Meet the past Internal Medicine Residents who chose IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital for their training.

M. Sami Bakdash, MD

Growing up as the first child of two physicians, one of my first memories as a child was running around hospital hallways and playing with medical instruments. I come from a big family of doctors which includes not only my parents, but also four of my uncles and two of my aunts. Both my father and uncle trained at IU Health Ball Memorial’s Internal Medicine Residency Program and once upon a time, I actually lived in this hospital when rooms were rented out to residents. With that being said, I did not only choose medicine but also, medicine chose me.

I’m a proud Hoosier, attending Muncie’s West View Elementary School as well as Storer Elementary, transitioning to Anderson’s East Side Middle School and the former Highland High School. After graduating with honors and a scholarship for college, I continued my Hoosier ride and attended Indiana University Bloomington. I was fortunate enough to obtain two major degrees in psychology and Arabic studies and a minor degree in chemistry, while completing my pre-medical and pre-dental courses.

Before continuing my educational journey, I helped establish a nonprofit organization aimed at providing community service to those in need, such as battered women’s shelters and homeless shelters. Afterwards, I attended American University of Antigua College of Medicine and was able to acquire my clinical medicine training in various hospitals in Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

Finally, I decided to come back to my Hoosier roots and join this advanced medical program at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. One of the most attractive features of this program is the emphasis placed on quality patient care and safety. The employees here are trained to work together as one family in prioritizing each and every patient. This creates the best fit atmosphere for excellent patient care. I am truly thrilled to join the ranks of my father and uncle and be a part of this great Ball family.

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2019 Graduates

M. Sami Bakdash, MD

Growing up as the first child of two physicians, one of my first memories as a child was running around hospital hallways and playing with medical instruments. I come from a big family of doctors which includes not only my parents, but also four of my uncles and two of my aunts. Both my father and uncle trained at IU Health Ball Memorial’s Internal Medicine Residency Program and once upon a time, I actually lived in this hospital when rooms were rented out to residents. With that being said, I did not only choose medicine but also, medicine chose me.

I’m a proud Hoosier, attending Muncie’s West View Elementary School as well as Storer Elementary, transitioning to Anderson’s East Side Middle School and the former Highland High School. After graduating with honors and a scholarship for college, I continued my Hoosier ride and attended Indiana University Bloomington. I was fortunate enough to obtain two major degrees in psychology and Arabic studies and a minor degree in chemistry, while completing my pre-medical and pre-dental courses.

Before continuing my educational journey, I helped establish a nonprofit organization aimed at providing community service to those in need, such as battered women’s shelters and homeless shelters. Afterwards, I attended American University of Antigua College of Medicine and was able to acquire my clinical medicine training in various hospitals in Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

Finally, I decided to come back to my Hoosier roots and join this advanced medical program at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. One of the most attractive features of this program is the emphasis placed on quality patient care and safety. The employees here are trained to work together as one family in prioritizing each and every patient. This creates the best fit atmosphere for excellent patient care. I am truly thrilled to join the ranks of my father and uncle and be a part of this great Ball family.

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Erick Christensen, MD

I grew up in Texas, New York and Utah. After graduating from Brigham Young University, I got a master’s of public health degree from Emory University. I worked in public health for a few years in the Washington, D.C. area before enrolling in medical school at the University of Utah. Each place I have lived has offered much to learn and love, and that has been true of Muncie, Indiana.

I was very impressed by the warmth and support that I felt when I interviewed at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. I immediately connected with the attending physicians and loved the camaraderie that I felt among the residents. After interviewing here, I knew that this was the program that would help me become the physician that I wanted to be.

Outside of work, my interests include spending time with my wife and two children, cooking, traveling, camping, cycling and being outdoors.

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Padmini Parameswaran, MD

I grew up in India and my need to find a career that focuses on helping people initially lead me to biomedical engineering. I pursued a bachelor's degree at Drexel University in Philadelphia. During this time, I completed two internships at GlaxoSmithKline. I studied drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics for heart failure drugs, and also safety testing. I was very surprised to discover how many years of intense research went into producing even one drug into market.

As I yearned for a career where I could help people but be gratified and rewarded by seeing results sooner in a more tangible way, I chose to pursue a degree in medicine at St. George's University. During this time, I also went to Thailand to explore their approach to traditional and alternative medicine. I think my experience of medicine in three different countries showed me just how different healthcare can be in resource rich, resource poor countries, and how delivery of care can be different depending on the types of payment models used in each country.

I completed my clinical years of medical school in Brooklyn, New York, and my internship at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where I had a challenging and fantastic experience but really missed my husband and family. After interviewing at a few programs to transfer to, I was so excited by IU Health Ball Memorial; the program leaders and residents were so warm and welcoming, I was impressed at how the residents were adept at performing multiple procedures, and at their camaraderie. It was a very easy choice to accept to transfer here when the offer was made! While small-town Muncie is very different to me, having only lived in big cities all my life, I am excited to begin my journey here and make another state in the USA my home.

In my free time, I enjoy camping, painting with new mediums and making things with clay.

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Clifford Hecht, MD

I was born in California but raised in Kansas before eventually completing medical school at Loyola Stritch in Chicago and matching to the Internal Medicine program here at IU Health Ball Memorial. My first exposure to the program was during a wards medicine month I took the fall before I started. It was always my goal to stay in the Midwest for residency training due to family connections, and while rotating here I was very impressed by the genuine camaraderie between residents and faculty as well as the high amount of autonomy given to the resident staff. I did not always see this present during my medical school rotations. The program was gracious enough to grant me an interview at the end of my rotation, and I was very pleased on Match Day to learn I'd be returning here for the rest of my training.

My current career goals are hospitalist or critical care medicine, but I am also trying to keep an open mind about my professional future. My hobbies outside work include video gaming, jogging and dancing with my wife.

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Mallory Nebergall, MD

I was born and raised in the small town of Canton, Illinois, with a childhood dream of becoming a physician. From attending the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign to medical school at Ross University School of Medicine, I have traveled from Dominica, Atlanta, Chicago and New York, gaining invaluable experiences with the expansive field of medicine including the delivery of healthcare to diverse patient populations.

I found a home here at IU Health Ball Memorial in Muncie, where diversity is key in addition to the small-town atmosphere where my dreams all began. Outside of medicine, I am a full-time mother of one and enjoy focusing on physical fitness as well as ballroom dancing.

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Vivek Patel, MD

I was born and raised in Gujarat, in the western part of India. Growing up in a culture where educational priority was topmost, competition to get into a good college was fierce and lack of sports opportunities pushed me towards an educational path. I always wanted to be someone who helps fellow human beings to live better lives. This drew me towards medicine and becoming a great physician to fulfill my wish. After finishing medical school at B.J. Medical College in Ahmedabad in India, I moved to the U.S. to pursue further education. I consider Massachusetts as my home state, as my family lives in nearby Boston and I spent three years there before moving to Muncie. I am really excited for next phase of my life in and around Muncie.

Working as an observer at IU Health Arnett Hospital attracted me towards the IU Health System in Indiana. A healthy educational environment and transparency in work were top most priorities for residency and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is the best fit for both. My gaols for next three years would be hard work, hard work and hard work! Experienced professors and valuable educational resources at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital will shape me as a great physician. I will do my best to meet their expectations. I haven't thought about post-residency options. I would like to work as a hospitalist or may consider fellowship options if my residency rotations draw me towards a specific specialty.

I always consider myself as sports fan. Playing sports is my hobby and I like to play soccer, table tennis, cricket, volleyball and anything that involves physical skills. Besides that, I like adventurous trips and love to pass time with friends and family.

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Hatem Sabassi, MD

I was born and raised in Amman, Jordan. I completed my medical education in Egypt, where I underwent six years of rigorous medical training in one of the most crowded countries in the Middle East. This enabled me to deal with a huge number of patients in different clinical settings and to experience the joy of living in a different culture. I came to the United States in 2014 and did a number of electives under the supervision of board certified doctors which helped introduce me to the way medicine is practiced in the US.

I chose IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital because of the warm and welcoming nature of doctors and staff from the first moment I visited. I believe that the strong support system and the emphasis on didactic activities and robust clinical exposure will ensure that I will get the most out of my clinical training.

In my free time I enjoy reading, bike riding, hiking and fishing and Muncie is a great place for me to practice my hobbies.

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Richard Uy, MD

I was born in Cebu City, one of the seven thousand-plus islands in the Philippines. I went to New Jersey, where I attended Paramus Catholic Boys High School and then received my undergraduate degree in biology at Cebu Doctors’ University. I pursued and completed my medical degree at Cebu Institute of Medicine. I enjoy cooking, playing tennis and traveling.

I’m excited to start a new chapter in IU Health Ball Memorial. I felt very comfortable and welcome during my interview. The program has the support system that would make learning a great experience and the faculty is approachable, friendly, and loves to teach. I know I will have great learning experience, develop good relationships and enjoy my stay with the program.

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Aisha Davis, MD

I was born and raised in the Caribbean on the tiny island of St. Thomas. Upon graduation from high school, I moved to the U.S and attended Spelman College where I obtained my undergraduate degree in biology. I completed medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine. During the midst of medical school, my passion for laboratory research led me to pursue a master’s degree in translational research.

Prior to the residency interviewing season, I never anticipated attending a residency program in the state of Indiana. I always thought I would move to the east coast to be closer to family. But the minute I completed my interview at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, I knew I wanted to attend this residency program. The warmth and love I felt on interview day at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital was second to none! Now that I am currently in the program, the love, support and compassion that I felt on interview is evident in everyone that I encounter, including the residents, attending physicians, nurses and ancillary staff.

Outside of medicine, I absolutely love spending time with family and friends. I also love traveling and have visited many places including Honduras, China and Australia. It is my deepest passion to live and practice medicine internationally. Specifically, I would love to practice medicine in a developing country.

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2018 Graduates

Aisha Davis, MD

I was born and raised in the Caribbean on the tiny island of St. Thomas. Upon graduation from high school, I moved to the U.S and attended Spelman College where I obtained my undergraduate degree in biology. I completed medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine. During the midst of medical school, my passion for laboratory research led me to pursue a master’s degree in translational research.

Prior to the residency interviewing season, I never anticipated attending a residency program in the state of Indiana. I always thought I would move to the east coast to be closer to family. But the minute I completed my interview at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, I knew I wanted to attend this residency program. The warmth and love I felt on interview day at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital was second to none! Now that I am currently in the program, the love, support and compassion that I felt on interview is evident in everyone that I encounter, including the residents, attending physicians, nurses and ancillary staff.

Outside of medicine, I absolutely love spending time with family and friends. I also love traveling and have visited many places including Honduras, China and Australia. It is my deepest passion to live and practice medicine internationally. Specifically, I would love to practice medicine in a developing country.

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Deep Desai, MD

Born in India, raised in California, medically educated in West Indies and clinically cultivated in New York: It’s been a long road and I am excited to start the next part in Indiana. I am a huge believer in the difference good friends and family can make in tough times. Residency is definitely going to be tough no matter where you end up, but having a good support system can really help you get through it. IU Health Ball Memorial definitely has that support system and that's what drew me to this program. I think it's pretty apparent how close knit this program is, which you can see every morning at 6:45 am when everyone comes in with a smile on their face and also in the hallways where everyone greets one another.

Aside from medicine, I like to work out, watch sports, play my guitar and spend time with friends and family.

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Tanvi Desai, MD

I consider California my home state, but have moved around all my life. Who else can claim that they’ve attended 15 different schools? I think that’s why it was very exciting for me to attend St. George’s University in Grenada, and finish my clinical years in Brooklyn, New York.

I was drawn to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital because of the warm learning environment that the faculty and staff provide. Nurses and doctors work together here as a team, and the lines of communication are always open to provide optimal patient care. One of the most important attributes in a residency for me was a balance between didactic learning and on-the-job learning. At IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, the faculty provides the right amount of support at the right time.

Other than the medical life, I really enjoy yoga, running, finding new music to listen to and spending time with friends and family. I am really excited to call this place my home for the next three years.

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Benjamin Krasin, MD

I’m originally from Spokane, Washington and completed medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. I was a non-traditional medical student and worked for several years prior to medical school as an EMT in an emergency department, as a firefighter, a lifeguard trainer and a swim team coach.

My journey to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital was quite random, but definitely fortuitous. I was eager to depart the Pacific Northwest, yet I had no clear destination in mind. The large team structure in the university setting left me feeling disengaged with direct patient care. As such, I focused my attention on smaller programs across the country. I felt an instant connection to the residents and staff at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and knew it would be an excellent residency choice. The smaller, more intimate setting with physicians who are eager to teach proved a much better fit for my learning style.

My interests are varied and always changing. I have two provisional patents related to both the medical field and education. Despite the overwhelming odds against any success related to this, it remains a fun and creatively engaging endeavor. My less expensive hobbies include chess, basketball, brainteasers, debate and kittens.

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Olufemi Olorunda, MD

I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria and grew up in a healthcare system that was, unfortunately, suboptimal. This spurned my quest for an encompassing medical education as I pursued a bachelor’s degree in health information management and a master’s in public health at St. Louis University in Missouri. I had the privilege of pursuing my medical education at St. George’s University as a Keith B. Taylor Scholar, which afforded me the opportunity to study in Newcastle, United Kingdom for a year. My thirst for a well-rounded education has taken me to five different continents allowing me to incorporate multiple cultures and systemic approaches to my daily life and the world of medicine.

My family lives in Muncie and several of my family members have graduated from Muncie Central High School and Ball State University. This, combined with the family atmosphere demonstrated by the residents and staff as well as the attention given to graduate medical education and quality improvement, made Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital an obvious choice to begin my medical career.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing and watching sports, especially soccer, traveling, experiencing different cultures, live music events, comedy shows and outdoor sports.

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Karen Roque, MD

I was born and raised in the Philippines and completed my medical education at Cebu Institute of Medicine. I migrated to Orlando, Florida with my family to work as a nurse. Being a nurse has given me a lot of experience and exposure to the medical system. It showed me an opportunity to pursue my medical career.

I am quite familiar with IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital through my colleagues. I like that the program's basic learning experience is supplemented with a structured didactic teaching. The house staff is dedicated and warm. For me, these are the things I need for my growth as a physician.

During my free time, I go on trips with my family. I love shopping and dining out. I also love watching movies and reading.

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Amit Shetty, MB, BS

I am from Freeport, Illinois, home of the Freeport High School Pretzels (yep that’s the actual mascot). The chance to play college soccer took me to the University of New Mexico where I redshirted as a freshman and studied pre-med. After my freshman year, I took an opportunity to begin medical school at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, in South India. I had an invaluable experience in my time there, both learning and practicing medicine in a developing country, as well as with my own personal growth. It really made me appreciate everything I have in life and to never take anything for granted.

Choosing IU Health Ball Memorial for residency was an easy decision. During my interview, I saw firsthand the camaraderie amongst the residents and transparency of the faculty. Combine that with the success of the resident alumni, great facilities and wonderful people at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, the program checked all the boxes for me. I look forward to serving the community of Muncie both in and outside of the hospital.

My interests in medicine include interventional cardiology, infectious diseases, and rheumatology. In my free time I like to exercise, play basketball, tennis, and chess, watch movies and hang out with friends. My interests outside of medicine include photography, cooking, meteorology and geography.

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Daniel Stegelman, MD

Hello to all who happen to grace the IU Health Ball Memorial Internal Medicine Residents’ webpage! My name is Daniel Stegelman and I am a new intern at the great IU Health Ball Memorial Internal Medicine Program. I was born in Madisonville, Kentucky and moved to Indiana when I was around five. I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana most of my life and I could never seem to find my way out of Indiana. I attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in geology. I received my doctor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. I am definitely not unfamiliar with “Funcie, IN.” I spent my first two years of medical school in Muncie, working with some of the residents and staff at the IU Health Ball Memorial Internal Medicine Program.

It is really a privilege to be a part of the Internal Medicine Residency at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. I know that I will be working with great staff and residents throughout the next three years. Dr. Johnston and Dr. Dickey actually taught some of my classes while I was in Muncie my first two years of medical school. I have many interests in medicine including research, ethics and patient care. In the future, I could see myself becoming a hospitalist, working mostly primary care, or even attending a fellowship program in endocrinology, infectious disease or nephrology. I am looking forward to making lifelong friends with my fellow residents and colleagues over the next three years. I also look forward to becoming a well-rounded and effective physician who will be able to improve the health and well-being of all of my patients.

When I have the time, I enjoy running, weight lifting, reading science fiction and biographies, hanging out with my dudes and dudettes, making people laugh until they can’t breathe, cuddling with kitty cats and catching up on sleep.

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