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The Phoebe Family Medicine Residency Class of 2020 includes, from left, Drs. Clay Hartley, Nana Sarpong Mensah, Nik Karsan, Steve Hotz, Joe Thomas, Jembber Robinson and Kilby Osborn.

ALBANY – The Phoebe Family Medicine Residency program celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2020 with a virtual ceremony over the weekend. Seven graduating residents and their families joined PFMR leaders and faculty for an online program.

“We regret the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from enjoying our typical ceremony together, but we still had a great time ‘virtually’ honoring our graduates,” PFMR Program Director Dr. William Fricks said in a news release. “These excellent young physicians provided outstanding service to our community over the last three years and played important roles in Phoebe’s COVID-19 fight during the last few months of their residency. There’s no doubt what they saw and did during our COVID-19 response will stay with them for the remainder of their careers and shape the kind of physicians they will become.”

The seven graduates are Drs. Clay Hartley, Steve Hotz, Nik Karson, Nana Sarpong Mensah, Kilby Osborn, Jembber Robinson and Joe Thomas.

During the graduation ceremony, Karsan was honored as Resident of the Year. He will remain at Phoebe and join the health system’s team of hospitalists.

“This truly is an amazing class of physicians who have already accomplished a great deal,” Fricks said. “We’re happy to honor Dr. Karsan as a fine representative of this class, and we are thrilled he will remain part of the Phoebe Family.”

Other awards presented at the ceremony include:

♦ Intern of the Year – Dr. Ajay Jani;

♦ Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Resident Teacher Award – Dr. Clay Hartley;

♦ Residency Teacher of the Year – Dr. Gurinder Doad;

♦ Community Faculty Member of the Year – Dr. Ayodeji Olarewaju;

♦ In-Patient Faculty Member of the Year – Michael Sein;

♦ Advanced Practice Provider of the Year – Elois Edge.

Although the typical community welcome ceremony was cancelled due to COVID-19, Phoebe also welcomed the PFMR Class of 2023.

“I don’t know another health system in the country that welcomes new residents the way Phoebe typically does,” Phoebe Putney Health System President/CEO Scott Steiner said. “Our community and business leaders understand how important these residents are to our community, and they are always eager to join us for a large gathering where we present the residents with their white coats and a welcome wagon of gifts. Even without that ceremony, we are making sure we let our new residents know how excited we are to have them as part of the Phoebe Family, and we are congratulating them on this important milestone in their professional lives.”

The members of the PFMR Class of 2023 are:

♦ Dr. Krystal Archer – Medical College of Georgia;

♦ Dr. Vadley Faugue – Ross University School of Medicine;

♦ Dr. Sheldon Herbert – Ross University School of Medicine;

♦ Dr. Joshua Kinsey – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine;

♦ Dr. Miriam Onyegbula – Ross University School of Medicine;

♦ Dr. Juan Serna-Gonzalez – Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine;

♦ Dr. Joseph Sonntag – Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine;

♦ Dr. Isaac Su – Indiana University School of Medicine.

The residents will spend the next three years honing their medical skills in southwest Georgia. They will complete various specialty rotations as they train under a team of community attending physicians. Phoebe’s goal is that as many of them as possible will end up staying in the region to practice after they graduate.

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