Education Research Service



Mary Abbot , MD (R1)

Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

I did most of my growing up in Arlington, Virginia. After attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut, I returned to Arlington and put my Spanish major to use as a clinical manager of a free clinic that served many Latino immigrants. It was a great opportunity to address the range of unmet needs that challenge immigrant families and to appreciate the difference that physicians can make in community health. Through work in student-run clinics and time with the family medicine department at Drexel College of Medicine, I continued to learn about the health needs of urban populations.  I am excited about the move to Columbia-New York Presbyterian, where the family medicine department is dedicated to immigrant health, full-spectrum reproductive care, geriatrics, and many other programs that contribute so much to community health. Joining the Washington Heights/Inwood neighborhood will also bring me closer to some old friends with whom I love to explore new neighborhoods, cook meals, and play games. I also enjoy painting, running, and finding places to swim outdoors.


Laura Belland , MD (R1)

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai , New York, NY

Hello! I am very excited to be joining Columbia's Family Medicine program. I chose this program for several reasons: to be able to care for an underserved urban population, to train at the renowned New York Presbyterian Hospital with experts in their fields, to work alongside the warm and intelligent residents and faculty I met during interview season, and to stay in fabulous NYC.

As a student at the Icahn School of Medicine, I became deeply interested in the field of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and thought that Internal Medicine was the route I would take. But during my third year rotations I really enjoyed taking care of children, performing procedures during gyn clinic, and implementing preventive and comprehensive care strategies. I felt that a residency in Family Medicine would allow me to engage in all of my interests with the opportunity to pursue a fellowship in Geri/Pall Care if I still wanted to. After attending some Family Medicine conferences and meeting like-minded people, my decision was set. Outside of residency my favorite thing to do is explore the city. A native of Ohio, where I also did my undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University, I was drawn to New York for its vibrant culture, variety of food, incredible art and music, and the convenience of living in a major urban setting where everything, including transportation, is easily and readily accessible.


Jenny Bohrman , OD(R1)

 West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg, WV

As someone who has fallen in love with New York City, I am excited to be a resident at Columbia- NY Presbyterian. My path to medicine began at 11th Street, a progressive health center in Philadelphia as a wellness counselor and yoga teacher. There I found a love of mind/body/spirit medicine and a passion for swing dancing. In search of quiet, I headed to West Virginia for the School of Osteopathic Medicine. After 3 years of medical school and a one-year fellowship teaching osteopathic manual medicine, I moved to Brooklyn with my partner and our new son. I completed my 4th year of training in NYC while longing for the rolling hills of WV. After finding the quiet places and connections amid the noisy crowds, it is clear this is where I want to be, learning to be a socially aware physician among people from all over the world. At NYP I look forward to having time to create a community program and to delve into narrative medicine. I am grateful for this opportunity to be trained at an outstanding institution in an unparalleled city.


Daniela Fanto, MD (R1)

St. George's University of London, London, UK

I am so excited to enter into a new phase of my life in such a fantastic program. I’ve had eleven great years since leaving America to study medicine in London but I'm so pleased to be moving back to my home country and to another diverse and exciting metropolis. I originally chose to study in London because I love traveling and I have a curiosity for discovering different cultures and traditions. During these years, I learned what makes a 'proper' fish and chips and how to use countless adjectives to describe a cloudy day but most of all I discovered how rewarding it is to be an active member of a community. My medical school years and post-graduate training within the NHS compelled me toward Family Medicine. The supportive teamwork, caring approach and ability to play an integral role in the community makes Family Medicine such a unique and fitting specialty. I'm really looking forward to moving to New York, I can't wait to discover more of the local food, go to music events and get lost while exploring Central Park.

Most of all I can’t wait to join the Family Medicine team at Columbia! I loved visiting during my interview and it was the entire package of faculty, staff and location that absolutely solidified my enthusiasm for this program. There is a great sense of positivity, support and team-work here and I am thrilled to start residency!


Hyowoun Jyung , MD (R1)

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry , Rochester, NY

My passion for community health and empowerment has led me to New York Presbyterian-Columbia Family Medicine. New York City offers wonderful opportunities to interact with people from a diverse background, and our program does an exceptional job promoting community-based health interventions. I plan to fully embrace all these opportunities to learn and shape my practice as a family physician. I was born and raised in Korea, and I spent half of my life on Long Island. I attended Amherst College where I created my own major: International Social Justice, studying the spirit of volunteerism in Kenya. Upon graduating from college, I enjoyed teaching middle school science in the Bronx through Teach for America. This enabled me not only to impact my students and their families, but it also allowed me to fully immerse myself in a low-income community and to learn its strengths and areas of improvement. I then decided to go into medicine to empower individuals and communities through healthcare, education and advocacy. The biopsychosocial model at Rochester prepared me well as a budding family physician to attend to patients’ needs and to advocate for them. I look forward to growing further and fine-tune the art of medicine at NYP-Columbia. My interests in medicine include maternal-child health, medical education, and international health. In my spare time I enjoy Zumba, yoga, hiking, traveling, cooking, trying new cuisine, painting, and stargazing with my family and friends.


Rebecca Roach , MD (R1)

State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY

Hi there! My name is Becca and I'm a small town girl hacking it in the big city of New York. I am from outside of Buffalo, NY and did my undergraduate training at University at Buffalo where I studied Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Political Science. I have always been interested in the way politics and medicine influences each other both here and abroad. As an undergraduate, I spent time in Rwanda, South Africa, and Haiti, during which I realized my passion for providing medical service to those in serious need. I went to medical school in Syracuse, NY at SUNY Upstate Medical University and am looking forward to starting my residency in Family Medicine here at Columbia!

I feel that Family Medicine is an incredible specialty that gives the opportunity to study all areas of medicine, while also providing the tools to handle the social barriers that so often impede patient health. Along with global health and healthcare policy, I am very interested in Obstetrics and Gynecology along with learning/performing procedures of any kind. I choose NY-Presbyterian Columbia because it will allow me to be at a world renowned academic center while training in a small, community-based hospital. Columbia's commitment to social justice via primary care is evident through many initiatives including their COPC month. However, it was really the faculty and residents who sold the program for me — I felt like I have found a group that works hard and is passionate about helping others, but still knows how to have fun and enjoy their work.

When I'm not working or studying medicine, I love to be outdoors. I enjoy going to the beach, swimming, hiking, running, skiing/snowboarding, and exploring Central Park with my puppy. I am also passionate about traveling, brunching, watching TV (no GOT spoilers, please), and cheering on my NY Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, and the Buffalo Bills!


Lalita Abhyankar, MD (R2)

University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ

Hello! I am so excited to start residency at Columbia! I’m from the Southwest, and except for a yearlong stint at Hopkins for my Masters in Health Science, my Bachelors degree in biochemistry and my medical schooling were both at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Coming from the West, I applied to Columbia on a total whim. However, when I came here to interview I was impressed by the faculty’s and residents’ focus on evidence based medicine and their dedication to community. I loved that we had our own Family Medicine service at the community hospital, but still got all the perks of a big time academic institution! When I found out about the various procedure clinics, the narrative medicine rounds, the blossoming opportunities in integrative medicine, and the emphasis on quality improvement, I knew this was the right program for me. The fact that it’s in NYC is just an added bonus! I’ve never lived in such a diverse and vibrant city before and I’m looking forward to all the great restaurants, museums, and shows throughout the next three years! Most of all, I’m excited to be a part of a hardworking and dedicated group of physicians who are as passionate as I am about the future of Family Medicine!


Sharon Chacko, MD (R2 )

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

I was born in a suburb outside Chicago and was delivered by our family physician! We moved to Tampa, Florida when I was 9, where I fell in love with the beach. I attended undergrad at the University of Florida – GO GATORS! I majored in psychology because I thought this would give me a great foundation when working with patients.

I headed back to Tampa for medical school at the University of South Florida. Working with wonderful family docs, a passion for building lasting relationships with patients and an interest in preventive medicine all solidified my decision to go into family medicine. I chose to do  residency at Columbia after meeting the amazing residents and faculty, learning about our unique Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) model and getting the overwhelming feeling  that this was the right place for me.

I am so excited to work with such caring, devoted people and getting to train in the ever-exciting NYC! Within medicine my interests are in women’s health, pediatrics, underserved medicine and integrative medicine. I am part of our new Integrative Medicine in Residency program and am thrilled to be able to incorporate what I learn into patient care! Outside of medicine I enjoy yoga, cooking, exploring NYC, tea time and spending time with family and friends!


Elyceia Dortch, MD (R2)

Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA

Hello! I was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and completed my undergrad at the University of Georgia where I majored in Biology. I then attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia. Needless to say I believed that residency would be the perfect opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and take this southern girl out of the South! Columbia’s program attracted me because of the unique Community Oriented Primary Care aspect. I also wanted to work in an underserved urban area and getting to work and play in NYC is a definite bonus! Columbia also offers training at both a smaller community hospital as well as a large academic institution so there are so many resources at your fingertips.

I pursued family medicine because of the diversity and broadness of the specialty as well as the personal relationships you develop with your patients. I am particularly interested in palliative care, women’s health, behavioral health, procedural medicine, and international medicine. While in medical school I had the chance to travel to Peru and provide health care to women from disadvantaged areas-a truly humbling experience. As a family physician I can also be an advocate for my patients and explore the socioeconomic barriers that surround medicine. In my downtime I enjoy trying out new restaurants and recipes, exploring the different neighborhoods/museums/parks of NYC, Zumba, Netflix, theater, and hanging out with family and friends. I’m excited to start my residency training as well as live in the vibrant community of Washington Heights.  I have high hopes that by the end of residency my Spanish will be much improved!


Lara Harisay, MD (R2)

Jefferson Medical School,  Philadelphia, PA

Hi! I am originally from the tranquil town of Sublimity Oregon. I migrated to Connecticut for college and I’ve been hooked on the east coast ever since! While in undergraduate at Trinity College I fell in love with econometrics, a branch of economics that provides individual context to the birds-eye view theories of Economics. I graduated with a degree in economics and worked for several years applying my background to the online space, trying to cultivate a better understanding of how people utilized different aspects of the internet within their daily lives. While it was an incredibly interesting task, I realized I wanted to spend more time face to face and quickly turned to medicine. At Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, I gravitated to Family Medicine due in large part to its ability to step back and appreciate an individual’s goals for their own care, and acknowledge how forces outside the exam room like family and community structure influence people’s decisions about their health. I am thrilled to be joining the incredible team at Columbia’s Family Medicine Center and continue to be so impressed by its commitment to its patients and desire to constantly explore novel ideas to help enhance their health. I am also loving the move to Washington Heights / Inwood and in my free time you can find me out enjoying a fantastic bite at El Rey De Pollo, or working it off in Isham park.


Quang Huynh, MD (R2)

Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ

I grew up in Camden, NJ, where I learned goodness, fortitude, and the ability to see the silver lining in any cloud. I was the first in my family to graduate college, when in 2006 I earned a BA in Biology from George Washington University. I then spent 5 years in Washington, DC working with its HIV-infected and homeless communities. During that time I helped lead a competitive hip-hop dance team called Capital Funk which was the source of so much joy and pride in my life. In fact, I was so devoted that even during medical school, I continued to bus down to DC to rehearse and compete in shows. I returned to my home state to attend Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ – four unforgettable years spent with some of the most gifted and vivacious people I’ve ever met.

My hobbies include dancing, listening to and mixing music, writing, sketching, boxing, and collecting sneakers. I’m shooting to eventually be a world-class connoisseur of tacos and root beer. New York City’s pretty good for all those things, but enough with the parking tickets already! I’d known that I wanted to be a family doctor as far back as middle school. My first-hand understanding of the inner city, moral upbringing, and bright outlook on life all coalesced into a mission to be the kind of doctor who takes root in a community and pours the remainder of his years into it. Yes, I’m a softy! I like to think that if medical school is like learning a new language, then residency must be like learning how to write poetry; in which case, I am so thrilled to be training at Columbia-New York Presbyterian!


David Jang, MD (R2)

David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA,  Los Angeles, CA

Hello there!  I am thrilled to be living in New York City and training at the NYP/Columbia family medicine residency program.  I was initially drawn to this program because of its focus on caring for an urban, underserved, and Spanish-speaking patient population, but I was really impressed by its genuine commitment to community-oriented primary care.  Not only do we see patients in a neighborhood clinic and community hospital, we also deepen our engagement with them through a longitudinal COPC project, medical Spanish classes, and a week-long intern trip to the Dominican Republic, from which most of our patients hail.  The program seemed like a perfect fit for me, and my impressions were confirmed upon meeting the warm, down-to-earth, and rather humorous residents, faculty, and staff that make this program work and put the “family” into family medicine.

As for myself, I was born in California to parents from Korea and grew up in San Francisco.  I went to college at UCLA, where I majored in economics.  After graduation, I worked a couple of corporate jobs before realizing that I wanted more out of my career than just a paycheck.  After a period of reflection, I decided to give medicine a try and took my prerequisites at Cal State Long Beach, where I was fortunate enough to meet my future wife (!!!) and gain admission once again to UCLA.  Now that I’m in New York City, I’m looking forward to taking the subway, people watching, experiencing new foods and cultures, and exploring the city with my wife.


Christine Chang, MD (R3)

SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Brooklyn NY

I've moved around a few times in my life - I was born in Queens, NY and survived a couple of years of public school in the Bronx, but I have also lived in different NY and NJ suburbs for many years. Despite all the places I've lived, NYC is the place that I have come to call home. Having gone through the daily grind here for the past 10 years, I've experienced a lot of the deep hidden life beyond the initial dazzling lights. It amazes me how the complex the life of the everyday individual interacts with his/her health. I'm hoping that training at Columbia will equip me to deal with issues specific to urban underserved medicine so that I can practice effectively in NYC after I graduate. I'm excited to be a part of a community oriented program that has the same interests that I do, and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do together!

I attended Barnard College and also did research at Columbia University before going to medical school, settling down in the Washington Heights neighborhood feels like coming back home. I love it when the aroma of cilantro unexpectedly hits me as I'm walking down the street. Central Park is just as accessible as the Cloisters, and I'll be within a subway ride from the Broadway shows I've grown to love.


Emily Holt, DO (R3)

Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blacksburg,VA

I was born in Washington, DC, where I learned to love politics and policy. I initially thought that I wanted to be a "policy wonk" in social policy, so I majored in sociology as an undergrad.  After becoming an EMT, transferring to Tulane University in New Orleans, and working through Hurricane Katrina there as an EMT, I realized that I wanted to help people through medicine. That storm was a turning point for me-its aftermath magnified the poverty, poor health and failure of a health care system that countless people endure daily in this country. It also reaffirmed for me that there is tremendous opportunity for positive change, and primary care physicians have a central role. Family Medicine was the perfect fit for my interests in preventive care, women´s health care, underserved medicine, community health and health policy.

I am lucky to have a husband and family who are very supportive of my many interests, and before enrolling in medical school I was able to complete a bucket list of sorts: I spent four month living in Madrid, Spain, completing an adult Spanish language immersion program. I received an MPH in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology, and I worked as the Health Policy fellow for the Wounded Warrior Project in Washington, DC. My life experiences helped inform my decision to come to Columbia. The program has a solid academic core where I can learn from world-renowned specialists, and at the same time I get to work at a smaller community hospital. The mostly Hispanic and Dominican patient population was a big draw for me and I hope to become fluent in Spanish while here. I am also excited that my one year old son will probably be fluent in Spanish from living in our wonderfully cultural neighborhood, Washington Heights. My family and I are so excited to make the Big Apple our home and to enjoy all the diverse aspects of this great city!


Zane Martindale, MD (R3)

University of Texas Health Science Center Houston Medical School

Houston, TX

Hi! I grew up in Waco, Texas, home of Baylor University and the Dr. Pepper Museum. I moved to Austin for undergrad at The University of Texas at Austin, where I majored in Plan II, Spanish, and History. My senior thesis focused on the history of the community health center in Waco, which showed me the importance of community support and outreach in developing a high quality primary care network. After college I went south for medical school at UT Houston, where I fell in love with the diverse community, the Tex-Mex and BBQ, and the hot and humid summers.

During medical school, I enjoyed all my third year rotations and found that family medicine was the right fit for me. Working in the hospital districts and community health center, I saw the power of family medicine to take care of the whole person. The personal relationships, the holistic preventive health, the connection with the community, the awareness of cost, the mission-minded attitude, the sense of passion and duty in work, all these things drew me to family medicine.

Columbia’s program attracted me with their high quality of the residents and staff, their position in the Washington Height’s community, their interest in community health in the Community-Oriented Primary Care (COPC) model, and the desire for humanistic healing. At my interview and second look I met devoted physicians who wanted to improve the health of their community, and I wanted to join them in their mission.


Olivia Perlmutt, MD (R3)

University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC

I hail from Chapel Hill, North Carolina raised by a Southern physician and Danish artist.  My passion for Family Medicine started during college, where I majored in Community Health at Brown University.  This concentration provided me with a great academic foundation in Public Health, and allowed me to apply this knowledge in diverse communities both in Providence and abroad.  I spent a semester in Santiago, Chile in order to learn about public health in Latin America and solidify my Spanish language skills.  There I volunteered at a free clinic run by the Red Cross, which sparked my interest in Reproductive Health.  After these experiences, I was convinced medicine was the right path for me.  I completed my premedical requirements at Columbia University’s Postbacc Premed Program, where my excitement for Columbia and NYC blossomed. 

I returned home to North Carolina to work as a clinical research assistant studying COPD treatment at UNC's Pulmonary Medicine Department.  I then attended med school at UNC and gained a strong foundation in primary care.  I am excited to continue my lifelong passion for community health as a member of Columbia's Center for Family and Community Medicine.   I chose Columbia's program for its unique Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) program, its dedication to care for its neighboring under-served communities, and its commitment to a full-spectrum education in Reproductive Health.  I also immediately admired the enthusiasm, warmth and intelligence of the Faculty and Residents at Columbia.  I’m ecstatic to be back in NYC.  When I'm not working, I will value the time to see great art and film, explore new neighborhoods, ride my bike, and cook with friends and family nearby. 


Anoop Raman, MD, MBA (R3)

Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston MA

I was born in Queens and was raised in Jersey. I attended Brown University as a pre-med student, but chose to major in Economics. After college, I worked as a supervisor in a supply-chain management company called McMaster-Carr Supply Co. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working in the private sector, and decided I'd marry my penchant for business with my passion for medicine by pursuing an MD/MBA at Tufts University.

During the middle of my 3rd year in medical school, I had the chance to build on my nascent experience in both fields by working with Partners In Health (PIH) in Rwanda. I took a two-year leave of absence, and worked as a Finance Advisor and then in clinical Project Management to help PIH expand their chronic care and community health programs into over 20 health centers in eastern Rwanda. It was an incredible experience.

During residency, I'm hoping to use the skills from the MD/MBA to work on quality improvement projects in the hospital and health center. After residency, I would love to be involved in helping to shape how health care changes in this country, either at the health center or the policy level.

Outside of residency, I love playing intramural basketball and football, exploring the endless bars/restaurant/museums/parks/theatres that NYC has to offer, and most of all just hanging out the couch and chatting with an old or new friend about nothing and everything.


Michael Spertus, MD (R3)

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Hi! I grew up in the Daytona Beach area of Florida, and knew from an early age that I wanted to go into medicine. I completed my undergraduate degree at Brown University, concentrating in Human Biology. Between graduation from Brown and medical school, I lived and studied in Mexico, improving my Spanish and developing a deeper appreciation of community involvement and service while working with Rotary International. I came back to sunny Florida to study at the University of Miami for medical school. While attending a conference for the Florida Academy of Family Physicians in my first year, I became hooked on Family Medicine and never looked back.

Though it will be hard to adjust from the warmth of Miami, I am thrilled to come back north for the NYP/Columbia Family Medicine program! The community focus along with the resources of a fantastic academic research institution, superb faculty, and passionate residents make it a great place to train. I was also drawn by the strong connection to a Hispanic patient population, since I worked so closely in medical school with Hispanic patients in Miami and during several health trips to the Dominican Republic. My academic interests include preventive medicine, mental health, public health and policy, and integrative medicine. Outside of medicine, I enjoy fitness, yoga, movies, singing whatever pops into my head, and exploring New York City!



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