Benaksas, Raphael, M.D.
Hometown: Montreal, Canada / Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Undergrad: Florida Gulf Coast University
Medical School: Florida Atlantic University - Charles E Schmidt School of Medicine
Career Interest: Hospitalist
Hobbies: Video games, fishing, technology, hiking, fur babies, local cuisine, traveling on off days and reading encouraging e-mails regarding MKSAP qbank questions
Thoughts about our program: A major consideration was the large faculty-to-student ratio and the ability to really get to know our administration and attendings. It might seem like a flyover fact, but when you are able to text message any staff member and reach them at any day of the week, any hour (and I do mean any hour), this sincerely helps. Staff acknowledge/celebrate birthdays, achievements, and are even there when life gets hard and you need an ear. You end up really close with your co-residents and staff. This helps to forge ties to the local community if you are not already from the surrounding area.
Faynberg, Boris, M.D.
Hometown: Ft Lauderdale, FL by way of Moscow, Russia
Undergrad: Florida State University
Medical School: Florida State University
Career Interest: Interested in Critical Care, but still exploring
Hobbies: I play a lot of golf. I love college football. Sometimes I workout
Thoughts about our program: Before I saw this program listed first alphabetically, I heard about it from a med school friend who matched here. He mentioned the elite faculty, high level of independence and good work life balance which encouraged me to interview and eventually match here. Well now I've seen for myself that our attendings are not only excellent physicians and educators, but are very accessible and easy to talk to. It's really no big thing to curbside your specialists, which i believe facilitates learning and leads to better patient outcomes. I was very happy to see there is no culture of negative reinforcement here, making these otherwise intimidating interactions seem very low pressure. I have never asked a question that wasn't answered to my satisfaction. Independence is encouraged, and there is a good balance of clinical work and academic activity, pushing continued education; the experience gained leaves you feeling well prepared to take over the service as an upper level. One of the best compliments I can give the program is that there is no unnecessary stress placed on interns and residents and, consequently, work-life balance is easy to achieve and maintain: no strained relationships, no abandoned hobbies, no negative effects on my health or fitness. Otherwise, everything everyone else here mentioned about the city of Birmingham is true. I have had family friends in the area for years and years, and I know this place has come a long way. Birmingham really is experiencing a renaissance, as evidenced by the many redevelopments, breweries, culinary presence and growing number of young professionals. There's always something to do no matter what you're into. I'm enjoying myself so much, I just might stay.
Foy, Thompson, M.D.
Hometown: Enterprise, Alabama
Undergrad: University of Alabama
Med School: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Career Interests: I would like to run my own practice one day, but as of now I am undecided on whether or not to pursue a fellowship.
Hobbies: Playing drums and reading about politics, history, and ancient mythology. I also recently started painting models again, a diversion which I enjoyed in my youth.
Thoughts about our program: My participation in the BBH IM Residency Program has been a journey of self-discovery and growth. The core faculty and sub-specialist attendings have consistently helped me to foster my strengths while also identifying and fortifying my clinical weaknesses. The program serves a patient population afflicted with high prevalence of the major acute and chronic illnesses affecting public health at large, affording residents the practical experience they will need to function in real-world solo and group practice. Just as importantly, the program faculty ensure residents have the necessary and appropriate guidance when caring for patients with more obscure diagnoses and multiple organ system comorbidities. Perhaps my favorite thing about the program is working with and teaching medical students, which I find "raises the stakes", and really pushes me to know what I am doing! Every day is a day I have a chance to work shoulder-to-shoulder with attending and co-resident colleagues dedicated to helping each other be all that they can be.
Guduru, Harika, M.D.
Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Undergrad and medical school: Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, India
Career Interest: Primary care
Hobbies: Gardening, cooking and interior decoration
Thoughts about our program: I fell in love with the program after I completed a rotation here as a student and thought it was the best fit for me. Everyone in the program is very friendly, interested in teaching and very approachable. Though I moved here from abroad, the transition felt very easy and comfortable because of the faculty and other members of this program. Our program director is the best -- she cares for her residents and is genuinely interested in giving us the best possible educational experience. I couldn't have asked for a better program for the most important part of my medical training.
Henary, Mark, M.D.
Hometown: born and raised in Los Angeles, California
Undergrad: Psychobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: American University of Antigua SOM for my basic sciences, and did my clinical work at Florida International University in Miami, FL.
Career Interest: I have many interests in medicine; however, I am leaning towards a future as a hospitalist or a Gastroenterology fellowship.
Hobbies: Sports -- specifically basketball, going to the gym, movies, and going to new bars and restaurants.
Thoughts about our program: The restaurant and brewery scene here is excellent. Since being up here in Birmingham, I have enjoyed saying “y'all" as much as I can and watching the "you're not from here are you?" looks that I get. I get asked a lot why I chose to come up here – 1,800 miles from home. I decided to apply here after a peer told me about the program and I came for the interview. Through that experience, I realized how wonderful the people here are. All the residents are very welcoming, and the staff, as well as my co-residents, are very supportive. Over the course of the year, I have realized how good of a fit BBH was for me. It is a very welcoming and friendly environment. You feel that there is a strong sense of camaraderie
between residents making your experience not only educational but enjoyable as well. The attendings are very eager to teach and truly give you the best opportunity to excel.
Ikebudu, Stacey, M.D.
Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA
Undergrad: University of Georgia
Med School: Morehouse School of Medicine
Thoughts about our program: I am a Georgia native, but I must say Birmingham has really surprised me and not just because of its “southern hospitality.” It has easily become a “second home” to me. I was pleasantly surprised to see what it has to offer and I’m still having fun exploring my way around Birmingham. Good news is there’s not a whole lot of traffic here compared to my days living in Atlanta, and the standard of living is great. Plenty of walking trails and parks to get your steps in if you are a fan of the outdoors like me. And believe me, when I say this, the food here is fantastic. If you’re a fan of breweries or happy hour margaritas, you will not be disappointed. I can honestly say that Brookwood Baptist Health is a very strong program, whether you are a TY or Categorical Internal Medicine resident. What really drew me to this program was its welcoming atmosphere, approachability of the staff, and dedication to resident wellness. Everyone here seems to be genuinely happy and supportive of each other. Dr. Erin Townsley, our Program Director, has been absolutely amazing and incredibly involved, and she truly cares about us residents. I have really enjoyed rotating between the two teaching hospitals as both have their diverse array of pathology and serve patient populations of various socioeconomic backgrounds. The attendings and upper-level residents here are incredibly approachable, compassionate, and they are excellent teachers. I love the autonomy I have and how they encourage you to take responsibility for handling complex patient cases. One of my goals during my time here at BBH will be in expanding our community involvement within the Birmingham area and developing more events in the near future to address healthcare disparities and social inequalities as it relates to public health. Above all, I am extremely thankful for my experience so far at Brookwood Baptist Health.
McKenzie, Johnny M.D.
Hometown: Tylertown, MS
Undergrad: University of Southern Mississippi
Med School: University of Mississippi Medical Center
Career Interest: Very much undecided but interested in hospitalist and hematology/oncology
Hobbies: Baseball, guitar, working out, hiking, traveling, spending time with my awesome German Shepherd
Thoughts about our program: BBH offers top-notch training along with a strong, family-like culture that is difficult to find in most residency programs. The clinical experience is vast, and graduating residents are more than prepared for independent practice.
Mendo Lopez, Rafael, M.D.
Hometown: Lima, Peru
Undergrad: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Lima, Peru)
Medical School: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia- Facultad de Medicina Alberto Hurtado (Lima, Peru)
Career Interest: I am interested in pursuing a fellowship in Infectious Diseases or Gastroenterology, and I would like to focus on medical education and also have the opportunity to develop research.
Hobbies: Watching movies and/or series, video games, sleeping, basketball, cooking Peruvian food and traveling to visit family.
Thoughts about our program: I have seen great camaraderie between residents and attendings. Furthermore, during my intern year, I have seen great teaching and a supportive environment. The schedule also allows you to have time for reading, and the program provides some financial support (for books, question banks and others) to continue building your medical knowledge.
Nutting, Andy, D.O.
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Undergrad: University of Central Florida
Medical School: Lincoln Memorial - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
Career Interest: Pulmonology/ Critical Care
Hobbies: Video games, traveling, theatre, my cats, canoeing, hiking, crochet
Thoughts about our program: One of the most important aspects I look for in a program is family atmosphere, and BBH is definitely a family. We all work together and help one another. Everyone enjoys teaching, and you can always count on your co-residents as well as attendings to be there when you need them. My fellow residents are always willing to stay and help out when I am on-call and things become unexpectedly busy. The attendings are compassionate and truly care about our learning.
Stafford, Colin, M.D.
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Undergrad: Auburn University
Medical School: Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine
Wyatt, Nikki, D.O.
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
Undergrad: Auburn University
Medical School: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Auburn
Career Interest: Fellowship -- Nephrology
Hobbies: Anything outdoors, reading, cooking, plants
Thoughts about our program: After doing many of my third year and fourth year medical school rotations with BBH, I knew the environment that this program offers is one that cannot be matched. Everyone is open and willing to help one another while also supporting each other in becoming the best physicians we can be. The differences in patient demographics between the two hospitals allow us to learn from a wide variety of pathology. The setting of this community program really provides the best of both worlds, including one-on-one experiences with attendings along with strong emphasis on teaching and academics. The city of Birmingham and the people that live in it are also not to be beat!