Meet Our Scholars

First Year Clinical Scholars - 2014-2016

Elena Byhoff, M.D.

Elena Byhoff, MD (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Elena Byhoff, MD is a general internist originally from Brooklyn, NY. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Economics and Policy. After several jobs in New York City with a policy focus, Dr. Byhoff completed a post-baccalaureate premedical program at Bryn Mawr College. She went on to receive her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Primary Care Track. 

Career Interests: Dr. Byhoff would like her career to focus on health policy implementation and improvement in primary care delivery. She also plans to continue with her primary care clinical practice. 

Research Interests: She is interested in end-of-life care and shared medical decision-making, with a particular focus on patients and patient surrogates with low health literacy and numeracy.

Back to top

 

Alicia Cohen, M.D.

Alicia Cohen, MD
University of Michigan


Alicia Cohen, MD received her M.D from Mount Sinai (NYC), completed her Family Medicine training at UCSF-Santa Rosa, and is currently in an Integrative Medicine Fellowship at U-M. She is committed to developing and evaluating innovative approaches at both the clinical practice and policy level, directed at reducing  food insecurity and improving access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables. She also is interested in prevention and treatment of diet-related diseases.  

Back to top

 

John Harris, M.D.

John Harris, M.D.
University of Michigan

John Harris, MD  is an obstetrician and gynecologist who grew up near Asheville, North Carolina.  He received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Williams College where he also participated in the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University.  After doing a year of community work with people with dementia and physical  disabilities in an adult day care setting, he earned his M.D from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He then completed an obstetrics and gynecologyresidency at the University of Kentucky.

Career Interests: He plans to improve the lives of people with obesity by making obesity stigma a widely-recognized issue among health care patients and providers and working to define and to reduce obesity discrimination in health care.

Research interests: He focuses on defining variations in health care access, utilization and quality between patients with obesity and those without obesity. He is interested in describing the presence and possible effects of obesity stigma in providers of cancer care.

Back to top

 

Kristin Kan, M.D.

Kristin Kan, M.D.
University of Michigan

Kristin Kan M.D., M.P.H. is a general pediatrician who grew up in Arlington, Texas. She earned her bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Baylor University and then her medical degree and a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in health systems and policy at Johns Hopkins.  She completed her pediatric residency at Seattle Children's/University of Washington on the Community Pediatrics and Advocacy Pathway.  During that time, she focused on community-based work around obesity prevention and drowning prevention and evaluated perceptions of child health in a rural, migrant farm worker's community.  She is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, has worked at the Child Care Bureau (now Office of Child Care) at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and served as a resident representative to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Career interests:  She plans to integrate her role as a physician with her interest in public service and hopes to influence health policies and programs while continuing to care for patients in a pediatric primary care setting. 

Research interests: Dr. Kan is interested in the impact of state and federal health systems and policies on children, particularly those who are poor, from immigrant families and living in traditionally underserved areas.

Back to top

 

Pooja Lagisetty, M.D.

Pooja Aggarwal Lagisetty, M.D.
University of Michigan

Pooja Aggarwal Lagisetty, MD is a general internist/ primary care physician who pursued an undergraduate degree in Studio Art at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her medical degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  During medical school she worked as a Special Assistant to the Baltimore City Health Commissioner and helped develop and implement Baltimarket, a virtual supermarket which used local grocers and libraries to deliver groceries to food deserts in Baltimore City.  She subsequently completed her residency training in Internal Medicine and Primary Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital.   


Career Interest: She plans on pursuing a career which combines a clinical career of being a primary care physician at a community health center with her research interests in urban design, social determinants, and health policy.
   
Research Interest: As a RWJ Clinical Scholar she will focus her research on the intersection between community design and innovative methods of increasing access to primary care, food, and housing.

.Back to top

 

Chithra Perumalaswami, M.D.

 

Chithra Perumalswami, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Chithra Perumalswami, MD is a general internist and palliative care specialist who grew up in Detroit, Michigan.  She earned degrees in English language and literature and Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors.  She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan, where she subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Perumalswami went on to become an assistant professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as an internal medicine teaching attending and hospitalist.  During this time she was selected for the Palliative Care and Education Program at Harvard University.  She completed her training in hospice and palliative medicine at Northwestern University, where she served in the section of palliative medicine for three years.   She was a dedicated physician champion and mentor for quality improvement projects both locally and statewide for a variety of hospitals in Illinois.  Her work with readmissions prevention and transitions of care initiatives was sponsored jointly by the Society of Hospital Medicine, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Illinois Hospital Association.

In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Perumalswami excelled at medical education, as demonstrated by numerous teaching awards in the training of medical students, residents, and fellows across multiple disciplines.   She served on the steering committee of the Northwestern University School of Medicine Women’s Faculty Organization and served as a representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Women in Medicine and Science.

Career Interests: She anticipates a career in academic medicine and public health/ health policy. 

Research Interests: her current research interest focuses on the epidemiology of aging and the use of palliative care interventions for both oncologic and non-oncologic diseases in the elderly with the ultimate goal of creating a better evidence base to inform healthcare policy and more effective, innovative, high quality palliative care interventions nationally. 

Back to top

Michael Seyffert, M.D. (VA Scholar)

Michael Seyffert, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Michael Seyffert, MD is a board certified neurologist, sleep medicine physician and recent psychiatry graduate of the UM. He is a former combat arms military officer who now serves as a Flight Surgeon in the Michigan Air National Guard where he holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In addition to having taken part in national and international disaster relief efforts (Katrina, Haiti, and Mozambique) he was recently appointed as the Suicide Prevention Program Manager for the 127th Wing at Selfridge. His focus is to better understand the role that poor sleep plays in worsening post-concussive symptoms, PTSD and pain among returning veterans. He hopes to develop standardized and more effective treatment programs, and policies to address polytrauma.

Back to top

 

Second Year Clinical Scholars - 2013-2015

Lauren Hughes, M.D., MPH
University of Michigan

Lauren Hughes, M.D., MPH is a family physician who pursued her undergraduate studies in zoology and Spanish at Iowa State University, her graduate training in health policy at The George Washington University, and her medical degree at the University of Iowa.  She served as the national president of the American Medical Student Association for one year prior to completing her residency at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Dr. Hughes has volunteered in a federally qualified health center through AmeriCorps, worked at Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's office in Washington, DC, and studied medicine and health systems in Brazil, Sweden, Tanzania, and Botswana.  She has been a visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center and at ABC News Medical Unit in New York City.

Career Interests: She plans a career combining community health center practice, health policy and administration, and academic family medicine.

Research Interests: As an RWJ Clinical Scholar, she will focus her research in primary care workforce development and innovations in primary care delivery.

Back to top

Justin List, MD

Justin List, M.D., MAR, MSc (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Justin List, M.D., MAR, MSc received his undergraduate degree in biology and religion from Augustana College (IL).  He then went on to study ethics at Yale University Divinity School and completed a fellowship at the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association afterwards.  During medical school at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, he trained through the NIH/Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars program in Kampala, Uganda as study coordinator for a TB/HIV active case finding community-based project.  He completed his internal medicine training in the Yale Primary Care program.  He has written on topics in the areas of bioethics, global health, service learning, and social justice.

Career Interests: He would like to conduct health services research and provide consulting skills to strengthen primary care health systems, including more effective chronic disease care management.  He also intends to practice primary care.

Research Interests: His research interests include understanding risk perception for diabetes among pre-diabetic patients, screening/treatment disparities in cancer care, data linking social determinants of health to chronic diseases, and learning implementation science skills to translate clinical research into public health programming and policy.

 

Back to top

Michelle Moniz, MD

Michelle Moniz, M.D., MSc
University of Michigan

Michelle Moniz, M.D., MSc is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist who grew up in Los Angeles, California.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology and English from the Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Moniz studied medicine at Washington University in Saint Louis and went on to complete her residency training with the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh/Magee-Women’s Hospital.

Career Interests: She hopes to be a Clinician-Investigator in an academic ObGyn department where she can work with medical trainees.

Research Interests: During her residency, she studied the effects of a text messaging intervention on pregnant women’s preventive health beliefs and behaviors.  As a scholar, she is interested in leveraging cellular phone technologies and public health marketing for health promotion among obstetric populations.  She is also interested in exploring novel ways for physicians to communicate with patients and motivate health promoting behaviors.

 

Back to top

Elizabeth Patton, MD

Elizabeth Patton, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Elizabeth Patton, M.D. is an obstetrician-gynecologist interested in patient communication and understanding of risk in the OG/GYN setting.  She is originally from Harvard, Massachusetts and earned a BA in Comparative Religion and the History of Science at Harvard University.  She subsequently completed a Masters of Philosophy in Theology at Cambridge University in the UK.  After working for a couple of years while completing her post-baccalaureate premedical requirements, she attended the University of Massachusetts Medical School, obtaining her medical degree.  She recently completed a four year obstetrics and gynecology residency at Northwestern in Chicago, where she had the opportunity to work at both Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital and Stroger Hospital of Cook County.

Career Interests: Having found her experiences working with underserved populations through her resident clinic and at Stroger Hospital of Cook County to have been the most meaningful and satisfying of her residency training.  She would like to eventually work in an academic setting that serves a similar population.  She would like to work with communities to design systems of women’s health care that innovatively meet community needs for education and OB/GYN care.

Research Interests: She is interested in patients’ understanding of risk and how that understanding affects decision making in OB/GYN clinical care, particularly in communities with lower health literacy.  She is also interested in communication between physicians, patients and the healthcare team, its impact on patient safety, and how system changes can improve patient care.

Back to top

Andrew J. Schoenfeld, MD

Andrew J. Schoenfeld, M.D., MSc (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

Andrew J. Schoenfeld, M.D., MSc earned bachelor’s degrees in history and integrated life sciences at Kent State University before going on to medical school at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.  He completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Akron General Medical Center/Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and then engaged in a spine surgical fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He subsequently served four years on active duty with the United States Army, where he deployed to Afghanistan and served as the Clinical Director of the Medical Evaluation Board, Fort Bliss Texas, as well as the Director of Orthopaedic Research for the William Beaumont Army Medical Center/Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Orthopaedic Residency Program.

Career Interests: Anticipates a career in academic orthopaedics and spinal medicine with a research focus on healthcare disparities in musculoskeletal medicine and the impact of chronic medical conditions on the development of musculoskeletal disease as well as their impact on outcomes following treatment.

Research Interest: Include examining surgical healthcare disparities present in single payer systems and their underlying etiologies as well as investigating change agents capable of enhancing care for spinal and degenerative disorders within underserved populations.  As a clinical scholar, he plans to discern the impact of chronic infectious diseases on the development and severity of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly within the American Veteran population.

Back to top

Renuka Tipirneni, MD

Renuka Tipirneni, M.D., MSc
University of Michigan

Renuka Tipirneni, M.D., Mscis a general internist motivated to improve the health care system for vulnerable populations.  She completed her undergraduate training at Cornell University, medical degree and certificate in biomedical research at the University of California, San Francisco, and primary care internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).  During her training, she was active in legislative advocacy efforts, most notably in organizing health professional students across California to promote universal health care through lobby day events.  After residency, she stayed on at MGH to work at a community health center serving immigrants and other underserved groups in Chelsea, MA.  She is interested in investigating how local and national health care reform implementation may impact health disparities, and how the delivery system may be optimized to improve care for vulnerable populations.

Career Interests: she will pursue a career in academic medicine and public health/health policy.  Her career goals are to work to find innovative ways of creating an ideal health care system for underserved populations and to work toward eliminating health disparities.

Research Interests: she is interested in the potential impact of health care reform on health disparities and generally in issues related to health care access, primary care redesign, immigrant health, and vulnerable populations.

Back to top

William Wood, MD

William Wood, M.D. (VA Scholar)
University of Michigan

William Wood, M.D. is a general surgery resident at the University of California, San Francisco - East Bay Surgery Program. He received an Associate’s degree in Biology from Santa Rosa Junior College in California and a Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology from University of California, Berkeley. He continued his education in the Joint Medical Program, a dual-degree program through the University of California, San Francisco where he completed his medical degree (M.D.), and the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, where he earned his Masters of Science (MS). His Master’s thesis focused on MRSA infections amongst intercollegiate athletes.

Career Interests: He is pursuing a career as a clinically active surgeon and academic clinician-researcher. He intends to become a leader in the field of patient safety.

Research Interests: His introduction to research began as an undergrad in an animal behavior lab while working with stomatopods and octopus, taking him to distant places such as Mo’orea, French Polynesia. After graduating from Cal, he joined researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, M.D. to study the effects of Helicobacter pylori in a murine model. As a RWJF scholar, he will conduct outcomes-based studies in surgery to improve patient safety and policy