Duluth Residents

First Year: Class of 2020

luke albaresLuke Albares, MD

Medical school: Albany Medical College
Medical interests: Rural family medicine, procedures, inpatient hospital work
Personal interests: Spending time outdoors (hiking, biking, camping, or running), doing projects around the house, baking
Why Duluth: I completed a rotation here during my fourth year of medical school and felt at home. I was welcomed by the faculty and the residents and knew this would be the place I wanted to train to help me pursue my goal of practicing rural family medicine. Duluth has always been one of my favorite places in Minnesota. I'm very excited that I get to live there and see what the area has to offer while training during residency.

mark bostromMark Bostrom, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full spectrum rural family medicine, OB, clinic, clinical procedures, emergency medicine
Personal interests: Spending time with my family and friends, running, biking, cross-country and alpine skiing, basketball, curling, hunting, hiking, camping, traveling
Why Duluth: It offers rigorous training in all aspects of family medicine and graduates are not limited in their spectrum of practice. I feel Duluth will prepare me best for rural family medicine. The residents and faculty in Duluth are warm and welcoming, and the patients come from diverse backgrounds. My wife and I love Duluth and the North Shore of Lake Superior and are excited to call it home for the next few years.

benjamin dummerBenjamin Dummer, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine, hospital medicine, emergency medicine, procedures, OB, sports medicine
Personal interests: Running, spending time at the cabin, wakeboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing, playing drums
Why Duluth: It's well-known for its rigorous and well-rounded curriculum in areas of practice that are critical to full scope family medicine including inpatient care, OB, procedural medicine, pediatrics, and clinical medicine. I felt that a well-rounded curriculum in these areas would prepare me for any sort of practice I may be interested in my future. Additionally, I like the unopposed setting and thought that this provided great learning opportunities.

james ericksonJames Erickson, DO

Medical school: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical interests: Rural medicine, broad spectrum practice, surgery, psychiatric elements of wellness
Personal interests: Motorcycling building, pistol/rifle target shooting, downhill skiing, continuing to believe the Minnesota Wild can win a Stanley Cup
Why Duluth: I've always desired to return to Warroad, Minnesota to practice medicine, giving back to my home community. That desire has been coupled with an interest in pursuing broad spectrum training. The program is unrivaled in its quality and variety of training. In three vigorous and challenging years, Duluth will prepare me to offer a substantial service to the people of my hometown. My amazing fiancée and I are excited to be moving back to the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior.

allison jubaAllison Juba, DO

Medical school: Des Moines University
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine, OB, pediatrics, preventive medicine, sports medicine, procedures, OMM
Personal interests: Fishing and exploring lakes and rivers around the Duluth area to find some walleyes with my husband, yoga, exercise, reading, trying new recipes
Why Duluth: I grew up in Duluth and had always thought about returning to practice medicine. When I came to interview, I could immediately see how impressive the residency program was. I had no doubt that the outstanding curriculum would prepare me to practice the full scope of family medicine with strong OB and critical care experiences, intense inpatient exposure, and a wide opportunity for electives. I could also tell that the residents were truly happy with their program and had fun together, which was a big selling point for me. I'm excited to return to my hometown to join a program that I know will prepare me to handle the variety that comes with being a family medicine physician.

mindi kvaal andersonMindi Kvaal Anderson, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine, OB, women's health, end-of-life care
Personal interests: Running, reading, films, cooking, jigsaw puzzles, spending time with my children and family at the lake, traveling
Why Duluth: The faculty and residents in this program are friendly, kind, funny, hardworking, quality people. I could tell the residents were challenged and well-trained with mutual respect and strong relationships between each other, faculty, staff, and patients. It was very important to me that I could picture myself as a resident here, which I could easily do. I believe Duluth is one of the best training programs in the Midwest for full spectrum rural family physicians, and I am very excited to be chosen as a resident.

alison liewenAlison Liewen, MD

Medical school: University of Pennsylvania
Medical interests: Full spectrum care, rural and global medicine, women's health
Personal interests: Trail running, nordic skiing, backpacking, long canoe trips; relaxing with my fiancé, dog, and our banana tree
Why Duluth: It offers a perfect combination of a comprehensive training program, including surgical OB and rural rotations with a beautiful four season climate and outdoors culture to match! The faculty and staff are extremely welcoming, and I'm confident that after training in Duluth, I'll be prepared to work in any rural or global setting.

charles taborCharles Tabor, MD, MS

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Rural medicine, emergency medicine, preventive medicine, cost/resource-effective technologies for rural health care, intersection of technology and medicine, ways to improve health care access and disparities
Personal interests: Outdoor endurance sports like running, biking, and nordic skiing; adventure travel, exploring roads less traveled, cooking, baking, DIY projects
Why Duluth: I was impressed with the clinicians, high caliber of available medical resources, and residents. Ease of access to outdoor activities (including snow!) was also important.

jessica taylorJessica Taylor, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine, OB, reproductive health, mental health, pediatrics, emergency care, preventive care, chronic disease management, improving access to health care
Personal interests: Crafting (sewing, knitting, crocheting), reading, cooking, biking, cross-country skiing, canoeing
Why Duluth: It has a strong reputation for full spectrum training. Duluth and the North Shore of Lake Superior are full of natural beauty, and I have many happy memories of visiting this area with my family growing up.

Second Year: Class of 2019

becky daviesBecky Davies, MD

Medical school: Creighton University
Medical interests: Underserved medicine, rural and global health, OB
Personal interests: Horseback riding in the woods, cooking (especially creating new and exciting variations of lentils with rice, baking "Becky Bars," preparing homemade apple sauce), the physical and logistical challenge of using any form of transportation that is not a car
Why Duluth: Duluth is my grandpa Ross's favorite destination outside of the farmstead in South Dakota. Just as important, the faculty and residents are down-to-earth and passionate about patient care. I am excited to jump into a collaborative teaching environment where residents receive exceptional training in the clinic, the hospital, and the OB delivery room. Finally, I cannot think of a better way to spend a day off than exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Elizabeth FeistElizabeth Feist, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full scope rural family medicine with an emphasis on obstetrics, women's health, in-office procedures, palliative care/hospice, exercise, nutrition
Personal interests: Spending time with family and friends, running, hiking, biking, Frisbee golfing, camping, Zumba and group fitness, traveling, reading, playing piano, cooking, baking
Why Duluth: It was immediately apparent how close the residents are with each other and with the faculty. They all seem to have a lot of fun while learning to care for their patients in the clinic and in both hospitals, all with a view of beautiful Lake Superior. This program has everything I was looking for in a residency program with a very strong OB experience, intense inpatient experience, and a dedication to training rural family physicians. I lived in Duluth during my first two years of medical school and met my husband here. We enjoy being back in the beautiful city of Duluth!

Caryn GerberCaryn Gerber, MBChB

Medical school: Stellenbosch University
Family medicine residency: Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust GP Training
Medical interests: OB, women's health, pediatrics, child and adolescent mental health, urgent care/emergency medicine, infectious diseases
Personal interests: Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, yoga, running, walking, reading, cooking and trying new recipes, gardening, spending time with family and loved ones, traveling
Why Duluth: Family brought me back to Duluth, and I am proud to say that I have loved living here over the last 12 years! Though I was born in the U.S., I was raised in South Africa where I attended medical school and practiced before moving to England to continue practicing family medicine. My journey came full circle in returning to the U.S., and I am now incredibly excited and honored to be partaking in the Duluth program. The program here in Duluth is well known for its rural medical training and preparation, which I am interested in. I am very impressed with several aspects of the residency, namely, the scope of medical training the program has to offer, the high quality of residents and the varied opportunities to explore different interests within the program. All this, plus the location on the wonderful shores of Lake Superior, made it my number one choice to study, work, and practice one day!

Tolga HanhanTolga Hanhan, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Broad-spectrum family medicine with OB
Personal interests: Spending time with my wife and two children, outdoor pursuits including Nordic skiing, hiking, road and mountain biking, hunting and fishing
Why Duluth: I chose Duluth for the program, the people, and the place. I wanted a program with rigorous training in broad spectrum family medicine. Duluth's reputation for this style of training is unmatched. I enjoyed working with the residents and talented faculty during medical school rotations, and I knew this would be a natural fit. Finally, my family has roots here as we moved to Duluth in 2000. I taught middle and high school science in this area for 12 years, and I love the community, both the people and the outdoor opportunities of the Lake Superior region.

Joshua KropkoJoshua Kropko, DO

Medical school: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical interests: Preventative care, management of chronic disease, procedures
Personal interests: International travel with my wife, cooking
Why Duluth: This program is well known for training well-qualified, broad spectrum family physicians. We get one-on-one mentorship by specialists of all sorts. We are free to make our training exactly what we want it to be. That, along with the natural beauty of Northern Minnesota, drew me here, and I couldn’t be happier.

Jessica OlenJessica Olen, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full scope family medicine, clinic, hospital, emergency room, OB, hospice, home visits, healthcare disparity
Personal interests: Spending time with my husband, walking through the woods with my dog, learning or trying new things, cooking or baking health foods
Why Duluth: The program offers an outstanding foundation in full scope family medicine, and the community offers an amazing outdoor setting.

Steven SchumacherSteven Schumacher, MD

Medical school: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine
Personal interests: Hiking, gardening, raising ducks and other odd assortments of animals, spending time with my wife and our dog, Bailey
Why Duluth: It offered a program where I wouldn't be limited or told to practice just one aspect of medicine. I knew I wanted to incorporate obstetrics into my future practice and Duluth provides amazing experience in OB and surgical OB if that is something I will eventually want for my training. Duluth has a diverse population, and patients come from a wide variety of backgrounds. This facilitates experiences that most residents have to go to big cities to have. It's also an awesome location along the shores of Lake Superior, and my wife and I loved the city when we came here on a rotation in my last year of medical school.

Jessica StayJessica Stay, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full scope family medicine, OB, pediatrics, women's health, sports medicine
Personal interests: Spending time outdoors such as fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and relaxing on Rainy Lake; spending time with my daughter, husband, family, and friends
Why Duluth: I was looking for a training program that would prepare me well for practicing in a small northern Minnesota community. I was especially looking for excellent training in obstetrics and inpatient medicine, which this program offers. In addition, the residents and faculty are so welcoming that I knew this was the right choice for me. I am very excited to have the opportunity to receive excellent full scope family medicine training in an area that also satisfies my love for Northern Minnesota.

Jesse SusaJesse Susa, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Rural medicine, full spectrum family medicine
Personal interests: Running, camping, kayaking, cross-country and downhill skiing, fishing, hunting, guitar and banjo
Why Duluth: Duluth offers rigorous training in all disciplines important to the rural family physicians: critical care, obstetrics, primary/preventative medicine, mental health, and so on. My wife and I were thrilled to find a perfect fit in the upper Midwest where we have called home our whole lives. The very best of all four seasons are right here on Lake Superior, and there could not be a more inviting landscape for outdoor enthusiasts like us!

Third Year: Class of 2018

Cristina Castillo-NelsonCristina Castillo-Nelson, MD

Medical school: University of California, Irvine
Medical interests: Women’s health, integrative medicine, global health, health equity, integrative medicine
Personal interests: Long-distance running (XC/track in college and Grandma's Marathon), hiking with my husband, yoga/meditation, traveling, surfing, plant-based diet, public radio, romance languages, reading to my daughters and watching them play on the beaches of Southern California and with their 10 cousins in Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Why Duluth: I was drawn to Duluth for its reputation of being a rigorous, unopposed, full-spectrum program offering extensive training in OB, procedures, and inpatient medicine, preparing graduates to work in virtually any rural or global setting. During the AAFP conference in Kansas City, and during my month-long away rotation during interview season, I was able to see first-hand the autonomy, strong work ethic, and kindness of the residents, faculty, and staff. The people in the program are warm, sincere, encouraging, and dedicated to the highest standard of patient care. After my rotation, I was truly enamored and knew I could thrive in Duluth. As a Cali girl, I was a little nervous about the cold winters, but I was excited to exchange my surf board for a canoe, and in my spare time, explore all the natural beauty that Northern Minnesota has to offer.

Kristin ComstockKristin Comstock, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Broad spectrum rural practice with surgical obstetrics
Personal interests: Hiking, crafting, running, reading, baking, cooking
Why Duluth: I was looking for a residency that would provide broad spectrum training to prepare me for the variety of practices a rural community would provide. In addition, I wanted a program with strong surgical obstetrics-something fewer and fewer family medicine programs are offering. Duluth not only met the criteria, but outshone other programs with similar offerings.

charles-hackettCharles Hackett, MD

Medical school: Unversity of Vermont
Medical interests: Hospital medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, office-based procedures (including vasectomy), medical student education
Personal interests: Golf, television, basketball, hiking, tutoring/mentoring
Why Duluth: I needed a program that was rigorous and demanding while also allowing me the flexibility I wanted to tailor my own education. I'm constantly astounded by the procedures we learn, the medical complexity of the patients we manage, and the incredible support for specialists in the area. I know I will be well-prepared for any practice setting that comes my way after residency.

Benjamin HeadBenjamin Head, MD

Medical school: University of Washington
Medical interests: Lasting relationships with entire families, obstetrics, procedures, sports medicine, Hispanic health
Personal interests: Spending time with my family, running, biking, swimming, playing basketball, volleyball, softball, hiking, boating, camping, hunting, snowmobiling, church service
Why Duluth: This is the premier residency program in the U.S. for rural family medicine training! The faculty were warm and family-oriented, the residents were happy, and the area is beautiful. We felt strongly that Duluth was where we were meant to be!

Kristie JohnsonKristie Johnson, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine with OB, likely in a rural area
Personal interests: Spending time with my children, camping, working in my garden, reading fiction
Why Duluth: It provides great full spectrum training and prepares residents who want to include OB in their practice. I was born and raised in the Twin Ports, and I was thrilled to be accepted at Duluth so that I could remain close to my extended family.

Brittni McLamBrittni McLam, DO

Medical school: Des Moines University
Medical interests: Women's health, obstetrics including surgical obstetrics, international medicine/cross-cultural healthcare, osteopathic manual medicine, applications to medical and orthopedic/sports medicine problems
Personal interests: Anything outdoors like hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, canoeing, horseback riding, playing volleyball on the beach, basketball
Why Duluth: The friendliness of residents and I enjoyed spending time with them. The program offered the kinds of training and opportunities I was looking for, and it's a great location.

Melody ShepherdMelody Shepherd, MD

Medical school: University of Minnesota
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine
Personal interests: Cooking, eating, reading, watching movies, playing tennis, skiing
Why Duluth: I have the opportunity to train in the city I call home with wonderful people in preparation for being the rural family doctor I've always imagined becoming.

Dimitriy YezhikovDimitriy Yezhikov, DO

Medical school: Touro University Nevada
Medical interests: Full spectrum family medicine, ultrasound in an acute setting, detox/rehab, palliative care/hospice, sports medicine
Personal interests: Making sushi from scratch (rice being the toughest part), fishing, sparring, exercising at the gym, traveling abroad (my dream is to one day be ringside to supervise amateur or pro fights and to make sure fighters get good medical care)
Why Duluth: I believe Duluth has the best possible family medicine training with a focus on rural medicine. I really like the idea of residents honing in on their ultrasound skills. The residents are very welcoming and easy to get along with. Duluth was always my number one choice as I have heard very positive things about the medical community and have had friends/relatives that have worked and visited the local hospitals. I feel comfortable coming to a city that is very friendly, caring, and being around competent people. I look forward to working with everyone and getting to know the local population.