Internal Medicine Residency Directors & Chief Residents
Residency program directors in NYU Langone’s Department of Medicine develop, oversee, and improve the Internal Medicine Residency with assistance from chief residents. Together, they ensure that both residents and faculty are equally represented in the decisions that shape the Internal Medicine Residency curriculum.
The Internal Medicine Residency program directors provide residents with career development advice and guidance and establish fair processes for all who are involved to participate in determining the program’s goals and expectations.
2019–20 Chief Residents
Selected for their exceptional clinical and leadership skills, chief residents serve as key mentors and advocates for other residents while supporting and upholding NYU Langone’s trifold mission to serve, teach, and discover.
Tanya M. Wilcox, MD
Dr. Wilcox grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, but now considers herself bicoastal. She first moved to the east coast for college, then back to California for medical school, and returned to New York for residency.
Dr. Wilcox feels that the diversity of clinical experiences for trainees at NYU Grossman School of Medicine makes it a perfect fit for her. She is excited to spend an extra year as a chief resident to ensure that future residents also have positive experiences during their training.
In addition to clinical medicine, Dr. Wilcox is actively involved in research and continues to work on projects that investigate the impact of metabolic risk factors on cardiovascular outcomes. She is currently applying for a cardiology fellowship. Learn more about Dr. Wilcox.
Kelsey A. Luoma, MD
Dr. Luoma grew up in Gilroy, California, part of the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2007, she moved down the coast to San Diego, where she completed her undergraduate education. She finally managed to break away from the borders of California when she attended medical school at the University of Colorado in Denver.
For residency, Dr. Luoma says the decision to migrate eastward again was an easy one after interviewing at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and falling in love with the program’s dedication to service, diversity of clinical sites, and tightly-knit community. She decided to stay at NYU Langone for an extra year as an inpatient chief resident to hone her skills as an educator, while giving back to the amazing community that she loves so much.
Dr. Luoma is currently applying for a pulmonary medicine and critical care fellowship, and plans to pursue a career in academics to follow her passion for research and education. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys running the occasional marathon, hiking, biking, and hanging out with her fiancé, their dog, Rumy, and cat, Sebastian. Learn more about Dr. Luoma.
Milna R. Rufin, MD, Inpatient Chief Resident
Though she was born and raised in the suburbs of Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Rufin considers herself a New Yorker through and through. In 2004, she moved to New York City to attend NYU for undergrad and majored in journalism and history with a concentration in New York City trade and gender history.
During and after college, Dr. Rufin worked at the Clinton Foundation as a senior writer and focused on projects to promote global health and HIV/AIDs projects. This work led her to the world of medicine. After completing a postbaccalaureate program at Columbia University and medical school at Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Rufin made her way back home to NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency.
Dr. Rufin is honored to serve New Yorkers in need at the storied Bellevue, which has brought immense meaning to her life. She feels elated to give back to this community as one of the inpatient chief residents.
Some of her other interests include resident wellbeing, leadership in medicine, and healthcare advocacy. When Dr. Rufin is not at the hospital, you can find her boxing, performing important food research at restaurants, and cooking sous vide steak with her husband, Takafumi. Learn more about Dr. Rufin.
Amy Ou, MD
Dr. Ou was born in Shanghai, China and came to the United States at a young age. Although she studied biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Ou always had an interest in programming and engineering and developed an endoscopic training device during her undergraduate studies.
Part of the first class of students in NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s accelerated three-year MD degree program, Dr. Ou stayed on for the Internal Medicine Residency because she felt a dedication to service and affinity for the community.
As a chief resident, Dr. Ou hopes to integrate her interest in technology with the community that made her own residency experience so great. She then plans to pursue a career in academic internal medicine.
In her free time, you can find Dr. Ou tweaking the Core IM Podcast website, making podcast graphics, or doing something similarly nerdy. Learn more about Dr. Ou.
Custon T. Nyabanga, MD
Dr. Nyabanga was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he completed high school before moving top the United States. He went to Pomona College in California for undergrad, where he majored in chemistry and briefly worked as a synthetic chemist before applying to medical school.
For medical school, Dr. Nyabanga went to the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He gained experience in both basic and translational research, which ultimately led to his interest in gastroenterology.
Dr. Nyabanga chose NYU Langone for residency so that he could serve a diverse patient population. He says the three unique hospital settings—NYU Langone Health, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, and the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System—offer unparalleled clinical training.
Dr. Nyabanga is excited to spend another year working with other dedicated and compassionate NYU Langone residents, while continuing to learn from supportive mentors. Outside of the hospital, you can find him exploring New York City museums and all of the unique culinary options the city has to offer. Learn more about Dr. Nyabanga.
Gabriel Perreault, MD, Outpatient Chief Resident
Dr. Perreault was born and raised in rural New Hampshire and had his first encounter with New York State while studying molecular biology and anthropology at the University of Rochester. Before jumping into a career in medicine, he studied medical anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.
In 2012, Dr. Perreault came back to the United States and attended NYU Grossman School of Medicine. The collegial community, diverse training environment, and invaluable mentorship convinced him to stay at NYU Langone for the Internal Medicine Residency.
Dr. Perreault is excited to be staying on as outpatient chief resident at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, where he hopes to grow his mentorship and teaching skills and see what’s going on behind the curtain of academic medicine. He is applying for a gastroenterology fellowship, and is leaning towards specializing in hepatology.
Dr. Perrault also serves as the Associate Editor for Clinical Correlations’ new “Why We Do What We Do” series. Outside of medicine, you can find him playing sports, hiking, walking dogs, and experimenting in the kitchen. Learn more about Dr. Perreault.
Christian L. Torres, MD, Outpatient Chief Resident
Dr. Torres’s life has had a lot of zigs and zags, both in terms of career and geography. He was born in Puerto Rico, but grew up in San Diego. He then attended Stanford University, where he majored in human biology with a focus in neuroscience and health policy.
After graduation, he almost applied to medical school, but a love for journalism took Dr. Torres down a different path. He moved to New York City and then Washington, D.C., where he worked as a health and science reporter for Nature Medicine, The Washington Post, and Kaiser Health News. Finally, he decided he wanted to practice medicine and not just write about it.
Dr. Torres attended University of California San Diego Medical School before returning to New York City. NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, in particular, had everything he wanted in a program: a variety of clinical experiences, a diverse and underserved population, and a great community.
Dr. Torres has decided to stay one more year as the outpatient chief resident at Bellevue to develop his teaching skills and solidify his knowledge of primary care before pursuing a career as an academic hospitalist.
When he’s not in clinic, you can find Dr. Torres tending to plants in his jungle of an apartment, watching too much TV, or searching for the best Latin food in New York City and wherever he travels. Learn more about Dr. Torres.
Carolyn B. Drake, MD, Chief Resident
Carolyn, who everybody calls Carl, grew up in Oakland, California, and went to Smith for undergrad, where she majored in sociology and then studied public health abroad in India.
Somewhere along the way, Dr. Drake realized she wanted to focus on providing care to vulnerable and marginalized communities. She moved down South for an MD and MPH at Tulane, seeking to learn from New Orleans' diverse and underserved patient population.
That same goal brought Dr. Drake to NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYC Health +Hospitals/Bellevue, where she found a tight-knit community of brilliant, like-minded physicians who are now close friends.
Dr. Drake is thrilled to be the quality improvement and patient safety chief resident this year. Afterwards, she hopes to become an academic hospitalist serving high-utilizing patients with high-value care.
Though she used to be a wild child with a mohawk and a motorcycle, outside of work she can now reliably be found doing tamer things in Brooklyn, like going to farmers markets and hanging out with her adopted cat, Sydney Cheese. Learn more about Dr. Drake.
Cary J. Blum, MD
Dr. Blum grew up in Brooklyn and went to Vassar College, where he studied economics and geography and met his wife, Sophie, a ballet teacher.
Between college and medical school, Dr. Blum took off two years to complete a postbaccalaureate program and do some basic science research. During his time at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Dr. Blum rediscovered his roots in social science and public policy and completed an MPA in Health Policy at NYU Wagner.
Dr. Blum stayed for the primary care track in the Internal Medicine Residency and is now chief resident of the track. This year as chief, he hopes to improve his teaching skills and support the program and amazing residents.
Dr. Blum loves thinking about medicine from the perspective of both individuals and populations. He has interests in healthcare policy, medical education, and nephrology. Outside of medicine, Dr. Blum spends his time taking care of his baby daughter Louise, reading the New York Times, doing crossword puzzles, rooting for the Yankees, and skiing. Learn more about Dr. Blum.
David Rhee, MD
Dr. Rhee was born and raised in New Jersey, came to New York City for college, and hasn’t left since. Over the years, while learning the proper way to fold pizza slices and jaywalking between cabs, his career goals shifted slightly. Initially, Dr. Rhee wanted to be “that cool high school physics teacher on YouTube,” but he majored instead in neuroscience and behavior.
Dr. Rhee fell in love with internal medicine, graduated in the first cohort of the accelerated three-year MD program at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and stayed for residency. He is spending an extra year as a chief resident at the NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn campus, where he hopes to learn as much as he teaches.
When he is not applying for a cardiology fellowship, you may find Dr. Rhee losing an argument with his stubborn Shiba Inu, hooking golf balls to the far right, or watching videos of cool physics teachers blowing up watermelons, wondering what could have been (especially after a long day).
Ciril Khorolsky, MD
Dr. Khorolsky was born in Sochi, Russia, but grew up in Israel for the first half of his life. From the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea, he moved to the snowy plains of the great white north, where he studied biology at York University in Toronto, Canada.
Following graduation, Dr. Khorolsky returned to Israel to study medicine at Sackler School of Medicine of Tel Aviv University. During medical school, he worked with underserved communities through Physicians for Human Rights—Mobile Clinic Project and cared for children with congenital heart disease from developing countries as part of Save a Child’s Heart. It was through these experiences that he fell in love with internal medicine and the field of cardiology.
Upon completing medical school and in keeping with his tradition of cross-continental travel, Dr. Khorolsky came to New York City for residency. He chose to train at NYU Grossman School of Medicine because of the opportunities to care for an underserved and clinically complex patient population, work alongside passionate faculty, and participate in meaningful research.
Dr. Khorolsky feels honored to be a chief resident at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn and is excited to serve residents and the program. Following chief year, he plans to pursue a cardiology fellowship. Outside of medicine, Dr. Khorolsky love spending time with his wife Natali and the newest member of their family, their baby daughter Mika.
Nicolas Patel, MD
Dr. Patel was born in Boston but has spent the majority of his life at Rutgers University in New Jersey, first for undergrad and then for medical school. Dr. Patel fell in love with medicine during undergrad after following in his brother’s footsteps and majoring in cell biology and neuroscience and psychology.
After medical school, Dr. Patel chose to train at NYU Grossman School of Medicine because of the many opportunities to advance his clinical training, the amazing mentors, and the research potential. At NYU Langone, he has had the privilege of working with some of the best clinicians and researchers in the world.
Dr. Patel feels honored to stay on as a chief resident at the NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, where he hopes to not only advance his leadership and education skills, but to also expand research opportunities for residents. Aside from applying for a gastroenterology fellowship in his free time, Dr. Patel also plans to hone his golf skills, play basketball, cheer for the Patriots, and spend time with family. Learn more about Dr. Patel.
Carina Iskandir, MD
Dr. Iskandir was born in Egypt and moved to Toronto, Canada, when she was about 2 years old. After growing up in the Great White North, medicine thankfully took her to the warmth of the Caribbean, where she studied premedical sciences and medicine at St. George’s University.
Clinical rotations eventually brought Dr. Iskandir to New York, where she did her residency in internal medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She has had the pleasure of calling Brooklyn home for the past 5 years. During this chief year at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, she looks forward to the opportunity to work with residents with an interest in medical education and simulation.
Dr. Iskandir is currently pursuing a career in pulmonary critical care. Outside of medicine, she recently ran her first half marathon and is hoping to run the New York City Marathon in 2020.