Letter from the Chiefs
We are Ellie Hoover and Michele Sun, the Mercy Family Medicine Chief Residents for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Our residency consists of 18 residents (6 in each class). Our group has a broad variety of interests from comprehensive primary care to women’s health, palliative care, rural medicine, obesity medicine, and more. Many of our residents find they are drawn to become outpatient primary care physicians after residency; however, there are also those who pursue fellowships and other positions in academia, as well as those who go on to continue practicing inpatient medicine and maternity care.
Maintaining our own health and wellness is also a top priority within MFM. We appreciate that all of us have chosen the field of medicine and family medicine in order to serve the community around us. We also recognize the importance of work-life balance and spending quality time with our loved ones. It has become part of our residency culture to regularly engage in activities that keep us grounded and happy. Our residents are sure to make time every month to get together to unwind and socialize. We also prioritize a culture of supporting each other throughout residency – both professionally and personally. This year, our motto to lead by is “Because you would do the same for me.”
Thank you for getting to know a little bit about our residency, and we wish you best of luck on your journey to the field of Family Medicine!
Ellie Hoover, DO
Michele Sun, MD
Meet the Residents
In addition to their diverse clinical interests, our residents are proud of their diverse backgrounds. Our residents hail from a variety of rural and urban areas both in and outside the United States, gifting them with different languages, religious/spiritual practices and perspectives.
First-Year Resident Physicians (PGY1)
Kelly Dougherty, MD - PGY-1
Being a family physician allows you to do just what it says, become part of your patients' families. I cherish the relationships and trust built with patients, and I can't imagine a better way to form these relationships than to be a family physician. Medicine is also so much more than just caring for patients in your exam room. It's advocating for your patients in healthcare and in the community. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to serve my patients and community both in and out of the clinic the best way I know how, as a family physician. After completing residency, I hope to pursue a career in Academic Family Medicine and ideally serve a rural patient population while mentoring the next generation of physicians. No matter where I end up, I plan to continue legislative advocacy for my patients and fellow family physicians. I am so thankful to be at a residency where I am supported to achieve my unique goals and have a work-life balance that allows me to be a person outside of being a physician, including time for my fav hobbies-spending time with people I love, exercising, traveling, and identifying trees. I am also fiercely loyal to my sports teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and my Mizzou Tigers (I'm a Mizzou Grad x2-BS &MD)!
Ashlyn Edwards, DO - PGY-1
I grew up at the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. I had an interest in science and helping others at a young age which turned into a love of medicine. I went to medical school at Western University of Health Sciences COMP-NW in Oregon. While in medical school, I found that I loved the variety and continuity of care that family medicine provides. I also loved building relationships I could build with patients and their families. I hope to practice in an outpatient clinic after graduation and focus on preventative medicine and women’s health. In my free time, I love reading, playing board games, traveling, hiking, and spending time with my husband and our dog, Tucker.
Rebecca Jadwisiak, DO - PGY-1
I am a proud St. Louisan but have traveled all around Missouri for school: undergrad at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO, medical school at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, MO, and back to St. Louis for residency. As an osteopathic physician, I was instilled with the idea that mind, body, and spirit are connected. I believe family physicians live and work by this same principle which strengthened my desire to work in this specialty. I was also drawn to family medicine because of the variety of pathology we treat and the relationships we form with patients. After residency, I plan to work in an outpatient setting with an interest in geriatrics. In my free time, I love hiking, baking (cookies are my specialty), watching true crime documentaries, and country music concerts.
Emily Shank, DO - PGY-1
When I began studying medicine at Kansas City University in Joplin, Missouri, I had no idea which specialty I would choose. Throughout my experiences as a MAFP extern at Mercy and during my third-year rotations in Fort Myers, Florida, I found family medicine. As a family medicine doctor, I care for all types of patients who each have their own story, concerns, and goals. I am happy to be back in my hometown, St. Louis, for residency! I love cheering for the Cardinals, exploring all the different areas of St Louis, and being close to family and friends.
Sarah Spearman, DO - PGY-1
I grew up in St. Peters, MO and knew from an early age that I wanted to be in the medical field. For undergrad, I attended Truman State University studying Biology and Psychology in the pre-med track. Living in Kirksville during college I learned about its role in the origin of osteopathic medicine. I have always been passionate about mental health advocacy and education so the practice of incorporating the mind, body, and spirit into the practice of medicine seemed not just practical, but inherently necessary. I received my DO degree at A.T Still University in Kirksville, MO later returning to St. Louis for clinical rotations. I was impressed with Mercy's commitment in incorporating and furthering my osteopathic education and was thrilled to be accepted into their family medicine program. While off duty, I enjoy quilting, playing the piano, baking, and playing fetch with my puppy, Teddy.
Jordan Wills, MD - PGY-1
I grew up in the small town of Benton, IL with a big, loud, extended family that was always together and I found that Family Medicine offered a unique chance to experience this in my career. As a family doctor I have the opportunity to be part of a community and often feel like part of patients' families. After residency, I hope to practice rural, full-spectrum family medicine with a focus on women's health, pediatrics, and preventative medicine. I went to SIU School of Medicine for the small class size and Midwest location and chose Mercy Family Medicine for the same reasons. I am excited to continue my medical education in a place where I feel valued and get to enjoy the variety of being a family physician every day. I spend my time outside of residency by traveling, reading, trying new restaurants and raising my fur baby, Banks.
Second-Year Resident Physicians (PGY2)
Peyton Bennett, DO - PGY-2
I am originally from Kansas City, MO and went to medical school at AT Still Kirksville College of Medicine. It is my dream to continue working as a family medicine physician in my home state! I choose family medicine because it gives me the opportunity every day to work with people of all ages and backgrounds, and to assist them through their medical journey. No single day is the same and gives me the chance to learn something new. I also feel that family medicine builds a strong relationship with the community based on trust and caring, which makes everyone feel supported.
Rikki Koebler, DO - PGY-2
I was raised in Springfield, IL with my five siblings. I started babysitting at a young age and realized early on the value of the unique relationships that I was able to create with children and their families. These experiences helped guide me towards family medicine. Some of my greatest professional satisfaction comes from fostering similar genuine, trusting relationships with patients of all ages as I care for individuals and families throughout all stages of life. In college my family moved to the mountains in Telluride, Colorado where I was able to explore more of my interests like road tripping, hiking, kayaking and swimming. Day-to-day I destress by cooking and baking, seeing all types of live music and musicals and exploring all the St. Louis festivals and events with friends. I try to travel internationally every year to explore new countries and cuisine, and even had the opportunity to work in Dublin, Ireland for a year after college. My family continues to grow with nieces and nephews (pictured, 6 total now!) all across the country who I love to visit and spend time with as much as possible. Post-residency I plan to practice in an outpatient setting with a special focus on pediatrics, young women’s health and dermatologic procedures.
Name: Mafeth A. Lim, DO - PGY-2
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences, COMP-NW
Undergrad: Oregon State University
Hometown: Dumaguete City, Philippines and Hillsboro, OR
Hobbies/passions: I love dancing in all its forms, from hip hop and Latin to even just social/workout dancing. I also recently got my open water diver certification so hoping to do more dives in the future. Other things I enjoy include cooking, gardening, and spending time with family, friends, and my fur baby Leo.
Why Family Medicine: I love the diversity in pathologies and patients that you see in each day, as well as the wide range of practice options available. I also find fulfillment in forming lasting relationships with patients and their families.
Post-residency plans: Hard to say but I would love to work in an outpatient setting delivering full-scope family medicine. I also envision myself serving on various international medical mission trips and getting involved with community service that seek to bring basic health and mental health care services to people experiencing homelessness.
Jason Maddox, DO - PGY-2
Born and raised in St. Louis, I am so grateful to be back from medical school in Arizona (Midwestern University - AZCOM) taking care of the community that once took care of me. My inspiration to pursue family medicine is rooted in the same feeling: community relationships. More specifically, I find a great deal of fulfillment in supporting those in their later decades of life or engaging in end-of-life care. I also love the occasional OMT appointment! Otherwise, I am a huge board game nerd and movie marathon fanatic. The quickest way to get my attention is to ask me to try a new board game or to watch a "C-List" horror movie (the goofier, the better). Of course, I love the occasional hike or romp through Forest Park (as long as we can talk about the aforementioned topics). Be warned, however: as my co-residents will tell you, I talk a lot and I talk loudly, which means you'll always know where I am when you need me or what board game I am into this week!
Lauren Malinowski, DO - PGY-2
I was born in Missouri, raised here in St. Louis and went to undergrad in North Carolina at Wake Forest University, where I majored in Economics and French. I spent four months in Western Africa studying and working with local microfinance organizations, a year in France teaching at a high school on the western coast, and a summer volunteering and teaching in Tanzania. Throughout this time, I found that I loved one-on-one education and being able to tangibly help people in practical ways. We also had some health concerns in our family during this time that inspired a passion for nutrition and lifestyle medicine. I decided to go to medical school at Kansas City University in Joplin, MO and am now happy to be back in St. Louis for residency. I plan to stay in the area after graduation and practice with my mother, also a Mercy FM residency graduate and my biggest role model. My husband Evan is a firefighter in the area and the glue that holds our family together. We have a two-year-old son named Wesley and a baby girl due New Year’s Eve 2022!
Name: Hannah Yasin, MD - PGY-2
Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine
Undergrad: Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
Hometown: Fort Smith, AR
- Foodie/cooking (hence the running).
- Playing with my dog Zelda.
- Playing all Nintendo Zelda games (hence my dog's name).
- Being with friends and family.
- Watching scary movies.
- Dancing (belly-dancing/hip-hop dancing/hot yoga).
- Walking and listening to podcasts.
Why Family Medicine:
I chose FM for so many reasons! But I will try to be brief… I picked FM because I am passionate about the full-spectrum care of vulnerable patient populations. Being a non-traditional student who came from poverty and adversity myself, I can relate to a lot of the barriers and socioeconomic disparities my patients experience on a day-to-day basis. I feel extremely fortunate being in a program that values my background and personal experiences. With Mercy FM Residency and Family Medicine in general, I will be able to combine the compassion and empathy I learned personally with my medical knowledge in order to build rapport and provide holistic continuity care to all my patients regardless of their backgrounds. Finally, I love FM doctors are not confined to a single organ system. As they say, variety is the spice of life!
Third-Year Resident Physicians (PGY3)
I am from a small community in west central Illinois and look forward to practicing in my home town after finishing my training. In my free time, I am usually spending time with my husband, my 18 month old daughter, and our pup Gunther. I love hiking, exploring the zoo and aquarium with my growing family, and discovering new coffee shops and brunch spots in the St. Louis area. During medical school, I really felt like the most good in our healthcare system happened in the family medicine clinic and I wanted to be a part of that! My special interests in family medicine include obesity medicine and women's health.
Name: Ellie Hoover, DO - PGY-3
Medical School: Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergrad: DePauw University
Hometown: Zionsville, IN
Hobbies/Passions: I love to do anything active--hiking, running, tennis, biking, driving the golf cart while my boyfriend golfs, you name it! I also enjoy crossword puzzles, true crime podcasts, and cheering on the Indiana Hoosiers. My favorite activity is spending time with my family and friends.
Why Family Medicine: I chose family medicine because I love the variety of patients I get to work with in any given day. Building relationships with patients is also important to me because it improves patient care, and it is so rewarding to see patients improve and grow throughout their lives. I also enjoy having procedures interspersed in the workday.
Post-Residency Plans: I am unsure of my exact plans at the moment, but I will likely work in an outpatient clinic.
Name: Viola Hoxha, MD - PGY-3
Medical School: Peoples' Friendship University of Russia
Undergrad: Peoples' Friendship University of Russia
Hometown: Korce, Albania
Hobbies/Passions: When I am not working I like to spend time outdoors walking and hiking. I love to travel with family and friends. I enjoy discovering new places from the beach to the mountains. Traveling leaves me speechless and then it turns me into a storyteller. My husband Eri and I like to cook. We call it the art of choosing the perfect combination of ingredients and techniques to stimulate and challenge our senses.
Why Family Medicine: In Family Medicine I admire the fact that I can work with different communities. I like growing with the patients, the humane aspect of the field, and establishing everlasting bonds.
Post-Residency Plans: I plan to practice outpatient medicine with a focus on Women's Health.
Name: Megan Landis, DO - PGY-3
Medical School: A.T. Still University, KCOM
Undergrad: Drury University - Springfield, MO
Hometown: Washington, MO
Hobbies/Passions: I usually take advantage of weekends off by exploring the St. Louis area's never-ending list of parks with a trail run, hike, or bike ride. I enjoy learning new cooking skills, especially when it comes to using my cast iron skillet or homemade bread techniques. I'm arguably a little too invested in pop culture news and love a good Netflix documentary.
Why Family Medicine: As long as I've known I wanted to become a doctor, I've seen myself as a family medicine physician. I'm passionate about serving patients from a role that emphasizes prevention and facilitates a relationship that values the patient as a whole person.
Post-Residency Plans: I hope to return to my hometown and practice full-spectrum primary care.
When I first moved to the US in 2005, my parents sacrificed more than I could imagine for my education. At the end of my senior year of high school in Columbia, MO, I was accepted into the UMKC 6 year BA/MD program. I was uncertain whether medicine was my passion but nonetheless, was expected to attend this accelerated program to become a doctor and make my parents proud. I struggled to stay afloat on a path that wasn't of my choosing until my Family Medicine rotation when everything fell into place- I found my people and I found my purpose. Sometimes, the road is more convoluted than you want but I think I ended up exactly where I belong.
I am passionate about being a husband and father: My wife is an OB-GYN resident here at Mercy too, and our daughter, Via, is now almost 2 years old! Family time is one of my top priorities, and we enjoy celebrating Mass, visiting the zoo, and frequenting local parks. I got into breakdancing with my brother in high school, and from choreographing to freestyling, dancing has given me a creative outlet that's both refreshing and physically challenging at the same time. Whenever I get the chance, I like to shoot hoops and watch the NBA, especially my favorite player, Steph Curry. I chose to be a Family physician because it's medicine that specializes in building relationships. It is a huge privilege to journey with patients for years and potentially decades. No matter the issue, you get to be in their corner and do your best to care for them every step of the way. I am passionate about Academic Medicine and Palliative Medicine and will incorporate these areas of focus into my future practice as an attending physician.