Christopher Withers, M.D.
PGY 4 - CHIEF RESIDENT
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Undergraduate: University of Pittsburgh
Medical School: New York Medical College
Medical Interests and Career Direction: Still making up my mind. One of the best things about Med-Peds is the breadth and flexibility available to you in your future career. You can be the “ultimate generalist” or end up focusing on transitions of care from childhood to adulthood in patients with chronic conditions in a certain specialty - hematology/oncology, GI, cardiology to name a few.
Why Maine Medical Center: Once I had settled on it was clear throughout the interview season that I had found “my people” - intelligent and idealistic people who were really enthusiastic about learning. Nowhere was that more true for me than at Maine Medical. The residents were great, and it was clear that they had camaraderie and an identity as “Med-Peds” residents. For me it was important that the Medicine and Pediatrics programs were well matched with the ability to explore subspecialties within both fields. My wife and I also were really excited about moving to Portland: with its nearby beaches and mountains and amazing food scene, it has plenty to offer nearby to enjoy during the busyness of residency.
Favorite Nearby Beach: Higgins Beach: while not the closest beach to my apartment at 20 minutes away, has great surf, endless tidal pools and a shipwreck to explore.
Favorite Donut Truck: Urban Sugar - amazing donuts served fresh out of a truck, which mysteriously appears around town.
Alexis Beinlich, D.O.
Hometown: Lakeland, Minnesota
Medical School: Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical Interests: As a med-peds trainee, I’m committing myself to a lifetime of remaining undifferentiated! A few areas of particular interest: diagnostic reasoning, musculoskeletal medicine (especially as it pertains to acute and chronic disease manifestations), and critical care, medical education and strategies surrounding “adult learning.”
Favorite treats: Gelato Fiasco, raspberries from Kelly
Favorite day trip: anywhere in The Whites for a hike (or ski in the winter)
Favorite daily activity: sitting on my deck, walking to the East End Beach
Why Maine Medical Center: I had never been to Maine prior to my interview here, and I knew when I left this was the place! I liked the relative size of the respective resident programs at MMC in addition to its unique teaching environment as the state’s largest tertiary care center for a largely rural state. I was committed to training at a place with equally strong categorical medicine and pediatrics programs as well as finding an on-going opportunity to use OMT.
Kiera McKendrick McElrone, D.O.
Hometown: Narberth, Pennsylvania (outside of Philadelphia)
Undergraduate: The College of the Holy Cross
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Favorite place in Maine: A picnic table in summer at Two Lights Park
Medical interests: Primary Care or Hospitalist Medicine. I enjoy everything!
Favorite weekend destination: Bar Harbor, Rangeley
Favorite Maine activity: Restaurant hopping, trips with the family to Crescent Beach. Enjoying the outdoors
What did you do before medical school: Nontraditional Medical Student here and went to medical school 5 years after college. I was an English major with a women’s studies concentration in college. I worked as a clinical trials coordinator for Pediatric Neuro-Oncology in Boston, and I did a post-baccalaureate program at night at Harvard Extension School.
Personal goals: To be happy, enjoy life and my family, and maybe help a few people along the way. Why Maine Medical Center: 1) A strong mix of both academic and community medicine. There is a wide range of pathology and the bread and butter. It’s perfect for training. 2) A strong sense of community. Residents and faculty know your name and look out for each other both professionally and personally 3) Portland - it’s a great city to be in. It has wonderful food, great outdoors, beautiful scenery.
Elizabeth Christian, M.D.
Hometown: Buffalo, New York
Undergraduate: Wellesley College
Medical School: Rush Medical College
Interests / Hobbies: Dancing, baking, reading
Medical interests: Infectious disease
Favorite Maine activity: Picking apples and then making apple pie
What did you do before medical school: Research assistant and EMT
Why Maine Medical Center: My awesome co-residents, the great teaching, our wonderful patients
Celebrity I most resemble: America Ferrara (per Dr. Gunnoe)
If I wasn’t a doctor, I would be a…young adult novelist
Favorite restaurant in Portland: Pai Men Miyaki
Drew Long, M.D.
Hometown: Pulaski, VA
Undergraduate: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia
Medical Interests and Career Direction: Part of the beauty of med-peds is the near limitless options it holds. Like so many who go into this field, I am completely torn about my future direction. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to become the ultimate generalist, but I am also drawn to critical care medicine, rheumatology, and GI. An eclectic mix, I know. I’m very thankful to have the next 3 to 4 years to figure it out.
Why Maine Medical Center: So many reasons! After growing up in rural Virginia, I wanted a residency program that would give me opportunities to experience rural medicine to see for myself if it’s something I would like to do with my career. I also wanted a program with a wide catchment area so I could train in a place that sees a diverse range of pathology (serving the entire state of Maine and neighboring parts of New Hampshire, MMC has this in spades!). However, I think the most important factor for me was the people that make up this program and the hospital at large – everyone is so open and inviting! I could not have asked for a more supportive environment.
Favorite seafood joint: Susan’s Fish and Chips. A bit off the beaten path, but SO worth it. I recommend the fried scallop basket – it is a ridiculous taste explosion!
Favorite place to see live music: Thompson’s Point. With a litany of excellent bands playing the outdoor stage all summer and very affordable tickets, what’s not to love?
Laura Onderko, M.D.
Hometown: Glastonbury, CT
Undergraduate: Bowdoin College
Medical School: Temple University School of Medicine
Medical Interests and Career Direction: I am still pretty undecided! I like the strong relationships and continuity of primary care, but chose med-peds because of the opportunity to specialize as well. I am particularly interested in either endocrinology or infectious disease. Ultimately I would like to do a combined fellowship in either one of those fields and work in medical education.
Why Maine Medical Center: I did an away rotation in my fourth year with Pediatric Genetics at MMC and loved it. Everyone was so friendly and I learned so much. There is a great sense of community here and everyone is always happy to help out in any way they can. I think MMC has the perfect balance between being an academic and community hospital. Living in Portland is a great bonus too!
Favorites: Gelato Fiasco, Wolfe’s Neck State Park, exploring all the nearby places to hike and spend time outdoors
Alison Fluke, D.O.
Hometown: Ambler, PA
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech
Medical School: Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Interests / Hobbies: running, spinning at Rêve, paddle boarding, snowboarding, fishing, college football (Go Hokies!), and playing with my dog
Medical interests: Pulmonology, Critical Care, Hospitalist Medicine, academic medicine
Favorite weekend destination: Peaks Island or Higgins Beach
Favorite Maine activity: paddle boarding on the Eastern Promenade or snowboarding after work
Craziest / Best / Worst Job: Before medical school, I taught middle school science in North Carolina- definitely one of the best and hardest jobs. Craziest job- in college, I was on the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad. Running EMS calls was so much fun!
Why Maine Medical Center: MMC is a wonderful place to train during residency. The people are welcoming and the attendings genuinely want to teach. Also, the proximity to outdoor activities makes for an excellent quality of life outside of the hospital.
If I wasn’t a doctor, I would... own a dog rescue!
Favorite restaurants in Portland: Portland Lobster Company, Empire, The Front Room, The Honey Paw, Street and Co. I could go on and on because there's so much good food in Portland!
Jarrod Tembreull, M.D.
Hometown: Becker, Minnesota (Small town USA)
Undergraduate: Winona State University, MN
Medical School: University of Minnesota
Medical Interests & Career Direction: In typical Med-Peds fashion I’m hoping to carve myself a little piece of everything. A few of my mentors back home have been able to do hospitalist medicine in both medicine and pediatrics so I am hoping to take a leaf out of their book and maybe throw in a little bit of outpatient at the same time just to mix things up a little more.
Why Maine Medical Center: One of the Med-Peds residents that I worked with as a student in Minnesota was from Maine and spent a lot of time as a student at Maine Med so she was the first to pique my interest about the area. I’m a strong believer that as a resident you will get excellent training almost everywhere. The most important thing for me when interviewing was to find a place that was supportive and would allow me to have a life outside of residency. The first thing that struck me was the laid back atmosphere of the residents and the cordial interaction with faculty. In just my brief time here so far I’ve come to appreciate the incredible faculty we have and I think you would be hard put to find better teaching. As a resident you are treated as a colleague and the focus is on learning. Not to mention, the area is incredible. In a fortuitous twist of events, Portland was actually the only place that I ended up spending an extra night at during my interview adventures and I loved every second. The city is great, the other residents are fun, and the teaching is excellent. What more could you ask for?
Hobbies: Cycling (road & mountain); woodworking; hiking; reading; beer; etc.
Favorite Saying: “Uff da!” - It’s a Minnesotan thing
Spirit Animal: Timber wolf
Stephen Pagkalinawan, M.D.
Hometown: North Arlington, NJ (about 30 minutes outside NYC)
Undergraduate: Rutgers-New Brunswick
Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Medical Interests and Career Direction: As of now, I haven’t fully decided if I’ll become a hospitalist versus going for fellowship. If I were to sub-specialize, however, based on my experiences in med school, Infectious Disease and Heme/Onc interest me the most. I also have a burgeoning interest in LGBT health advocacy, so we’ll see where that’ll take me.
Why Maine Medical Center: On my interview day, I got a vibe that told me MMC was a great place to learn from supportive peers (i.e. no gunners) and faculty in an environment with diverse pathology owing to its status as a tertiary care center. Residency is stressful enough, so I wanted to find a program that had people who were easy to get along with, but challenging enough to push me to become the best doctor I could be. The city itself was also a major draw. All I knew about Portland was that it was a small city where my boyfriend had vacationed once. When I came up here for my interview, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the city. There were tons of restaurants that appealed to my foodie side, tons of trails for running, nearby beaches to visit in the summer, and mountains for snowboarding in the winter. It was even gay-friendly and had its own awesome Pride Parade! In summary, I picked MMC because it has great medical cases to learn from, great people to work with, and great small city environment to provide me with fun stuff to do in my downtime.
Favorite place to eat: Otto’s Pizza (Holy Donuts is my runner-up)
Favorite place to grab a beer: Arcadia (videogames and beer!)
Favorite beach: Crescent Beach State Park
Erica Hidu, M.D.
Hometown: Hampden, Maine
Medical School: Tufts University- MMC Maine Track
Medical Interests: Just about anything, ask me next week and it will probably change. In the past I have had interests in being a generalist or specializing in infectious disease. Let's see what the future brings! I know for sure that I would like to be involved in medical education.
Favorite Thing About Portland: On foggy mornings you can smell the ocean pretty much anywhere in the city.
My Co-Interns: We are a strong group of women this year. They are supportive and have been great to get to know whether it’s during a beach workout or while grabbing a beer.
Why Maine Medical Center: I'm a true Mainer! I love serving the people of Maine, they are an wonderful combination of kind and hardy. I also wanted a program that would challenge me academically in an area where I could easily escape during any time off. MMC fit that bill with great attendings, interesting teaching sessions, and the nearest beach is a 10-15 minute drive away depending if you hit traffic lights. MMC is also a great combination of referral center and community hospital. You can easily have someone from the County come from 5+ hours away sitting next to someone who just walked in off the street. The people here are friendly and supportive, from the residents to the attendings and administration. Their commitment to teaching and their community is obvious to anyone who visits. And despite all that commitment they still manage to lead well-rounded lives.
Ariel McKenna, D.O.
Hometown: Billerica, Massachusetts
Undergraduate: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Medical School: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical Interests: Not totally sure yet. I like a little bit of everything. Considering hospital medicine and maybe critical care. Also interested in medical education.
Hobbies: running, hiking, cribbage, fantasy football, cooking and eating good food
Best Job: Middle School Boys Basketball Coach
Favorite Beach: Ferry Beach
Why Maine Medical Center: I did 3rd and some 4th year rotations here. Very good experience with residents and faculty. Strong on the medicine side and the pediatric side. I love living in Maine. I get to still be relatively close to my family.
Jessica Schaumburg, D.O.
Hometown: Clinton, New Jersey
Medical School: Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical Interests: As a med-peds PGY1 I am having trouble choosing, but I keep coming back to global health, infectious disease, HIV primary care, & occupational health.
Favorites so far: Higgins or Moody Beach to surf, Vientiane Market for Thai takeout after work, Salvage for trivia, the back bay to run or bike, Old Port Tavern to dance ... I just moved to Portland and am having a lot of fun exploring!
Dream job of the day: Work part of the year in the Galapagos and part of the year in the US in academic medicine
Why Maine Medical Center: The residents and attendings here are so welcoming and love to teach; this was an amazing learning environment when I came for an elective during my fourth year. I am also interested in global health and we work with a large diverse refugee population in clinic. Also, Maine is beautiful!