Class of 2022

Aisha Abdulrazaq, MD

Aisha Abdulrazaq, MD

Bio

Hometown: Ogun State, Nigeria

Medical School: University of Lagos

Why I chose MU: I chose MU for a couple of reasons. The program is great and provides a solid foundation for general neurology and a good mix of many sub specialties. It is an excellent university hospital with a wide catchment area without the stress of a big city (No traffic!). Dr Shenker, the PD sincerely cares about the residents (Plus he tells great Dad Jokes!).

Sachin M Bhagavan, MD

Sachin M Bhagavan, MD

Bio

Hometown: Bangalore, India

Medical School: Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI)

Hobbies: Chess, Trekking, Playing Cricket & Soccer, Reading Novels.

Why I chose MU: A program that has everything I dreamt of- it has endless opportunities, excellent faculty, and a good learning environment in a beautiful small university town. Best part is I experienced all these first hand during my rotation here before residency.

Nakul Katyal, MD

Nakul Katyal, MD

Bio

Hometown: Punjab, India

Medical School: Gian Sagar Medical College & Hospital, Punjab, INDIA

Accolades: 40 peer reviewed publications and presentations, 78 Citations.

  1. Nakul Katyal, Tammy Hether, Raghav Govindarajan. Mentoring, Education, and Engagement: An Employee Training Technique to Improve Patient Experience and Employee Satisfaction: Case Study · January 24, 2018; New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst. https://catalyst.nejm.org/mentoring-education-engagement-meetechnique/ 
  2. Katyal N, Govindarajan R. Shortcomings in the Current Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Trials and Potential Solutions for Improvement. Front Neurol. 2017 Sep 29;8:521. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00521
  3. Sushma Yerram, Nakul Katyal, Keerthivaas Premkumar, Premkumar Nattanmai and Christopher R. Newey. Seizure prophylaxis in the neuroscience intensive care unit. Journal of Intensive Care2018 6:17. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40560-018-0288-6
  4. Nakul Katyal, Aarti Sarwal, Pravin George, Biswajit Banik, and Christopher R. Newey, “The Relationship of Triphasic Waves with Intracranial Pressure as a Possible Prognostic Marker in Traumatic Brain Injury,” Case Reports in Neurological Medicine, vol. 2017, Article ID 4742026, 4 pages, 2017. doi:10.1155/2017/4742026.
  5. Nakul Katyal. Introduction to Patient Safety and Medical Errors: Tools and Strategies for Quality Improvement. January 2019. DOI: 10.1201/9781498785037-1.

Hobbies: Soccer and basketball. Hardcore Manchester United Fan!

Why I chose MU: MIZZOU has been my home for over 2 years. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have worked with some of the exceptionally talented minds in neurology here at MU. During the course of my rotations, I witnessed an extremely friendly working environment among the residents which strengthened my decision to stay here. Being one of the best college towns in the US, Columbia has a lot to offer, from a vibrant downtown to peaceful trails and parks. The best part being the Homecoming Games! Go Tigers!

Career Plans/Interests: Neuromuscular/Neurophysiology

Swathi Beladakere Ramaswamy, MD

Swathi Beladakere Ramaswamy, MD

Bio

Hometown: Mysore, India.

Medical School: Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI)

Hobbies: Music, Dance, Biking, Painting, Reading novels, cooking.

Why I chose MU: Residency at Mizzou aims to provide solid exposure and experience catered to resident's interests and ambitions. You just don't become a resident but a family member of this huge institute. The whole system works towards your success and to provide a great environment to achieve that. There is ample patient population, excellent supervision be it seniors/faculty /supporting staff and curriculum. It is evident that at the end of training we would emerge as confident, independent physicians with the 'Culture of Yes' and patient safety as our strong foundation.

Chetan Nayak, MD, PhD

Chetan Nayak, MD, PhD

Bio

Hometown: Bangalore, India

Medical School: St. John's Medical College & Hospital, Bangalore, India

Accolades: ILAE Young Investigator's Award at the International Epilepsy Congress (2015)

Why I chose MU: The faculty at our Neurology program are extremely approachable and accessible. They are truly committed to teach despite having busy schedules and always striving to impart knowledge to the residents based on evidence and personal experience. As there are fewer fellowships available in the program, it gives the resident an advantage of handling the most difficult neurological conditions which I believe is very useful early on in our career. Because of the extensive catchment area of patient population visiting our hospital involving most of Mid-Missouri and the surrounding towns, our program is a sink for almost every kind of neurological condition that exists and this prepares you to become a truly wholesome Neurologist.

Career Plans/Interests: Academic Neurologist

Ashutosh Pandey, MD

Ashutosh Pandey, MD

Bio

Hometown: Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Medical school: Gauhati Medical College and Hospital,  Assam.

Hobbies: Song writing, singing, teaching neurology, playing cricket and chess.

Why I chose MU: I did an observership at Mizzou before starting residency. I met an exceptional group of passionate neurologists to support in every way possible for their resident's growth, covering from individual to academic development, which remained to be true during my residency training. "Mizzou neurology program" is not only a program but is a family that has a family-like support system for their residents, faculty, and staff. Outside the neurology residency as an attraction, a defining point to choose Columbia was an affordable, trendy college town that surrounds various natural sites to visit !!!.

Career Plans/Interests: Academic Neurointensivist.

Angela Richmond, MD, PhD

Angela Richmond, MD, PhD

Bio

Hometown: Old Monroe, Missouri

Medical School: University of Missouri-Columbia

Additional Education: PhD, Biology-Cellular and Molecular Regulation

Hobbies: Enjoying family time with my husband and two kids, staying active- riding my bike on the local trails, walking, playing softball and volleyball, coaching my daughter’s softball team, reading, shopping

Accolades: I was one of only 50 trainees selected to participate in the 2018 “Combining Clinical and Research Careers in Neuroscience” conference sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), together with the Association of University Professors of Neurology (AUPN), the American Neurological Association (ANA), American Academy of Neurology (AAN), and the Child Neurology Society (CNS). I also won the AAN Medical Student Prize for Excellence that same year.

Why I chose MU: I chose to stay in Missouri for medical school because I wanted to stay close to my family. Coincidentally, MU School of Medicine had a great reputation for their Patient-Based Learning curriculum, which made MU a great choice. When considering a residency, I wanted to stay close to home, but felt that the my training was equally important. The quality of the training at MU is outstanding, with exposure to all parts of neurology. More importantly, I love being part of a collegial environment where the faculty are supportive of residents, enthusiastic about teaching/learning, and the residents have fun together during and outside of work!

Career Plans/Interests: Movement Disorders, Neuroimmunology, Cognitive Disorders, Neurophysiology, Brain Injury (so many things to choose from!)

Ross Smith, MD

Ross Smith, MD

Bio

Hometown: Jonesboro, AR

Medical School: University of Missouri-Columbia

Why I chose MU: I really enjoyed working with the residents and attendings that I met throughout my time in medical school here. The department is really growing and I felt that I would have good exposure to the various fields within neurology. Columbia is also a nice sized city with lot of things to do within the city and surrounding areas.

Class of 2023

Tracy Bezner, MD

Tracy Bezner, MD

Bio

Hometown: Pampa, Texas

Medical School: University of Missouri-Columbia

Why I chose MU: The MU Hospital Department of Neurology has an accomplished and diverse faculty with a family-like environment in the comfortable setting of a mid-size college town. The faculty features numerous highly-respected and sought after thought-leaders, clinicians, and interventionists. Residents are well-trained and invariably go on to accept rewarding appointments in both private practice and academia after their training. Columbia, while hosting Missouri's flagship state university, also boasts a bustling downtown shopping & entertainment district, numerous unique restaurants, extensive trails and parks, nearby state parks and recreation facilities including the massive Lake of the Ozarks, and a favorable housing/rental market. For the amenities of major metropolitan area, one can easily drive to St. Louis (2 hours), Kansas City (2 hours), or Chicago (6 hours), while the small, local airport offers direct flights to Dallas-Forth Worth, Denver, and Chicago. Above all, the very friendly work environment and easy rapport with faculty makes MU Hospital the place I want to be to finish my medical training!

Harleen Kaur, MD

Harleen Kaur, MD

Bio

Hometown: Amritsar, Punjab, India

Medical School: Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and research, Bathinda, India

Why I chose MU: The MU neurology program is a diverse program with widely available opportunities for research and clinical experience. I had the opportunity to do observership and research prior to applying for residency applications, which helped me connect with different faculty members and resident physician in training. I also gained research experience and worked with neurosciences research team on basic animal model as well. In short, this place is everything I needed to grow my career in neurology.  Not just this, Columbia is a welcoming town in itself. With easy commute, low cost of living and good food options, this place is home away from home for me!!

Zalan Khan, MD

Zalan Khan, MD

Bio

Hometown: Islamabad, Pakistan

Medical School: Aga Khan University

Why I chose MU: Columbia is a small and charming university town with everything you need for a comfortable day to day living.  The gem of the town is most definitely the University Hospital and you get a strong feeling that the town itself may have been built around the University.

The Neurology Department has an amazing faculty with excellent neurologists and mentors like Dr. Shenker and Dr. Sahota at its helm.  It is a rapidly expanding program with several fellowship options.  But the biggest reason why I chose MU was a friendly environment.  It gives you the feeling of a family working together, with cooperative residents, faculty, and administration.  Residency is a tough ask for even the most gifted physicians and for me the people that I work with are much more important that the amount of work.  

I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for comprehensive training in Neurology.  Oh, and we have Dr. Qureshi and Dr. Gomez.  If you don't know them, you SHOULD!

Chinedu Obi, MD, RN BSN

Chinedu Obi, MD, RN BSN

Bio

Hometown: Nnewi, Nigeria/Ann Arbor, Michigan

Medical School: American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Hobbies: I enjoy reading, swimming, playing chess, playing the piano and I am a nature enthusiast who enjoys camping, traveling and exploring the world with my family.  I am an avid soccer (Up Chelsea!), basketball (pretty much LeBron James fan) and football (Go Pats!  Go Cowboys!  Go Blue!) fan.

Why I chose MU: After I interviewed at MU, the decision to come here for residency was very easy.  The enthusiasm, energy and very kind demeanor of everyone at the program made me feel very welcome.  My questions were answered sincerely without making things sound superficially attractive.  The atmosphere at the program felt collegial.  I enjoyed seeing genuine friendships among the residents and there was strong emphasis on resident's well-being.  

Also, as a family man, I was especially pleased to learn that the charming city of Columbia is safe, affordable, and that my family will thrive well in this environment.  

I was thoroughly impressed with the University of Missouri Columbia neurology program and I have every confidence that I will get great neurology training at this program.

Anudeep Yelam, MD

Anudeep Yelam, MD

Bio

Hometown: Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Medical School: DR. N.T.R University of Health Sciences

Why I chose MU: I was fortunate to have met and worked with the amazing neurologists/mentors here at Mizzou. This place to me has become a home away from home. The residents, faculty, and staff are very friendly and welcoming. The attending's and program director are easily accessible at any hour to help us become a better person and doctors of tomorrow. Also, there are a lot of things I love about Columbia, ranging from a friendly community, activities to refresh and rest, and affordability.

Class of 2024

Dinanath Praveen Attele, DO

Dinanath Praveen Attele, DO

Bio

Hometown: Chicago

Medical School: Des Moines University

Additional Education: M.A. Medical Sciences

Accolades: July Resident of the Month, University of Missouri-Columbia.  AAN Visiting Medical Student Scholarship.

Hobbies: Hiking, watching British mystery shows, Curb your Enthusiasm, and trying to meditate when I am not busy at the hospital!

Why I chose MU: I wanted a nurturing environment where there is an emphasis on learning, and faculty who care about teaching and passing on their knowledge. Furthermore I wanted a program director who would stand up for his residents! Overall, residency will be difficult anywhere where you chose but it will be easier when you have a support system.

Career Plans/Interests: Ultimately I end up seeing myself at an academic institution where I can do both outpatient and inpatient work. I am currently open to fellowship, with a particular interest in movement and neuro-muscular disorders.

Bryce Hoelscher, MD

Bryce Hoelscher, MD

Bio

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Medical School: University of Missouri, Columbia

Why I chose MU: During my time at medical school here, I really appreciated the time I got to spend working with the attendings and residents. the department creates a family-like environment which is very supportive. There is an abundance of outstanding attendings throughout the neurology department in various subspecialties of Neurology. I was excited to start my residency here in Columbia as the hospital provides care throughout Mid-Missouri giving residents exposure to a large volume of patients whit a multitude of neurological conditions that provide continuous opportunities to learn. 

Tejas Mehta, MD

Tejas Mehta, MD

Bio

Hometown: Jamnagar, India

Medical School: SBKS Medical Institute and Research Centre

Hobbies: Reading novels, playing soccer, chess and cricket, biking

Why I chose MU: There are several reasons why MU was an obvious choice for me. The faculty, residents and staff here provide a nurturing environment to grow both as a physician as well as a person. As a part of my clinical rotations, I was fortunate to work and interact with the attendings here who were approachable, enthusiastic and perfect mentors. There are endless opportunities to grow professionally and learn from the best in the field. To add to these, the university town of Columbia has beautiful trails to enjoy a day out running, biking or hiking and enjoy nature.

Iwalewa Olowoporoku, MD

Iwalewa Olowoporoku, MD

Bio

Hometown: Ekiti, Nigeria

Medical School: College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Hobbies: Exploring new restaurants, cooking and baking, watching TV shows on Netflix and Hulu, bowling, interior design, watching travel vlogs and soccer.

Why I chose MU: It was a very easy decision for me to come to MU for my residency as it stood out in many ways during my interview trail. From exceptional teachers as faculty to residents who have genuine bonds and work well with each other. I am confident that I will have a great residency training here and will be the best I can possibly be. In addition, I love Columbia because it's a small city and is quite diverse. You can also enjoy a good range of outdoor and indoor activities here with little to no traffic. There is only one Mizzou!

Dakota Stevenson, MD

Dakota Stevenson, MD

Bio

Hometown: Princeton, WV

Medical School: Marshall University

Why I chose MU: As I began my search for a Neurology residency, a top consideration was finding a location that I could faithfully serve the Lord in a faithful congregation, which led me to consider a town I had never been to before…Columbia. Here, I not only found the aforementioned but found a program that struck me as a real hidden gem. More important than a nice medical center situated in a wonderful mid-sized town, I found faculty that were keen to learn about others and share their favorite aspects of the medical training here at MU. I was particularly impressed with my interview with Dr. Shenker, the program director. It was immediately apparent why he has won “Program Director of the Year”, as he seemed to care for individuals not only as budding medical doctors, but as his fellow human being with goals and aspirations, both within and outside of medicine. My other interviews were similarly positive and made MU a place that I thought could give me a well-rounded experience of learning for the, hopefully, many years of practice that lie ahead as an attending.

Hobbies: Reading, weight lifting, getting outside and traveling.

Class of 2025

Sandra Antigua, MD

Sandra Antigua, MD

Bio

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Medical School: Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC)

Hobbies: I enjoy Hiking, painting with watercolor and drawing with charcoal.

Why I chose MU: Initially, the variety of sub-specialties and the structure of the training program caught my attention, but above all, I was amazed with the human quality and professionalism of faculty members, residents and staff.

Brian Blankenship, MD

Brian Blankenship, MD

Bio

Hometown: Reeds Spring, Missouri

Medical school: University of Missouri-Columbia

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my family, playing instruments, and going to the lake.

Why I chose MU: During my time at MU, I grew to appreciate the supportive and family environment. Everyone is welcoming and strives to help you become the best physician you can be. The faculty here at MU are all top notch and will help you excel in whatever your interest are. As the Next Generation Precision Health Center comes to completion, I am excited to see what new research opportunities arise. Being the largest referral center in mid-Missouri, there are no shortage of opportunities to learn and to see interesting pathologies at MU.

Columbia, is also an incredible place to raise a family. The schools are great, parks are plentiful, and outdoor activities are abundant in Columbia. It is also easy to take a day trip to Kansas City or St. Louis, just two hours in either direction. My son particularly enjoys the going to the St. Louis Zoo and the City Museum.

Lakshmi Digala, MD

Lakshmi Digala, MD

Bio

Hometown: Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh

Medical School: Government Medical College Anantapur.

Hobbies: Travelling and gardening.

Why I chose MU: Choosing to come to Mizzou was easy because of the collegial environment and the program director who stands for resident education and is passionate about teaching. As a clinical observer, I worked with some fantastic faculty who inspired me, and the residents were always welcoming. I could envision myself fitting perfectly into this family while starting my new chapter as a budding Neurologist.

Mohamed Bilal Haradwala, MD

Mohamed Bilal Haradwala, MD

Bio

Hometown: Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Medical School: DY Patil School of Medicine, Navi Mumbai

Why I chose MU: MU is situated in a college town, with many people who come here for further education. The people who you meet here are always interesting. MU has a great neurology program with multiple fellowships and a large volume of patients with stroke. This program offers opportunities for research as well as great exposure to be a good clinician. Also, you are surrounded by so many places to explore; everyone you meet will give you a new spot to visit. 

Ashir Mahra, MD

Ashir Mahra, MD

Bio

Hometown: Delhi, India

Medical School: Dr. D.Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital & Research Center, Pune, India 

Hobbies: Sports (Soccer, Cricket, Tennis and many more), Cooking, Music (Yes, I do sing in the shower!) 

Why I chose MU: The Neurology Department at Mizzou is defined by its wonderfully warm and supportive learning environment. Everyone here is part of a family that is constantly looking to grow. The faculty consists of pioneers in the field of Neurology that are easily approachable and keen on teaching. Additionally, due to the large catchment area and heavy patient inflow, the clinical experience is extraordinary. Lastly, Columbia, in spite of being a small city, has a lot to offer! 

Rakesh Rajalbandi, MD

Rakesh Shetty Rajalbandi, MD

Bio

Hometown: Raichur, India

Medical School: Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, India

Hobbies: Cooking, Quizzing, Dancing(Bharatanatyam, Indian classical dance form) and Netflix. I watch a ton of movies and shows.

Why I chose MU: After my interview, I was sure to myself that I would be lucky if I got to train here in Mizzou, and I abide. Faculty, residents, and the wide array of patient populations provide a collegial environment with fertile soil to thrive professionally and to grow personally. In addition, Mizzou opens its arms wide for research, so it is another additional resource for us as residents to be involved in the top quality of research as our field has abundant ongoing research. Mizzou has some Top-notch professors in the field of Neurology and to learn directly from them is absolute felicity. Columbia being a small energetic college town makes me feel at home and has a bunch of wonderful trails and is close to amazing national parks.