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Applying to Residency

Welcome to the “Applying to Residency” series. This is a series of panels hosted by the GSSA National Team designed to shed some light on how to incorporate global surgery into residency for current applicants to surgical and anesthesia residency programs in the United States. We'll be hosting current residents across various surgical sub-specialties to speak about what they considered when applying, how to incorporate global surgery work into residency, and their own career paths in the field. All webinars will be recorded and posted to our YouTube channel

Otolaryngology Panel 

Date: Monday, August 31st 

Time: 7pm EST 

Speaker Information:

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Isaac Wasserman


An otolaryngology – head and neck surgery resident at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School.  Originally from New York City, he studied Russian and east European studies at Yale University before going on to earn a Masters of Public Health (MPH) in health policy and global health at the Yale School of Public Health.  He went down to New York to earn his doctorate in medicine (MD) at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  Finally, he had the privilege of serving as a Paul Farmer Research Associate at the Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change.

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Rolvix Patterson


A recent graduate from Tufts University School of Medicine and a PGY-1 otolaryngology-head and neck surgery resident in the T32 research track at Duke University Hospital. He aspires to be an otolaryngologist and global health researcher, and his formative experiences include co-founding the Global Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Initiative, living in Haiti while working at St. Boniface Hospital, and serving as a Paul Farmer Research Associate in Harvard's Program in Global Surgery and Social Change.

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Gaelen Stanford-Moore

MD, MPhil

A third year resident in Otolaryngology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to residency she earned her medical degree from UCSF and a Master’s in Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge in the UK, where she focused her research on otolaryngologic pathologies in resource poor settings.  During medical school Gaelen lived in Kenya conducting research on HIV/AIDS, and as an undergraduate at Berkeley spent time in Vietnam and Spain.  In 2020 she was selected by the American Academy for Otolaryngolgy/Head and Neck Surgery as one of two international outreach delegates.

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Mary Jue Xu


A PGY-5 in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California San Francisco. She studied outcomes of pediatric malignancies at Butaro Cancer Center in Rwanda during her time at Harvard Medical School. She is currently involved with the Global Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Initiative.

Cardiothoracic Integrated Panel 

Date: Monday, September 9th 

Time: 7pm EST 

Speaker Information:

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Yihan Lin


Yihan is a PGY 9 cardiothoracic surgery fellow at the University of Colorado. She is a former Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellow, and World Health Organization Intern. She spent several years working and living in Rwanda and Zambia, and her research focus is increasing surgical access in underserved populations.

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Clauden Louis


Clauden Louis, graduate of Howard University Medical School and Secretary and Chair of Communications TSRA, is a PGY5 Cardiothoracic Surgery resident at the University of Rochester in a 6- Year Integrated Program. Dr. Louis has a profound interest in ethics and global health, with trips focused on Congenital and Adult Heart Surgery in Equador with Novick Cardiac Alliance and Dominican Republic with Cardiostart as research coordinator and surgeon assist, as wells international talks in Colombia regarding hereditary cardiac disease. He is the recipient of the STS/TSRA Global Health Scholarship, which will fund trips to both Tanzania and Brazil.

Neurosurgery Panel 

Date: Sunday, September 13th 

Time: 5pm EST 

Speaker Information:

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Hannah Weiss


Hannah Weiss went to medical school at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is now starting her first year of neurosurgery residency at NYU. She has strong interest in global surgery and expanding access to neurosurgical care in low-income countries, and has performed research and served on the International Board, within the Research Subteam, for InciSioN, as well as the VP of Advocacy for GSSA.

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Adam Ammar


Adam Ammar received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently a 6th year neurosurgery resident at the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. He is also a global neurosurgery fellow of the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, Secretariat member of the Global Neurosurgery Committee of the WFNS, and a volunteer with the Virtue Foundation working with neurosurgeons in Mongolia to improve neurosurgical capacity.

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Megan Still


Megan Still is a second-year neurosurgery resident at the University of Florida. She earned her MD with Distinction in Global Health from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she took a year away to undertake neurosurgical and anesthesia rotations in France, Cambodia, and Morocco with a research focus on global neurosurgical education and neurotrauma interventions in low-resource settings. ​


Rebecca Reynolds


Rebecca A. Reynolds, MD earned her medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2015. During her four years at Vanderbilt, she developed a semester-long course to teach providers the principles of medical photography and led several local Nashville community service initiatives as her class vice president. Becca is interested in pediatric neurosurgery and global health, serving as an NIH Fogarty Global Health Fellow from 2019-2020 in Lusaka, Zambia. There, she studied pediatric hydrocephalus and spina bifida and continues her research from Nashville.

Anesthesiology Panel 

Date: Monday, September 14th

Time: 8pm EST 

Speaker Information:


Maziar Nourian


Mazi is a second year resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center training in Anesthesiology. His interests include global anesthesia training and device development for low resource settings.


Kashmira Chawla


Kashmira is an Anesthesiologist who has completed her residency training from NYP-Weill Cornell Medical Center. She obtained her M.D. from Mayo Medical School and an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has field experience in India, Thailand, Honduras, Malawi, and Swaziland. Kashmira is passionate about building anesthesia and critical care capacity, perioperative care, and policy guided by outcomes research.


Gavin Ovsak


Gavin is a PGY-1 Anesthesiology Resident at BWH, previously studied at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School, and did his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science at Duke University.

Orthopaedics Panel 

Date: Sunday, September 20th

Time: 8pm EST 

Speaker Information:


Kiran Agarwal-Harding


Kiran is a fifth year orthopaedic surgery resident at the Harvard Combined
Orthopaedic Residency Program. He is a former post-doctoral research fellow at The
Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research, Brigham and Women’s
Hospital; and a Global Surgery Research Associate at the Program in Global Surgery
and Social Change, Harvard Medical School. Kiran grew up in Ghana, India, and the United States. He received his B.S. at Stanford University in Biomechanical Engineering, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his M.P.H. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


Syed Ali


Syed Ali is a PGY-1 in Orthopaedic Surgery, UCSF. He spent a year conducting orthopaedic research in Tanzania after his third year of medical school through a Doris Duke grant and the Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology at UCSF. His primary project was setting up a randomized controlled trial of local antibiotics after open tibia fractures. He plans to remain involved with global orthopaedics going forward, including during his residency research year.

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Sravya Challa


Sravya grew up in Hyderabad, India and moved to Nevada in High School. Sravya became interested in orthopaedic trauma while working in the ER as a college student and started working in the bone physiology lab at UCSD to study Acute Compartment Syndrome. When she got the opportunity to combine her goals for global health and orthopaedics through a research year at Institute for Global Orthopaedics & Traumatology, she took time off between third and fourth years of medical school to pursue a year that has been a monumental milestone in finding what she wants to do with a career in orthopaedics. Sravya hopes to continue research in LMICs as an academic orthopaedic surgeon in the future.


Myles Dowrkin


Myles Dworkin obtained his MD-MPH from Thomas Jefferson University and is currently an orthopedic intern at Brown University. He has been working in low- and middle-income countries since 2010 where he has focuses on understanding barriers to care and improving access to prehospital services.

General Surgery Panel 

Date: Thursday, September 24th 

Time: 6:30 pm EST 

Speaker Information:


Youmna Sherif


Youmna Sherif is a resident in the global surgery track at the Baylor College of Medicine. Her interests include global surgery education, ethics of global surgery, surgical capacity building, and surgical infrastructure. In pursuit of these interests, she has engaged in global surgery work in Egypt, Malawi, Turkey, and Uganda. She has worked with community partners in these nations and performed research on the structure of global surgery education in high income countries, the professional development of non-physician clinicians in Sub-Saharan Africa, global surgery scale-up models, the use of guidelines and surgical standards in low-middle income countries, humanism in medicine, and Islamic Bioethics as it relates to care of the female.


Rashi Jhunjhunwala


Rashi Jhunjhunwala is a general surgery resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where she has completed her third year of residency and is in the first year of her two-year research sabbatical.  She attended medical school at Emory University where her interest in global surgery was piqued, and then completed a Masters in Bioethics & Society at King’s College London. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School.


Nichole Starr


Dr. Starr is a general surgery resident at UC, San Francisco and graduated from Boston University School of Medicine in 2015. Her areas of interest are in academic global surgery, surgical quality improvement and infection prevention, and strengthening trauma-care systems in resource limited environments, as well as trauma-induced coagulopathy and platelet function in injured patients. Dr. Starr served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia from 2007-2009, and has been working in Ethiopia since 2018 as the Lifebox Senior Surgical Fellow. She has worked in Ethiopia, Brazil and Liberia on health services research, surgical quality improvement, and, more remotely, improving care for TB and HIV/AIDS.


Alyssa Brandt


I first became involved with global health as an undergraduate student doing research at a hospital in Ghana. I attended Penn State College of medicine where I was a global health scholar and continued to do research at Eastern regional Hospital in Koforidua, Ghana as well as general Zambia. I am now a second-year surgery resident at the University of Utah Hospital, where I plan to continue my global surgery work during my research time.

Obstetrics & Gynecology Panel 

Date: Thursday, October 1st

Time: 7:30 pm EST 

Speaker Information:

Recording Link

Parisa Fallah


I recently graduated from Harvard Medical School and am now a first year OB/GYN resident at both Brigham and Mass General in Boston. I am super passionate about global surgery and engaging students in the field, which is why I helped jump- start GSSA a few years ago. Now I am hoping to bring surgical care for women to the forefront of the global surgery agenda, with the hopes of improving the lives of women around the world!


Ashley Appiagyei


Dr. Appiagyei is currently a third year Resident Physician in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before starting medical school, Dr. Appiagyei obtained her Master's in Public Health from Emory University, and worked in global health research and program implementation with various organizations including CARE International, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Rwanda-Zambia HIV Research Group. She continues to be engaged in global health research as a resident through the UNC Global Women's Health Division. 


Kelsey Stewart


Kelsey Stewart attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine and is currently a 2nd year ObGyn resident at the University of Minnesota. She has a global background working in Microfinance in Northern India, completed clinical rotations on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, and is currently a research fellow with the Global Surgery & Disparities Dept. at UMN. 

Vascular Integrated Panel 

Date: Wendesday, October 7th

Time: 7:00 pm EST 

Speaker Information:


Elizabeth Miranda


Elizabeth is an integrated vascular surgery resident at the University of Southern California and a Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Fellow at the Harvard Program in Global Surgery and Social Change. Her work has included health systems research, policy support, and support of research capacity building programs, with particular focus in Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community.


Alaska Pendleton


A fifth-year resident within the Massachusetts General Hospital integrated Vascular Surgery residency, Alaska is currently completing her second research year as a fellow with the Harvard Program for Global Surgery and Social Change. Originally from Wisconsin, Alaska earned her BS in Biochemistry and German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her medical degree from Harvard University, and is currently earning her MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Plastic Surgery Panel 

Date: Thursday, October 15th

Time: 8:00 pm EST 

Speaker Information:


Anusha Singh


Anusha Singh is a recent graduate of Yale University School of Medicine and a current PGY-1Resident Physician in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Georgetown University. Her involvement in global health began as an undergraduate at Duke University, where she studied the social and structural determinants of domestic and global health. Her early research used cultural anthropology methods to complete qualitative interviews of patients in Togo. These interviews illuminated the interplay between traditional medicine and the hospital healthcare system, ultimately revealing barriers to safe and affordable access to care. Her commitment to global health and accessible care continued in medical school, where her interest in Plastic Surgery also flourished. Anusha is passionate about global health ethics and equitable surgical care for all, and she is excited to integrate these interests with residency training.

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Nicole Le


Dr. Nicole Le attended medical school at University of South Florida and completed a Master in Public Health at Yale between her third and fourth years of medical school. She is currently a1st year plastic and reconstructive surgery resident at the University of South Florida. Dr. Le has a background in global surgery research studying surgical outcomes and improving

the sustainability and efficiency of surgical mission trips. She is interested in the applicability of plastic and reconstructive surgery to patient well-being and functionality in low-resource settings around the world.


Editt Taslakian


Dr. Taslakian attended the University of California, Los Angeles and received her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience in 2013. She then went on to study for a Master’s degree in Global Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in 2014. She spent the next two years working as Program Coordinator for a global health nonprofit organization called Mending Kids, who provide children worldwide with critical surgical care which they otherwise lack safe access to. She earned her medical degree from the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester, MN

in 2020. Her specific interests include plastic and reconstructive surgeries for congenital malformations and pediatric traumas, with a special interest in global surgery training and education in developing countries.

More panels coming soon!

Ophthalmology Panel 

Date: Saturday, December 5th

Time: 3:00 pm EST 

Speaker Information:


Mike Murri


Dr. Mike Murri attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine and is currently a second year ophthalmology resident at the University of Utah. Dr. Murri's interests include optimizing cataract and refractive surgery, global ophthalmology outreach and outreach residency curriculum, complex anterior segment surgery, and medical device translational research.

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Otana Jakpor


Dr. Otana Jakpor is a recent graduate of Harvard Medical School and is currently a first year ophthalmology resident at the University of Michigan. Dr. Jakpor is an active member of the executive board of Residents and Fellows for Global Health Equity at Michigan Medicine, and  has extensive training in global health, including a Master's of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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