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The WSMA is committed to ensuring tomorrow's health care champions have the tools they need to thrive in their chosen career.

Early Career Sections

The voices of physicians new to practice and physicians-in-training are vitally important to the future of health care in our state—and to the strategic direction of your state medical association. Learn more about WSMA's early career sections on this page and find resources, news, and information on how to get involved with your WSMA and connect with your peers across the state.

Young Physician Section

The WSMA Young Physician Section introduces physicians early in practice to the WSMA and helps provide resources and guidance that will assist physicians in their transition from medical training programs to full-time practice.

Section membership is composed of physician members of the WSMA who are either under 40 years of age or within the first 10 years of professional practice after residency and fellowship training.

2018-19 Young Physicians Section Governing Council

Tsering Lhewa, MD, Chair
Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Clinic, Vancouver
Dr. Lhewa is a board-certified pediatrician with Child & Adolescent Clinic, where he enjoys working with a team dedicated to providing quality care for children and families in Southwest Washington. He also serves as the medical director at Innovative Services Northwest, Neurodevelopmental Center for Clark County and as the Physician Champion for Southwest Washington region of the Pediatric Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI). He moved to Southwest Washington during childhood and has since called the Evergreen State home. He did his undergraduate studies at Whitman College, medical school at University of Washington and pediatric residency at Oregon Health & Science University. He has enjoyed traveling and learning from global health work in Tibetan communities, and different parts of India and Australia. He also completed National Institutes of Health Academy fellowship program in Bethesda, Maryland and conducted biomedical research while learning more about our nation's health disparities from leading clinicians and researchers in our country. His special interests are focused on improving access and quality of care for all children and improving communication between healthcare providers and other advocates for children. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, drawing and listening to public radio.

Olabode (Bode) Akinsanya, MD, Vice Chair
Family medicine, Overlake Medical Clinics, Issaquah
Dr. Akinsanya is a board-certified family medicine physician who treats patients of all ages. He takes a patient-centered approach to delivering cost-effective, compassionate health care with an emphasis on preventive health care and a passion for treating the whole person. He believes the best care stems from a strong relationship between a patient and their doctor, with both working toward the patient's specific health goals and overall well-being.

Catherine Yee, MD, Delegate
Interventional pain physiatrist, Western WA Medical Group Orthopedics Sports, Spine & Hand, Everett
Dr. Yee is a physician who is double-board certified in physical medicine & rehabilitation (PM&R) and in pain medicine. Her residency training started in internal medicine in Rochester, NY, advanced training in physical medicine & rehabilitation in Chicago, and subspecialty fellowship training in pain medicine in Iowa City, IA. Her primary training and clinical focus is in managing chronic pain is with minimally invasive procedures. She approaches managing chronic pain through physical therapy, pain psychology, lifestyle changes, multimodal analgesic therapy and interventional procedures. She is a strong advocate for opioid minimization in chronic pain management by helping patients with alternative pain management methods that are safer, healthier and more evidence-based. She also encourages people to take charge of their health care through improved health literacy as a Medical Advisor to WXXI's "Second Opinion" television program.

Amish J. Dave, MD, Alternate Delegate
Rheumatologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle
Dr. Dave completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Russian and Eastern European history, biological sciences, and neuroscience. He completed his medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and his internal medicine residency training at Stanford. Dr. Dave did his rheumatology fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston and completed his master's in public health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Dave is a rheumatologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center practicing in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island. He is a board member of the King County Medical Society Board of Trustees focused on preventing childhood lead exposure and gun violence in Washington state. He is a 2006 Humanity in Action Senior Fellow, a 2007 Sue Mercy Fellow, a member of the Senior Fellows Leadership Council, and a board member of the Humanity in Action Foundation. Dr. Dave is on a member of the Washington Rheumatology Alliance, the American College of Rheumatology, the American College of Physicians, and the Washington State Medical Association.

Bridget Bush, MD, At-large
Anesthesiologist, Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett
Dr. Bush is a board-certified anesthesiologist in Everett. She was born and raised in Reno, NV, completing her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Nevada Reno. She worked for the government through the Department of Energy with the Yucca Mountain Project during college and in their High-Level Nuclear Waste Engineering at the Savannah River Site, SC before entering medical school at Tulane School of Medicine, New Orleans. She graduated in 2006 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and started her Internship with the US Navy at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va. After internship, she attended Flight School with the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Fla. She then worked as a Flight Surgeon with the Electronic Attack squadrons VAQ-138/133/132 out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., where she completed deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Upon resigning her active duty commission, she finally got to find a home in the Evergreen State, completing her anesthesiology residency at the Virginia Mason Medical Center and has been employed as an attending anesthesiologist at the Providence Regional Medical Center Everett since graduation in 2014. She is passionate about Patient Safety and appropriate reporting of Unusual Occurrences. When not working she enjoys reading, playing the piano, pole dancing, skiing and hiking with her husband and Greater Swiss Mountain dogs.

Amit Ashok Habbu, MD, MPH At-large
Radiologist, Kadlec Regional Medical Center & Columbia Basin Imaging PC
Dr. Habbu is a radiologist in Richland. He completed his Diagnostic Radiology Residency at the Rochester General Hospital in Rochester, NY, and Abdominal Imaging fellowship at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He specializes in Body MRI and Cancer Imaging. He is most interested in starting and developing new imaging programs from the ground up, finding that this helps him make specialized imaging available to patients locally who otherwise would need to travel significantly long distances to tertiary centers for cancer care. I started Prostate cancer MRI program at KRMC in 2016 to provide advanced prostate cancer imaging locally. He also provides advanced body MRI imaging for other cancers including hepatobiliary, pancreatic, renal and rectal cancers.

Kalpita M. Hatti, MD, At-large
Rheumatologist, Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Providence Health System
Dr. Hatti is board certified in Internal medicine and Rheumatology. She completed her residency at the Rochester General Hospital, NY and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She is also the lead principal investigator for clinical trials in her department. She has a special interest in working with patients who have rheumatoid arthritis, myositis, lupus and vasculitis. Dr. Hatti is dedicated to building an open and trusting relationship with her patients. She enjoys helping patients with chronic arthritic illnesses and establishing genuine long-term relationships. She also plays an active role in teaching and is faculty at the Washington State University as well as Kadlec Family Medicine Residency program. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, cooking and exercising.

Matthew Grierson, MD, Liaison from the WSMA AMA Delegation
Physical medicine & rehabilitation, Seattle Spine & Sports Medicine, Seattle
Dr. Grierson is a board-certified physiatrist with subspecialty board certification in sports medicine. Dr. Grierson earned his medical degree from Boston University and completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Washington, where he also served as chief resident. Having experienced his fair share of dance-related injuries, Dr. Grierson appreciates the importance of finding a physician who understands the functional impact of an injury. He is medical director of the Clinic for Performing Artists (CoPA) at Seattle Spine and Sports Medicine and is committed to helping all patients across the spectrum of age, ability, and function. Outside of work, Dr. Grierson assists in shaping healthcare policy through his work with the WSMA and the American Medical Association. He co-founded a local non-profit (SeaPAM) that provides treatment to local performing artists who otherwise would not have access to care. When he has time, he loves spending time hiking or skiing in the mountains or baking decadent desserts in the kitchen.

Nariman Heshmati, MD, Liaison from the WSMA Executive Committee
Obstetrics/gynecology, The Everett Clinic, Everett
Dr. Heshmati is a board-certified OB-GYN in Everett. He completed his residency at Vanderbilt University and now practices at The Everett Clinic, where he has served on numerous committees and retains one of the highest-volume clinical practices with a focus on high-risk obstetrics and minimally invasive surgery. He also serves as the medical director for Providence Regional Medical Center's obstetrics unit, which manages 5,000 deliveries per year. He strongly believes that physicians must stay active in advocacy and serves on WSMA's board and as chair of the Washington Medical Political Action Committee. In addition, he serves as vice chair of the Washington Section of the American College of OB-GYNs (ACOG) and is a graduate of ACOG's Cefalo Leadership Institute at UNC. Through these positions he advocates for many pieces of health care legislation.

Tony Quang, MD, JD, Liaison from the WSMA Board of Trustees
Radiology/oncology, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle
Dr. Quang is a board-certified radiation oncologist who has been practicing medicine for 15 years. He treats cancer patients, teaches medical students and residents, conducts research, and reviews clinical protocols as chairman of the VA IRB. He takes care of patients at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. He provides consulting services for risk management, medical malpractice, hospital quality improvement/peer review, entrepreneurial IT, and biotechnology start-ups working with clients to address regulatory issues in the health care community to position companies in compliance with national standards and emerging trends. As an attorney, his areas of interest include medical malpractice, contracts, clinical trials protocols, FDA regulation, and intellectual property law.

Alex Hamling, MD, Liaison from the WSMA Board of Trustees
Pediatrics, Pacific Medical Center Canyon Park, Bothell
Dr. Hamling is a board-certified pediatrician working at Pacific Medical Centers at their Bothell campus. He obtained his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and his MBA in Healthcare Management from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. He completed his general pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medicine Center. Dr. Hamling serves as PacMed's Culture of Disclosure Physician Champion for process resolution for unexpected medical outcomes during care. He is also active in quality improvement projects focused on pediatric care, including vaccination safety and screening for pediatric obesity and its related diseases. He served two years as the vice chair of the WSMA Young Physicians Section Governing Council, prior to being elected chair in 2017. He also serves on the WSMA CME Program Committee and Bylaws Committee. During his off time, he enjoys geocaching, gardening, walking with his daughter to local coffee shops and dancing (salsa, swing, tango, etc.)

Daniel Stein, MD, Liaison
Family medicine, West Olympia Family Medicine, Olympia
Dr. Stein is a board certified family medicine physician. Born and raised in Minnesota, he remained in state to attend medical school at the University of Minnesota. During this time, he founded the medical school's Public Health Interest Group and served as student senate chair of the Academic Health Center. After graduating, Dr. Stein moved to Olympia, Washington for residency at St. Peter Family Medicine where he developed a focus on community health and preventative medicine. After completing his residency, he remained in Southwest Washington, establishing a primary care practice and building a multidisciplinary team in the medical home model. Dr. Stein has been serving on the Thurston Mason County Medical Society board for the past four years and has been active in the Washington State Medical Association and American Academy of Family Physicians. Aside from medicine, Dr. Stein enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee, painting, hiking, baking and gardening.

Carolyn Kay, MD, Liaison
Locum tenens OB-GYN, Seattle
Dr. Kay is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Edmonds, Washington. She completed her residency at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in New York. Dr. Kay is committed to advancing women's health and agency in the United States and around the world. Her clinical interests lie in reproductive health, minimally invasive surgery and medical education. In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing and making Korean food.

Julia Daher, MD, Liaison
Physiatrist, St. Luke's Rehab Institute, Spokane
Dr. Daher followed her interest in motion and the movement and function of the human body into the medical field. She was drawn to physical medicine and rehabilitation because of its holistic approach to patient care. Her focus is on enhancing and restoring functional ability and quality of life within the context of an injury or illness. Dr. Daher completed a residency at the University of Washington. Prior to pursuing a career in medicine, she was a clinical research assistant at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Illinois. She completed her bachelor's degree in biochemistry at Oberlin College and obtained her medical degree from Rush Medical College. She was also awarded the Anthony Schmidt Prize in Anatomical Sciences. As a part of the St. Luke's Physiatry team, Dr. Daher provides consistent inpatient and outpatient care for those suffering from neurologic injury and disease. She prioritizes relationships with patients and focuses on understanding and addressing each individual's goals to incorporate them into treatment plans. When not in the office, Dr. Daher enjoys spending time with her family, knitting, cooking and being outdoors.

WSMA staff

Milana McLead, senior director of strategic communications and growth, milana@wsma.org
Alison Ippolito, associate director of membership, alison@wsma.org

Resident and Fellow Section

The WSMA Resident and Fellow Section introduces these physicians-in-training to the WSMA and offers resources and guidance to help them navigate their careers and the changing landscape of health care.

2018-19 Residents & Fellows Section Governing Council

Elizabeth (Libby) Parker, MD, Chair
Anatomic/clinical pathology resident, University of Washington, Seattle
Dr. Parker is from Alaska, studied biology at Dartmouth College, graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine, and is currently an anatomic pathology resident at the University of Washington.

Grace Wu, Vice Chair
Palliative medicine resident, University of Washington, Seattle
Dr. Wu is originally from the Bay Area but has been back and forth across the country for medical training. After obtaining her medical degree from New York Medical College, she moved to Seattle to complete residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington. She has completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine and is currently a palliative medicine fellow.

Daniel Low, MD, Alternate Delegate
Family medicine resident, Swedish Cherry Hill, Seattle
Dr. Low is a family medicine resident physician at Swedish Cherry Hill in Seattle. He is most interested in cross-cultural and underserved medicine, as well as end-of-life care.

Brian Mugleston, MD, Delegate
Physical medicine and rehabilitation resident, University of Washington, Seattle
Dr. Mugleston is a local, having grown up in Tacoma, Washington. He earned his medical degree at UT Health in San Antonio, and afterwards came back home for a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Washington. Before medical school, he obtained a master's in education at UW and taught high school physics in Tacoma. He is interested in health policy, health education, and helping patients obtain the highest level of health and function through comprehensive and multidisciplinary rehabilitation. He likes being active outside in beautiful Washington State.

WSMA staff

Milana McLead, senior director of strategic communications and growth, milana@wsma.org
Alison Ippolito, associate director of membership, alison@wsma.org

Medical Student Section

The WSMA Medical Student Section introduces our future physicians to the WSMA and helps provide resources and guidance that will assist students as they prepare for a career in medicine.

2018-19 Medical Student Section Governing Council

Vera Schulte, Chair
University of Washington, Spokane
Vera is the WSMA MSS chair at the University of Washington in Spokane. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2017 with a degree in physics. After a summer of hiking and traveling, she started medical school at the UW Spokane campus. In St. Louis, she developed a passion for health policy and advocacy, an interest which she is pursuing during her involvement with the WSMA and AMA.

Shahrzad Dow, Vice Chair
Shahrzad Dow is a third-year medical student at Pacific Northwest University, serving on the WSMA MSS as Vice Chair, and currently doing her clinical rotations in Puyallup and Tacoma. Prior to attending medical school, she graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Physiology and Global Health, spent time learning about rural medicine in Washington, volunteered and practiced Spanish in Guatemala, and worked as a medical scribe in an emergency department. She is interested in emergency medicine, improving health care for rural and underserved communities, and remaining active in advocacy throughout her career. With any free time, Shahrzad enjoys being outdoors hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and trying to fish, or practicing watercolor painting and calligraphy.

Jessica (Jess) Dawson, Delegate
University of Washington, Seattle
Jessica is a third-year medical student at the University of Washington in Seattle, serving this year as delegate of the WSMA MSS Council, which she chaired for the past two years. She serves as a leader in her school as the class president of the University of Washington Seattle Medical Student Association. Jess is excited to work with the WSMA and empower medical students with the ability to write resolutions for WSMA/AMA. Jess' policy interests include women's health, access to health care and medicine, especially for individuals who are incarcerated or homeless, health equity, and addressing the effects of systemic racism in health care. Outside of medicine, Jess volunteers as a diver for the Seattle Aquarium.

Catherine (Catie) Fairgrieve Appel, Alternate Delegate
Catherine (Catie) Fairgrieve Appel is a third-year medical student at Pacific Northwest University, serving on the WSMA MSS as Alternate Delegate and the Yakima County Medical Society board as a student trustee. Prior to attending medical school, she worked as a certified athletic trainer in Seattle and as a program coordinator with the National Diabetes Prevention Program. She studied athletic training at Eastern Washington University as an undergrad and holds a master's in medical physiology from Case Western Reserve University. Her interests include health literacy and education, improving access to care, and engaging her fellow students in advocacy and organized medicine.

Erik Risa, At-large
University of Washington, Spokane
Erik Risa is a second year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Spokane. He is interested in Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery. Prior to starting medical school, he was an Ethics Fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University where he developed an interest for Neuroethics and Biomedical Research, and the political and societal conversation surrounding those topics. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, music, playing soccer, and being outdoors.

Erin K. Johnson, At-large
Erin Johnson's journey to medicine started with a love for teaching and witnessing the many disparities in low income and underserved populations while volunteering in free medical clinics in Montana and Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2013, with a Bachelor of Science in physiology. From there she attended Bastyr University's Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program in Kenmore, Washington. Knowing that continuation of schooling was necessary to meet patients' needs in Washington State, she determined to return to school to further her education. She is honored to be part of a medical school that focuses on community needs and advancement of health and science. She is also looking forward to participating in WSMA's Medical Student Council to create change and improve healthcare delivery. During her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, playing guitar and singing, camping with her husband, Jack, and riding horses. She grew up in Whitefish, Montana and has spent the last 10 years in Seattle, Washington attending school, volunteering, and working.

Katherine (Katie) Strandberg, At-large
University of Washington, Spokane
Katherine (Katie) is originally from the Seattle area and is a third-year medical student at the University of Washington in Spokane. Prior to medical school, Katherine spent time serving as a mental health case manager, working as a nursing assistant and volunteering and learning Spanish in Guatemala. Katherine is passionate about Hispanic health, women's health and improving access to health care for underserved patients and plans to serve and advocate for these populations as a primary care provider. Katherine's free time activities include being outdoors—hiking, running, kayaking and playing soccer.

Matthew Grierson, MD, Liaison from the WSMA AMA Delegation
Physical medicine and rehabilitation, Seattle Spine & Sports Medicine, Seattle
Dr. Grierson is a board-certified physiatrist with subspecialty board certification in sports medicine. Dr. Grierson earned his medical degree from Boston University and completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Washington, where he also served as chief resident. Having experienced his fair share of dance-related injuries, Dr. Grierson appreciates the importance of finding a physician who understands the functional impact of an injury. He is medical director of the Clinic for Performing Artists (CoPA) at Seattle Spine and Sports Medicine and is committed to helping all patients across the spectrum of age, ability, and function. Outside of work, Dr. Grierson assists in shaping healthcare policy through his work with the WSMA and the American Medical Association. He co-founded a local non-profit (SeaPAM) that provides treatment to local performing artists who otherwise would not have access to care. When he has time, he loves spending time hiking or skiing in the mountains or baking decadent desserts in the kitchen.

Andrew Liechty, Liaison from the WSMA Board of Trustees
Washington State University, Spokane
Andrew is a second-year medical student at Washington State University. His current medical interests include movement disorders and musculoskeletal conditions. He became interested in policy issues through a variety of experiences that illuminated the need to not only seek out solutions on a personal level, but also look at systemic issues that are having broad effects on society. He is interested in issues related to addiction and social inequity. In his spare time, he enjoys climbing and being outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

Bjorn Payne, Liaison
University of Washington, Seattle
Bjorn is a third-year medical student at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is interested in addiction medicine and health care disparities, particularly as they manifest across categories of race, sexual orientation and gender. He sees organized medicine as an opportunity to serve patients and the community by addressing barriers to good health and quality medical practice at a structural level.

Elroy An, Liaison
University of Washington, Seattle
Elroy is a first-year medical student at the University of Washington in Seattle. His educational background includes a master’s in medical science from Loyola University Chicago. He also has a BS in biochemistry with a background in aging research from the University of Washington. With a passion to serve the underserved, he was one of the pioneering 2012 Teach for America corps members in Washington. In the classroom, he taught high school science, served as the science department chair, contributed as a district curriculum developer, and served as the head tennis coach. Elroy’s policy and advocacy interests include Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) health, health care access for the underserved, and healthcare equity.

Reilly Bealer, Liaison
Western State University, Spokane
Reilly Bealer is a first-year medical student at WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. She is currently doing pre-clinical years in Spokane, WA and then will complete clinical rotations in Tri-Cities, Washington. Prior to medical school, she graduated with a degree in Biology from Gonzaga University. She spent several years working as a medical scribe in Pediatric Neurology and Internal Medicine. Reilly is excited to work with WSMA/AMA teaching fellow medical students to write resolutions and advocating for improved access to healthcare for the people of Washington state, especially for those who are underserved. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading books, and taking her corgi named Milo for runs.

Erin Hagerty, Liaison
University of Washington, Spokane
Erin Hegarty grew up in the Tri Cities, Washington, before attending Baylor University for her bachelors degree in Health Science Studies and the University of North Carolina for her masters degree in Sport Administration. Before coming to the University of Washington, she spent a year coaching cross country and track at the University of Toledo in Toledo, OH. She is very much enjoying being a medical student and resident of Spokane. Something about which Erin is particularly passionate is the impact the practice of medicine has on the environment. Erin is excited about the opportunity to serve the University of Washington - Spokane as its WSMA rep and looks forward to learning from its members.

WSMA staff

Milana McLead, senior director of strategic communications and growth, milana@wsma.org
Alison Ippolito, associate director of membership, alison@wsma.org

 Early Career News

 

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