Tori Cress, M.D.
Hometown: 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, M.D.
Hometown: 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, 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, 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, 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