2021-2022 PGY- 1 Residents

Brandon Albert, MD

Howard University College of Medicine

Ohio State University + Microbiology, M.S. Physiology

Born and raised in a military family, Brandon has reaped the benefits of traveling and experiencing new places. Although Hanua, Germany is his birth place, northern Virginia is certainly where he would call home. He is excited to remain in the Washington, D.C. area ,where he can continue to explore the rich culture and diversity the city has to offer. You will not meet anyone more passionate about the Los Angeles Lakers, who he has supported since he was a kid. His other hobbies include photography attending concerts, and trying new cuisines.

Favorite Place in DC: M street – Georgetown

Favorite Restaurant in DC: Toki Underground

Favorite Movie/Quarantine Binge: Hitch

Hobbies: Basketball and photography

Fun Fact: Met favorite basketball player Kobe Bryant twice.

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Hematology/Oncology


Badr Alsayab, MD

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

University of Virginia, Biochemistry

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky which I have recently learned is the hometown of Muhammad Ali! My family moved to Virginia when I was young and I grew up in the northern Virginia area for most of my life. Throughout high school and undergrad, I spent most of my time practicing Tae Kwon Do until moving to Ireland for medical school. I thankfully got to travel to a few countries during my time in Europe to enjoy the wonderful sights and delicious foods! Am immensely happy to come back to the area and am loving my experience as a pediatric resident and D.C. local.

Favorite Place in DC: Georgetown – M street and waterfront

Favorite Restaurant in DC: Sakuramen Ramen Bar

Favorite Binges: Spinning out / The Witcher

Favorite Movie: The Last Samurai

Hobbies: Love finding new coffee houses and exploring the city with friends! Otherwise, I spend my free time at the gym, watching anime, or eating as much Korean food as possible!

Fun Fact: I’ve been to South Korea and can speak Korean a little!

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Undecided

Christopher Diaz, MD

The Ohio State University (both for undergraduate and medical school)

Chris was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He loves how the D.C. area offers a great blend of city and outdoor life and is excited to explore both of these over the next four years.

Hobbies: In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with family and friends, playing sports, and being a crazy football fan.

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Chris is interested in palliative and critical care but is very open at this point in residency. His other career interests include population health and health policy. 

Emma Holloway, MD

Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University

University of Michigan: Neuroscience; Religion, Women, and Society

Emma is from upstate New York but spent the last 8 years in the midwest becoming an pizza and craft beer enthusiast (in between classes of course). She has spent much time volunteering with individuals with special needs and leading workshops on sexual assult prevention. She hopes to work primarily with children with special needs in the future. Emma loves reading, watching scary movies, and Nelly Furtado. You can always find her with an iced coffee and/or snacks.

Fun Fact: Emma hiked the last 114 km of el Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Development or General Peds

Ellie Hummel, MD

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

University of Oklahoma: Mathematics & Chemistry

Ellie is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, but grew up around Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Oaklahoma for both undergrad and medical school. She is very excited to be in the DC area and especially loves the plethora of outdoor activities and the incredible restaurants that DC has to offer. In her free time, she loves exploring new areas with her dog, trying new cooking and baking recipes, running on the many DMV-area trails, kitting sweaters, and spending time with her friends and family (especially her two adorable nephews).

Favorite Place in DC: Union Market or Audi Field

Favorite Movie/Quarantine Binge: Lord of the Rings (Fellowship/Two Towers > ROTK)

Hobbies: running, biking, hiking, traveling, knitting, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and reading

Fun Fact: Ellie loves dogs and has fostered 25+ dogs!

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Ellie is interested in cardiology and hopes to pursue fellowship in congenital heart disease.

Mary Jackson, MD

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland School of Medicine

Harvard College

Born and raised in Vancouver (Canada), Mary attended Harvard College where she studied Government, Global Health, and Health Policy, and rowed for the Varsity Crew Team. After graduation, she completed a post-baccalaureate program, spent time in the non-profit sector, and conducted cardiology research at Stanford University. After four years in Ireland for medical school, Mary is thrilled to be in DC and at Georgetown.

Hobbies: When not in the hospital, you can find her outdoors, drinking iced coffee, or spending time with her family and friends.

Future Plans: She hopes to further pursue her interests in both health policy and advocacy.

Sarah Kleinknecht, MD

St. George’s University

William & Mary: Neuroscience & Public Health

Grew up in northern Virginia suburbs (was born at VHC)! Sarah loves to travel and hopes to someday run all 6 major world marathons.

Favorite Place in DC: Running around all the monuments!

Favorite Restaurant in DC: Baked & Wired

Favorite Show: Great British Baking Show

Hobbies: Running, reading, and traveling

Fun Fact: Sarah climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Hematology/Oncology or GI

Natalia Kot, MD

Eastern Virginia Medical School

University of Virginia: Biology and Psychology

Natalia is originally from Madison, Wisconsin, but grew up in both northern Virginia and the suburbs of Chicago. She stayed in Virginia for both college and medical school and is excited to be back in the DMV for residency! Natalia loves to travel! She’s been to 16 different countries, 28 U.S. states, 13 National Parks, and is hoping to add more to this list! She is also a big wine afficionado; she used to work at a winery, and she is trying to visit every winery in Virginia (there are 276, by the way). 

Favorite Place in DC: Tysons Corner Center Mall, El Centro Georgetown 

Favorite Restaurant in DC: Millie’s Spring Valley 

Favorite Binge: Love Island UK (no shame)

Hobbies: Running, hiking, reading in her hammock, going to the beach, hanging out with friends

Fun Fact: Natalia is trilingual; she speaks English, Spanish, and Polish.

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Neonatology, Hospitalist Medicine 

Ishani Mehta, MD

Topiwala National Medical College and B.Y.L. Nair Chairitable Hospital

I was born in the central part of India. I probably started dancing before I was walking. I grew up learning different styles of dances and performing stage shows across the state. When I moved to Mumbai for Med School, I discovered Aerial Gymnastics and fell in love with swinging on the hoops up in the air. I am hoping to explore more dance forms in DC and dance my way through the residency. I enjoy cycling in the morning and cooking, but my true passion is watching Netflix in my pajamas while drinking green tea.

Favorite Movie/Binge: Brooklyn 99, Schitts Creek

Hobbies: Exploring different dance

Fun Fact: I was 7 years old when I gave my first dance performance on stage and it was broadcasted on National Television!

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Primary Care of Endocrinology. In the future, I want to work with underserved populations and address mental health issues in children.

Roni Rachel Mendelson, MD

Universita degli Studi di Perugia Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia

I am originally from Moscow, Russia but I grew up in Israel. I later moved to Italy where I attended the university of Perugia for medical school. I was very lucky to be able to call Europe my home and to get the chance to live in different countries such as Italy, Lithuania and Spain. I finally decided to come to DC, where I can combine my passion for different cultures and great food and I am enjoying every moment of it!

Favorite Movie/Show: Friends

Hobbies: In my free time I love reading science fiction books and spending time with my friends. I am also a big fan of learning new languages and travelling to new countries ( and if I can´t then watching YouTube travel vlogs about them).

Fun Fact: I got to see the northern lights twice.

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Hematology/Oncology and Global health

Karleigh Mezeivtch, MD

St. George’s University

Penn State University: Biology and Statistics

I grew up in Baltimore where I was raised on crab cakes and berger cookies while watching Orioles games. After high school, I went to Penn STate where I dual majored in biology and statistics. Before applying to medical school, I conducted research at LIBD comparing the genetic risk score with fMRI in schizophrenia patients. During medical school, I got to live on the beautiful island Grenada where I frequented the beach and waterfalls and watched the sunset on teh ocean everyday after studying.

Favorite Restaurant: Old Ebbitt Grill

Favorite Movie: Simone Great

Hobbies: fishing and cooking

Fun Fact: I got to swim with the turtles at the island where Jack Sparrow was deserted in Pirates of the Caribbean!

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: NICU, PICU & Neurology

Divya Padmanabhan, DO

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Undergraduate: Emory University

Originally from a suburb of Boston, Divya attended college in Atlanta, GA before braving the cold for medical school. She is excited to explore all the restaurants, museums, and shopping Washington, DC has to offer.

Hobbies: In her free time, you can find Divya trying the newest item at Trader Joes, at the nearest workout class or watching Netflix in bed! 

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Divya has academic interests in palliative care and nephrology (among several others) and hopes to integrate her passion for medical education and research into her career!

Maja Stanojevic, MD

University of Novi Sad, Serbia

Missouri State University: Cell and Molecular Biology

I grew up in Serbia. I came to the U.S. to play division I tennis at Missouri State University, where I spent four memorable years and made lifelong friends, and then decided to go back to Serbia to medical school. I also spent time in Houston and DC “training” T cells to recognize and attach tumor and viral cells, and I hope to implement this knowledge in my clinical practice. I love spending time with my family and dog Zara, laughing with my friends, and playing tennis with my brother. I am excited to spend another 3 years exploring the streets, museums and farmer’s markets of DC.

Hobbies: tennis, hiking, and gardening

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Immonology, Hematology/Oncology, Infectious Diseases

Solomon Tatagiri, MD

Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute

Solomon was born in a small town called Bhadravathi, in south India. He lived there until high school and moved to the city of Bangalore. While doing his undergraduate in medicine at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, he got to visit the US. Learning about the culture and academic excellence, he was inspired to move to the USA for  his residency. He developed a passion for the workings of the human heart while rotating through Pediatric Cardiology and aspires to do a fellowship in the same. In his free time, he likes to play soccer (Forca Barca!!), running track, badminton, and video games (Dota and CS). He is an ardent fan of Linkin Park and plays guitar and keyboard.

Favorite Place in DC: Tidal basin

Favorite Movie: The Dark Knight

Hobbies: soccer, badminton, running, boxing, dota, cooking

Fun Fact: Solomon rarely drinks coffee.

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Pediatric Cardiology, Intensive care

Rachel Zemel, MD

George Washington University School of Medicine

University of Maryland, College Park: Physiology and Neurobiology

A DMV local, Rachel was raised in Maryland, went to college at University of Maryland, and attended medical school at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Rachel is excited to be staying in her home city of Washington, DC, and serving her fellow Washingtonians through Georgetown’s Med-Peds residency. Eventually Rachel hopes to pursue a career in hematology/oncology and palliative care. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys hiking, cooking, baking, dancing, reading, traveling, and exploring all of the DC bakeries.

Favorite Place in DC: The Lincoln Memorial

Favorite Restaurant in DC: Bobby Van’s Steakhouse

Favorite Movie/Binge: Chopped Cooking Competition

Hobbies: dancing, traveling, hiking, cooking, baking, and drawing

Fun Fact: I Israeli dance!

Future Plans/Subspecialty Interest: Hematology Oncology and Palliative Care