Meet Our Fellows
Geriatric Medicine Fellows
Elizabeth Degnall, MD
I grew up in Connecticut and have spent most of my life in the Northeast. I went to medical school in New York where I was fortunate to take part in a student run clinic in Queens and had the opportunity to work with other healthcare professionals in providing free care and resources to an underserved community. This experience left a lasting impression on me and helped lead me to Boston Medical Center with its mission to provide equitable care and bridge health disparities. I completed my residency in Internal Medicine at BMC and it was here that I was introduced to Geriatrics in many different settings including home care, inpatient and in the clinic. I loved working with this population, managing their medical complexity, and was drawn to the diversity of settings in which to practice. I am thrilled to now be pursuing my Geriatrics Fellowship at Boston Medical Center where I can serve some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community and learn from both them and our amazing Geriatrics faculty.
Outside of medicine, I love to read, try new foods (and challenge myself with the spiciest food!), and spend time with my family and friends.
Emily Jones, MD
Jaime Rosenthal, MD
I grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, home of the University of Iowa (go Hawks!) and largely stayed in the Midwest until I came to Boston University for medical school. There, I began to meet some of the geriatrics faculty, and my interest in geriatrics started to grow. I stayed at Boston University for residency, and throughout my various rotations, I realized that older adults were the patient population I loved caring for most. I met more of the attendings in the section of geriatrics and saw how the section is one big family. I was thrilled to be able to stay at BU for my geriatrics fellowship and be part of this wonderful group! This year, I am excited to explore the various career paths geriatrics has to offer, and continue to care for our vulnerable patients in ways that align with their goals.
Outside of medicine, though, I’ve found I spend most of my time trying to stop my daughter from grabbing our dog’s fur, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exploring different restaurants in the Boston area, and traveling!
2nd-Year GRECC Fellows
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.
Geriatric Oncology Fellows
Thomas George, MBBS
I was born and raised in the Middle East, and Dubai is home. I completed medical school at Father Muller Medical College in India. While researching for observerships and research opportunities, my mentors introduced me to geriatric oncology, which was just budding in India then. I was fortunate to work with Geriatric Oncologists during my rotations in the US in 2019 which further sparked my interest in pursuing it as a career. I completed my residency training and a PGY-3 chief year at South Brooklyn Health in Brooklyn. Training at a city hospital, I dealt with patients of various nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds, particularly society’s marginalized sections, which was rewarding and enhanced my clinical acumen. Boston University has a similar patient profile, given that it is the largest safety net hospital in the New England area, furthermore, since it is an academic program, the fellows have the opportunity to train under experts in the field. On my interview day, I was impressed by the warm, welcoming and genuinely kind faculty members who truly cared about the fellows’ success. The program leadership ensured that the program would fit with my career goals and provided incredible mentorship early on at the start of the fellowship. It’s not a surprise that many graduated fellows have stayed on to join as faculty at Boston University. I am truly blessed to have matched at this program which will train me in Geriatrics, Hematology and Oncology, which is exactly the career pathway I have in mind and look forward to the next four years here! In my free time, I enjoy playing racquet sports and hope to return to the badminton court soon.
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.