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ETSU Family Physicians of Johnson City

Residency Programs

Johnson City Residents

 

Dr. Chris Bridges

Chris Bridges, M.D.

PGY-III Resident Physician & Chief Resident

 

 

 

 

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I grew up in the upstate of South Carolina and attended Clemson University for my undergraduate education. I then attended the Medical University of South Carolina for medical school in Charleston. I was fortunate to attend school in such a lively and beautiful area. My passion for medicine includes serving a diverse population with varying pathologies and needs as well as developing a medical home to allow for the best possible coordination of care. I have enjoyed the opportunity to do this during residency in Johnson City.

I love being outside and the mountains are my preferred landscape for recreation. I am an avid disc golf player and camper and look forward to studying in an area that provides outlets in the great outdoors.

 

Dr. Jeffrey Ham

Jeffrey Ham, D.O.

PGY-III Resident Physician & Chief Resident

 

 

 

 

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I was born and raised in Mount Holly, North Carolina and received a Bachelor degree in chemistry from The University of North Carolina Wilmington. I attended medical school and Lincoln Memorial University- DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. My many interest in medicine and alternative therapies persuaded me into coming to ETSU Johnson City Family Medicine.

After residency I plan to do a fellowship in Sports Medicine, and hopefully use my talents in OMT to help young athletes. I am married to Ashley, whom I met in medical school and has been a wonderful addition to my life ever since. In my free time I enjoy spending time with her, playing golf, and enjoying the outside world.

 

Dr. Dru Herring

Dru Herring, D.O.

PGY-III Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I'm from Florida where I grew up hiking, swimming, and playing sports. My interest in physical health and wellness led to a career as a licensed massage therapist, where I gained firsthand experience of the profound power of hands-on healing. After completing my undergraduate studies in theater at the New College of Florida, I obtained a master's degree in women's health from the University of South Florida with research in raw food nutrition and holistic approaches to pelvic pain. I eventually realized that becoming a family medicine physician was the way for me to do the most good for the most people. This led to medical school at LECOM in Bradenton, FL where I participated in research investigating the effects of osteopathic manipulative therapy on depression. My goal as a physician is to use as many useful tools as I can to help my patients, and I am thrilled to be a part of the energetic, forward-thinking, collaborative Family Medicine program in Johnson City!

In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, meditation, healthy cooking, hiking, and travel.

 

Dr. Adam Myers

Adam Myers, M.D.

PGY-III Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I am from a small town in Southern Middle Tennessee. We actually just installed our 3rd red light! I went to Maryville College near Knoxville, Tennessee, for my undergraduate education and University of Tennessee in Memphis for medical school. I love to travel, which has opened my eyes to the great need for doctors in underserved areas abroad as well as in the United States. I greatly enjoy the diverse residency training at ETSU. My interests range from preventative and lifestyle medicine to wilderness medicine, and Johnson City is the perfect location for all of the areas I want to explore.

As far as hobbies, I grew up on Tims Ford Lake, so I love anything involving water and the outdoors. Specifically I enjoy wakeboarding, stand-up paddling, whitewater kayaking, cycling, snow skiing, triathlons, camping and hiking, just to scratch the surface.

 

Dr. John Ross

John Ross, M.D.

PGY-III Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I grew up in a small town in northern Mississippi. My grandfather had a family medicine clinic there. I saw how much he loved taking care of patients. This drew me to wanting to be a doctor, and ultimately to Johnson City for residency. College football was one of the things I was most passionate about when I was younger. I started going to Ole Miss football games when I was about five. We had a group from my hometown that tailgated in the Grove at Ole Miss. The tailgating, friendly atmosphere and excitement of the games hooked me on Ole Miss football. I still go to several of the home SEC games every year and tailgate with the group from my hometown. I went to undergraduate at Ole Miss and medical school at the University of Mississippi.

During my interview in Johnson City, I was drawn by the friendliness and hospitality of the residents and staff. The facilities are excellent and it's a satisfying place to work. I have always loved the mountains. I enjoy hiking, rafting, and other outdoor activities the area has to offer. One of my favorite activities is reading. I am a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, John Grisham and Jane Austen. I also love theatre, attending church activities, and playing tennis. I am happy to be in an area with people that share my same passion for college football with an SEC foe, the Volunteers.

 

Dr. Becca Sacora

Becca Sacora, M.D.

PGY-III Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I was raised in a tiny place called Podunk. And, just as the name implies, it is nestled deep in the wooded hills of the beautiful bluegrass state of Kentucky, as rural and remote as cartoons traditionally depict. I grew up playing outdoors with my brother and dreaming of seeing the world, going to college, and helping people. My journey in life has seen these dreams come to fruition.

Academically, I have been privileged to graduate from Murray State University with a B.S. and M.S. in Economics, Northern Arizona University with a post-Bachelor degree in Biomedical Science, and most recently from St. Georges University with a M.D. in Medicine. Vocationally, I have had the fortune to work in the wilderness doing adventure guiding and chemical dependency counseling, on an ambulance bringing emergency relief to the communities of northern Arizona, and in Haiti volunteering emergency medical services after the earthquake in 2010. Personally, I am honored to be a loved member of a creative, healthy, and loving family with whom I attribute my best characteristics and to be a friend to many wonderful people from all over the world that teach me daily of the values of life and love.

Today, you will find me in one of two settings: The first setting is in the hospital or behind a computer honing my medical knowledge and gaining clinical experience as I become a healer to rural communities by providing both prevention and treatment. My long term career goals is to bring emergency medical relief to remote locations within the USA, volunteer as a doctor abroad, give back to the medical community by teaching and participating in research, and integrate healing practices that take into account mind, body, and spirit. The second setting is outside mountain biking, hiking, camping, TRX workouts, playing guitar, gardening, traveling, listening to music, and having long conversations over a good cup of coffee.

 

Dr. Shelby Deuser

Shelby Deuser, D.O.

PGY-II Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I’m from Sugar Hill, Georgia, a suburb just north of Atlanta. I grew up playing music, and originally studied music, playing piano in several rock bands. However, a diet and lifestyle based self-healing experience in my early 20’s led me to return to school to study biochemistry. My BS and MS degrees in chemistry are both from Georgia State University, where I worked in a biophysical chemistry lab. Eventually I realized that I was really interested in medicine, as I wanted to understand healing in my own body and use this knowledge to help other people.

I am passionate about holistic medicine, and believe that you can’t separate body, mind, and spirit –especially in healing. I was attracted to Johnson City because of the innovative and positive culture of the program, as well as the opportunities in Integrative Medicine and OMT.

I also love the mountains! I enjoy spending time with my husband, Karl, and Australian Cattle Dog, Kyra. My hobbies include martial arts (especially BJJ), yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, playing the piano, and various creative endeavors.

 

Dr. Kevin Metzger

Kevin Metzger, D.O.

PGY-II Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I grew up in Richmond, Virginia and had the privilege of being homeschooled along with my two younger brothers. For undergrad, I completed a Sports Medicine/Exercise Science degree from Campbellsville University in Central Kentucky. While there I assisted in the athletic training room as a student trainer working with various collegiate sports. My education continued in eastern Kentucky at the University of Pikeville College of Osteopathic Medicine where I earned my degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I enjoy running outdoors, playing and watching most sports, but most of all football, playing keyboard for my church, and spending time with my beautiful wife. She recently completed her master’s degree in elementary education and is an amazing teacher. 

What attracted me to the ETSU Johnson City Family Medicine Residency Program was the very kind and friendly staff, knowledgeable attendings, and the unique patient centered medical home approach they take. I am very excited to become a family medicine physician and then to complete a Sports Medicine fellowship with the ultimate goal of being a primary care sports medicine doctor. I believe my hands-on medicine training with Osteopathic Manipulative Techniques will give my patients the best care possible, especially my athletes.

 

Dr. Brandon Mizell

Brandon Mizell, M.D.

PGY-II Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I grew up in the Low country of South Carolina and attended Charleston Southern University for my undergraduate education in Biochemistry and Biology. I hold a Master’s degree in Cytology from the Medical University of South Carolina, and I completed my medical education at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. I was drawn to the Johnson City Family Medicine residency program at ETSU for their emphasis on integrative medicine, physician well-being, and the friendliness of the staff and clinicians. After I complete my residency training I see myself practicing outpatient family medicine or pursuing specialty fellowship training. I enjoy the opportunities to providing holistic care to patients and their families while promoting effective alternative methods of managing challenging conditions.

When I am not practicing medicine, my wife and I enjoy hiking trails through the mountains, grilling out, traveling, and vacationing on the Gulf coast every chance we get. We welcomed our first child last summer.

 

Dr. Luke Spencer

Luke Spencer, M.D.

PGY-II Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and received a biology degree from North Carolina State University. I received my M.D. from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Some notable events transpired between growing up and graduating; but convention relegates me to these particulars. I have arrived at my current station in life by a series of events which I cannot describe as anything less than Providential. Inexorably, I am left to conclude that Medicine is a calling. This makes each patient an opportunity to fulfill this mandate; so I ask anyone reading this to hold me accountable.

Outside of Medicine, I am gripped by an intense love for the coast. I enjoy board sports, mountain biking, and cooking. I think the best corporal sensation a human can feel is that of a free-fall.

 

Dr. Katherine Stone

Katherine Stone, D.O.

PGY-II Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I was born and raised in Crossville, Tennessee. It was in my hometown that I developed my interest in medicine. As a small child, I was exposed to the medical field through my mother, who worked for a local physician. Growing up in this environment allowed me to become comfortable and interested in pursuing the medical field. I obtained my bachelors of science degree at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. I then attended medical school at Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. After my time in Johnson City, I fell in love with the mountains and outdoorsy environment the community had to offer. It was this love for not only the city, but also the genuinely friendly townsfolk that interested me in returning for residency.

The majority of my interests include many outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing, all of which are offered in abundance in this mountainous city. I also enjoy spending my free time with both friends and family. In addition, I have now been on two medical mission trips to Guatemala in an attempt to service those less fortunate and in medical need. Because of my choice of a family medicine residency, I hope to continue to pursue this growing passion of servicing those who are in need of proper healthcare. The Johnson City Family Medicine Residency Programs prepares me for such mission trips and provides me with the opportunity to give back to those in this local community that I have come to love.

 

Dr. Richard Veerman

Richard Veerman, M.D.

PGY-II Resident Physician

 

 

 

 

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I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, hailing from Vancouver British Columbia, where I lived for the first seventeen years of my life. Loving to travel and see new places, I decided to apply to schools on the east coast and received my undergraduate degree in biomedical and environmental engineering from Duke University, where I became an avid Blue Devil and a member of the Cameron Crazies, before choosing a career in medicine. I attended the Ross University School of Medicine which holds the first two years of its program on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean. I was able to squeeze in hiking some of the island’s tropical forest, and obtain my scuba diving certification while there.

I was attracted to the Johnson City Family Medicine Residency Program because of its integrative medicine program, rural location, and the chance to live in a new area. I love family medicine because of the focus on the patient relationship and the ability to practice preventative medicine on the front lines. I am happy to serve the population of Johnson City and surrounding area. Also, it’s great to experience the beautiful outdoors of the nearby Appalachians. Other than my passion for the outdoors, I enjoy playing pretty much any sport, but in particular soccer, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and skiing. I also love to read, especially science fiction and fantasy, and to try new foods.

 

Dalila Aguilar

Dalila Aguilar, M.D.

PGY-I Resident Physician



 


 

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I’m from northern California where I learned to love salads, avocados, and frigid yet awesome beaches. I developed an interest in science and attended the University of California Davis for a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in music. Later, I was accepted into Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing and Flint, Michigan where I learned about community medicine and international work in El Salvador and most recently Vietnam. My favorite moments in family medicine are when my patients and I build steps towards lasting and healthy changes together. Today, I feel honored to work with the beautiful people of rural, southern Appalachia with my warm, inspiring, and talented ETSU family.

In terms of hobbies, I enjoy traveling, photography, reading, speaking Spanish and French, and trying new things - most recently rock climbing. On my evenings off, I might be enjoying television dramas like Scandal and artistic movies like Amélie.

 

Erin Dennis

Erin Dennis, D.O.

PGY-I Resident Physician



 


 

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Originally from the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, I’ve always been drawn to the mountains. After completing undergraduate degrees in both biology and history from the University of South Carolina, I finally made it to the mountains! I attended medical school at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, VA where my love of Appalachia grew. I am so thrilled to continue my journey through medicine with a new mountain view in Johnson City.

Within the medical field, my interests lie in integrative and preventative medicine, as well as osteopathic manipulative medicine. I plan to practice in an out-patient setting with a diverse patient population where I will emphasize these aspects in the care of my patients. I am a firm believer in individualized and holistic patient care, and felt that Johnson City would be an excellent fit for my family as well as my medical training.

I’ve successfully convinced my coast-loving husband that mountain living is the life for us and our baby girl. Prior to the birth of our daughter, I enjoyed hiking with my two dogs, crafting projects, rock climbing, and any outdoor sport. I know that raising our daughter in the mountains will provide ample opportunities for our family to be outdoors together, and hopefully instill in her a sense of awe and wonder at the brilliance of nature.

 

Todd Leibowitz

Todd Leibowitz, D.O.

PGY-I Resident Physician



 


 

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I am from northeast Florida where the only seasons include “hot” and “hotter.” I grew up in Jacksonville, and I broke the mold by becoming the first doctor in my family. I attended Tulane University for my undergraduate training, then earned my master’s degree at The University of South Florida, and completed medical school at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, FL.

I pursued family medicine because it allows me to provide long-term care to multiple generations. It emphasizes preventative medicine and encourages a truly holistic approach to patient care. ETSU and Johnson City offer the ideal mix of community medicine, outdoor activities, and cultural opportunities. I am ecstatic to take on my journey in residency and the next chapter in my life.

Outside of medicine I enjoy playing soccer, exercising, traveling, science fiction, and spending time with my family, friends, and dog.

 

Robyn Long

Robyn Long, D.O.

PGY-I Resident Physician



 


 

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I was born and raised in Winter Haven, Florida and was the first in my family to attend college. I competed for over a decade as a figure skater. I realized my passion for medicine when I began volunteering at a local nursing home. I attended the University of South Florida to pursue my calling and obtained two degrees in medical science. I subsequently completed medical school at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, FL.

My experiences in the community and as a teacher have impressed upon me the importance of preventative medicine and community health. When selecting a residency program, I knew ETSU was perfect fit because I instantly felt like part of the family. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities before me!

Outside of medicine, I enjoy working out, traveling and vegan baking.

 

Amit Patel

Amit Patel, M.D.

PGY-I Resident Physician



 



 

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I was born in Pensacola, Florida and raised in Asheville, NC.  After graduating with a degree in economics from Boston University, I spent time working in the hospitality and banking industries, but then decided to change course and pursue a career in medicine. I completed pre-medical coursework at the University of North Carolina Asheville and then attended medical school at Ross University on the beautiful Caribbean island of Dominica. After spending 16 months in Dominica, I completed the majority of my clinical clerkships and electives in Miami and Atlanta. 

I am so excited to be joining the ETSU and Johnson City communities. During my interview, I fell in love with the natural scenery of the Tri-Cities and the friendly folks. 

I enjoy spending time outdoors, whether it be playing sports, gardening, or taking my hound dog for walks. My wife, Holly, and I love to cook together. We are constantly trying new recipes and tweaking old ones.

 

Benjamin Whitfield

Benjamin Whitfield, D.O.

PGY-I Resident Physician



 


 

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I grew up in a tiny town in the foothills of Georgia and in Chattanooga. I was privileged to earn my undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and my master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City. I completed basic medical requirements at Temple University and earned my medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Before I became a lifelong student, I worked with the mayor’s office in New York City, Doctors Without Borders in several African countries, FEMA, the Philadelphia Department of Health and as a top-notch motorcycle mechanic.

The day after graduating from medical school, my wife Bonnie, and I, loaded up all our belongings in a moving truck and jumped into the cab with our dog and drove a 34-foot moving truck from Philadelphia to Johnson City with a smile on our faces! After more than a decade up north we finally came home to Tennessee and we could not be any happier. We are thrilled to be at ETSU and in Johnson City.

The only thing I enjoy more than practicing medicine is being outside. You can find me riding motorcycles, bear hunting, camping, hiking, gardening, or sitting around a bonfire with friends and cocktails. I have a weakness for chocolate chip cookies, homegrown tomatoes and dogs. I also have a passion for providing medical care to underserved areas and hopes to one day have a small practice in town and to become the mayor of Johnson City.

 

 

 

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