Chief Residents

Ridhima Goel, MBBS

Ridhima Goel, MBBS

Hometown: Barnala, Punjab-India

Name of Medical School: Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Ambala, Haryana-India

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: I chose SUNY Downstate because of its high patient volume, allowing me to experience the breadth and depth of medicine, and to be able to give back to the underserved community.

Career/Research Interests: Academic Cardiology

Hobbies: Reading, traveling, trying to keep succulents alive

Ben Nguyen DO, AAHIVS

Parinaz Ayat

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland-USA

Name of Medical School: Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harlem, New York-USA

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: I chose Downstate because I wanted to practice in an underserved community in New York City. I really enjoy building relationships and serving this patient population. At Downstate, we are also exposed to a wide range of pathologies, and I feel prepared to practice anywhere.

Career/Research Interests: Hematology-Oncology, Immune-Related Adverse Events due to immunotherapy

Hobbies: Spending time with my wife, seeing concerts, trying new foods/restaurants, and taking my dog to the park.


Pascale G Lafortune, MD

Pascale G Lafortune, MD

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York-USA

Name of Medical School:  Ross University School of Medicine- USA

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: I chose SUNY Downstate because I wanted to serve a marginalized population that looks like me.

Career/Research Interests: Hospice/Palliative Care and Health Care Disparities

Hobbies: Spending time with my family, running marathons, spa days.


Bhesh Raj Karki MBBS

Bhesh Raj Karki MBBSHometown: Sarlahi- Nepal

Name of Medical School: B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dhran- Nepal

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: It is definitely a privilege to train at Downstate. A few strengths of our program are the amazing people in the program, exposure to diverse pathology, and diversity within the program!

Career/Research Interests: Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Hobbies: Playing soccer, hiking and talking to friends and families

Nodari Maisuradze MD

Nodari Maisuradze, MD

Hometown: Tbilisi, Georgia

Name of Medical School: Tbilisi State Medical University, Tbilisi- Georgia

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: I chose the program because of its reputation for providing comprehensive clinical traning and exposure to diverse patient populations, allowing me to develop strong diagnostic and management skills. Being in the best city in the world is an added bonus.

Career/Research Interests: Cardiology

Hobbies: Running, music, cooking


Sultana Alam MD

Sultana Alam MD

Hometown: Isom, Kentucky, USA and Brooklyn, New York, USA

Name of Medical School:  St. George's University School of Medicine, Grenada

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: Growing up near SUNY Downstate, I had always heard of the diverse pathology and robust clinical training experience even before my medical training began. I underwent both years of my medical school clinical rotations at Kings County Hospital Center and fell in love with the hands-on approach to patient care in an underserved population. My time during Internal Medicine residency has been nothing short of phenomenal; I could not be happier with the rewarding nature of the training Downstate has given me.

Career/Research Interests: Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Point-of-Care Ultrasound, Academic Teaching and Simulation, Sleep Medicine, Toxic Exposures in Veterans

Hobbies: Creative Writing & Poetry, Exploring Rock Concerts, Learning Languages, Snowboarding, Learning piano and guitar, Overseas & Community Health, Exploring the Food Scene.

Tolga Gidener MD

Tolga Gidener MD

Hometown: Istanbul-Turkey

Name of Medical School:  Marmara University Medical School-Turkey.

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: One of the largest and the most diverse programs in the nation. Great exposure to a broad range of pathologies and patient populations. Feeling competent by the end of training.

Career/Research Interests: Gastroenterology and Hepatology with a research interest in NAFLD and cirrhosis

Hobbies: Dodgeball, discovering new spots in NYC, med Twitter. 

Naveed Ahmed, DO

Naveed Ahmed, DO

Hometown: South Setauket, New York-USA 

Name of Medical School: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York-USA 

Why I chose Downstate for my IM Residency: I chose SUNY Downstate for Internal Medicine to gain exposure to a large and varied patient population. This, combined with the excellent mentorship I received has prepared me to practice medicine in any setting. 

Career/Research Interests: Hematology and Oncology 

Hobbies: Making pour-over coffee and espresso, trying new food, playing piano