Current Pathology Residents

Fourth-Year Residents

Rahaf Alkhateb, M.D.
Rahaf Alkhateb, M.D. Co-Chief
Residency:  UT Health San Antonio, 2017-2019
Medical School: University of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria, 2007
Graduate School:  Master of Science in Medicine (MSc), clinical epidemiology with focus in forensic medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland: St. John’s, NL, Canada, 2016
Hometown:  Toronto, ON, Canada

1.“Why Pathology”  My interest to dig deep in medicine and explore the human body directed me to choose pathology residency. My interest has stemmed from the diagnostic nature of this field, which consists of providing interpretation of laboratory results and investigating the diseases affecting the human body’s organs. My passion has been to sit before a microscope and browse through a collection of slides exploring different abnormalities inside the human body, reveling in the fact that every slide and every cell tells a story.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? Relaxed workplace, well-organized rotation and appropriate work load, friendly environment in the department between the attendings and the residents, and between the residents, research and scholarly opportunities in the clinical and anatomic fields, and the opportunity to attend national and international conferences. If I applied again to the match I would choose UT San Antonio again!
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio? Safe place to raise up kids, good schools, warm place (not humid) and still have winter, multiple international restaurants and shops, there are many “touristy” things, like the River Walk, the Alamo, the Tower of the Americas, sea world and six flags. There are multiple places that you can enjoy your time especially if you have kids. I love living in San Antonio.
Apeksha Agarwal, M.D.

Mennat Allah Ewais, M.D.
Medical School: Alexandria University Faculty of Medicine, Egypt, 2011
Hometown: Alexandria, Egypt

1. “Why Pathology”:  What I love about Pathology is that, it is the core of Medicine, it bridges the gap between basic and clinical sciences. I am a visual person by nature, and I always enjoyed the idea of applying my medical knowledge and observational skills to solve disease problems.
2.  Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?  I chose UT Health San Antonio because of the great faculty I learn from, diversity of cases and the very friendly working environment.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? I like San Antonio for the nice weather and the availability of many outdoor and indoor activities.
Jonathan Galassi, M.D.


Jonathan Galassi, M.D. Co-Chief
Medical School: Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, 2018
Undergraduate School: UC San Diego, La Jolla, 2012
Hometown: Orinda, CA

1. “Why Pathology” Art of the diagnosis, proximity to the science, and a passion for histology.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? Collegial atmosphere, enthusiastic faculty, and sense of camaraderie.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio?   Reasonable cost of living, friendly neighbors and culture, food excellence
Fatemeh Ghazanfari Amlashi, M.D.

Fatemeh Ghazanfari Amlashi, M.D.
Medical School: Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, 2009
Hometown: Rasht, Iran

1. “Why Pathology”:  I was driven to study diagnostic and prognostic factors of benign and malignant tumors in medical school and pursued this interest further by engaging myself in various research projects after graduation. That was the time when I realized the practice of pathology, more than any other specialty, is tied strongly with understanding the mechanism of diseases and how valuable the pathologists’ report is in guiding clinicians with precise diagnosis along with prognostic findings. I could not imagine myself in any other specialty where I can have all these together: Satisfaction in helping patients with the diagnosis of their diseases, excitement coming out of “what can be my next slide”, and seeing myself engaged in the root of medicine on every single day of my life!
 2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?   With its high-volume service, the UT Health San Antonio pathology residency program provides the residents with diverse cases (both common and complex specimens) which is a crucial aspect in making the residents well-rounded pathologists at the end of their residency training. Other unique features include structured curriculum for both anatomical and clinical pathology, and opportunities for research during the residency.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio?  San Antonio is an affordable city. There are many complexes close to the hospital with a safe and quiet neighborhood where I don’t have to deal with traffic on a daily basis. The beautiful trails surrounding this area are a plus where I can enjoy jogging as a routine over the weekends. Last but not the least, San Antonio has a lovely downtown (River Walk and Pearl) where I can see tourists from around the world all the year round and enjoy dining (especially my favorite fajitas!)


Third -Year Residents

Alireza Ghezavati, M.D.
Medical School: Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, 2004
Hometown: Tehran, Iran

1.“Why Pathology”  I have practiced as a General Practitioner for several years, and during the course of treating my patients I have had a great opportunity to see the crucial role of pathologists in medicine. I have realized that a Pathologist is a physician who makes the definite and final diagnosis for many serious diseases, and the treatment plans will be made base on that diagnosis, and I love being at such a great and unique position in the circle of health care providers.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? After talking to some residents and also during my residency interview, I found so many reasons to choose UT Health San Antonio as one of my top choices for my residency. However, I believe the most important ones are high training quality, diverse patient population and supportive and friendly environment.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio? I believe San Antonio is a great city to live in. People are so nice and welcoming, there are great outdoor activities, and it is affordable, and residents are able to have a good quality of life with residency salary here.


Vipulkumar Prajapati, M.D.
Medical School: Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Medical College, Rajkot, 2006
Other Graduate School:  B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad Gujarat, India, 2011
Hometown: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

1. “Why Pathology”  I strongly believe that lives can be saved by correct diagnoses which is a complex task that requires gathering and integrating information, a big challenge that I would love to enjoy facing. As a pathologist, I will have the unique opportunity to work with physicians of every specialty, to deal with diseases of every organ system, and to combine clinical with morphological, biochemical, and even molecular findings.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? The main reason for selecting this program is the well-known and highly knowledgeable faculties and I will have the privilege to get trained under their able guidance. Additional UT Health, San Antonio is one of the highly reputed universities of the USA.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio?  The best thing about San Antonio is – the people, they are very cooperative, well coming, and enjoy life at fullest. I also like the weather of San Antonio, which is similar to my home country India. Additionally, San Antonio has many good restaurants serving different kinds of food and being a foodie person, I really love that.

Jake Ritter, M.D.
Medical School: University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio, 2019
Undergraduate School:  University of Texas at San Antonio, 2014
Hometown: San Antonio, TX

1. “Why Pathology”  I’ve been a huge fan of mystery novels and TV shows since I was younger. I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, I’ve watched WAY too many detective shows, and once I discovered medical thrillers I was sold on wanting to go into medicine and pathology especially. Outbreak by Robin Cook was the first I read (He might not be the best writer, but his stories are really exciting). Everywhere you look there’s a mystery to solve, and it’s really fun to get to do a little detective work with every case you get.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?  Two big reasons. I was lucky enough to do a lot of pathology rotations here as a med student. Because of that, I ended up working with almost every attending in the department at least once. When I looked back on it, and realized that I enjoyed working with every single one of them, I knew it was the place for me. The other big reason is the case volume and variety. For me, it’s the perfect number of cases to keep busy and get to see lots of cool cases. And we get a lot of cool cases thanks to the really large area that the hospital serves.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? It’s really spread out, but it’s still one of the biggest cities in the country. That means you can find any kind of specialty store you might want (for groceries, hobbies, or whatever you might need) but because everything is spread out, it doesn’t feel nearly as crowded as any other city this size. It’s a great balance. Also, being centrally located in Texas means it’s a short trip to get to Austin or down to the beach.

Lei Yan, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc.
Medical School: Xuzhou Medical College, China, 2002
Graduate School:  (PhD, Neuroscience) University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada, 2013
Graduate School:  (M.Sc., Neurology) Xuzhou Medical College, China, 2005
Hometown: Lianyungang, China

1. “Why Pathology”:  I am interested in pathology because I enjoy learning pathogenesis of diseases and pathological morphology.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?:  I chose pathology program at UT health San Antonio  because this program has many knowledgeable and supportive faculty,  friendly residents,  adequate case volume and diversity of cases.  I believe my training in this program will help me become a competent pathologist.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio?:  San Antonio is an ideal place for my family to live, with affordable housings, great schools and many fun places to visit.

Second -Year Residents

Moyosore Awobajo, MD
Medical School: University of Malta Medical School, 2017
Graduate School: (MSc, Human Molecular Genetics) Imperial College London, 2011
Undergraduate School:  University of Leicester, 2010
Hometown: London: United Kingdom

 1. “Why Pathology”  I love the idea of being the doctor’s doctor. The field of pathology covers all aspects of medicine and the diagnosis provided by a pathologist ultimately plays a very important role in patient care.
 2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? The pathology program at UT Health San Antonio is a robust program with a well balanced AP/CP curriculum and excellent faculty who are passionate about teaching.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? San Antonio is a warm city with a great sense of community and friendly welcoming folks!

Olivia Fisher, MD, MPH
Medical School: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, OK, 2019
Undergraduate School: University of Pittsburg, KS, 2013
Hometown: Claremore: Oklahoma

1.  “Why Pathology”: I decided on pathology because not only did I enjoy using a microscope on a day-to-day basis but I also found taking a specimen all the way to forming a diagnosis intellectually stimulating and rewarding.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?: I chose the UTHSCSA program because it is a great size, the faculty are invested in the residents, and there is a good case variety. The residents are also helpful and friendly.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio? I love San Antonio! It has the amenities of a large city but doesn’t feel like one and the weather is great!

Shasta Theodore, MD
Medical School: University of Texas at Houston McGovern Medical School, 2020
Undergraduate School:  University of Houston, 1998
Hometown: Conroe, TX

1. “Why Pathology”:  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to see disease at the most basic level and to   work with a wide range of healthcare professionals.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? The residents and faculty were so welcoming – as if they already knew us.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio? It is a fun-filled big city with a small town feel. I am especially glad to be here during COVID because both the city and medical school leadership are committed to care for its constituents.

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Camille Trinidad, MD
Medical School: University of the East RMMC College of Medicine, Philippines, 2014
Undergraduate School: University of Santo Tomas College of Nursing (BSN, RN), 2010
Hometown: Metro Manila, Philippines

1. “Why Pathology”: I liked studying the disease process when I was in nursing school and because of that, I got into med school. I love the work behind clinical diagnoses and the different roles of a pathologist.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? The balanced curriculum for AP and CP; collegial environment; and the fellowships they have.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio? San Antonio is a beautiful city, family-friendly, diverse, and affordable compared to other major US cities. I absolutely loved visiting this city before, and I am grateful to move here for residency!

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First -Year Residents

Shazia Bokhari, MD
Medical School:King Edward Medical University, Pakistan
Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan
1. “Why Pathology”:    Pathology plays a vital role in forming the foundation for patients’ management by prompt diagnosis and thus directing the treatment plan.  In addition, it involves the sincere ability to conduct science experiments and then apply clinical knowledge in identifying the cause and processes of various diseases.  The process of investigating a disease through, clinical information, labs and browsing through slides on microscope, to come up with answers has always intrigued me to become a Pathologist.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? The inclusion and diversity of UT Health San Antonio is commendable. The well-placed faculty and their sincere passion to teach and train in order to make a competent work force through well balanced AP and CP rotations is something that always wanted me to be a part of clinical team at UT health San Antonio.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? San Antonio is a beautiful city with organized infrastructure and a rich heritage. The city offers an eclectic scene of food from Tex-Mex to BBQ to farm to market food. Its scenic beauty with lovely housing localities, combined on the top with peaceful ambience is something that has always attracted me to visit and stay here.
Taryn Cazzolli, MD
Medical School:  Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Hometown: Tully, NY
1. “Why Pathology”:  I was initially drawn to histology from a course I took as an undergraduate. From that interest, I applied to medical school with the intent to pursue a career in Pathology. I love the process of combining medical knowledge with visualization of the disease morphology on a cellular level.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? I chose the UT Health San Antonio program because of the excellent faculty, the positive endorsements from the current residents, the balanced AP and CP curriculum, and the case variety.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? 1-     San Antonio is an affordable city with a wide variety of things to do. I enjoy the outdoor activities available in the surrounding parks and downtown on the River Walk. The food is great with many restaurants to choose from.  The AT&T stadium often hosts cultural and sporting events, concerts, and the annual rodeo. Also, no winter weather to contend with!
Thelma Dangana, MD
Medical School:  China Medical University, China
Hometown: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
1. “Why Pathology”: Exploring the gross picture of a disease and piecing this puzzle with the histological and molecular features to come to a final diagnosis is very satisfying. It also allows the opportunity to collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams in probing complicated cases and my duty in advocating quality patient care in the area of diagnostics.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? UTHSCSA provides a balanced AP/CP curriculum and case load in a fitting training environment. It offers a wide range of resources and opportunities to support my future endeavors.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? The look of a large metropolitan city, but the feel of a friendly mid-sized town, and of course shorter winters!
Ricardo M. Ricardo de la Cruz, MD
Medical School: Facultad de Cientas Medicas de Gramma, Cuba
Hometown: Bayamo, Cuba
1. “Why Pathology”:     Throughout my clinical rotations in school, I found myself more and more attracted by the pathophysiology of diseases and the important role pathology plays in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of the patients. It is absolutely unique in that it is in conjunction with many other specialties in medicine. Being able to solve diagnostic mysteries in the service of patients and their families makes this career truly my passion.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?   At UT Health San Antonio, we have not only an impressive case volume with a mix of the ordinary and extraordinary, but also faculty members with open doors. Our faculty enjoy sharing their knowledge and taking the time to teach, as do our senior residents. I was also drawn in by how happy the residents seemed, and how they all seemed to get along well.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? 1-     San Antonio is a city rich in history, something I always enjoyed reading. It offers big-city amenities and multiple attractions coupled with a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. It is very affordable and the perfect place for my family to live!