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Meet Our Residents

Working with our Neurosurgery colleagues at the 2022 Anterior Skull Base Course

Our residents come from medical schools around the U.S. and outside the country. Learn more about all of our residents in the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Residency at Mayo Clinic.



Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong, M.D.
Richmond, VA
Undergraduate: Princeton University
Medical school: Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine
Hobbies: Playing tennis, playing classical music and jazz on the piano, scuba diving
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Going on walks with my wife and son, Saturday morning farmer's market
Why Mayo: I chose to come to Mayo after rotating here as a 4th year medical student because of the high operative volume and unique apprenticeship model
Future plans: Rhinology fellowship at University of North Carolina

Emily Karp

Emily Bukowski, M.D.
Brooklyn Park, MN
University of Minnesota    
Medical school:
University of Minnesota
Running, road biking, hiking, baking, hanging out with my baby and dog
Favorite things to do in Rochester:
My ideal weekend day in Rochester would include the Farmer’s Market and a bike ride on the Douglas Trail.
Why Mayo: Mayo has unparalleled operative experience and resources to pursue any research or project a resident could imagine
Future plans:
Head and neck fellowship

Jake Johnson

Jake Johnson, M.D.
Monroe, LA
Undergraduate: Louisiana State University
Medical school: Louisiana State University in New Orleans
Hobbies: Being outdoors with my wife and daughter, LSU sports, working out, cooking, and bass fishing
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Fishing, hiking, local breweries, owning our own home, trying to make my grass look like a golf course
Why Mayo: Residency training at Mayo is excellent surgically, clinically, and in research endeavors. The apprenticeship model offers what I think is unparalleled surgical and clinical experience, and co-residents will be lifelong friends. Possibly even more importantly, they work hard to take care of us through training with wellness initiatives, food stipends, free covered and close parking, and strive to make working here a great experience. 
Future plans: Private practice in Mobile, AL

Skye Lawlor

Skye Lawlor, M.D.
Hometown: Rapid City, SD
Undergraduate: University of Montana
Medical school: University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
Hobbies: Surfing, mountain biking, frisbee golf, filmmaking, skiing, snowboarding, playing games with friends, Lime scooter outings with my co-residents
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Go to local restaurants, go to the local frisbee golf course, golfing, go to local breweries, get together with co-residents to watch sporting events, or have a bonfire.
Why Mayo: I did an away rotation here and fell in love with the program. Great co-residents, great faculty, and awesome surgical training. Additionally, I couples-matched here with my significant other in pediatrics and found a lot of support for this from the program.
Future plans: Joining a private practice general ENT group in Rapid City, SD

Cheyanne Silver

Cheyanne Silver, M.D.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Undergraduate: University of Iowa
Medical school: Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago
Hobbies: Hiking with my wife and dogs, baking cheese-filled sourdough boules, drawing and painting, complicated board and video games, cooking adventures, vegetarian food, crafting costumes, visiting Renaissance faires
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Spending an afternoon on one of the many bike trails with my wife, having a board game night with friends, or drinking a nice IPA by the fire in my backyard.
Why Mayo: Mayo was the blend of everything I wanted in my training; Top of the line resources, excellent surgical training, a prominent reputation, and a five-minute commute to work.
Future plans: Private practice in Dayton, OH



Dontre' Douse

Dontre' Douse, M.D.
Savannah, GA
Undergraduate: Savannah State University
Medical school: Mercer University School of Medicine
Hobbies: Basketball, football, online chess, mentorship of students traditionally underrepresented in medicine
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Spend time with my beautiful wife, Alicea, and new baby girl, Angelique
Why Mayo: "The needs of the patient come first" and family-oriented culture permeated my interview day. One of the main focuses here is the education of residents as both clinicians and surgeons. The surgical training is second-to-none with the apprenticeship model. We have opportunities to learn from the top minds in our field daily. Training alongside top residents fosters an environment of constant growth. Unlimited research opportunities.
Future plans: Serve in an underserved/rural community as well as globally as a Comprehensive Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon while teaching and mentoring residents and students locally, nationally, and even internationally. 
Follow me: Instagram, Twitter

Travis Haller

Travis Haller, M.D.
Hometown: Missoula, MT
Undergraduate: Westminster College
Medical school: University of Utah School of Medicine
Hobbies: Skiing, mountain/road biking, fly fishing, and spending time with my awesome wife (Kenzie) and dog (Charlie)
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Fly fishing the local streams and rivers, taking advantage of the awesome gravel and road biking, in the area, golfing at the super affordable courses around the city, hanging with my great group of co-residents and touring the brewery scene around Rochester.
Why Mayo: I chose a residency where I thought I would get the best possible surgical training. With Mayo’s apprenticeship model and outstanding reputation, it was an easy choice. During my interview, the residents were supportive, kind, and truly happy to be here.
Future plans: Plan to pursue an academic career in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

Dante Merlino

Dante Merlino, M.D., Ph.D.
Hometown: Marlton, NJ
Undergraduate: Wake Forest University
Medical school: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Hobbies: Golf, fishing, running, snowboarding, and anything else that involves the great outdoors; playing with my dog, Jacob; rooting for Philadelphia sports teams (especially the Eagles….Go Birds!)
Favorite things to do in Rochester: I like exploring the many trails and parks nearby. I enjoy golfing with friends and hanging out with my co-residents at their houses for bonfires, game nights, potlucks, and sports games.
Why Mayo: The apprenticeship training model, paired with the opportunity to train at the top hospital in the U.S., made Mayo Clinic my top choice. I appreciate the tight-knit, friendly relationship between and amongst faculty and residents, and love that Mayo is the source of the “ENT in a Nutshell” podcast and the Headmirror OR videos. I was also attracted to the program’s outstanding opportunities for research, as well as the fact that every Otolaryngologic subspecialty is represented by at least two faculty members. Finally, the quality of life afforded by the program was a huge draw for me. The city has all of the restaurants, breweries, and stores I need without any of the traffic, and is incredibly walkable. The favorable call schedule, great resident benefits, and lack of early morning team rounds (thank you apprenticeship model!) are all icing on the cake.
Future plans: Fellowship in head and neck surgery. I hope to work at an academic center, training residents and working in tandem with a full-time research laboratory to advance patient care through translational studies. 
Follow me: Twitter

Kelly Staricha

Kelly Staricha, M.D.
Allen Park, MI
Undergraduate: Northwestern University
Medical school: Medical College of Wisconsin
Hobbies: Spending time with my husband Drew and our fox red labs (Riley and Millie), traveling and trying new food/activities, attending sporting events and concerts, cooking and hosting dinner parties, working out, hiking, water sports.
Favorite things to do in Rochester: I enjoy exploring trails with my dogs, golfing, and trying out different restaurants and breweries. I also get up to Minneapolis/St. Paul quite a bit for the food/drink scene.
Why Mayo: Unmatched surgical training and exceptional people. Unique apprenticeship model allowing a high level of resident autonomy and strong resident-faculty relationships. Opportunities for research to utilize my background in biomedical engineering
Future plans: Fellowship in head and neck surgery
Follow me: Instagram, Twitter

Kate Wallerius

Kate Wallerius, M.D.
Hometown: Denver, CO
Undergraduate: Regis University
Medical school: Georgetown University School of Medicine
Hobbies: Hiking, running, landscape photography, cooking, sampling new cuisines with my husband (Scott)
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Kayak on Silver Lake, try new brews at Forager Brewery, go camping with my sister and brother-in-law
Why Mayo: I love how the Mayo brothers’ mission to inspire hope and provide the best care to every patient is lived out in the hospital today. From my first day in the operating room when everyone introduced themselves to our patient, I could tell how the people who work at this hospital are proud to be here.
Future plans: Still deciding!



Hawa Ali 

Hawa Ali, M.D.
Hometown: Rochester, MN
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota Rochester
Medical school: University of Minnesota
Hobbies: Playing board games with family and friends, photography, eating and trying out new foods, and playing soccer.
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Discovering different ice cream spots with my son, eating at all the different foodie spots in Rochester, walking through the different hiking trails with my family, and getting boba and shaved ice with friends.
Why Mayo: The excellent surgical experience and apprenticeship model. I’m always amazed at the surgical abilities of my co-residents and I’m certain that this is a product of the apprenticeship model here. I also wanted to be in a department with a diverse group of residents, and am grateful to have other residents of color and shENTs in our program!
Future plans: TBD
Follow me: Instagram

Ehiremen Iyoha 

Ehiremen Iyoha, M.D.
Hometown: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Undergraduate: University of Georgia
Medical school: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Hobbies: Photography, soccer, cooking, watching movies, spending time with my wife
Favorite thing to do in Rochester: I like visiting the new restaurants with my wife, and hanging out at my co-residents’ houses for cookouts, crawfish boils, and bonfires. 
Why Mayo: I chose Mayo for its top-notch surgical training, consultants who are invested in mentorship, and awesome co-residents. 
Future plans: TBD

Heather Johns 

Heather Johns, M.D.
West Richland, WA
Undergraduate: Whitman College
Medical school: University of Washington
Hobbies: Disc golf, gardening, painting, working out, anything sports
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Disc golfing with my fiancé at all the local courses, summer volleyball, getting ice cream at Flapdoodles
Why Mayo: Heavy operative experience, mentorship model, and great people.
Future plans: TBD. Maybe Pediatric ENT, but I like everything so far so we’ll just have to see what the future brings!
Follow me: Instagram

Laz Peraza 

Laz Peraza, M.D.
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Undergraduate: University of Southern California
Medical school: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
Hobbies: Riding my Peloton, playing basketball and football, hanging out/traveling with my girlfriend Danielle, playing with my three dogs, Coco, Chloe, and Mambo, playing all the video games, and snowboarding.
Favorite things to do in Rochester: CRUMBL aka the best cookies ever! I like taking walks with my dog. The weather over the summer and early fall is amazing. I love exploring the north shore of Lake Superior and northern MN. There are a ton of beautiful places to see. I love the growing food scene. All of the new tap houses are a must!
Why Mayo: I loved my interview day and resident social. I had a great time chatting with the consultants who all showed an interest in my education. The apprenticeship model was a big draw, as early exposure with high volume was very important to me. I was confident I would see anything and everything here.
Future plans: Facial plastics vs. pediatrics vs. private practice at the moment!
Follow me: Instagram

Nick Randall 

Nick Randall, M.D.
Hometown: Vancouver, WA
Undergraduate: Brigham Young University
Medical school: Washington State University
Hobbies: Running, basketball, reading, movies, hiking with family
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Walking/running the trails, playing with my kids and dog at the great parks, and eating my body weight in fried rice with lobster sauce at Jenpachi
Why Mayo: The people. Faculty, staff, and co-residents are all so supportive of your growth and well-being. Plus, the apprenticeship model provides amazing surgical training with a ton of meaningful OR time.
Future plans: Probably head back West. Fellowship vs. private practice plans TBD.
Follow me: Instagram



Victoria (Tori) Cress

Tori Cress, M.D.
Stillwater, MN
Undergraduate: Texas Christian University
Medical school: Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Hobbies: Local and international travel, cooking and baking, performing arts, MN lake days, yoga, and spending time with my dog, family, and friends.
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Walking my dog on the Douglas Trail, spending time with my co-residents and their spouses, and trying out new restaurants.
Why Mayo: Surgical training via the apprenticeship model and the opportunities available to Mayo Clinic trainees are unparalleled. Here, we get to learn from leaders in the field alongside the most skilled and fun co-residents. I’ve also done eight years of higher education outside of Minnesota, so it’s great to be close to home for residency!
Future plans: Undecided at this point, but would love to be involved in medical education in some way. Stay tuned!

Ghazal Daher

Ghazal Daher, M.D.
Allentown, PA; born and raised in Syria
Undergraduate: Moravian College
Medical school: Penn State College of Medicine
Hobbies: I love traveling with my husband, spending quality time with family and friends, capturing beautiful moments through photography, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and immersing myself in nature's wonders.
Favorite thing to do in Rochester: The lively Thursdays on First in the summertime that bring the community together. And of course, I can't resist the charm of the farmer's market with its abundance of fresh produce and artisanal delights.
Why Mayo: Mayo is an exceptional institution with an abundance of research and learning opportunities. The apprenticeship model has been instrumental in my growth thus far, and the supportive community of experts motivates me to strive for excellence every day. The Mayo otolaryngology department truly fosters an environment where learning never stops, and I am grateful to be a part of it.
Future plans: As I move forward, I'm continuing to explore all the subspecialties with the aim to find my true calling.

Karl Khandalavala

Karl Khandalavala, M.D.
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Undergraduate: Creighton University
Medical school: University of Nebraska Medical Center
Hobbies: Anything outside, particularly biking, hiking, and running. Exploring the local craft beer scene, and frequenting local coffee shops.
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Beers at Forager, bike to Pine Island, the patio at Thai Pop, trivia at Little Thistle, appetizer extravaganza at the Workshop food hall, (attempt) cross-country skiing at Oxbow Park, free outdoor summer concerts at the Civic Center, Thursdays on First happy hour
Why Mayo: Unparalleled surgical exposure, even at the initial stages of training. Resident autonomy that facilitates rapid learning and allows for longitudinal patient interactions.
Future plans: Pursuing a career in academic otolaryngology through fellowship training in pediatric otolaryngology or neurotology. 

Evelyn Leland

Evelyn Leland, M.D.
Hometown: Blue Earth, MN
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 
Medical school: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 
Hobbies: In my free time, I enjoy cycling, running, working out, traveling, boating, watching movies, spending time with my husband, and forcing my cat to hang out with me.
Favorite things to do in Rochester: I've had a blast spending time with my co-residents. I love biking along the Douglas trail, exploring the local food and ice cream options, and winning "most average" at weeknight trivia. 
Why Mayo: From the people to the place to the training opportunities, Mayo had it all. I couldn't imagine a better training structure than the mentorship model, and the program allows for early exposure to all sub-specialties. The consultants are so invested in our development - both professionally and personally - and the Mayo ENT residents are friendly and supportive of each other in a way that I didn't see at other programs. Rochester offers everything I could ask for in a city - plenty to do, plenty to eat, affordable cost of living, no traffic, and (most importantly) Costco. 
Future plans: The million-dollar question... stay tuned. 

Dan Schmidtman

Dan Schmidtman, M.D.
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
Undergraduate: Augustana University
Medical school: University of South Dakota
Hobbies: Bicycling, cocktails, cooking, hosting
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Bike the Douglas Trail, Bitter and Pour for a cocktail, bonfires with the co-residents, trivia at Little Thistle, hikes at nearby parks 
Why Mayo: I chose Mayo Clinic for my residency training because of the collaborative nature of the program, the early and robust operative experience, the apprenticeship model, the committed faculty in each subspecialty, and the robust institutional commitment to graduate medical education. The guiding principle of the institution ("the needs of the patient come first") is lived out each day by those that work and train here, and I wanted that principle to serve as the cornerstone from which my surgical training was built. I cannot imagine a better place to train. 
Future plans: Undecided 



Maani Archang, M.D., Ph.D.

Maani Archang, M.D., Ph.D.
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Undergraduate: Irvine Valley College and Johns Hopkins University
Medical school: UCLA
Hobbies: Biking, cooking, paddle boarding, camping, and backpacking
Why Mayo: Mayo is excellent at everything! The people are incredibly nice, thoughtful, and supportive. I am surrounded by faculty and residents, all of whom I admire and look up to. Also, for surgical training, nothing beats the apprenticeship model, and at Mayo, we get this, with the best surgeons, and a truly unbelievable amount of resources dedicated to our education and research productivity.
Future plans: Fellowship, then research and academic medicine

Molly Murray, M.D.

Molly Murray, M.D.
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Undergraduate: University of Missouri
Medical school: Medical College of Wisconsin
Hobbies: Trying new restaurants, traveling, cycling, wine, hanging with friends
Why Mayo: Truly unmatched training with super supportive co-residents, faculty, and staff. We also get so much hands-on experience as interns which is an amazing way to start residency.
Future plans: Who knows!

Felicia Olawuni, M.D.

Felicia Olawuni, M.D.
Hometown: Takoma Park, MD
Undergraduate: Pennsylvania State University
Medical school: Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine 
Hobbies: Jewelry making, jigsaw puzzles, plant mom, anything art (dance, museums, photography), lifting weights, staying active 
Why Mayo: Through my research year, I was able to witness the investments the consultants had in its residents and this was exemplified through the apprenticeship model. 
Future plans: Pending...

Brennan Olson, M.D., Ph.D.

Brennan Olson, M.D., Ph.D.
Hometown: Luck, WI
Undergraduate: Augustana University
Medical school: Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Medicine
Hobbies:  Basketball, exercising, golf, video games, hanging out with my wife and two boys
Why Mayo: The culture and precedent for delivering exceptional care is palpable here, and I wanted to be a part of that. World-class surgical training with world-class surgeons. Family-friendly program in an affordable city. Infrastructure for research ideas/project support is fantastic.
Future plans: Fellowship

Kayvon Sharif, M.D.

Kayvon Sharif, M.D.
Madison, NJ
Middlebury College
Medical school: Vanderbilt University
Hobbies: Music, cars, napping with my cat
Why Mayo: For an ENT residency program, I really wanted equal top priorities: operative autonomy and quality of life. From day one, I was scrubbed in and learning by doing. And for anyone who doesn’t know, Minnesota is absolutely the place to be.
Future plans: Head and neck vs. comprehensive ENT