Housestaff

Chief Residents

Melinda Murphy, MD
USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

usfpedichiefs@gmail.com
Erika Pasciuta, MD
USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

usfpedichiefs@gmail.com

PGY-3

Christine Booth, MD
University of South Florida College of Medicine

I was born in New York but have spent most of my life in Florida. I consider 40 degrees to be freezing cold; so, I guess I'm an official Floridian! I have been married to my high school sweetheart, James, for three years now and have an absolutely gorgeous baby girl, Sara, born in December 2010. I am a true Bull having gone to USF for undergrad, medical school and now residency. Tampa is my true home. I love the proximity to the beach, Disney and above all, the warm sun!

My husband and I are enraptured with our daughter and are enjoying the absolute wonder and true joy of watching our little girl grow into her own little person. I decided to go into Pediatrics when I realized I loved tickling patients and found that made for awkward situations with adults. My husband tells me I am a HUGE Dolphins fan.
Kim Chau, DO
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born in Malaysia, as my family was enroute to the U.S. after the fall of Vietnam. I speak Vietnamese, English and a dialect of Chinese called Teo Chew known as Chaozhou. Few people speak this dialect, so it's always exciting when I meet someone who does. I chose pediatrics because I enjoy working with this patient population as well as the associated pathology. Children are amazingly gifted at bringing a smile to your face. Aside from medicine, I enjoy running and yoga. I don’t own a T.V. and prefer watching movies. At the top of my lists are Momento, Pan’s Labyrinth, Inception, Amelie and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Jacqueline Endaya, MD
University of South Florida College of Medicine

I was born in Ontario, Canada and moved to Florida when I was 11 years old…. I just can't stay away from the sunshine! I grew up in Sarasota, Florida and spent most of my days at Siesta Key beach. I then became a Florida Gator in 2003 and majored in Nutrition. I attended USF College of Medicine and knew that I wanted to stay at USF for Residency. I chose Pediatrics because of the important role of keeping families healthy, the fact that kid (especially babies) s are so cute and that you always smile or laugh about something in Pediatrics. I did an elective in NICU that was amazing.

I enjoy baking cupcakes, swimming, watching chick flicks (I love “Twilight”!), going to the beach and taking my puppies out around town. I have two dogs, Jack and Jellybean, and they love the Davis Island dog beach. Jack is a certified therapy dog (the kids at Shriners and TGH love his cool mohawk!). I love Tampa because it's not too busy but at the same time not a small town. There are many great places to visit and my family lives close by. I look forward to my residency years and a possibly a fellowship in Neonatology.
Ivey Gayahan, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine

My family is originally from the Philippines, where I was born. We moved to Orlando when I was one year old. My father was in the Navy, so in the second grade we were stationed to the beautiful island of Guam where we lived until I graduated from high school and my family returned to Orlando. I moved up to Tallahassee, Florida to obtain my BS in Biology from Florida State University and stayed there for medical schoo. I transferred to the Fort Pierce Regional Campus in my third year. My passion for pediatrics began early when my family would visit the Philippines. I was exposed to the harsh reality of a nation struggling with health care where, unfortunately, the most vulnerable population were children.

No other specialty affords you the opportunity to make such a significant impact on a child's future health status. In my spare time, I enjoy music, singing, and am learning to play the guitar. I love learning about the cuisine of different countries; Food Network and the travel channels are my favorite I hope to do more traveling and actually try different international cuisines. After residency is complete, I plan on going into primary care.
Noah Grams, MD
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health

I am originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin but I have spent the last six years of my life in Madison while completing my undergraduate and medical coursework at the University of Wisconsin. I knew very early on in medical school that I wanted to go into pediatrics. I loved working with children in my previous experiences as a camp counselor, umpire and referee and I also found science to be fascinating while studying biology as an undergraduate. I love spending time outside and play just about any sport, but my favorites are soccer, basketball, golf, snowboarding and scuba diving. Although I'm thrilled to be moving to Florida, I'll always be a Green Bay Packer fan. I have been married for four years to my wife, Heidi, who is an elementary school teacher. My career interests include pediatric emergency medicine, global health, sports medicine and general pediatrics.
Lisa Hayes, MD
Lake Erie College of Medicine

A true Floridian, I was born in Clearwater, FL and grew up in Palm Harbor as the oldest of three sisters. For college I headed south, attending University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL and received a B.S. in Neuroscience. In order to be closer to home I then went to Bradenton for medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. My relationship with my own pediatrician inspired my interest in pediatrics at an early age.  I love working with kids and seeing how they grow from visit to visit. I'm so happy to be at USF for residency not only because of the amazing hospitals but also I can't imagine leaving the Florida sunshine. During my spare time I enjoy live music, cooking and photography.
Krista Kohout, DO
Lincoln Memorial University - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born in Illinois and lived there briefly before moving to Des Moines, Iowa, where I was raised and still call home. Growing up I ran track and played soccer and volleyball and I still enjoy running and playing sports. I attended the University of Iowa, where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and bled black and gold!! After college I jumped at the opportunity to leave cold weather behind and move south to be part of the inaugural class at Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, TN. It was here I discovered my love of mild winters, southern food and pediatric medicine. I love to read and travel and enjoy spending time with friends and family…who I can't wait to visit me in Florida. I am so excited that residency has brought me even further south to the University of South Florida, where I am considering a career in Pediatric Endocrinology.
Laura Levitt, MD
University of South Florida College of Medicine

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and attended high school at Sickles High.  I went to Florida State for undergrad where I majored in biology.  After undergrad I received a masters in Microbiology and Immunology from USF, which is also where I attended medical school.  I decided to go into pediatrics because I love working with children and because peds is the area of medicine that I consider to be the most fun and rewarding.   After residency I plan to pursue a career in pediatric infectious disease.   In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband, Michael, friends, and family,  and my two yellow labs, Stella and Winston. The things I love about living in Tampa are the small town feel within a big city, being near the water and beautiful beaches, and being close to family.
Philip Matar, MD
St. Matthew's University

I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, where I grew up with my parents and 2 sisters. I left home (following my older sister) to pursue my education at the University of Miami, where I majored in Psychology and minored in Biology and Political Science. After college, I attended St. Matthew's University where I obtained my MD degree in 2011. This was a great experience, and allowed me to see much of the country during my 2 years of clinical rotations. After completing my Pediatrics rotation, I decided that I had found my calling, and arranged for elective rotations at USF. That acting internship solidified my choice to become a Pediatrician. I enjoy movies, cars, rock climbing and racquetball, and look forward to starting a new chapter of life in Tampa with my new wife Nadine!
Kelly Montgomery, MD
Ponce School of Medicine

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, grew up in Colorado, and have lived every where in between. I attended the University of Notre Dame for undergrad (Go Irish!) and a few years later studied medicine at Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. I was inspired to pursue medicine and the field of pediatrics by my grandfather, a pediatric pulmonologist and a pioneer in pediatric tuberculosis in Puerto Rico. I am excited to be a part of the USF community, I was drawn to USF by their strong clinical training in comprehensive and compassionate patient care, and clinical experiences in numerous subspecialty fields, opportunities that will help me grow as a physician and guide me to where my career might take me next. Aside from medicine, I enjoy Notre Dame football, salsa dancing, reading a good book on the beach, and watching the sunset with my husband.
Alicia Piniero, DO
Lake Erie College of Medicine

Born in Northern California, but raised from the age of 10 in Boca Raton, Florida. I have one younger brother and a dog named Lucy, who I absolutely adore! I stayed in the sunshine state to attend college at Florida State University (Go Seminoles!), where I majored in Exercise Physiology and Minored in Biology and Psychology. From there I headed back down south to earn my D.O. degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, FL. I chose Pediatrics because I love the kids and being able to educate and encourage them to make healthy choices and develop their talents! I am so excited to be working in the Tampa bay area. When I'm not working I enjoy cooking, shopping, working out, dancing, Florida's beautiful beaches, and trying new restaurants. I hope to pursue a fellowship in Emergency Medicine or practice outpatient Pediatrics.
Marsha Ramsay, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine

I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and if you've ever been to Texas you know how hard it was for me to leave! I found a second home at Florida State University where I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I worked for several years as a behavioral therapist for children with developmental disabilities, and even though I loved my job, I decided to pursue a medical degree at FSU and become a pediatrician. My husband and I had our first baby in June 2011, so pediatrics is my calling both at work and at home! As dog lovers, we also share our home with our two Akitas, Marley and Dylan. When I'm not working, I'm hanging out with my family and friends – watching sports (especially football), going to music festivals and trying to get to the beach! We're excited to be back in a big city so these next few years should be a lot of work but a lot of fun too!
Sara Saporta, MD
University of South Florida College of Medicine

I am a Tampa native, but ventured to North Carolina for my undergraduate degree in Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I experienced my first Autumn ever. I spent a little time working in Washington, DC, where I loved going to the museums and learned how to drive in the snow.. I think I missed the beach and Florida thunderstorms too much, since I came back home to pursue a Master's degree then medical school at the University of South Florida, where my 3rd and 4th year rotations reinforced my already-present excitement about practicing Pediatrics.

I'm the oldest of two girls, glad to be back in Tampa while my sister is working in Melbourne, Australia for the next two years. I love kayaking, riding my bike, watching Tar Heel basketball and movies, hiking, shopping, and finding great new restaurants in the area. I am also constantly on the hunt for great new music and love going to concerts, my favorite being Outside Lands in San Francisco, which I attend every August.
Sabrina Scott, MD
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

I was born in Pakistan, but raised in Saudi Arabia. At the age of six my family moved to the US and I grew up in North Miami Beach. I went to the University of Miami for undergrad where I earned a BS in Microbiology & Immunology. I continued my education by earning a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences from Boston University. In 2011 I earned my M.D. from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and became the first member of my family to become a doctor. I have always loved working with children and choosing pediatrics was an easy decision. Pediatrics is a wonderful field and will lead to a rewarding career. I'm excited about calling Tampa my home and am hoping to make a great group of friends and enjoy many water activities in the sunshine. In my spare time I love to travel, scuba dive, snorkel, read, kayak, shop and most of all spend time with my family.
Beth Shipman, MD
University of Arkansas

Hey y'all! I grew up in Arkansas- but not on a farm and, yes, we wore shoes (well, most people wore shoes). I attended college at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and went to medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. From my first visit to Tampa I knew this was where I wanted to be so I packed up my husband, our 12 year old son, our 3 dogs and cat and made the move. We really love it here! I still can't believe that I can drive to the beach in less than 15 minutes! I am a dog-crazy person and one day want to have a miniature horse. I like to decorate (and re-decorate) my house, I love all things chocolate and I'm trying to become a better gardener but things in Florida grow a little differently than they do in Ark.- unfortunately, you won't find any palm trees there! I love to laugh (often at my own jokes), draw and color with my huge crayon collection and I am so excited about being a pediatrician!
Shaila Siraj, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine
Pooja Soni, MD
University of South Florida College of Medicine

I was born in India and raised in three different countries - India, Japan, and America. My family finally settled in Vero Beach, FL when I was in high school. I attended the University of Miami for my undergraduate degree in neuroscience and went to the University of South Florida for medical school. My interest in Pediatrics stems from having a younger brother with autism, and this interest blossomed during my clinical rotations in medical school. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family and friends. My other interests include reading, painting, and traveling. I love the Tampa Bay area and am very excited to stay a part of the USF community and experience everything it has to offer.
Fateema Turay, MD
Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine

I was born in Washington, D.C. but spent the majority of my childhood in Port Orange, FL and Savannah, GA. I am the middle of 3 girls, but don't worry, my Middle Child Syndrome is very mild. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Yale University, where I was also a member of the Varsity Gymnastics team. After 15 years of competitive gymnastics, I retired my leotard…but I still like to play around every once in a while. I also was a coach during high school and college. I enjoyed working with the young gymnasts and their parents and knew early on I wanted to continue doing so as a Pediatrician. After college, I completed a stint at the NIH before moving to Florida and earning a Master's at Barry University. I then attended medical school at Penn State University.

I am an owner of a playful black lab named Zoey who is desperately trying to make friends with her feline housemate Jasper. I love attending sporting events and am an avid fan of Top Chef, So You Think You Can Dance, Glee, and Slip 'N Slides. I am looking forward to exchanging the NE snow for the Tampa sunshine and trading in my winter coats and boots for t-shirts and flip-flops.
Kevin Whitworth, MD
Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine

Until my move to the Tampa Bay area, I had spent my entire life in Pennsylvania. I was born outside Philadelphia and grew up near Amish country in Lancaster. I received my undergraduate degree from Penn State in Premedicine, where I met my future wife Sally. I continued my studies at Penn State for medical school where I fell in love with the field of pediatrics. For fun, I most like to travel to sunny places and watch just about any sport. I am most looking forward to providing care to the kids of the Tampa Bay area, and using my free time to act like I'm on vacation. Although I am not sure where my studies will take me next, I am excited about the opportunities that await me in residency and beyond.

PGY-2

Kathleen Altemose, MD
Eastern Virginia Medical School

Kathleen is acclimating to the Florida heat, having recently moved to the Sunshine State from Virginia. She went to undergrad at the College of William and Mary, then Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. She enjoys spending her free time with her boyfriend, Nate, and 2 cats--Merlin and Cosmo.
Christina Dornshuld, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine

I am from Leesburg, Florida. I attended medical school at Florida State University College of Medicine and was selected for membership to AOA. I met my husband in medical school and we couples matched into the USF program, where he is also a medicine resident. I love living in Tampa, there is so much to do! I enjoy reading a good book, baking, and traveling. I would like to someday incorporate global health into my medical practice.
Kelly Driver, MD
Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Virginia Tech

I was born in Gainesville Florida, but I grew up in North Carolina. I attended undergrad at University of North Carolina Wilmington, and loved living near the beach! We moved to the mountains for medical school where I attended Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Virginia Tech in beautiful Blacksburg VA. My husband and I were very excited to move south to Tampa Bay for my Residency training!
Lauren Friedman, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hey everyone! I am from Amherst, Ohio originally and attended THE Ohio State University for my undergraduate training. I am a HUGE Buckeye fan and love watching Ohio State football! I then spent a year doing cancer research in Columbus Ohio at Nationwide Children's Hospital. From there, I moved to Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. I decided I was wayyyy too cold, packed my bags, and re-located to the sunshine state of Florida for my USF pediatrics residency. I absolutely love living in St. Petersburg and residency! In my off-time, I like to go to the beach, travel, work out, shop, visit my family, and just have lots of fun in general! :)
Kristi George, MD
Saba University School of Medicine

Though I was born in San Francisco, California, I grew up in Tampa. I graduated from H B Plant High school, and then moved to Tenneesee where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Vanderbilt University. I went on to obtain my Master's degree from Boston University before starting medical school. After about ten years away, I was very excited to return to Tampa to complete my pediatric residency at USF.
Miriah Gillispie, MD
Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University

Hey y'all, I'm originally from southern Ohio but went to undergrad at Marshall University where I was a cheerleader for the Thundering Herd and a biochemistry major. In case you haven't heard of my school, there's a movie - "We Are...Marshall." I stayed in Huntington for medical school but decided to get away from the snow and cold for residency. On my time off, you can usually catch me (if you're fast enough) running on Bayshore.
Isabel Gross, MD
Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg

Herzlich Willkommen in Flordia! I was born and raised in Germany and went to medical school at the Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg. Through an exchange program in 2009 I spent 4 wonderful months at All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg and just knew: I want to train here!! During medical school I did a doctor in pediatric ophthalmology. After graduating and taking all the USMLEs I started working in the NICU at University Children's Hospital Tuebingen until I matched at USF and moved to Gulfport! I love traveling, languages and anything that comes with it (hiking, swimming, surfing, kayaking, running, relaxing :)). You would never see me at home on a day off - I would either be in my Volkswagen bus in one of Floridas State Parks or on a plane on my way to places I always wanted to go to. My favorite animal is the mountain lion, my favorite color is blue and my favorite food is tacos.
Jordan Larsen, DO
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I got my undergraduate degree in psychology from BYU Hawaii. I then went to medical school at Touro University Nevada. I have been married for seven years to Rachele. We have two little boys. We like them a lot. I also like sports, traveling, and reading books.
Juan Luna, MD
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico where I spent most of my youth, until my family moved to Jacksonville, FL. I graduated with all my degrees from the University of South Florida. What do I see in this Peds program? Passionate attendings and residents that always put their littles ones first. As hobbies I enjoy traveling, beaches, and spending quality time with those nearest and dearest to me.
Gina Obmana, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine

I am a native Floridian, born in Winter Park and raised in Orlando. I went to Florida State University for both undergraduate studies, majoring in Biochemistry, and medical school (Go 'Noles!). I frequently go back home to visit my family and to visit Disney World and Islands of Adventure. My favorite hobbies include salsa-dancing and attending Zumba classes at the local gym.
Vanessa Perez, MD
University of Texas School of Medicine-Galveston

iQue tal! Mi nombre es Vanessa. If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be writing a bio for myself as a Pediatric Intern I wouldn’t have believed you considering I was going to become a lawyer. I digress! I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida (Go Celtics! Go Crusaders! Go Bulls!). I went to USF for my undergrad and studied Biomedical Sciences. I stayed here until medical school where I ventured off to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, squeezing in trips to the beach and eating delicious food between studying the brachial plexus and the embryogenesis of the gastrointestinal tract (barf). I then transferred to UTMB in Galveston, Texas where I became a Longhorns fan and ate a lot of delicious BBQ.

My roots and home was calling me so I decided to come back to Tampa for residency. If you ever want to know of some fun places to eat or just hangout and have a good time, don’t use Yelp, just use me! (Especially when it comes to Cuban food and salsa dancing). My hobbies include singing, dancing, scrapbooking, and crocheting. Why Tampa you may ask? It’s got all the perks of the big city with the comfort and relaxation of a small town; beaches, museums, shopping, theme parks and of course USF PEDIATRICS! So come and join our residency family and help us take care of the kids of our future!
Prachi Singh, DO
Nova Southeastern University College of Medicine

I was born and raised in India until I was 16, moved with my family to frigid Wisconsin! Went to under grad in Wisconsin and medical school at Nova Southeastern University. I enjoy photography, traveling and camping.
Stephanie Smith, DO
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Midwestern University

I come all the way from the west coast. I was born and raised in Camarillo, CA which is just an hour north of LA. I went to undergrad at Westmont College in beautiful Santa Barbara, and then decided to move to the desert for medical school at Midwestern University in Phoenix, AZ. Unlike my Irish skin, I love the sun and the beach, so Tampa was an easy choice. The surf here blows but at least the water is warm! Instead of playing sports, I grew up Irish Dancing (aka Riverdance) and did that competitively through college.

I just recently became a certified open-water scuba diver when I traveled to the island of Roatan, and I can’t wait to mermaid around Florida. Among other things, I was drawn to USF Pediatrics because of the focus on international medicine. I love doing medical missions and plan to do a lot more. I also love reading fiction (Hunger Games!) and plan to write children's books. I’m a huge fan of Seinfeld and I love anything cupcake-related. I currently do not have a cat or dog, but when I do he’ll be named Kramer or Newman. Everything in Pediatrics is interesting to me, but some of my favorite areas include sports medicine, global health, child advocacy, and forensics.
Yolanda Suarez-Scott, MD
Texas A&M University System HSC College of Medicine

Howdy! I am from the great state of Texas, raised in deep south Texas and went to undergrad and med school at Texas A&M; therefore, I am the most die hard Aggie you will ever meet. One of the best decisions I have ever made is moving to Florida for residency. Me and my husband are loving Tampa Bay and are very excited to be here. If anyone was curious enough and wanting to learn about Texas A&M and all of our crazy traditions, I am more than happy to fill you in.
Katherine Trotter, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Katherine was born in Georgia and eventually attended the University of Georgia where she studied Mathematics and Biology. She earned her D.O. degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Bradenton. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching movies and doing crossword puzzles. She plans to pursue a career in either general pediatrics or pediatric emergency medicine.
Erin Wright, MD
Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine & Pharmacy

I am from Ohio born and raised and majored in Neuroscience at the college of Wooster where I also played volleyball. I love beach volleyball and being outdoors and love to travel to new places. I'm also a huge fan of pop culture and love movies, music, tv, and reading. Currently I am living in St. Petersburg and am loving Florida!

PGY-1

Melissa Althouse, MD
Eastern Virginia School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia and attended medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School. I am excited to be living and working in the Tampa Bay area. Pediatrics is a great match for me as I love children and find it a very exciting medical field. I am very interested in pursuing fellowship after residency, possibly in neonatology. In my free time I love going to the beach, which is one of the many great perks of moving to the Tampa Bay area! I also enjoy traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family. I love to experience and try new things and look forward to all the new things that Tampa has to offer me!

 

Christina Baldwin, MD
Florida State University College of Medicine

I am a native to Tampa, Florida, born and raised until I was 18 and ventured all the way to Cincinnati, OH for my undergrad four years. At that point, I knew, not only was my heart set on applying to medical school but also coming back to Florida. After completing four great years at Florida State University College of Medicine, in Tallahassee and Sarasota, I am absolutely thrilled to be right back where I started, in Tampa Bay. I am the middle of three girls and although my sisters are both out of state, I am so fortunate to have my parents still residing in Tampa.  I come from a very close family and remain very close to them now, which is one of the things that drew me to Pediatrics. I love exploring family dynamics and look forward to potentially specializing in Peds. Besides my medical career, I also enjoy art, relearning how to ride a bike on Davis Island, spending time with my yorkie-bichon puppy, and,  of course, I wouldn't be a Florida girl if my ideal day wasn't spent lying on the beach. 

 

Nicole Conde, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born in New York City but grew up most of my life in Ocala, Fl.  I went to the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree and then to medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine- Georgia Campus. What I am hoping I get out of residency is the best education possible and to make amazing friends along the way. I am so excited to work with children for the rest of my life and so happy I chose USF as the place to start my career!

 

Kristen Currie, DO
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

I grew up in Melbourne Beach on the east coast of Florida. I went to the University of Florida for undergrad, then headed up to Philadelphia for Medical School. Although I loved my time in Philly, I missed the water and sunshine and knew I had to come back to Florida for residency! When I'm not working I like to do normal things like shop, go out to eat, go for a run, and of course sleep in.

 

Coralee Del Valle Mojica, MD
Universidad Central Del Caribe School of Medicine

iHola!  I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I attended University of Puerto Rico, where I completed both my Undergraduate Studies and my Masters in Public Health. Then, I earned my M.D. from Universidad Central del Caribe, also in Puerto Rico. I believe Pediatrics is the most rewarding specialty there is, and I hope to pursue a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology.

 

Annie Gao, MD
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Born in China, I now call Boston, MA my hometown. I earned my undergraduate degree from Brown University and then went on to medical school at the University of Connecticut.  I am now a resident of St. Petersburg and am embracing all that the Sunshine State has to offer. During my free time, I love to go hiking, running, and most anything that involves the great outdoors. I also love to travel and most recently took a trip out to Washington state where I hiked Mt. Rainier.  



Laura Hendricks, DO
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine

I grew up all over the United States since my father was in the Coast Guard. I’ve lived in New Orleans, LA, Williamsburg, VA, Astoria, OR, Traverse City, MI, Boise, ID, Ft Lauderdale, FL, Miami, FL and now St. Petersburg (which I am loving so far). I did my undergrad at University of Michigan and majored in English, but I always knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. I then went on to medical school at Nova Southeastern University, which brought me to sunny Florida. For fun I enjoy hanging out with my adorable corgi pup, spending time with friends, painting, drawing, traveling, reading, hanging out with friends, tennis, hiking, and biking.

Robert Kickish, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine

I was born and raised in Somers Point, NJ, where I grew up with my twin sister and my older sister. I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology from The George Washington University and enjoyed DC so much that I stuck around for medical school. I knew early on that I wanted to go into pediatrics. I loved working with children as a martial arts instructor and they were my favorite patients as an EMT on the beaches of Ocean City. When my family moved down to Florida a few years ago, I fell in love with the year-round warm weather and the people. As soon as I visited the Tampa Bay area, I knew there was nowhere that I would rather be for residency. In my free time, I enjoy movies, jiu-jitsu and escaping to the beach. My career interests include pediatric emergency medicine, global health and general pediatrics.  

Kimberly Law, MD
USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

I was born in Detroit, Michigan but  grew up in Orlando, Florida. I have lived  in Tampa for the past eight years and just love it here!  I attended USF for undergrad, medical school, and now my Pediatric Residency! Go Bulls!  I have an adorable seven month old Cavalier King Charles named Lady (like from Lady and the Tramp!).  My hobbies include traveling, painting, ice skating, cooking, baking, shopping, and of course spending time with my sweet little puppy!

Amy Mason, MD
Mercer University School of Medicine

Hey everyone!  I am originally from Lawrenceville, GA, a suburban city outside of Atlanta.  Acceptance to Mercer Medical School led me to the great city of Savannah, GA.  Now here I am in Tampa, and I couldn't be happier!  I am excited for this next stage of life.  I never thought in a million years I would be a pediatrician, but now, working with children is the best idea I could imagine.  Plus, the ocean views from All Children's Hospital surely won't hurt the experience! In my spare time, I love to read, cook, organize, and spend as much time out on the water as I can.  I have no clue what life holds after residency, but I sure am pumped to find out.

Kristine Rietsma, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

I am born and raised in Tampa. For undergrad, I went to USF. Then I went to medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Bradenton. During my first year I got a dog, Mizuno! During my second year, I got married. During my 3rd year, I got another dog, Dash! Then to top it off, I had a baby at the beginning of my 4th year!  In my spare time, I am a runner- always staying busy and trying to stay young! Go bulls!

Sara Sabbagh, DO
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and got my B.S. in Molecular Biology and Anthropology from UW-Madison.  I then moved to Las Vegas to join my husband, Jonathan, who was obtaining a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at UNLV.  There I attended medical school at Touro University Nevada.  I love spending time with my husband and dog (Link), hiking, camping, running, going to natural history museums, antiquing, baking, and Pediatrics!
Erin Telepak, DO
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

If I couldn’t be a pediatrician, then I'd love to be an elf. Their profession is also to make children happy. I’m from Cleveland so I don’t think the North Pole would faze me, and maybe Santa would let me travel around the world with him on Christmas Eve! I love traveling. My other hobbies are outdoor adventures and sports (kayaking, tennis, hiking, snowboarding, sand volleyball, marathons), but I’m not really stellar at anything except running in a straight line. I even booked a straight line from Ohio down to Florida to attend LECOM-Bradenton where I went to medical school. I am happy to be staying in Florida at USF for my pediatric residency. I remember on my interview trail that it was the only program where interviewees asked if we could stop the tour so that they could take pictures out the window-the view from All Children’s Hospital of the sailboats on the Gulf is so beautiful! I love procedures, and I’m interested in a fellowship in either neonatology or cardiology. I hope to be involved in global health in my future career.
Rosana Lastra Vicente, MD
Ponce School of Medicine

I was born in Carolina, PR and moved to the states at the age of 9. I attended USF as an undergraduate majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Biomedical Physics. I also completed a masters in Interdisciplinary medical sciences and completed a year of research at the Children’s Research Institute in St. Petersburg before deciding to pursue a career in medicine at Ponce in, PR. Pediatrics to me signifies hope, silliness without judgment, laughter, and yes it also means cries, occasional messiness, and cuddies. My passion to make a difference in a little ones life, and that of his/her family, makes it all the more worth it.  When not working, you may find me in my kitchen experimenting with new recipes, jogging down Bayshore with Chiqui, my pet Chihuahua who loves to wear dresses (J) or at a salsa social! I wanted to come back home to Tampa for residency and I love the support and opportunities provided by the program. 

Tali Wojnowich, MD
Mercer University School of Medicine

A true Southern girl at heart, I was born and raised in beautiful Savannah Georgia.  I attended undergrad at the University of Georgia receiving a B.A. in Political Science. My studies moved me to New York where I spent time working for the Mayor and received my M.A. in International Affairs from the New School for Social Research. I love to travel and have been fortunate to have lived in Israel, Spain, and Australia but my love of Spanish moss, sweet tea, and cheese grits, brought me home for medical school at Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah. I finally followed my brother and sister-in-law (Family medicine residents at Bayfront!) down to St. Pete and absolutely love it here! It is the perfect place to be near the water, eat amazing food, and spend quality time at the beach with my giant Great Dane puppy Brighton. I can’t wait to spend the next three years here at USF where I am considering a career in Pediatric Emergency Medicine.