A. Brenda Wafo, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins University
St. George's University; University of Maryland
I was born in Cameroon and moved to the US as a teenager, where I have lived in the D.C. metropolitan area (Montgomery county and Fairfax county) since then. I aspired to be a physician from an early age because of the lack of health access and health education that I witnessed in Cameroon. Throughout medical school and my time volunteering in communities, my passion for health prevention, health education and community health further developed. Hence, I decided to pursue a Master in Public Health and become a family physician.
Living in Maryland, I got to visit Baltimore often, but my love for Baltimore really grew while attending Johns Hopkins. MedStar Franklin Square gives me the opportunity to stay in my home state and serve a community that I grew to love. During my interview, I was impressed by the program’s focus on patient-centered care and incorporation of bio-socioeconomic factors when providing care.
When I am not working, I love to spend time with my family and friends, try new cuisine, dance, do yoga and meditation, and anything that involves water (pool, waterfalls, beach etc.).
Adwoa Adu, MD
Chicago Medical School
Ever since I could talk, I told anyone who would listen to me that I wanted to be a physician. My parents supported this decision and did whatever they could to help me achieve this dream. After college, I knew I didn’t want to go straight to medical school so I worked at the Mental Health Association of Rockland County as an Office Manager. This position made me realize that I enjoyed the administrative component of medicine, so I decided to get my Master’s in Healthcare Administration. I still had the desire to become a physician, so when I was midway through with my Master’s degree, I started medical school at Chicago Medical School. I chose family medicine as the specialty for me the 1st week of my rotation because I admired the unique relationship that these physicians had with their patients.
I decided to come to MedStar Franklin Square because of the people that I met on my interview day and the quality of the program. Throughout my interview season, my gut kept on guiding me towards MedStar Franklin Square and I was confident that this was the program where I was supposed to complete my training. I am beyond excited that I matched into this program and I am excited to come back to the east coast.
Ankita Ambasht, M.D.
Medical University of the Americas
Born and raised in Maryland, I have always considered this my home. I attended Boston University for my undergraduate education, and then completed a year of research at the George Washington University Cancer Institute. I spent the next two years on the beautiful island of Nevis where I attended medical school. I was lucky enough to return home to Maryland for my clinical rotations. I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in family medicine. I elected to rotate at MedStar Franklin Square twice because I instantly fell in love with every aspect of the program. I quickly decided I wanted Franklin Square to be my home during my residency training.
In my spare time, I love dancing, especially all forms of Indian dance. My husband and I are avid Formula 1 fans and never miss watching a race. I also really enjoy watching football (Hail to the Redskins!). But above all else, what brings me the most joy is spending quality time with my friends and family.
Jeremy Parsons, M.D.
George Mason University
I am a native of Virginia, born and raised right outside of the DC metro area. I received an accounting degree during my first stint of undergrad and earned my CPA license while working in Richmond, Virginia for the first 10 years of my career. However, I realized that medicine is where my calling lies, so I took classes at night while working full-time, ultimately completing a second bachelor’s degree in biochemistry to prepare me for medical school at Drexel. I enjoyed my time in Philadelphia, exploring what the city has to offer and sampling the local cuisine. I am excited to do the same in Baltimore!
I chose MedStar Franklin Square for residency because I feel that the program will give me the excellent training in broad-spectrum family medicine that I desire while allowing me to pursue my various areas of interest. Outside of the hospital, you will probably find me trying something new at a local restaurant or shop, watching a show at the movies or theater, or lounging at home and working on my home-brew skills.
Linda Ataifo, MD, MHS
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
George Washington University
As a child of Nigerian immigrants, I have always known and appreciated the importance of both family and community. I found that my desire to enter medicine was sparked at a young age after losing my mother to a chronic but preventable health condition. Growing up in a single parent household in Houston, Texas (born and raised), my siblings and I often went to my father’s doctor who treated all of us, sometimes at the same time! I knew that I wanted to do something similar. I went off to Cambridge, MA for college and during my sophomore years my father was diagnosed and passed away from stage 4 bladder cancer. Though challenging, I was able to finish college, work on a thesis discussing the political history of African American midwives during the Jim Crow era, and was granted the opportunity to study at Hopkins School of Public Health for my Masters in health science. My father’s passing re-invigorated my desire to have a career focused on preventive care and addressing health disparities and inequities.
Following this, I moved from Baltimore to DC two years later to start at George Washington Medical School, where I actively engaged in maternal health outcomes in the context of race, place and violence along with engaging in community organization programming, SNMA and learning about the importance of disaggregating health outcomes data. I am excited to be returning back to my “second home” and can’t wait to begin my journey at Franklin Square. I am interested in refugee/immigrant preventive care as well as maternal child- health issues and disparities. I hope to work in the clinical and public health sector at home and abroad in the arena of maternal child/health. During my free time, you can find me watching movies with my husband and his extended family, retelling memories of Nintendo games and funny tales from my dad with my two siblings, recreating my favorite restaurant meals, reminiscing with my close friends, reading and re-reading all of Chiamanda Adiche’s work, planning my next trip to Wakanda, spending time with my church family, and getting to know my new Medstar Franklin Square Family.
Matthew Shapiro, M.D.
All Saints University
Humber College Institute of Technology
I moved to Baltimore from Canada to join Franklin Square Family Medicine and I am pleased to call it my home. I am grateful to train in a program with solid academic focus, supportive faculty and residents and be a part of a team that care not just about academics, but about me as a person. During medical school on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, I became involved in community outreach and this program has allowed me to continue to do so. I also value the continuity of care, the opportunity to get to know a family and make a difference over several years. My specific interests within family medicine include newborn medicine and pediatrics, chronic pain and urgent care. Outside of medicine, I enjoy tennis, travel, music and movies. I am looking forward to continue serving my community.
Sarah Hakkenberg Gray, MD
University of Virginia School of Medicine
College of William and Mary
"I was born and raised in southwest Virginia, outside of Roanoke, VA. After attending William & Mary in Williamsburg for my undergraduate degree, I moved to Charlottesville for medical school at the University of Virginia. Having spent some time in volunteering in rural Appalachia, I’ve discovered my passion for providing high-quality medical care to underserved rural populations in the US. In the future, I hope to practice full-spectrum family medicine in remote areas, and I am confident that the Medstar Franklin Square residency will prepare me well for that career path.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors hiking and backpacking with my fiancé, Kyle, and our hound dog, Flint. We also love traveling, cooking, and trying new restaurants. Despite my love for the state of Virginia, I am very excited to be moving to Maryland, and I am looking forward to exploring Baltimore!
Third-Year Combined Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine Resident
S. Alison Kraemer, MD
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
I grew up in warm and sunny Florida in a small town a few hours south of Tampa. I decided to head up north for college and I was fortunate to attend Harvard University, where I graduated in 2012 with a major in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and minor in History of Science. During my gap year before medical school, I worked in Boston for the Clinton Health Access Initiative on global projects in chronic malnutrition and maternal-child health. I also served as a volunteer for Health Leads in Boston addressing the social service needs of women and children. Together, these valuable opportunities inspired my interest in domestic public health and made me feel called to a primary care career. Now, since I came to Baltimore for medical school at Johns Hopkins, my family moved here and Baltimore officially feels like home. I have continued to play the flute, do yoga, and bake and make crepes with friends.
It was through AAFP and MDAFP conferences in conjunction with my family medicine rotation at Franklin Square during medical school that I was drawn to become a family physician. It was then through policy-making in the AMA and MedChi, namely around community health workers and housing instability, that I was motivated to pursue further efforts in domestic health care policy and a Master of Public Health degree. I am so grateful to be at Franklin Square and Johns Hopkins learning to become a skilled generalist and public health practitioner. I am excited to learn more about how multidisciplinary, integrative health services are an avenue for more cost-effective care and wider social support for underserved populations. I honestly cannot think of a better city than Baltimore in which I could learn, grow, and serve.