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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.



Andrew Bowen

Andrew (Andy) Bowen
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Undergraduate: University of California, Irvine
Medical school: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Hobbies: Hiking, biking
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Spending time with my wife, staying warm, fireworks, eating at Prescotts
Why Mayo: There is simply no better experience one can have as a resident than what is offered at Mayo. From early autonomy in the OR to the apprentice model that effectively provides yearly exposure to all sub-specialties of Otolaryngology, this institution is second to none,
Future plans: Laryngology Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin

Wanda Fussell

Wanda Fussell
Hometown: California
Undergraduate: University of California, Berkeley
Medical school: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Hobbies: Horseback riding, painting, cooking, target shooting, baking
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Having friends over for dinner, going to church with my family, hiking in nearby parks
Why Mayo: It is the best ENT residency program in the world! I am constantly amazed that I get to be a part of such a wonderful residency, at an institution with so much history and so many inspirational people. Also, you cannot beat the operative experience you get with the apprenticeship model.
Future plans: Private practice

Andrew Goates

Andrew (Drew) Goates
Hometown: Kamas, Utah
Undergraduate: Utah Valley University
Medical school: University of Iowa
Hobbies: Fly fishing, snowboarding, running, teaching my kids to do awesome things
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Fly fishing in southeastern Minnesota or the North Shore of Lake Superior, camping and hiking in any of the surrounding state parks
Why Mayo: Efficient training, including excellent clinical and surgical education through the apprenticeship model and top notch co-residents to share the journey with
Future plans: Private practice - Oregon Ear, Nose, and Throat Center
Follow me: Instagram, Twitter

Robert Macielak

Robert (Rob) Macielak
Hometown: Meadville, PA
Undergraduate: University of Pittsburgh
Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Hobbies: Spending time with my wife, Shea and rambunctious daughter, Annika, is my favorite thing to do outside of work. Outside of this, I enjoy golfing, playing hockey, hiking, going out to restaurants, and watching TV and movies.
Favorite things to do in Rochester: My favorite thing is going to parks and local activities with my family. Being in Minnesota has also really gotten me hooked on hiking (particularly on the North Shore!). Rochester itself has great, affordable golf courses. Rochester also has a very underrated food scene!
Why Mayo: Like most, the operative experience with consistent involvement throughout all years of residency was the biggest draw. However, the research opportunities and resources here are not to be overlooked with plenty of projects and internal funding to be successful no matter what your future career goals include. Lastly, this is a very family-friendly program with supportive staff and residents allowing me to start my family without reservation.
Future plans: Academic Otology & Neurotology

Ryan McMillan

Ryan McMillan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Undergraduate: St. John’s University
Medical School: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine
Hobbies: Sailing, playing guitar, skiing/snowboarding, spending way too much money and time on DIY projects, golfing, traveling, camping
Favorite things to do in Rochester: I enjoy hiking with my golden retriever Hobie and my wife Emily at nearby state parks (Whitewater, Frontenac, Afton), sailing on Lake Pepin, going to breweries/outdoor patios. In the winter I enjoy cross country skiing and playing on the resident broomball team. I also frequently travel to Minneapolis for professional sports, live music, and restaurants.
Why Mayo: Unrivaled, early surgical experience, and a supportive environment - co-residents feel like family. Incredible mentorship from leaders in the field. Ultimately, I always enjoy going to work everyday.
Future plans: Private practice, likely in Minnesota
Follow me: Instagram



Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong
Richmond, Virginia
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: My wife and I enjoy going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings and walking around Silver Lake near our house
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: Undecided

Jake Johnson

Jake Johnson
Monroe, Louisiana
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: Facial Plastics fellowship vs. Head and Neck fellowship vs. general private practice 

Emily Karp

Emily Bukowski
Brooklyn Park, MN
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota    
Medical school: University of Minnesota
Hobbies: Running, road biking, hiking, baking
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 & Neck Fellowship

Skye Lawlor

Skye Lawlor
Hometown: Rapid City, SD
Undergraduate: University of Montana
Medical school: University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
Hobbies: Surfing, mountain biking, frisbee golf, film making, 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, going to local breweries, getting 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, 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: Not entirely sure but may go back to South Dakota for private practice. I might do an additional fellowship in something like head and neck or facial plastics prior to moving back.

Cheyanne Silver

Cheyanne Silver
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, and 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 5 minute commute to work.
Future plans: PGY-4 year 



Dontre' Douse

Dontre' Douse
Savannah, Georgia
Undergraduate: Savannah State University
Medical school: Mercer University School of Medicine
Hobbies: Basketball, football, online chess, minority mentorship in medicine
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Spend time with my beautiful wife and try new restaurants
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
Hometown: Missoula, Montana
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
Hometown: Marlton, New Jersey
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: 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
Allen Park, Michigan
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 high level of resident autonomy and strong resident-faculty relationships. Opportunities for research to utilize my background in biomedical engineering
Future plans: Fellowship in either Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery or Head and Neck Surgery
Follow me: Instagram, Twitter

Kate Wallerius

Katherine (Kate) Wallerius
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Undergraduate: Regis University
Medical school: Georgetown University School of Medicine
Hobbies: Hiking, running, landscape photography, cooking and 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
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
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
West Richland, Washington
Undergraduate: Whitman College
Medical school: University of Washington
Hobbies: I dabble in many things - gardening, painting, photography, basketball, archery, hiking, working out, and basically anything outdoors!
Favorite things to do in Rochester: Thursdays on 1st! (live music, shopping, food and drink festival held downtown throughout the summer)
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 

Lazaro (Laz) Peraza
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
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
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
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

Victoria (Tori) Cress
Stillwater, MN
Undergraduate: Texas Christian University
Medical school: Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Hobbies: Traveling, cooking and baking, performing arts, MN lake days, yoga, and spending time with my dog, family, and friends
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
Homs, Syria
Undergraduate: Moravian College
Medical school: Penn State College of Medicine
Hobbies: Traveling with my husband Majd, spending time with family and friends, photography, cooking, and being outdoors.
Why Mayo: The apprenticeship model is phenomenal, and the people even more.
Future plans: To be determined.

Karl Khandalavala

Karl Khandalavala
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.
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
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, knitting, spending time with my husband, and forcing my cat to hang out with me. In Rochester, I have loved meeting my co-residents and exploring the local food and ice cream options. 
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 
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
Undergraduate: Augustana University
Medical school: University of South Dakota
Hobbies: bicycling, craft beer, cooking, hosting 
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