Our People Make The Difference
Albany Med's Graduate Medical Education programs are rich with diversity and wide-ranging pursuits. From first-year residents and fellows to noted alumni, Albany Med hosts a wide range of engaging and dynamic personalities.
Below are just a few of the exceptional individuals who chose Albany Med's GME programs:
Dr. Chan is a native of New York City. He graduated from Binghamton University and the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Chan completed a transitional internship year in NYC and went on to serve as a Flight Surgeon for the U.S. Air Force. During his active duty career, he provided both medical support and Medevac for Combat Search & Rescue, as well as for humanitarian missions nationally and overseas. He cared for elite A-10, C-130, and HH-60 pilots and special operational forces. He was the Medical Element Chief for the 75th Fighter Squadron and served as Deputy Chief of Aerospace Medicine while deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. For his meritorious service and accomplishments, he was awarded several accolades: the United States Air Medal and two Air Force Commendation Medals.
Jessica Kumar, D.O., MPH
Jessica Kumar, D.O, M.P.H., received her undergraduate education at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by medical training and public health training at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Kumar began a fellowship in infectious disease at Case Western in July of 2012. She hopes to work both within the United States and abroad, perhaps with the CDC or WHO in the future.
The unique training provided by the combined Internal Medicine-Pediatric residency program at Albany Medical Center has allowed Dr. Kumar to pursue her interest in both adult and pediatric infectious disease with her mentors: Richard Blinkhorn, M.D., Ellis Tobin, M.D., and Martha Lepow, M.D.
Dr. Kumar has published multiple papers and posters highlighting cases she encountered at Albany Medical Center, and her research in infectious disease. She presented 3 posters at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and has published a paper on endocarditis, among other scholarly activities. Dr. Kumar is actively involved with scientists at the Wadsworth Center, pursuing research in HIV and other infectious diseases.
Outside of clinical responsibilities, Dr. Kumar is known to spend her holidays volunteering at a shelter, attending art exhibits, spending time with her dogs, painting, and traveling. During her residency she visited Uganda and Guatemala to assist their under-served communities. Dr. Kumar returned to Africa in March of 2012 to continue her humanitarian efforts in battling infectious disease.
Dr. Mitchell was determined to become a physician from a very young age and was accepted into the prestigious joint biomedical program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Albany Medical College. During this time, she performed research with Dana Crawford, PhD, at the Center for Immunology at Albany Medical College and contributed to a number of publications, including first name publication of Brain expression of the calcineurin inhibitor RCAN1 (Adapt78), Arch. Biochem. Biophys, 467(2):185-92, 2007. Her research on apoptosis culminated in defense of her thesis to earn the title of medical degree with distinction in research.
During her Neurology residency, she represented Albany Medical College at the 136th annual meeting of the American Neurological Association in San Diego where she presented a rare case report of paraneoplastic brainstem cerebellar syndrome in a poster session and in a formal interest group presentation. In addition, she formally presented a rare case report of idiopathic opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome at the Neurology Grand Rounds and at the monthly infectious disease conferences at AMC.
Looking to the future, Dr. Mitchell would like to pursue a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology. Her clinical interests include epilepsy and movement disorders. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano and the guitar.
Gattu Panisri Rao, M.D.
Volunteerism and giving back to her community are inherent behaviors of Dr. Rao. She has always been, and continues to be a valuable resource to the community.
Growing up in Loudonville, NY, and then during her days at Simmons College in Boston, she volunteered in area hospitals, in a Boston multiple sclerosis clinic, and then continued her involvement in community health by volunteering at a HIV clinic in Chicago. While attending American University of Antigua College of Medicine, from which she received her Doctorate of Medicine in 2009, she continued giving back to her community by arranging local health fairs and serving in various leadership capacities on her medical school campus as class secretary and class president.
What is most impressive is that during her family medicine residency training, Dr. Rao found the time to oversee two major community outreach efforts. As coordinator of the resident-run health clinic in a local domestic violence shelter, Dr. Rao worked with the shelter’s staff to ensure that the services provided were relevant and needed by their clientele. Three times each month, Dr. Rao arranged for FM residents to provide on site physical exams for families needing these services for work or school applications, assess acutely ill patients at the clinic, and make referrals when needed. The second community outreach program: Dr. Rao was responsible for (by choice and not required,) the 10th grade health and sex education classes at a local public high school. She and one other resident went to the school, conduct educational sessions, and worked with the health educator in planning the curriculum. As one can imagine, the kids giggled all the way through the class but by the end of the sessions, they are not afraid to ask very important and timely questions. What a great service to these kids, and a positive role model to the other residents about the joys of giving back to one’s community.
We are confident that what Dr. Rao has accomplished so far in life will follow her through her career in family medicine. Wherever she goes, the community will be better informed about health, because of her service and teaching roles.
Neil Yager, DO received his undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University studying Political Science and Biology. He also played guitar for the university jazz-fusion band and years later would release a studio album with his rock band in New York City.
As a medical student at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, he held leadership positions for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).
Throughout his Internal Medicine residency, Dr. Yager has been active in research and poster presentations. At the New York American College of Physicians (ACP) competition, he came in second place in the clinical vignette category for his presentation on 'Staphylococcus lugdunensis causing Tricuspid Valve and AICD Intracardiac Endocarditis'.