Lionel Varela, MD, former chief resident, Class of 2021
Skye Altaire, DO
Undergraduate: Drexel University
Medical school: West Virginia School of Medicine
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "This residency treats both patients and its residents as part of one big happy family. All of the attendings are committed to teaching and all the residents are happy to help one another."
Favorite thing about the program: "I love the ability to learn about different specialties while becoming more confident in my own specialty, family medicine. Being at an unopposed hospital, we have free range to learn from everyone and anyone with almost everyone having open doors for questions."
Hobbies and interests outside of residency: "I love playing video games with my husband and friends. We also love inviting others to our house for board games and popcorn. On nice days, we explore all the amazing national parks around State College."
Kenya Bingham Psalms, MD
Undergraduate: University of California, Berkeley
Medical school: Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "I chose the Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine Residency because of my passion for rural family medicine. I was attracted to new programs because I wanted to be instrumental in helping to build the legacy."
Favorite thing about the program: "My favorite parts about residency are that our environment is very conducive to learning, we are unopposed, our faculty and staff are very caring, and our program is family friendly. I’m so happy here!"
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "Outside of residency, I am a proud 'super mom' and wife. Other things that make me happy are gardening, international traveling, teaching, speaking Spanish and meeting new people."
Oliver Henry Ruiz, MD
Undergraduate: Carnegie Mellon University
Medical school: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "The Lewistown rural program offers its residents hands-on training in an unopposed and low-resource setting."
Favorite thing about the program: "Administration encourages its residents to pursue their interests within family medicine."
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "I am interested in film history and literature. I play tennis in my free time."
Jared Smith, DO
Undergraduate: Susquehanna University
Medical school: Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "I came to Lewistown because I wanted to work in an unopposed community hospital. And, while Lewistown is just that, Geisinger is a well-established system that has been promoting medical education and training since its inception. The partnership with Family Practice Center allows you to gain great experience within two prominent systems in central Pennsylvania. The program is very well-developed for a new residency! Everyone here is kind and welcoming."
Favorite thing about the program: "I've loved gaining confidence in my medical knowledge and skills. It's so cool to look back to a year ago and see how far I've come!"
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "I enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing, snow skiing and some carpentry when time permits. More than anything, I love spending time with my wife and daughter."
Mhd. Wael Tasabehji, MD
Medical school: Damascus University
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "The variety and enrichment of this program regarding the rotations and procedures in the rural family medicine residency program."
Favorite thing about the program: "The comfortable environment that does not make me hesitate to start my workday with a big smile."
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "I enjoy soccer, watching TV and eating Oreos."
Arka Bhattacharya, MD
Undergraduate: University of Alberta
Medical school: American University of Antigua
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "For a newer program, they are really progressive in terms of training opportunities. I feel after this residency I will have great training in all possible areas of family medicine."
Favorite thing about the program: "The learning environment is top notch. Between friendly faculty, to friendly attendings, to great co-residents, it allows you to really focus on learning."
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "I like traveling, the outdoors, going out to eat and sports."
Rivka L. Feig, MD
Undergraduate: Yeshiva University
Medical school: Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple University
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "I love living in and being a part of the community that I serve. The people are so friendly, and the area is beautiful with so many outdoor things to do."
Favorite thing about the program: "Putting all the knowledge I gained during medical school to use in taking care of my patients. Working alongside wonderful doctors and learning every day!"
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children. We like to spend time outdoors. I also enjoy reading non-fiction. And my favorite form of exercise is ice skating."
Keith Sink, DO
Undergraduate: University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Medical school: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "I could tell during the interview experience how close everyone was. I wanted to be part of a small, tight-knit program."
Favorite thing about the program: "I love going to work never knowing what I’m going to see."
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "I lift weights pretty much every day. I also enjoy video games (I have eight consoles). I also take a lot of pictures of my cat, Elizabeth."
Lori Trout, MD
Undergraduate: University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston
Medical school: University of Health Sciences Antigua
Why I chose Geisinger Lewistown Hospital: "The small-town atmosphere combined with Geisinger's dedication to excellent patient care, along with the values of kindness, safety, learning and innovation drew me to this unique and diverse residency program."
Favorite thing about the program: "The diverse patient population and inclusive culture of the residency remain my favorite aspects."
Hobbies/interests outside of residency: "I am active in animal rescue, organic home gardening and gourmet coffee roasting."
Manasi Badve, MD, MBA
Undergraduate School: University of Mumbai
Medical School: Topiwala National Medical College
Why Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine? Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine Residency program is an unopposed program and I have no doubt that it will give me very good exposure and experience in patient care. Being a rural-focused program makes it even more challenging. Serving the community where we live is very satisfying and this program offers that. It is based in beautiful central Pennsylvania and close to most of the big cities in the northeast.
Favorite part about residency? I have found that everyone in this program is very welcoming and always willing to go out of their way to help. They create a nurturing environment that is very conducive for professional as well as personal growth and well-being.
Hobbies/interests outside of residency? Listening to music and walking on trails.
Mariam O. Dundu, MD
Medical School: All Saints University School of Medicine, Dominica
Why Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine? I looked forward to the rural and unopposed training setting. Also, from my interaction with the faculty and other residents, everyone was very welcoming, and the faculty seemed to be highly interested in making a difference in the lives of the residents.
Favorite part about residency? The people! From the faculty to the other residents, everyone is so approachable, and they promote a healthy working environment. The training here sets us up to be excellent, well-rounded family medicine physicians. I also love that I get to serve people from diverse backgrounds in this rural community.
Hobbies/interests outside of residency? Outside of work, my hobbies include makeup and hair styling, dancing, watching TV shows and attending paint classes.
Adam Ohnmacht, DO
Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Why Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine? Lewistown Hospital gave me the opportunity to learn and practice medicine in the area that I was born and raised. Central Pennsylvania is very important to me and serving the communities that made me who I am was a priority.
Favorite part about residency? Having the opportunity to learn and grow with my patients.
Hobbies/interests outside of residency? My hobbies and interests include spending time with family and friends, woodworking, hunting, fishing and mechanical restoration projects.
Clementina Otomewo, MD
Medical School: Avalon University School of Medicine
Why Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine? Geisinger Lewistown had everything I was looking for. Amazing and friendly faculty/residents, and a rural program that would expand my knowledge depth with pathologies not seen in a non-rural setting. Having visited the program before, I loved the small-town feeling I got and how the residents enjoyed what they were doing.
Favorite part about residency? I love the teamwork spirit and autonomy residents have, and the strong emphasis the faculty places on residents’ mental well-being. I've loved going to work every day and learning from all the attendings.
Hobbies/interests outside of residency? I enjoy spending time with my two kids and husband, running, cooking and studying my Bible. I love to travel and I'm a Disney cruise fan!
Manan Sheth, MD
Why Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine? My time spent shadowing and learning here prior to residency training had me convinced that this is a program with a "learning first" approach. As a family practitioner, this would equip me with all I need to provide excellent care.
Favorite part about residency? The fluid structure of the program and the people (faculty and residents) that make it possible. Special care is given to resident wellness and a good work-life balance is encouraged here. This program, to me, is a perfect blend of boot camp and holiday retreat. The leadership really cares about resident feedback and takes active measures to implement changes.
Hobbies/interests outside of residency? I spend a lot of my time with music. Singing and composing are things I do to decompress. I am more likely to leave home without scrubs than headphones. Fitness training and cooking are newfound hobbies that I hope to cultivate in the coming years.
Sunmeet Singh, MD
Medical School: Aureus University School of Medicine
Why Geisinger Lewistown Family Medicine? I chose this program because it was situated in a rural part of northeastern Pennsylvania, which was important for me, and because of it being an unopposed family medicine residency program. I wanted maximum exposure to the different variety of clinical cases only a rural area could provide. What really solidified my decision to train here was the warm and stress-free environment cultivated by Dr. Maneval, the attendings and residents, during the interview. I was also drawn by the opportunity to serve the local Amish population and all the fruitful experiences that alone entails.
Favorite part about residency? My favorite part about this residency program has to be the faculty and the other residents. Even before my arrival, I was lent a helping hand every step of the way and allotted a seamless transition from my hometown. I can’t imagine other programs being this caring and expressing this much genuine interest in my pursuits and dreams. I was also taken aback at just how welcoming and inclusive the people of Lewistown have been to me — a complete stranger not long ago. I must also present an honorable mention of Lewistown’s ineffable pastoral landscapes and lush green forests.
Hobbies/interests outside of residency? I enjoy lifting weights, reading books, playing chess, cycling and, not until recently, combine harvesting.