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ETSU Family Physicians of Johnson City

Residency Programs

Johnson City Residents

Dr. Shelby Deuser

Shelby Deuser, D.O.

PGY-III 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-III 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-III 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-III 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-III 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-III 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.


Paulina Rios

Paulina Rios, M.D.

PGY-II Resident Physician


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I was born and raised in Queens, NY and lived in NYC for most of my life. I attended SUNY Albany for my undergraduate studies, where I majored in Biology and minored in French studies. My family moved to South Florida around the time that I started attending Ross University School of Medicine. During my time in medical school, on the beautiful island of Dominica, I developed a better understanding of the importance of family physicians in an underserved community.

 When I interviewed at ETSU in Johnson City, I fell in love with the culture of the program and I instantly felt like I was part of a big family. I am excited to be able to have an opportunity to learn about OMT, too!

 After residency, my goal in family medicine is to be able to continue working as an outpatient physician in an underserved community, and to be able to provide care to other underserved populations overseas.

 I enjoy spending time outdoors (playing handball, basketball, hiking, snowboarding,, kayaking, ultimate Frisbee…). I was in awe with Johnson City when I first visited because of the beautiful scenery that I’ll be able to explore! Also, I enjoy spending time with my family and learning to cook.


Erin Dennis

Erin Dennis, D.O.

PGY-II 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-II 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-II 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-II 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-II 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.


Christine Colon, M.D.

PGY-I Resident Physician

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I hail from the Washington D.C. area, where I’ve lived for most of my life.  In college, I studied kinesiology and music, specifically classical piano performance.  Subsequently, I worked as a firefighter/paramedic for a few years.  During that time, I developed a desire to delve more into medicine and moved on to medical school abroad.  My interest in global health, medical missions, and underserved medicine blossomed through my Caribbean heritage and my international travel experiences, whereas my affinity for sports medicine stems from my background in athletics. 

I was drawn to this program as I truly felt this residency could equip me to become an excellent, well-rounded physician.  I look forward to being a part of the Johnson City community and to living among such warm and welcoming people.  When time permits, I hope to engage in my favorite pastimes; I particularly enjoy basketball, soccer, football, obstacle course racing, and mountain biking.  Other smile-inducing things include: coffee, good conversations, good music, and 60-degree weather


Chelsea Forrester, D.O.

PGY-I Resident Physician

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I was born and raised in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. I earned my undergraduate degree at The University of Georgia, and then attended medical school at The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Georgia campus). My mother is a retired nurse, and I think my passion for helping people through medicine stems from that. Becoming a doctor is all I have ever considered doing, and I am excited to continue my education with ETSU in Johnson City. I hope to practice medicine in or around my hometown in North Georgia after I complete residency. 

When I’m not studying or working, I’m spending time with my husband, Matt. I am a fan of UGA football and Atlanta Braves baseball. I enjoy traveling, shopping, cooking, playing with puppies, eating Mexican food, and being outdoors.



Jaison John, M.D.

PGY-I Resident Physician

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I was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I was raised mostly in Louisville, KY. And in between, I’ve also lived in Kerala, India. I have encountered so many people along the way who have helped me to become the person I am today. Growing up as the son of an incredible nurse, I was inspired to go into the field of medicine at a young age. I received my bachelors in Biology and Mathematics at the University of Louisville. I attended St. George’s University for medical school in the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada. I love the outdoors and I’m looking forward to exploring the nature all around me. In my spare time, I also like experimenting with photography and cooking. Through my residency at ETSU Johnson City, I hope to be part of a great learning/teaching environment. I am also excited to be part of a supportive team that fosters comradery, and great work environment. I couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunities before me.



David Onyabe, M.D.

PGY-I Resident Physician

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I am originally from Nigeria but I have lived in Canada, Vermont, Maryland, and North Carolina. I attended medical school at the American University of the Caribbean, St. Maarten. I am interested in providing care to underserved areas. In the near future, I plan to volunteer for medical missions abroad.

My wife and I enjoy the outdoors with our children – running, walking, swimming etc. I also enjoy NFL football, playing basketball, and traveling



Caleb Osborne, M.D.

PGY-I Resident Physician

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I grew up in Northeast Alabama, in the city of Gadsden. I graduated from Troy University in Troy, Alabama, in 2011, with a degree in Spanish. During my time at Troy, I was a part of the track and field team, where I threw the hammer. It wasn’t until after I graduated college that I felt called to go into medicine, and after spending a couple of years completing my prerequisites for medical school, I returned to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to get my doctorate. East Tennessee State seemed like a great fit for me in many ways; I was impressed by the caliber of the program and really appreciated its strength in community medicine. I also have an interest in medical missions and am excited to see where that takes me.

My wife, Lindsey, and I have two children, Gabby, age 5, and Emerson, age 1. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, playing board games, teaching Gabby to conquer the monkey bars, and listening to the Moana soundtrack over and over again.



Christian Potter, D.O.

PGY-I Resident Physician

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I was born and raised on a small family farm in Elizabethton, Tennessee. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Milligan College in 2014 and proceeded to medical school at the University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. I have always felt called to practice rural primary care near my hometown and I am thrilled to be able to complete my residency here at ETSU Johnson City. This program’s reputation for high quality rural medicine training in combination with the amazing faculty and staff made it my number one choice to continue my education. One of my goals is to improve health literacy in this area by focusing on patient education. During my free time I enjoy reading, swimming, playing with my dogs and pet goat, bubble baths, and spending time at the lake.






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