2018 group

The 2018-2019 UAMS Department of Psychiatry residents

Vicki Flynn, MD, PGY4, Chief Resident:  I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and left the state briefly to attend Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. I came back to Arkansas for medical school and chose to stay at my home program for residency because it was a great fit and had everything I wanted in a program. I have been interested in several fellowships over the years but have ultimately decided to pursue an academic career in general adult outpatient psychiatry with a focus on wellness and interventional psychiatry.  Outside of work, I like to enjoy Little Rock’s food scene – Height’s Tacos and Tamales, Big Orange, Raduno, and Boulevard are a few of my favorite restaurants. In my spare time, I like to cook and host dinners, garden, bird watch, and listen to Latina music and pretend I can salsa dance.

David Marvin, MD, PGY4: David grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He received his Bachelors in Physics at the University of Central Arkansas and his Masters at the University of North Texas. He spent several years in the Army and during that time learned of his great interest in medicine.  He went to medical school at UAMS and graduated in 2014, originally pursuing a career in Family Medicine in Knoxville, TN due to his varied interests; however, he really felt at home doing Psychiatry and was highly motivated to treat his patients’ mental health issues. He has a special interest in post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. He is also an avid weightlifter, hiker, and animal lover.

McElroyDavid McElroy, MD, PGY4:  My hometown is Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I went to Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport Louisiana for undergrad and UAMS for medical school. I chose UAMS for the completeness and family friendly nature of the program. The faculty were also excellent as a medical student and have continued to be great to work with as a resident. I played baseball in college and ​​​​​je parle un peu du francais. I have really enjoyed watching the Little Rock restaurant and craft beer scene blossom in the 6 or so years I have lived here. For a pint I like to head down to Blue Canoe, Flyway, or Lost Forty and for some good eats Baja Grill or Heights Taco and Tamale are close to home and always delicious. A lot of the pubs and restaurant/bars have trivia during the week and with the right group it’s always a fun time.

Hannah Williams, MD, PGY4: Hannah’s interest in psychiatry blossomed during her third year clerkship at the NLR VA, where she realized how mental health is key not only to one’s overall health, but also to all life experiences. She is particularly interested in Women’s Mental Health.  Outside of medicine, Hannah has a strong passion for anthropology.  She was fortunate enough to travel to Africa twice studying anthropology, which included seeing the home of Nelson Mandela and staying in Gombe National Park, where Jane Goodall conducted her groundbreaking research with chimpanzees. ​

San BuiSan Bui, MD, PGY3: San Bui was born and raised in southern California and received her Bachelors degree at University of California, Irvine in biological sciences. She then relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas for medical school. During her 3rd year clerkship at Arkansas State Hospital, she discovered a passion for treating patients with mental illness and finds getting to know her patients very rewarding. She is excited for the diverse opportunities that psychiatry has to offer. In her spare time, San is always on the hunt for good coffee, enjoys hiking outdoors, and discovering new music.

Lauren Davis, MD, PGY3: I initially became interested in psychiatry in my first years of medical school. As I graduated from the classroom to the wards my interest grew as I realized that so often this patient population was overlooked and underserved. I was genuinely interested in all specialties but felt caring for these folks was most rewarding and never boring. I loved the versatility, the young and old, inpatient and outpatient, the many different fellowship opportunities, etc. Outside of the hospitals, I enjoy hiking, biking, music, and overall learning new things.

Vanessa Freeman, MD, PGY3: I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee. I went to medical school at ETSU Quillen College of Medicine. I chose this program for the variety of clinical settings available to practice in and the opportunity for fellowships. Everyone has been so warm and welcoming, I know I made the best choice. I can speak Spanish and my favorite thing about Little Rock is that it’s big enough to have everything you would want. There are so many things to do and restaurants to eat at, all within a good distance.

Cydney Grant, DO, PGY3: I’m from Charles City, Iowa. I went Wartburg College (BA), University of Northern Iowa (MS) and NYITCOM (DO). I visited here on an away rotation for an elective in forensic psych and fell in love with the program.  Being interested in forensics, having the opportunity to rotate through Arkansas State Hospital (which is located right next to UAMS!) was a big plus. And ultimately, the people in program sold me, truly great people. If I’m not at work, I’ll probably be on the water boating with my husband and dog. And my favorite thing about Little Rock is the food!! LR has so many great restaurants for the size of the city. And bars that have live music.

Samuel Jackson, MD, PGY3: Samuel Jackson is a native of Magnolia, Arkansas. He graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and UAMS in 2016 with his medical degree. Before attending medical school he worked for several years working in the Center for Addiction Research at UAMS as a Research Assistant. This spurred his overall interest in psychiatry and medicine. He developed a passion for child psychiatry and advocacy while working in a rural pediatric clinic throughout his second year of medical school. Samuel spends his time outside the hospital cooking and baking for friends and enjoying the outstanding outdoor activities that the Natural State provides.

Megan Mueller, MD, PGY3: Megan Mueller is a Waldron, Arkansas native. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the UAMS College of Medicine.  Various life experiences led her to be interested in Psychiatry, but her love for the field was solidified during her third year clerkship and fourth year electives. She is interested in all aspects of Psychiatry and can’t wait to see what area she eventually ends up in. Outside of medicine, she is an avid football fan and enjoys spending any free time with her family.

Patrick Sassoon, MD, PGY3: Patrick Sassoon was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He received a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He then moved to Boulder, Colorado where he worked as a psychotherapist at an NGO and in private practice. After 7 years in practice, Patrick went back to school to become a psychiatrist, and received his medical degree from UAMS. He is interested in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapy, and mindfulness meditation. He enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing, wood working, playing soccer and doing arts and crafts with his children.

Andrew Worley, MD, PGY3: Andrew Worley grew up in rural Tennessee. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Harding University and earned his medical degree from the Medical University of the Americas. Andrew became interested in Psychiatry during the basic sciences and his many positive experiences during clerkships solidified his career choice in psychiatry.  He is interested in improving mental health care access in rural areas and also is interested in child and adolescent psychiatry as well as forensic psychiatry.  Andrew is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys camping, hunting and especially trout fishing on the Little Red River.

Erin Bider, MD, PGY2: Erin grew up in Kansas, but she has loved Arkansas for its beautiful rock climbing and hiking since college. She has been interested in psychiatry since she decided to attend medical school, having studied psychology in undergrad. She plans to pursue child and adolescent psychiatry. In her free time, Erin loves to spend time outside with her husband and dogs, read, and play board games.

Aparna Das, MD, PGY2: Aparna completed her medical school and psychiatry residency in India. She was attracted to psychiatry as she found it to be an exciting and evolving branch with immense scope and potential for research and innovation. This led her to pursue a residency in psychiatry. After her residency she moved to the U.S. and did observerships in Texas and Florida. She enjoys general adult psychiatry as that gives her a chance to care for patients with a diverse spectrum of psychiatric illnesses covering a wide age range. When not at work she enjoys watching movies, painting and cooks amazing Indian food.

Meghan Kerin, MD, PGY2: Meghan knew Psychiatry was my field after she worked with veterans and realized how rewarding it was to help patients with PTSD. She most likely will practice outpatient Psychiatry, as she enjoys following up with patients over a long period of time, and she is also interested in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Meghan would like to treat patients of all ages. Her most interesting personal fact is that she has played guitar in a couple of heavy metal bands, mostly during college.

Payton Lea, MD, PGY2: Payton is a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Hendrix College and earned his medical degree at UAMS. He became interested psychiatry during his third year clerkship, where he witnessed the immense role that psychiatrists played in both their patients’ mental and overall health. He is particularly interested in child and adolescent psychiatry. Payton is an obsessive sports fan, plays basketball and tennis, and enjoys collecting new and old vinyl records.

Caiti Maskrey, DO, PGY2: Caiti originally from Orange County, California. In high school she decided to pursue a career in psychiatry in order to help individuals suffering from mental illness. She earned a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California – Santa Cruz. She earned her D.O. degree from Kansas City University. She is thrilled to finally be living her dream. She has a strong interest in forensic psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry. In her free time she enjoys reading character-driven novels and volunteering at the Humane Society with kittens and cats.

Samuel Olson, DO, PGY2: Samuel chose psychiatry as his specialty because he most enjoyed his psychiatry rotation during medical school, was very excited about the future developments in the field, and had an affinity for the meaningful relationships that psychiatrists develop with their patients. He has a special interest in the interfaces between medicine, neurology, and psychiatry which makes psychosomatic medicine a field he would like to explore further. He enjoys outdoor activities such as mountain biking and hiking in his free time.

Taylor Pahls, MD, PGY2: Taylor is a native of Little Rock, and is one of our new psychiatric interns. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at Centenary College of Louisiana before returning home to Arkansas to attend medical school at UAMS. He decided to pursue psychiatry once he realized that his rotation with the psychiatry department provided him an avenue in which his skills were recognized and appreciated. In his spare time, he enjoys blacksmithing, playing board games, painting, and hiking with his dogs.

Abigail Richison, MD, PGY2: Abbey is an incoming Psychiatry resident coming from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Abbey’s interest was immediately sparked in Psychiatry while working on the inpatient service. She enjoyed the personal connection between psychiatrist and patient and became passionate about becoming a patient advocate for those struggling with mental illness. Abbey’s areas of interest include Addiction and Forensic Psychiatry. In addition to a love for Psychiatry, she is also an avid water-skier and enjoys being out on the water.

Karen Hall, MD, PGY1: Karen is an incoming PGY1 psychiatry resident who chose psychiatry as her specialty during her third year clerkship. During that clerkship she rotated through one of the general psychiatry units and the two adolescent psychiatry units at the state hospital, and she immediately felt this was the specialty where she could make the biggest difference. She is currently considering either child/adolescent or geriatric psychiatry but plans to keep an open mind throughout residency. She enjoys learning more about photography in her spare time and takes photos of nature and family members any chance she gets!

Kiley Jones, MD, PGY1: Kiley found her passion for psychiatry while on her geriatric psychiatry rotation during medical school. She enjoyed getting to know the patients, incorporating their families into the care plans, and delving into the pathophysiology of their cases. She intends to pursue a career in Geriatric Psychiatry and continue to serve this population of Arkansas. An interesting fact about Kiley is that she grew up on a 400 acre peach farm in rural Arkansas.​

Alex Kelsey, DO, PGY1: Alex is from Hortonville, Wisconsin.  He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergraduate studies and Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school.  His interest in psychiatry began during his third-year clerkship which he spent in outpatient general psychiatry.  Alex enjoys the meaningful interactions that psychiatrists share with their patients.  He finds the diversity general psychiatry has to offer interesting and would eventually like to practice in a similar setting.  In his free time, he enjoys weightlifting and casually studying history.

Fabiola Obregón, MD, PGY1: Fabiola grew up in Guatemala and moved to the U.S. halfway through high school. She got a B.S. in Nutrition from U of A – Fayetteville and worked as a dietitian prior to medical school at UAMS. She has lived in California, Iowa, and Oklahoma, but always finds her way back to Arkansas. She hasn’t learned to appreciate winter, since she is happiest at the pool or on her bike around the AR River Trail. When sunshine is scarce, she enjoys coffee/tea at The Meteor, the Mercantile No.1 at Heights Taco, or going to the movies. She is counting down the days until her husband finishes his Neuropathology residency at Johns Hopkins and can join her and their two cats, Misha & Gustavo.

Paul Parcon, MD, PGY1: Paul was born in Manila, Philippines, and grew up in Los Angeles before his family moved to Arkansas, where he attended the Arkansas School for Mathematics and Sciences in Hot Springs, AR. He and his family moved to Las Vegas, NV, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. While volunteering for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, he became interested in memory loss and neuroscience. He plans to pursue geriatric psychiatry and research in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to develop preventive treatments. He is also an avid collector of limited edition video games.

Douglas Provaznik, MD, PGY1: Douglas is from Fayetteville and received a BA in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of Arkansas. He then received his MD from UAMS where he became interested in psychiatry upon experiencing the many curious ways in which human behavior can be influenced by mental illness. What he really loves about the field is how psychiatrists can have a significant impact on the quality of life of not only patients but also their families, friends, and colleagues. He doesn’t have a specific area of interest within psychiatry but is looking forward to exploring more in residency. He’s climbed mountains on three continents.​

Brett Shaw, MD, PGY1: I was born and raised in Alberta, Canada and then attended undergrad at Brigham Young University. I became interested in psychiatry during my 3rd year rotation during medical school at Texas A&M and have interest in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry but am excited to explore all aspects of the field. I chose UAMS because of its diversity of clinical sites and experiences, and it seemed the right fit with the residents and clinicians I had the chance to meet. I’ve also loved Little Rock so far! I spend most of my time with my wife and daughters but also love sports (hockey & soccer), video games, and exploring the outdoors.

Stephanie Spurgat, MD, PGY1: Stephanie is a native Texan. She earned a BA in music at Rhodes College and a BS in biology at the University of Memphis. She attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where upon beginning her psychiatry rotation, knew she had found her career of choice. She is drawn to the field because it incorporates so many elements of medicine, including pharmacology, research, enormous opportunity for patient advocacy, and deeply personal patient interactions. She enjoys trail running, mountain and road cycling, and kayaking in her free time.