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New Residents Start in BRG’s Family and Internal Medicine Programs

BATON ROUGE, La. – Baton Rouge General (BRG) proudly welcomes 20 new doctors to its family medicine and internal medicine residency programs. This year, “Match Day” -- the much-anticipated day when medical students find out which residency or fellowship program they are accepted or “matched” into -- fell on March 19 as the novel coronavirus pandemic was taking hold. Without the typical pomp and circumstance, the new doctors headed to Baton Rouge, officially starting July 1.

The physicians will complete their residency training at BRG’s Bluebonnet and Mid City campuses, which provide a clinical setting for Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Anesthesia, Psychiatry, and General Surgery Residency Programs.

“Our Family Medicine and Internal Medicine Residency Programs at BRG have been in place for decades, but never has it been as important as the past few months to have our residents working side-by-side our doctors to care for patients,” said Dr. Venkat Banda, Chief Academic Officer. “They’ve been the backbone of our community’s response to this pandemic, and we are proud to call yet another group of young doctors our own here at Baton Rouge General.”

Joining the Family Medicine Residency Program are Jeremy Adel, MD; Patrick Bergin, MD; Mervina George, MD; Alakananda Mukherjee, MD; Ifeoma Okponyia, MD; Sitara Satish, MD; Valeria Soegaard, MD; and Jeffrey Thiebaud, MD.

Joining the Internal Medicine Residency Program are Sai Bandaru, MD; Rachel Ducote, MD; Gift Echefu, MD; Chris Forester, DO; Ashley Capace, MD; Rameela Mahat, MD; Yara Mouawad, MD; Christina Patterson, DO; Ankush Raju, MD; Raghu Rudraraju, MD; Alyssa Vicari, MD; and Ashley Zboril, MD.

Through its education programs, the hospital trains annually more than 500 medical students, residents, fellows, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and radiation technologists, and provides instructional locations for medical students from other schools, including Tulane and LSU.

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About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.