Meet Our Judges
Juan Paramo, MD
Romulado Segurola, MD
Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
Claudia Valderrama, DVM
Veterinary Relief Services
Program Coordinators Winners
University of Miami General Surgery
Ms. Spencer is the Director of the Surgery Education Programs in the School of Medicine at the University of Miami, Miami, FL. She began her career in graduate medical education in 1999 as a residency coordinator for the Jackson Health System General Surgery program at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, and in 2008 she became the Senior Program Manager of the ACGME accredited surgical residency and fellowship programs.
In coordination with the Chairman, Vice-Chair of Education, President of the Faculty Senate, Residency directors she assists in the development and decision-making process of matters related to the administration of the educational program, providing conclusions and solutions to the identified problems/concerns. She has two children, Sharyce (BSN) and Sebastian (College Student at UM), and two grandchildren Joseph Grey (23- months) and Aubree Rose (5 weeks old). Tanya Sebastian (College Student at UM), and two grandchildren Joseph Grey (23- months) and Aubree Rose (5 weeks old). Tanya treasures her time with her family enjoys Biblical studies, is a creative craftsperson, and is an enthusiastic UM fan.
Larkin Hospital Dermatology
Janet Gonzalez has worked in the medical field for 28 years. She works at Larkin Community Hospital Palm Springs Campus for the past 6 years. She is the program coordinator for the Dermatology residency, Micrographic Surgery & Dermatologic Oncology Fellowship, and Dermatopathology fellowship programs.
She plays a critical role in the operational and educational success of GME programs, including maintaining effective communication with residents/fellows, proactively identifying problems, planning and implementing improvements, spearheading recruitment efforts, conducting a variety of administrative activities, and serving as part of the program leadership team. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling with her daughter to different places.
Anthony Ferrantella, MD
University of Miami General Surgery
Anthony Ferrantella grew up in Northwest Indiana and became the first physician in his family, graduating with honors (Alpha Omega Alpha) from Indiana University. He subsequently moved to Miami to pursue residency training in General Surgery at University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Hospital. After completing his second year of clinical training, Dr. Ferrantella was awarded a competitive NIH-funded T32 grant to pursue a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship focused on cancer immunology at the NCI-designated University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
His work during that time resulted in more than 20 peer-reviewed publications, numerous awards from various surgical societies, and the establishment of a clinically relevant laboratory model for the study of immunotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Dr. Ferrantella subsequently returned to clinical training where he finished his final year in the General Surgery training program, where he served as administrative chief resident. When not in the hospital, Dr. Ferrantella can be found outdoors enjoying the Miami sunshine with his wife Fernanda and their two children, Dominic (5) and Giuliana (2). He and his family will be moving to Phoenix to pursue additional fellowship training in Pediatric General & Thoracic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic Arizona in order to fulfill his ultimate dream of providing a lifetime of good health to children suffering from a wide range of surgically correctable pediatric illnesses.
Monika Kunder Ducharme, DDS
University of Miami/ Jackson Memorial Hospital Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Ducharme grew up in the small town of Visalia, CA. Her parents were immigrants to this country from Czechoslovakia, and we’re blessed with four sons and two daughters. Her family environment taught her the importance of caring for others, which is an attribute she holds dear with her patient care. She attended Fresno State College, where she obtained a dual bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biology. Later, her academic journey took her to the University of Southern California for dental school. While at USC, Dr. Ducharme fell in love with the well-rounded profession of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. While at USC, she loved having the opportunity to help patients in need within her local community and in Mexico. She describes alleviating pain and helping patients feel at ease as the most rewarding feeling.
Dr. Ducharme is in the process of finishing her Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency as the Chief of Trauma and is excited for her new journey with the South Florida OMS team in Palm Beach County, FL, where she humbly welcomes the opportunity to help the community and make her patients feel like family.
Victoria Knauf, DPM
Jackson South Meducal Center
Her participation in research has enabled her to obtain a greater understanding of design and methodology skills that are essential for lifelong learning. A few of her collaborations are; American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery Scientific Literature Review-Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Florida Podiatric Medical Association Poster Presentation- Amputation versus Fixation, and Student Mentored Research Program- Anatomy Department Research.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, horseback riding, and cycling.
Minh Quan Le, MD
University of Miami Physicial Medicine and Rehabilitation
Dr. Quan was born and raised in Vietnam, where his father served in the Army. His family immigrated to America in 1996 on the Humanitarian Operation due to his father’s imprisonment following the collapse of South Vietnam. He has lived in South Florida ever since. He attended Florida Atlantic University for Undergrad and Medical School.
He served as Chief Resident in the University of Miami Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Next year, he will be pursuing Sports Medicine Fellowship at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Quan is very passionate about community outreach and advocating for low socioeconomic populations. He has helped develop a program to distribute hurricane supplies to individuals with a disability and our underprivileged population.
Raheel Zubair, MD
Broward Health Dermatology
Raheel Zubair is a native of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, he attended Johns Hopkins University for his undergraduate studies, followed by Georgetown University for his medical degree.
Dr. Zubair was drawn to dermatology by seeing the impact of skin disease on patients’ quality of life and wellbeing. After residency, he will complete the distinguished American Society of Dermatologic Surgery Fellowship program at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, California.
Dr. Zubair has authored several scientific publications in the fields of photobiology and pigmentary disorders. Outside of work, he enjoys mixed martial arts, political activism, and reading.
Gliceida Galarza Fortuna, MD
Mount Sinai Internal Medicine
Dr. Gliceida Galarza Fortuna was born and raised in Santiago, Dominican Republic. She attended Manhattanville College in Purchase New York prior to completing medical school at UNIBE School of Medicine in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. After earning her Medical Degree, Dr. Galarza Fortuna continued her training at Mount Sinai Medical Center where she completed her Internal Medicine residency.
During her residency training, she was awarded Intern of the Year and the Klausner Award for Excellence in Clinical Research. Her areas of interest focus on hematological malignancies, liquid biopsy, and immunotherapy; topics on which she has published multiple articles in journals such as Haemophilia, Blood, and the Journal of Immunotherapy and Precision Oncology. Dr. Galarza Fortuna is currently serving as one of three Chief Residents for the Internal Medicine residency program at Mount Sinai medical center. During this year she passed her internal medicine boards and matched into the Hematology and Medical Oncology program at the University of Utah/Huntsman Cancer Institute, where she will spend the next three years of her training.
Stefani Sorensen, DO
Mount Sinai Emergency Medicine
Dr. Stefani Sorensen is a graduating emergency medicine resident from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. She was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and completed most of her education in the Pacific Northwest. She played volleyball at Eastern Oregon University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Chemistry.
She attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, earning Sigma Sigma Phi and Gold Humanism Honors Society distinctions. During her three-year residency at Mount Sinai, she was fortunate to care for patients from all walks of life and was on the front lines from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was elected chief resident in her final year and continues to enjoy teaching and working alongside all members of her team in the emergency department. After residency, she will be moving back to Oregon and working as an emergency physician. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys trying new restaurants, cooking and baking, riding her Peloton, hiking, and traveling.
Cynthia Rogers, MD
Dr. Rogers was born and raised in California. While obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from California State University, Chico, she began working as a surgical technician for a plastic surgeon and then made the decision to pursue a career in medicine.
After graduating from Saint Louis University School of Medicine with honors in research, Dr. Rogers completed her internship in internal medicine at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. She then completed her dermatology residency at the University of Miami, where she was Chief Resident. She is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and American Society for Mohs Surgery and is a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Women’s Dermatologic Society, and Skin Cancer Foundation. Dr. Rogers is a voluntary clinical instructor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Miami VA Medical Center.
Edelberto D. Cuevas, DVM
anfield Pet Hospital, and Austin Daniel Animal Hospital. In 2004 he took over as a solo practitioner of southwest Animal Hospital, which he purchased in 2006.
Dr. Cuevas through hard work and dedication has built up one of the best veterinarian practices in South Florida. He is very well known by his patients for his medical skills and his compassionate heart.
Adam Oxios, DPM
Foot and Ankle Surgery
Dr. Oxios is a South Florida native, having grown up in Miami Beach and attending Miami Beach Senior High. Though his focus was academics, he became an all-state pole vaulter and gymnast and played quarterback for his football team.
For undergrad, Dr. Oxios left Miami for the University of Florida where he majored in Physiology and Kinesiology, graduating Cum laude. He then attended Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine back home in Miami where he again graduated Cum Laude, winning multiple academic and research awards.
A three-year residency in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery was then completed at Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation, Florida. Dr. Oxios passed all his residency boards during this time while conducting multiple research projects. He is now in the process of becoming board certified through the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. In addition to traditional foot and ankle surgery, Dr. Oxios has an interest and passion in minimally inDPMvasive surgery (MIS) becoming certified in early 2019. With many conditions of the foot/ankle arising from systemic issues, he believes in an over-all healthy lifestyle through patient education and tenacious dedication.
Cesar Jara, MD FSCAI FACC
Dr. Jara is board certified in cardiovascular diseases, interventional cardiology and cardiac computed tomography. After earning both his undergraduate and medical degrees at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, he undertook an internship and fellowship at VAMC/University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Medical Center, where he served as Chief Medical Resident and was a member of the adjunct faculty.
Dr. Jara has consistently been involved in quality initiatives as well as program development, having started a Cath Lab Interventional Program as a Medical Director as well as a TAVR Program as the structural cardiologist in 2010 and 2015 on Florida’s Space Coast. He is an elected member of the Quality Committee of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). A native of
Lima, Peru, he regularly participates in medical missions to his home country, and he is fluent in English and Spanish. He personally identifies with the needs of his patients after having a daughter fight cancer for five years.
Robert Norton, MD FAOOS
Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Dr. Robert Norton received his bachelor’s degree in Biological Science and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University. While in college, he worked as a personal trainer, a physiology teaching assistant and was a volunteer at the regional academic hospital. He then moved to Philadelphia to obtain medical training from the prestigious Jefferson Medical College, graduating Magna Cum Laude and with the highest honor of being inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.
Following residency, Dr. Norton completed advanced training in spine surgery at the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, one of the most sought after and prestigious spine fellowship in the country. While at NYU, he obtained specialized instruction in the surgical and non-operative management of complex spinal conditions by several pioneers in the field.
Throughout his career, Dr. Norton has had a strong interest in academic medicine and has been actively involved in teaching and research. He has authored multiple publications on a variety of topics related to spine surgery in numerous peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. He has received several research grants and has presented his research at both national and international conferences
Arnold A. Adams Award
Mohammed Samiullah, MD
Broward Health Internal Medicine
Dr. Samiullah was recognized at The MediLaw Awards after sharing his inspirational story to the host, Max A. Adams, of how he became a medical professional. When he was a child, he became severely ill and he was never diagnosed or treated by a doctor due to the poverty in his village. He used that obstacle as a motivation to become a physician, and at the age of 15, he decided to pursue his dreams in the United States of America.
“I believe that it takes more than just hard work to achieve a dream”- he said while describing his journey when he arrived in the U.S.A with a one-way airplane ticket and a bag full of dreams.
I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunities that I have had. I am humbled and grateful to have people who helped me, mentored me, and supported me in pursuit of my dream. Without my father selling part of his land to pay for my one-way ticket to the U.S., without a stranger who gave me shelter, and without a gas station owner who gave me my first job, I would not have been able to pursue my dream.
I felt closer to my dream during my internal medicine rotation when I realized the opportunities that this field provides. I found IM to be a
healthy mixture of pathological diversity and intellectual complexity. I found IM to be the glue that binds comprehensive primary care and
wide-ranging sub-specialties. As an internist, I can admit 10 patients with 10 different diagnoses and 10 different pathological
complexities in one day. With internal medicine, the opportunities are as broad as this field.
Know the value of positive thinking and the importance of a positive attitude. I also believe that the best predictor of my future behavior
is my past behavior. During my days working odd jobs along with a full course load in college, I kept a positive attitude and never lost sight
of my dream. I considered my challenges my assets and my failures my opportunities. That is the character and the value I bring to your
program. I know the value of hard work and I know the value of an opportunity that you can provide me. I will work hard. I will learn. I
will grow. I will continue to follow my dream.”
– Mohammed Samiullah, MD
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