The diversity of backgrounds and experiences amongst Weill Cornell Primary Care residents fosters a rich dynamic in which residents learn from each other on both professional and personal levels. All share an underlying dedication to primary care that unites our "Primary Care family" in a special way.
Mara Bensson, M.D., PGY-1
I grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts and went to Colby College for undergrad where I majored in Biology. After graduating, I moved to Connecticut where I worked as a middle school science teacher for two years with Teach for America. I then spent two years doing more clinically focused work before going to medical school at Brown University. I loved the Weill Cornell Primary Care program immediately because of the energy, compassion, and enthusiasm I found in the residents and faculty. I'm so excited to be a part of the program because I have the ability and support to explore my interests in primary care which include women's health, patient education, and working with the underserved. Apart from medicine, I love traveling, enjoying delicious restaurants, and spending time with my new kittens.
Brittney Frankel, M.D., PGY-3
I grew up just outside the city in Hewlett, a town on Long Island. I went to Dartmouth College, where I studied political science and had a true liberal arts education - from taking classes in costume design and studying abroad twice to finding my passion in public health and evidence-based medicine. I then did the Bryn Mawr Post-baccalaureate program to complete my premedical requirements and "linked" to Weill Cornell Medicine. I found a home in the Primary Care department thanks to the inspiring faculty, residents, and patients from all walks of life. I couldn't imagine continuing my training anywhere else and felt so lucky to match to Cornell PC. My continued interests are in patient education, evidence-based medicine, women's health, sampling French fries everywhere I go, and marathon... sleeping.
Lauren Kelly, M.D., PGY-3
Hello! I'm Lauren. I grew up in Connecticut, went to college at Barnard where I studied English Lit and then did a Masters in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. For medical school, I studied at the University of Pennsylvania where I also pursued a degree in Public Health. My interests are in writing, health communications and health policy, with a specific focus on vulnerable populations with serious illness. Next year, I'll be pursuing a Palliative Care fellowship. As a resident, I've enjoyed all that both Cornell and New York City have to offer, including opportunities in correctional health, medical journalism with ABC news and second continuity clinic at the Center for Special Studies, Cornell's comprehensive HIV care center. Training here has given me an amazing opportunity to foster my interests with unmatched mentor support. Please reach out any time if you'd like to talk.
Alexandra King, M.D., PGY-3
I grew up in Westchester, about an hour outside New York City. For undergrad, I went to Vassar College and majored in Biology before going medical school Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell on Long Island! Early on in medical school I became involved in research and advocacy regarding women’s health, and during residency have fostered further interests in informal caregiving and social determinants of health. In my free time I enjoy eating good food (easy to do in NYC), going to museums, lounging around in the park, and seeing friends.
I feel so lucky to have found the NYP-Cornell Primary Care program; it has provided me with unparalleled flexibility to pursue the niches of medicine that most excite me, rigorous clinical training with a diverse patient population, and an extremely supportive work family that I know will always have my back. I can’t wait to meet everyone on interview day!
Melanie Koren, M.D., PGY-1
Hello! I was born in South Korea and grew up in Oregon. I studied English and an interdisciplinary major called Science in Society at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. My path to medicine, however, began during my first ever job wait-staffing at an assisted living center. Since then, I’ve been pursuing opportunities to work with older adults and am deeply interested in interdisciplinary and community-based solutions for healthy aging. Beyond geriatrics, I am passionate about end-of-life care and advocating for those experiencing homelessness. I attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for medical school and am overjoyed to be joining the Primary Care family at Cornell. I knew from day one that this truly is an amazing place to train and learn. The people here are wonderful, and know I will have the support and mentorship to pursue my interests and thrive. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!
Neil Lim, M.D., PGY-2
Hi, I’m Neil! I’m from the Bay Area, and I studied biochemistry and education at UC Berkeley. I’ve always been a teacher at heart, and I even spent a few years teaching chemistry before realizing that medicine was more fun than permuting Diels-Alder reactions. I attended Northwestern University for medical school before completing my journey across the US to land at Cornell.
Although it was the Primary Care program’s exceptional flexibility and substantial outpatient time that initially drew me to Cornell, it was the warmth and enthusiasm from the residents and faculty which made my final choice easy. Within primary care, I’m particularly drawn to psychiatry and palliative medicine, and to working with underserved populations. I also love teaching medicine, and I can’t wait to help to shape the future of medical education… even if I can’t draw as well as SketchyMicro!
Gregory McWilliams, M.D., PGY-3
I grew up in rural Upstate New York in a town of 1,200 people. After high school, I attended Harvard where I studied biology and Spanish. I decided to move to Washington, D.C. directly after college to work for the federal government. Four years later; however, I decided to return to medicine and enrolled in medical school at Georgetown. There I developed my interests in LGBT health and HIV medicine and worked at large clinic in DC catering to gay men.
After medical school, I matched into the Cornell categorical Internal Medicine residency. I found myself enjoying my outpatient rotations and the continuity of care among my patients, so I elected to transfer into the Primary Care Track.
Outside of residency, I enjoy traveling, checking out new restaurants in NYC, and hanging out with my Jack Russell named Mango.
Kerry Meltzer, M.D., PGY-1
I grew up in Baltimore and then went to Bowdoin College, where I majored in biology and played on the varsity rugby team. During college, I interned at the White House Office of Health Reform to explore my interest in health policy. After graduating, I worked at the NIH on hepatitis C clinical trials and stayed in D.C. for medical school at George Washington University, where I was in the health policy track, and fell in love with primary care.
I was impressed with the numerous opportunities available to me at the NYP-Cornell Primary Care program, including the chance to have my outpatient practice at a Federally Qualified Health Center. The faculty and residents have been incredibly supportive and have made me feel right at home. I look forward to continuing to pursue my interest in health policy, particularly with regards to improving access to care for underserved patients. In my free time, I like to run and bike through Central Park, catch up with friends, and search for the best ice cream spots in New York City!
Cecilia Nicol, M.D., PGY-2
I grew up in New Jersey and went to undergrad at Georgetown University. I studied International Health and was able to spend some time in Ghana and Burkina Faso. I went to medical school at Weill Cornell and am so happy to continue here in the Primary Care track. The program faculty, residents, and opportunities for global health drew me to this program and I look forward to the next three years! Practicing in New York allows us to meet an incredibly diverse group of patients and form really strong and valuable relationships with some of them. In my free time I love watching movies, going to the Met, doing crosswords and looking for new coffee places...
Akash Patel, M.D., PGY-2
I grew up in New Jersey and went to college at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where I studied biology. I decided to return home to New Jersey for medical school at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson. I started out residency in the categorical track, but quickly found that I enjoyed my time and the relationships that I was forming in the outpatient setting. This, in addition to the outstanding mentorship in the primary care track led me to transfer into this program.
Outside of residency, I love sampling different cuisines, exploring the outer boroughs, and watching our local sports teams.
Shyam Sundaresh, M.D., PGY-2
Hello! I grew up in a small town on the west coast of Florida, near Tampa. I went to Northwestern for college and majored in music cognition, a subfield of music theory that looks closely at the perception of music. During my undergraduate studies I began to teach music to individuals with special needs. I did this for two years after college, too, before going to medical school at Case Western. The continuity of seeing students every week was something I wanted to carry into my medical career, and the NYP-Cornell Internal Medicine Primary Care Residency was a fit. I have already felt ownership and even some continuity over my outpatient panel, only a few weeks into residency; our faculty and residents—both primary care and categorical—have been so supportive in learning how to be an intern. When I have time, I still play the piano. Ask me questions, please! Hope to see you on interview day.
Priyesh Thakurathi, M.D., PGY-1
Shanna Tucker, M.D., PGY-3
I grew up in Los Angeles, CA, went to UC Berkeley for undergrad, and Harvard for medical school. I lived and worked in NYC for a few years before going to medical school and I knew I wanted to come back for residency because I love this city so much! I want to go into Primary Care so I wanted a residency program that had an excellent Primary Care program with a lot of outpatient time. I also wanted a Primary Care program that had a focus on research and very strong inpatient training. Cornell had all of these things and more! I was so impressed when I met the Primary Care residents on my interview day because they were all doing such interesting research projects and the topics were so diverse. I knew that their program would support me in whatever I wanted to pursue. All of these things made Cornell my #1 choice! I also wanted a program that made diversity a priority and had a supportive environment. Our Minority House Staff Committee was also instrumental in my decision because it would allow me to continue working with SNMA (Student National Medical Association) and help with residency recruitment efforts.
Xin Wang, M.D., PGY-1
Hi! I was born in China, and grew up in a small town near Tampa, FL before venturing out to Southern California for undergraduate at Pomona College, where I studied neuroscience and Japanese language/literature. I then spent two years working for a nonprofit organization focusing on community health/education in rural Alabama, before attending UCLA for medical school. I chose to apply to primary care programs because I enjoy continuity of care, and wanted specialized training in outpatient medicine. NYP-Cornell became my #1 choice after my interview day due to the sense of camaraderie/support I felt during my visit, as well as the individualized curriculum targeted to help prepare you for your future aspirations. I am grateful to be able to pursue my residency here at NYP-Cornell, with supportive faculty, wonderful co-residents, and an extremely diverse patient population. As a new New Yorker, my hobbies include eating my way throughout the boroughs, recreating recipes, and occasionally exercising to balance it out. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!
Xiaohui Wang, M.D., PGY-2
Hello! I was born in China, immigrated to the States when I was 11, and grew up in Kentucky. I studied economics at the University of Kentucky. A major part of my undergraduate study was joining the Gaines Fellowship of Humanities where I was able to broaden my education experience with a research trip to Beijing and complete a capstone thesis in Traditional Chinese Medicine. My interest in science and humanities ultimately led me to pursue medicine. I am deeply interested in outpatient medicine, integrative medicine and providing long-term care for my patients which is why I am ecstatic to be part of the Primary Care Track here at Cornell. The faculty and the residents here are extremely supportive. I've found myself welcomed whole-heartedly by a group of individuals who are passionate about primary care and providing the best care possible to the community. My other interests include singing, picking up different skills via youtube tutorials and exploring New York City.