Meet Our Fellows
Welcome Class of 2022!
Anne Durstenfeld, MD
Growing up, I moved back and forth between Singapore and the US a few times and then up and down the East Coast, so I am glad to finally put roots down in the Bay Area! I earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering at Yale and an MD from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. I completed pediatric residency at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York, where I became hooked on the intellectual stimulation and high acuity environment of the Pediatric Critical Care Unit. A short trip to Kenya working as a pediatric hospitalist galvanized my ambition to make critical care concepts and technology applicable and useful to our peers in low-resource settings. My academic interests include medical education, global health, and health disparities.
When I'm not at work, I love to spend time with my family, church family, and friends, preferably cooking and eating good food (particularly ice cream) or appreciating the outdoors! I am grateful and excited to start critical care fellowship at Stanford!
Liz Dorwart, MD
I grew up in New Braunfels, Texas near Austin and has been a LPCH/PICU Hospitalist for 3 years now. I am excited to now start a PCCM fellowship. I went to a small liberal arts school and then did her medical training at University of North Texas. I married my Canadian sweetheart and was torn between peds and ER. Ultimately, I chose peds because kids are amazing and fill the soul with joy, and pediatricians are a fun group of cats to work with. My professional interests include resuscitation, teamwork, education and telemedicine/outreach. My greatest fear is being on a desert island without a cardigan or a scarf.
When I'm not in the PICU, you can find me gardening, hiking, reading, car karaoke, good food, pisco sours, funny socks and comedy shows.
Monica Ruiz, MD
I was born and raised in Rio Grande City, a small rural town along the South Texas border - this is where I discovered my love of medicine at a young age by shadowing the family physician who cared for our community. I ultimately decided to attend UT Austin, where I received my BS in Neurobiology. During my time there I completed global health trips to Nicaragua, which is where I developed my passion for working in a low resource setting and understanding the social/environmental determinants of health, so began by love affair with public health. This led me to complete an MD/MPH at UT Health San Antonio. I unexpectedly found myself in love with caring for children with complex healthcare needs and stayed in San Antonio to complete my pediatric residency. I am so grateful and excited to be joining to Stanford PICU family!
In my free time I enjoy running, lifting weights, dancing (salsa mostly), hiking, beach time and batting cages! Have two nieces and nephew back home which make me incredible happy for modern day technology, such as facetime.
Matt Marx, MD
I am a native Californian but spent most of my upbringing split between family in New Orleans and Philadelphia. It was in New Orleans where I earned my MD at Tulane followed by residency in DC at George Washington U. I was working in the ICU at CHOP in Philadelphia and am excited to join PCCM’s fellowship and continue my Critical Care/Global Health interest and make a trip or two to Tanzania! Joining me is my partner, Brittany, who is a PhD in Latin American History and Women’s studies. I'm looking forward to the nice weather and diverse culture while being able to visit my brother who lives north of Sacramento!
Zack Smith, MD
Although I was born in Florida, I spent the majority of my childhood in North Carolina where I became an avid fan of Carolina Basketball. I attended Elon University for my undergraduate studies where I received a degree in American History. After graduation, I completed a Postbaccalaureate Cancer Research Training Fellowship with the HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch of the National Cancer Institute. I then returned to North Carolina and completed both medical school and pediatric residency at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was during this time that I found my passion of caring for critically-ill children in low-resource settings. Following my graduation from residency, I completed a Fogarty Global Health Postdoctoral Fellowship in Lilongwe, Malawi where I investigated digital auscultation and computerized lung sound analysis in the evaluation of pediatric pneumonia. I extremely excited to be joining the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Stanford University where I hope to hone my skills as an intensivist and continue working to improve the care of children in low and middle-income countries. Outside of the hospital, I am incredibly proud to be married to my amazing spouse Victoria. Along with our dog Einstein, we enjoy long-distance running, music festivals, being on the water, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Class of 2020
Ali Arastu, MD
I was born in Southern California, spent my childhood internationally and returned to California as a teenager and consider the amazing state home. I studied Marine Biology at the University of Southern California and stayed at the same institution for medical school. I completed my general Pediatrics residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, during which I founded House of Stoked -- a not-for-profit organization dedicated to using the wilderness as a platform to empower vulnerable youth to care for their own health, as well as the health of the environment. My medical interests apart from Pediatric Critical Care extend to wilderness medicine, global health and health disparities.
Outside of the hospital, I can be found exploring the wilderness, in good company, writing or eating - preferably all together.
Vidit Bhargava, MBBS
I was born and raised in the picturesque city of Jaipur, India. I graduated from B.J. Medical college, Pune and developed an immense respect and love for children and dedicated my life to taking care of the little ones. My search for excellence in clinical training and cutting edge research set me on a path to pursue residency in pediatrics at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston. I have since striven to achieve these goals and to serve children. My academic interests include caring for children with critical illnesses, complex congenital heart diseases, pediatric sedation and ICU delirium. I also enjoy knowledge sharing with medical community and have participated in several academic pediatric meetings throughout the nation.
Outside of medicine, I grew up travelling with dad on his photography expeditions to wildlife parks of India and developed an admiration for nature and wildlife. I continue to enjoy being close to nature. In my free time I enjoy biking, cricket, golf and console gaming. I am extremely grateful to learn nuances of pediatric critical care from the best mentors in the country. I am truly privileged to be a part of these children’s lives.
Quynh Nguyen, MD
I was born in Danang, Vietnam before immigrating to San Jose, California. I grew up in the bay area and attended Stanford University for college, majoring in Biology with a minor in Iberian Latin American Culture. After completing medical school at University of California Davis, I finally decided to venture north to Washington for my pediatric residency. I have been a part of the global health track at Seattle Children’s hospital, otherwise known as Research Education and Child Health, where I have had a chance to work in Kisii, a rural community in Kenya. While I love doing work in global health focusing on community needs and injury prevention, I also discovered that I am fascinated by critical care medicine, and hope to build a career out of these interests through continuing my training at Stanford for critical care fellowship. I am so excited to return home to my family in the bay area, and especially to my alma mater! Outside of medicine, I enjoy eating as much as cooking. I also love the outdoors, road trips, and spending time with family, friends, and my dog, Lucy.
Mahil Rao, MD / PhD
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I grew up loving Mister Rogers, the Penguins, and the Pirates. I moved up to a small town in New Hampshire to go boarding school where I met my lovely wife. I went to college at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland where I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the world of biomedical research. After graduating from college, I worked as a research technician for two years, then moved to St. Louis to join the MD/PhD program at Washington University School of Medicine. Residency took me to Cincinnati Children’s, where I discovered the challenges and rewards of pediatric critical care. In the long term, I hope to combine basic science research and clinical medicine to improve the quality of care that we are able to provide for our sickest children. I am thrilled to be beginning the next phase of my training at Stanford, an institution well-known not only for the excellent clinical care that it provides to children right now but also for the innovating work that will improve the quality of care that we provide for children in the future. My research interests, broadly speaking, are in the area of immune dysregulation, such as occurs in sepsis, trauma, and following organ transplantation. Outside of work, I love animals; my wife and I are proud parents of two wonderful kittens (actually full-grown orange tabbies who simply act like they are still kittens). I also enjoy running and baking with a special interest in cake decorating. My family and I live in Mountain View.
Second Year Fellows
Thomas LaRocca, MD
I was born and raised in Menlo Park, just down the street from the hospital, and attended undergrad at UC Berkeley. After graduation, I worked for Cor Therapeutics in South San Francisco focusing on vascular/platelet biology and mechanisms of thrombosis, continuing in this field at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. I next headed to New York City joining the MD/PhD program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. It was here my interest in heart failure research began with a broad focus in gene therapy strategies for myocardial dysfunction. After completion, I joined the pediatric residency program at UCSF and furthered my clinical training as a pediatric hospitalist at John Muir Medical Center with Stanford Children's Health.
Lindsay, and our two children, Bowman and Cora, (three if you include our pup, Rosie), love the outdoors and picking around the Sierras on either skis or in hiking boots. If not on campus, I'm bouncing around with my family, cruising on my mountain bike or in the bay, sailing or open water swimming. We love the Bay Area and I am thrilled to continue weaving a career within critical care medicine and to contribute to understanding pediatric heart failure with the team at Stanford.
Amrita Sinha, MD
As I join the division of pediatric critical care medicine at Stanford, the journey toward my growth as a physician gets exponentially more interesting and exciting! The proximity to family and friends, and the pleasant West Coast weather are wonderful perks.
I was born and raised in India, where I enjoyed traveling with my family and grew up surrounded by various cultures, learnt traditional dance forms and learnt to speak different languages. My experiences led me to appreciate the essence of service toward the community that morphed into my interest in medicine. I completed my medical schooling in Bangalore and went on to pursue a pediatrics residency at the MetroHealth Medical Center, CWRU, in Cleveland, go Cavs! There, I was drawn to critical care medicine given its strong ties with physiology, high acuity and fast paced structure. I was also able to pursue research in the areas of my interest including sedation, health care utilization and quality improvement which led me to develop an appreciation for the field of informatics. I hope to blend this interest of mine into the field of pediatric critical care and contribute to the growth of this fascinating field of medicine at Stanford, where cutting edge research is manufactured.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy exploring new places, trying various cuisines, learning new dance styles and indulging in the art of yoga. I also love face timing with my dog back home in India!
Sherry Gu, MD
I was born in Nanjing, China, but shortly after, moved and have lived all over the US; I've spent most of my time in NYC, FL, and DC. I completed a seven year BA-MD program at the George Washington University, where I earned a BS in Biology and minored in Psychology. In college, I thoroughly enjoyed working with children through various hospital-based and community programs, and so Pediatrics was an easy choice. It was during my residency at Tulane University in New Orleans that I discovered my passion for high-quality, evidence-validated practice and research, which drives my interest in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, particularly in quality improvement.
Outside of medicine, I enjoy being outdoors, running, traveling, yoga, the theater, eating and cooking good food, and indulging in non-medical literature.
I am thrilled to continue my journey across the USA on the west coast in fellowship at Stanford!
Natalie Wilson, MD
I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where I grew up learning about medicine from my mother, who is a pediatrician and an amazing role model. From a young age, I wanted to follow in her footsteps. After high-school, I took a two year detour to dance as an apprentice with Oregon Ballet Theatre, before returning to academia at Portland State University. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Micro and Molecular Biology and went on to attend medical school at Oregon Health & Science University.
Along with my husband, Andi, and our two cats, I then made the trek across the country to the green mountains of Vermont for my pediatric residency. While I was captivated with the physiology in the PICU during medical school, it was in residency that my fascination with pediatric critical care grew. I found myself further drawn to the challenge of navigating complex interactions with patients and their families.
I am incredibly thrilled to be a part of the Pediatric Critical Care team at Stanford! In addition to learning the art and science of critical care, I hope to pursue my interests in medical education and simulation. Outside the hospital, I enjoy backpacking, board games, and trying new recipes.
Hannah Canty, MD
I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I was five, we moved to the Inland Northwest, where I started playing the harp when I was six. We returned to California when I was eleven. I attended UCLA for undergrad and studied physiology knowing that I wanted to go into medicine. There, I was able to continue pursuing my love of music by playing my harp in the UCLA Philharmonia.
For medical school, I travelled across the country to Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, PA. I realized quickly that I loved pediatrics and decided to return west for pediatric training at Oregon Health and Science University. I quickly fell in love with Pediatric Critical Care because I enjoy the physiology in action and being there for families and patients during the challenging moments in the PICU. At OHSU, I also did qualitative research regarding post-partum depression. When I am not in the hospital, I enjoy spending time with my dog Sherlock and with my family, doing yoga, going to church, and playing my harp.
Class of 2019
Dr. Rod Ghassemzadeh will join the University of Pittsburgh/Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh CVICU as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.
Dr. Lara Murphy will be a Clinical Instructor & Research Fellow in Bioinformatics at Stanford.
Dr. Urs Naber has accepted a PICU Attending position at Valley Children's Madera and is Chief Operating Officer of Zeit Medical.
Dr. Mais Yacoub will be a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at University of Nevada Las Vegas/Children's Hosptial of Nevada PICU.
Class of 2018
Dr. Meghna Patel has joined the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Stanford University as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.
Dr. Lindsey Troy has joined the the Division of Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Utah School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.
Dr. Michelle Olson will join the Division of Critical Care at at Virginia Commonwealth University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics upon completing her fellowship in September 2018.
Class of 2017
Dr. Dane Jacobson has joined the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine as a Clinical Instructor while he pursues a secondary fellowship in Clinical Informatics.
Zahidee “Saidie" Rodriguez
Dr. Zahidee “Saidie" Rodriguez has joined Emory University School of Medicine as a Pediatric Cardiology fellow at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta Georgia.
Dr. Daniel Tawfik has joined the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine as an Instructor as he completes his Master of Science in Health Services Research Program and pursues a career studying organizational and operational features of high-performing healthcare systems.
Dr. David Werho has joined the Division of Cardiology at University of California San Diego Rady Children’s Hospital as an Assistant Professor and continue his research in cardiac intensive care outcomes and medical education.
Class of 2016
Dr. Mindy Ju joined University of California, San Fransisco as a Clinical Instructor at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Mission Bay in a Pediatric Simulation Fellowship.
Dr. Katherine Kruse continued at Stanford in the Center for Biomedical Ethics as a post-doctoral research fellow following her PCCM fellowship. She is currently a Pediatric Intensivist at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota where she continues her focus on biomedical ethics and palliative care.
Dr. Catherine Ross joined Harvard University as an Instructor at Boston Children’s Hospital. She continues her research in resuscitation science and pediatric cardiopulmonary arrest.