Current Residents

2022-2023 UNMC Neurology Residency Program


Kiley Cameron
Kiley Cameron

Hometown: Craig, NE
Medical school: University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
Things I like about UNMC: We have a caring, supportive environment where we can truly shape our careers into whatever we want! Omaha is a safe and affordable city to live in. 
Fun fact about me: I have seen my favorite band in concert over 20 times - I came to so many shows, the band gave me their phone numbers so my sister and me could come hang out on their bus beforehand and get free tickets! They're awesome guys. 
What I do when not working: I spend time with my rescue animals (two dogs, two cats), go to concerts, hike and play trivia! 

Erin Dennis, MD
Erin Dennis

Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska

Medical school: University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Things I like about UNMC: Great faculty with perfect balance of support and graduated independence
Fun fact about me: 8th grade pickleball tournament champion
What I do when not working: Go to concerts (great venues in the Omaha area!) and hang out with my husband and French bulldogs at Omaha Dog Bar!

Ismail Fahad, MD
Ismail Fahad 

Hometown: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Medical school:  Thiruvananthapuram Medical college
Things I like about UNMC: The people and the fancy buildings.
Fun fact about me: I once got stranded in Brussels with just my phone, a book and 200 euros, after my bag with my passport and cards were stolen. 
What I do when not working: Cook, sleep and watch football (soccer).


Jennifer Shaw

Hometown: San Diego, CA
Medical school: Creighton University 
Things I like about UNMC: High patient volume with a small community feel and supportive hospital environment.
Fun fact about me: I know how to read music, but I never learned how to play any instruments 
What I do when not working: Yoga, running, reading, watching crime documentaries, traveling, going to concerts and comedy shows, hang out with friends/family and my dog Bosworth.

Daniel Zhou, MD
Daniel Zhou

Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Med school: UNMC
Things I like about UNMC: Quality training in an affordable city with little traffic
Fun fact about me: I have mastered the pandemic self-haircut.
What I do when not working: Going on runs in one of our nice local trails.





Mohamed Elfil, MD
Mohamed Elfil 

Hometown: Kom Hamada
Medical school: Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt.
Things I like about UNMC: I like that our residents always have each other’s back, and our attending are approachable at any time either for work-related stuff or for career advice.
Fun fact about me: My last name “Elfil” means “the elephant” in Arabic. I guess this makes me always “the elephant in the room”.
What I do when I am not working: Soccer, landscape photography, hiking, traveling and reading.

Leith Hobbs, DO
Leith Hobbs 

Hometown: Crown Point, Indiana 
Medical school: NYIT at Arkansas State 
Things I like about UNMC:  It's a friendly work environment.  We have a great exposure to rare and complex cases.  I am confident in our training.  
Fun fact about me: I won a Jello eating competition in the 1st grade.    
What I do when not working: Change diapers and control children-induced chaos.  

Mohammad Sultan Aladawi, MD
Mohammad Sultan Aladawi

Hometown: Amman, Jordan  
Medical school: University of Jordan
Things I like about UNMC:  I like that we have great inpatient exposure at UNMC. I appreciate the autonomy we have during our training. 
Fun fact about me: Growing up as left-handed, I still confuse left and right sides, which might not be the perfect quirk for a neurologist. 
What I do when not working:  I usually go to the gym after work. On weekends I go hiking and sometimes fishing. I enjoy playing video games including league of legends and call of duty. I also do digital art as a hobby. I used to draw anime characters but currently I'm using digital art to make medical illustrations for scientific research.  

Isha Snehal, MBBS
Isha Snehal

Hometown: Gurugram, India
Medical school: 
Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
Things I like about UNMC: The diversity and the culture of working in our department and the wide variety of cases we get to see and work with, from bread-and-butter neurology to complex disorders.
Fun fact about me: I published two books of poetry and got featured in the Neurology Today for slam poetry. 
What I do when not working: I like to read,hike, go for aerial silk lessons and perform slam poetry locally in Omaha. I spend quality time with friends and talk to family over excessively long video chats. 

Dmitry Balian, MD
Dmitry Balian

Hometown: Vitebsk, Belarus
Medical school: Vitebsk State Medical University 
Things I like about UNMC: People 
Fun fact about me: I ran a full marathon in Reykjavik, Iceland. 
What I do when not working: Running, traveling and eating out.





Kanchan Kumari, MD
Kanchan Kumari

Hometown: Karampur, Pakistan 
Medical school: Chandka Medical College, Larkana, Pakistan
What I do when not working: Utilize my culinary arts!
Things I like about UNMC: I enjoy working with the nicest people around the world in a Nurturing and supportive work environment. 
Fun fact: I am a traveler and love to explore new places and cultures. I have lived in three different countries and can speak four languages.

Nithin Kurra, MD
Nithin Kurra

Hometown: Vijayawada, India
Medical School: Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada
Things I like about UNMC: Friendly people, peaceful city with lots to do, great clinical training and amazing research opportunities. 
What I do when not working: I watch anime, play badminton and spend quality time with friends and family. I enjoy long drives!

Yashwanth Reddy Pulluru

Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Medical school: Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences
Things I like about UNMC: People are easy and fun to work with.
Fun Fact: I was part of the university cricket and basketball teams in medical school.
What I do when not working: I play soccer, cricket or basketball with my co-residents and friends.

Courtney Venegas, MD
Courtney Venegas

Hometown: Grand Island
Medical school: UNMC 
Things I like about UNMC: How approachable and friendly everyone is - even those I've interacted with outside of the neurology department. I love my co-residents; they are so fun to work with! I feel like I get very well-rounded education from attendings who care about my learning and about me as a person. 
Fun fact about me: I got married when I was 19! Now I have a beautiful family with an almost three-year-old daughter! 
What I do when not working: I like to sing and I am a part of the worship team at my church. I also like to play sports and try to be involved in either intramural volleyball or sometimes soccer if my husband convinces me. And of course, I like to escape reality from time to time and read books.

Mehar Zahid, MD
Mehar Zahid 

Hometown: California
Medical school: University College of Medicine & Dentistry, Lahore
Things I like about UNMC: The cafeteria food is amazing!
Fun fact about me: I won many gold medals for the fastest time in 100-meter dash back in the day. 
What I do when not working?: I enjoy spending time with my kiddos. 


Joseph Benes
Joseph Benes

Hometown: Valparaiso, Nebraska
Medical school: UNMC
Things I like about UNMC: It feels like home with everyone looking out for each other and the personal investment I have received from my mentors.
Fun fact about me: Although I have lived in Nebraska my whole life, I visited 16 different countries!
What I do when not working: I am endlessly discovering new places in Omaha on date nights with my wife or meeting up with friends for lowkey hangouts.

Hannah Maldonado
Hannah Maldonado

Hometown: Scottsbluff, NE
Medical school: UNMC
Things I like about UNMC: The Philly cheesesteaks at University cafeteria, the culture, the people. 
Fun fact about me: Franzia Sunset Blush is the key to my heart. 
What I do when not working: Run, lake days, anything outdoors with family and friends.  




Zaid Rkh Najdawi
Zaid Rkh Najdawi

Hometown: Amman, Jordan
Medical school: University of Jordan School of Medicine
Things I like about UNMC: The people!
Fun fact about me: I started my residency at the age of 23. 
What I do when not working: Workout! I am into all kinds of sports. Also trying to master cooking the perfect steak. 

Valeria Parra Payano
Valeria Parra Payano

Hometown: Lima, Peru
Medical school: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Things I like about UNMC: Very supportive academic environment. My senior residents are always asking how I am doing and offering their help anytime!
Fun fact about me: I write poetry and participated in a few competitions in Peru. I am also a huge fan of BTS (Army here!)
What I do when not working: Hang out with my co-residents, listen to music and watch BTS videos (they are the best performers!)

Gabriella Rizzo
Gabriella Rizzo

Hometown: Iowa City, IA
Medical school: UNMC COM
Things I like about UNMC: UNMC is a well-kept secret. It's a major academic medical center with all the amenities and resources in a very livable place that can have both urban and rural aspects, depending on what you prefer. Also, because will see every kind of pathology imaginable here, the learning is very comprehensive. Faculty and other residents are kind, accessible and committed to the success of learners, and the program will support you in your academic goals, whatever they may be. Omaha itself is a pretty place to live and is constantly surprising me with new things to see and do! 
Fun fact about me: I play classical violin.
What I do when not working: I spend my free time gardening, biking, or finding a new seasonal recipe to cook or bake.


Sheida Koohsari
Sheida Koohsari 

Hometown: Gonbad-e Kavus (Iran) 
Medical school: Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Things I like about UNMC: People
Fun fact about me: I dance Argentine tango. 
What I do when not working: Dancing, playing tennis, outdoor activities and reading.