Current Pathology Residents

Fourth-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.

Jake Ritter, M.D. Co-Chief
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.  Co-Chief
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.


Third -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!


Ayush Srivastava, MD
Medical School:  Manipal College of Medical Sciences
Hometown:  Lucknow, India

1.  “Why Pathology”:  I’m drawn to Pathology as it allows me to study organs and tissues and delve deeper into the importance of tissue examination for better clinical outcomes.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?  UT Health San Antonio offers a diverse patient population, friendly community, and high training quality. I’m excited to continue my training here and look forward to the opportunity.
3. What do you like about living in San Antonio?  San Antonio is a diverse and friendly city with rich heritage and history.


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.

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!

Second -Year Residents

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 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!

First -Year Residents

Brooke Anliker, MD
Medical School:  American University of the Caribbean (AUC)
Hometown:  Carol Stream, Illinois
1. “Why Pathology”:  I chose pathology because of my love for diagnostics, the laboratory, and finding a definitive answer. The lab is the backbone for providing clinicians with the necessary information to make an accurate diagnosis. Too often, I have encountered providers content treating symptoms without knowing the source of the issue. In pathology, we consistently go back to the root and identify the origin of disease. Not only is it fulfilling to find the correct diagnosis, but this field allows us to inform clinicians of the pertinent information needed to guide them to the most effective treatment.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? Before medical school, I worked as an MLS (medical lab scientist), so much of my familiarity with this field is in clinical pathology. Therefore, when looking for a program, I desired one with a robust clinical pathology education equivalent to anatomic pathology. Throughout the interview, I realized UTHSCA offers just that. Not only is Dr. Greebon (Program Director) a blood banker, but the current residents attested to the strength and balance of their AP and CP education.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio?  Before starting residency, I had never been to San Antonio. Since being here, I have realized this community is robust with diversity and culture. San Antonio has an easily accessible downtown area with a beautiful river walk (with great food). San Antonio is spread out enough to where it doesn’t feel like an overcrowded large city. I am originally from the midwest, so I look forward to the warmer winters here. Also, living costs are cheaper than in many other major cities. One of my favorite parts of living here is the people; everyone is extremely kind and hospitable.
Andrea Barraza Aguilar, MD
Medical School: Tecnologico de Monterrey, Escuela de Medicina
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
1. “Why Pathology”: Pathology is a specialty that can brings something different daily and is exciting to learn. Also, pathologists have one of the most critical roles in patient care, so I love the idea of helping physicians from a wide variety of specialties take care of their patients.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? You have many opportunities to learn because of the vast volume of cases and their variety. Also, the faculty is outstanding and committed to teaching.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? San Antonio is a diverse and friendly city. You can find everything you need without the difficulties of a crowded city, and it has many things to do in your free time.
Jenie Hwang, MD
Medical School: University of Ulsan, College of Medicine
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
1. “Why Pathology”: I always had passion for understanding pathophysiology of diseases and art of the diagnosis. Also, the proximity to the science, especially up-to-date fields including bioinformatics drew me to Pathology.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio? I chose the UTHSCSA program because I loved the welcoming and genuine atmosphere at the virtual open house. And the positive endorsements from the current residents, well-organized rotation and appropriate workload were big plus.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? It is a big city with a small-town vibe. I am especially glad to be here because it’s still an affordable city with welcoming folks.
Erina McKinney, MD
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Hometown: Topeka, KS
1. “Why Pathology”:    I chose pathology to learn how to diagnose the normal, abnormal and rare because diseases do not always follow textbooks or evidence-based treatment guidelines. Additionally, the field’s new technologies, dedication to diagnostic accuracy, and promotion of intellectual curiosity place it at the forefront of personalized medicine. I have had a few “unusual” medical conditions in my family, so pathology’s many opportunities to further investigate interesting cases is right up my alley.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?  I chose UT Health San Antonio because I desired to train at a program that provided both excellent anatomic and clinical pathology education. Additionally, my goal was to learn in a collegial team environment that both challenged residents and encouraged them succeed. The program provides an exceptional emphasis on the fact that there is a patient behind every specimen and that we are an integral part of the care team
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio? Having spent my entire life in the Midwest, I wanted to experience something new for residency and thought Texas would be an interesting place to live. San Antonio is definitely a unique American city historically, culturally and linguistically. In addition to the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions (a UNESCO world heritage site), there is excellent live music and palm trees. The people are also incredibly nice.
Onyinye Okonkwo, MD
Medical School:  University of Nigeria
Hometown:  Enugu, Nigeria
1. “Why Pathology”:   I love the full circle touch and degree of certainty it brings to medicine. It ties things up nicely and presents medicine as a well wrapped up package. I also love the opportunity for visual learning and how it positions me as a bridge builder between the foundation clinical sciences and the practice of medicine.
2. Why did you choose UT Health San Antonio?  The ambience and enabling environment for learning was a great selling point. Also faculty with diverse experiences and residents that truly look out for one another.
3.  What do you like about living in San Antonio?  I’m still getting to know San Antonio but I love the experience so far. It’s a good balance between big city and small town life and I am just glad to be here.