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Quillen College of Medicine

Current Residents

PGY- 5 Residents

Alisha Jefferson, 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; Medical School - Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Korsica Lassiter, MD

I was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina and had the pleasure of returning home to attend medical school.  I chose surgery as my specialty early on because of the ability to physically intervene in a patient's disease course.  I enjoy the broad-based general surgery training this program provides.  In my free time, I enjoy traveling, baking, and, of course, shopping!

Undergraduate School - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Graduate School - The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Medical School - The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

  rollinsSarah Rollins, MD 

I grew up in South Florida as the oldest of 4 girls.  I first fell in love with surgery when my dad (an anesthesiologist) took me to the OR with him at age 10.  I chose ETSU because I like the friendly atmosphere, broad general surgery emphasis, and the beautiful mountain scenery.  I have been very happy here so far!  In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching movies, spending time outdoors, cooking, and playing with my dogs.

Undergraduate School - Vanderbilt University; Medical School - Creighton University School of Medicine

serranoLuis 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

stevensJessica Stephens, 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

taylorMelissa Taylor, MD 

Melissa Taylor, 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,

PGY- 4 Residents

CroninRyan Cronin, DO

I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and lived there 18 years. My family moved to South Carolina when I turned 18 and my two older brothers and younger sister still live there. I went to the University of South Carolina for undergraduate school where I met my wife, Ali. My wife and I went to medical school together and returned to her hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee for our residency training. She is in the OB/GYN program at the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine.

Undergraduate School - University of South Carolina; Medical School - Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

 GrayEdward Gray, MD

In choosing ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, I have found both a strong residency program and a beautiful region of our country. I found that the general surgery program provides broad experience in general surgery. While I will likely pursue a fellowship and have an interest in Trauma / Critical Care, having a wide foundation is important in any surgical specialty. In my free time I enjoy mountain biking, working out, hiking, and when I am not outdoors I enjoy cooking a good meal.

Undergraduate School - University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Medical School - Ross University School of Medicine


Griffin Adrienne Griffin, MD

I spend my free time playing the ukelele and watching too much television. I came to ETSU Quillen College of Medicine because I was impressed by the residents I met during my interviews. Most of my family lives in New Mexico.

Undergraduate School - New Mexico State University; Medical School - University of New Mexico

JeffJohnstonJeffrey Johnston, MD

My wife and I were raised in Greenville, South Carolina. We found a lot of similarities in Johnson City. We are excited about coming back to ETSU as newlyweds because this is place where my wife, Sara, got her Masters in Speech Language Pathology. ETSU Quillen College of Medicine provides a great place to gain an excellent surgical experience in a variety of settings. In our free time we enjoy traveling, cooking, going to the lake, and spending time outdoors. For all these reasons ETSU Quillen College of Medicine is a great fit for us.

Undergraduate School - Clemson; Medical School - MUSC

RaoNandita Rao, MD

I grew up and went to college in eastern North Carolina, where my dad currently practices broad-based general surgery. I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree, but I was really drawn to surgery when I witnessed the great potential for making a positive impact on people's lives. ETSU Quillen College of Medicine's surgery residency program was an easy choice because of the approachable faculty, supportive colleagues, and history of graduating excellent surgeons. When I am not working, I love to travel overseas with my family. I plan to cross a few more countries off my list before I graduate!

Undergraduate School - East Carolina University; Medical School - Brody School of Medicine

RichDexter Rich, MD

I wanted to stay at ETSU Quillen College of Medicine for residency after medical school because of the early operative experience and the breadth of exposure. In my free time, my wife and I enjoy playing with our two beagles and going back home to West Tennessee to visit our seven nieces and nephews.

Undergraduate School - Union University; Medical School - ETSU Quillen College of Medicine 

PGY- 3 Residents

  JackJohnstonJack Johnston, MD

I was raised in Greeneville, South Carolina, where my three brothers and I were always playing soccer or being active outside.  I have always enjoyed the mountains and the outdoors.  I attended Clemson University where I met my wife, Kate.  I spent my first year of general surgery as an intern in Charleston, South Carolina.  I felt that early autonomy, broad-based operative experience, and a program that serves a large population was vital to my development as a surgeon, which is what I found at ETSU.  Also, what I found was the heightened value for family at ETSU.  My wife and I enjoy attending Clemson games, hiking, traveling, and hanging out with our dog, Ruby.

Undergraduate - Clemson University; Medical School - Medical University of South Carolina


 LasherKatharine Lasher, MD

I was excited to come to ETSU for my surgery residency because I was looking for a broad-based training experience with opportunities for training in a rural setting.  I enjoyed all my interactions with the residents and staff on interview day, and I loved the mountain setting of the Tri-Cities area.  My husband, Justin and I moved with our dog, Brody, into an old farmhouse outside of Jonesborough.  Currently, my free time is dominated by working on the house, but I also love cooking, reading, and      crocheting.

Undergraduate - University of Southern Indiana; Medical School - Indiana University School of Medicine


MoradiaNishika Moradia, MD

I am from Raleigh, North Carolina.  I chose ETSU for residency because of the early operative experience and friendly atmosphere.  This program provides excellent broad-based general surgery training.  My husband is a podiatry student in Oakland, California, so I visit the bay area often.  I also enjoy spending time with my dog, Alice.

Undergraduate - North Carolina State University; Medical School -Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University


 MohamedMohamed Mohamed Kelli, DO

I am Kurdish and was born in Aleppo, Syria. My family moved to Germany when I was 6 years old. Then, my family immigrated to the United States about 12 years ago to pursue the "American Dream".  My goal is to become an excellent well-rounded general surgeon. ETSU Quillen College of Medicine has all the necessary resources, including the case load, mentors who are eager to teach, and supportive residents to help me become a great surgeon. I was a Biology major and played D1 soccer at Wofford College. In my free time, I enjoy outdoor activities, running, and of course playing/watching soccer. While my older brother is following his dream as a Cardiology fellow at Emory University, I am continuing my journey and pursuing my passion as a surgical resident.

Undergraduate - Wofford College; Medical School - PCOM - GA Campus


SahawnehTim Sahawneh, MD

I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, where I went to medical school at the University of Alabama.  Some of the reasons I was drawn to ETSU Quillen College of Medicine was the comradery and strong connection between residents, the high volumes of cases, and international opportunities the program offers.  Whenever I have free time, I enjoy hiking, kayaking, and playing soccer.

Undergraduate - University of South Alabama; Medical School - University of South Alabama

PGY- 2 Residents

ayersMegan Ayres, MD

I grew up in Chattanooga, Tn.  I was a Bio major and music performance minor in college and still playing viola.  I moved to Birmingham, Alabama and joined the Navy in med school.  During med school, I started running as a hobby, completing my first half-marathon.  I am excited to be at ETSU for the family atmosphere of the program and the broad-based general surgery experience.

Undergraduate School:  University of Tennessee - Chattanooga, Medical School: University of Alabama Medical School


gammelLauren Gammel, MD

I was born and raised on the Mississippi gulf coast.  I've also lived in Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, New York, and now East Tennessee!  ETSU offered everything I was looking for in a General Surgery Residency.  I was most excited by the global surgery opportunities, early operative experience, the friendly residents and strong rapport within the program.  Also, Johnson City is perfectly located for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.  In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my dog Bruce, exploring the local lakes on my S.U.P. board, hiking, hiking, and snowboarding.

Undergraduate School - Central Baptist College;  Medical School - University of Mississippi School of Medicine


mateoMateo Guarderas Ribadeneira, MD

I was born and raised in Quito - Ecuador, and moved to Johnson City with my wife, Maria Clara shortly after we were married.  I chose ETSU because it offers a broad-based general surgery exposure to residents in a friendly educational environment.  I love the natural surroundings of East Tennessee and all the outdoor activities the area has to offer.  In my spare time, I enjoy playing sports, listening to music, and spending time in the outdoors. 

                                           Medical School - Universidad San Francisco de Quito

 proctorRebecca Proctor, MD

I decided to stay at ETSU because I love the Quillen family!  I wanted to be in a program where I know the residents take care of each other.  I also chose to stay in East Tennessee because of all the opportunities.  I love to hike, bike, camp, kayak, snowboard, run, etc.  So it's great to be in a place so close to all the activities.  I've also watched Johnson City grow and can't wait to see how it will keep growing the next 5 years!

Undergraduate School - University of Alabama;  Graduate School-Master in Public Health - ETSU, Medical School - ETSU COM


 tarwaterSara Shields Tarwater, MD

I chose ETSU because of the diversity of practice settings, the emphasis on rural and global surgery, and the camradery between residents.  I moved to Johnson City from Mobile, AL where I met my husband, Alex.  In my free time I enjoy hiking with my two dogs, running, and trying out all the great restaurants in town.

Undergraduate School - Salem College;  Medical School - University of South Alabama


whippleJoel Whipple, MD

I chose ETSU because of it's emphasis on general surgery.  I hope to practice in a rural underserved area/medical missions, and I believe that ETSU will give me the training that I need to succeed in that.  I love the outdoor opportunities in the area, and like to hike and fish in my spare time.

Undergraduate School - University at Arkansas at Monticello;  Medical School - University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. 



PGY- 1 Residents

abernathyJames Abernathy, MD

I chose ETSU general surgery because it was here as a medical student that I discovered being a surgeon was exactly what I wanted to become.  My career path was changed in no small part because of the quality of education, and people within our program that are second to none.  After rotating at other programs, the difference was clear.  ETSU general surgery was my first choice.  With the beautiful mountains, lakes, trails and rivers here in East Tennessee, you will find plenty of venues to spend your spare time.

                                          Graduate School:  University of Nebraska Medical Center;  Medical School
                                          East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine


devereuxLindsay Devereux, MD

I grew up all over the United States as my dad was in the Air Force, so I don't really have a home.  I chose ETSU because of its focus on broad-based general surgery and the amazing residents.  I hope to practice in a rural setting wither here in the U.S. or overseas.  In my free time. I enjoy spending time with my husband, Lawrence, cooking, watching football, and running.

Undergraduate School:  Bryan College; Medical School:  UTHSC COM 


Amanda Grigoli, MD

I chose ETSU because of its emphasize on rural, broad-based surgery while also providing opportunities to pursue a fellowship if I decide to specialize.  Additionally, I knew I would enjoy living in East Tennessee because of all the outdoor activities available.

Undergraduate School:  University of Delaware; Medical School Thomas Jefferson Medical School


hendricksCaroline Hendricks, MD

I like that ETSU provides a solid foundation in general surgery in a beautiful area with a low cost of living.  In my free time, I enjoy hiking, game nights, and reading.

Undergraduate School: University of South Carolina; Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina



hughesJustin Hughes, MD

I chose ETSU because of the great general surgery training offered while still being able to avoid the negatives that come with living in a large city.  All the residents that I met during the interviewing process were welcoming and described a program that I wanted to become a part of.  ETSU is known to train competent general surgeons who graduate ready to practice.  In my free time I enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and hiking.  Johnson City is a great area for all these activities.

Undergraduate School: The University of Alabama; Medical School University of South Alabama


wrightJessica Wright, MD

ETSU stood out to me as a place where the residents truly are a family, and everyone works together so we can all succeed.  I knew that was the environment that I needed to become the surgeon I want to be.  Being able to hike to Roan Mountain didn't hurt after me interview either!  I love hiking and playing piano in my free time, and I am excited to explore the rest of Johnson City.

Undergrated School: University of Alabama; Medical School: UTHSC 


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