Anesthesiology Residency : Resident Profiles

Resident Profiles

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Chad Parvus CA-3

I found my way to medicine, and our residency program, along a non-traditional path. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, my family immigrated to Hershey, PA where I graduated high school, later studying journalism at Penn State University. I went on to enjoy a rewarding career in television production. While at a crossroads, I discovered a desire to pursue medicine, and 10 years ago enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program. I studied medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and while on my anesthesiology rotation realized I had found the perfect fit for my training at our residency program. The combination of diverse pathology, unique practice settings, and camaraderie amongst the residents is unparalleled, and this program has afforded me endless opportunities to thrive. I have had the chance to serve as the representative to the ASA’s Lifebox initiative which provides life-saving pulse oximetry to resource-poor settings across the globe. Additionally, our program has supported my sub-specialty interests at the national level, funding the presentation of my pain research at the American Society of Regional Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine (ASRA) conferences and encouraging me to play an active role in ASRA, where I now serve as the chair-elect of the Resident Section Committee. Thanks to our program, I am making lifelong friendships, building relationships with inspiring mentors, and receiving unrivaled clinical training that will prepare me for a bright and successful future.


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Kristine Watford CA-3

I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and earned my undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Washington. While growing up in the Pacific Northwest was a great experience that I am very fond of, being able to train at Jackson Memorial Hospital and live in Miami has been the greatest blessing, and one of the best decisions I have ever made. The program has been very supportive of all of my academic and research goals. For example, with a research mentor I had the opportunity to study the QuellTM device in treating chronic joint pain, and I was able to travel to San Francisco to present my findings at the annual meeting for the International Anesthesia Research Society. Living in Miami has been a unique and incredible experience. I have made lifelong friends, I have discovered the delicious café con leche, I can fully display my love for the ocean by being able to take part in various water activities. Nothing can beat this beautiful weather!


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Efosa Ogiamien CA-3

I was raised in the tranquil state of Mississippi. I continued my undergraduate education at the University of Southern Mississippi, then matriculated to the Ole Miss for medical school. Residency in Miami has been a very rewarding experience in a multitude of ways. Clinically, we are exposed to a wide variety of illness and pathology, not only from the US, but many Central and South American countries as well. The faculty and residents work well together in the hospital, but also happily participate in social events together outside the workplace. The residency program is extremely supportive of the residents’ endeavors in research, the community, and professional organizations. I was able to attend ASA for a challenging case presentation, participate in research with the UMiami pain psychology department, as well as advocate for Athlete involvement in medicine at an annual UMiami Athletic department symposium. In my opinion, we have a good balance between a robust clinical experience and time to enjoy all there is to offer in Miami. During spare time, I enjoy Miami’s concert/festival scene, play soccer, and hang out at the beach.


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Riley Garrett CA-2

I was raised in coastal Ventura, California, attended University of California, Irvine for my undergraduate degree, and Loma Linda University Medical School. The large Anesthesiology department at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital has faculty and residents from all over the world, offering diverse perspectives and lots of great educators. The full breadth of subspecialty anesthesia training available at UM/Jackson will help me take the next step in my career in the coming years. On top of that, I knew I wanted to stay near the ocean, and joining the residency program at UM/Jackson has proven a perfect choice. I’ve been able to take advantage of the great year-round weather to play soccer, take part in various water sports, and explore the Florida Keys.


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Ashley Jackson CA-2

I am from Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to medical school, I studied biology and played volleyball for the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders. After undergrad, I chose to attend the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia which allowed me to serve the underserved communities of Atlanta, while training at the renowned Grady Hospital. After my time at Grady, I was confident that Jackson Memorial was exactly what my career needed. At Jackson Memorial, we often practice medicine through uncommon encounters that come with the diversity of our patients from the U.S., the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. This type of one-of-a-kind experience is invaluable. I am confident that through the unique challenges of medical practice we see at Jackson, I am advanced beyond where I might be in other programs at this point in my career. Beyond what the residency program has to offer, South Florida is great. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, toddler son, and our two dogs and, soon, we will have a newborn daughter joining us! We enjoy the local restaurant scene near our Fort Lauderdale home and love knowing the beach is always a short drive away. Practicing medicine in South Florida is truly unique!


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Michael Kuntz CA-2

Aside from a few years of childhood spent in Brussels, Belgium, I grew up in Virginia. I graduated from Washington and Lee University and went on to Harvard Medical School. After four years of frigid cold, I put away my winter clothes and came to warm and sunny Miami. What has particularly impressed me at the Jackson/University of Miami program is the large variety of clinical settings in which we work. Rotating through a wide range of sites, we are exposed to an incredible variety of patient populations, disease processes, and practice styles; this gives us a great experience around which to develop our own skills. Aside from the busy clinical schedule, there are numerous faculty well equipped to support research endeavors. I have had the opportunity to work on multiple projects, including some work related to Zika virus. Outside the hospital, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two little girls. We love exploring the beaches or just relaxing by the pool year round. Along the way, I have discovered my own affection for Cuban coffee and guava pastries.


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Paul Potnuru CA-2

I was born in southern India, moved to Canada during middle school, and then to Texas during high school. I graduated from high school in Austin, Texas, college at Texas A&M University, and medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch. In my pursuit of a career in academic anesthesiology, I have had amazing clinical, educational, and research opportunities at our residency program. As residents at one of the largest health systems in the United States, we encounter an incredible variety of clinical cases and pathology. Thanks to the program’s strong support for research, I was able to work on multiple research projects and present them at national meetings. One particular project I was very excited about was a device we built for the engineering challenge at the annual Society for Technology in Anesthesia (STA) meeting. This was an Arduino-powered device that converted pulse oximeter output to musical signals, allowing the pulse oximeter noises to be orchestrated on a computer. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife, keeping our dog out of trouble, visiting the beautiful beaches and parks in South Florida, and trying new food spots around town.


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David Kam CA-1

I was born in Queens, New York to first-generation immigrants, and growing up surrounded by people from dozens of countries positively impacted my development as a person. After graduating from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, I knew that I was looking for a training program in a big city with diverse and eclectic people, food, and culture. The residency program at UM/Jackson feels like one big family. In terms of training, we are exposed to advanced pathology across multiple practice settings, projects in research and quality improvement here, and advocacy roles on a national level. I believe these growth opportunities make for well-rounded anesthesiologists who are poised for leadership in our field. Miami is a very spirited city with a lot to offer. In the past year, I’ve attended a recital at the UM Frost School of Music, cheered for the Heat at a home game, discovered restaurants through Miami Spice, paddled Biscayne Bay on a board, and explored the Old Town of Key West on a random weekend. On my days off, I wake up in paradise—no flight needed!


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Yanisleidy Paez CA-1

I was born in Havana, Cuba and moved to Miami with my twin sister and parents when I was eight years old . I studied Biology at Florida International University (FIU) and then completed a Masters in Public Health. Deciding to explore the West coast, I moved to San Diego, California and attended UCSD for medical school. While at UCSD, I did research with the anesthesiology department and helped develop a Glidescope training course for non-anesthesiologists. Although I enjoyed my time in California, being able to return home and train at Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) was a blessing.


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Shane Cherry – CVT Fellow

I’m originally from central Pennsylvania and I did my undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh before moving on to the University of Maryland for medical school. I came to Miami because of the personality of the program and it was a decision that has allowed me to flourish. The program has supported me in all of my endeavors, including advocacy at both the state and national level, global humanitarian outreach via the Lifebox campaign, and most importantly, fostering leadership within the ASA. I have had the pleasure of serving on the ASA’s Resident Component Governing Council for the past year, an experience which has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, and to shape my own future as well as the future of our specialty.


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Meredith Degnan – Pain Management Fellow

My name is Meredith. I was born and raised in South Florida. I studied Economics at the University of Florida and came home to the University of Miami for medical school and residency. During my CA-1 and CA-2 years, I served as one of our program’s ASA-PAC representatives, helping to spread the word about advocacy activities overseen by the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Political Action Committee. I also represented the state of Florida as an ASA Delegate at the Annual 2016 ASA meeting. I recently spent 6 months on a research elective, which allowed me the opportunity to present and publish several research projects. As part of the research rotation, I also had the unique opportunity to spend one month at a cancer hospital in China, where I was able to teach the local anesthesiologists some of the regional anesthetic techniques commonly utilized here in the United States. When I’m not working or traveling abroad, I love spending time with husband and my newborn daughter. I also love exploring Miami Beach and all the city has to offer including the amazing food and a plethora of relaxing spas. Go Canes!


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Heather Block Barkin – Critical Care Medicine Fellow

I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. After high school, I became a Miami Hurricane through and through. I attended college at the University of Miami, and went on to complete medical school and anesthesiology residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital (UM/JMH). I was fortunate enough to be able stay at UM/JMH for a fellowship in critical care medicine. Our program is truly special. We have a close-knit group of residents, fellows, and faculty, a great case-volume, and teaching. I feel supported in my academic endeavors. I have had the privilege of publishing multiple articles and presenting at both departmental grand rounds and national meetings including the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA), and the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). I simply could not have asked for a better professional training experience. I have enjoyed living in Miami immensely. The weather is spectacular and the city has a ton to offer. When not at the hospital, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, attending Miami Heat and Miami Hurricanes games, exercising, and relaxing by the pool.