• Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education 2020 Winners

    The following family medicine residents were selected for their exemplary patient care, their interpersonal relationships with patients, physicians and faculty, and their demonstrated leadership and community involvement. These 16 men and women are truly health care leaders.

    Anna Askari, MD, MSBS

    RESIDENCY
    Eisenhower Health Family Medicine Residency Program, Rancho Mirage, California

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus

    Dr. Askari’s greatest professional accomplishment to date is being elected as the resident member of the AAFP Board of Directors. Her professional interests include health care policy and advocacy, functional and integrative medicine, and access to care for medically underserved and marginalized populations. In her personal life, she enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, scrapbooking, and traveling. She also enjoys cooking—especially Persian food! Following residency, Dr. Askari hopes to practice outpatient medicine at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Southern California.

    Victoria Boggiano, MD, MPH

    RESIDENCY
    University of North Carolina Family Medicine Residency Program, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    Stanford Medical School, Palo Alto, California

    Dr. Boggiano cites being elected as chief resident at University of North Carolina (UNC) Family Medicine for 2021-2022 as her greatest professional accomplishment to date. As part of UNC’s Academy of Educators, she is participating in “Residents as Teachers” training to become a better teacher and mentor to younger learners. Other professional interests include helping to increase availability of primary care to underserved populations through a grassroots organization called Primary Care Progress and seeking opportunities to be involved in research and translate that research in order to improve patients’ lives. In her personal life, she pursues her interest in political activism and enjoys traveling throughout the United States, especially visiting the East Coast to spend time with family members. She also enjoys international travel, and her experiences traveling and working in Vietnam have fostered an interest in global health. Dr. Boggiano’s career plans include remaining in academic family medicine, pursuing opportunities to be part of clinical research projects, and continuing her involvement with the AAFP. After she graduates from residency, she will be completing a chief residency year at UNC. She may pursue an OB-GYN fellowship in the future.

    Adam Bortner, MD

    RESIDENCY
    Family Health Centers of San Diego Family Medicine Residency Program, California

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore

    Dr. Bortner cites helping to restore a sense of dignity in his patients’ lives as his most important professional accomplishment to date. As a physician, he is particularly interested in fostering social justice and health equity for vulnerable populations, such as individuals who have a low income, LGBTQ patients, refugees, immigrants, and patients living with HIV. His professional interests also include maternal and child health. On a personal level, Dr. Bortner enjoys exploring nature, practicing mindfulness, and playing the piano. He also likes to travel and immerse himself in other cultures. Following residency, he hopes to continue learning teaching, and advocating while taking part in collective efforts to build a more just and inclusive society.

    Clayton Cooper, MD

    RESIDENCY
    Duke Family Medicine Residency, Durham, North Carolina

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania

    One of Dr. Cooper’s most important professional accomplishments is founding and co-directing a student-run free clinic during his third year of medical school. Since 2016, the clinic has served a rural, underserved community, and he is proud of how it has grown and evolved to meet patients’ needs with available resources. His involvement in community health also includes participation on the team that is rolling out NCCARES360 in Durham County and at Duke University. This statewide network is designed to link health care professionals with community-based organizations in order to address social and behavioral drivers of health. Dr. Cooper counts innovation in medical education and health policy and advocacy among his other professional interests. Away from work, he finds time for a variety of outdoor activities, including running, biking, swimming, skiing, and hiking. He also enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. Following residency, he will return home to Pennsylvania to practice outpatient medicine with Geisinger Health System. In addition, he plans to stay involved in health policy and advocacy work as an active member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians.

    Emmeline Ha, MD

    RESIDENCY
    Stanford Health Care-O’Connor Family Medicine Residency, San Jose, CA

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    The George Washington University, Washington, DC

    Being recognized with the AAFP Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education is Dr. Ha’s greatest professional accomplishment to date because it is a testament to the wonderful education and opportunities she has been given by her family, teachers, colleagues, and patients. In her professional life, her interests include community medicine, advocacy, and immigrant health. Away from work, she enjoys doing dance fitness and exploring botanical gardens. She is also interested in supporting social justice and Vietnamese-American youth development. Dr. Ha’s goal is to practice at an urban health center following residency. She hopes to collaborate with community organizations that are involved with national health policy. In addition, she plans to pursue her interests in medical education and increased diversity in medicine.

    Hunter T. Holloway, DO

    RESIDENCY
    Eastern Virginia Medical School Portsmouth Family Medicine

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

    Dr. Holloway takes tremendous pride in the daily expressions of gratitude he gets from patients. He has also been humbled by receiving recognition and positive feedback from medical students, residents, and the core and community faculty in his program, and his greatest professional accomplishments to date include being selected for an Intern of the Year Award and a chief resident position. In addition to undergraduate and graduate medical education, his professional interests include preventive health, transgender medicine, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Away from work, he enjoys long-distance running, snow skiing, and trivia. Following residency, Dr. Holloway will be employed by a private, not-for-private health care system in Durham, NC, that functions within an accountable care organization (ACO) and as a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). He plans to continue working at the local and state levels to increase opportunities for family physicians to provide care to transgender patients, and he also hopes to have a role in educating the next generation of medical students and residents.

    Heather Lee, MD, MPH

    RESIDENCY
    Kaiser Permanente San Diego Family Medicine Residency, California

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Florida

    Being elected chief resident is Dr. Lee’s greatest professional accomplishment to date. Within family medicine, one of her primary passions is behavioral health and she is designing a behavioral health track for her residency program. Other professional interests include hospital medicine and community medicine, and she has also developed an interest in global medicine through trips to Mexico, Thailand, Jamaica, and Peru. Away from work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to explore new places and cultures, attending live concerts, and playing music on the guitar, drums, and keyboard. She is also an avid athlete who plays competitive badminton and loves participating in a long list of outdoor activities, including bodyboarding, biking, hiking, tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee. Dr. Lee hopes to be involved in teaching throughout her career. Her post-residency plans include applying for a community medicine fellowship that would involve working at various community clinics in San Diego, organizing health outreach efforts to local communities, and teaching residents and medical students as a junior faculty member. She is also interested in rounding on the teaching service with residents in the future.

    Michelle S. Lough, MD, MPH

    RESIDENCY
    University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Family Medicine Residency

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

    Dr. Lough’s most important professional accomplishment to date is being a founding organizer of #ProtectOurPatients, a national grassroots organization formed in 2016 to oppose the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The organization brought together more than 5,000 health care professional trainees from across the United States to work on state and national political actions to protect patients, including town halls, teach-ins, protests, and legislative meetings. In addition to advocacy, her professional interests include full-spectrum primary care, substance use disorders, and immigrant health. In her free time, she likes to cook, travel, hike, and spend time with her partner and their rescue dog. She is also a long-distance runner who has completed four half-marathons and hopes to complete a triathlon in the near future. Dr. Lough plans to pursue an addiction medicine fellowship following residency and then practice full-spectrum outpatient family medicine and HIV primary care in an urban federally qualified health center (FQHC), serving as a champion for patients with substance use disorders. As a passionate public policy advocate, she would also like to work with community and state stakeholders to advance equity in issues such as criminal justice reform, immigration, and substance use disorders.

    Anthony Markuson, MD

    RESIDENCY
    Family Medicine Residency of Idaho Magic Valley Program, Twin Falls

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    University of Washington School of Medicine - Montana WWAMI, Bozeman

    Receiving the Dr. George Saari Professionalism Award during medical school is one of Dr. Markuson’s greatest professional accomplishments to date. This honor was a testament to the importance of the mentors in his life and their role in molding him into the physician he is today. Dr. Markuson also cites his work with the Primary Care Leadership Collaborative as a major, longitudinal accomplishment. As a medical student, he was part of a team that fostered mentorships between health care professionals and underserved community members in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area. As a resident, he is coaching two medical student teams through their projects. Other notable professional pursuits include being accepted to the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho Magic Valley Rural Training Track, serving as chief resident during PGY-3, and caring for patients who are HIV positive in a rural part of Idaho. Away from work, his favorites pastimes include skiing with friends and family, and doing a variety of outdoor activities with his dog, including backpacking, mountain biking, and fishing. He also enjoys “carbohydrate cooking,” especially pizza, sourdough, and pancakes. After completing residency, Dr. Markuson will complete an obstetrics fellowship. His primary career goal is to provide outstanding health care to members of multiple underserved communities by practicing broad-spectrum family medicine in the clinic, hospital, and emergency department settings. Currently, he is considering rural and underserved areas of Alaska. He would also like to draw on his training and experience to teach and mentor medical students and residents in the future.

    Ali Nasrallah, MD

    RESIDENCY
    Beaumont Wayne Family Medicine, Michigan

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor

    Dr. Nasrallah considers becoming a family physician to be his greatest professional accomplishment to date. He blogs about many of his family medicine experiences (Instagram: @thefamilydoc_). In addition to primary care, his professional interests include procedures and public health. He also enjoys mentoring pre-med and medical students and finding opportunities for community service and engagement. The father of a young son, he spends his time away from work with his family. Fishing and hunting are other favorite pastimes. Following residency, Dr. Nasrallah plans to pursue his goal of practicing full-spectrum medicine in an underserved community setting. He would like to practice in Southeast Michigan and focus on general medicine, preventive medicine, acute care, sports medicine, and addiction medicine. In the future, he plans to complete a master’s degree in public health so he can have a greater impact on the communities he serves. As a passionate advocate for family medicine, he also hopes to become more involved with the AAFP and the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians.

    Franklin Niblock, MD, MPH

    RESIDENCY
    University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency, Denver

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

    Dr. Niblock’s most important professional accomplishment to date is being a founding member and program evaluator for MedServe while he was in medical school. This not-for-profit service-year program was designed to expose recent college graduates to primary care medicine in rural and underserved North Carolina. In addition to rural health, his professional interests include broad-scope family medicine and the integration of primary care and public health. Away from work, he is focused on balancing residency with being a new father to his baby girl, but also tries to find time to enjoy fly fishing and North Carolina barbecue. Following residency, Dr. Niblock plans to practice full-spectrum, community-based family medicine in his home state of North Carolina. He hopes to use his education and training to leverage public health infrastructure to reach underserved populations.

    Tyson Schwab, MD, MPH

    RESIDENCY
    Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency, Provo, Utah

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City

    Dr. Schwab cites creating multiple medical devices during his graduate training in bioengineering as one of his greatest professional accomplishments to date. The devices were designed to help health care professionals provide higher quality of care at lower costs, ultimately resulting in improved quality and health outcomes. In addition to biomedical innovation and quality improvement, his professional interests include implementation science, health policy, and primary care advocacy. On a personal level, he enjoys being a husband and the father of three wonderful children. He is also an international traveler, an outdoor enthusiast, a diehard college football fan, and a Disney fanatic. After completing residency, Dr. Schwab plans to pursue a career as a primary care physician in an academic setting. Having served as an AAFP resident delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, he would like to continue working with the AAFP delegation to advocate for family medicine. He will also seek opportunities to teach medical students and residents and continue research focused on improving medical quality and clinical outcomes. He hopes to create innovative solutions within primary care that will increase access to health care while driving down costs to affordable levels.

    Andrea L. Silva, MD

    RESIDENCY
    Valley Family Medicine Residency, Modesto, California

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    St. George's University, Grenada, West Indies

    Co-founding the Rainbow Clinic, which provides comprehensive health care to the LGBTQ+ community in a rural town in Central California, is Dr. Silva’s most important professional accomplishment to date. In addition to her work to reduce health disparities for LGBTQ+ individuals, she is also interested in increasing cultural awareness among health care professionals. On a personal level, her interests include adopting shelter dogs, visiting every national park in the United States, and starting a family. She enjoys exploring international cuisines and perfecting her Spanish speaking skills in her free time. After completing residency, Dr. Silva plans to pursue an addiction medicine fellowship and use that expertise to help patients who are often misunderstood by the health care system attain optimal health benefits and quality of life. She would like to foster her passion for teaching by joining a family medicine residency program where she can train residents about the importance of addiction medicine and LGBTQ+ health care.

    Julie Ngoc Thai, MD, MPH

    RESIDENCY
    McLaren Flint Family Medicine Residency Program, Michigan

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, East Lansing

    Dr. Thai’s greatest professional accomplishment to date is becoming a physician, and she is especially glad that she chose family medicine as her specialty because she can be a meaningful part of her patients’ lives. In her professional life, her interests include research, quality improvement, health policy, and advocacy. She enjoys a number of pursuits away from work, including knitting, traveling with family and friends, photographing natural landscapes, and making postcards with her photos. She also spends her free time cooking and baking a variety of cuisines from scratch. Since her family is originally from Vietnam, she tries to incorporate various elements of Vietnamese cuisine into her cooking, and she loves traveling to Vietnam to see where her family is from and learn more about her heritage. Following residency, Dr. Thai plans to complete a fellowship in geriatric medicine. She hopes to pursue a career in academic medicine so that she can make a difference not only as a clinician, but also as an educator and innovator in the field of family medicine.

    Seetha Venkateswaran, MD

    RESIDENCY
    Orange Park Medical Center Family Medicine Residency, Florida

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    American University of Integrative Sciences (AUIS) St. Maarten School of Medicine, Netherlands Antilles

    Aside from earning her medical degree, Dr. Venkateswaran’s greatest professional accomplishments to date include being elected as chief resident and receiving the Resident Award for Scholarship from the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD) and the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) in 2019. Her professional interests include Doctors Without Borders, health care administration, and public health. She also has a strong interest in contributing to graduate medical education in family medicine. On a personal level, she is interested in animal welfare, politics, and Indian classical music, and her favorite pastimes include learning new languages and traveling. Upon completing her residency, Dr. Venkateswaran hopes to pursue either a pure hospitalist position or an academic medicine position that involves practicing outpatient medicine and teaching at the graduate level. Her career goal is to follow her passion for leadership and administration and become the chief medical officer of a health care organization in the near future.

    Laurie Bezjian Wallace, DO

    RESIDENCY
    Nellis Air Force Base Family Medicine Residency, Nevada

    MEDICAL SCHOOL
    Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Parker, Colorado

    Dr. Wallace’s greatest professional accomplishment to date is being one of a select group of residents chosen for the Uniformed Services University Resident Faculty Development Program rotation, which focuses on professional development for residents planning a career in academic medicine. In addition to full-scope academic family medicine, she is interested in curriculum development for osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), and medical student education, particularly facilitation of simulations and hands-on workshops. In her free time, she likes to stay active with CrossFit, weightlifting, indoor cycling, and a variety of water activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding. She also enjoys traveling in the United States and abroad. After completing residency, Dr. Wallace plans to pursue a career in academic medicine, focusing on both undergraduate and graduate medical education. Her ultimate goal is to be on faculty at a U.S. Air Force family medicine residency program.