Class of 2021
Abria Bonner, MD
Indiana University School of Medicine
I was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago as the youngest of 4 children. I left my busy household to attend undergrad at Bradley University in Peoria, Go Braves! There I studied Biochemistry, participated in research to develop a safer medication for pain control, and danced on the Bravettes team. After my 4 years at Bradley, I knew research was not for me long-term. I took a gap year before starting medical school, and worked as a scribe in the Emergency Department of OSF St. Francis in Peoria. This experience solidified my desire to become a physician; specifically, to work with a wide variety of ages and various medical concerns.
For medical school, I traveled one state over to Indiana University. During medical school I volunteered at a HIV outreach clinic, a center for grieving children, and tutored math for disadvantaged youth. On top of this I was blessed enough to be hired to teach barre (ballet-based exercise class). Towards the end of my third year, I knew I was strongly interested in women’s health, adolescent medicine, and the emphasis of primary prevention. I want to counsel teens, provide prenatal care, deliver babies, and take care of people from childhood to adulthood in the context of a comprehensive view. This is why I chose Family Medicine.
During my interview, Saint Joseph’s had the perfect balance I was looking for of a warm, welcoming environment that emphasized the importance of evidence-based medicine. I am excited to see what this new experience in Denver at Saint Joseph’s will bring. I eagerly look forward to everyone who will teach me and mold me into the doctor I am striving to be.
Outside of medicine I love to watch Netflix, dance, swim, and play board games (I get pretty competitive with my significant other, Nick, over Jenga).
Paola Casillas, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine
A little about myself: I was born in Mexico and immigrated to Phoenix, Arizona at the age of four. I attended the University of Arizona for undergrad (Go Cats!) where I solidified my decision to apply for medical school by volunteering with Flying Samaritans, an organization that provides free primary care clinics across the border. I fell in love with primary care, border health, and social justice. Flying Samaritans is also how I met my now fiancé who was a medical student at the time. We both moved to Denver so I could attend medical school at the University of Colorado and he could start General Surgery Residency at St. Joe’s! I have fallen in love with the Colorado lifestyle and am so grateful to be able to stay another three years. In my free time, you’ll find me spending time with my fiancé and two hound dogs, gardening, raising chickens and ducks, snowboarding, mountain biking, running, and exploring Denver’s music and brewery scenes.
I am so excited to be a part of the St. Joe’s family. What attracted me to this program is the variety of interests of the residents and faculty, the challenging yet fun environment, the underserved patient population, and the opportunity for change and growth. My interests in medicine are broad and include addiction, LGBT, adolescent, and wellness amongst physicians. Feel free to email with any questions!
Haley Hoffman, DO
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University
Hello and welcome!
I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to train at St. Joe's. As a Colorado native, returning home for residency was extremely important to me, and I am so grateful that Family Medicine has such a strong presence and history here. I started my journey in healthcare as a psychology major at the University of Utah, and as an intern for a crisis call and suicide prevention center. I moved across the country to Chicago where I attended Midwestern University for medical school. My passion for behavioral health and patient continuity led me to fall in love with Family Medicine, and I finally felt I had found my place in medicine AND found my people! As I started exploring Family Medicine Residency programs, St. Joe's was an obvious standout program. Everyone I interacted with was not only inspiring, but equally warm, welcoming, and excited about teaching. I cannot think of any other place I'd rather spend the next three years.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy most things outdoors, including skiing, cycling, hiking, and outdoor concert going. I love to cook, spend time with my family, and play with my dogs and kitties. Most importantly, I am thrilled to be surrounded by wonderful people and beautiful Colorado!
Tyler Jones, MD
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine – Tulsa
Hey Everyone! I came to Denver from Tulsa, Oklahoma where I graduated from the OU-Tulsa School of Community Medicine. Before medical school, I went to Baylor University where I studied medical humanities and had the undeserved, but totally awesome fortune of meeting my wife, Hannah. From day one I have been so grateful to be at St. Joseph for my residency training! The program and hospital are full of great people, and I get to play a small part in the program mission to “foster health and healing, particularly among the poor and vulnerable.” My interests include all things clinic, geriatrics, underserved medicine, behavioral health, and narrative medicine.
When I’m not working, I like to get out into nature. When I’m not in nature, I like to explore all types of music, watch movies, and read things that make me think and feel connected to other people. Also, food. I love eating good food, and there’s so much of it here! If you’re interested in the program, I hope I get to meet you, hear your interests, and chat about how great it is to be here!
Katie Klein, MD
Florida Int’l University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Hi there! I grew up in SLO County on the Central Coast of California where I developed my love for sunshine and strawberries. I traveled about 80 miles south to attend UC Santa Barbara where I studied Biopsychology and learned how to be productive before sunrise as a member of the varsity rowing team. I stayed in Santa Barbara after undergrad and took a job as a medical assistant in a solo physician gynecology practice. It was there that I witnessed the power of continuity and the patient-physician relationship.
Next I headed to Georgetown University to pursue a Master’s in Physiology while applying to medical school. After experiencing my first winter in DC, I decided to migrate south and attend FIU College of Medicine in beautiful Miami, FL. With a primary care mission statement, FIU provided many opportunities to explore family medicine and the impact that physicians can have on a family and the community.
After 5 years on the east coast, I was ready to head west for residency. After my partner Kyle matched into PM&R at CU and we spent some time in Denver, I knew this was the place for me. From the 300 days of sunshine and bike trails to the countless breweries and professional sports, Denver is the perfect blend of city and country I've always wanted.
The thing that stood out to me most about Saint Joe’s was the culture of the program. I am so grateful that I get to work with such compassionate, hilarious, and brilliant residents and faculty. I feel completely supported as I push myself to be the best physician I can be through our strong inpatient, OB, sports, and integrative medicine training. Saint Joe’s provides an amazing atmosphere to pursue what you’re passionate about while serving the most vulnerable people in our community. Oh and we have a lot of fun along the way!
Taylour Munro, DO
Florida Int’l University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
I could not be happier to be joining the St. Joe’s family! It’s both inspiring and motivating to work with a group of people who are truly dedicated to taking care of their community and address the inherit dignity of each person. St. Joe’s is my dream team, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.
My journey to medicine started while working with St. Anthony’s in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco where I had the opportunity to witness an organization that genuinely serves the emotional and physical needs of the most marginalized of our society. Throughout my undergraduate time at UC Davis I learned to value what it means to be a part of your community by getting to help run homeless shelters, free-clinics, and be the lead BINGO caller at nursing homes. After college, I taught high school Biology to 100 beautiful 9th graders with Teach For America. My spunky students taught me so much of how their daily realities of violence and poverty made it so difficult to make education a priority. As I tried to instill a sense of education as power, I followed my own advice and went off to medical school in Los Angeles. During medical school, a fellowship in addiction medicine opened my eyes to the vital role primary care can serve in families suffering from addiction. Family medicine is the specialty for me, to serve patients of all ages and conditions in addition to providing the perfect venue to integrate complex disease processes with an understanding of the intricate social issues patients face. St. Joe’s and its people are a living example of using family medicine as a vehicle for social justice in both its mission and actions!
In my free time, you’ll find me drinking excessive amounts of coffee, exploring a new Denver neighborhood, outside in the sunshine, and obsessing over all of the very cute dogs that live in my new neighborhood. Please reach out if you have any questions about life at St. Joe’s or Denver!
Gina Stroud, MD
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Hello! I was born and raised in the mountains of New Mexico in the small town of Los Alamos- a former secret city and the site of the Manhattan Project during WWII. I attended Santa Clara University in California and double majored in biology and public health. After that I went back to the Land of Enchantment, mostly for the green chili, but also for medical school. I am particularly interested in adolescent medicine and women’s health.
Outside of medicine I like to snowboard, hike, play tennis, read, travel and of course, check out the local food and brewery scene. And ice cream. I love ice cream.
Maija Swanson, MD
Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center
Hi there! My name is Maija (pronounced like Maya) and I am so excited to be completing my residency training at St. Joe's! I am originally from a small town in the mountains of northern California and completed my undergraduate work at Santa Clara University. After living in San Francisco for two years, I moved to Chicago to attend medical school at Rush University. I discovered family medicine relatively late in my medical school career and absolutely fell in love with the idea that I could take care of my patients from before they are born until the end of their lives. Family medicine really is unique and special in that way, and I feel fortunate to be able to practice medicine in such a challenging, rewarding and ever-evolving field. Within the realm of family medicine, I am most interested in women's health and obstetrics, integrative medicine, global health and procedural medicine.
Outside of medicine, I share the same interests as most Coloradans (hiking, biking, skiing, backpacking, pretty much any outdoor activity) as well as gardening, brewing beer, crafting, cooking, baking and hanging out with dogs.
Sara Weeks, DO
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Mine has been a circuitous route to Colorado, and to medicine. I was raised in the Pacific Northwest, but moved east to study medical anthropology and human geography at Dartmouth College. During terms off-campus, I taught English in India, studied abroad in Italy and the Czech Republic, interned in environmental law in DC, and spent a summer on the Amazon with a surgeon/epidemiologist. My first job out of school was in experiential education and community development in China, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, and later in Seattle, Portland, New Orleans, and Boston. My first clinical work was in psychiatric respite and addiction medicine in Vermont. I moved to Maine for medical school, where I became particularly interested in integrative medicine and women’s health, Osteopathic manipulation and musculoskeletal medicine, and full spectrum family practice.
I am delighted to be training at St Joe’s, working alongside such inspiring residents and faculty, serving a diverse community of patients, and living in a city so vibrant that a day off can be spent playing in the mountains, tasting local flavors, dancing to live music, or pursuing myriad other favorite hobbies.
Class of 2020
Timothy Hutton, MD
Medical College of Georgia
Tim hails from Athens, Georgia. He is a proud double-dawg, obtaining his B.S. and MD from the University of Georgia. Interests include: agriculture, behavioral health, cycling, playing with Henry the Goldendoodle, primary care advocacy, rural/underserved medicine, and the usual outdoor CO activities.
(Note: not a reindeer. This is Herman my family's donkey)
Tara Iyer, MD
Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Hello and welcome! I could not be happier to be working alongside the wonderful people at St. Joe’s and can’t wait to share a little more about the program and how I got here. I was born and raised in Southern New Jersey. I traveled to Washington, D.C. for college, studying at Georgetown University. While I was always interested in medicine, it was as an undergrad that I developed interests in global health, public health, and social justice. While on the hilltop, I worked for a year completing health and epidemiology projects for the D.C. Department of Health. After college, I moved to NYC to work at Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), where I further developed my interests in international health and community medicine. I left Manhattan after a year to attend Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In medical school I was fortunate enough to complete several global health rotations, working in places like Argentina and Northern India. I also developed an interest in reproductive health, completing several rotations in Women’s Health and Family Planning.
Following my third year of medical school, after spending my whole life on the east coast, I decided to take a year off from medical school and move to Denver to work at the Colorado Department for Public Health and Environment. My work there focused on improving youth and young adult health. During that year, I really fell in love with Denver. This city is full of incredible nature, amazing people, and even more amazing beer! Upon returning to medical school, I quickly realized that family medicine was the only specialty that would allow me the flexibility to pursue all my interests, while simultaneously helping some of the most vulnerable patient populations. When I opened my envelope on match day, I was thrilled to find out that I would be able to return to one of my favorite cities in the world and continue exploring my passions for global health, public health, women’s reproductive health, and adolescent medicine, while learning full-spectrum Family Medicine. The fact that my colleagues here at St. Joe’s are some of the most amazing people I have ever met, is just icing on the cake!
Outside of medicine, I really enjoy traveling, getting out in nature as much as I can, spending time with friends and family, and discovering all the incredible breweries here in Colorado. I also enjoy exploring the music scene here. There is nothing quite like seeing a concert at Red Rocks. All in all, I’m so happy to be living and working in Denver!
Matthew Robert Martin, MD
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Hi everyone! My name is Rob Martin, and I’m excited to be starting this journey with the team here at St. Joseph’s. I grew up in rural New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico for both undergraduate and medical school. I started with a strong interest in linguistics which led to studies in Spain and Austria. My desire to do primary care fused with my language skills into a passion for working with Spanish-speaking underserved from Albuquerque to México to Peru. I’m nearly fluent in Spanish, and I enjoy having patients teach me new words! In medical school, both my parents were diagnosed with cancer, and my journey with them through illness and the healthcare system shaped the way I view myself and our role as healers more than I could have imagined. This fostered an interest in physician and patient wellness, integrative medicine, palliative care, and humanism in medicine above all. I’m so glad I am training with St. Joe’s because I’ll be able to serve a community I’m passionate about in a rigorous yet very supportive and fun environment. Outside of work, I love traveling, eating greasy street food, yoga, meditation, cooking spicy food, hiking with Charlie, our rescue dog, and playing board games with Kyle, my partner. We all love Denver and the fast friends we’re making at St. Joe’s!
Shannon Mentock, MD
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Hello! I spent the majority of my life on the East Coast in North Carolina. I studied Nutrition and French at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After college, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the mountains of Cameroon. A lot of my Peace Corps projects were related to nutrition and chronic disease, like diabetes. This training in preventive care and holistic approaches to health helped me decide that Family Medicine is where I can make the biggest impact for my patients. I returned to NC for medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Then I ended up in Denver for residency and I am so happy to be here!
I am not sure what kind of practice I will have after residency, so I wanted a program where I could train in just about everything. I look forward to learning more about complementary forms of medicine through our Integrative Medicine track. I love that our program provides strong OB training. We have a large Spanish speaking population and I am already getting better at speaking Spanish.
Since arriving here in June, it is obvious how committed everyone at St. Joe's is to providing a supportive environment and caring for the underserved.
Nicole Oberfoell, MD
University of Queensland, Ochsner Hospital
I was ecstatic to be welcomed into the Saint Joseph's family because it's a place I feel inspired by and confident that I will grow into my own type of well-prepared, fantastic Family Physician. There's a balance of having autonomy and guidance, feeling challenged and supported, being friends and colleagues, and taking on the world intently as well as playfully.
I was born/raised in Los Angeles where I did a lot of rollerblading and sitting in public school buses. I was lured to the east coast to attend Swarthmore, a small liberal arts college that expanded my take on the world, concepts of health, and let me captain the soccer team. I stayed a number of years in West Philadelphia managing clinical research studies at the University of Pennsylvania by day and taking free classes at night. I dabbled in public health, the arts, and community organizing until I was inspired to apply for a Fulbright on the use of telemedicine to bring better healthcare to geographically isolated, resource-limited communities in the Philippines. I got to meet/work with family I had only known from photographs, and see where hand-me-down clothes had gone for all the years. Martial arts belts were fashioned into machete holsters!
For medical school I spent the first two years at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia where I got to appreciate a different healthcare system, work within the strategies of a different telemedicine system, and learn different pronunciations of medical jargon. My second half of medical school was at Ochsner in New Orleans, which was an enlightening juxtaposition.
I am very excited to be a family medicine physician and take on this uniquely therapeutic role to respond to front-line community issues, and make substantial, inter-generational changes. I find the program at Saint Joseph's cultivates these ideals and inspires collaboration. Oh, and we're really fun and get down.
Ashleigh Patrick (Garton), DO
Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello! I am a Colorado native who grew up Pueblo where I also attended undergrad at Colorado State University-Pueblo. I have known for quite some time that medicine was my passion and that medical school would someday be in my future. After graduating with my Bachelors degree, I spent one year working at an ambulatory surgery center followed by another year working as an orthopedic technician for an orthopedic surgeon. As an orthopedic technician, I was able to do so many amazing things, including minor office procedures and assisting during surgery. During that year, my passion for medicine and patient care only intensified, and I became determined to pursue a career as a doctor.
The following year I started as a 1st year medical student at Rocky Vista University. During my time there, I was able strengthen my interests all areas of medicine, hone in some of my osteopathic manipulative medicine skills and meet some amazing lifelong girlfriends. It was also during my time here, especially during my rotations, that I realized how strongly I felt about lifestyle and preventative medicine. Although initially considering a surgical career, I felt that I kept getting pushed in a direction that allowed me to work longitudinally with patients to find their healthiest lives possible. And thus, family medicine was the specialty for me.
Once settling on family medicine, deciding on St Joseph’s was easy. This program offered everything I could ever dream of, including outstanding OB rotations, OMT training and an integrative medicine track all within a wonderful, supporting environment with amazing staff and co-residents. Additionally, I was able to stay in beautiful Colorado, where my husband, Kurt, and I grew up. On the weekends, you can find us hiking, camping, paddle boarding, trying out a new brewery, spending time with family or enjoying as many Rockies games as we can fit in! I couldn’t be happier at such an important time in my career!
If you have any questions about St Joseph’s or Colorado, please feel free to email me!
Ryan Dean Peterson, MD
University of Arizona, Tucson
Hello! I am so excited to be able to call Saint Joseph and Colorado my new home! Growing up my family moved around quite a bit. Starting in Dallas, Texas where I was born, our moves included Albuquerque New Mexico, Fort Worth Texas, Kansas City Kansas, Glendale Arizona, and London England, until we finally landed in Phoenix Arizona where I completed High School. From there I headed two hours south to the University of Arizona – Tucson where I completed my Bachelors of Science in General Biology with a minor in Chemistry. While doing that I married my High School sweetheart, Courtland. She was also studying as an undergraduate at The University of Arizona where she studied both Dance and Education. After finishing our undergraduate degrees we headed back to Phoenix where I worked for Maricopa County Department of Environmental Health as an Environmental Health Specialist, and Courtland worked as a Dance Teacher at Greenway High School. While working in Phoenix I completed a Masters Degree in Public Health, also at the University of Arizona, with an emphasis in Public Health Practice. While in Phoenix Courtland became pregnant, twice! We now have two beautiful little girls, Brooklynn 7, and Ryland 4. When Brooklynn was 3 and Ryland was six months, we all headed back to Tucson and the University of Arizona for medical school.
We are all now elated to be here in Denver, Colorado for residency at Saint Joseph Hospital. This program certainly stood out from the others in my mind as a place where I could learn to practice full spectrum family medicine in an urban community environment. Outside of the hospital I love spending time with my family. We have made it our goal to explore as much of beautiful Colorado as we can! We love to get outside to go hiking, camping, tubing, biking, barbecuing, and picnicking. All of course with our two boxers, Macy and Dempsey, along for the ride!
Madeleine Roberts, MD
University of Minnesota Medical School
Hello, everyone! I am so proud to be at St. Joseph's Hospital for my residency training. I was born and raised in Minnesota before heading to Washington DC for my undergraduate education at American University. I spent a year in San Diego before starting medical school at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I spent a year in a longitudinal rural program which fueled my love of full spectrum family practice.
I am passionate about inpatient medicine and hope to continue practicing in the hospital setting after graduation, so I was drawn to St. Joe's for their extremely strong inpatient curriculum, as well as the full spectrum culture of training in Colorado. To me, St. Joe's is perfect for the person who loves everything family medicine has to offer and isn't ready to choose. They offer so many opportunities to solidify your skills across the board, from OB to clinic to pediatrics to sports medicine.
I love skiing, hiking, large dogs, and craft beer (Denver is clearly perfect for me!). I am extremely close to my family and friends and am passionate about political action and healthcare policy. I am so happy to be at St. Joe's, and every day I'm here I become more confident that this is the right place for me! I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about our program and our city.
Lauren Jane Thomas, MD
University of Colorado Medical School
Class of 2019
Claire Bovet, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Hello, and thanks for visiting this page to learn more about the Family Medicine residents at Saint Joseph Hospital! I love this program and its people, and can't wait to tell you more about us. For starters, I'm a Colorado native who grew up on a farm in the Longmont area. I moved to Middlebury, Vermont for college and spent a semester living abroad in France. My next step was to come back to my favorite state for medical school at the University of Colorado, where I developed a passion for primary care. My third-year rotations at St. Joe's convinced me that the community here provides great patient care and also great education. When I finished my fourth year sub-I, I knew that these were my people, and that feeling has stayed strong ever since. I am so honored and thrilled to be working in this incredible environment, and I absolutely love my St Joe's family! When I'm not at the hospital, you can find me exploring the outdoors, perfecting a new recipe in my kitchen, or sampling some of Denver's many cool restaurants and breweries with my husband Tucker. If you have any questions about residency, life in Denver, or which beers and hikes should make your must-try list while visiting Colorado, please get in touch!
Craig Erickson, MD
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Hello and welcome! I spent most of my early years in Northern New Jersey, started undergrad studying percussion performance at Rutgers, and finished my degree in music industry at Drexel University. After spending a few years working in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York, I served with the Peace Corps for two years in rural Spring Village, Jamaica. My work was focused on youth development, with emphasis on adolescent health, education, and music. While there, my interest in community health matured into a plan to pursue a career in medicine. After returning, I spent a year obtaining my science requirements and volunteering in a family medicine-run HIV clinic in Baltimore. For medical school, I headed to Brown University, where I pursued interests in global and community health, health disparities, care of incarcerated populations, and medical education.
Now in my first year at St Joe's, I couldn't be happier to be here learning full-spectrum family medicine! As residents, we are able to serve a diverse urban population, regardless of insurance status, while still building the skill set needed to work in the most rural and low-resource environments. The obstetrics training is particularly strong in this respect. There is a highly supportive culture here that enables us to explore nearly any clinical or academic interest we might have, while also encouraging us to enjoy the city, the mountains, and our lives outside of work. And there is a lot to enjoy here in Denver! Best of all, we all get to work every day with a remarkably talented group of co-residents, faculty, and staff that are equally inspiring and fun.
Thanks for your interest in St. Joe's Family Medicine Residency program! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, and I will be happy to respond.
Joshua Farley, MD
University of Minnesota Medical School
I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania and enlisted into the Army straight out of high school where I served as a paratrooper. My experience in Iraq and Afghanistan dealing with traumatic wounds and providing assistance to rural villages gave me the desire to become a physician. I spent my undergrad years studying neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and then stayed on for their medical school. My passion for family medicine came about when I realized I loved everything about medicine including clinic, inpatient, procedures, kids, geriatrics, everything. And the specialty that satisfied all those interests was far and away family medicine. So when I opened up my Match letter and saw I was going to be a resident at St. Joseph’s I was ecstatic because I knew they thoroughly taught their residents to handle any medical problem that comes up and prepare them to practice in any environment. Plus Denver is just a great place to live. Outside of medicine, I enjoy trying out new beers (Denver is amazing for that!!!), spending time with my girlfriend, running, Netflix binging, playing with my cat Archie, and spending time with my awesome co-residents.
Alexandra McCarty, MD
University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Hi everyone! I am so grateful to be welcomed into the Saint Joseph Family Medicine Program. I was born outside of New Orleans before making a move to Jackson, Mississippi where I spent the majority of my life. I attended college at Mississippi State University where I majored in Microbiology, then traveled back down to Jackson for medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. During medical school I reconnected with an old college acquaintance that soon became my husband. While my husband John Paul finished his studies at the University Of Mississippi School of law, I focused my attention on my interests within medicine. My love for fostering relationships with patients and interest in underserved care are what drew me to Family Medicine.
Having grown up in the South, I knew residency was an opportunity to experience a different part of the country. Full spectrum training and a genuine focus on underserved care were two priorities for me when deciding on where to train. I am so happy to say that Saint Joseph has proven to be an incredible program that fulfills all I wanted and more. We have the opportunity to work with so many engaging faculty and co-residents, all with various passions from global health to obstetrics to sports medicine. I feel confident that over the next three years Saint Joseph’s full spectrum training will shape me to be the best physician for my future patients.
Outside of work my husband and I are enjoying exploring the great state of Colorado, hiking, running and traveling. If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to email me!
Emily Rand, MD
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
Hello there! I spent my first two decades in Arizona (born on the Navajo Reservation in Chinle, later moved to Flagstaff, went to undergrad in Tucson). After college I moved to California and worked at NASA in the south bay, then went to medical school at UC San Diego. While Denver doesn’t have the beach and burrito scene that I loved in SD, it more than makes up for it with the mountains, parks, and breweries!
My photo is from match day (s/p happy tears) when I found out I was going to be able to do my family medicine training at St. Joes! On my interview, I loved the family feel of St. Joes. I loved the commitment to the underserved. I loved the snazzy new hospital with wonderful teaching facilities. I loved the collaborative relationship with the other specialties. Have I said the word love enough? I think you get the idea.
Bonnie Smith, DO
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
It seems like just yesterday I was trying to narrow down the almost 500 family medicine residencies to a reasonable number of applications, and now I’m writing my bio for Saint Joe’s. I’ve been in Denver for about a month and I already love the dry heat and proximity to the mountains. I grew up in the rolling hills of northern California, completed my undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz on the central CA coast, and completed my MPH in Community Health Sciences at UCLA. From there, I moved to Brooklyn, NY, where I worked in public health research in both the fields of reproductive health and family planning as well as child and adolescent mental health. While I was living in New York, I did my 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher training at Yoga to the People. Six years after graduating from college, I started medical school at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.
From the time I was a sophomore in college until the end of my third year of medical school, I was sure I wanted to pursue a career in Ob/Gyn. My last rotation of my third year was an elective at a community clinic in Zuni, New Mexico. I hadn’t spent much time in the southwest, but I quickly fell in love with the dessert, the mountains and family medicine. I’m still very interested in women’s health, Ob and family planning, but I love the idea of treating the whole person (and their family). When I began narrowing down family medicine programs, I primarily looked at places out west where I could do full spectrum practice and get a good Ob experience—Saint Joe’s very much fit the bill. Throughout medical school, I taught yoga, both on campus and in a community studio. I even taught yoga while I was on the reservation in Zuni. Having this outlet was invaluable to me during the past six years, and I hope to continue to teach yoga during residency—to patients and providers alike, if I can!
My challenge in residency will be narrowing down my very broad interests in family medicine—Ob, family planning, adolescent medicine, addiction, global and rural health, integrative medicine, wilderness medicine—the list goes on. In the meantime, I’m enjoying getting to know the amazing people at Saint Joe’s, settling into my house in Five Points, and exploring this beautiful new place with my girlfriend, who is an intern in family medicine at Saint Anthony’s.
Charla Sperring, DO
University of North Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hey y’all! I am Texas bred and Texas raised and like so many other Texans I have migrated to the great state of Colorado! I attended University of Oklahoma for undergrad where I studied Health Exercise Science and played varsity soccer for the Sooners. I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field but my decision to pursue a career as a physician did not happen until my senior year at OU after I spent a summer with a rural family medicine doctor. After graduating, I still had prerequisites to complete and needed a change of scenery as well as a little adventure. Off I went to Portland, Oregon where I finished my prerequisites and then spent a summer in Alaska. After my pacific northwest adventure I returned home to Fort Worth to attend University of North Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Being a former athlete I have recovered from my fair share of injuries. Feeling I needed to pay it forward for all of those who have helped heal me, I became interested in sports medicine. I then went to Haiti for a medical mission trip sparking an interest for international medicine. At the end of 4 years I fell in love with broad spectrum health care, continuity of care and the challenges family medicine offered. When looking for the ideal family medicine residency I wanted one that offered a community health care focus, board spectrum family medicine, sports medicine and global medicine. Not only did Saint Joe’s have the diversity I was looking for, they also had an energetic, passionate, fun environment. I knew this program would push me to become a great doctor preparing me to practice in every possible setting as a family medicine physician.
Growing up my family vacationed in Colorado frequently and my now husband, Trey, proposed at the top of Steamboat. Needless to say this state has a special place in my heart. There are days we have to pinch ourselves that we really are living in Denver. In our free time we are either headed to the mountains to enjoy hiking, fishing, camping and hunting or we are around Denver trying out some of the great coffee and foodie spots. We have two fur children, Addi and Gus. Addi is a German Shorthaired Pointer who is my ride or die and she has built in all-paw drive making her an excellent hiking buddy. Gus is a basset, you can find us taking him for a stroll in city park, his little legs make hiking difficult but he sure is a good looking pup. And if f it is a Saturday in the fall you will find these two proud Oklahoma alums cheering on our Sooners!
If you have any questions about St. Joe’s, residency, Colorado or any life questions just email me.
Laura Wade, MD
University of Arizona College of Medicine
Hi everyone! I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and only went as far as Tucson for my undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona. I continued my career as a Wildcat by attending the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix. During my third year rotations I finally realized how great family medicine is as a specialty and since then I haven’t looked back. I am excited to train as a family physician so that I can provide continuous, comprehensive care to my patients. I am particularly interested in caring for women and children so I knew I needed a program with strong obstetrics and pediatrics. As I was interviewing for residency I was looking for a place that could provide that broad spectrum training in a supportive, positive atmosphere and I found the perfect fit here at Saint Joseph. All the staff, faculty and residents here are great! Plus we get to work with a diverse urban underserved patient population in a beautiful city. I love the desert (and I still think Arizona has some of the best sunsets) but I am super excited to be here in Denver for residency.
Outside of medicine I like to go hiking, camping and skiing and I am looking forward to exploring all the outdoor adventures Colorado has to offer. I also enjoy reading, knitting, spending time with friends and family and now trying out new restaurants and breweries!
If you have any questions please feel free to ask!
Elise Yerelian, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Hello! I now call Colorado home, but that wasn’t always the case. I originally grew up on the beaches of southern California where I loved to play all types of sports, but soccer was the one that stuck. I did the SoCal-NorCal flip for college and went to University of California, Berkeley. There I got my degree in biology but also started to really love hiking and getting outdoors. I found my way to Colorado after falling in love with CU medical school. At the same time that I was pursuing my dream of becoming a physician, I began to understand why people love Colorado. I have found that Summer is my favorite season in Colorado. Out in the mountains the hiking, backpacking, trail running, and camping are all limitless.I am so thankful to be continuing my medical education and development as a doctor at St. Joe’s. What struck me most about the program is the camaraderie of the resident classes and the intelligent, light hearted and hilarious personalities of the faculty. I am excited to be at an institution that has a community feel, but practices very evidenced based and up to date medicine. I am incredibly confident that the training I will get here will prepare me to practice any type of family medicine in any location.
Oh and that’s my cute, but at times incredibly sassy, pup Olive.