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Resident Testimonials

Learn about life and training at UMMC from the ones who know it best: our residents.

Blair Wiygul, MD (PGY-2)

Blair Wiygul

Medical School: University of Mississippi School of Medicine

“Choosing UMMC as my home for residency was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I loved the diverse patients and pathology that I was exposed to daily. I loved the female residents, fellows and attendings who inspired me and became role models and friends. I loved the family feel the program had - everyone had each other’s backs and supported one another so well. Overall, I admired how happy everyone seemed to be. I quickly realized while interviewing at other programs my M4 year that all of the things I appreciated about the UMMC IM program were very unique. Since becoming a resident here I have continued to feel a sense of autonomy as well as tremendous support. I truly feel grateful for every day that I get to work alongside such amazing people and train in such a special place.

Kelly Dale, MD (Current Chief Resident)

Kelly Dale

Medical School: University of Mississippi School of Medicine 

"I could go on and on about the severity of illness or complex pathology that makes training at the state’s only academic medical center such a great place to be… but the real reason I chose UMMC was because of the people. From faculty to residents and everyone in between, the enthusiasm for learning and passion for medicine pushes you to learn and grow. You work hard because you care about the people you work with and for and that shapes you into the most incredible person and physician. UMMC is just special that way - it always leaves you better than it found you."

Blake LeBlanc, MD (Current Chief Resident)

Blake LeBlanc

Medical School: Louisiana State University, Shreveport 

“I knew from the moment my interview day completed that I was called to do my training here. From the wholesome, family environment that the program fosters to the extraordinarily vast pathology seen on a daily basis, UMMC has it all. I've made life-long friendships among my co-residents and each attending with whom I've worked has a deep passion for teaching. My decision to rank UMMC as my top residency choice is reaffirmed each day, and I could not be happier here at UMMC!”

Vishal Patel, DO (PGY-3) 

Vishal Patel

Medical School: Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine 

“My experience at UMMC has been just as it was advertised on interview day, if not better. Moving to a new state and acquainting myself to a new hospital system was slightly overwhelming for me before my start. My sense of worry was astoundingly reduced as soon as I met my amazing co-residents. Everyone in the medicine program has been beyond accommodating and made me feel comfortable as soon as I got here. Being the state's only academic hospital, the pathology that I’ve seen in my first month at UMMC is mind-blowing. What I’ve been most thankful for is not only the pathology, but the teaching atmosphere that comes with it. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and collegiality between the attendings and residents that helps nurture the perfect learning environment. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Recent Graduates

Mari Young, MD 

Marietta Young

Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine
Fellowship: Cardiology, UMMC  

"When I was I was applying for residency, I spent time researching dozens of programs and interviewed in numerous states throughout the country. I chose to rank UMMC as my top program because I wanted to train in a facility that had some of the most complex pathology while being surrounded by the kindest people. I am a big believer that in order to learn and progress, you need to be in an environment where you feel safe to ask questions and lean on your colleagues. After my interview day, I felt that UMMC was a place that could satisfy those requirements, and I was right! I have been thrilled with my decision and would choose UMMC again and again." 


Aayush Patel, DO 

Portrait of Dr. Patel

Medical School: Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Fellowship: Pulmonary and Critical Care, UMMC 

“I chose UMMC as my top residency choice for multiple reasons. I had several medical school attendings that trained here and they always seemed very confident with any situation. I knew by coming here, I'd be comfortable with anything that came through the door because of the scope of pathology we get at UMMC on a daily basis that we only read about in books. The other thing that stood out to me was how friendly and inclusive everyone is. Since my interview day, I've felt welcomed and like I am truly part of this program rather than just in it. I couldn't imagine having a more supportive team/attendings around me during these difficult years of training. This is an incredible place to train.”

Hala Abisamra, MD 

Portrait of Dr. Abisamara

Medical School: University of Mississippi Medical Center
Fellowship: Cardiology, UMMC

“As a UMMC medical school graduate, I had the opportunity to work with all of the wonderful people in the medicine department as a medical student. The attending physicians and residents I worked with and the amazing learning environment they created are what helped me decide to pursue a career in Internal Medicine. Even after interviewing with multiple other residency programs across the nation, I always felt that UMMC was home. Now, as a resident, I continue to learn every day about how to be a better physician and person all with the guidance and support from my UMMC family.”  

Valencia Oglesby, DO

Valencia Oglesby

Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 
Fellowship: Infectious Diseases, Temple University 

"After attending undergraduate and medical school out of state, joining UMMC's internal medicine program has been a warm welcome back home. Everyone, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, has played such a monumental part in my education here. Being that we are the only academic center in Mississippi, we take care of some of the sickest patients in not only the state but the entire country as well due to health disparities. I am confident that UMMC has fostered my growth into a well-rounded internist that can successfully practice anywhere." 

Bo Brunson, MD 


Medical School: University of South Alabama
Fellowship: Hematology and Oncology, UMMC

“Making a decision about where to spend the next three years of your life is tough. The best advice given to me was to go where I felt most comfortable. That is the feeling I got from UMMC. This residency is full of people passionate about the future of the program, this city, and most importantly the patients we take care of every day. UMMC prides itself on being a family. That attitude shines through every aspect of this program and is why I am happy to call UMMC my family.”

Priya Patel, MD

Priya Patel

Medical School: University of Central Florida
Fellowship: Allergy and Immunology, UMMC

“There were several different reasons why I selected UMMC’s Internal Medicine Program as my top choice. I had the chance to do two medicine rotations during my M4 year at UMMC and was impressed by how welcoming and supportive everyone here was; they all worked together as a team. I also quickly realized that training here would allow me to see a wide variety of disease processes that sometimes we only read about in books, and feel comfortable managing them on my own. I am happy and proud to be a part of this amazing program.”

Caleb Stanfield, MD 

Caleb Stanfield

Medical School: Louisiana State University - Shreveport
Fellowship: Endocrinology, UMMC

“When interviewing for residency positions, my wife and I were looking for a place that afforded us the opportunity to train at a place that would not only make us the best physicians we could be, but also prioritized family as well as camaraderie amongst residents, medical students and faculty. UMMC displayed that family atmosphere like no other program on the interview trail and that feeling has rung true throughout our intern year. At UMMC, I find myself becoming a better physician and a better person every day.”

Austin Burkenstock, DO 


Medical School: The College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University
Current faculty, G.V. (Sonny) Mongtomery VA Medical Center

“UMMC has provided an internal medicine residency experience that has well-surpassed my expectations. From day one, the faculty, staff, and residents here have created a family environment that distinguishes UMMC from other residency programs. Each of my attending physicians has had a passion for teaching, encouraged my involvement in various research opportunities, and created an environment that promotes resident well-being and learning. UMMC is an incredible place. I’m thankful to have chosen this program to complete my residency training!”

Malorie Holmes, MD

Medical School: Meharry Medical College
Fellowship: Nephrology, Stanford University 
“Choosing UMMC was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. From day one, I was enthusiastically welcomed to the program and hospital. My favorite thing about UMMC is that from the attendings to fellows to residents to medical students, we are all one big family. I was surprised by the way my attendings sought to know me as a person rather than just a resident and I’ve been amazed by the level of support this program has offered in times of need. If I had to go back and do it again, I’d choose UMMC every time.”

Chris Bourean, MD

Medical School: Wake Forest University
Hospitalist, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, South Carolina 
“When choosing a residency program, one thing that immediately stood out about UMMC Internal Medicine was the unique combination of a medically-complex patient population and a supportive group of residents and faculty. The opportunity to care for some of Mississippi’s most ill patients has helped me grow as a physician, both personally and professionally. At UMMC Internal Medicine, the goal is to train residents to become the doctor you’d like to have. After spending years with my co-residents, I feel confident in each of them and would be proud to have them as my doctor.” 

Kevin Kinloch, MD

Medical School: Meharry Medical College
Fellowship: Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Mississippi Medical Center
“When I interviewed at UMMC, I could tell how the residents got along and it wasn't an act. I saw the acuity of the patients and the availability of procedures. I also saw how hard the residents worked but still enjoyed themselves. No other program where I interviewed could I say the same. I made the right choice.”

Mark Lelli, MD

Medical School: University of Mississippi Medical Center
Academic Hospitalist, Emory University 
“When I began residency interviews, I initially thought there was a good chance I would end up somewhere else. It was only after exploring and discovering what other programs had to offer that I found out how special UMMC is. The people you meet here, the relationships you form, and the overall culture of the program is second to none. Couple that with the excellent training and education, and I knew I found a home in UMMC.”

Clark Cutrer, MD


Medical School: University of Mississippi Medical Center
Fellowship: Hematology and Oncology, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Faculty: UT Medical Center - Knoxville 

“From the time I first started my M3 internal medicine rotation to now close to graduation and moving into fellowship, I have always felt personally cared for by the UMMC Department of Medicine. As a student, I felt as though residents and faculty were invested in me as a person and a future physician, and that same personal commitment has only been intensified during my residency training. Time and time again over the last three years, I have been affirmed in my decision to stay and there are so many examples: my amazing co-residents who are some of mine and my wife's closest friends, our faculty who I've learned so much from and are incredibly invested in our education, and especially the patients that I've been so fortunate to get to care for. It has truly been an honor and a delight to be able to train at UMMC.”

Frankie Pedigo, MD


Medical School: Louisiana State University - Shreveport
Fellowship: Rheumatology, University of Mississippi Medical Center

“I chose UMMC because I was looking for a program where the residents supported each other and the attending physicians would challenge and teach residents. In my three years at UMMC I can say both of these things have been true! Residents always have each other’s backs and have been there to support one another in times of need.”

Doug Gibson, DO


Medical School: University of North Texas Health Science Center
Fellowship: Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Hematology and Oncology, University of Mississippi Medical Center

“Choosing a residency program brought unique challenges as my wife is an emergency medicine resident and we wanted to choose an institution that would allow us both to thrive. UMMC was our first choice for residency because of its strong academics, an emphasis on resident education, exceptional pathology, and a supportive environment that would push us to be our best. Moving from Texas was a huge change, but I cannot imagine a more perfect internal medicine program for me. I have enjoyed my time at UMMC and I am thankful that I will be continuing my medical education during fellowship here.”

Seth Parham, MD


Medical School: Louisiana State University – New Orleans
Fellowship: Endocrinology, Washington University in St. Louis

“UMMC has been an invaluable asset in my medical training. Its breadth of pathology and complicated clinical challenges allow one to develop excellent and well-tested competencies in internal medicine. It allows you to work with compassionate men and woman while caring for a unique patient population unlike any other. After starting fellowship I realized how strong and thorough my internal medicine training had been. I felt comfortable to stand beside fellows from around the country and had no difficulty transitioning to a larger academic center. If given the choice I would easily choose UMMC again for my internal medicine training.”