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Upstate welcomes 163 new residents in 17 specialty areas

Members of the 2019 Family Medicine Residency Program stand for a photo at the Everson Museum of Art in downtown Syracuse during an orientation session earlier this summer.

Earlier this month, Upstate University Hospital welcomed a new class of first-year residents to training programs in 17 specialty areas.

As the region’s largest teaching hospital, Upstate employs hundreds of residents and fellows each year. Residents are medical school graduates who are now focusing their education in specialty area training programs that can range from three to seven years or more. Some of Upstate’s training programs are as small as one resident or fellow per year, and others as large as 36 residents per year.

During residency, residents continue their education while also providing patient care under the supervision of an attending physician. Fellows usually have completed their residency training and are sub-specializing in a focused field or area.

Of the 636 residents and fellows that Upstate currently employs in more than 40 training programs, 163 are “post-graduate-year-ones” or “PGY-1s,” which means this is their first year of residency. Of that group, 73 are women and 90 are men; 35 were born in New York state; and 32 went to medical school in New York.

Upstate welcomed a class of six to the new Family Medicine Residency Program. It’s the first time Upstate has had a residency program based at the Community Campus. The program is unique in that residents may earn their Certificate of Advanced Study in Public Health while completing the three-year residency.

“Part of the motivation for having a family medicine residency program here is to enhance the current workforce in primary care available in the Syracuse area,” said Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Danielle Katz, MD. “This is a win-win as it helps support the needs of our community and provides a robust clinical experience for our residents.”

Katz describes residency as “intense, exciting and stimulating.” The experience is a critical and formative time in a physician’s training and is a significant component of what drives Upstate to remain at the forefront of research, teaching and superior patient care, she said. The academic environment contributes to optimal patient care, thorough discussion of each patient among the resident and attending physicians, as well as the unique opportunities provided by ongoing research and innovation.

Caption:  The new Family Medicine Residency Program gathered earlier this summer at the Everson Museum of Art in downtown Syracuse for orientation, a tour and a ceramics class. Pictured, front row, from left: Site Director Harminder Grewal, MD; resident Akifa Nazim, MBBS; resident Rahila Iftikhar, MBBS; resident Bushra Atta Ur Rehman, MBBS; and Program Director Gene Bailey, MD. Second row, from left: resident Kyrsten Wallace, MD; Assistant Professor Susan Levinsohn, MD; resident Jorge Alvarenga Montoya, MD; and Program Administrator Heather O’Hearn. Back row, from left: Resident Kwasi Dekyi, MD; Family Medicine Residency Volunteer Melissa Carman, PhD, LMHC; Assistant Professor Gita Ramamurthy, MD; and Assistant Professor Igor Kraev, MD.