Current Residents

Department of Surgery 2014 - 2015 Resident  Physicians

PGY-5 Chief Residents

 Laith Albalbissi

Laith Al-Balbissi, MD 

United States in 2008. My lovely wife Arwa and I have a wonderful son, Zaid. ETSU was a perfect combination of preparing residents for general practice or fellowship. I am hoping to proceed with a Cardiothoracic Fellowship. I enjoy outdoor activities and spending time with family. I especially appreciate my mom and dad for all they did to support me. I am very thankful for my wife, family, and friends.

Undergraduate School - University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan; Medical School -

 Mauricio Bassante 

Mauricio Bassante, MD

I was born in Ecuador. I am mainly interested in minimally invasive surgery but enjoy broad-based general surgery cases. I spend my free time with my wife and son. I also enjoy playing guitar and working out.

Undergraduate School – Universidad Catolica Ecuador, Quito-Ecuador; Medical School – Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito-Ecuador

 Daniel Boyett

Daniel Boyett, MD

I am a native of Huntsville, Alabama. I am married to Evan Boyett and we are expecting our first child. I like this program here at ETSU because of the broad-based general surgery experience it provides and the family centered nature of the program.

Undergraduate School – Auburn University, Auburn, AL; Medical School – University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL

 Scott Denham

Scott Denham, MD

I am married with three children. I enjoy outdoor activities, college football, and golf. I chose ETSU because of its great location and being family-friendly. I work with an excellent group of residents and faculty.

Undergraduate School – Sanford University, Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; Medical School – University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL

 Melissa Martrisch

Melissa Martrisch, MD

I am a native of central Illinois. I moved to the south to attend medical school and decided to stay. The ETSU program was appealing because of the breadth of general surgery training that the program provides. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband and friends, gardening and traveling.

Undergraduate School – Millikin University, Decatur, IL; Medical School – Wake Forest University School of Medicine

 


 

PGY- 4 Residents 

 James Bardoner

James Bardoner, MD 

I am interested in all areas of surgery and having broad utility for medical missions abroad, was one my reason for ranking ETSU highly, along with the faculty and residents. My wife, Meredith and I enjoy living in the Tri-cities area. We like the many outdoor activities here and being close enough to the larger cities to enjoy their benefits during time off.

Undergraduate School – Clemson University, Clemson, SC; Medical School – University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC

Hao Pham  

Hao Pham, MD

I went to medical school at ETSU and decided to stay because the resident program had wonderful faculty, personable residents, and is set in the lush mountains of East Tennessee.

Undergraduate School – UT Knoxville, Knoxville, TN; Medical School – ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN

 Matthew Ramseyer

Matthew Ramseyer, MD 

I wanted to stay in the Southeast and was attracted to the approach to training at ETSU. There is an emphasis on clinical and surgical proficiencies early on. I am very happy with my choice, my program mates, and the region.

Undergraduate School – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; Medical School – Florida State University Medical School, Sarasota, FL

 Afshin Skibba

Afshin Skibba, MD 

I chose ETSU because it is a well-rounded surgery residency with attendings that are eager to teach. I am interested in vascular surgery, and I am actively involved in research. I am married and enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, camping, tennis, and skiing.

Undergraduate School – Syracuse University, New York; Medical School – University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

Robert Weir

Robert Weir, MD

I grew up near Daytona Beach, Florida. Go Gators! I applied to ETSU knowing I liked the area and decided to rank them at the top of my list because of the high case load and perceived high overall resident satisfaction. I met my wife here and we are currently expecting our first son.

Undergraduate School – University of Florida; Medical School – University of Florida

Takeyla


Takeyla Williams, MD

I am a native of Augusta, Georgia. I am a mother and wife to Sydney Noelle and Steven Sutton, respectively. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family. One of the main reasons I have enjoyed ETSU is because our program is very family-oriented and family-friendly.

Undergraduate School – College of Charleston, Charleston, SC; Medical School – Moorehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

   
   
PGY-3 Residents  

       Alexander

Colleen Alexander, MD

I moved to Tennessee from Georgia where I met my husband Todd Alexander. We were married in October 2012. I chose ETSU College of Medicine for residency because of the personality of the program, the early operative experience, and the variety of hospitals. I like to horseback ride in my free time.

Undergraduate School – Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Medical School – Emory University, Atlanta, GA

 

Amy Duncan




Amy Duncan, MD

I am originally from Vonore, Tennessee; the mountains of East Tennessee are home for me and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places on earth. When not at the hospital, I am most frequently jogging long distances, baking unhealthy deliciousness, or playing outdoors (hiking, camping, etc.). Haiti has a special place in my heart and given any opportunity I will be on a plane to go see my little brother and sister, Sony and Chedeline. My eventual career goal is medical missions, living long-term in another country, most likely Haiti.

Undergraduate School – Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN; Medical School – ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN

 Stepahnie Hart




Stephanie Hart, MD

After being raised primarily in the rural farming community of Goodland, KS, I came to East Tennessee to attend Milligan College. After graduating Milligan I decided to stay in this area. I worked for Johnson City Medical Center for several years. Later, I moved to Washington, DC, where I earned an MPH in International Health Promotion. I then came back to East Tennessee where I chose to attend medical school and residency training for the great staff and faculty, family atmosphere and excellent training with a diverse patient population. In my free time I enjoy reading, writing, and the great outdoors. I also enjoy traveling to out-of-the-way locations and remain active in my local church.

Undergraduate School – Milligan College, Johnson City, TN; Graduate School – The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; Medical School – ETSU College of Medicine

Joseph Hurston





Joseph Hurston, MD

I am from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and grew up visiting the Smoky Mountains with my family. I have always loved the outdoors and when it came time to choose where I would do my residency I chose Johnson City because it provided the outdoor setting that I have grown to love. I was also looking for a positive environment residency program that would turn me into a well-trained competent general surgeon, ready to begin a successful career or make me competitive for a fellowship program. Ten years from now I hope to impact people's lives in a positive way through the avenue of surgery, be it in this country or a foreign land. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful wife, Lauren, playing sports, and following the Ole Miss Rebels Football team.

Undergraduate School - University of Mississippi, University, MS; Medical School - University of Mississippi, University, MS

Joy Juskowich 




Joy Juskowich, MD

I found the surgical residency program at ETSU attractive for its strong general surgery foundation and its close proximity to my home state of West Virginia. I attended college at Wake Forest where I played college golf. When time permits I still enjoy golfing. Holidays and occasional weekends off are spent visiting my family in West Virginia or vacationing at our family condo in Naples, Florida. Other activities of interest include watching and attending athletic events, especially WVU college football games, working out, spending time outdoors, helping others, and cooking.

Undergraduate School - Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; Medical School - West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown,

  James ONeal 


James O'Neal, MD

I am a native of Louisiana. I went to MUSC in Charleston, SC, for preliminary year. I chose ETSU because of the comradery of the residents, early operative experience, and wide variety of "bread & butter" general surgery cases. I am married to Jenni O'Neal, an occupational therapist at NHC Rehab. We currently do not have children; however, we are expecting twins in the near future. I enjoy traveling, cooking, water sports, leisure reading, and any outdoor activity.

Undergraduate School - Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA;, Medical School - Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA

 
Kristin


Kristin Williams, MD


I moved to Johnson City, Tennessee, from Columbia, South Carolina, via Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I chose ETSU due to the vast surgical experiences at multiple hospitals as well as early operative experience. I have a fun-loving personality and enjoy dancing, baking, and playing piano in my free time.

Undergraduate School - Spelman College, Atlanta, GA; Medical School - Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

 


 

PGY-2 Residents  

 Gerald

Grace Gerald, MD

I grew up in Charleston, SC, and Pelham, NY. My father was a pathologist and my mother is a nurse. I chose ETSU because I knew that I would be well trained as a general surgeon and still have the opportunity to pursue a fellowship if I decide to specialize. I also knew I would enjoy living in the area because of all of the outdoor activities available in East Tennessee.

Undergraduate School – Furman University, Greeneville, SC; Medical School - Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Myer

Jeremy Meyer, MD

I grew up in Johnson City, and never thought I would be returning here for residency. But after my interview here I realized that ETSU was unique in many ways that really appealed to me. They have a great focus on rural, broad-based general surgery and I have a particular passion for third-world missions. I believe ETSU will be a great place to prepare for my future, whatever is in store. Outside the hospital I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife and I are active people and love spending time outdoors from hiking and mountain climbing to water- skiing and snowboarding.

Undergraduate School - Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN; Medical School - Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA

 Prior

Daniel Prior, DO

I returned to my hometown of Johnson City to attend ETSU College of Medicine. My favorite thing about coming to ETSU is the close-knit community and friendly atmosphere. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family and friends, playing tennis and computer games.

Undergraduate School - East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN; Medical School - Edward via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blacksburg, VA

  Pryor

William Pryor, MD

I'm originally from Tennessee but I went off to school in South Carolina. Growing up near Chattanooga I am very fond of East Tennessee, and so I am very excited to be back. Of course this means I am a huge fan of the Tennessee Vols. Go Big Orange! I placed ETSU at the top of my list because of their emphasis on training the broad-based general surgeon and exposure to trauma. Two important things that will one day serve me well as an Air Force surgeon. When not in the hospital, I love to find adventure in the great outdoors or stay active by going for a long run.

Undergraduate School - Furman University, Greenville, SC;  Medical School - University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC

   Ramos 

Trevy Ramos, DO

I originate from Merrillville, IN. From the crossroads of America I ventured to almost heaven, West Virginia, for Medical School. I chose ETSU and ETSU chose me. It is an institution that takes pride in providing well-rounded and well-educated surgeons. ETSU puts its students first and strives to produce technically competent surgeons through early experience in the operating room.

Undergraduate School - Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN; Graduate School - Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN; Medical School - West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

   Vance



John Vance, DO

I am a native of Western North Carolina, and happy to be such a short drive from family and friends. I am interested in rural general surgery and medical/surgical missions. I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughters when I am not taking care of patients at the hospital.

Undergraduate School - North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; Medical School - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blacksburg, VA

 


 

  PGY-1 Residents

joyner 

Alisha Joyner, MD 

I am a true Southern Belle!  I love to cook, dance, socialize, and yes, I knit.  I love this area because of all the outdoor activities and the beautiful scenery.

Undergraduate School - Johns Hopkins University, Graduate School - Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Medical School - Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, Charleston, SC

 lassiter


Korsica Lassiter, MD 



The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, MC

 prather


Melissa Prather, MD 

I am from Dallas, Texas and have travelled far and wide for my medical education.  As A medical student I enjoyed the tropical mountainous landscape, hiking, and snorkeling on the Island of Dominica in the West Indies.  When I moved to Tennessee as a preliminary resident at UT Knoxville, I loved the lush mountainside and outdoor activities available.  ETSU is very supportive of their residents and produce well-rounded confident surgeons.  I was also impressed by how family friendly the program is.  Besides hiking, water-sports, and snowboarding, I also enjoy painting, sewing, and interior decorating.

Undergraduate School - Texas State University; Medical School - Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica, West Indies

 rollins

Sarah Rollins, MD 

Creighton University School of Medicine | Omaha, NE

 serrano


Luis Serrano, MD 

I was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador.  I chose ETSU because it offers great broad-based general surgery training in a friendly atmosphere.  In my free time I enjoy sports and spending time with my wife and family.

Medical School - Universidad Internacional del Ecuador Facultad De Ciencias Medicas Y de la Salud | Quito, Ecuador

stevens

Jessica Stevens, MD

I chose ETSU because of the atmosphere of cooperatively and excellence between residents of this program.  Although I believe I will specialize, (currently I like trauma critical care) I believe having a strong foundation as a general surgeon is key to any future practice.  When I am not working I like lounging around with my 2 cats, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, and pretty much anything involving the outdoors.  I look forward to all the next 5 years will bring.

Undergraduate School - New York University; Medical School - Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH