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Current Residents and Alumni

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Alumni: Where are they now?

2020 Neurology Graduates
Maria Virginia Diaz-Rojas, MD – Stroke Fellowship, University of Texas Health, Houston, TX
Annie Hsieh, MD, PhD – Neuro-Oncology Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Steven Yang, Do, MS – Neurocritical Care Fellowship, University of California, San Diego, CA

2019 Neurology Graduates
Saman Zafar, MD — Electrophysiology Fellowship, Cornell University NY
Ylec Mariana Cardenas, MD — Neuromuscular Fellowship, Yale, CT
Lakshmi Leishangthem, MD — Neuro-ophthalmology Fellowship, Stanford, CA

2018 Neurology Graduates
Anusha Edara, MD — Sleep Fellowship, Duke University, NC
Dilip Jayaraman, MD — Stroke Fellowship, University of Massachusetts, MA
Jalyoung Joe, MD — Epilepsy Fellowship, Harvard, MA


Current Residents, 2020-2021

PGY-1: Preliminary Residents (Internal-Medicine Internship)

Pooneh Ardestani, MD

I am originally from Iran, and I studied medicine in my hometown, Isfahan. Then, I started my international journey by moving to Singapore to get my PhD in molecular/cellular Neuroscience from National University of Singapore (NUS). Next, I moved to the United States where I joined Stanford Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Lab (SBFNL) at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow and I enjoyed working on multiple interesting drug discovery projects. To pursue my goal as a physician-scientist, I joined the Neurology Residency Program at Einstein which I am sure is going to be an amazing experience next year, as soon as I finish my prelim year in Internal Medicine. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, making new friends, and painting!


Paulina Henriquez Rojas, MD

I was born and raised in the chaotic city of Caracas, Venezuela by two wonderful women who early on taught me about discipline, perseverance, humility and kindness. 30 years later I can say I wouldn’t have had success in the medical field had I lacked any of those. Somewhere between healing very “sick” toys and seeing members of my dear and big family suffer from a devastating degenerative disease, my interest in neurology grew strong. I came to the US with a bag full of ifs and another full of will, both of which opened room for me at Yale in the Epilepsy division. It was there that I was once again convinced of the wonders of the brain, and a new interest arose in critical care.

What led me to Einstein was the warmth with which I was received, the diverse community, and the high praise from previous residents about their learning experience. I also enjoy walking around the city and finding little gems, running to decompress and finding balance through yoga to flow, let go, and reset.

Juan Solano-Romero, MD

Colombia, South America is my home, my birthplace, and where I developed my medical career. As a medical student I was not heavily interested in Neurosciences, but it was my good fortune to have an important mentor that guided me towards it. I am currently working as a neurosurgeon but interacting with neurocritical patients has changed my life and turned me towards a desire to be an inpatient neurologist. My interests are spread thru Neurocritical care, Neuroradiology, Brain Injury medicine, cerebrovascular and spinal cord diseases.

I visited Philadelphia for the first time in 2007, and since then I have loved it. It has a soul. Einstein’s Neurology residency became my first choice because of the huge diversity among its underserved population as well a feeling of being at home. 

PGY-2: Neurology Residents

Bhagyashri Bhende, MD

Med School: Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre India

I was born in India and then raised in the glorious city of Dubai. Being interested in community and global health, I have enjoyed volunteering in multiple medical camps and am an active member of multiple national and international organizations such as the IDPD and IPPNW. While I remain tangled in the mystery of the organized chaos of neurons and the fascination with stroke neurology, I am still exploring my interests and carving my path as a budding neurologist. My relentless enthusiasm and prime motivation to succeed stems from my inner childhood sportsman. In my spare time I follow my passions of traveling, trying new cuisines, going to the movies, indulging in sports such as badminton and swimming, and am now on a quest to pursue music. My move to Einstein was motivated by the tight-knit nature of the program, its welcoming environment as well as what the city of Philadelphia has to offer.


Anita Rau, MD

Med School: J.S.S. Medical College, India
Undergrad: Indiana University, Bloomington: Anthropology, Philosophy

Originally from Indiana, I moved to New York, where I was involved in the development of one of the first supportive housing models for integrated care of families living with HIV/AIDS. I went on to work in AIDS research at Mt. Sinai, where I was involved in two neurology research protocols: the CHARTER Study and MHBB (Manhattan HIV Brain Bank). Pursuing a passion for global health, I moved to India, where I received my medical degree and also cultivated a passion for yoga and meditation. I’m excited to pursue a career in neurology with a particular interest in neuroinfectious disease and neurobehavioral disorders. Some of the things that led me to Einstein are the diversity of talent in the neurology department, the nurturing and close-knit community, and, of course, the beautiful city of Philadelphia.


Shruthi Harish, MD

Med School: Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), India
Undergrad: The National College, Bengaluru

I am an ophthalmology trained incoming resident with an ultimate career plan to pursue Neuro ophthalmology. I am currently finishing a fellowship in Neuro ophthalmology at Houston Methodist Hospital after which I look forward to a rigorous neurology training experience at Einstein, which will help me help my patients better. Neuro ophthalmology is a grey zone between neurology and ophthalmology and I hope to make this gap lesser by training here. Einstein was my first choice as they offered me the flexibility to continue keeping up my neuro ophthalmology skills during the residency and also because my gut feeling said this was the right place for me. During my leisure, I spend time with my family, which I thoroughly enjoy. I also enjoy playing the piano, casual reading or planning the next family vacation!


PGY-3: Neurology Residents

Vilakshan Alambyan, MD

Med School: B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal

After graduation I always wanted to contribute towards the welfare of an underserved population. For this reason, Einstein became an obvious choice. I remain satisfied with my decision and split my time between clinical work and academic pursuit.




Avirag Goswami, MD

Med School: Vardhman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital, India

My hometown is Ghaziabad, India, and my hope is to specialize in stroke and endovascular intervention. AEMC offers a perfect balance of clinical training, academics and research. Located in North Philadelphia, which indeed has a large diverse population, a resident gets to see a wide range of clinical pictures/disorders. This program has an outstanding record for their residents matching in high tier (including Ivy League) fellowship programs. Lastly, Philadelphia itself is an incredible city with a lot of history and amazing food.


William Jimenez Marte, MD

Med School: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Dominican Republic

I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic where I followed my passions of surfing and music throughout childhood. It was through friends I met as a musician that I was guided into pursuing a medical education. A significant moment came in a Neurosciences class taught by a Russian neurosurgeon; it was during my first brain dissection under his guidance that my fascination with Neurology was born. My path to the present led me through clinical studies in Dominican Republic, Haiti, Antigua, and Barbuda to my residency at Einstein in Philadelphia. I continue to love the study of Neurology while at the same time continuing to make music in my home studio and attending live concerts.


PGY-4: Neurology Residents

Khaled Abdalla, MD

Med School: Misr University for Science and Technology College of Medicine, Egypt
Undergrad: University of Alexandria, School of Veterinary Medicine, Alexandria, Egypt
Matched FellowshipMultiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

I was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in Egypt. My journey to Einstein Neurology started when I studied neuroanatomy in veterinary medical school and decided to switch to medical school (Misr University for Science and Technology in Egypt) to pursue Neurology. I’m mainly interested in Neuroautoimmune diseases and MS. I enjoy computer programming and outdoor activities. Philadelphia is a great city to live in. I think I have learned so much at Einstein, with much more to come!


Pavan Patel, DO

Med School: Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, United States
Undergrad: University of Pittsburgh, PA: Neuroscience
Matched Fellowship: Trauma, Concussion and Sports Neuromedicine Fellowship, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Neurology residency at Einstein in Philadelphia is challenging but rewarding. We see many high acuity patients with complex medical issues who are in desperate need of care. The exposure to a plethora of illnesses is an experience we benefit from in comparison to many other neurology residents. Our program is small, but everyone supports one another and loves what they do. It continues to hold true that if you can work at Einstein, you can work anywhere.


Maryamnaz Zaribaf, MD

Med School: Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran
Postgrad Research: Emory University
Preliminary Year: Medstar Georgetown
Matched Fellowship: Movement Disorders Fellowship, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD


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