Meet Our Fellows
Geriatric Medicine Fellows
Erin Ricci, MD
I was born and raised in the Catskills of Upstate New York where I spent many days as a child visiting with my elderly neighbors. This is when my interest in geriatrics first began. I stayed in New York for my undergraduate education at the University of Rochester before moving to St. Maarten to pursue medicine at American University of the Caribbean. I completed my clinical training in Nassau County, NY on Long Island before moving to Syracuse, NY for Internal Medicine Residency. Throughout my educational journey, I was fortunate to have numerous experiences which solidified my desire to pursue geriatrics. During interview season, BMC stood out to me with its welcoming and enthusiastic faculty, dedication to educating its medical trainees, and emphasis on providing the highest quality care to its patients. I am so excited to have the opportunity to train at BMC and learn geriatrics from a wonderful group of mentors, and to do so in a variety of clinical settings and healthcare systems. When I’m not at work, I enjoy being outside and active, especially hiking, and I’m an aspiring Adirondack 46er. Since moving to Boston I’ve been indulging in the various cuisines and activities that Boston has to offer!
Tatiana Rugeles Suarez, MD
Hola! I was born and raised in Colombia where I attended medical school at Universidad Industrial De Santander in Bucaramanga. Eager to travel and learn more about the world outside Colombia, I was fortunate to match into Internal Medicine residency at GW Hospital in DC. Throughout my three years of residency, I found my passion in caring for the most vulnerable patients, the geriatric population, who are also the most grateful and understanding of all. As a result, geriatrics called my name and I was happy to answer. During residency, I also learned that my colleagues were the most resilient and helpful people I have ever met. Due to that experience, I wanted to continue building relationships and immerse myself more in the American experience. I’m excited for that next chapter to be at BU as a Geriatrics Fellow. I am grateful for the faculty that have welcomed me into their family; for my co-fellows who have taught me that it is okay to be afraid of change; and for Boston that has shown me what a beautiful sunset looks like over the Charles River. I am looking forward to experiencing all types of Geriatric care, from nursing homes, home visits and clinic to PACE and inpatient care. I cannot wait to learn and grow during my time at BU, and in my free time, run along multiple trails and enjoy the diversity of the city. I plan to join the salsa/merengue community!
Brent Schell, MD
I grew up in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. I was known to have a strong sense of independence, which led me to explore paths for which there was no precedence amongst my family and friends. My early experiences helped to define my values and priorities in life, which led me to leave my career in electrical engineering to pursue medicine at UMass Medical School. While there, my interest in primary care and geriatrics was reinforced by all the amazing geriatricians that I met. I pursued these interests during my Internal Medicine Residency at UMass Baystate, which I chose for its great primary care program and ample opportunities to explore geriatric medicine. On my fellowship interview day with Boston University/Boston Medical Center, I was impressed by all that the program had to offer. Each person I met was kind and refreshing, reminding me of all the joy I felt when working with geriatricians in the past. I appreciate the program’s structure with its diverse experiences. It seemed like the perfect way to explore all the various career paths in the field of geriatrics. Now that I have started doing the work of a geriatric fellow, I am continually reminded each day that I’m in the right place. The faculty and staff have been wonderful and supportive and the mission of the program continues to inspire me to care for the most vulnerable individuals, whether they live at home, in a nursing home, rehab center, or are hospitalized. I am thrilled to start this new chapter in my life and I am certain I will look back at this program a year from now and be amazed by all that I have experienced. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, being outdoors on hikes and trips to the beach, and trying new restaurants.
2nd-Year GRECC Fellows
Stephanie Pagliuca, MD
I grew up outside of Boston, and am very excited to be living here again for the first time since leaving for college. For my medical training, I attended medical school at Duke University School of Medicine followed by a residency in Internal Medicine at NYP-Weill Cornell in New York. Prior to medical school, I worked as a management strategy consultant. There were many things that drew me to BU for a geriatrics fellowship. First, the faculty are incredible – they are warm, involved in a variety of academic interests, willing to be mentors, and are amazing clinicians. Second, BU provides a unique opportunity to experience the practice of geriatrics across nearly all spectrums of care including the nursing home, inpatient medicine, outpatient geriatrics clinic, PACE, and home care. Finally, we have the privilege to work in a health system whose mission it is to care for the most vulnerable patients — and our patients and their families are amazing! Outside of work, I love playing with my dog, Grizzly, going out to new restaurants with friends and family, and spending time with my three nieces.
Linda Paniszyn, MD
Originally from the Boston burbs and having trained here for residency, I am thrilled to be staying at Boston University/Boston Medical Center for my geriatrics fellowship! I’m from Needham, MA and was fortunate to grow up surrounded by a deep respect for older adults and a love of medicine which piqued my interest early in geriatrics. My grandparents helped raise me, and I often tagged along with my mom to her primary care clinic or nursing home where she worked. I spent eight wonderful years at the Siena College/Albany Medical College combined program dedicated to community outreach, and I found that I especially cherished my service activities with vulnerable older adults. BMC was the perfect place to come back to train for primary care/internal medicine with their commitment to serving our complex and diverse patients as well as their history of excellence in geriatric care. I quickly found a home in the geriatrics section here with the powerhouse of geriatric clinician educators, mentors and whole amazing interprofessional team, and I truly cannot imagine training anywhere else. During residency, I loved both my clinic and inpatient geriatric experiences, and I am so excited to explore other settings of geriatric care this year i.e. home care, PACE, and nursing homes. Also during residency, I pursued my commitment to medical education through the Medical Educator Pathway and developed my interest in quality improvement through two VA QI initiatives, and I am eager to further cultivate these skills. When I’m not working, hopefully you’ll find me outside hiking, biking, or skiing with my fiancé Mike, family and friends! I love traveling to any outdoorsy destination, but there are also so many fantastic day trips just in/around Boston, and I’m still finding new places all the time!
Geriatric Oncology Fellows
Patrick Kurpaska, DO
Evgenia Granina, MD, MBA
I am originally from the Ukraine and moved to the US when I was 8 years old. My family settled on Long Island and have been there ever since. My medical training has taken me all across the Northeast. I finished medical school in Albany Medical College, followed by residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Afterwards, I spent time as a hospitalist at NYU Langone in NYC. After witnessing all the devastation COVID caused, I pursued a palliative care fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital in Richmond. I have a strong interest in bridging the fields of oncology, palliative medicine and geriatrics to provide comprehensive, patient centered care, with a focus on palliation and symptom management. What attracted me to BU/BMC was the opportunity to train with like minded individuals who are committed to taking care of a rapidly aging population with complex care needs. During my interview I was struck by the passion and enthusiasm of all the faculty and staff in both the Hematology/Oncology and Geriatrics sections. I got the sense that everyone here was deeply committed to not only meeting but exceeding the needs of people in need. I look forward to being able to provide care across a variety of settings during my training, including at the VA and at various nursing homes in the surrounding area. This is an invaluable gift that helps mold a versatile and resourceful physician. In my free time I enjoy baking, travelling and going for runs around the city. I can’t wait to explore Boston and all its many parks, restaurants and music venues.
Maya Abdallah, MD
I am excited to be joining BU/BMC for combined geriatric oncology training. I recently completed my internal medicine residency, followed by a year as chief resident, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate in Western Massachusetts. Before that, I completed my medical education at the University of Balamand, in my home country Lebanon.
I chose BU/BMC for combined geriatric oncology training for so many reasons including:
1) This is the only ACGME accredited combined program providing trainees with formal training (and eligibility for board certification) in the booming field of geriatric hematology and oncology that cares for older adults with malignancies
2) BU/BMC is a unique institution that is both an academic medical center and a safety-net hospital which allows trainees opportunities to work with and learn from experts in their field while treating patients from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds,
3) Collegial environment with strong mentorship early on. This translates into smooth patient care as well as responsiveness and willing to support trainees’ unique interests by connecting them with mentors from across the institution and affiliated practices, including the Boston VA system.
Massachusetts has been my home away from home throughout training and I am so excited to be staying in MA for the next stage in my career. Boston has something for everyone with so many neighborhoods with unique vibes and a lot of greenery including beautiful parks, reservoirs and nearby hiking trails for walks (dogs are almost always welcome). There are so many fun day trip destinations within the beautiful New England, too: you cannot beat a trip to the Cape in the summer, or a weekend getaway to Vermont to check out the foliage in the fall or for alpine skiing in the winter.
Amr Radwan, MD
I went to medical school at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. I moved to Boston where I did my residency at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in internal medicine, followed by an additional year as chief resident. I am glad that I chose the BU/BMC geriatric oncology fellowship program as it has been a gratifying experience thus far. I have completed my first year in geriatrics and can already sense the extra skill set I have acquired make its way into the decision making process during my daily encounters with my patients, namely, older adults with malignancies. The fellowship program offers individualized support to its fellows and provides formal instruction on the process of research including writing abstracts, designing posters, and submitting manuscripts. My current interests include medical education and outcomes based research for which I was able to submit an abstract to AGS with the the support of the section’s great faculty! Training at Boston Medical Center, a safety net hospital with a mission, has provided me with a one of a kind experience given our diverse and vulnerable population. I hope to continue to foster my skills in the geriatric oncology field through clinical and research activities with the aim of eventually directly contributing to the growth of this niche field. During my free time, I like to explore new cultural venues and restaurants around the Boston area, as well as, travel to new destinations, both nationally and internationally.
Hossein Sadrzadeh, MD
Medical School: Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Iran
Residency: Capital Health Regional Medical Center, NJ, USA