Allan Barraza, DO
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Undergraduate: Nova Southeastern University
Medical School: Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine
Why did you pick St. Joseph Hospital? I chose St. Joe’s for the outstanding patients, residents, and faculty. I easily connected with the patients at St. Joe’s, as many of them are Spanish-speaking and come from backgrounds like mine. I felt especially fulfilled participating in their care as a medical student and learning from residents and faculty who are welcoming, patient, and enjoy teaching. Shifts at the hospital were not only fun, but also challenging and exciting. The team is a big family who enjoys spending time together during and after work, making the most of all that Colorado has to offer.
What job would you do if you weren’t an OB/GYN resident? I would be a pharmacist!
What are your career goals and interests? I want to pursue a career as a generalist within a nonprofit organization, continuing to work with Spanish-speaking patients and mentoring first-generation students interested in medicine.
Marcella Israel Rocha, MD
Hometown: Belo Horizonte-Brazil
Undergraduate: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais-Brazil
Medical School: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais-Brazil
Why did you pick St. Joe’s? I chose Saint Joe’s for their commitment to diversity, not only for providing high-quality care to underserved populations, but also for being an inclusive environment for the staff and residents.
What job would you do if you weren’t an OBGYN resident? I would be a journalist.
What are your career interests and goals? I am passionate about Women’s Health and Global Health. I want every patient that is under my care to have the same quality of care I had when I had my son, no matter who they are or where they live. One personal goal is to improve my surgical skills, especially vaginal surgery and laparoscopic surgery.
Andrew Milan Tannous, MD
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Undergraduate: University of California Santa Barbara
Medical School: University of Colorado School of Medicine
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? I was looking for a program that provided excellent clinical and surgical training within the field. Most importantly, I wanted to surround myself with residents and faculty who are supportive, hard-working, and eager to take care of their community. I had the pleasure of witnessing this first-hand during my medical school clerkship here at Saint Joe’s, which reinforced my decision to become an OB-GYN. The opportunity to train within the city of Denver was the icing on the cake.
What job would you do if you weren't an OB-Gyn resident? Basketball player. Back-up dancer. World traveler and foodie expert.Career goals/interests: I’m interested in everything that is OB-GYN but I am open to a fellowship either in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility or Gynecologic Oncology.
Mandy Ortiz, MD
Hometown: Eagle, CO
Undergraduate: University of Colorado
Medical School:Central Michigan University College of Medicine
Why did you choose Saint Joe’s?I did a sub-internship at St. Joe’s during my fourth year of medical school and really enjoyed it. I felt that it was a positive learning environment and was a place where residents truly supported each other.
What would you do if you weren’t a doctor?I would be a teacher.
What are your career goals and interests? I would like to become an OBGYN generalist and practice in a rural or urban underserved community.
Anissa Zimmerman, MD
Hometown: Golden, CO
Undergraduate: Creighton University, Bachelor of Arts Major in Spanish & Hispanic Studies and Major in Biology
Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine
Why did you choose Saint Joe's? I was able to experience St. Joseph Hospital during my fourth year of medical school while on an away rotation and I loved every aspect of the program! I couldn’t imagine a better fit for my future training. I was initially drawn to the program because of the large Spanish-Speaking population served by the Seton Women’s Center and the fact that this program was community-driven while still being academically-minded. During my rotation, I fell in love with the opportunity to have a longitudinal clinic which allows residents to have better follow-up with their patients. I also got to know many of the residents and attending providers and knew St. Joseph would be a supportive environment that would provide me with amazing opportunities for training. An added benefit of the program is being near my family that lives in the Denver-metro area and of course the beautiful mountains and weather!
What would you do if you weren’t a doctor? I am open to the possibilities that training could bring. I can see myself as an OB/GYN generalist or potentially specializing into one of the surgical gynecologic sub-specialties. A few things that I know will be a part of my practice in the future is working with an underserved population, advocacy, global health, and teaching!
Leslie Carandang, MD
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Undergraduate: Boston College
Medical School: Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Why did you pick St. Joseph Hospital? I was first drawn to the large Spanish Speaking population served by the Seton Women’s Center, and I wanted to train at high volume institution with strong surgical and procedural training with a supportive residency culture and great camaraderie-all those characterisics that describe St. Joe’s. Plus, being near the mountains was a huge draw for me.
What job would you do if you weren’t an OB/GYN resident? Probably would be a musical theatre performer aspiring to be on Broadway!
What are your career goals and interests? I aspire to be an OB/GYN generalist working with a large Spanish Speaking Population.
Ann-Sophie Van Backle, DO
Hometown: Danville, CA
Undergraduate:Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA
Medical School: Point Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Why did you pick St. Joseph Hospital? The supportive culture was the main draw. Never felt more supported in my training even before starting! Clinically the high volume and great surgical experience was a major draw. Also, the diverse patient population and not to mention being near all things outdoors! ;
What job would you do if you weren’t an OB/GYN resident? Probably would be a ski guide or some sort of fitness instructor.
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles
Medical School: Chicago Medical School
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? Even with the virtual aspect of everything during the pandemic, I felt that the residents and faculty were genuinely down to earth, fun, and a very supportive bunch, which was an environment I knew I could strive in. The diverse patient population, the high volume of deliveries, and the strong surgical training here will help prepare me to become an outstanding generalist to better serve my patients in the future. Of course, the great outdoorsy life is a plus! Even before starting, I am already loving my co-residents (St. Joe's really knows how to choose the perfect people!).
What job would you do if you weren't an OB-Gyn resident? International traveling photographer or a chef.
Career goals/interests: Working as a generalist in a diverse, underserved population and being an advocate for improving women's health and reducing health care disparities among minority and underserved communities. I love teaching, so I would like to continue working with medical students and residents. I also love traveling and learning about different cultures, so I hope to do global health work in the future.
Jessica Warffuel, MD
Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota- Twin Cities (Biology) Graduate degree: University of Minnesota- Twin cities (Master of Public Health)
Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin
Why did you choose Saint Joe's? I chose Saint Joe's because of the people, the opportunity to work with underserved populations, and the location at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. I thoroughly enjoyed every encounter during my interviews and found that St. Joe's is the ideal environment for me to grow as a resident. I aim to make working with underserved populations a cornerstone of my future OBGYN practice. Lastly, I've always wanted to live in Denver. I am an avid rock climber, hiker, and all around outdoor enthusiast!
What would you do if you weren’t a doctor? I would be a park ranger and do search and rescue.
What are your career goals and interests? I am passionate about combining public health and women's primary care. I plan on becoming a community OBGYN who advances public health research and interventions.
Hufriya Aderienwalla, MD
Hometown: Redwood City, California and raised in India
Undergraduate: Seychelles American Institute of Medicine, Victoria, Seychelles
Medical School: School for Allied Health Professionals in Arlington, Texas.
What are your career goals and interests? Robotic surgery in gynecologic oncology and urogynecology interest me and I enjoy tennis, soccer, cricket and I am an avid fan of Formula 1 racing. I also love long walks with my Maltipoo, Chico.
Iris Burgard, DO
Hometown: Littleton, CO
Undergraduate: Montana State University, Go Bobcats!
Medical School: Rocky Vista University
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? Hands down the people. It was a learning environment that I felt like I could thrive in and grow from and my co-residents and faculty would help me become the best physician I could be.
What would you do if you weren’t a doctor? Something in the policy/advocacy realm!
What are your career goals and interests? I am interested in being a general community OB-Gyn somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. I am particularly interested in policy and advocacy, working to give underserved populations a voice in their care and continuing to shape healthcare policy to be better and more equitable for all patients.
Sarah Hartley, MD
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Undergraduate: Florida State University (Exercise Science)
Medical School: Florida State University
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? I chose Saint Joe's for many reasons, mostly for the wonderful residents and attendings, supportive learning environment, and geographic location. My mentor at Florida State, Dr. Bagwell, graduated from the program a few years ago and had such incredible things to say about her experience. Even though I'm a FL girl, I've always loved the mountains and dreamed of living in Colorado. After completing a sub-internship here, I saw for myself just how special this program and its residents are, and I wanted to be a part of it too!
What would you do if you weren’t a doctor? I think if I weren't in medicine I'd be a teacher - I'd still get to work with people and make a positive impact.
What are your career goals and interests? I see myself practicing the full spectrum of general ob/gyn. But anything is possible, and I haven't completely shut the door to fellowships. I'm interested in global health equity and advocating for women's health in underserved populations.
Annette Van Swaay, DO
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Undergraduate: University of Missouri-Columbia
Medical School: Kansas City University
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? I did a sub-internship at Saint Joseph and was impressed with everything about the program. I picked Saint Joseph for so many reasons but especially because I knew the residents/attendings would serve as great role models.
What would you do if you weren’t a doctor? If I wasn't an Ob-Gyn, I would be an elementary or middle school teacher.
What are your career goals and interests? One of my career goals is to work with vulnerable populations and help address healthcare disparities.
Paulina Altshuler, DO
Hometown: Danville, CA
Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley
Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM); Sigma Sigma Phi Honor’s Society, Brandon Trussell Service Award
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? When I did my sub-internship, I loved the sense of community amongst the residents and faculty. Everyone was so supportive of each other and the faculty were very invested in teaching and advocating for their residents. I also really enjoyed the teaching curriculum. Lastly, I saw how confident the chief residents were in complicated surgical situations and knew this would be a great program to develop my surgical skills.
What job would you do if you weren’t an OB-Gyn resident? I would be a National Park Ranger so I could advocate for our environment and share my love of the outdoors in some of the world's most beautiful places.
What are your career goals and interests? I plan to practice as a general OBGYN for a few years then pursue a Urogynecology Fellowship.
Anna Davids, MD
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Undergraduate: University of Southern California, Letterman in Track and Field
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? I did a Sub-I during my 4th year of medical school at Saint Joe’s and instantly fell in love. St Joes is committed to the Denver community and has served as a safe haven for patients for decades. Our clinic community is full of wonderful, hard working women who provide us with endless learning opportunities. I also love the faculty at St Joes. Our attendings are incredible surgeons and obstetricians and somehow find the perfect balance of overseeing us and teaching while also letting us struggle through procedures and difficult patient encounters so that we have the opportunity to improve our knowledge and skills in each and every surgery/delivery/clinic visit. And lastly, I love my co-residents. They are a bunch of badass, smart, adventurous, and big-hearted ladies and I couldn't have found a more supportive group. My class has had my back over, and over again and with them by my side residency feels more like a team sport than an individual undertaking.
What job would you do if you weren’t an OB-Gyn resident? Anthropologist
What are your career goals and interests? I hope to work with Denver's transgender population after residency. In my free time I love backcountry skiing, trail running, and walking to coffee shops/happy hour with my Goldendoodle Lucy and husband Eric.
Anna Newman, MD
Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
Undergraduate: Wofford College, 2013; Phi Beta Kappa Honors society; Fulbright Scholar, English Teaching Assistant in Vietnam (2014-2015)
Medical School: Tulane University, 2019; Gold Humanism Award
Why did you pick Saint Joe’s? I picked Saint Joe’s because of the close-knit resident and attending support, the high volume of deliveries, experience with high risk complications, and the opportunities to work closely with sub-specialists including in minimally invasive surgeries. The additional bonus was being located in Denver, where my husband's work industry exists and the proximity to the mountains.
What job would you do if you weren't an OB-Gyn resident? Either a chef or crime scene investigator
What are your career goals and interests? Generalist OB, interested in hospitalist model. Things I like to do outside of work: running, cooking/baking, and reading
Jania Arcia Ramos, MD
Hometown: Habana, Cuba & Fort Lauderdale, FLs
Undergraduate: Duke University
Medical School: Duke University; Paul Farmer Program in Global Surgery and Social Change Fellowship
Why did you pick Saint Joe's? I chose Saint Joe’s because of the people. My co-residents are people who I enjoy spending time with both in and out of the hospital. My program directors and supervising attendings are people who respect me as a person and who I love learning from. The patients we have the privilege of caring for are diverse and very grateful for the care they receive.
What job would you do if you weren’t an OB-Gyn resident? I would be a professional back-up dancer (Latin/ Hip-hop)
What are your career goals and interests? Generalist OB-Gyn with a Global Health Focus
Brandi Smith, MD
Hometown: Fountainville, PA
Undergraduate: Penn State University
Medical School: Penn State University College of Medicine; Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
Why did you pick Saint Joe's?I chose Saint Joe's as my top residency choice for many reasons, but the shining stars of this program are the people and the environment they foster. This residency program is a family, and from the moment you start intern year you have 19 new friends and advocates always there for you. Residency is difficult, and St. Joe's has a high patient volume in both OB and Gyn, so having a culture where we help one another is essential. Sometimes things get busy and overwhelming, but others are always willing to pick up the slack when they are needed. I honestly could not imagine being anywhere else.
What job would you do if you weren’t an OB-Gyn resident? Travel Blogger
What are your career goals and interests?My career goal is to become a generalist with a high-risk, high-volume practice. Outside of work I love dancing, hiking, and playing dress-up with my black cat named Jax.