Chief Residents


Debora Afezolli, MD

I was born in Tirana, Albania, where I developed a deep appreciation for the sea, sun, and Mediterranean food. I moved to Massachusetts at the ripe age of 9, and finished most of my schooling in central MA. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology and Biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and my medical degree at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a hospital focused on serving the community and training future primary care physicians. I finally made the move to Boston for residency after falling in love with the city, with Boston Medical Center, and with the staff and patients who walk its halls. I realized halfway through residency that I was most passionate about healthcare for older adults, and have decided to pursue a career in academic geriatrics. I feel honored that I will be staying at BMC an extra year as ambulatory chief resident, and look forward to improving the resident experience, ambulatory curriculum, and to hopefully inspiring future residents to pursue careers in ambulatory medicine.

 Belz Headshot

Daniel Belz, MD

I was born and raised in the Kansas City area and completed my undergraduate, public health, and medical school training at the University of Kansas. I moved to Boston for residency at BU and am thrilled to be serving as our chief medical resident at the West Roxbury VA Hospital! Next year I plan to pursue fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine. My research interests focus on how social determinants of health affect pulmonary diseases and critical illness. I am currently doing research on the effects of secondhand smoke exposure on reactive airway disease and acute chest syndrome in sickle cell disease. Outside of work, my wife and I are expecting our first child any day now! I also enjoy travel, baking (mostly television shows about baking), and rooting for Kansas Jayhawks basketball.

Hugo Carmona, MD

I was born in Venezuela and grew up in Miami, Florida. I went to undergrad at Johns Hopkins University and medical school at BU. I was attracted to BU for its core mission in taking care of the underserved and I stayed at BMC for the same reason. My co-residents and my patients have been an inspiration to continue the work of this mission and I was proud to be chosen as a chief resident to promote our residents in this work. Outside of medicine, I learned to scuba dive in the warm waters of South Florida and my hope is get the courage to dive the cold waters of Boston. I also love working with my hands, be that through woodworking, pyrography, or cooking. I live in the South End with my beautiful wife, who is a fan of the cooking, but not so much of the woodworking (at home).

Raagini Jawa, MD, MPH

I was born in New Delhi, India, and raised in a small town of southern New Hampshire where I spent my childhood playing with my Great Pyrenees dog, and balancing violin/singing lessons with martial arts competitions. I am a wicked proud “BU Lifer” as I received my undergraduate/medical education through the seven year Accelerated Medical Program and earned by Masters in Public Health in Global Health at Boston University. I was attracted to the diverse patient population and the dedication to social justice at Boston Medical Center, loved my residency experience, and feel very fortunate to stay for an addition year as one of the Chief Residents! Being part of our residency’s HIV Pathway inspired me to apply for academic Infectious Disease fellowship where I hope to continue serving the urban underserved locally and internationally. Outside of medicine, I am an amateur digital photographer, founder and singer of Boston based South Asian band called Leher, a Bollywood movie buff, and an avid Instagrammer under #bollywoodukulele.
 Aravind Ajakumar Menon, MD

I was born and raised in Kerala, India and completed my medical school training there before moving to the United States. I grew up with a love for cricket and soccer in the blazing tropical sun and an insatiable appetite for spicy food. Outside of work, I spend a considerable amount of time exploring new cuisines, as well as experimenting in the kitchen. Hanging on to my childhood dream of being a pilot, I also build scale models of aircrafts during my spare time. I was drawn to Boston Medical Center for my training because of the unique combination of diverse and extensive clinical exposure coupled with the resources to perform research at all levels. In my current capacity as a Chief Medical Resident and Chief Resident in Quality and Safety, I also get to educate the upcoming generation of physicians. I am constantly inspired by the care and compassion that I witness from my colleagues at BMC, towards the patients, as well as to each other. I plan an academic career in pulmonology and critical care and look forward to inculcating the skills I gathered through my time at BMC in my future practice.


Ashley Tran, MD

I spent most of my youth in Philadelphia and the suburbs of New Jersey.  I received my undergraduate degrees in Biopsychology and Community Health at Tufts University and then returned home for medical school at Rutgers NJMS.  It was there I met my husband, who I share an interest with in social justice and diverse populations.  During our interview day, we instantly knew that we belonged to this community, and it was no surprise when we matched to BMC.  The opportunity to work with my fellow colleagues and to advocate for our patient population has truly been a rewarding experience over the past three years. I am excited to serve as chief resident this year and look forward to a future career in academic gastroenterology with a focus in health disparities research.  Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing video games, exploring new restaurants, and traveling the world with my family and friends.

Samantha Zullow, MD

I grew up in Ossining, New York, in the suburbs of New York City.  I spent eight years in Baltimore; first getting my undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Johns Hopkins University (with Hugo) and then went to medical school of University of Maryland.  I was excited to move to a new city and fell in love with Boston when I interviewed here for residency. The people are what makes BMC what it is; both the patient population that we see as well as the multidisciplinary colleagues. Most importantly, I am always amazed at how intelligent, compassionate, hard-working, and fun the residents here are. I am very excited about spending another year here as one of the chief residents and looking forward to a future career in academic gastroenterology with a focus on Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to red sox games to cheer on the other team, and traveling both near and far including hiking in the fall in New Hampshire, kayaking in Cape Cod, as well as snorkeling in the Caribbean.