A shot in the arm for Carney: First class of Family Medicine residents settles in

Carney Residents: Ten newly-minted doctors began working as residents in Carney Hospital’s Family Medicine department last week— a major boost in capacity for Dorchester’s key health care facility. 	Photo by John GilloolyCarney Residents: Ten newly-minted doctors began working as residents in Carney Hospital’s Family Medicine department last week— a major boost in capacity for Dorchester’s key health care facility. Photo by John Gillooly

Ten new doctors began their three-year residencies at Carney Hospital over the last month – a critical shot in the arm for the community-based teaching hospital that is Dorchester’s most important health care institution. The number of residents will swell to 20 doctors by next summer – all of them focused on the hospital’s growing Family Medicine department, which Carney’s leaders hope will bolster both the hospital’s patient base and its bottom line.

“I am extremely excited about the introduction of our Family Medicine Residency Program, which represents an important resource to Dorchester, significantly expanding Carney’s ability to provide culturally competent, quality care to the communities we serve,” said Carney president Andy Davis.

The department is chaired by Dr. Glenn O’Grady, who was recruited to the Carney three years ago for the expressed purpose of building a robust Family Medicine unit, which was notably absent before Steward Health Care, Carney’s present owners, took control of the hospital in 2010. The department hopes to provide “full-spectrum care of children, adolescents and adults, with a focus on primary care and community medicine.” The residency program, which won accreditation last year, will be housed in a new state-of-the-art facility that will be built within the hospital’s Seton Medical building later this year.

The inaugural group of residents – all recent graduates of medical schools from around the United States – was selected from a pool of more than 900 applicants, a number that speaks to the potential of the hospital and the neighborhood it serves, according to O’Grady.

“One of the reasons I was recruited here was to build the primary care base for a changing community in Dorchester,” said O’Grady in an interview with the Reporter. “These residents bring language skills and a great enthusiasm for being here in Dorchester. It’s really a big thing for the community to have this infusion of high-quality, primary care doctors.”

Dr. Deborah Erlich, who will direct the residency program, said that most of the candidates for the program were interviewed at the hospital over the last year. “The people who came here were interested in being pioneers and trailblazers,” she said. “We don’t have a pre-designed curriculum. Many of the residents have prior research experience and a few have masters in public health. They have a lot to contribute.”

The new residents – including three who elected to come to Carney for their second year of residency, transferring from other hospitals – hail from a diverse array of backgrounds. Several bring valuable language skills, including Portuguese and Spanish, and have degrees from a range of universities— including UMass Boston, Brandeis, Brown, Temple, and Yale.

Dr. O’Grady says that the extra hands, who will each work on rotations throughout the hospital while building their own Family Medicine practices, represent a big boost in capacity within the hospital. Together, the residents could allow Carney to serve an additional 10,000 patients over the next two years. The influx will also help the hospital ease the patient flow at its emergency department by scheduling follow-up appointments with the residents at the Seton Building, where construction is set to begin on new office suites in August. The residents will work out of existing Family Medicine space until the new offices are ready.

Dr. Erlich says the goal of the program is to create a “home of innovation and joy” in residency training. “That concept really struck a chord with the residents who are coming in,” she said.

THE NEW REDSIDENTS

Lauren Ciszak, MD, earned her BA in international studies from the University of Washington and graduated this spring from the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine where she was a member of the primary care leadership group and co-coordinator of the Remedy Project aimed at reducing medical waste. She speaks Spanish and French and enjoys traveling and hiking.

Jennifer Diakun, MD, graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with a double major in Health and Politics before earning her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. She has worked extensively with children, including time as a medical staff member at the American Diabetes Association summer camp. She is interested in family planning and pain management and in her free time enjoys baking and reading.

Tessa Draper, MD, studied biology and psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and earned her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, she worked as a senior clinical research associate coordinating breast and ovarian cancer clinical trials at Lahey Hospital. She has a keen interest in women’s health and in her free time enjoys watching independent films, skiing, and hiking.

Kevin Gendreau, MD, grew up in Fall River, and volunteered at Steward’s St. Anne’s Hospital during high school and college. He double majored in biology and classical studies at Boston University and graduated from Temple University School of Medicine this spring. He conducted evidence-based research on pediatric nutrition en route to publishing his first children’s book, A Healthier You with Sophia and Sue. He speaks Portuguese.

Grace Kronauer, MD, earned her undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology from Johns Hopkins University and completed medical school at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University where she was awarded a merit-based scholarship to perform research and clinical work in the Emergency Department. She has a special interest in clinical teaching and has volunteered extensively in Philadelphia’s homeless shelters. She speaks Spanish and enjoys cooking and rock climbing.

Maya Mauch, MD, MPH, MMS, studied human biology with a focus on race and gender at Brown University before earning a masters of public health from Boston University. After working for several years as an HIV and substance abuse consultant in the Boston area, she earned a masters of medical science. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine in May. She speaks Spanish and is especially interested in women’s health and OB.

Michael Richardson, MD, was born and raised in Massachusetts. He studied clinical psychology at Tufts University prior to pursuing his medical degree at the University of Massachusetts, where he received numerous awards, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Service. He has special interest in sports medicine and exploring social and behavioral determinants of health. Co-founder of an African-American step-dance team, Michael enjoys performing and teaching dance.

Hila Hoch, MD, completed high school at the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, then graduated magna cum laude in three years with a degree in biology from Yale University. She attended the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, NY State/American Program in Tel Aviv, Israel, then did a rotating one-year internship and four years of Family Medicine residency training, also in Israel. After completing her residency training in 2006, she practiced Family Medicine in Tel Aviv for seven years. She completed a one-year geriatric medicine fellowship at Boston Medical Center.

Sonya Hovsepian, MD, MPH, earned a masters in public health from Emory University and graduated from the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University where she completed the International Health Program Track and was selected for membership in the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She has traveled extensively. She performed research as part of a HIV, tuberculosis, and anemia screening program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and served as a volunteer clinician in Manzini, Swaziland. She completed her intern year in general surgery at North Shore LIJ in Manhasset, NY.

James Keck, MD, MPH, studied philosophy and biology in Iowa and Scotland then worked as a bike messenger in Sydney, Australia. He attended medical school at the University of Minnesota with significant stints in Costa Rica and Uganda. Following an internship in internal medicine and pediatrics, he completed a Preventive Medicine Residency at Johns Hopkins, which included time as a consultant with the World Health Organization in Ecuador. He went on to investigate communicable diseases in the indigenous population of Alaska as an epidemic intelligence service officer with the Center for Disease Control, then served as director of monitoring and evaluation for partners in health in Malawi.