WMed Specialty Spotlight Podcast

WMed Specialty Spotlight Podcast LogoThe Specialty Spotlight Podcast explores the various specialties in medicine with interviews of physicians in each of the specialties/subspecialties.

The goals of the podcast are for students to:

  • Learn about the specialty/subspecialty
  • Think about which specialty is right for you
  • Begin the long-term planning to successfully match into a specialty and have a successful career
  • Learn of the resources available to make an informed decision about a specialty

About the Podcast

The WMed Career Development Team launched the specialty spotlight podcast in January 2024. This initiative was put in place to assist medical students with what can often prove to be a difficult undertaking in choosing a medical specialty and planning their careers. There are many reasons for this:

  • Students are overwhelmed with the number of medical specialties
  • They do not feel they know enough about medicine to begin the discussion
  • They do not have a mentor, either because there is no obvious person or they are hesitant to reach out to a physician
Biren Shah, MD
Biren A. Shah, MD

Because each physician guest on the specialty spotlight podcast is asked the same set of questions, the similarities and differences of their responses are more easily identified.

Meet the Host

Biren Shah, MD, is the assistant dean for Career Development and professor in the Department of Radiology at WMed. He also serves as the section chief of breast imaging at Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Shah is a former associate residency program director of the Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University diagnostic radiology residency program and former breast imaging fellowship director at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Most Recent Episode

  • Episode 5: General Surgery with Saad A. Shebrain, MD, MMM (May 2024)
    Saad A. Shebrain, MD, MMM
    Saad A. Shebrain, MD, MMM

    Dr. Saad Shebrain is the residency program director of the general surgery residency program and professor in the Department of Surgery at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. After completing his medical degree from the University of Cairo, Dr. Shebrain did a general surgery internship at the University of Cairo. He completed an internship in general surgery at Metropolitan Group Hospitals (MGH) General Surgery Residency Program, University of Illinois Medical College at Chicago. He then went on to do a general surgery residency at the UCLA Medical Center followed by a fellowship in minimally invasive and foregut surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Shebrain also has a master’s degree in medical management from Carnegie Mellon University and did a mini fellowship in laparoscopic bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

    Show Notes


Past Episodes

  • Episode 4: Psychiatry with Madhavi Latha Nagalla, MD (April 2024)
    Madhavi Nagalla, MD
    Madhavi Latha Nagalla, MD

    Madhavi Latha Nagalla, MD, is the residency program director of the Psychiatry residency program and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at WMed. After earning her medical degree from Guntur Medical College in Andra Pradesh, India, she went on to complete a psychiatry residency at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York. Dr. Nagalla then went on to complete a psychosomatic medicine fellowship at the University of Michigan and simultaneously did a psychotherapy fellowship with the Michigan Psychoanalytic Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to coming to WMed, she led a Mother Baby Partial Hospitalization Program – the second of its kind in the nation for almost seven years. Dr. Nagalla is looking forward to bringing that expertise into the Kalamazoo area by building a perinatal collaborative care model.  

    Show Notes


  • Episode 3: Orthopaedic Surgery with Karen Bovid, MD (March 2024)
    Karen Bovid, MD
    Karen Bovid, MD

    Karen Bovid, MD, is the residency program director of the Orthopaedic Surgery residency program at WMed. She is an associate professor in the departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Bovid completed her undergraduate degree at Hope College in 2003. After earning her MD degree at University of Michigan Medical School in 2007, Dr. Bovid completed her orthopedic surgery residency training at the University of Michigan in 2012. She then went on to do a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at the Children's Orthopaedics of Atlanta at Scottish Rite in 2013.  

    Dr. Bovid is, and has been, heavily involved with the professional organizations in her field since the beginning of her career. Dr. Bovid has served and held leadership roles on numerous national committees in addition to her leadership and mentorship roles at WMed. In additional to being a reviewer for several journals, Dr. Bovid is also an associate editor of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

    Dr. Bovid has been academically active. Her CV lists 14 peer-reviewed publications and 19 book chapters and invited review articles, and over 40 abstracts reflecting presentations at local and national meetings. She completed three research grants.

    Among her many honors and awards, Dr. Bovid is a Fellow of the American Orthopaedic Association and has been an award recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the WMed Orthopaedic Surgery residency program.   

    Show Notes

  • Episode 2: Family Medicine with Kristi VanDerKolk, MD (February 2024)
    Dr. Kristi VanDerKolk
    Kristi VanDerKolk, MD

    Kristi VanDerKolk, MD is a family physician and program director for the Family Medicine-Kalamazoo residency program at WMed. She earned her medical degree at Wayne State University and completed her family medicine residency at the University of Michigan. Her clinical interests include both inpatient and outpatient family medicine as well as care of gender diverse individuals.  

    Show Notes

  • Episode 1: Med-Peds with Theo Gomes, DO (January 2024)
    Theo Gomes, DO
    Theo Gomes, DO

    Dr. Theo Gomes is the Program Director for the Medicine-Pediatrics residency program and an assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at WMed. He is a trained Internal Medicine-Pediatrics physician.

    Dr. Gomes completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland in 2005 earning his bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. He performed research in neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He went on to complete a post-baccalaureate fellowship within the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He also trained as an EMT-B, Firefighter 2, and NREMT-I/Cardiac Rescue Technician before starting medical school. In addition, he was a clinical research associate at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

    Dr. Gomes earned his DO degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013 and was part of the Sigma Sigma Phi National Osteopathic Honor Society. He completed his Med-Peds residency training at WMed and served as co-chief resident in his final year of training.

    Show Notes

Guest Suggestions

Suggested physician guests are certainly welcomed. Check out the list of recent episodes above to see which specialties have been covered.

The ideal physician guest would be:
  • Someone that has completed their specialty residency or fellowship.
  • Someone that you think highly of.
  • Someone that has a strong internet connectivity.

If you have a guest recommendation, please reach out to Dr. Shah at Providing Dr. Shah with the CV of a recommended guest would be appreciated.