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Department of Pediatrics

Quillen College of Medicine

Meet Our Residents

Department of Pediatrics Resident Physicians |  2017 - 2018

Adam Farmer, MD | PGY-3, Chief Resident

armentrout“When I was 7 years old, my family moved to beautiful East Tennessee, and I have been here ever since! I graduated from the local high school, Science Hill, and for undergrad I went to Milligan College just up the road. While in college I majored in Fine Arts and Humanities. Needless to say, when I finally decided to pursue medicine, I had some catching up to do. I enrolled in the post-baccalaureate premedical program at ETSU and was lucky enough to be accepted to Quillen for medical school. I love living in this area! Whether it’s hiking up Roan Mountain on the Appalachian Trail, fly fishing on the Nolichucky River, or spending the day out at Watauga Lake, East Tennessee has so much to offer. I chose ETSU Pediatrics for my residency because I know how great this area is to have a family (I'm married with a 1 year old, Jack) and because of the friendly, passionate, and close-knit residents and attendings. I'm currently interested in global health and infectious disease.”

Undergraduate: Milligan College
Medical School: James H. Quillen College of Medicine (ETSU)

Ashley Ham, DO | PGY-3, Chief Resident

reddy“I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.  I went north for college at the University of Notre Dame before returning to Tennessee for medical school at LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. It was there that I met my husband, and we got married in the spring before residency began.  He is a Family Medicine resident here at ETSU as well.  With his family in Charlotte, NC and mine in Nashville, TN, we are so thrilled to be in East Tennessee just a short trip from both places.  I love the environment that both ETSU and the East Tennessee area provide, and it has been a wonderful place to make our first home together! We couldn't be happier to be somewhere that has such great programs for both of our aspirations.  I love spending time with family, watching movies, and of course cheering on my Fighting Irish! I look forward to learning and growing as I pursue this dream of being a general pediatrician!”

Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame
Medical School: Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Pratibha Agarwal, MD | PGY-3

jung"After completing my graduate degree in Public Health from the University of Texas at Houston and my medical school from India, I came to East Tennessee State University for my residency in Pediatrics. ETSU College of Medicine met most, if not all of my criteria, for an ideal residency program. Becoming a pediatrician was an absolute dream and Niswonger Children’s Hospital is the perfect place. I, personally, try to spend leisure time with Mother Nature and couldn’t have asked for a better place than Tennessee. With only a month into my residency, I am already content and happy with my decision. "

Undergraduate and Medical School: Smt. N.H.L. Municipal Medical College 

Holly Burns, DO | PGY-3

krishnan“I am originally from Stafford Springs, Connecticut and went to medical school at NYIT-COM in Old Westbury, New York. I wanted to travel south for residency to experience a much needed change of pace as well as a small respite from the wicked winter weather up North. When applying for residency, I was specifically looking for a small program with a stand-alone pediatric hospital and a friendly/close knit resident group. I also wanted to be close to my fiancé who is a PMR resident in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since day one, the people in Johnson City have been so welcoming and friendly, it really opened my eyes to 'southern hospitality'! Only two weeks into the program and I am able to say that applying to ETSU College of Medicine for pediatric residency was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Every morning I am greeted by an awesome view of the smoky mountains and I get to set foot inside one of the most beautiful children's hospitals. I can't say enough about my faculty and fellow residents. Everyone is so knowledgeable and so devoted to teaching. Best of all, it feels as if everyone is part of one big family! In my spare time I love to go running, cook, and shop. I think the most relaxing part of my day is being able to stare out my back window at the grazing cows and rolling hills!”

Undergraduate: Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury, NY

Fazila Jafri Zaidi, MD | PGY-3

kalra“I was born in Pakistan, raised in Saudi Arabia, went to college in America and Medical school in the Caribbean. My husband, who I met in Med school, has a very similar background and also matched at ETSU College of Medicine in the Internal Medicine program. After moving around so much for personal and educational reasons, we're so glad to call Johnson City our home for the next 3 years. Driving to work with the beautiful view of the mountains and southern hospitality makes living here so peaceful, at such a crucial part of my career. And that’s just the smallest part of it. The faculty, as well as the residents, nurses,  techs, receptionists, and every other employee at the hospital gets along so well and is ever ready to help out in any way they can. It feels like I hit the jackpot and found my perfect workplace.”

Undergraduate: Western Michigan University
Medical School: Medical University of the Americas, Nevis

Mary Kearns, MD | PGY-3

lauhan“I always knew I wanted to go to residency in Florida to stay close to my family, but when I visited ETSU College of Medicine I knew this was the place for me. All the faculty and residents I met expressed the same idea: ETSU College of Medicine is a family. I learned that the program is not only academically challenging but fosters a nurturing learning environment, a rare combination to be sure. While I miss my parents, my four younger brothers and sisters, and my big Irish/Italian extended family in South Florida, I have no doubt that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And I am excited to be the pioneer of my family--showing my siblings that dreams can be achieved through hard work, perseverance, support from family, and remaining true to yourself. Besides spending time with family and friends, I enjoy singing, watching movies, yelling the (usually wrong) answer at the TV during Jeopardy, cheering on my Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and talking in silly voices. I'm excited to live in beautiful Johnson City, and I can't wait to explore and discover everything it has to offer!”

Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame 
Medical School: Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine 

Melody Miller, DO | PGY-3

majchrzak“I was born and raised just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Some of my hobbies include running, hiking, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy spending time with my black lab, Lilly. Upon traveling to ETSU for interviews, I realized how much this area has to provide and how great all of the people are here. Seeing the mountains on my drive to work every day is something that I will never get over; the views are gorgeous! This program is a perfect fit for me. I've really enjoyed working with my attendings one on one and becoming close to all of the other residents. Everyone seems to truly care about each other. Furthermore, the learning environment combines self-directed learning, team-based learning, family-centered rounds, and simulations. The attendings enhance this environment by being open to new ideas and questions, providing constructive criticism, and being understanding of what we're going though. All of these aspects make ETSU unique as a residency program, and I am so glad I have the opportunity to train here.”

Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin 
Medical School: A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Stephanie Albracht, DO | PGY-2

Pratibha Agarwal, MDI grew up in Dayton, OH and completed undergraduate at the University of Kentucky. During my college summers, I worked at my hometown park district to help run outdoor recreational and nature programming for kids -- it was a blast! While I loved working for the park district, my calling was in healthcare. For medical school, I headed east to UP-KYCOM in Pikeville, Kentucky. I fell in love with the Appalachian scenery and culture during my time there, and after seeing the healthcare needs in the area, I developed a passion for rural medicine. I knew in my heart I wanted to complete my residency at ETSU not only because of its location, but also because of the excellent didactics, fantastic people, and educational experiences I had while rotating here! In my free time I play my viola, weightlift, yoga, and geek out with my wonderful pharmacist fiancé!

Undergraduate: University of Kentucky 
Medical School: Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine

Alex Boley, DO | PGY-2

Holly Burns, DOJohnson City and ETSU met all of the requirements that my husband and I were looking for in a home and for my Pediatrics training.  After a childhood filled with moving from Arizona to Michigan to Pennsylvania I was looking for a place to call home. I have spent the last nine years in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  There, I attended a small catholic liberal arts school for my undergrad degree (Seton Hill) and spent another four years at a local branch campus of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.  I was ready for a new adventure somewhere else. East Tennessee offers all of the outdoor activities that my husband and I enjoy. We were also able to buy a home that has given us space that we needed to raise our ever growing family of dogs, cats, ducks, and goats. Most importantly, I have enjoyed the support of the ETSU pediatrics department. I will never forget my first day of Orientation, which happened to fall on my 25th birthday, my brand new residency family had brought a cake to share and a heartfelt welcoming card. Their focus on harboring an extended education to the residents in a nurturing fashion and a positive environment is exactly what I had envisioned for my residency program. With the support and expertise of the faculty, staff and fellow residents I know that I will be prepared to be a valued general pediatrician in a rural area setting after my stay here at ETSU. 

Undergraduate: Seton Hall University
Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Angelica Johnson, MD | PGY-2

Adam Farmer, MDI was born in Missouri and lived most of my life in a very small town in southern Illinois.  Then I moved to Philadelphia for undergrad and medical school.  In medical school, I had the opportunity to work at a couple of children's hospitals and I fell in love with pediatrics.  I chose ETSU because of the family atmosphere and great learning.  The residents here just seemed so happy and I really wanted that too.  Plus the view outside the hospital isn't bad either.  In my spare time, I love football, basketball, movies, and singing loudly and off key.  I am very excited to start my career here and can't wait to see what the future holds!!!

Undergraduate: University of the Sciences in Philadelphia 
Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine 

Rachel Lindsey, MD | PGY-2

Ashley Ham, DOI grew up in a small town in Southwest Virginia, about an hour and a half from Johnson City, and after completing medical school at ETSU, I knew I wanted to stay here for residency! I love the close-knit feel of the program and the supportive learning environment we have here. My passion is serving under-served populations, globally and locally. At ETSU, I get to serve those who otherwise would have to travel long distances for the care of a children's hospital. After residency, I definitely plan on spending part of my time doing medical missions. When I'm not working, my husband and I can probably be found at Disney World, spending time with family and our dog, or exploring places we've never been!

Undergraduate: University of Virginia's College at Wise
Medical School: James H. Quillen College of Medicine (ETSU) 

Rachel Miller, MD | PGY-2

Fazila Jafri, MDMy home is in southwest Virginia, about an hour from Johnson City. I went to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for both my undergraduate and medical school training. After 9 years in the city, I wanted to move closer to home for residency so I could be near my family and friends. Although I grew up nearby, much more attracted me to ETSU for residency. I appreciate the close-knit feel of our program. It is amazing to have the opportunity to work directly with the attending physicians. For fun, I enjoy cooking and hiking. My favorite local places to hike are the Grayson Highlands and the Channels which are both in Virginia. A few of my favorite things are famous Internet cats and memes, as well as my 6-year-old rescue tabby cat named Gabby.

Undergraduate: Virginia Commonwealth University 
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine 

Michelle Payne, MD | PGY-2

Mary Kearns, MDI spent most of my life in GA but fell in love with the East Tennessee mountains and program here at ETSU. My husband stays at home with our 8 month old son (definitely the harder job). We are currently renovating our second home and enjoy all things related to home improvement projects (and love HGTV). Right now I am thinking about general pediatrics but have always had a love for NICU.


Undergraduate: Berry College 
Medical School: Mercer University School of Medicine

Lexie Selzer, DO | PGY-2

Melody Miller, DOI grew up on a farm in a tiny town outside of Chattanooga Tennessee called Rising Fawn Georgia.  After getting my undergraduate education at the University of South Carolina, I moved to Pikeville Kentucky for medical school. In the fall of my fourth year, I did a visiting rotation in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology here at ETSU. I was instantly welcomed as part of the team and I knew that this is where I wanted to continue my training.  From the positive learning environment to the incredible teaching staff and the family feel of the residency program, I couldn't imagine a better place to spend the next 3 years.  I am excited to explore local restaurants and nearby hiking trails. I also enjoy cooking, spending time at the lake, and hanging out with my cat Tullulah Mulan!

Undergraduate: University of South Carolina 
Medical School: Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine

Brittany Anibal, DO | PGY-1

Stephanie Albracht, DOI was born in Burkburnett, Texas- a little boomtown on the outskirts of Dallas. My Dad climbed the corporate ladder during my childhood so we lived in a variety of places including Alabama, Florida, and New Hampshire. I met my husband during my undergraduate years at the University of New Hampshire when I was earning my bachelor's degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences. I went to medical school in Pikeville, Kentucky at the University of Pikeville KY College of Osteopathic Medicine. We fell in love with the Appalachian area and were thrilled when we found out we got to stay in the area for my residency. This area offers all the amazing outdoor activities my husband and I love as well as a strong Christian background to raise our son Brayden. When I'm not working, you will find us out on the lake or hiking somewhere in the mountains with our Goldendoodle Boone. ...

Undergraduate: University of New Hampshire
Medical School: University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Amanda Gutwein, DO | PGY-1

Alex Boley, DOWhen looking at different residency programs, I wanted a place with a strong sense of community, awesome colleagues, and plenty of mentors. I am from Dayton, Ohio and I came down south because I found all that I was looking for at ETSU. It has been a great privilege to start my career surrounded by such a wonderful group of people and I am excited about the years ahead. After residency, I plan to volunteer with Timmy Global Health and pursue a fellowship in pulmonology.


Undergraduate: University of Dayton
Medical School: Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Cristian Quizhpi, MD | PGY-1

Angelica Johnson, MDI moved to the Nashville, TN to attend Vanderbilt University from the Bronx, NY, and what I thought would be four temporary years in the south has turned into a fourteen year adventure! When applying to residency I hoped to continue my life in the Southeast, specially in a place as great as Johnson city, where you are surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. I search for a program that put a strong emphasis on educating it’s residents and developing strong leaders equipped to make a difference in the communities of the children they serve. Additionally, I looked for a program with a strong support system, as my wife and I were once again moving to a new area that we knew very little about. These are the driving factors that lead me to Niswonger and these are values that are continuously demonstrated and practiced at our hospital. I am very excited meet the challenges of these next three years with this awesome group of people.

Undergraduate: Vanderbilt University 
Medical School: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta

Katie Silva, MD | PGY-1

Rachel Lindsey, MDI was born in Los Angeles, CA but grew up in Florida. I have always played competitive soccer, which brought me to Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN when I got a scholarship to play Division I Athletics. At Lipscomb, I majored in Psychology and had a blast traveling around with my team. I met my husband, who lived in Nashville, after my sophomore year. From Lipscomb I was accepted in the University of Florida College of Medicine where I began my medical training. However, I did not like being long distance from the love of my life, so I transferred to Meharry Medical College in Nashville for the 3rd and 4th year of my medical school training. After completing medical school I decided to continue my training in Pediatrics, a life-long dream of mine, and was accepted into residency at ETSU. I LOVE children and babies and I speak Spanish and Portuguese. I love spending time with my family: my husband and, soon to be, three kids. I chose ETSU because it is in a beautiful location and in an undeserved region where Niswonger's Children's Hospital is making an important impact. My dream is to be a high quality general pediatrician that works hard for my patients and gives God the glory!

Undergraduate: Lipscomb University 
Medical School: Meharry Medical College

Victor Smith, MD | PGY-1

Rachel Miller, MDI grew up not too far from ETSU in Maryville TN. I have spent almost my entire life in the East Tennessee area. The beautiful surroundings and wonderful people make it an excellent place to live. I attended medical school at Quillen COM and after rotating through the pediatrics program here I knew it was where I wanted to be. The support and sense of teamwork that is fostered in ETSU pediatrics is truly something that I wanted to be a part of. The residents are a close knit group who ensure everyone is able to feel confident in their ability to serve patients. The encouragement I have received from fellow residents and faculty has allowed me to foster my knowledge and confidently address patient needs. I also greatly enjoy my time away from work as Johnson City is such a scenic place to live. In my free time I get outside for some exercise by playing in an ultimate Frisbee league, running, and rock climbing at the ETSU gym. If I am wanting to spend the day inside then I enjoy playing board games and making ceramics.

Undergraduate: University of Tennessee 
Medical School: James H. Quillen College of Medicine (ETSU)

Justin Widner, DO | PGY-1

Michelle Payne, MDI grew up in New Tazewell TN, a small town about one and a half hours from Johnson City. I attended LMU for my undergraduate degree and LMU-DCOM for medical school. Growing up as a small town guy in East Tennessee, ETSU was the perfect match when searching for programs. When I interviewed here, the program it felt like a nice warm hug. Everyone is supportive and the learning environment is excellent. Having grown up in rural Appalachia, I have a passion for treating patients in the underserved in the region. I wanted a program with a strong emphasis in training rural pediatricians and ETSU was that program. After residency, I hope to practice outpatient pediatrics in a rural underserved area. In my free time I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and being involved with my youth group at church. 

Undergraduate: Lincoln Memorial University  
Medical School: Lincoln Memorial University - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

 Kayla Wienczkowski, MD | PGY-1

Lexie Selzer, DOI grew up in Nashville, TN and attended college at Lipscomb University. I fell in love with ETSU during my medical school interviews, and knew that it was the place for me. After four years in the beautiful East Tennessee Mountains, I wasn’t ready to move away just yet! As a medical student, I loved the residents, faculty, and supportive environment at ETSU. As a learner, I have always thrived in a close-knit, family atmosphere, and found that here in the Pediatric Department. My husband loved the Family Medicine residency program in Kingsport, and we couldn’t pass up two great programs in a location that we love. In our spare time, we enjoy hiking, kayaking, and taking our dog to the dog park.

Undergraduate: Lipscomb University 
Medical School: James H. Quillen College of Medicine (ETSU)

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