Current Residents

PL3 Class of 2024

Subhashini Chandrasekaran, MD

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Hometown: Edison, NJ

Undergraduate: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Medical School: New Jersey Medical School

Hobbies: Traveling, beaches, watersports/activities, Taco Bell and dancing

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: amazing residents, attendings and staff that are always there to help and teach, exciting city to explore in, diverse population and pathology.

Hirah Khan, MD

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Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Undergraduate: University of South Florida

Medical School: Albany Medical College

Hobbies: My favorite thing is Pilates on a reformer machine! Best workout ever and amazing way to destress. I also love traveling and immersing myself in different cultures, as well as skiing, eating dessert, trying new experiences to get my adrenaline rush going i.e., skydiving, sand boarding, water skiing, and just sitting down to watch romantic comedies with popcorn in hand.

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: I wanted a residency with high volume, disease pathology that runs the gamut, a good amount of autonomy, supportive and brilliant peers and faculty, and training that would provide me the skills to be comfortable no matter what gets thrown at me in the future and I believe SUNY Downstate is the best place for all of the above.

Sarah Martin, MD

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Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Undergraduate: Vanderbilt University

Medical School: University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School

Hobbies: Spending time with friends/family, adventuring, listening to podcasts, baking (mostly anything chocolate), making things by hand, being pulled into a good book or tv series

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: The patient population, extensive pathology exposure, and the sense of community amongst the residents! And NYC is a treasure trove for anything and everything!

Abenet Michael, MD

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Hometown: Boston

Undergraduate: Boston College

Medical School: Tulane University

Hobbies: running, panting, making smoothies

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Brooklyn is an exciting and diverse place to live in with a patient population to match. Being able to provide care to patients that really appreciate it and the expectation that I can develop strong and valuable clinical experience and take it with me for the rest of my career.

Giannis A. Moustafa, MD

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Hometown: Athens, Greece

Undergraduate: University of Athens

Medical School: University of Athens

Research Fellowship: Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School

Hobbies: Working out, traveling (esp. in Greece), Exploring NY

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Happy residents, great mentors, unique cases and a broad spectrum of pathology; and last but not least, the sense of belonging.

Nicholas Saba, MD

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Hometown: Hamden, CT

Undergraduate: Bowdoin College

Medical School: University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Hobbies: Distance running, hiking, reading, travel, exploring new restaurants and venues

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Supportive residents, diverse pathology and patient population, busy clinic, living in Brooklyn!

Milana Sapozhnikov, MD

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Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Undergraduate: Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College

Medical School: SUNY Downstate

Hobbies: Traveling, photography, piano, exploring new places in NYC

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Residents and faculty who not only provide exceptional care to their patients but are also always excited to help and teach. Diverse pathology in various clinical sites around NYC. Large volume of surgical cases and procedures. Wonderful opportunity to stay here in Brooklyn at my home med school in a program I know very well and consider an honor to be a part of.

Alex Song, MD

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Hometown: East Patchogue, NY

Undergraduate: Northwestern University

Medical School: Northwestern University

Hobbies: Travelling, Hiking, Tennis, Running

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: diverse patient population with high clinical volume, amazing residents and faculty, and living in NYC.

PL2 Class of 2025

Richard Atallah, MD

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Hometown: New York City

Undergraduate: New York University

Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Hobbies: Travelling, hiking, biking, weight lifting, playing golf, playing guitar, and live music.

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: I was drawn to SUNY Downstate for its reputation of training excellent ophthalmologists. I wanted a place that would promote autonomy and confidence, which Downstate definitely provides. Furthermore, there is tremendous value in working in a high volume/diverse patient population. I am excited to continue my training in NYC.

Adam Goldman, MD

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Hometown: Danville, California

Undergraduate: U.C. Santa Barbara

Medical School: SUNY Downstate

Hobbies: Spending time outdoors hiking, walking around NYC/Brooklyn, watching/playing sports, travel, and soaking in everything New York City has to offer - especially its food scene!

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: As a student, I was exposed to the incredible clinical training our residents receive. The faculty is superb, and the diverse population we encounter throughout our clinical sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island will help prepare me for anything I encounter later in my career. Additionally, Brooklyn is an incredible place to live, and getting to spend 3 more years here makes me feel very lucky to be a resident at Downstate.

Ismini Koulouri, MD

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Hometown: Athens, Greece

Undergraduate: University of Hamburg, Germany

Medical School: University of Hamburg, Germany

Hobbies: running, biking, working out, cooking Greek food and reading literature

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Great variety in pathology seen and serving those in need, as well as great collegial environment and amazing mentors

Anapatricia Maldonado Cerda, MD

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Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico (wepa!)

Undergraduate: Boston University

Medical School: University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine

Hobbies: Planning elaborate Halloween parties, expanding my tolerance to spicy foods and drinks, playing the piano, and attempting challenging yoga poses (i.e. crow pose) without hurting myself.

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: After speaking with the residents and faculty on interview day, SUNY Downstate left me with a “feels-right” type of gut feeling. Although difficult to put into words, this feeling told me Downstate was where I needed to go to grow as an ophthalmologist and person. I cannot imagine a more challenging, diverse, and exciting place to train than Brooklyn, NY.

Israel Ojalvo, MD

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Hometown: Miami, FL

Undergraduate: University of Florida

Medical School: Thomas Jefferson University

Hobbies: Backpacking the world, trying and cooking exotic foods, weight lifting, volleyball, concerts/festivals, podcasts, skiing, supporting Florida Gator and Miami sports

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: SUNY Downstate is a program that has a reputation for amazing clinical training with early autonomy. The population around Brooklyn is global with a wide range of diseases to learn from. The residents and faculty seemed great during my interview day. Brooklyn is a fun place I always aspired to live in, and now I have my chance. Excited to try the best foods in the country.

Pratik Patel, MD

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Hometown: Diamond Bar, CA

Undergraduate: UCLA

Medical School: SUNY Downstate

Hobbies: Basketball, Movies/Cinema, Jazz/Classical music, Hiking, Exploring the best restaurants in town and eating an obscene amount of food.

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: I wanted to continue living in NYC! Immensely diverse patient population and disease pathology. Supportive residents. The opportunity to learn clinical and surgical skills from an impressive group of attendings.

Christopher Schiefer, MD

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Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Undergraduate: Rollins College

Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hobbies: I enjoy cooking, playing golf, racquet sports, reading science fiction, and going on long walks with my beagle, Ollie.

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Close residents, high volume, and lots of autonomy.

Ross Stuber, MD

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Hometown: Oceanside, NY

Undergraduate: Binghamton, NY

Medical School: Donald & Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Hobbies: Watching sports, playing with my dog, working out

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: I love working with the diverse population of Brooklyn and I wanted opportunity to train at a place with VA.

PL1 Class of 2026

Wenyu Deng, MD

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Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Undergraduate: New York University

Medical School: SUNY Downstate

Hobbies: Traditional and digital illustration, animation, photography, and karaoke

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: High surgical and clinical volume with plenty of hands-on experience, strong sense of collegiality among residents, excellent and devoted faculty, and the opportunity to care for Brooklyn’s diverse and underserved patient population

Rebecca Friedes, MD

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Hometown: East Hampton, NY

Undergraduate: New York University

Medical School: SUNY Downstate

Hobbies: Baking, eating (especially new foods!), longboarding, kickball, hiking, dancing, traveling

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: The huge diversity in patient populations and pathologies. The residents and faculty are so warm and welcoming. Downstate and Brooklyn truly feel like my home, and I’m lucky to be able to stay here!

Allen Ganjei, MD

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Hometown: Brookline, Massachusetts

Undergraduate: Brandeis University

Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine

Hobbies: Cooking, hosting dinners with friends, photography, art history, weight lifting

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: High procedural/surgical volume, a broad patient population, and camaraderie amongst residents.

Aram Singh Garewal, MD

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Hometown: Hawthorne, NJ

Undergraduate: College of the Holy Cross

Medical School: The Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at the University of Vermont

Hobbies: Weight Lifting, Cooking, Golf, Traveling

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: This program enables me to work with an incredibly diverse patient population and provides me with a strong hands-on clinical experience. Additionally, I get to live in New York City and explore the amazing food options, music scene, and nightlife. I also get to live close to my friends and family.

John Petrie, MD

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Hometown: Setauket, New York

Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University

Medical School: SUNY at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biological Sciences

Hobbies: Fencing, biking, working out, traveling, reading fiction novels

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Diverse patient population, unique pathology, supportive faculty and a collaborative resident family.

Koosha Ramezani, MD

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Hometown: Gorgan, Iran

Medical School: Beheshti University of Medical Sciences

Hobbies: Running, Hiking, Playing Soccer; Anything Outdoors, Photography, Playing Tombak (Traditional Persian Percussion), Listening to Podcasts, Adding movies to my Letterboxd list!

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: SUNY Downstate ophthalmology residency program will expose me to a diverse patient population as well as a wide range of ocular pathologies. Our department has a long history of excellence and the faculty are so passionate about and dedicated to resident teaching. Residents are extremely supportive and collegial which makes training enjoyable. I am excited to be a part of this department and work and live in Brooklyn, one of the most vibrant and diverse communities of New York City!

Matthew Wilneff, MD

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Hometown: Highland Park, IL

Undergraduate: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Medical School: Florida Atlantic University

Hobbies: I enjoy boxing, weightlifting, and video games. Going on hikes with my wife Shannon, and relaxing at home with our two cats, Mimi and Osi

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: Strong comradery among residents. Training within a population that will allow me to handle any pathology I encounter in the future.

Brian Wollocko, MD

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Hometown: Monroe, NY

Undergraduate: Skidmore College

Medical School: The Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University (Stony Brook Medical School)

Hobbies: Hiking, Running, Camping, Cooking, Spending time with loved ones

Why I chose SUNY Downstate: I wanted to train at a program that allowed me to have supervised autonomy, to let me practically develop my skills, and to be exposed to high volume and diverse pathology. I wanted to be able to leave residency being prepared to approach and handle anything that my career will throw at me.