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Current Fellows

CAP 1 Fellows (Class of 2024)

John Ernzen, MD

Dr. Ernzen joins us from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago where he completed three years of training in general psychiatry immediately prior to his fellowship training. He has now been in Chicago for the better part of a decade, having completed medical school at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine before residency. Prior to this, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Arizona State University along with some graduate work in education policy. He continues to be interested in education, having served on curriculum review committees during medical school and as class representative during residency. In his free time he enjoys running/lifting, traveling, trying new restaurants, and playing bar trivia with friends.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"I chose to complete my child and adolescent psychiatric training at Lurie Children’s due to the comprehensive nature of the program. As a nationally ranked children’s hospital, Lurie Children's offers a variety of complex cases from which to learn and robust faculty under whom I can train. What’s more, the hospital makes a point of prioritizing behavioral health and is dedicated to being on the forefront of the growing adolescent mental health crisis."

Raymond Gonzales, MD

Dr. Gonzales attended medical school at the American University of Caribbean and completed residency at Citrus Health network/Florida International University HWCOM. Dr. Gonzales was the Wellness Chief of his residency program, where he created peer mentorships, promoted learning and work-life balance by coordinating wellness events and attaining amenities for his fellow residents. In residency, he presented poster at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting. Prior to medical school, Dr. Gonzales attended Boston University for undergraduate education and studied human physiology. Dr. Gonzales was inducted into the Alpha Omega Phi honor society in medical school. He completed one additional year of child and adolescent psychiatry at University of South Florida where he constructed FDA-approved resource to help facilitate a smoother transition for residents/fellows entering the field of child psychiatry. During his free time, Dr. Gonzales enjoys playing volleyball, composing music, playing guitar and attending concerts.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"I chose Lurie Children's for its robust training experience at a top-ranked children's hospital in the most-populated city in Midwest (3rd highest in the US). The acuity level of patients is often high, and many patients come from the surrounding states in addition to Illinois. One of the most appealing aspects for me was having the unique opportunity to learn from attendings with a variety of training backgrounds, many specializing in specific types of disorders. On interview day, the program faculty and fellows were warm and welcoming. The fellows were supportive of each other and spent time together outside of working hours. Lastly, Chicago as a city is fun, walkable, diverse, yet affordable in comparison to other major cities." 

Damian (Dongho) Gwak, MD

Dr. Gwak joined us from Rush University where he completed his third year of adult psychiatry residency. Prior to attending medical school, he obtained a BA in Biochemistry at Rice University while involved in bioengineering research. He completed his medical school training at Texas A&M School of Medicine. Dr. Gwak was previously also involved in research at MD Anderson Cancer Center and taught as a middle and high school standardized testing math teacher in Houston, TX. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, indoor rock climbing and bouldering, and visiting Chicago restaurants.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"I was drawn to the fellowship program at Lurie Children's due to the large number of clinical and academic opportunities the program offers to their fellows. It offers robust inpatient and outpatient training experiences, as well as access to a large variety of psychopathology and cultural diversity in the patient population that it serves. Additionally, it provides an excellent didactic curriculum and up-to-date, thought provoking grand rounds held throughout the fellowship. I would also have the honor to work with an exceptional faculty consisting of well-regarded and prominent experts in the field, as well as fellows who are all very welcoming and friendly. With an interest in outpatient adolescent psychiatry, I am confident that upon completion of this fellowship I will be able to serve my community as a knowledgeable, competent, and capable child psychiatrist."

Christy Ky, MD

Dr. Ky joins us from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While in residency, she earned the Jinger Hoop Memorial Award for Ethics in Psychiatry and the Psychiatry Research Writing Award. Her interests include early psychosis, collaborative care, cultural psychiatry, and women’s mental health. In her free time, she enjoys taking barre classes, exploring Chicago’s restaurant scene, and trying new recipes.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"Training in a big children’s hospital in a diverse city like Chicago promises a robust clinical experience that will help grow my knowledge and prepare me to pursue my interests in the field. I feel confident that at the end of my training, I will be able to manage both simple cases along with medically and psychiatrically complex cases. I am also excited to continue living in Chicago for another two years!"

Jasleen Singh, MD

Dr. Singh joins us from Rosalind Franklin University after completing her third year of general psychiatry residency. She also attended Loyola University Chicago for undergrad and medical school. Dr. Singh has seven prior publications and has been first author for several, including recent publications on the roles of arginine vasopressin and oxytocin in major depressive disorder. During residency she served as Chief Resident for Medical Student Education and was also heavily involved with Illinois Psychiatric Society where she continues to serve as editor of their Mind Matters newsletter, chair of the IPS Resident-Fellow Member Committee, and IPS Council member. She was awarded as IPS Resident of the Year in 2021. She was also given the CDR Burke Culture of Excellence Award in 2022 for Profound Therapeutic Impact and is the only resident to have received this award. During her free time, she enjoys dancing, music, trying different cultural foods, reading, gardening, and teaching/tutoring. 

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"Having trained locally, I knew that I wanted to stay in the Midwest for CAP fellowship training. It was also important to me that I train at a large academic center where I would receive a robust education, be able to work inter-disciplinarily on a team, and be able to work alongside other co-fellows to make for a better learning environment. I was lucky to have rotated at Lurie Children’s Inpatient Psychiatry Unit while on an away rotation as a medical student, and thus had first-hand experience to the quality of care, multi-disciplinary approach, and overall environment and camaraderie within the program. I also felt that the program’s affiliation to Northwestern University enhanced the emphasis on education and allowed for the ability to work with and teach medical students and adult psychiatry residents. Furthermore, Lurie Children’s Hospital has been ranked by US News and World Report as #1 in Illinois and #7 in the Midwest, so I knew that I would be getting good clinical exposure, have the opportunity to work with a diverse population and be able to learn from some of the best! Not to mention, being in the heart of Chicago was definitely a nice perk, with access to all of Chicago’s diversity, richness, and great food!"

Garseng Wong, MD

Dr. Wong joins us from New York University Grossman School of Medicine after completing his third year of general psychiatry residency, where he pursued his interest in medical education by leading exam review sessions for psychiatry clerkship students and developing an e-handbook for residents and medical students to reference on their clinical rotations. Outside of medicine, he enjoys staying active, singing, and exploring the city of Chicago.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"I wanted to pursue a fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in order to deepen my understanding of people and their mental health through the lifespan. I chose to train at Lurie Children's because it offered a range of practice settings and specialty clinics, which I felt would provide me with ample exposures to confidently practice independently at the end of my training. I was also eager to return to Chicago, where you can find a great quality of life with the excitement of living in a bustling city."

CAP 2 Fellows (Class of 2023)

Moshe Bitterman, MD

Dr. Moshe Bitterman joined us from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine after completing his third year of general psychiatry residency. While in medical school at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Dr. Bitterman presented a poster on the impact of peer-to-peer disclosure of mental illness on medical student’s stigma towards mental health. He also participated as an assistant in an NIH funded study of “Risk and Resilience in Maltreated Children.” In residency, he was an active member of the Wellness Committee helping to create peer mentoring groups and crisis management training for incoming residents. In his free time, he enjoys live music, rock climbing, and traveling.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"I chose to train at Lurie Children’s because the program prioritizes fellow education through a robust and intensive clinical experience. The learning environment is one of academic rigor and great warmth and support among colleagues. I wanted to appreciate a multidisciplinary approach to care, and at Lurie Children’s there is strong partnerships in both the clinical services and didactic curriculum between social work, psychology, and psychiatry. Focusing on family systems is also key in creating change in children’s lives, and this is certainly emphasized in the training at Lurie Children’s. Additionally, Chicago a is wonderful place to live, train, and be a part of a diverse community of both providers and patients."

George Gianakakos, MD

Dr. Gianakakos joins us from University of Central Florida (UCF)/HCA Consortium where he was a third year psychiatry resident. He attended Northwestern University for undergrad and medical school at University of Illinois in Chicago. After graduation from college, Dr. Gianakakos served for two years as a corps member in Teach for America from 2010-12 and taught as a 7th and 8th grade general science teacher in Bridgeport, CT from 2010-2013. While in medical school at UIC, he received the AACAP Jeanne Spurlock Research Fellowship in Drug Abuse and Addiction for Minority Medical Students and spent his first year of medical school in research with patients at a Chicago methadone clinic and at Children’s Research Triangle. He presented his research findings in a poster at AACAP’s 62nd annual meeting in San Antonio. He also served as a co-president of the Klingenstein Third General Fellowship in Chicago. In his free time, Dr. Gianakakos enjoys gardening, listening to audio books, yoga, Orange Theory fitness, cooking, and watching Mystery Science theater.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"So far, I have really appreciated the emphasis placed on academic rigor in a supportive and understanding environment, whether that be through didactics or our diverse patient cases. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that, despite its size and patient volume, Lurie Children’s is a highly collaborative hospital, with all specialties regularly coming together in the best interest of patients and their families. Located in the heart of Chicago, Lurie Children's sees a variety of patient cases and truly makes a difference in the lives of a multitude of Chicagoans, regardless of where they come from or how much money they make. Best of all, faculty and co-fellows make the work fun, and I genuinely enjoy coming to work knowing we are making a difference in the lives of Chicago’s children each and every day."

Emanuel Martinez, MD

Dr. Martinez joins us from Citrus Health Network/ Florida International University (FIU) HW College of Medicine residency. He attended Florida International University for undergraduate where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and attended FIU for medical school. While in medical school, he received the Dottie and Ed Grosse Medical Scholarship Fund in 2014. He has participated in research on trauma and length of stay in inpatient units among adolescents. He received the MBRS-RISE Research Fellowship in 2011-2013, Citrus Health Network Resident Teacher of the Year Award from 2018-2019, FIU Resident/Fellow Clinical Teaching Award 2019-2020 and served as a Chief Resident from 2020-2021. He is fluent in Spanish and has a passion for working with Latinx populations. Dr. Martinez enjoys playing soccer, fishing, traveling, and running in his free time.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"I chose to train at Lurie Children’s due to the emphasis the program places on education. The didactic curriculum which is taught by nationally renowned faculty seemed too good to pass up. Likewise, during the interview the welcoming nature of the all the interviewers made me feel comfortable with my choice. The breadth of elective rotations available will allow me to explore areas of interest. I am thrilled to have matched at Lurie Children’s as I believe the training I receive will make me a competent, empathetic, and culturally sensitive child psychiatrist."

Bavani Rajah, MD

Dr. Rajah joins us from Loyola University Medical Center she was a third year psychiatry resident. She attended undergrad at the University of Akron and medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University as part of an accelerated BS/MD program. While in medical school, she participated in a research study at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and reviewed data from over 3000 pediatric patients to investigate the impact of 2014 updated guidelines on palivizumab prophylaxis in premature infants hospitalized for RSV bronchiolitis. She presented her findings at the 2016 Pediatric Academic Society’s meeting in Baltimore and was published as first author in the Journal of Pediatrics in the fall of 2016. She has served as a cabin counselor at Flying Horse Farms where she worked with children with congenital heart disease. In residency, she serves on the GME Housestaff Governance Committee and was appointed as the psychiatry chief resident. She received the Loyola University Medical Center Magis Star Award in October 2018 for excellence in patient care. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, metal music, golfing, drawing and video games.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"As a Midwest native and after training in Chicago for residency, I knew I wasn’t ready to leave! However, when applying for CAP fellowship programs it was important to me that I would receive a high quality education in a supportive environment with knowledgeable faculty and enthusiastic peers. I have been so happy with my choice to train at Lurie Children’s as the balance of my clinical responsibilities, supervision and structured didactics have made such a positive impact on my learning. It is a privilege to work with some of the most prominent experts in our field and to experience a variety of complex cases at a large academic center."

Wendy Rocio Martinez Araujo, MD

Dr. Martinez Araujo joins us from Nassau University Medical Center where she was completing her adult psychiatry residency. A native of El Salvador, she attended Universidad de El Salvador Facultad de Medicina for medical school. She has multiple research experiences, including having worked on studies investigating depression and anxiety among adolescents who use social media as well as Alzheimer’s among geriatric Hispanic populations. She has published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences and presented posters at the Institute of Psychiatric services Mental Health Service Conference in New York in 2019 as well as the American Psychiatric Association Annual meeting in 2020. She has presented at The European Academy of Psychosomatic medicine in Vienna, Austria and the Annual Conference of the Prader-Willi Association. She is fluent in Spanish and is passionate about working with and serving the Latinx population. In her free time, she enjoys salsa and merengue dancing, visiting art museums, collecting hand-made artisanal jewelry and backpacking.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"I had many reasons to choose Lurie Children’s: it is the main children’s hospital in Chicago with one of the largest CAP programs, it has a wide variety of psychiatric complex cases, and it is affiliated with Northwestern University, which provides a highly educational environment and didactics taught by well-renowned staff and experts in the field. The staff was welcoming and friendly since the beginning of the interview process and will make you feel part of the team all the time. Most importantly, the collegial environment, which included seeing the fellows happy and heard by the department, was the cherry on top to choose Lurie Children's."

Jonathon Wanta, MD

Dr. Wanta attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and completed residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He has garnered a number of awards including the American Psychiatric Association Child and Adolescent Fellowship 2020, Ellen Irving Rothchild Medical Student Award for Excellence in CL Psychiatry 2018, and the CWRU Pride LGBT Ohio Leadership Award 2015. He is the resident member of the AACAP Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Committee (SOGIIC) and the resident board member on the Executive Board of AACAP’s PrideCAPA. Dr. Wanta has 9 publications including in Frontiers in Psychiatry and Transgender Health. He has presented at the AACAP Annual meeting in 2020 and 2021. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, laying out at the beach, and finding new restaurants for brunch.

Why did you choose to train at Lurie Children’s?

"Lurie Children’s CAP Fellowship offers all the strengths of a nationally renowned academic institution without losing the warm, supporting environment that is so important as a trainee. As a fellow, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, many of whom are literally writing the textbook on any given subject matter. At the same time, I’ve had ample interface with attendings all the way up to the Department Chair which in my opinion fosters an environment in which I feel included and valued not only as a trainee but more importantly as a physician colleague. Ultimately, I think this combination of a rigorous but supportive environment is best suited to help me reach my career goals moving forward!"

A Look at Fellow Life