. Additionally, all residents get at least five individualized blocks during PL-2 and PL-3 where they choose elective rotations that pertain to their own specific career goals.

 

 

PL1

PL2

PL3

Inpatient Pediatrics

General Pediatrics

8 weeks

 

 

 

Hematology/Oncology

8-10 weeks

 

 

 

Mixed Subspecialty

8-10 weeks

 

 

 

Inpatient Team Leader

 

10 weeks

10 weeks

 

Well-baby Nursery

4 weeks

 

 

Critical Care

PICU

 

4 weeks

6 weeks

 

NICU

4 weeks

4 weeks

2 weeks

Acute Care

Emergency Department

4 weeks

4 weeks

4 weeks

Subspecialty

Adolescent Medicine

4 weeks

 

 

 

Developmental

4 weeks

 

 


 

Subspecialty Elective

 

12 weeks

12 weeks

Additional Experiences

Community Pediatrics/Child Advocacy

 

6 weeks

 

 

Quality Improvement

 

 

2 weeks

 

Individualized Curriculum*

 

8 weeks

12 weeks

 

Procedures/Evidence-Based Medicine

2 weeks

 

 

 

Vacation

4 weeks

4 weeks

4 weeks

 

Sample Daily Schedule

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

7:00-8:00 a.m.

Pre-Round and Sign-Out

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Morning Report

Grand Rounds

Morning Report

9:00-11:30 a.m.

Family-Centered Rounds

11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Patient Care and Clinic Sign-Out

12:00-1:00 p.m.

Noon Conference

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Patient Care

[Continuity clinic conference for each resident, once per week from 1:00-1:30.]

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Patient Care

Hospitalist Didactics

Radiology Conference

Psychosocial Rounds 

Patient Care 

3:00-5:00 p.m.

Patient Care

5:00 p.m.

Sign-Out to Overnight Residents

 

Call Schedule

  • Call ranges from every fourth to every sixth night on all inpatient rotations,
  • Residents are guaranteed at least one full “golden” weekend off per inpatient rotation – either Friday afternoon to Monday morning off or Friday morning to Monday morning off.
  • On outpatient rotations, residents will be scheduled to either cover nights/weekends on an inpatient team or in the emergency department about three to four times per month. Residents are also guaranteed at least 1 full “golden” weekend off per outpatient rotation.
  • In the Emergency Department, residents have a shift schedule. Shifts range anywhere from seven to 12 hours in duration. There is a senior resident in the ED at all times. PL1 residents do not work overnight ED shifts.

24-Hour Call

During an inpatient 24-hour call shift, residents start at 7:00 with morning signout, and then continue the regular work day. At the end of the work day, at 5 p.m., residents receive evening signout from their co-residents to assume management of the patients on each designated inpatient team. The overnight team consists of one junior resident (PL-1) and one senior resident (PL-2 or PL-3) on the non-ICU inpatient teams, one junior (PL-2) and one senior (PL-3) resident in the PICU, and one resident (any level) and a fellow in the NICU. After signout, the on-call residents continue to manage the inpatient teams, attending to vital patient care, and taking on new patients/admissions from the ED throughout the night until signout at 7:00 a.m.

Our residents are always supported and never alone, as there is always a hospitalist, intensivist and ED attending in-house 24/7.

Pediatric Fellowships

Currently, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital offers Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)–accredited fellowships in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Pediatric Pulmonology, Pediatric Gastroenterology, and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Our fellows work directly with residents and provide a great source of education and learning in their specialty.

Resident-Run Initiatives

ChefMD: Our monthly cooking club

Buddy Program: A voluntary program to match interns with seniors to help ease the transition into residency

Diversity Committee: Organizes resident-led discussions about current issues in our community and the world. We are in the process of starting a White Coats 4 Black Lives chapter in our program, and are proud of our success in attracting outstanding residents from underrepresented groups to our program.

Advocacy Day: We pride ourselves in our engagement in group-level advocacy on multiple levels, including local (e.g., our Community Pediatrics and Advocacy rotation), regional (e.g., testifying before local governments in support of children’s health initiatives, and lobbying at our state capital annually), and national (e.g., completing a legislative advocacy rotation with the American Academy of Pediatrics in Washington, DC).

My CHOICE: Started by our residents in 2017, My CHOICE is an elementary school-based program with the goal of educating students on the importance of making good decisions about healthy food.

Wellness

At Maria Fareri, we wholeheartedly support efforts to maintain the emotional and mental wellness of our residents. With the introduction of a Wellness Curriculum in 2019 and the development of our Wellness Committee, we have initiated a program-wide culture shift to recognize and address the challenges associated with being a modern physician. With that, we have dedicated educational time to 18 annual wellness sessions that include didactics and experiential conferences. These introduce residents to concepts of stress management and mindfulness, while practicing talk therapy and meditation. We invite you to join us in this exciting new wave of introspection as we learn to be the best version of ourselves as practicing physicians.

Additionally, there is a wellness committee run by pediatric residents that organizes monthly wellness and social events inside and outside the hospital. Before COVID, residents got together for monthly activities such as hiking, going to the beach, going to the park, and getting dinner. Now during COVID, we maintain social distancing, but still practice wellness via Zoom get-togethers.


Fellowship Matches

We are proud of our residents’ success in obtaining competitive fellowship positions in the fields of their choice.

2020

2019

2018

2017

Adolescent Medicine

University of Miami

Allergy/Immunology

Downstate

Cardiology

Children's National

Cohen Children's 

Hematology/Oncology

MD Anderson

Hospitalist

New York Presbyterian Columbia/Cornell

Infectious Disease

Children's National

Rheumatology

Penn State

Nephrology

Montefiore

Allergy/Immunology

Cohen Children’s

Critical Care

Cohen Children’s

Montefiore

Virginia Commonwealth University

Emergency Medicine

University of Connecticut

UT Houston at Texas Medical Center

Global Health

Boston Children's 

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

University of Florida

Pulmonology

Johns Hopkins

Rheumatology

Montefiore

Critical Care

University of Arkansas

Emergency Medicine

Jacobi Medical Center

Oklahoma State University

Endocrinology

New York Presbyterian/Cornell

Infectious Disease

Children's National (2)

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Mount Sinai

Westchester Medical Center

Penn State

Child Abuse

Brown

Critical Care

Montefiore

Gastroenterology

Yale

UCLA

Emergency Medicine

Cohen Children’s

Jacobi Medical Center

SUNY Downstate

Hematology/Oncology

DuPont

Cohen Children’s

New York University

Pulmonology

Cincinnati Children's 

Nephrology:

Mount Sinai

Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine

Brown

Westchester Medical Center

Current Pediatric Residents

Chief Residents 

Chief Resident
2021-2022
Chief Resident
2021-2022

Paul Mandaro, MD  
Medical School: SUNY Downstate  
Hometown: 
Copiague, NY 
Career Goals: 
Hospitalist Medicine 
Hobbies: Music playing/recording/production, cooking, and computer building
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The culture of compassion and support built for everyone who steps through the door.

Deena Miller, MD 
Medical School: New York Medical College 
Hometown: 
Woodmere, New York 
Career Goals: 
knowledgeable and well respected pediatrician (outpatient)
Hobbies: spending time with family and friends, baking, sports  
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The awesome people!             

 

PL-3
Class of 2022
PL-2
Class of 2023
PL-1
Class of 2024
     
 

Chiamaka Agbasionwe, MD
Medical School: New York Medical College
Hometown: Nigerian born, Brooklyn raised
Career goals: Specialty
Hobbies: Writing, Reading self-help/business books/romance novels, Daydreaming if that counts
Favorite thing about the program/MFCH: 
Transparency from program leadership, bubbly residents and a beautifully constructed hospital

 

Yaritzy Michelle Astudillo, MD 
Medical School:  New York Medical College 
Hometown: 
Valley Stream, New York
Career Goals: 
Nephrology
Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, foodie adventures, the arts, and of course the Netflix binge 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The atmosphere of warmth, growth and support, which is a constant.

 

Carol Abraham, MD

Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine 

Moshe Apfel, MD  
Medical School: Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson  
Hometown: 
Teaneck, NJ 
Career Goals: 
General Pediatrics 
Hobbies: Tennis, watching sports, spending time with my wife and kids
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
My amazing co-residents and the extremely supportive program leadership make MFCH a great place to work! 

Dan Brady, DO 
Medical School: TouroCOM Harlem 
Hometown: 
Berkeley, CA 
Career Goals: 
Gen peds
Hobbies: Hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, ice climbing, cooking and baking
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The community of physicians

 

Jacqueline Benayoun, MD

Medical School: SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

Kristina Bezdickova, DO 
Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Middletown 
Hometown: 
Central Valley, NY
Career Goals: 
Pediatric Cardiology or PICU
Hobbies: Reading, exercising, Netflix, traveling hanging out with friends 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The hospital design. The appearance alone can help kids and families (as well as employees) forget they're actually in a hospital.

 

Christopher Ikenna Chukwurah MBBS, MPH 
Medical School: University of Nigeria Nsukka 
Hometown: 
Enugu, Nigeria 
Career Goals: 
Pediatric gastroenterology
Hobbies: Playing and watching games like football and basketball. I like to workout.
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
It was clear that everyone in the program acted as one family and genuinely cared for each other. The residents were amazing and kind.

 
 

Maria Cabrera Hernandez, MD

Medical School: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud

Ramon Cabrera, MD
Medical School: Albert Einstein School of Medicine   
Hometown: 
Colmar Manor, MD
Career Goals: 
Hematology/Oncology
Hobbies: Cooking, karaoke, collecting sneakers, basketball  
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The people.

 

Victoria (Tori) Close, MD 
Medical School: University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine
Hometown: 
Greenwich, CT
Career Goals: 
Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Cardiology, or Pediatric Critical Care
Hobbies: Plants, salsa dancing, pinball, hiking, getting outside! 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The residents were so happy and friendly. There seemed to be strong mentorship, and everyone acted like one big family!

 
 

Haya Chaudhury, DO

Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Taya Carpenter, DO 
Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.  
Hometown: 
New York, NY   
Career Goals:
Undecided
Hobbies: Reading, cooking, yoga, ballet, and the beach 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
My co-residents!

 

Max Cohen, DO
Medical School: NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hometown: 
Brooklyn, NY
Career Goals: 
Pediatric Cardiology, Hematology/Oncology, Critical Care, Palliative Care
Hobbies: I enjoy running, community service, and learning new things. Most recently, I have started learning to play piano. 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
My favorite thing about Maria Fareri on interview day was traveling through the history of the hospital and feeling like I was part of something more than just healing people, but a child's fantastical vision to heal all children everywhere. 

 
 

Madhurima Chowdhury, MD

Medical School: New York Medical College

Elysia Cohen, MD 
Medical School: Loma Linda University 
Hometown: 
Bronx, NY 
Career Goals: 
Undecided
Hobbies: Singing 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
My co-residents


Elissa Dunlap, DO 
Medical School: Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hometown: 
Southlake, TX
Career Goals: 
Pediatric subspecialty (haven't decided yet)
Hobbies: Running, biking, cooking
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
I was drawn to Maria Fareri Children's Hospital because it has every pediatric subspecialty in-house, a diverse patient population, and referral centers from a broad geographical range.

             

 

 

Coby Dorfman, MD

Medical School: New York Medical College

Charne Delport, DO 
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine  
Hometown: 
Roanoke, VA 
Career Goals: 
General Pediatrics 
Hobbies: Crafting of any sort! Sewing, crochet/knitting, baking, painting
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
There are so many! The wide variety of pathology that we can see at any given time and the amazing teaching opportunities. We also became very close quickly, and it has been so easy to ask questions and learn with everyone!


Svetlana Duvidovich, DO 
Medical School: A.T. Still University-SOMA 
Hometown: 
Brooklyn, NY 
Career Goals: 
Peds Specialty (PEM or GI)
Hobbies: Cooking (and eating), finding the best cup of coffee, yoga, dance, family/friend time
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The people. Everyone spoke so highly of the program and most importantly of each other. I knew I could get an incredible education here, while also feeling supported. Also, the hospital looks like a real life toy house! 


 

Irene Fosu Apraku, MD

Medical School: Meharry Medical College School of Medicine

Rachel Finkel, MD 
Medical School: New York Medical College  
Hometown: 
Cleveland, OH 
Career Goals: 
Undecided
Hobbies: Trying to not buy all of Home Goods, reading a good novel, pretending to be a party planner 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
Of course the people! Super interesting pathology and the family nature of the program. 


Aliza Grabie, MD 
Medical School: New York Medical College
Hometown: 
Montreal, Canada
Career Goals: 
General Pediatrics
Hobbies: Hanging out with my family and friends, reading, hiking, watching Netflix 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The supportive learning environment, the camaraderie among the residents, incredible attendings, and diverse pathology.

             

 

 

Rachel Gecelter, DO

Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Rachel Friedmann, DO 
Medical School: NYIT-College of Osteopathic Medicine 
Hometown: 
Oceanside, NY
Career Goals: 
Hematology/Oncology
Hobbies: Trying new candy! Skiing. Hanging out with friends and family. Wine nights.
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
Absolutely my co-residents! Also, the piglet display in the lobby!


Brian Gu, MD 
Medical School: Rutgers NJMS
Hometown: 
Paramus NJ
Career Goals: 
PICU
Hobbies:  League of Legends, computer hardware
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
Down to earth and easy to talk to residents 


 

Shoshana Howarth, DO

Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Aaron Grubner, MD 
Medical School: University of Maryland SOM  
Hometown: 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Career Goals: 
PICU or NICU or ED 
Hobbies: Ice hockey, hanging out with my wonderful wife and our 2 little boys :)
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The camaraderie among the residents - and the cool fish tank in the lobby! 

Marilyn Huamantla, MD 
Medical School: Albany Medical School/Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education 
Hometown: 
Jackson Heights, NY/Hempstead, NY 
Career Goals: 
Undecided in terms of specialty
Hobbies: I love to try new foods, binge-watch TV shows, watch movies of different genres, and I love to dance (bachata & cumbia fanatic). 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
As a lover of all things Halloween, my favorite thing about the program was the themed costumes! The creativity is pure genius! 


 

Bradley Hutton, DO

Medical School: Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Josh Hanau, MD
Medical School: New York Medical College  
Hometown: 
Woodmere, NY 
Career Goals: 
TBD
Hobbies: Cooking, watching documentaries on Netflix, dreaming about traveling
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
People and beautiful hospital!


Chantel Johnson
Medical School: Howard University College of Medicine
Hometown: 
Stamford, CT
Career Goals: 
If not Gen Peds, then Cardio or Hem/Onc
Hobbies: Cooking; Drawing/Painting; Relaxing with friends, a good book, or a movie
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The people and educational opportunities


 

Sarah Korn, DO

Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dana Convissar Kessler, DO
Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Middletown 
Hometown: 
Great Neck, NY 
Career Goals: 
Pediatric Hospitalist
Hobbies: Reading, baking, barre, hiking, Netflix 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
I love that the hospital was designed to be so kid-friendly. It’s a fun and beautiful place to come to work everyday. Plus the support we get from the chiefs and attendings is amazing!

 

Ariella Kashi, MD 
Medical School: Technion American Medical School 
Hometown: 
Holmdel, NJ 
Career Goals: 
Global health; either general pediatrics or pediatric neurology
Hobbies: Hiking/outdoor activities, traveling, cooking
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
As soon as we matched, the incoming intern class had a virtual match party with the program. We haven't met each other in person yet, but since then we've all been chatting every day on WhatsApp. 

 
 

Jun Young Kwak, DO

Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Sepeedeh Kermalli, DO
Medical School: West Virginia School of Osteopathic  
Hometown: 
Champlin, MN 
Career Goals: 
Hospitalist Medicine/Critical Care 
Hobbies: Playing volleyball, spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants and exploring NYC! 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
Our MFCH family


Yevgeniy Liverant, MD 
Medical School: New York Medical College
Hometown: 
Brooklyn, NY
Career Goals: 
Pediatric Cardiology
Hobbies: I really enjoy playing guitar, watching movies, tinkering with computers, and trying new foods with my friends. 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
My favorite thing about MFCH Peds is the atmosphere. Everyone is really close and welcoming. Everyone! Although I've never been a patient here, I'll be sure to bring my kids to MFCH for their care. 


 

Sabrina Libretti, DO

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Seton Hill

Nevine Macalintal, MD 
Medical School: St. George 
Hometown: 
Fairfax, VA 
Career Goals: 
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Hobbies: Soul-Cycle and Window Shopping (a girl can dream right??) 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The amazing mentorship and support in career goals and development.

Wenona Lok, DO 
Medical School: NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hometown: 
Brooklyn, NY
Career Goals: 
NICU or hospitalist
Hobbies: Improving my tennis skills, walking dogs that I wish were mine, and being adventurous with the people I care about. 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The people here are welcoming, thoughtful, and willing to go the extra mile! Also, who doesn’t enjoy seeing a giant fish tank!? 

           

 

 

Matthew Macoul, DO

Medical School: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Shanel Mehta, DO 
Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - Harlem  
Hometown: 
 Edison, NJ
Career Goals: 
PICU/Global Health
Hobbies: Cooking, lifting, dancing, traveling, singing like no ones listening & the great outdoors 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The extremely supportive co-residents, beautifully themed and decorated units and diversity/complexity of cases!


Angelo Louvros, DO 
Medical School: Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hometown: Manassas, Virginia
Career Goals: General Pediatrics
Hobbies: Wood work, fishing, running, and anything involving babies
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The family atmosphere. Maria Fareri's felt like home on interview day. Also, the hospital itself is beautiful and very kid-friendly. Would not want to be anywhere else.


 

Matthew Moore, DO

Medical School: Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Samantha Pravder, DO
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 
Hometown: Great Neck, NY
Career Goals: 
To heal all the tummies as a pediatric gastroenterologist! 
Hobbies: Baking and trying new restaurants 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The beautiful campus and hospital and the best co-residents. Also, the most supportive seniors - you are never alone!


Alexis Mandon, MB, BCh, BAO
Medical School: University College Dublin School of Medicine
Hometown: 
Great Neck, NY 
Career Goals: 
Specialty - Cardiology
Hobbies: Fencing, Yoga, Weightlifting, High Intensity Interval Training, Skiing, reading a good book, and I love a good Netflix Binge!
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
All of the residents got along so well with each other; it was such a warm environment full of teamwork and camaraderie! I felt like I was welcome and fit in, and I knew I wanted these to be my co-residents for the next journey of my career. Also, the hospital is like Disney World on each ward, and I love Disney!

 

 

Jai Photavath

Medical School: George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Roma Shah, DO
Medical School: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine 
Hometown: 
Bakersfield, CA 
Career Goals: 
General Pediatrics
Hobbies: Cooking, dance, traveling, binge watching shows 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
My favorite thing about our program is my co-residents. What I love about the program when I interviewed here was that it seemed like all the residents were really close, and after being here I realized how true that was. I have made some amazing friendships and learned so much from the co-residents. And I love how everyone is always willing to help each other out.


Anshu Patel, MD 
Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Hometown: 
Edison, NJ
Career Goals: 
Most likely pediatric cardiology
Hobbies: Drawing, photography, trying not to suck at video games, and tennis
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The location, our supportive co-residents, and our very personable PD  


 

Catelyn Rueger, DO

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie

Olivia Shyong, DO 
Medical School: LECOM - Seton Hill 
Hometown: 
San Jose, CA
Career Goals: 
 Likely PICU or NICU
Hobbies: Baking, Netflix, hanging out with my kitties, hiking 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
My co-residents! Everyone is so friendly here and it's a supportive environment to learn and grow. We see lots of awesome cases here.


Dave Plaza, MD 
Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine
Hometown: 
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Career Goals: 
To be the best pediatrician I can be!
Hobbies: Hiking for Mushrooms, Botany, Classical Art and Music, Poetry, Computer Science, Bicycling and Running, Exploring New Cuisines!
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
How happy the residents were about the quality of training and sense of community here. 


           

 

Lauren Santos, MD

Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine

Keila Sole, DO 
Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine  
Hometown: 
Southwick, MA 
Career Goals: 
General Pediatrics  
Hobbies: Traveling, trying new restaurants, the beach, nutrition, hot yoga, Bravo 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The support and guidance I’ve received from my senior and co-residents have been invaluable during my transition from medical student to resident. 


Menachem Rimler, MD 
Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Hometown: 
Queens, NY
Career Goals: 
Cardiology . . . Maybe?
Hobbies: Listening to Podcasts, Driving, Binge-watching TV, Reading books with my wife and daughter (not all at the same time).
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
Incredibly supportive administration and co-residents. 



           

 

Eliana Segal, MD

Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Daniel Steiner, MD 
Medical School: Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell  
Hometown: 
San Carlos, CA 
Career Goals: 
Undecided
Hobbies: Playing board games, running, singing
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The location and the people 

 


 

Christine Vu, DO

Medical School: A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA)

Heidy Wang, MD 
Medical School: Albert Einstein Medical School 
Hometown: 
Los Angeles, CA 
Career Goals: 
To be the best pediatrician for my patients as I can be
Hobbies: Sleeping in, watching anime, art, yoga, singing 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: 
The staff, residents, and my fellow co-interns have been so amazing and supportive, the hospital is beautiful inside and out, and I love walking by the aquarium and gardens every day!


 


 

Rebecca Wachter, MD 
Medical School: New York Medical College 
Hometown: 
Edgemont, NY 
Career Goals: 
Undecided
Hobbies: Hanging out with friends and family, basketball, soccer, anything outdoors
 
Favorite thing about the Program/MFCH: The people, definitely! (With Sandlot
on repeat in the lobby as a close second...)  


 


 

Past Pediatric Residents

Class of 2021

Olubusayo Mercy Akinyemi, MD 
Najveen Alvi, MD
Junhong Ao, DO
Clare Bozso, DO 
Kayleigh Clark, MD
Stefanie Kagan, DO 
Sonam Kapoor, DO
Jennifer Kaswick, MD 
Nasim Khattab, MD
Julia Kim, DO 
Blake LeGrand, MD 
Amy Lu, MD 
Paul Mandaro, MD  
Deena Miller, MD 
Catherine Murphy, MD
Melani Olivares, MD  
Kelly Parness, DO  
Rachel Ronau, DO 
Nehal Shah, DO 
Chantal Talmor, MD
Kristen Wallace, DO



Resident Life

Our program prides itself on establishing close bonds among co-residents from day one. From our intensive orientation to the final days at the graduation dinner, we truly become a family.

Maria Fareri Children's Hospital (MFCH) is located in Westchester County, New York. We are in the historic Hudson Valley region, 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan, and surrounded by the gorgeous Hudson River and Long Island Sound.

New York City is directly south of Westchester County, and Grand Central Station can be reached from MFCH by a 30-minute drive or a 25-minute train ride. NYC offers everything: a picnic in Central Park, cityscapes on the "Top-of-the Rock" at Rockefeller Center, Broadway shows, the Bronx Zoo, professional sports (the Yankees, the Knicks, the Rangers, the Giants, and the Jets), concerts, and some of the best and most diverse restaurants in the world.

Quick access to New York City is only one of the benefits of living in Westchester County. MFCH is a quick, 5-minute drive away from White Plains, which is the commercial and cultural hub of Westchester County. It offers an active nightlife, fine dining, performance arts, great living accommodations, and many shopping centers. It is the most popular place to live among our residents, although many of our residents commute from NYC.

The Hudson Valley region offers enormous opportunity for outdoor activity of all types: hiking, cycling, climbing, and just relaxing. One highlight is Bear Mountain State Park, a 40-minute drive north of MFCH. Located on the west bank of the Hudson River, this park offers hiking, biking and cross-country skiing along the Appalachian Trail, shaded picnic and camping areas, and opportunities for lake and river fishing. There are many beaches lining the Hudson River, Long Island Sound, and Atlantic Ocean, all within easy driving distance from MFCH.

Westchester has everything you'll need for creating a wonderful living experience.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital

Halloween Fun; Disney Heroes vs Villains

Thanksgiving Potluck

Birthday Celebrations

Baby Shower Celebrations

Class of 2021 at their Intern Outing!

Class of 2022 at their (masked but not particularly socially-distanced) Intern Retreat!

Our monthly End of Block Rotation Parties!

Advocating for children at AAP Advocacy Day in Albany

Explore Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Westchester Magazine

Hudson Valley



How to Apply

Our residency program participates in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Our ACGME Identification Number is: 3203511176. Applications are only accepted through ERAS. Applicants may apply to three-year categorical pediatric positions, as well as one-year and two-year pediatric preliminary positions.

Application Requirements

Through ERAS, please submit the following:

  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Photograph (optional)
  • Medical School transcript
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) Letter
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • USMLE scores
  • If applicable, your standard certificate from the ECFMG. This is required prior to the start of residency.

Match Timeline

ERAS Opening Day: October 21, 2020

Applicant Interviews: Tuesdays and Thursdays, October through February

Match Day: March 19, 2021

Pediatric Orientation: Last two weeks of June 2021

Pediatric Residency Start Date: July 1st, 2021

Criteria for Selection to Interview

We take a holistic approach to application review and have no specific cutoffs. We accept both USMLE and COMLEX scores.

Interviews

All applications received prior to November 15 will receive equal consideration. Interviews will be offered throughout the season on a rolling basis, and interviews will be sent throughout the season as new slots open up. Interviews for invited applicants will be offered via Zoom, the video conferencing platform. During the interview, the applicant will be able to watch and participate in morning report, learn about the program from the director, interview with faculty, virtually tour the hospital, and chat with residents during (virtual) lunch.

Meet-and-Greets

This year, these get-togethers will occur virtually over Zoom. Applicants invited to interview will receive a schedule of these events; an interactive activity is planned for each.

Contact Us

For More Information About Our Program…

Ms. Woolf (Coordinator) - beth_woolf@nymc.edu
Dr. Kapklein (Director) - Matthew_Kapklein@nymc.edu
Drs. Kristen Wallace and Kayleigh Klose (Chief Residents) - WestPeds@wmchealth.org
914.493.6669 or 914.493.6447