Meet the 2023 Rising Chief Residents

Jun. 7, 2023

The programs for Internal Medicine and Medicine/Pediatrics are thrilled to introduce the rising Chief Residents with the department of Medicine. They will formally take on their new roles on June 25, and program directors Amy Blatt, MD and Brett Robbins, MD, wanted you to have the opportunity to get to know them a little bit better.

Internal Medicine

Taylor Cox, MD

Taylor Cox, MD

Where are you from? I am originally from Corryton, TN, which is close to Knoxville.

Medical School: East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.

What are you excited about for your chief year? I am looking forward to dedicated time for teaching medical students and residents, especially leading our morning report. I’m also hoping to learn some Vietnamese in my spare time next year!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I’m an avid reader and have been trying to read more Cormac McCarthy recently since his novels are often set in East Tennessee and Knoxville.

Anima Ghimire, DO

Anima Ghimire, DO

Where are you from? Boise, ID, but born in Kathmandu, Nepal and moved here in 2005

Medical School: Kansas City University of Osteopathic Medicine in KC, Missouri! Go CHIEFS

What are you excited about for your chief year? I look forward to the autonomy in clinical decision making, knowing that I can turn to my colleagues for help if needed. I am excited to guide new interns and be someone they can reach out to with any concerns. I also look forward to engaging in the administrative side of hospital medicine with my fellow chiefs, who are all excellent and supportive!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I studied American History in college (at UR!) and did a 4 week long archaeological field trip in Bermuda!

Piotr Karmilowicz, MD

Piotr Karmilowicz, MD

Where are you from? Born in Lomza, Poland. Moved to Buffalo NY when I was 14.

Medical School: University at Buffalo for Medical School

What are you excited about for your chief year? Helping the residents navigate through residency, also taking on a more clinical role.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. Currently underway to learn how to water ski on ONE ski, also I am an avid juicer.

Sarah Rusnak, MD
Sarah Rusnak, MD

Where are you from? I’m from Buffalo, NY

Medical School: Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo

What are you excited about for your chief year? I’m excited to get to work with residents and students on the wards. I really enjoy clinical reasoning and medical education. I look forward to learning more skills to be an effective teacher as an attending.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself: I’m a certified scuba diver. I once did a drift dive, where you let the current carry you from one point to another, in Mexico in the middle of the night. The sea life is so beautiful after dark, totally different than during the day!


Erin Good, MD

Erin Good, MD

Where are you from? A combination of Pittsburgh, PA and Connecticut

Medical School: George Washington University School of Medicine in DC

What are you excited about for your chief year? Getting to help residents realize their personal and professional goals without sacrificing wellness, and work as a team on medicine and pediatrics to continue to build anti-racist and anti-sexist environments for our trainees and our patients.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself. One of my hobbies is baking, and my mom and I have even catered a friend's 120-person wedding — three tier, twelve-layer wedding cake and all!

We would also like to show our appreciation to the 2022-2023 chief residents who have done an outstanding job. What’s next for each of them? Most are staying here within URMC! We also asked them for their words of wisdom and advice for the next Chief Residents. “The program takes on the personality of the chief residents for the year they are at the helm,” said Robbins. “Remember, we are all on a learning curve always, and pay homage to that on the regular.”

Samuel Ayo, MD

Samuel Ayo, MD will be a Geriatrics fellow at URMC.

"You were asked to fill this role because of who you are. Stick to that and trust yourselves. Make the best decisions you can and be open to them still being wrong. It's another year of learning. My advice for the rising chiefs, in no particular order:

  • Do not forget what it's like to be a resident overnight. You are their advocate.
  • You can never make everyone happy.
  • Empathy is often less stressful than anger. (It's a hard, but gets easier with practice.)
  • Be honest with yourself and the residents. Transparency goes a long way.
  • Spend less time thinking "How/Why did this happen" and more on the immediate solution. You can run the RCA later.
  • Most things that go wrong are system related rather than individual negligence, don't immediately look to assign blame.
This is a one-year experience. Enjoy it! Much like residency it will move fast and slow at the same time. You will pick up new skills and sharpen others. Have fun. Rely on each other. Good luck."
Sara Gianfagna, DO

Sara Gianfagna, DO, will join the General Medicine division as an attending and a resident preceptor at Strong Internal Medicine.

"Never underestimate the power of checking in. I did not realize how far a simple question, smile, or hug went, until residents, who I didn't think needed it, thanked me. Chief year is a special time to advocate for the residents and find your role as an educator, administrator and clinician."

Jenny Schreiber, MD

Jenny Schreiber, MD, will be a hospitalist at Highland Hospital.

"Learn as much as you can: Take this year as an opportunity to explore different interests in medicine, and use every teaching opportunity as a learning opportunity for yourself. Also, morning report is the best part of the job! Don't be afraid to challenge the residents as ultimately, you're helping them become better clinicians. Remember to have fun and enjoy the journey. Your co-chiefs will be your best friends and invaluable resources throughout the year. Best of luck as you embark on this exciting chapter of your medical career!"

Mujtaba Soniwala, DO

Mujtaba Soniwala, DO, will be a hospitalist at Strong Memorial Hospital.

"Recognize the privilege of being someone who is looked to for advice, education, and mentoring. Open your office to them, listen, and support. You were just in their shoes, and the value of that experience is important and leads to trust. Maintain your empathy and compassion, and celebrate their successes. You are all growing together!”

Guylda Johnson, MD

Guylda Johnson, MD, will join the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for a GI fellowship.

"Remember to protect yourself and make sure that when you are taking care of all of the residents, take time for self-care, relaxation, and doing things to recharge your own battery.”

Exiting Chiefs with Amy

The exiting chief residents with program director, Amy Blatt, MD