Meet Our Residents
Stanford’s Ob/Gyn program is a small and close-knit group of residents. Below is a short synopsis of each resident’s history and what brought them here to Stanford
Danielle Blemur, MD, MPH - PGY 1
Hi there, my name is Danielle! I was born and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. I have been so lucky to have been surrounded by friends from all walks of life and a very proud Caribbean family that instilled the values that I hold today. My mother immigrated from Jamaica and my father from Haiti, and they both were committed to education and discipline while remaining grounded and humble. Very early on, I was exposed to public health and community engagement, and I attended Cornell University where I studied biology and society to better understand how we as a health science community can better serve those around us. After graduating, I spent two years in New York gaining experience in clinical and bench research. Afterward, I returned to Georgia where I completed the dual degree MD/MPH program at Emory University. There I was able to develop my skills as a researcher and public health advocate and designed studies to increase HPV and cervical cancer screening in marginalized populations. My hobbies include gardening, bowling, anything involving friends and a board game, hiking and being outdoors, and trying new foods.
Samantha Kruger, MD, MA - PGY 1
I grew up in the Bay Area and attended UC Santa Barbara, first as an undergraduate and then for my Master’s in Molecular Biology. After graduating from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, I am thrilled to make my way back to the West Coast for residency! I fell in love with Stanford after having the opportunity to complete a sub-internship with the program and am so excited and proud to be part of a group of individuals who care deeply for their patients and each other. I am the first person in my family to attend a four-year college and, as a result, enjoy mentorship opportunities that allow me to support first- generation college students at each stage of their education. I am also passionate about working with individuals experiencing homelessness and have worked with groups that serve this population since my time in Santa Barbara. Outside of the hospital, I love to spend time with my family and my English Bulldog (Otis), try new restaurants, enjoy the outdoors, and practice photography.
Metabel Markwei, MD, ScM - PGY 1
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
I am a story lover and often love to hear the story of how people found their way into their passions. My own story starts in Accra, Ghana, where I was born and raised, and continues in New Haven, Connecticut, where I studied medical anthropology and global health at Yale University. In college, multiple volunteer/research trips back home to Ghana, clarified my interests in global reproductive health and led me to obtain a master's degree in reproductive medicine at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. I went on to attend medical school at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine where my patients' stories inspired me to found the Minority Maternal Health Initiative, a student-led patient-navigator program that assisted Black and Hispanic pregnant patients with social services. Working intimately with minority patients cemented my desire to bridge healthcare inequities for minority women in the United States and Ghana, through translational research across borders. My life story, together with the stories of my patients, family, and friends continue to be my North Star. Outside of the hospital, you can find me curled up with a novel, writing, listening to podcasts/audiobooks, on long walks/hikes, or trading stories with friends over endless laughter and delicious food.
Kevin Petersen, MD, MPH - PGY 1
University of Central Florida
I’m a first-generation German American and the first doctor in my family. I grew up in sunny South Florida. Unlike many, I discovered my love for medicine later in life after first pursuing a career in dance. I started my academic journey at community college, where I first explored my interest in the sciences. I studied Biology at Nova Southeastern University and completed medical school at UCF College of Medicine, where I served as the M.D. Student Council President. I’ve always been a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community – volunteering as a youth-group mentor, working as an HIV testing councilor, and teaching LGBTQ+ inclusive sexual education. After discovering my passion for OB/GYN, I chose to pursue a Master of Public Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health between my third and fourth year of medical school. At Harvard, I graduated with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Health, focused my studies on racial disparities in maternal mortality, and served as the LGBTQ+ & Sexual Health Intern for the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC). My professional interests include transgender healthcare, reproductive justice, health equity, and gynecology oncology. In my free time I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, music concerts and festivals, and exploring new cities!
Natalie Spach, MD, MPH - PGY 1
University of North Carolina
I grew up in Seattle, but North Carolina has been my home for the last 10 years. I played collegiate soccer at Davidson College (outside of Charlotte, NC) where I majored in Hispanic Studies and completed the pre- med track. Before medical school, I worked in rural Appalachia on a public health campaign that provided contraceptive education through social media platforms. The campaign ignited my passion for reproductive justice and when I entered medical school at the University of North Carolina, I was strongly considering a career in Ob/Gyn. My medical school experiences cemented my love for the specialty— it is truly such a privilege to care for, support, and advocate for patients. I chose Stanford for residency because of the outstanding clinical training, the program’s values, and, above all, the wonderful people here. When I am not in the hospital, I enjoy running, skiing, doing New York Times crossword puzzles with my partner, watching videos of corgis, and spending time with my family (especially when my Italian momma’s cooking is involved).
Hillary Weiner, MD, MBE - PGY 1
University of Michigan
I grew up in the metro Detroit area and attended the University of Michigan for undergrad. During college, I worked abroad as an EMT in Israel where I had the mind boggling opportunity to deliver my first babies. This experience sparked an initial love for Ob/Gyn. Following graduation, I took a research position at a local biorepository and became interested in medical ethics. I moved to Boston and completed a Masters in Bioethics at Harvard University. In this space, I learned about reproductive ethics, the maternal-fetal relationship, and studied the philosophical frameworks underlying women’s health. I returned to the University of Michigan for medical school and completed a pre-doctoral clinical ethics fellowship. In this role, I had the privilege of leading the hospital ethics committee and consult service. To me, the ethics service is about advocacy and ensuring that my patients' voices and values about their bodies are heard and respected. Additionally, I served as a medical director for the local free clinic and furthered a passion for working with underserved populations and confronting health disparities. Outside of the hospital, you will find me backpacking in Yosemite, snowboarding (lodging) in Tahoe, re-reading Harry Potter, or binging netflix with my partner and our two pups.
Belle Beshar, MD - PGY 2
I grew up in New York and am a classic oldest sibling to my more mature brother and sister. I stayed on the East Coast for college, where I wrestled with biology classes and thrived in history. I was lucky enough to attend University of Oxford as an American Rhodes Scholar; while there, I witnessed the shock of Brexit and discovered the power of narrative medicine. I chose Ob/Gyn because I am constantly in awe of the female body, which I believe should never be limited by political restriction nor social expectation. My goal is to train as an abortion provider and ensure access for all patients, regardless of who they are or where they live. My happy place is in the water, and I’m thrilled to remain in California, where the beach and alpine lakes fill me with impossible joy. When not in the hospital, I am a proud plant mom, never use the oven, and run (slowly) to the rage of political podcasts.
Farsam Fraz, MD - PGY 2
University of California, Davis
I am a first-generation college and medical school graduate brought up in the San Francisco Peninsula. Growing up a part of an immigrant family, I experienced early on how cultural differences, health, and educational disparities affected my immediate community - inspiring my lifelong commitment to serve and advocate for all underserved and marginalized communities through a career in medicine. As an undergrad at UC Davis, I took an active role at Shifa Community Clinic to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare to the uninsured communities in Sacramento. Being able to give back to communities similar to the one I grew up in reaffirmed my desire to become a physician. I then returned to UC Davis for medical school where I continued my work with Shifa and was a part of Transforming Education and Community Health for Medical Students (TEACH-MS), which trains students on improving access and providing equitable health services for urban-underserved communities. I co-lead the Ob/Gyn Group, Medical Students for Choice chapter, and AMWA at my school in addition to serving on the Diversity Advisory Council, WhiteCoats4BlackLives chapter, and as a mentor to many BIPOC and URM students. I am passionate about social and reproductive justice, diversifying the medical workforce, advocacy, and medical education. I speak Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi fluently, and also speak functional Spanish. In my free time - I love to drink and craft coffee drinks, edit and take photographs, explore new restaurants, and cheer on my favorite sports teams!
Pamela Meza, MD - PGY 2
Hi! I’m Pamela, I was born and raised in Orange County, California. I stayed in Southern California for my undergraduate degree in Psychobiology from UCLA. During my time at UCLA, I developed my interests in global health working with migrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. After I graduated in 2015, I worked as an instructional aid for first-generation students in under-resourced communities. I also took this time to co-found a non-profit, The Backpack Strategy, to help students across Mexico decrease the financial burden of their education. I was very fortunate to attend Stanford for medical school where I was able to continue my work in global health, I spent the summer after my first year of medical school in Guatemala City, where I studied the impact of simulation-based training for obstetric emergencies. While at Stanford, I was also involved in various groups to support, promote, and empower URM students in medicine, such at SUMMA and LMSA. I am so excited to be staying at Stanford for residency an continue working with the amazing people that make it so special. On my free time, I love to cook, bake, spend time with friends and family, explore the Bay area, and soak up as much sun as I can!
Sarah Owens, MD - PGY 2
Oregon Health & Science University
I was born and raised in Portland, OR before attending Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA for college. I studied Chemistry and Entrepreneurial Leadership and played on their national championship intercollegiate volleyball team. Following graduation, I worked as a nanny, dog-walker, medical scribe, and pharmacy technician before beginning medical school at OHSU. I fostered my passion for medical education, mentorship, authentic vulnerability, and women’s health through the Women’s Leadership Development Program. During medical school, I also helped create a resilience course for OHSU Ob/Gyn residency applicants and a wellness resource hotline for OHSU faculty and staff in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic because I find the most joy in my life when I am lifting up those around me. I graduated with high distinction and was elected into AOA as a third-year medical student. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, trying new restaurants and coffee shops, running or cycling, hosting and playing trivia, and cheering on the Zags and Blazers basketball teams. I chose Stanford to continue my residency training in Ob/Gyn because of their unparalleled dedication to social and reproductive justice, excellent clinical training and commitment to education, and a supportive community unlike any other.
Samantha Wagner, MD, MPH - PGY 2
University of Washington
Growing up in “Big Sky Country” Montana, my path is guided by my zest for life, adventure, and service. I earned my undergraduate degree in Biology from Carroll College, where I was also a member of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon graduating, I commissioned as an Officer in the Engineer Corps, and I went on to serve four years on active duty with the 10th Mountain Infantry Division. During this time, I earned my Master of Public Health degree from Creighton University where I fostered my interests in health equity. I attended the University of Washington School of Medicine, where I led and organized a clinical exchange in Nicaragua, co-led a chapter of the Health Equity Circle, and developed a Veteran’s Health Initiative. I continue to serve in a medical unit within the Army National Guard, where I have specialized training as a sexual assault victim advocate. Additionally, I serve on the Board of Directors for a homeless shelter in Port Antonio, Jamaica. My engagement with this world is guided by a deep love for humanity, and I am honored by the privilege to walk alongside people during their medical journey. Beyond these interests, you can find me enjoying all types of outdoor adventure with my husband and our sweet labradoodle.
Wendy Zhang, MD - PGY 2
I was born in a small town in China and raised in the Bay Area. Having been at Stanford for more than a decade now, I am a Stanford “lifer” and obviously continue to be a huge fan. During my undergrad at Stanford, I majored in Biology, conducted research in cardiovascular stem cells, and volunteered at our student-run free clinics. I was thrilled to stay at Stanford for medical school, where I managed Arbor Free Clinic, TAed multiple women’s health courses, and published research on the impact infertility treatments have on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. I’ve taken a more unconventional path through medical school, taking some time away to delve into my REI research and to start a family (I have 2 fierce-minded daughters). I continue to be incredibly passionate about clinically-driven research. Needless to say, I am overjoyed to be joining the Stanford Ob/Gyn family! It is such a tight-knit, supportive, accomplished, and hilarious team that is so invested in each other's success and wellness and so dedicated to serving patients. Beyond medicine, I love exploring nature with my family, cooking with friends, traveling, and being the occasional couch potato.
Kelly Darmawan, MD - PGY 3
University of California, Los Angeles
I was born and raised in the Bay Area, where I grew up playing water polo. I attended UCLA for undergrad, where I studied Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Global Health, and captained the UCLA Women’s Club Water Polo Team. I continued at UCLA for medical school, where I provided care for the surrounding underserved communities as a leader of UCLA's student run free clinic. I also cultivated my love for teaching as a mentor and Anatomy TA to other medical students, and pursued my passion for women's health by conducting research on factors that influence adherence to cervical cancer screening in young women, among other research projects. I am excited to return to my Bay Area roots to not only work and learn from an exceptional group of physicians, but to also serve the community that I grew up in. As a physician, I am committed to advocating for women's health and empowering my patients. When I'm not in the hospital, I enjoy hiking, visiting the beach, traveling, baking desserts, and spending time with my family.
John Hayden, MD - PGY 3
I was born and raised in New England and spent most of my childhood training as a pre-professional ballet dancer. In high school, I fell in love with biology and decided to go pre-med while continuing my training. After a year of dancing professionally in Boston, I chose to “retire early" and pursue a career in medicine full time. Over the next few years I finished my undergraduate studies at Vassar College and completed a Masters Degree at Boston University, where I studied chronic traumatic encephalopathy in NFL players. During medical school, also at B.U., I moved away from studying neuroscience and discovered my passion for LGBTQ+ healthcare. This lead me to co-found and chair several initiatives at the medical school ranging from sexual/reproductive health educational electives to LGBTQ+ specific curricular reform. I also fundraised for and established the first LGBTQ+ specific fund at Boston University to promote ongoing education and research efforts. My work in sexual health ultimately introduced me to the incredible world of Ob/Gyn and the rest is history! In my free time, I love staying active (whether in the gym or the great outdoors). I'm a self-described interior design nut and overly enthusiastic foodie. I'm so excited to begin the next stage of my life on the West Coast and as a member of the extraordinary Stanford Ob/Gyn community!
KJ Jennings, MD - PGY 3
Medical College of Georgia
I grew up an avid sports fan in Atlanta, GA, which I think builds a certain character. I have two older sisters and three younger nieces. I attended the University of Georgia for undergrad, where I was able to build on the tradition of sports disappointment from my childhood. In college I discovered my love of physical chemistry and ultimate frisbee, but neither of those career paths panned out. I went to the Medical College of Georgia where I had the opportunity to work in a couple different gender health clinics and discovered how meaningful it felt to be able to be a trans provider to trans patients. I chose Ob/Gyn because of some of my own personal struggles with not being a woman but still facing a “women’s health” problem. My career goal is to make medicine more understanding and accessible for trans and queer patients and to continue to provide for a dynamic population. My other passions include podcasting, Frank Ocean, Top Chef, my bike, and really any competition-based activity.
Megan McCracken, MD - PGY 3
University of Kansas
Hello and welcome to Stanford! I grew up in the Kansas City area and still maintain a devout love of all Kansas City sports teams, GO CHIEFS. I attended undergrad at Wichita State University, where I played softball and majored in Biology. After college, I worked for Cerner, mostly in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, I helped to create and implement the women’s health curriculum for the Intermountain Healthcare System. In medical school my interests centered around prenatal care for students within their high schools, advocating for access within the LGTBQ+ community, and working with cage-side physicians at MMA events in the greater Kansas City metro. Specifically, my research had an emphasis in sexual and reproductive health within the transgender community. I love Ob/Gyn because it allows me to make impactful change through surgery, build intimate relationships in clinic, as well as be a fierce advocate for social change. Outside of medicine I enjoy hiking, yoga, snowboarding, rock climbing, and almost any team sport. I love looking for new coffee shops and am always eager to expand my food horizons. I am honored to be at Stanford alongside such an accomplished and empowered group of co-residents. We look forward to meeting you!
Julie Najar, MD - PGY 3
University of Arizona
Hi my name is Julie I was born in San Jose, CA. I am a first generation Mexican American and I was the first to attend college in my family. After I graduated college I did research on nicotine addiction at the NIH for the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, MD. I went to medical school at the University of Arizona and during medical school served as a mentor and tutor to peer and high school students. I was also very involved with my local Latino Medical Student Association chapter and served as Policy Chair. As policy chair I was able to serve as a medical advocate for migrants released from ICE detention, advocate nationally for DACA policies, and locally to increase availability of medical interpreters. I am so honored to continue my medical training at Stanford in the field of obgyn and to continue advocating for all my future patients! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my daughter and husband, going for long runs, and trying new restaurants.
Ravali Reddy, MD - PGY 3
University of Southern California
I grew up in Dublin, CA before attending Stanford for college, where I studied Communication and minored in Biology. After graduating, I ran communications strategy for Stanford Medicine X and volunteered as a Health Educator at the San Francisco Women’s Community Clinic. I moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to begin medical school at the University of Southern California, where I quickly built upon my passion for reproductive health by leading the Ob/Gyn Student Interest Group, joining MSFC, teaching sex education at local public schools, and conducting research within the Division of Family Planning on minority perspectives on contraception. During medical school, I was also elected Class Co-President for all four years and became a nationally certified crisis counselor. I graduated with highest distinction and was elected into both the AOA and Gold Humanism Honors Societies. Outside of medicine, my passions include running, Bollywood fusion dance, trying new foods, and spending time with my family, partner, and friends. I am thrilled to be returning to Stanford as a resident physician and chose the program because of its unparalleled clinical training, cutting-edge research, incredibly supportive community, and commitment to the principles of social and reproductive justice. There's no other place like it and I'm so grateful to be back!
Abbie Hageman, MD - PGY 4
University of California, Los Angeles
I was born in Santa Rosa, CA. I became the first in my family to attend college. I have worked since age 13 in more than a dozen different types of jobs. I studied Biology and African Studies at UCLA. After college I worked three concurrent jobs as a nanny, a medical scribe and as a Congenital Heart Disease Clinical Research Coordinator including 3-D printing. In medical school, I continued working as a research coordinator and was active in leadership in peer mentoring and tutoring, undergrad sex education programs, and ultrasound teaching. I participated in two global health projects in Ghana in undergrad, mobile homeless clinics in LA, free clinics in LA though a Kaiser Community Medicine elective, and most recently CFHI's Maternal Child Health and HIV/AIDS program in Uganda. My passions include medical education, addressing healthcare disparities and advocating for women’s and reproductive health. I enjoy Pilates, the beach, cooking, skiing, hosting wine and game nights, visiting or FaceTiming with my nephew in Alabama, traveling and spending time with my rescue dog.
Simranvir Kaur, MD - PGY 4
University of Utah
Hi everyone and welcome to Stanford! I was born, raised, and educated in Salt Lake City, Utah. As an undergrad at the University of Utah I studied chemistry and gender studies where I found my passion for reproductive justice. I volunteered at the Rape Recovery Center and Planned Parenthood both of which led me to medical school again at the University of Utah. I was involved in family planning research, president of Medical Students for Choice, and lobbied during the 2018 and 2019 Utah Legislative Sessions. Besides all of that, I love being outside. True to my Utah roots, I’m a hiker in the summer and skier in the winter. I’m excited to replace the beautiful Utah desert with the California ocean and forest. I love overly spicy food and I’m an avid NBA and Utah Jazz fan. I chose Stanford for residency because of the commitment to family planning and all of the incredible co-residents and teaching faculty. I am excited to meet all of you!
Arian Khorshid, MD - PGY 4
University of Colorado
Food is the love of my life. So is sleep. I particularly enjoy ice cream and outdoor naps. I have learned the most in my life from writing. My narrative has taken me from Iran to D.C. to Denver and, now, here. Along the way, I studied biomedical engineering, taught sex ed, and trained as a doula. My academic endeavors focused on educational design, care of the underserved, and a local crusade against racial disparities in infant mortality. My favorite organ is the bladder. I am on a quest to enable and embolden women to embody the best of themselves. A side quest is to grow as an individual into a better human being. And, hopefully, an effective teacher. And probably a subspecialist. I am fluent in Farsi and a fiend at backgammon. I can also cook, I am obsessed with tea, and I like to hike. Also, I will always accept a hug.
Stephanie Melchor, MD - PGY 4
University of California, Davis
I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley as a daughter to Mexican farm workers, was a first-generation college student, and is the first to pursue a postgraduate degree. I attended UCLA where I studied Physiological Sciences and Public Health and was a leader and patient advocate through Latinos for Community Health. During undergrad and my post-bacc, I worked for the UCLA School of Public Health studying the impact of pesticides on neurologic disease in the San Joaquin Valley. I attended UC Davis Medical School in the San Joaquin Valley PRIME program where I was a leader in Latino Medical Student Association, community health outreach, and peer mentorship. I participated in medical school admissions, lead workshops and conducted research in factors influencing selection of residency programs. I am committed to returning to the Central Valley after training, to serve my community. I find great joy in practicing yoga, journaling, listening and dancing to regional styles of Mexican music and listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on long drives. I look forward to exploring the outdoors with my friends and family.
Sarah Miller, MD - PGY 4
After growing up in Oregon, I came down to Stanford for college to enjoy the beautiful weather, amazing Stanford football team, stunning Bay Area hikes, and studied Neurobiology with an emphasis in neuro-oncology. I graduated in 2014 and moved to Manhattan where I worked at an executive search firm recruiting healthcare executives for a year before medical school. I was thrilled to return to Stanford for medical school where I quickly became interested in surgical education and intraoperative surgical imaging, developing preclinical surgical curricula and studying fluorescence imaging in both open and minimally invasive oncologic surgery. I can hardly contain my excitement to be sticking around Stanford for another four years for residency with an exceptionally supportive, hilarious, fun and accomplished group of co-residents. Outside of the hospital I enjoy exploring San Francisco, weekend trips to Napa and Lake Tahoe, spending time with my nieces and nephews, and hosting dinner parties and board game nights with friends.
Kristen Rice, MD - PGY 4
Dartmouth, Geisel School of Medicine
I grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in Biochemistry. I became interested in reproductive health after studying abroad in Tanzania and interviewing women and traditional healers for an ethnographic study. Before starting medical school, I spent three years in Seattle as a research fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. After moving to New England for medical school at Dartmouth, I spent my first summer in Kosovo working with a women’s advocacy organization on a national survey analyzing access to healthcare. Upon return to Dartmouth, I continued my focus on issues of healthcare access by partnering with an existing community outreach program to provide home visits for pregnant women living in rural areas. I’m excited to be back on the West Coast for residency and look forward to exploring the breadth of the field of Ob/Gyn alongside such inspiring clinicians, researchers and advocates while at Stanford. When I’m not at the hospital I’m enjoying learning how to mountain bike on the multitude of trails in the area. I love a good adventure and specifically enjoy backpacking, trail running, skiing, impromptu dinner parties and spending time with my husband Sean.