Chief Residents

2022-2023

Omar Abialmouna.

Home Town: Buffalo, NY

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine

Future Plans: Rheumatology, Academic Medicine

Favorite Buffalo/Local Activity: While there’s so much to do in Buffalo, there’s nothing quite like Sundays in the fall at Orchard Park for a Buffalo Bills game. I am sure the 2023 Super Bowl Parade in February will also be lovely! The summers in Buffalo are perfect. For me, the numerous golf courses in the area can keep me busy during my off time. Just because we have long winters, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun activities during that time! Ski resorts, ice skating, and Buffalo Sabres hockey games offer plenty to do in the winter.

A personal message and what I love about the program: We are one big family! For me, family is everything. I feel like I’ve built a second family during my residency with my co-residents and attendings. I also love that our program emphasizes teaching and resident wellness above all else. Our dedicated didactic time gives us the opportunity to sit in on lectures, go on wellness retreats, and create friendships with our co-residents. We have plenty of support if overwhelmed, but also promote valuable autonomy which I thought was an immense part of my training.

Cynthia Toughlian.

Hometown: Melbourne, Florida

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton

Future Plans: Hospitalist, Academic Medicine

Favorite Buffalo/Local Activity: In Buffalo, each of the four seasons provides something great to look forward to and various activities to enjoy. Most of my free time is spent outdoors when able, whether it be exploring the abundance of local hiking trails such as the Niagara Gorge or taking a day trip to Letchworth State Park. I also love visiting the cider mills in the fall, or just walking around Delaware Park on a cool day to take in the fall foliage as the leaves change colors. Even if you’re not a sports fanatic, it’s impossible to be in Buffalo and not get excited about the Bills. The spirit and pride that people have for this city and its sports teams are contagious. You can also enjoy Canalside almost any time of the year — during the winters you can spend time ice skating on the rink, or canoe down the Lake Erie canal between the historic factories during the summers. If you’ve ever been in downtown Buffalo, you’ll also recognize the iconic, slightly sweet smell of cereal coming from the General Mills factory which has become nostalgic to me. Beyond the classic Buffalo wings, if you’re a foodie, there’s never a lack of amazing restaurants to explore. And of course, one of my all-time favorite Buffalo activities is visiting the beautiful Niagara Falls, especially on the Maid of the Mist.

A personal message and what I love about the program:  By far, what I love most about our program is the supportive environment and the culture of collegiality and community, rather than competitiveness. I’ve met great mentors, and lifelong friends that have become second family and have hugely influenced the person I am today. Additionally,  the racially, ethnically, and socially diverse patient population not only allows exposure to a variety of cases but cultivates an environment of kindness, respect, and support all of which are essential to achieving health equity and better patient care. We have incredible teaching faculty that provide us with the supervision and support we need to thrive and deliver optimal patient care, but also allow us sufficient autonomy so that we are capable and prepared to practice independently when the time comes.  

Danny Ram.

Hometown: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine

Future Plans: Cardiology, Academic Medicine

Favorite Buffalo/Local Activity: What surprised me the most when I moved to Buffalo was how robust the food scene is. There are a bunch of little pockets like Elmwood or Hertel that have a ton of great restaurants/bars, making it tough when deciding where to have dinner. Also, being a city that experiences four seasons, there are always a ton of great outdoor activities all year round from chilling at the local beaches in the summer, experiencing the breathtaking foliage whiles hiking in the fall, to ice skating in the winter.

A personal message and what I love about the program: What attracted me to the University at Buffalo internal medicine program was the diversity of the patient population. Rotating across three distinct hospital sites, we get to see a wide range of pathologies with varying severities and I strongly believe that’s what makes our residents so strong. Furthermore, having a fellowship available in almost all the subspecialties right here provides many opportunities for professional development. Academics aside, my absolute favourite thing about the program however is the community. Despite being a larger program we are very collegial and there is an endless amount of support from each other and the program leadership. The program truly cares about their residents, takes their feedback to heart, and is always looking for ways to make our experience the best.

Anthony Khoury.

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Medical School: 
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Future Plans/Goals: Gastroenterology, Academic Medicine

Favorite Buffalo/Local Activity: Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, I have been lucky to have my family and friends close by. Buffalo has a big city, but a small-town feel. We are home to major sports teams, including the Buffalo Bills (GO BILLS!), Buffalo Sabres, and Buffalo Bandits. There are so many event venues around the city for concerts by world-renowned artists throughout the year! Each season is full of events. During the spring/summertime you can find me at Canalside, local heritage festivals, Delaware Park, golfing, kayaking in Lake Erie, and hiking the local trails. In the fall & winter, I tend to enjoy the fall foliage and ski town of Ellicottville, the indoor Buffalo Botanical Gardens, snowmobiling, and watching musicals at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. We are also such an underrated food city; our local restaurants are phenomenal! I have already been fortunate to experience many local activities, but there is so much more! 

A personal message and what I love about the program: The thing I love the most about our program is the people. From my co-residents to the program administration/leadership to the faculty/staff, everyone is there to help. Coming from a large family, I feel the program is an extension of my family. Our Curriculum Committee does an incredible job with program education. From Boot Camp, Academic Half Day Curriculum, Morning Report, Residents as Educators, Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS), Journal Club, Evidence-Based Medicine, Gamification, and Board Review sessions, to name a few, we are constantly learning via distinctive educational methods. We have a wide variety of clinical settings to rotate through. These include Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, Erie County Medical Center, the VA, or Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Care, and different clinic sites, where we see a diverse patient population. Research is a high priority in our program, in which residents are paired early on with a mentor in their specialty of interest. There are various avenues of research where residents can lead in projects such as clinical, quality improvement, or medical education. Finally, as a former wellness champion, we have an outstanding Wellness Committee. The Wellness Committee actively puts together various events monthly for all residents to attend!

Aruba Hashmi.

Hometown: Orlando, Florida & Guelph, Ontario

Medical School: Nova Southeastern University 

Future Plans: Pulm/Sleep/Crit, Academic Medicine

Favorite Buffalo/Local Activity: I am a coffee enthusiast and Buffalo has served to fuel my addiction with so many different coffee shops offering the best of the bean world. The Farmer's Market displays a lot of the coffee shops or bakeries in the area and has become a must for me on a weekend off in the summer. In the winter, ice skating on Canalside is worth every bruise. Walking around Delaware park or Elmwood Village has also become one my favorite things to do. Buffalo has many great parks for those of us seeking an adventure, my favorite being Letchworth State Park. And then of course Bills’ Nation is an experience of its own and has given me some unforgettable memories. 

A personal message and what I love about the program: There are a lot of things from the clinical exposure and academic mentors to the cutting-edge research that make the University at Buffalo special, but if none of those things were here, Buffalo would still be amazing because of the individuals making up the program. From my co-residents and attendings to our incredible coordinators and administrative staff, the people make it really feel like home. Residency is tough, and a lot of us are coming from out of state and even internationally, but the community and friends I’ve met have made the transition feel easier. 

Riad Al Sabbagh.

Hometown: Oakville, Ontario, Canda

Medical School: Campbell University 

Future Plans: Sleep Medicine

Favorite Buffalo/ Local Activity: I love the diversity of activities Buffalo has to offer because of the seasonal changes the city goes through. Depending on the season, we have something for everyone! My favorite activities include visiting Niagara Falls, one of the top 10 wonders of the world which must be visited! I also recommend visiting the Canadian side of the Falls as well for a better view of the Falls! I really enjoy cycling as well and there's many stunning bike routes around the city. Amongst my favorite is the Shoreline Trail along Lake Erie that comes to an end near the Buffalo Outer Harbor. 

A personal message and what I love about the program: I love our diversity and interacting with all the residents. We have a large program which fosters community and opportunities to make long lasting friendships. I particularly like our Big Brother Big Sister program for interns and seniors, which is great way to build peer-peer mentorship within the program!