2020 Class of Outstanding Residents Honored

October 20, 2020

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American Osteopathic College of Allergy & Immunology (AOCAI) are proud to recognize Shan Shan Wu, DO, as the 2020 AOF/AOCAI Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Allergy & Immunology.

A board-certified internist, Dr. Wu graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine-Georgia Campus in 2015 and completed an internal medicine residency at University Hospitals Regional Hospitals in Ohio. She is currently training in a Pediatric and adult Allergy and Immunology fellowship program at Cleveland Medical Center, where she serves as Chief of Scheduling.

Of being selected to stay on as a fellowship faculty member after graduation, Dr. Wu says “I find this to be a most rewarding position, one in which I will continue to provide osteopathic patient-centered care and conduct academic research. I look forward to working alongside my highly respected mentors and fulfilling the role of educator and role model for new fellows, residents, and medical students.”

A proponent of lifelong learning, Dr. Wu consistently engages in research, has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, and written two chapters for the Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine textbook.

Devi Jhaveri, DO, Associate Program Director at Dr. Wu’s fellowship, says that “Dr. Wu is not only the most efficient fellow but also the most thorough. She is so extremely trustworthy with all of her tasks whether it is research or patient care…She is always a bright spirit with her patients and colleagues. She is easily the best fellow I have ever taught.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) are proud to recognize Rajeswari Murugan, DO, as the 2020 AOF/ACOFP Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Family Medicine.

Dr. Murugan is a leader in everything she does. She was Chief Resident Elect of her program and Intern Resident of the Year in 2017. She received Human Touch Student Leadership awards from the AOF in 2014 and 2015 and was a recipient of the ACOFP Education & Research Foundation’s Spring 2020 Initial Certification Grant. She has also volunteered on international medical mission trips to India and Paraguay.

Dr. Murugan says her goal is to become a holistic hospitalist who incorporates the “mind-body-spirit approach to patient care” and uses OMT to help alleviate pain. She earned her DO degree from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM) in 2017 and completed a Family Practice residency program at Palmetto General Hospital in June 2020.

“I have never met a resident as exceptional and impeccably diligent as Dr. Murugan. She demonstrates all the qualities necessary for the Outstanding Resident of the Year Award and much more that are obviously innate including outstanding knowledge, clinical dexterities, patient care, leadership, and research skills,” says Dr. Murugan’s Program Director, Peter M. Cohen DO. “She is a doctor who truly cares for her patients.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American College of Osteopathic Neurologists & Psychiatrists (ACONP) are proud to recognize Danielle Weitzer, DO, as the 2020 AOF/ACONP Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Neurology & Psychiatry.

Dr. Weitzer is currently completing a Psychiatry residency at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) after earning her DO degree at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2017. At RowanSOM, she pioneered an OMM rotation for psychiatry residents and served on the school’s Diversity and Admissions committee.

Dr. Weitzer is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ issues who uses their platform to give a voice to underrepresented segments of the community. Through a medical journalism elective, she had several stories on LGBTQ issues featured on national shows including ABC News - Good Morning America. “I am and will always be steadfast in my determination to be a powerful leader in osteopathic medicine to improve the lives of the community at large,” Dr. Weitzer says. A prolific author, she has published several peer-reviewed papers and is regularly asked to present at local and national conferences.

Thomas A. Cavalieri, DO, RowanSOM Dean, calls Dr. Weitzer “an outstanding resident who has a strong commitment to osteopathic patient-centered care and a clear interest in pursuing an academic career. She has great potential to emerge as a strong academic leader in the field of psychiatry.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOOG) are proud to recognize Joshua R. Leichty, DO, MPH, as the 2020 AOF/ACOOG Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The incoming Assistant Chief Resident of Academics at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital’s (HFWH) osteopathic-focused OB/GYN residency, Dr. Leichty graduated from the A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) in 2018. He is a leader at HFWH, serving as president of its House Staff Council and a member of the Program Evaluation Committee.

Dr. Leichty is an active researcher and is currently a Principal Investigator investigating compliance with low-dose aspirin use for high-risk patients throughout the Henry Ford Hospital System. He recently created a virtual didactic calendar to help HFWH continue its educational programs seamlessly throughout the COVID pandemic.

Of his progress, Dr. Leichty says “I have dedicated my career to serving underserved and underprivileged obstetric patients, mentoring young residents…and fostering a workplace environment that is inclusive and loving towards individuals from all cultures and walks of life.”

David L. Wolf, DO, Associate Program Director at HFWH, cites Dr. Leichty’s academic knowledge, leadership, and commitment to improving himself and others through education, community service, and dedication to osteopathic principles in calling him “one of the best osteopathic OB/GYN residents I have had the opportunity of educating.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOOG) are proud to recognize Joshua R. Leichty, DO, MPH, as the 2020 AOF/ACOOG Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The incoming Assistant Chief Resident of Academics at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital’s (HFWH) osteopathic-focused OB/GYN residency, Dr. Leichty graduated from the A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) in 2018. He is a leader at HFWH, serving as president of its House Staff Council and a member of the Program Evaluation Committee.

Dr. Leichty is an active researcher and is currently a Principal Investigator investigating compliance with low-dose aspirin use for high-risk patients throughout the Henry Ford Hospital System. He recently created a virtual didactic calendar to help HFWH continue its educational programs seamlessly throughout the COVID pandemic.

Of his progress, Dr. Leichty says “I have dedicated my career to serving underserved and underprivileged obstetric patients, mentoring young residents…and fostering a workplace environment that is inclusive and loving towards individuals from all cultures and walks of life.”

David L. Wolf, DO, Associate Program Director at HFWH, cites Dr. Leichty’s academic knowledge, leadership, and commitment to improving himself and others through education, community service, and dedication to osteopathic principles in calling him “one of the best osteopathic OB/GYN residents I have had the opportunity of educating.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons (AMOPS) are proud to recognize MAJ Matthew A. Puderbaugh, DO, as the 2020 AOF/AMOPS Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Military Medicine and Surgery.

Dr. Puderbaugh is currently in a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency at the University of Minnesota, where he was awarded the Academic Excellence Award. On the program’s education track, he is responsible for creating skills development courses for new PM&R residents and is lead educator for medical students during their clerkships. He completed a traditional osteopathic rotating internship at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in 2013 and earned his DO degree from Rocky Vista University, College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM).

An active member of the Minnesota Air National Guard, Dr. Puderbaugh is currently Flight Surgeon for the 133rd Medical Group. He was the USAFE Nominee for Malcom C. Grow Flight Surgeon of the Year in 2017 and AMOPS Osteopath of the Year in 2017, in addition to several military scholarships earned in medical school.

MAJ J.T. Scholz, DO, PhD, ranks Dr. Puderbaugh in the “top 1%” of residents he has ever worked with. “I have watched Matt out-think, out-work, and outright overwhelm other students, fellow workers, and staff members…like all great leaders, he thinks of others over himself and empowers those around him.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics (AOAO) are proud to recognize James Nicholas Jackson, DO, as the 2020 AOF/AOAO Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Orthopedic Surgery.

Dr. Jackson received his DO degree from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM). After completing an Orthopedic Surgery residency at Grandview Medical Center in 2020, he began an Orthopedic Sports Medicine fellowship at Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports. In this program, he works with professional sports teams including the Houston Astros as well as with local high school and college athletes.

A PET technologist and exercise physiologist for seven years before beginning medical school, Dr. Jackson credits postdoctoral training with turning him into a leader, “this residency not only molded me into a ready surgeon but, more importantly, it molded me into a better health care provider.” “It has been my greatest honor to embrace this process and that is why I am here today.”

Safet Hatic, II, DO, Assistant Program Director for the Orthopedic Surgery residency at Kettering Health Network, says “I can attest to his compassionate approach to patient care and commitment to osteopathic orthopedic surgery. I’m confident in his skills as an orthopedic surgeon and confident he will continue to learn, lead and serve the osteopathic orthopedic profession for years to come…His leadership and example are a model for our entire residency program.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists (AOCA) are proud to recognize Joseph W. Biondolillo, DO, as the 2020 AOF/AOCA Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Anesthesiology.

As Chief Resident in an Anesthesiology residency at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, Florida, Dr. Biondolillo led a quality improvement project, worked with his program to achieve ACGME accreditation, and established an online peer review system that helps residents develop their skills in research review and publication.

While an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Biondolillo was selected for the Health Professions Scholarship Program and subsequently earned his DO degree from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM) in 2013, where he graduated fifth in his class.

Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Biondolillo served as General Medical Officer for MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, working in Flight Medicine and Family Medicine. For his service, he was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal. Following residency graduation, he will be stationed at San Antonio Military Medical Center with the rank of Major.

Andrzej Kuchciak, MD, teaching attending at Larkin’s residency program, says that “Dr. Biondolillo possesses the utmost professionalism and maturity, and he has great organizational and teamwork skills. He possesses the attitude to be a great leader in our specialty and he reflects unparalleled qualities of an outstanding physician and human being.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD) are proud to recognize Logan J. Kolb, DO, as the 2020 AOF/AOCD Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Dermatology.

After graduating with honors from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) in 2016, Dr. Kolb completed a traditional rotating internship at Larkin Community Hospital before entering a Dermatology residency program at Orange Park Medical Center/Park Ave Dermatology in Jacksonville, Florida.

“There are many conditions in dermatology that are complex and complicated to treat, yet we are taught very little about dermatology in medical school. This makes dermatology a very intimidating field to enter,” says Dr. Kolb. To address this deficit, he created an educational dermatology podcast to improve the foundation of dermatology knowledge and care that patients receive. In March, his “Learn Derm Podcast” was featured on the cover of The Dermatologist magazine.

George Schmieder, DO, FACOD, Dr. Kolb’s residency director, says “He has gone above and beyond for my patients and has been instrumental in teaching his co-residents and finding ways to enhance the experience here. He volunteered to make clinic protocols for the variety of cosmetic procedures performed in our offices; he has started a library and process for our residents to make patient handouts to improve compliance; he has participated in research well beyond the minimum requirements of the program. He has done a wonderful job during his past three years as a resident.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American Osteopathic College of Radiology (AOCR) are proud to recognize Haddy Jarmakani, DO, as the 2020 AOF/AOCR Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Radiology.

Dr. Jarmakani completed a combined BS/DO program at Rockhurst University and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM). He is now a third-year Radiology resident at Yale University School of Medicine, where his peers elected him Chief Resident and selected him for the “Resident’s Resident” award.

“As chief…it was my responsibility to be an advocate for my peers, managing the complexities of resident education, taking into account resident’s personal lives, and helping create a better radiology training experience for them and those who would follow,” he says.

Following his residency graduation, Dr. Jarmakani will enter an abdominal imaging/interventional Radiology fellowship at UCLA. He says he hopes to foster a more energized clinical role for radiologists at hospitals and be a real-world example showing the important role radiologists can play in direct patient care.

Mahan Mathur, MD, Associate Director for Dr. Jarmakani’s residency program, says “Dr. Jarmakani is a natural-born leader. He is easily one of the pillars of his class (and of the entire program), never hesitating to help a colleague in need and always leading by example.”

The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) and the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) are proud to recognize James Latronica, DO, as the 2020 AOF/AOAAM Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Addiction Medicine.

James R. Latronica, DO received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. His primary training is in Family Medicine, and he graduated residency from Clarion Hospital, in Clarion, PA. He is currently an Addiction Medicine Fellow at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He is a past Resident Member of the AOAAM Board of Trustees and now serves as a full member.

He has a deep interest in activism and advocacy and is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Public Policy Committee. He also completed the American Osteopathic Association’s Training In Policy Studies (TIPS) Fellowship in 2020.

He has a significant investment in medical education at various levels, and to that end, he is a member of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association’s Grant Development Task Force, he received the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s “PCOM Pillar” recognition for his mentorship activities with medical students and was a past recipient of the Resident Teacher Award from the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine.

“Dr. James Latronica was an outstanding resident board member of the AOAAM and continues to serve as a full board member,” said Marla Kushner, DO, AOAAM Board Member. “His contribution as our OMED chair and development of a student mentoring program in addiction medicine have contributed enormously to our organization.  We are very proud to recognize his achievements with this award." 

Shan Shan Wu, DO, AOF/AOCAI Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Allergy & Immunology
Rajeswari Murugan, DO, AOF/ACOFP Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Family Medicine
Danielle Weitzer, DO , AOF/ACONP Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Neurology & Psychiatry
Joshua R. Leichty, DO, MPH, AOF/ACOOG Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ankeeta Mehta, DO, AOF/ACOS Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Surgery
MAJ Matthew A. Puderbaugh, DO, MN ANG, MC, FS, AOF/AMOPS Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Military Medicine and Surgery
James Nicholas Jackson, DO, AOF/AOAO Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Orthopedic Surgery
Joseph W. Biondolillo, DO, AOF/AOCA Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Anesthesiology
Logan J. Kolb, DO, AOF/AOCD Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Dermatology
Haddy Jarmakani, DO, AOF/AOCR Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Radiology
James Latronica, DO, AOF/AOAAM Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Addiction Medicine (2020 recipient awarded in 2021)