Class of 2025


Brief Bio

Emmalie Berkovsky, MD, MEd
Emmalie Berkovsky, MD, MEd

Hometown: Shiner, TX
Medical School: Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
Clinical Interests: Rural surgery, general surgery
Research Interests: Medical and surgical education
Personal Interests: Hiking, fitness, craft cocktails, birds of prey, TV/movies and my cat
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix: The awesome rural surgery track, the chance to work in Alaska, the weather and nature in Phoenix, and the awesome residents and attendings I talked to

Lawrence Parawan, MD
Lawrence Parawan, MD

Hometown: Bell Buckle, TN
Medical School: East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine
Clinical Interests: Trauma/critical care, rural/underserved surgery
Research Interests: Medical student education, clinical quality improvement
Personal Interests: Cooking and dining, craft cocktails and my Shiba Inu puppy
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix: Things that stood out to me on my interview day were the strong focus on training truly broad-based general surgeons and a strong emphasis on resident wellness.

Alicia Pereslucha, MD
Alicia Pereslucha, MD

Hometown: Little Chute, WI
Medical School: Chicago Medical School
Clinical Interests: General surgery, breast surgery, bariatric surgery
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes, quality improvement, resident education
Personal Interests: Spending time with my husband and dogs, being active outdoors, working out, disc golf, water sports, camping, macramé crafts
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix: Comprehensive training in various training environments, commitment to training “general” general surgeons, resident camaraderie, supportive program culture from the top down

Janelle Rodriguez, MD
Janelle Rodriguez, MD

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Medical School: UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Clinical Interests: Cardiothoracic surgery, medical student and resident education
Research Interests: Cardiovascular interventions for coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation
Personal Interests: Vinyasa yoga, running, hiking or anything I can do with my dog, spending time with family and friends
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix:Hands down the culture and camaraderie between not only residents but the entire surgical teams. Rotating through this program as a medical student is what made me officially decide I wanted to do surgery.

Rinku Skaria, MD, PhD
Rinku Skaria, MD, PhD

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Medical School: UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson
Clinical Interests: Cardiothoracic surgery
Research Interests: Translational and clinical research, ‘omics
Personal Interests: Dance, yoga, baking, mochas
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix: The people! They are down-to-earth faculty and residents that make for a strong, supportive culture and comprehensive training.


Leslie Swafford, MD
Leslie Swafford, MD

Hometown: Longview, TX
Medical School: East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine
Clinical Interests: Global surgery, surgery in rural/underserved areas
Research Interests: Race-based medicine, socioeconomic disparities in health care
Personal Interests: Soccer, volleyball, golf, yoga, travel, church, drawing, my husband and dog
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix: Opportunities to work in rural/underserved areas, emphasis on the value of diversity and resident autonomy, coolest residents


Olivia Tsai, MD
Olivia Tsai, MD

Hometown: Lake Forest, CA
Medical School: University of California, Irvine
Clinical Interests: General surgery, trauma/critical care, minimally invasive surgery
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes research, surgical education, medical student education
Personal Interests: Art history, museums, ceramics, travel, spending time with family
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix: The commitment to training a “general” general surgeon and providing a strong foundation for future training and specialization, as well as the strong sense of community among residents and support for career goals

Parker Whitfield, MD
Parker Edward Whitfield, MD

Hometown: Sherman, TX
Medical School: Texas A&M
Clinical Interests: Fellowship to be determined
Research Interests: Clinical outcomes research
Personal Interests: Baking, traveling, podcasts, yoga, hiking, running, concerts, spending time with family and dogs
Why UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix: It has all the clinical exposure you need and then some. Even on a zoom interview, it was clear the residents enjoyed each others' company and supported each other