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2023 Family Medicine Residents
GME group photo
Piu Dey

Onella Battaglia

I was born in Argentina and grew up between Buenos Aires and Lima, Peru. I graduated from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine.

I am passionate about a healthy lifestyle and its power to change lives. I am committed to the community of Gulfport. My ultimate goal is to build strong therapeutic relationships with my patients and empower them to live their lives at their fullest potential.

My hobbies are sailing, running, swimming, reading, and drawing zentangles. I am always up for an adventure. Hiking, rock climbing, or skydiving, count me in.

Heriberto Casanova

I was born in Cuba and grew up in Miami where I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology at Florida International University. Went on to pursue medicine and completed medical school in Puerto Rico at Universidad Central del Caribe.

My interest in family medicine is primary care with a focus in pain management. My goal as a family physician is to educate and provide quality care for patients of all ages.

In my free time, I enjoy watching basketball (Miami Heat fan), going to the gym, and exploring new local spots.

Tengiz, Emre MD Headshot MHG_3896
Nazli Goktepe
Alex Cole

I was born and raised in Orlando, FL, I spent much of my childhood active and exploring the outdoors. As an adult, I have continued to explore the outdoors, traveled frequently, and enjoyed experiencing new food, culture, and art throughout my travels. 

I graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s in biomedical sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a Master’s in Cancer and Reproductive Biology, and from the University of Miami with my MD.

It is through my education, travel experience, and diverse life experience that I have formed an appreciation for people from all walks of life and backgrounds. I am passionate about providing high-quality, individualized healthcare to patients and families in an effort to optimize personal health and, subsequently, the health of the community.

Hunter Cooper

I was born and raised on the MS Gulf Coast, spending my childhood on the water and honing my fishing skills. I was drawn to Family Medicine for the opportunity to develop lifelong relationships with my patients and provide continuity of care.

I am ecstatic to be a part of the compassionate family medicine team at Memorial Hospital, the top-tier and premier family medicine program in the state of Mississippi.

Memorial’s patient-centered approach focuses on building strong doctor-patient relationships, ensuring open communication, and fostering trust. I can think of no place better than Memorial to hone my skills to be able to provide comprehensive and compassionate medical services to individuals and families. Outside of residency, I love to fish and be on the water, and I am always ready to take any of my fellow residents out fishing on the boat or for a relaxing boat trip to the barrier islands on the weekends to relax in the sand and water.

Gurwinder Kaur
Arjun Meiyappan

Shawn Friedland

I was born in Plantation, FL, and spent most of my childhood near Boston, MA. I completed my Bachelor’s in Biology at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. I then moved to Atlanta, GA where I completed a master’s in biomedical sciences at PCOM-GA, and a master’s in biology at Georgia State University. After teaching college science classes for a few years and traveling the world, I moved to Grenada where I attended St. George’s University School of Medicine. 

I am passionate about medical education and healthcare leadership. My career interests are diverse and I’m excited about the many opportunities family medicine provides.

I love to travel and be immersed in local culture, especially trying new foods. My hobbies include hiking, adventure, volunteering, astronomy, comedy, and a huge dog lover.

Charles Furlan

I’m a New Orleans native with a deep love for the Gulf South and proudly graduated from the University of New Orleans and Ross University School of Medicine. As a U.S. Army veteran and former Louisiana sheriff’s deputy, I have always been driven to serve and protect my community. Alongside my diverse professional experiences, I enjoyed being a personal fitness trainer and continue to stay active doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Outside of work, I have a passion for classic cars and enjoy strategic activities like chess. I find solace in gardening and love the thrill of playing Golden Tee golf.

Overall, I’m someone who values continuous learning, diverse experiences, and making a positive impact in the world.

Surbhibahen Modi
Shazzanne Pennant

Abraham Gobel

I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and my aspiration to become a doctor began at the age of 7. In high school, I participated in an internship in pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital which further cemented my career choice in life. Before attending medical school, I gained valuable experience as a phlebotomist/laboratory technician at a local hospital. It was during my studies at Trinity School of Medicine in St Vincent and the Grenadines that my passion for family medicine flourished, particularly through my active involvement in community-oriented extracurricular activities.

I derive great satisfaction from establishing enduring connections with patients, facilitating long-term care, and prioritizing preventive medicine while advocating for their well-being.

Outside of my professional commitments in clinics and hospitals, I dedicate my time to various pursuits. While continuously expanding my medical knowledge is of utmost importance to me, I find fulfillment in engaging in activities such as running, biking, participating in trivia, reading, and cherishing meaningful moments with my wife, two cats, and close friends. I eagerly anticipate the enriching experiences that await me at Memorial Hospital and within the Gulf Coast region.

Giannina Rodriguez-Golderos

I was born and raised in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. I did my undergrad degree in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (El Colegio!), and went to the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts for medical school. I did most of my clinical rotations in Georgia and since then I knew that I wanted to train and practice in the South. Moreover, I always knew I wanted to train in a place where doctors are needed. 

The thing I love the most about Family Medicine is the lifelong bonds you form with your patients. I think that is one of the most rewarding aspects of what we do. You can’t find that in any other specialty.

I look forward to taking care of families at all stages and having the opportunity to make an impact early on. Some of my areas of interest include underserved medicine, obstetrics, emergency medicine and inpatient medicine. 

When I’m not doing medicine, I enjoy painting, drawing, cooking, traveling, movies, and TV shows.

Dr. Michael Samel
Carmenza Valderrama

Sana Jaffery

I was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and immigrated to New York at the age of nine months. I grew up in Queens, NY. I completed my undergraduate education at New York University. Driven by my passion for both medicine and public health, I made the decision to further my education at St. George’s University, where I embarked on a dual path, pursuing a medical degree and a master’s in public health.

Among the various medical specialties, I chose family medicine due to its unique ability to foster enduring relationships and provide comprehensive care to individuals over time. By establishing long-term continuity of care, I aim to not only address immediate medical needs but also gain a deeper understanding of my patients’ passions and aspirations. Ultimately, my goal is to enhance their overall quality of life, enabling them to resume activities they hold dear.

The field of family medicine offers me a versatile practice that encompasses a broad spectrum of disease processes, allowing me to serve patients at all stages of life. I eagerly anticipate embarking on a career in family medicine, as it affords me the opportunity to approach patients holistically, recognizing their humanity beyond mere symptoms and diseases. Furthermore, I aspire to not only be a physician to my patients but also an integral part of their extended family, establishing a bond built on trust and genuine care.

I cherish spending time with my loved ones, engaging in outdoor activities such as playing tennis, and enjoying the company of my family dog, Migo.

Kyle Strickland

I was born and raised in Orlando, FL but have lived all over from Honduras to Italy during my service in the Air Force. It was during my time spent in Honduras that I met my wife and gained a focus on helping underserved communities. After leaving the military I returned to Orlando and completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Central Florida. I attended Nova Southeastern University for my Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine.

My decision to pursue a career in Family Medicine stemmed from its broad scope, which allows me to provide comprehensive care and assist my patients in achieving the highest possible quality of life. As a passionate patient advocate, I firmly believe in empowering individuals through education and involving them in the decision-making process regarding their healthcare.

Outside of my professional life, I find great joy in spending time with my loving wife and our beloved pet. I am also enthusiastic about cooking, learning to play the piano, and exploring new destinations and cultures through travel. These personal interests not only contribute to my overall well-being but also enhance my ability to connect with patients on a deeper level.

Thinn Zaw
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Family Medicine

Internal Medicine

4500 Thirteenth Street
PO Box 1810
Gulfport, MS 39501

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