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Steven App

Hometown: Louisville, KY
Undergrad: Indiana University, Bloomington
Med School: University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Ultrasound, Disaster Medicine, Critical Care
Hobbies: Weightlifting, Wakeboarding, Snowboarding, Big Green Egg
Why I chose: Apart from the awesome people, one of the main attractions to UNC for me was the breadth of training experience. UNC provides longitudinal exposure to academic and community EM – a rare find on the interview trail. Couple that with the supportive family culture/outstanding location, and it is easy to see why UNC emphatically provided that “gut feeling.”
Email: Steven.App@unchealth.unc.edu
Steven App

Jake Davis

Hometown: Lexington, KY
Undergrad: Ball State University
Med School: Indiana University School of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Pediatric EM, Global Health, Sports Medicine
Hobbies: Homebrewing, sports (particularly baseball and football), hiking, weightlifting, traveling, and any activity I can do with my two dogs Maureen and Sally!
Why I chose: I was looking for a program with a strong academic reputation that has a diverse array of clinical experiences and genuinely happy residents– and UNC certainly meets all of those criteria. The split between UNC and WakeMed, and integration of shifts at WakeMed Children’s, creates a comprehensive curriculum which will prepare me for any type of practice environment or fellowship. UNC also has the resources for me to explore all of my interests within emergency medicine from pediatric EM to global health. During my interview, I was really impressed with how down-to-earth all of my interviewers were, and how committed they were to resident education. On top of all of that, the Triangle seems like a phenomenal place to live!
Email: Jacob.Davis@unchealth.unc.edu
Jake Davis with his dog

Alex Fenn

Hometown: Fort Collins, Colorado
Undergrad (and post-baccalaureate program): University of Colorado Boulder
Med School: Duke University School of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Medical Education/Teaching/Curriculum Design, Social EM, Wilderness/Austere Medicine
Hobbies: Running long distances, experimenting with food (currently: homemade ice cream and pizza) and fermentation (sourdough, kombucha, kimchi), gardening, all home improvement projects I can get my hands on, anything that gets me outside, listening to podcasts at 2x
Why I chose: It was clear to me from my (virtual) interview day that UNC checked all the boxes (and then some) for what I was looking for in a residency! UNC offers unparalleled clinical training at multiple diverse sites and the opportunity to learn from world-class faculty. Though it probably seems cliché, it was readily apparent that the residents at UNC are a giant family and truly happy, and that the program leadership has created a warm and welcoming environment, something that was extremely important to me as I thought about where I wanted to do my residency.

Additionally, having lived in the Triangle for medical school, I find this area of the country immensely livable. There are ample opportunities to explore the outdoors just minutes from my backyard, and a thriving restaurant/drink scene, all of which is very affordable on a resident’s salary. Though I am perpetually adjusting to the humidity, there’s no place I’d rather be!
Email: Alexander.Fenn@unchealth.unc.edu


Naira Goukasian

Hometown: Los Angeles, California (Born in Armenia)
Undergrad: University of California, Los Angeles
Med School: University of Vermont – Larner College of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Medical Education, Ultrasound, Critical Care
Hobbies: Basketball, cooking for people, hiking, singing the wrong lyrics in the shower, spinning, creating cheese boards, and playing video games.
Why I chose: One of the things I love about the program is that you get to spend 8 months of the year in the Emergency Department as an intern. There is nothing better than learning through experience in the department itself. There is also a lot of value in the multiple sites that this program offers. As someone who has been in the academic setting for many years, I wanted exposure to community and county settings as well. The thing that tipped the scale the most for me though was the people. No matter who I spoke with, whether it was during my interview or the virtual socials, I was able to talk about everything freely from work to personal matters. This connection is truly the most valuable.
Email: Naira.Goukasian@unchealth.unc.edu
Naira Goukasian

Joaquin Peralta

Hometown: Cordoba, Argentina/Salem, Oregon
Undergrad: University of Oregon
Med School: Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD SOM
Areas of Interest: Sports Medicine, Global Health, Medical Education
Hobbies: Tennis, BBQ, learning the guitar during quarantine.
Why I chose: Even through Zoom, I could tell that the faculty and residents were people who could teach me to be a great emergency while supporting me along the way. UNC offers a mix of training environments with options to explore whatever niche sparks my interest. Coming from places with cold and rainy winters, I am very excited to spend my time outdoors either on a tennis court, a hiking trail or on the grill.
Email: Joaquin.Peralta@unchealth.unc.edu
Joaquin Peralta

Will Salaun

Hometown: Covington, LA
Undergrad: University Mississippi
Med School: University of Mississippi Medical Center
Areas of Interest: Wilderness Medicine, EMS
Hobbies: Mountain biking, backpacking, whitewater kayaking, fly fishing, woodworking, sailing, homebrewing, tinkering in the garage
Why I chose: I was drawn to UNC for the community/academic exposure, location, and the people. The exposure between UNC and Wake Med allows for a diverse learning environment which will allow me to become a very well-rounded emergency physician. The location between the mountains and the beach is hard to beat. During interview day, the program had a large family feel which I really appreciated
Email: William.Salaunjr@unchealth.unc.edu
Will Salaun

Aiman Saleh

Undergrad: University of Maryland College Park
Med School: American University of Beirut
Areas of Interest: EMS, Medical Education, Ultrasound
Hobbies: Anything DIY, Weight lifting, Basketball, All things technology, Video games
Why I chose: What drew me to UNC was the people. Sure the program was championed by one of the founders of EM and since then has graduated leaders in the field that have gone on to continue to pioneer. Sure the residents train between two different hospitals, gaining the experience needed to be well rounded EM physicians. And sure it’s located in one of the most beautiful and desirable places to the live in the country. But what really sealed the deal is the face that there isn’t a more friendly, fun, dedicated and supportive group of faculty and residents anywhere else in the country. That’s why after already spending one year here doing an EMS Fellowship, I’m so excited to be sticking around for three more.
Email: Aiman.Saleh@unchealth.unc.edu

James W. Slauson

Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Undergrad: Luther College
Med School: The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Areas of Interest: Administration, Simulation, Education
Hobbies: Playing soccer, saying “I can’t believe I used to be able to run this much” after playing soccer, playing with my dog named Toast, weightlifting, trying to beat my wife at card games, running, snowboarding, eating good food.
Why I chose: There are so many reasons! I think if I listed them all nobody would ever read them. Every single interaction I had with a resident or faculty member from UNC was incredibly positive. They all seemed so happy and proud to be part of this program. I definitely got those “warm and fuzzies feels” from UNC. I also loved the idea of getting experience at both an excellent academic center and a community hospital and I knew my EM training would be absolutely top notch.  But it didn’t stop there, as someone who is undifferentiated in terms of fellowship / career trajectory I knew that UNC would provide excellent opportunity to pursue my aforementioned interests and probably introduce me to interests I never knew I had. All of this being smack dab in the middle of beautiful North Carolina made my decision pretty easy.
Email: James.Slausonjr@unchealth.unc.edu
JW Slauson

Blake Stacey

Hometown: Deland, FL
Undergrad: University of Florida
Med School: University of Florida College of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Ultrasound, Medical Education, Psychiatric Emergencies
Hobbies: golf, cooking, weekend trips, home improvement projects, Gator football, concerts, podcasts
Why I chose: There are plenty of programs across the country that offer world-class training, plenty of programs that have wonderful people, and plenty of programs that advertise a fantastic location. Not many programs have the bona fides to boast all three, but UNC really does have the trifecta. I was hoping to find a program that could give me the educational and clinical resources of a large academic center but also provide a robust community experience, and I knew I would get both of those between UNC and WakeMed. The faculty here is chock full of renowned and accomplished educators who are not only dedicated to training great emergency physicians but genuinely care about each resident’s personal growth and wellbeing. The Triangle area is both rich in history and quickly-evolving with something to do for everyone, both in and outdoors. I know I will leave this program a better person for having trained here and a well-equipped, confident emergency physician. Go Heels!
Email: Blake.Stacey@unchealth.unc.edu

Carla Tayes

Undergrad: University of Texas at San Antonio
Med School: Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Areas of Interest: EMS, Tactical EMS, Ultrasound
Hobbies: Reading, Running, Rithmetic
Why I chose: I really wanted to be a part of a program that provided a strong academic foundation with a solid community feel so that when I finish residency I have the tools I need to be successful in a rural environment. Being a part of the UNC is literally a dream come true (I applied for undergrad over 20 years ago and didn’t make it in) and I am truly humbled to be in a place surrounded by great physicians. Even in a virtual world I was overwhelmed by the compassion and genuine feel of the faculty and residents during my interview. Every EM residency will adequately train you but I wanted something more, and UNC is the place that will push me to be the future physician I hope to me.
Email: Carla.Tayes@unchealth.unc.edu
Carla

Ruben Torrez

Hometown: Watsonville, CA
Undergrad: University of Kansas
Med School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Medical education, tactical medicine, medical toxicology
HobbiesWhy I chose: One thing that stood out to me about UNC was how incredibly nice and supportive everybody was. They made me feel like they weren’t trying to just sell the program, they truly wanted me to find the right fit for myself, wherever that might be. I also wanted a comprehensive training experience with high volume and high-quality clinical exposure. With UNC’s EM program being so well-regarded I knew the training would be top notch. The other obvious draw is the region itself. Mountains a few hours to the West, the ocean a few hours to the East, tons of outdoor activities just minutes away – the Triangle really is an ideal location for any outdoorsman. This felt like my kind of place and my kind of people, I couldn’t be more stoked to be here!
Email: Ruben.Torrez@unchealth.unc.edu

Emily Zakhary

Hometown: Waco, TX
Undergrad: Baylor University
Med School: Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Areas of Interest: Global Health, Medical Education
Hobbies: Running, teaching yoga, hiking, exploring patio bars, playing with my puppy (Koda)
Why I chose: When I picked a residency, I wanted a place where my co-residents felt like my family, where I could enjoy my time outside of the hospital, and where I would be set up for success in terms of finding a job or fellowship after residency. UNC easily hit all the marks. Since I interviewed via zoom, I was unable to visit UNC’s in person, but the interviews all went so smoothly and efficiently, and I genuinely had a great time at the virtual social getting to meet all the residents and see them all interact. I’m all about work-life balance and wanted to find a place where I could adventure and hike on my days off and have plenty of options as far as food, drinks, sports, and all things outdoors. The Triangle is a coveted spot for all of those reasons and has so much to offer in terms of social life and scenery. With the job market of EM getting competitive, I wanted to ensure that my residency would place me as a competitive applicant when I went to search for attending jobs. Ultimately, it had been a dream of mine to leave Texas for a little bit and explore a new place, and now I get to do that while being trained at a top-ranked academic hospital alongside other brilliant physicians in a place that is absolutely beautiful.
Email: Emily.Zakhary@unchealth.unc.edu
Emily Zakhary