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Adult Neurology Residency

Due to COVID-19, all University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Graduate Medical Education (GME) residency and fellowship programs will conduct virtual interviews during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Welcome Neurology Applicant!

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Program Information

Residents and faculty outside mobile stroke unit truckThe University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (UTHSC) Neurology Program is located Memphis, TN. Our program is committed to training dedicated and aspiring neurologists with unique experiences and educational opportunities. Not only do our graduates develop a solid foundation in general neurology but they also develop a deep understanding of vascular and critical care neurology.

Memphis is known as the “buckle” of the stroke belt of the United States with the most tPA given in the world. Our residents develop close relationships with their faculty, other members of the healthcare team, and their patients.


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Faculty

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Andrei Alexandrov, MD
Department Chair
Professor
Neurology
aalexa30@uthsc.edu
901.448.1596

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Marc Malkoff, MD
Program Director
Department Vice-Chair, Professor
Neurology
mmalkoff@uthsc.edu
901.448.6198

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Balaji Krishnaiah, MD
Associate Program Director
Assistant Professor
Neurology
bkrishn4@uthsc.edu
901.448.6661

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Violiza Inoa Acosta, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
vinoaaco@uthsc.edu
901.522.7700

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Bolanle Adamolekun, MD
Clinical Professor

Neurology
badamole@uthsc.edu
901.448.4916

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Khalid A. Alsherbini, MD
Associate Professor

Neurology
kalsherb@uthsc.edu
901.448.6199

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Abdullah Alshammaa, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
aalsham7@uthsc.edu
901.966.8811

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Tulio E. Bertorini, MD
Professor

Neurology
tbertori@uthsc.edu
901.448.8353

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Yaohui Chai, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
ychai2@uthsc.edu
901.725.8920

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Hafiz A. Elahi, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
helahi@uthsc.edu
901.725.8920

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Lucas Elijovich, MD
Professor

Neurology
lelijovi@uthsc.edu
901.448.6198

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Nitin Goyal, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
ngoyal@uthsc.edu
901.758.7888

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Raja Khan, MD
Associate Professor

Neurology
rkhan@uthsc.edu
901.747.1111

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Joshua J. Lennon, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
jlennon1@uthsc.edu
901.448.5814

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Jesus F. Martinez, MD
Instructor

Neurology
jmarti84@uthsc.edu
901.725.8920

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William H. Mays, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
wmays@uthsc.edu
901.448.6199

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Michael P. McDonald, PhD
Associate Professor

Neurology
mikemc@tennessee.edu
901.448.4648

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Katherine Nearing, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
knearing@uthsc.edu
901.448.6661

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Thaddeus S. Nowak Jr., MD
Professor

Neurology
tnowak@uthsc.edu
901.448.7384

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Larry T. Reiter, PhD
Professor

Neurology
lreiter@uthsc.edu
901.448.2635

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Mark N Rubin, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
mrubin3@uthsc.edu
901.866.8811

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Mahmoud Salhab, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
msalhab1@uthsc.edu
901.448.6199

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Laura Talbot, PhD, EdD, RN
Professor

Neurology
ltalbot@uthsc.edu
901.448.3630

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Jack Tsao, MD, DPhil, MBA
Professor

Neurology
jtsao@uthsc.edu
901.448.6198

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Lie Wang, MD
Assistant Professor

Neurology
lwang5@uthsc.edu
901.448.6933

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Andrew Wilner, MD
Associate Professor

Neurology
awilner@uthsc.edu
401.662.3754

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Jianfeng Xiao, MD, MS, PhD
Associate Professor

Neurology
jxiao@uthsc.edu
901.448.8404

Pediatric Neurology

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James W. Wheless, MD
Chief of Pediatric Neurology and Professor

Pediatric Neurology
jwheless@uthsc.edu
901.287.5207

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Amy McGregor, MD
Program Director, Pediatric Neurology and Associate Professor

Pediatric Neurology
amcgrego@uthsc.edu
901.287.5208

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Stephen Fulton, MD
Associate Program Director and Pediatric Neurology, Associate Professor

Pediatric Neurology
sfulton@uthsc.edu
901.287.5116

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Elena Caron, MD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
ecaron@uthsc.edu
307.287.6821

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Nitish Chourasia, MD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
nchouras@uthsc.edu
901.287.5060

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Beth Anne Cavanaugh, MD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
bcavana1@uthsc.edu
901287.5208

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Marianna Rivas-Coppola, MD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
mrivas@uthsc.edu
901.287.5208

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Masanori Igarashi, MD
Associate Professor

Pediatric Neurology
migarash@uthsc.edu
901.287.4513

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Robin Jack, MD
Associate Professor

Pediatric Neurology
rjack@uthsc.edu
901.287.5208

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Basanagoud Mudigoudar, MD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
bmudigou@uthsc.edu
901.287.6054

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Shalini Narayana, MS, MBBS, PhD
Associate Professor

Pediatric Neurology
snaraya2@uthsc.edu
901.287.4616

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Amy Patterson, MD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
alaw4@uthsc.edu
901.287.5207

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Roozbeh Rezaie, PhD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
rrezaie@uthsc.edu
901.287.4610

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Andrew Schroeder, MD
Assistant Professor

Pediatric Neurology
aschroe2@uthsc.edu
901.287.5060

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Namrata Shah, MD
Professor

Pediatric Neurology
nshah4@uthsc.edu
901.287.5239

 

Residents

PGY-4

resident photo

Diana Alsbrook, MD
Chief Resident
Medical School: UTHSC College of Medicine
Fellowship Plans: Vascular Neurology at UTHSC; applying to Neurocritical Care this year
Hobbies: cooking, baking, boxing, creative writing, spending time with my best friends/dogs
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resident with her dog resident's dogs

 

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Brittany Kasturiarachi, DO
Chief Resident
Medical School: Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Fellowship Plans: Neurocritical Care at University of Cincinnati
Hobbies: Ballet, Running, Cooking
CV
resident with her spouse and cats

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Prasanna Eswardass, MD
Chief Resident
Medical School: Coimbatore Medical College
Graduation Plans: Academic or Private Hospitalist
Hobbies: Wildlife watching & hiking
CV
resident with his spouse by a mountain

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Leila Gachechiladze, MD
Medical SchoolDavid Tvildiani Medical University
Fellowship Plans: Vascular Neurology at University of Maryland

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Omar Saeed, MD
Medical School: Foundation University Medical College
Fellowship Plans: Neurology at UTHSC

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Savdeep Singh, MD
Medical School: Government Medical College
Fellowship Plans: Neurology at UTHSC ; applying to Neurointervention this year

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Ghaida Zaid, MD
Medical School: University of Jordan
Fellowship Plans: MS/Neuroimmunology at UAB

PGY-3

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Emad Alghazo, MD
Medical School: Jordan University of Science and Technology

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Sarah Ganji, MD
Medical School: Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Specialty Interest: Epilepsy, Neuroimmunology
Hobbies: Calligraphy & Photography

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Hunter Mitchell, MD
Medical School: UTHSC College of Medicine

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Caitlin Moran, MD
Medical School: UTHSC College of Medicine
Specialty Interest: Undecided
Hobbies: Horseback riding
resident with her family at graduation

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Christopher Nance, DO
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Medicine

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Nariman Noorbakhsh Sabet, MD
Medical School: Foreign Medical Schools
CV

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Chetan Saini, MD
Medical School: Sawai Man Singh Medical School
Specialty Interest: Neurohospitalist
Hobbies: Yoga, Bollywood, technology enthusist, hiking, adventure sports, traveling
CV

PGY-2

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Emad Alrawashdeh, MD
Medical School: Mu'tah University Faculty of Medicine

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Khadija Awais, MD
Medical School: Aga Khan University Medical College

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Sehar Babar, MD
Medical School: Services Institute of Medical Sciences

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Marilhia Cornejo Leon, MD
Medical School: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Facultad de Medicina Alberto Hurtado

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Rozita Khalili, MD
Medical School: Islamic Azad University, Mashhad Branch Faculty of Medicine

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Joel Sequeiros Chirinos, MD
Medical School: Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco Facultad de Medicina Humana

Previous Graduates

Graduation Year Graduates Fellowship(s) Practice
2021 Mona Rezaei Mirghaed, MD    
2021 Ana Maleki, MD    
2021 Carolina Harbert, MD    
2021 Teena Bajpayee, MD    
2021 Igal Mirman, MD    
2021 Cesar Sanchez Padron, MD    
2021 Juan Goyanes, MD    
2020 Talal Aboud, MD Neurophysiology, 2020-2021, Emory University  
2020 Saeed Ansari, MD Vascular Neurology, 2020-2021, National Institutes of Health (NIH)  
2020 Reza Bavarsad, MD Vascular Neurology, 2020-2021, UC-San Diego  
2020 David Benezra, MD Epilepsy, 2020-2021, Dartmouth  
2020 Aman Deep, MD   Neurohospitalist, West Virginia
2020 Muhammad Fawad Ishfaq, MD Vascular Neurology/Interventional Neurology, 2020-2023, University of Missouri-Columbia  
2020 Rena Sukhdeo Singh, MD Vascular Neurology, 2020-2021, National Institutes of Health (NIH)  
2019 Kira Dillard, MD Epilepsy/Neurophysiology, 2019-2021, UCLA  
2019 Oleksandra Dryn, MD Neurophysiology, 2019-2020, UTHSC Private Outpatient Neurology, Memphis, TN
2019 Rashi Krishnan, MD Neurocritical Care, 2019-2021, UTHSC  
2019 Nathan Lawrence, MD Neurophysiology, 2019-2020, UTHSC Private Outpatient Neurology, Neurohospitalist, Memphis, TN
2019 William Mays, MD Neurocritical Care, 2019-2021, UTHSC  
2019 Payam Moein, MD Epilepsy, 2019-2020, Dartmouth Epileptologist, Dartmouth
2019 Vasile Popa, MD   Neurohospitalist, West Virginia
2018 Praneetha Arge, MD   Outpatient Private Neurology, Neurohospitalist, Dartmouth
2018 Ali Kerro, MD Vascular Neurology, 2018-2019, UT-Houston Vascular Neurologist, Neurohospitalist, Billings, Montana
2018 Abhi Pandhi, MD Neurocritical Care, 2018-2020, UTHSC Neurocritical care, Neurohospitalist, UTHSC; will start Interventional Neurology fellowship July 2021 at Cleveland Clinic
2018 Mantinderpreet Singh, MD   Private Outpatient Neurology, Batesville, Arkansas
2018 April Wright, MD Sleep Medicine, 2018-2019, Washington University-St Louis Neurohospitalist, Sleep Medicine, Locums
2017 Georgy Cherkassky, MD Neurophysiology, 2017-2018, UTHSC Private Outpatient Neurology, New Jersey
2017 Chris Collins, MD  Neurophysiology/Epilepsy, 2017-2018, Vanderbilt University Neurohospitalist, Ochsner Health, New Orleans, LA
2017 Sulaiman Iftikhar, MD   Neurohospitalist, Arkansas
2017 Yasser Khorchid, MD Neurocritical Care, 2017-2019, UTHSC Neurocritical care, Neurohospitalist, UTHSC
2017 Rasmoni Roy, MD Neurophysiology, 2017-2018, UAB Neurohospitalist, Memphis TN
2017 Yu Zhao, MD Neurophysiology, 2017-2018, UTHSC Private Outpatient Neurology, Dallas, TX

Facilities

Curriculum Details

Clinical Rotations

PGY-1 Preliminary Internal Medicine

Our program is a categorical program, with the PGY-1 internal medicine year embedded into our 4 year program. You will be an integral part in the UTHSC Internal Medicine program as a preliminary resident. Your PGY1 year will be very similar to categorical internal medicine residents from a curriculum standpoint. This year is a very exciting and important year in your medical training: you will learn extremely important medical practices, as well as become acclimated to the system and different hospitals. You will make lifelong friends with the people you meet at UTHSC!

PGY-2 and Beyond!! Welcome to Neurology!!

On July 1 of your PGY-2 year, you will start your journey within the Department of Neurology.

Buddy call system:

For the first two months, all PGY-2 day float and night float guest calls are done with a senior resident (PGY-3 or PGY-4). These buddy calls are to ensure acclimation and increased comfort with solo call that starts each September. Below is a sample schedule across the 3 years of neurology. This is in no way an exact schedule, but includes the necessary blocks to graduate from our residency program.

Block PGY-2 PGY-3 PGY-4
July 1-15 Elective General Neurology Peds neuro
July 16-31 EMG Night float Peds neuro
August 1-15 Neurocritical care Elective Day float
August 16-31 Neurocritical care Stroke General Neurology
September 1-15 Elective EMG Peds neuro
September 16-30 Day float Night float Peds neuro
October 1-15 Stroke Baptist Selective Elective
October 16-31 General Neurology Baptist Selective Elective
November 1-15 St. Jude Elective Elective
November 16-30 St. Jude Stroke EMG
December 1-15 Baptist Selective Elective Psych
December 16-31 Night float Peds Neuro Psych
January 1-15 VA inpatient ROH clinic Peds neuro
January 16-31 Stroke Stroke Peds neuro
February 1-15 Neurosurgery Elective ROH clinic
February 16-28 (29) Neurosurgery Day float EMG
March 1-15 VA Clinic Elective Elective
March 16-31 Elective VA inpatient Elective
April 1-15 Night float ROH inpatient EMU
April 16-30 Elective Night float EMU
May 1-15 ROH Inpatient EMG Elective
May 16-31 Night float Elective Elective
June 1-15 Stroke Stroke Elective
June 16-30 Baptist Selective EMU Elective

Didactic Schedule

Below is an example of the program’s lecture schedule.

  • Dedicated and protected lecture time occurs each Thursday from 12:30-4:30pm. Each month, lectures follow a specific theme (ie. Vascular neurology, epilepsy, movement disorders, neuromuscular, neuro-ophthalmology, etc.) for more concentrated and in-depth learning of a particular neurology sub-speciality. Resources utilized include the Continuum journals included in the program-provided AAN membership, board Review books and question banks and multiple different neuroanatomy books
  • Grand rounds occur weekly (12:10 pm Fridays)
  • Neuroradiology conference (2-3 pm Wednesdays)
  • Morbidity and Mortality conference (Neuro ICU- once a month and Stroke- Once a month)
  • Combined Stroke and Cardiology rounds (Quarterly Neurocardiology rounds)
  • Neurooncology rounds at St. Jude (Wednesdays afternoon)
  • Pediatric Neurology lectures (Specific to residents rotating on Pediatric neurology rotation)
  • Incoming PGY2 residents in July benefit from introduction lectures that heavily focus on neuroanatomy, the neurologic exam, and Emergency Neurology life support

Thursday lecture schedule

12:30- 1:30 pm Neuroanatomy lecture (may also be EEG or EMG lecture)
1:30-2:30 pm Continuum article discussion
2:30-3:30 pm Board review questions and discussion
3:30-4:30 pm Neurologic Exam lecture

Teaching Opportunities

There are also multiple teaching opportunities for residents.

  • University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s (UTHSC) second year medical students undergo a Neuroscience course complete with an in-depth anatomy dissection. Our residents aid in their learning during this time to provide clinical context to their dissection anatomy
  • Our residents participate in neurology clerkship lecture series for UTHSC MS3 and other visiting students
    he medical school organization, SIGN, Student Interest Group in Neurology, provides another opportunity for residents and faculty to participate and interact with students to promote neurology as a specialty

Scholarly Activity

Research

In the 2019-2020 academic year, our residents published 20+ manuscripts with another 21 in progress! There were 50 abstracts presented at international conferences, and 7 published book chapters. Each year our trainees attend various local and international leadership and advocacy events.

Female resident before a poster presentation
Three male residents at a conference

Leadership Activity

Chief Residents: Three residents from PGY 4 year are selected for this position. They are nominated by the program leadership, faculty and junior residents. Their main role is organizing lecture schedule with the help of our APD Dr. Krishnaiah, overseeing the block schedule and assisting the junior residents in their education and other activities. Current Chief Residents 2021-2022: Drs. Alsbrook, Kasturiarachi, Eswaradass

Wellness Committee: The purpose of the Resident Wellness Committee is to advocate and promote a healthier environment, and also to ensure emotional well-being of our residents by providing activities and support that will result in healthier lifestyles. The goals of the committee include: 

  • Increasing awareness and factors contributing to burn out
  • Inspiring and empowering residents to take responsibility for their own health and to make healthier lifestyle choices
  • Increasing energy and decreasing stress

Our GME has a specific emphasis on physician wellness.

Program Wellness Committee: Dr. Diana Alsbrook, Dr. Brittany Kasturiarachi, Dr. Ana Maleki, Dr. Chetan Saini

Quality Improvement: A quality improvement (QI) project is a focused and systematized effort to achieve better outcome of a given process. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) sets standards on the integration of quality improvement (QI) activities into graduate medical education. Our residents are encouraged to participate in QI projects through their residency and the faculty guides them in the process.

GME PSQI Mission Statement

UTHSC GME also offers a certificate program in QI and clinical investigation.

 

Program Quality Improvement Resident Representative: Dr. Ghaida Zaid
Graduate Medical Education Committee: Resident representatives report on the activities of the GME Committee at the Residents' Committee meetings GME Committee Neurology Resident Representative: Dr. Brittany Kasturiarachi
SIGN (Student Interest Group in Neurology) Group: Our residents are encouraged to actively participate in UTHSC SIGN group. The aim is to provide  opportunities for medical students to participate in activities related to the field of Neurology. SIGN Resident Representative: Dr. Diana Alsbrook
Tennessee Medical Association Residents Committee: One of our resident has been selected to serve as Vice Chair in Tennessee Medical Association’s residents committee. Tennessee Medical Association: Dr. Ana Maleki, Vice Chair

Moreover, our residents are also encouraged to participate in AAN’s adovacy and leadership activities including Neurology on the Hill, Palatucci Advocacy Leadership, and Enhanced Residents Leadership Programs. One of our past chief resident Dr. Sukhdeo attended NOH’20.

Residents Honors and Recognition

Year Award Resident Name
2020 UTHSC Golden Apple Award- Resident Teacher of the year Dr. Talal Aboud 
2020 Best Outgoing Resident Dr. Reza Bavarsad
2020 Resident Excellence in Teaching Dr. Talal Aboud
2020 Resident Research Scholar Dr. Aman Deep
2020 Resident Research Scholar Dr. Omar Saeed
2020 AAN Resident Scholarship to Annual Meeting Dr. David Benezra
2019 AHA/ASA Young Investigator Award Dr. Saeed Ansari
2019 Resident Excellence in Teaching Dr. Talal Aboud
2019 Resident Research Scholar Dr. Fawad Ishfaq
2019 Resident Research Scholar Dr. Aman Deep
2019 Resident Research Scholar Dr. Rashi Krishnan
2019 AAN Resident Scholarship to Annual Meeting Dr. William Mays

Explore Memphis

Memphis

Memphis is a city like no other. Nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River, Memphis is where starving actor Danny Thomas built a children’s hospital (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has helped increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80%); Fred Smith started a small delivery service (FedEx now generates $60 billion dollars a year); the King of Rock ‘n Roll chose to live (Elvis’ Graceland sees 600,000+ visitors each year); and where you’ll find USA Today’s most iconic street (Beale Street has attracted fans from all over the world since the 1860s).

Memphis has been named the #1 Most Affordable City in America by MoneyCrashers.com, the #3 city that “The Top Cities Where Millennials Rule, Gen Xers Dominate, and Boomers Move the Market” in 2019 by Realtor.com, and "One of the 20 Best Cities for 20-Somethings" by Greatest in 2016.

Music

Beale Street SignMemphis is a music town known as being the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock n’ Roll. 

  • Stax Records is the home of Southern and Memphis Soul music
  • Blues Hall of Fame has such distinguished members as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, and B.B. King
  • The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has been wowing fans since 1960
  • The FedEx Forum hosts a variety of concerts from acts such as Celine Dion, Post Malone, Imagine Dragons, Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Katy Perry, and hometown favorite Justin Timberlake

Arts and Culture

indie memphis stage shotThe opportunities for enrichment in Memphis are as diverse as the city itself. Every weekend, the city has something exciting to see, whether it’s a cultural festival, show, art walk or new exhibition.

Foodies

Outside of Dyer's restaurantMemphis is rapidly becoming as well known for its food as it is for its music. Travel + Leisure magazine named Memphis one of the “America’s Best Cities for Foodies” in 2015.

Families

Go Ape rope climbingWith its affordable cost of living, welcoming community and plenty of kid-friendly activities, Memphis is a great place to raise a family.

Social Life

Whether it a food festival, music event, or an art show, no matter the time of year, you are guaranteed to find an event going on in Memphis.

Outdoor Enthusiasts

Go Ape rope climbingIf you love the outdoors or being active, Memphis has plenty to offer, including beautiful parks, lakes and trails.

  • Shelby Farms is five times the size of Central Park and ten times the fun (be sure to check out Go Ape!)
  • Overton Park, the 342-acre jewel of midtown
  • We're the home of the 6th largest pyramid in the world (which houses the largest Bass Pro)
  • Memphis Botanic Garden
  • Our Big River Crossing pedestrian bridge lets you walk across the Mississippi

Sports Fans

Grizzlies court during a gameMemphis loves sports. We were named the #1 “Most Underrated Sports Cities in America” by USA Today’s “For the Win” blog in 2014.


I Love Memphis Blog / Twitter

Resident Life

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Program Contact Information

Questions? Contact our coordinater, Haley Smith at hgeabhar@uthsc.edu.

Last Published: Sep 10, 2021