What sets the Pediatrics Residency Program at WMed apart? We asked some of our current residents to answer that question. Take a look at what they had to say.
Mohammad Baidoun, MD
Where I grew up: Amman, Jordan
Why I chose WMed: Quality of training and the friendly nature of this program
Why Kalamazoo?: Nice place to live in with lots to offer!
Most complex case I’ve seen at WMed to date: A case of Gorlin syndrome and cardiac fibroma
Future plans (and how I choose this path): Pediatric Cardiology. I love the pathophysiology and the complexity of congenital cardiology! I was fortunate enough to work with great mentors on multiple research projects on pediatric cardiology.
Jibraan Fawad, MD
Where I grew up: Karachi, Pakistan
Why I chose WMed: I enjoyed my interview and connected well with the faculty and residents. The program was also excited to hear that I was trying to couples match with my wife up in Grand Rapids and have been very supportive and understanding.
Why Kalamazoo?: Great people and a lot of things to do around the area. Good food and outdoor activities.
Most complex case I’ve seen at WMed to date: Autoimmune opsoclonus/myoclonus in the first 2 weeks! (0.18 per million children per year)
Future plans (and how I chose this path): Having pursued 2 years of research prior to matching I grew interested in diarrheal diseases in low-middle income countries. I hope to become a pediatric gastroenterologist in the future and be involved in nutrition and global health related research.
Nicole Fledderman, MD
Where I grew up: Schaumburg, IL
Why I chose WMed: I chose WMed both for medical school and residency because I loved the sense of community at WMed and in the Kalamazoo area. I have definitely gained a second family since moving here starting with my fellow medical students and basic science professors that has since grown to include numerous clinicians and now my fellow pediatrics residents.
Why Kalamazoo?: Ever since I’ve been here at WMed, I’ve noticed how philanthropic Kalamazoo is and each year I’ve been more and more impressed at how supportive the community is. This pandemic has brought all of that to the forefront and it has made me even more excited to be here and continue my residency training here. I have especially loved seeing how the Kalamazoo community has banded together during our current pandemic by creating a Facebook page to support locally owned restaurants. I personally joined another Facebook page dedicated to creating and distributing cloth masks to healthcare workers in the Kalamazoo area during the PPE shortage and was able to sew and donate over 300 masks.
Most complex case I’ve seen at WMed to date: ITCH E3 ubiquitin ligase deficiency
Future plans (and how I chose this path): As I am part of the MI-Docs program, I am committed to working in a rural or urban underserved area of Michigan for two years after residency in a primary care setting. In exchange, I will receive $75,000 towards repaying my educational loans. After that, I plan to work in either outpatient pediatrics or may pursue a fellowship in developmental behavioral pediatrics as I really enjoy working with children suffering from mental illness and developmental disabilities such as ADHD, autism, and depression.
Mohammad Sabobeh, MD
Where I grew up: Amman, Jordan
Why I chose WMed: During my interview, I was drawn to WMed by the faculty and residents and the very warm and kind environment they created. I felt that it was here where I would progress the most and achieve my goals.
Why Kalamazoo?: Kalamazoo is a small/medium city and a very calm and peaceful place to live with my family. I like how it is strategically located near big cities such as Chicago and Detroit where I can access major airports and a lot of fun activities!
Most complex case I’ve seen at WMed to date: During my inpatient rotation with the pediatric hematology oncology service, we encountered a very complicated case of a 3-year-old female with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) who developed persistent thrombocytopenia not correcting with multiple PLT transfusions and IVIG. She was diagnosed with Veno-occlusive disease, a rare clinical manifestation of some chemotherapies. I was very happy to hear that she recently recovered well and went home. We love and learn from these little fighters!
Future plans (and how I chose this path): I intend to apply for Pediatrics ICU fellowship to pursue my dream to become a intensivist. During my years of training in pediatrics, I found I have always enjoyed being in the ICU due to the quick critical thinking, the skillful hands, and the bravery you should have to act precisely to save kids. I am also drawn to and inspired by the amazing resilience of these kids and how a lot of them will recover and have the chance again to lead a healthy life.
Tahnee Spoden, MD
Where I grew up: Northern California (Livermore, California)
Why I chose WMed: It was the kind attendings and staff that were eager to help shape me into the physician I hope to become. Residents were getting the support and education they need to be confident and fulfilled. I like the smaller sized program which allows individualized learning goals for residents.
Most interesting case at WMed, so far: Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (rare abdominal)
My future plans: Hematology/oncology because this path provides the perfect mix of acuity and long term care, research, procedure and clinic time. I am very interested in the multidisciplinary approaches to kids with chronic illnesses and diseases (palliative, psychology, child life).
What I love about Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo is a smaller city with big city problems and I love working with underserved populations. There is a good amount of diversity in patient population and disease processes.
- Kim Baran, DO
Where I grew up: Chicago area
Why I chose WMed: I felt a great “vibe” between all of the residents and attendings. It was my last interview of the season and made me change my entire rank list!
Most complex case at WMed: So many! We have a great variety of pathology, including Gastric Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, many hypoplastic left heart syndrome patients and numerous genetic syndromes.
What I love about Kalamazoo: I love the Midwest and was ready to experience a new place, plus I enjoy the many local restaurants and unique breweries.
- Megan Burke, MD
Where I grew up: Plymouth, Michigan
Why I chose WMed: The people!
Most complex case at WMed: Pheochromocytoma and many, many more.
What I love about Kalamazoo: I love all the fun things to do and that there is no traffic!
- Christine Campbell, MD
Where I grew up: Southeast Michigan
Why I chose WMed: I really enjoyed by pre-interview dinner as the residents were not only very welcoming, they also seemed to really enjoy their co-workers. There are also many opportunities to get involved in whatever you are interested in pursuing.
Most complex case at WMed: So many! A patient with Menke’s, Factor V Leiden, essential Thrombocytosis that did not respond to medication.
What I love about Kalamazoo: There are so many things to do when you are not working and the people are extremely friendly.
- Shilpa Chopra, MD
Where I grew up: Southern California
Why I chose WMed: The friendly people! I love the small town feel with big city availabilities. This is such a supportive program and coming to Kalamazoo was the best decision my husband and I made. We couples matched and he matched in Family Medicine at WMed.
Most interesting case at WMed: Rhabdomyolysis in an otherwise healthy adolescent.
- Ahmed El-Isa, MD
Where I grew up: Amman, Jordan
Why I chose WMed: My wife and I are both doing our residency at WMed. We have family in Michigan and we actually love the weather here!
Most interesting case at WMed: The most emotionally complex case was a young child with a terminal brain tumor who I cared for last Christmas.
- Roxanne Graham, MD
Where I grew up: Cape Town, South Africa
Why I chose WMed: Being from South Africa, my husband and I did not know anyone, so I wanted to choose a program that would also be my family at work and the hospital. I loved the close-knit feel of the program and the welcoming spirt of the residents during my interview dinner. I was also looking for a program with a global health focus and a wide variety of specialists. Our program actually has a great advantage in that we do not have fellows, and as such, residents get to work one-on-one with the specialists and get lots of hand on experience.
Most complex case at WMed: There are too many to count! I have been able to learn how to manage patients with protein loosing enteropathy, rare metabolic diseases, non accidental trauma cases, congenital heart diseases, a variety of syndromes, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, ITP, HUS, socially complex cases, lymphocytic histiocytosis, and so many more!
What I love about Kalamazoo: I wanted a program that was located near a big city, but still quiet enough to feel like we were surrounded by nature. My husband and I loved the idea of having lots of restaurants and breweries nearby, as well as being close to the water to take daytrips in the summer.
- Selvy Kumaran, MD
Where I grew up: Regina, Saskatchewan
Why I chose WMed: The one-on-one interaction that the residents have with the faculty is the primary reason I choose WMed. Everyone is passionate about teaching, and the environment is extremely supportive and encouraging. I also felt the medium size program was the perfect fit for me.
Most complex case at WMed: Methotrexate induced leukoencephalopathy in a 13-year-old with ALL
What I love about Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo has all of the enjoyments of a big city with the convenience of a small city. The people are all so nice here and make me feel like I am at home.
- Cinthya Melendez, MD
Where I grew up: Cortés, Honduras
Why I chose WMed: I choose WMed because of the location, the size of the program, the emphasis on resident wellness and the opportunities Kalamazoo has offered to the people of Honduras. Our Program Director is invested in resident learning and wellness, faculty are fantastic, and there is a strong bond between the residents. It’s a very community minded, closed loop and communicative residency program.
Most interesting case at WMed: A 2-year-old child with persistent endocarditis
What I love about Kalamazoo: The people, the beaches, the snow, along with numerous opportunities to mountain bike, hike, enjoy water sports, and other outdoor activities.
- Zac Smith, DO
Where I grew up: Eau Claire, WI
Why I chose WMed: I did a fourth year elective with Pediatric Pulmonology. During that month, everyone was welcoming and eager to teach. This continued welcoming nature of the program continued through the interview. The simulation center is state of the art and is a wonderful resource center throughout each resident's training.
Why Kalamazoo?: It is an easy-going, slow paced area that has a good blend of suburban and urban environments.
Most complex case at WMed: Evan's Syndrome
- Rupali Vora, DO
Where I grew up: South Florida
Why I chose WMed: The residents seemed like they had a bond that was not limited to work. They all hung out with each other on their days off. The faculty were nice and approachable. Variety of interesting cases and complex patient care.
Why Kalamazoo?: Plenty of outdoor activities including having the beach at Lake Michigan only 45-minute drive away, lots of trails/hiking location. It's also nice to have Chicago and Detroit nearby.
Most complex case at WMed: So so many! I have seen a multitude of complex cases at WMED, with the most recent being a case of Wernicke's Encephalopathy in a pediatric patient.