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Current Residents


Dr. Fedra Fallahian

Fedra Fallahian, M.D.

Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
Undergrad: University of Missouri - Kansas City – Biology
Medical School: University if Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Fallahian has been raised and trained on the west side of Missouri, now making her way to St. Louis for her residency. She has an interest in breast surgical oncology and plastic surgery.

Dr. Margaret Jayich

Margaret (Meggie) Jayich, M.D.

Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Undergrad: University of Puget Sound – German, Foreign Affairs
Medical School: University of Washington School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Jayich hails from the state of Alaska, was educated in the Pacific Northwest, and came far away from the coast for her general surgery training. She plans to pursue a breast fellowship after residency.

Dr. Michelle Mangold

Michelle Mangold, D.O.

Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Undergrad: The University of Hong Kong - Biomedical Engineering
Medical School: Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: Dr. Mangold, often called by her nickname “Mango” by her co-residents, is a globetrotting Texas native who has spent time all over the world, including studying at the University of Hong Kong. This is in part due to her membership in the U.S. Air Force. After graduating she will spend time as an Air Force surgeon, and her current interests include trauma and thoracic surgery.

Dr. Vatche Melkonian

Vatche Melkonian, D.O.

Hometown: Waltham, Massachusetts
Undergrad: Clark University – Bachelor of Arts – Music, Vocal Performance
Medical School: Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: I was born and raised in New England, went to medical school in south Florida and somehow ended up in the middle of the country here in St. Louis, wondering why the closest ocean is so far away. I came here because of my interest in trauma, given our high volume operative-trauma, and because I really liked the type of people this program attracts.  After graduation,  I plan to receive additional training and pursue a fellowship in pediatric surgery. 

Dr. Nishika Moradia

Nishika Moradia, M.D.

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
Undergrad: North Carolina State University
Medical School: East Carolina State University Brody School of Medicine
Bio:  I initially moved to St. Louis to pursue a research fellowship at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. What I like the most about this program are its residents and how much they support each other. 


Dr. Joseph Behrens

Joe Behrens, M.D.

Hometown: St. Louis
Undergrad: Saint Louis University – Biomedical Engineering
Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Behrens is St. Louis-born and raised, graduating from SLU School of Medicine. He completed his intern year at the University of Kentucky before joining SLU General Surgery.

Dr. Phil Blotevogel

Phillip Blotevogel, M.D.

Hometown: Mounds, Oklahoma
Undergrad: University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Psychology
Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Blotevogel spent time in many careers prior to medicine, including being a finish carpenter, tile-setter, assistant pastor and small business owner before deciding to go to medical school. While in medical school, his initial interest was psychology until he found his true passion for surgery. 

Dr. Kristen Dougherty

Kristen Dougherty, M.D.

Hometown: St. Louis
Undergrad: University of Connecticut, Molecular and Cell Biology
Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Bio: Dr. Dougherty, born in St. Louis, spent nearly a decade on the East Coast prior to returning to SLU for her surgical training. She has an interest in both pediatric and hepatobiliary surgery.

Dr. Raymond Okeke

Raymond Okeke, M.D.

Hometown: Anambra State, Nigeria
Undergrad: Wilberforce University - Biology
Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Okeke is the oldest of three brothers, and is the first doctor within his nuclear family. He has a professional interest in plastic and hand surgery.

Dr. Elys Whithorn

Brianna (Elys) Whithorn, D.O.

Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
Undergrad: George Fox University – Biology and French
Medical School: Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: Dr. Whithorn came from the Pacific Northwest. She plans to pursue a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship after residency.

Claire Wunker

Claire Wunker, M.D. 

Undergrad: Queen's University, Kingston, Canada - Bachelor's of Applied Science - Chemical Engineering (biomedical subspecialty)
Medical School: Saba University School of Medicine, Saba, Netherlands Antilles
Bio: "Who can really say who anyone is?"
Claire Wunker is a northern transplant to St. Louis. After moving 13 times during medical school she has finally almost managed to stay in one place for her residency except when she left to spend two years in the Gladdy Lab at the University of Toronto's Institute of Medical Science studying rhabdomyosarcoma treatments. She is interested in the treatment of pediatric cancer and hopes to pursue a pediatric surgery fellowship after completing her surgical residency. She enjoys musical theater, board games, and scuba diving (so much so that she got a M.Sc. in hyperbaric medicine because you should study what you love!).


Fawwaz Almajali, M.D.

Fawwaz Almajali, M.D.

Hometown: Amman, Jordan
Undergrad/Medical School: The Hashemite University
Bio: Dr. Almajali comes to SLU from Jordan. He has an interest in surgical oncology, minimally invasive, and robotic surgery.

Dr. Blake Castillo

Blake Castillo, M.D.

Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Undergrad: University of Florida - Biology
Medical School: St. George’s University School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Castillo completed a preliminary year at Medical University of South Carolina, and now brings his talents to St. Louis. He has an interest in minimally invasive surgery.

Dr. Amy Hui

Amy Hui, M.D.

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
Undergrad: Washington and Lee University
Medical School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine – New Orleans
Bio: Dr. Hui came north from Louisiana to St. Louis for her surgical training.

Dr. Emily Mann

Emily Mann, M.D.

Hometown: Lafayette, Louisiana
Undergrad: Louisiana State University – Biological Sciences
Medical School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine - Shreveport
Bio: I was born and raised in South Louisiana. I'm excited for exposure to all fields seen in general surgery with the most interest in breast surgery and plastic surgery.

Dr. Joseph O'Malley

Joseph O'Malley, D.O.

Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Undergrad: Colorado State University – Journalism, University of Alaska Anchorage – Natural Sciences
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences - COMP Northwest
Bio: I grew up in Alaska and once caught a fish that weighed more than I did. My past careers include construction on an Arctic oilfield and an editor at a television station in Colorado before pursuing a career in medicine. I have an interest in international surgery.


Dr. Roberto Bustos

Roberto Bustos, M.D.

Hometown: Mendoza, Argentina
Undergrad/Medical School: Universidad Nacional de Cuyo
Bio: Dr. Bustos spent his past few years doing a research fellowship at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has an interest in minimally invasive surgery.

Nishita Kuman, M.D.

Nishita Kumar, M.D.

Undergrad: Saint Louis University
Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Kumar is originally from the suburbs of Chicago but has spent the last 8 years in St. Louis. She is excited to continue her journey at SLU and gain exposure to all fields of general surgery. Go Billikens!

Vivian Lu

Vivian Lu, M.D.

Undergrad: University of California - Santa Barbara
Medical School: Central Michigan University
Bio: Dr. Lu comes to SLU from San Francisco after braving 4 years of shoveling snow in Michigan. She is excited to explore St. Louis and gain exposure to all aspects of general surgery.

Jordan Perkins, M.D.

Jordan Perkins, M.D., MPH 

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Undergrad: Transylvania University – Biology
Medical School: University of Louisville School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Perkins has spent most of life in Kentucky, but is no stranger to the Midwest as he spent the first decade of life in Oklahoma where many members of his extended family still live. His current interests are pediatric and trauma surgery.

Marc Simon, D.O.

Marc Simon, D.O.

Hometown: Springfield, Missouri
Undergrad: New York University — Philosophy
Medical School: Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: Originally from Missouri, Dr. Simon enjoyed a career as an average line cook but truly all-star dishwasher in NYC restaurant kitchens after college. He then moved to Alabama to learn medicine and how to make biscuits. He is now honored to be back in his home state to train as a surgeon.

PGY-1 Categorical Residents

Jay Desai, M.D.

Jay Desai, M.D.

Hometown: Vadodara, India
Undergrad/Medical School: Government Medical College Surat, India
Bio: Jay grew up in a city named Vadodara in Western India. He previously invested his time in research projects of bariatric surgery (Saginaw, Michigan) and burn (University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis). He will be continuing his training as categorical resident after finishing a year of preliminary surgery here at SLU. He plans on pursuing his career in academics along with his personal interest in surgical device innovation.

Nicole Izhakoff, M.D.

Nicole Izhakoff, M.D.

Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis – Biology
Medical School: Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Bio: I was born and raised in Miami, and then found my way to St. Louis for undergrad. I bounced back to Miami for medical school and now I'm excited to bring my talents back to St. Louis for residency. Looking forward to exploring all fields seen in general surgery!

Grant Lewin, M.D.

Grant Lewin, M.D.

Hometown: Glencoe, Illinois
Undergrad: University of Michigan
Medical School: Rosalind Franklin University - Chicago Medical School
Bio: Dr. Lewin is trading his Lou Malnati's deep dish for Imo's and couldn't be more excited! His surgical interests include thoracic surgery and plastic surgery.

Hannah Lowe, M.D.

Hannah Lowe, M.D.

Undergrad: University of Arkansas
Medical School: Wayne State University
Bio: Hannah grew up in southwest Missouri before spending four years in Detroit for medical school. She is excited to explore all of general surgery, and to be closer to home in a land of better of sports teams.

Nathan Rodriguez

Nathan Rodriguez

Hometown: Neosho, Missouri
Undergrad: Maryville University
Bio: From a small farm town to a big city, however, Nate is no stranger to St. Louis as he was a Division II National Champion wrestler for Maryville University. He is excited to once again be in STL to achieve another goal of becoming a general surgeon and then pursue a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery.

PGY-1 Preliminary Residents

Olivia Gentry

Olivia Gentry

Undergrad: University of Kentucky
Medical School: University of Pikeville
Bio: Dr. Gentry was born and raised in Kentucky, but she is so excited to explore St Louis - especially the food scene! She looks forward to being exposed to many different aspects of general surgery.

Jamie Hanson, M.D.

Jamie Hanson, M.D.

Undergrad: Michigan State University
Medical School: Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Bio: Dr. Hanson grew up in the beautiful state of Michigan but has called St. Louis her home for the past four years. She has an interest in cutaneous disease and global health outreach.