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Meet Our Residents

A Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Residency trainee in Jacksonville, Florida.

Our residents come from medical schools around the U.S. and outside the country. Read more about their backgrounds and interests outside of the residency.

Welcome from the chief residents

Welcome to Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Residency (Florida) website!

We are honored that you are considering Mayo Clinic to further your medical training. As the chiefs, we work as a liaison between the resident body and the program faculty. We are always striving to improve the program through medical education, patient care, administration, and research. Our roles include developing curriculum, advocating for resident issues, and acting as a general resource for the needs of our residents.

From the prioritization of patient care, opportunities for clinical education and research, supportive faculty, and a sense of community among the residents, Mayo Clinic is an excellent organization to continue your Internal Medicine training. Not to mention, Jacksonville is an awesome place to both live and work. With beautiful weather, endless beaches, an international airport, and a strong residency program, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, is your best choice for furthering your medical career.

Amanda McKenna
mckenna.amanda@mayo.edu

Mary Grace Sessums
sessums.mary@mayo.edu

Amanda McKenna, M.D.

Amanda McKenna, M.D.

Chief resident

Hometown: Exton, PA

Medical school: Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

About me: I have a husband who is a navy helicopter pilot stationed in Jacksonville. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking my way through the Magnolia cookbook and participating in Pure Barre classes. I am an enthusiastic NCAA basketball fan (Go Villanova wildcats!).

Mary Grace Sessums, M.D.

Mary Grace Sessums, M.D.

Chief resident

Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi

Medical school: University of Mississippi School of Medicine

About me: In my spare time, I enjoy going to the beach and playing with my puppy, pumpkin.

Class of 2022

Emily Butts

Emily Butts, M.D.

Hometown: Albany, Georgia

Medical school: Medical College of Georgia

About me: I hope to pursue a fellowship in oncology after serving as chief resident. When I'm not busy at the hospital, I enjoy hanging out the beach, hosting game nights, and scuba diving.

Aneesah Garrett, M.D.

Aneesah Garrett, M.D.

Hometown: Alabama

Medical school: Morehouse in Atlanta, GA

About me: After residency, I plan to go into General Internal Medicine. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, and spending time at the beach.

Denise Gococo

Denise Gococo-Benore, M.D.

Hometown: South Carolina

Medical school: University of South Carolina

About me: I am married and spend most of my spare time caring for my new baby daughter that I had during PGY-2 year and my corgi puppy. I also enjoy being outdoors, cooking, trying new restaurants, and tending to my vegetable garden. My career and research interests include palliative care and medical oncology.

Max E. Green

Max Green, M.D.

Hometown: Marietta, Georgia

Medical school: Medical College of Georgia

About me: In my spare time, I'm the lead guitarist and play harmonica in Green With Envy, a classic rock and blues band. I also enjoy any kind of sport and napping with my cat, Fifi, when I have the opportunity.

Josh Kwon

Josh Kwon, M.D.

Medical school: Medical University of South Carolina

About me: My career and research interests are in the field of Gastroenterology. In my free-time, I enjoy cooking, playing the drums, and hiking.

Haares Mirzan

Haares Mirzan, M.D.

Hometown: New Jersey

Medical school: Boston University

About me: My future academic interests include pulmonary/critical care fellowship. I adopted a cat in med school, and I like cars, reading, audio equipment, and computer and VR video games.

Varun P. Moktan

Varun Moktan, M.D.

Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia

Medical school: George Washington University

About me: I'm interested in gastroenterology and hepatology with an interest in inflammatory bowel disease. I chose Mayo Clinic as this was a program that had fantastic teaching, but also has a schedule that helps to groom and grow personal interests. My hobbies are watching cooking shows and listening to the red hot chili peppers.

Tanmayi S. Pai

Tanmayi Pai, M.D.

Hometown: Marietta, GA

Medical school: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester

About me: My research and career interests include breast cancer, hematology/oncology, and women's health. I enjoy traveling, reading, and finding the best brunch spots.

Kamal A. Shair 

Kamal Shair, M.D.

Hometown: Originally from Beirut, Lebanon. Lived in Philadelphia for 15 years.

Medical school: Drexel University

About me: I completed a master’s degree in engineering at MIT and worked in the pharmaceutical industry before med school. I am obsessed with diet and exercise, but always a sucker for dessert. I also love traveling, cars, indoor rock climbing, and anything on/in the water.

Sean M. Sileno

Sean Sileno, M.D

Hometown: Punta Gorda, Florida

Medical school: University of South Florida MCOM, Tampa, Florida

About me: I was attracted to Mayo Clinic because of its amazing research opportunities, the supportive environment, and the opportunity for once in life time clinical experiences. I’m interested in gastroenterology and hepatology, with likely focus on hepatology or advanced endoscopy. I am married and my wife also works at Mayo Clinic in research. Outside of medicine, my hobbies include watching sports, particularly college and NFL football (go gators/ go bucs!), fishing, kayaking, golfing, playing video games, and going to restaurants with my wife.

Goyal Umadat

Goyal Umadat, M.D.

Hometown: Originally from Guyana. Lived in New York City for 20 years.

Medical school: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

About me: In my free time, I like to watch basketball and try new restaurants around town. I'm currently applying for a cardiology fellowship.

Nathaniel E. Wiest 

Nathaniel Wiest, M.D., Ph.D.

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

About me: I received a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree studying molecular genetics and am very interested in DNA repair deficiency in cancer. I was recently accepted to the Clinician Investigator Training Program and will be staying on at Mayo Clinci in Florida for a hematology/oncology fellowship and research. When not in clinic, I enjoy going to the beach with my wife and two kids, grilling, and amateur gardening including trying to get mammoth sunflowers to grow this year.

Himesh B. Zaver

Himesh Zaver, M.D.

Hometown: Clarksville, Tennessee

Medical school: East Tennessee State University

About me: I have a wife and baby boy. My days after work are often spent with my co-residents or playing soccer on the Mayo Clinic intramural team. My research is focused on personalized medicine and the applications pharmacogenomics and artificial intelligence may have in endoscopy and pre-liver transplantation evaluation. My professional goals align with being a clinician-educator in gastroenterology/transplant hepatology.

Class of 2023

Albert Bui

Albert Bui, D.O., Pharm.D.

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

About me: My hobbies include playing/watching basketball, rollerblading, exploring new restaurants, going to the beach, and making people laugh! I love my experience in Jacksonville thus far. I hope to pursue nephrology/critical care as a future career.

Aman S. Bali

Aman Bali, M.D.

Hometown: Durham, NC

Medical school: Duke University

About me: Academically, my interests include gastroenterology, health services research, artificial intelligence, and the gut microbiome. Outside of medicine, I'm an avid basketball fan and enjoy traveling, hiking, biking, lifting, watching movies, and working on my golf game.

Justin T. Call

Justin Call, M.D.

Hometown: Rock Hill, SC

Medical school: Medical University of South Carolina

About me: My academic interests include pulmonology/CC, asthma, and ILD. I am an all-around family man with two adorable kids that keep me on my toes. My hobbies include running, reading fantasy, and video games. I am all about the beach life which may have been why I chose Mayo Clinic.

Pedro Cortes

Pedro Cortes, M.D.

Hometown: Houston, TX

Medical school: Harvard University

About me: I relocated to Jacksonville for Internal Medicine residency at Mayo Clinic. My career interests include advanced gastrointestinal endoscopy and innovation. In my free time, I enjoy weightlifting, and traveling to cities and national parks with my wife.

Wiaam Y. Elkhatib

Wiaam Elkhatib, M.D.

Hometown: Indiana

Medical school: Indiana University

About me: Previously a biomedical engineering graduate, I hope to combine my interests in health and technology to further humankind’s presence in space exploration by specializing in aerospace medicine. My other passions include human rights education, medical research, studying metaphysics and world religions, and spending afternoons on the beach or with family. 

Anna Kornafeld

Anna Kornafeld, M.D.

Hometown: Hungary

Medical school: Semmelweis University, Budapest

About me: Pulmonology and critical care are my main interests. I love educating communities about smoking prevention. My research interests include interventional pulmonology, COPD, hypoxia, chronic cough, rare pulmonary disorders, and social media use. In my free time, I practice ashtanga yoga, running on the beach, playing board games, and being with my cat, Pompom.

Justin J. Kuhlman

Justin J. Kuhlman, M.D.

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

Medical school: Florida State University

About me: I couldn't be more grateful to train at a wonderful institution so close to family and friends all while developing new great friends during training. I have a strong desire to pursue hematology/oncology and have been fortunate enough to get involved with lymphoma research while here at Mayo Clinic. Outside of medicine, my wife and I like to go to the beach and get in a round of 18 on the golf course every now and then.

Nahyr S. Lugo-Fagundo

Nahyr Lugo-Fagundo, M.D.

Hometown: Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Medical school: Ponce Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Puerto Rico

About me: I'm interested in Interventional Cardiology. I also enjoy paddle-boarding, long distance running, walks on the beach with my toy poodle, Nala, cooking, and baking.

Ben J. McCormick 

Ben McCormick, M.D.

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Medical school: University of South Alabama

About me: I plan to pursue a career in academic hematology/oncology with specific interests in malignant hematology and bone marrow transplant. In my free time, I enjoy Alabama football, Atlanta Braves baseball, exploring new coffee/craft beer/bourbon, and spending time with my 2-year-old bernedoodle (Dansby), and my fiancée who is a pediatrics resident at University of Florida in Gainesville.

Parsa S. Mirmehdi

Parsa Mirmehdi, M.D

Medical school: UCF College of Medicine

About me: I am very passionate about my patients and hope to make a difference in their lives. I enjoy the sunny Florida weather and spending time with family.

Ayan Nasir 

Ayan Nasir, M.D.

Hometown: Born in Pakistan. Lived in Orlando, Florida.

Medical school: University of Central Florida College of Medicine

About me: I studied financial engineering at Columbia University and worked in international finance before transitioning to medicine and studying at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. My research interests include healthcare data management, healthcare economics, and healthcare policy. I am still deciding on possible fellowships and career paths, but is excited to continue exploring areas of interests at Mayo Clinic. I am recently married and in my free time, I love to travel, enjoy music, and play sports (basketball, football, cricket).

Zeynep I. Seckin

Zeynep Seckin, M.D.

Hometown: Turkey

Medical school: Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University Faculty of Medicine

About me: My future career goal is Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. My research interest is primarily obstructive sleep apnea and its association with acute and chronic thromboembolic events. I like to play tennis; my all-time favorite tennis player is Roger Federer. My new favorite pastime activity is training my little doggie boy, Sokka.

Class of 2024

Varun Bansal, M.D.

Varun Bansal, M.D.

Hometown: Melbourne, Florida

Medical school: Baylor University

About me: My hobbies include classical violin and chess. My sister and I founded Music MD’s to provide music to hospitalized patients.

Sabrina Billings

Sabrina Billings, M.D.

Medical school: Drexel University

About me: I am interested in rheumatology and enjoy baking, road trips, college football, and learning the harmonica.

Chris Chase, M.D.

Chris Chase, M.D.

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Medical school: Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

About me: I enjoy cycling, kayaking, sporting clays, hydroponic, and aquaponic farming.

Nikita Jhawar

Nikita Jhawar, M.D.

Hometown: Bridgewater, New Jersey

Medical school: Drexel University

About me: I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I enjoy traveling to national parks, tennis, photography, and singing Indian classical music.

Christian Karime, M.D.

Christian Karime, M.D.

Hometown: Oslo, Norway

Medical school: Semmelweis University in Hungary

About me: I enjoy fishing and landscape photography.

Lauren Loeb

Lauren Loeb, M.D.

Hometown: Ridgeland, Mississippi

Medical school: University of South Alabama

About me: I am interested in gastroenterology, and I enjoy basketball, tennis, crossfit, and going to the beach.

William Mai

William Mai, M.D.

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

Medical school: George Washington University

About me: I am interested in cardiology. I enjoy photography and abstract art, acoustic guitar, and computer programming.

Karl Mueller, M.D., Ph.D. 

Karl Mueller, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical school: Texas Tech University

About me: I enjoy the humanities and weight training.

Bennett Parker, M.D. 

Bennett Parker, M.D.

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama

Medical school: University of Alabama

About me: I am interested in cardiology, and I enjoy playing the guitar, hiking, backpacking, golf, and fishing.

Marie Plante, M.D. 

Marie Plante, M.D.

Medical school: University of South Carolina

About me: I am interested in hematology-oncology. I'm married, have a cat, and enjoy scuba diving ship wrecks and horseback riding.

Adam Sandin

Adam Sandin, D.O.

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

About me: I am a lifelong Jaguars fan, and enjoy deep sea fishing and trying new breweries.

Paul Travers, M.D. 

Paul Travers, M.D.

Hometown: Staten Island, New York

Medical school: SUNY Upstate Medical University

About me: I play the bagpipes, saxophone, and guitar, and I enjoy rock climbing, golf, and playing soccer. My girlfriend just graduated from PA school.

Jing Wang, M.D. 

Jing Wang, M.D.

Hometown: China

Medical school: Georgetown

About me: I enjoy playing the piano and cello, painting and illustration for medical publications, and yoga.

Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Residency trainees and faculty in Jacksonville, Florida
Internal Medicine Residency class of 2019-2020