Residency is an exciting time! You’re learning a lot, developing skills, working with teams, building confidence. But residency is also a difficult time. You’re tired. You receive criticism from seemingly everyone, including yourself. Imposter syndrome sets in. You feel isolated. As Christians, we long for encouragement from fellow believers, particularly from those who understand the rigors of residency and can help us see Jesus in our work. That’s why the NRFC exists.
The National Resident & Fellow Community is the section of CMDA dedicated to connecting, mentoring, and empowering those of us in post-graduate training. We are spread out across the US and a few other countries as well. A leadership team of your peers, aided by full-time CMDA staff, plans and executes web-based discussions, retreats, a newsletter, and an academic poster session at the annual CMDA National Convention. We've got some new ideas coming down the pike, and we welcome you to join us in our mission.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV 1984).
NATIONAL RESIDENT & FELLOW COMMUNITY OPTIONS
Want to be sure to stay connected to the ministry of CMDA now that you're out of school? Take advantage of these options:
At this introductory level, residents and fellows at the Community Level receive the NRFC newsletter with information about regional and national CMDA events, a devotional, prayer requests, praise reports, and photos. They also receive the link to the bimonthly web-based “talk show” featuring Christian physicians and scholars working and thinking in medicine. This level also includes access to the CMDA app. You can join at the Community Level by completing the online form above (“Join the Community!”)
Residents and fellows at the Membership Level receive Community Level resources as well as Today's Christian Doctor, Christian Doctor's Digest and CMDA discounts on books, retreats, and National Convention registration. They also will have access to interviewee housing network and other NRFC resources currently in development. Residents and fellows at the Membership Level are CMDA members. You can join CMDA here. The one-time membership fee for residents and fellows is $150 to cover the entirety of your post-graduate training (OR $99 per year).
This is the leadership team and decision-making body of the NRFC. The Council is composed of several residents and fellows who are CMDA members and are committed to care for other residents. As you become more involved with NRFC, you may be called to serve at the Council Level.
Meet Our Leadership Team
Katie Howe, MD
Kate is from the South. She grew up in Virginia, studied Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, then joined Teach for America and moved to New Orleans to teach middle school Social Studies. She stayed in her beloved New Orleans to earn her MD/MPH from Louisisa State University and completed an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship with a focus on nutrition and program planning and development. Now she is back in Virginia as a resident physician in General Surgery at Virginia Tech Carillion. She aims to teach surgery in the developing world. For fun, she enjoys eating delicious food, reading The Economist, breathing fire, bicycling, and watching all manner of sports, most especially soccer.
Jake Morris, MD
Resident Trustee 2019
Jake Morris, MD is currently in his PGY-2 year in Emergency Medicine at the University of Alabama - Birmingham. He received his M.D. from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He met his wife (an Alabama Southern belle) on the World Race, a year-long Christian mission trip in 2011 where they traveled the world while living out of a tent and using just a backpack. While at the Mayo Clinic, they led a CMDA Bible Study and helped establish a series of other CMDA home fellowships. They currently outside of Birmingham, Alabama with their children, Walter, Evie and Harvey. In his free time, he loves to play with his three young kids, read, and go fly fishing. Contact Jake.
Liza Kessling, DO
Resident Rep 2018-2019
Liza is starting her second year of residency at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa, OK. Since she was about 8 years old, she has felt the Lord calling her into healthcare missions. In preparation for that call, she completed her bachelors in nursing at Pensacola Christian College in Florida. She worked for three years as a nurse before starting and finishing medical school as part of the inaugural class of Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. She has had the opportunity to go on several mission trips, including trips to Africa, Honduras, Haiti, and Alaska. Outside of school, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, playing sports and helping out on dairy farms back home in Pennsylvania.
Peter Hountras, MD
Past Chair, NRFC
Peter Hountras, MD, serves as the Chairman of the National Resident & Fellow Council and the Chicago Area Director. For undergraduate education, he attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He then went to Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. After graduation, he completed internal medicine residency at Loyola University Medical Center. He is currently in pulmonary critical care fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD
Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD, has served in leadership roles in Christian fellowships and youth groups since her middle school years. She joined CMDA in 1999 during her last year of high school in Jamaica. Since then, she completed a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physics at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She completed the MD/PhD program at the University of Connecticut Health Center. She is now a resident and future cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and she is excited about serving on CMDA's National Resident & Fellow Council. She was a Resident Representative to CMDA's House of Representatives 2013-2014, and CMDA's Resident Trustee 2014-2015. She is a physician, scientist, missionary, poet, and author, and can be reached on social media: @drbrowncares.
Christina Kopriva, MD
Christina Kopriva, MD, finished her Emergency Medicine training at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2016. She first got involved with the local chapter of CMDA while in medical school at UCLA. She served as the chapter president during her second year of medical school, continued on the leadership team during her third and fourth years of medical school as well as serving on the CMDA National Student Council. She also served as the student representative to the CMDA Board of Trustees during her fourth year. She continued on to serve on the National Resident & Fellow Council during residency and continues to stay involved post-residency as an advocate of the students and residents in CMDA.
Amanda Lucashu, DO
Resident Trustee 2018
Amanda Lucashu, DO is currently at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned her BS in Biology from Houghton College and then completed medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. While there she served as the CMDA chapter president and also became involved in National Student Council leadership serving as the Secretary followed by two terms as the President. Amanda is currently serving as the CMDA's Resident Trustee.
Randy Laine, MD
2018-2019 Resident Rep
Ian Drobish, MD
2018-2019 Alternate Resident Rep
Ian is currently a first year resident in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. He completed medical school at Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, and completed his undergraduate studies at Cornerstone University. After the first year of medical school, he married his wonderful wife Melissa, a high school science teacher. They feel very blessed to be a part of CMDA and hope to use healthcare and education to share the gospel, whether that be here in America or abroad.
Tim DeKoninck, MD
2018-2019 Alternate Resident Rep
Are you interested in getting involved with the National Resident and Fellow Council? Contact Campus & Community Ministries for more information.
Campus & Community Ministries
P.O. Box 7500 • Bristol, TN 37621 • 888-230-2637